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Author Topic: Children in a free state  (Read 20408 times)

JasonPSorens

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2003, 12:55:42 pm »

no coercion does not necessarily mean no collective action for the common good.

Absolutely correct!  It would have struck Americans as bizarre and silly just 70 years ago to imagine that effective communal and collective action on behalf of the unfortunate, poor, and oppressed required organized coercion.  Unfortunately, since organized coercion has "crowded out" almost every other kind of efficacious social concertation, it's becoming difficult for us to imagine how to do some of these things without force.
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2003, 12:57:56 pm »

It's also good to remember that correlation does not equal causation.  The greater success of parenting shown by better-off families may have to do with the fact that those individuals who are responsible and hard-working and pick themselves up out of poverty also tend to be good parents.

If this interpretation is correct, creating opportunity for "bootstrappers" is far more important than releasing hordes of social workers on the "less fortunate."

Indeed, it is true that correlation can be coincidental.  There are well-known techniques for tuning out such misleading results.  FWIW, given that I only wrote the data-entry system and it was 17 years ago, you probably should not look to my words to judge Alvy's work.   Rather, you should look to the documented results of the subsequent training materials in the field, and to the testimonials of people who have actually taken the courses developed.   I was only using Alvy as an example of a 'common good' program that was providing results.

BTW, I also note that making good self-improvement courses available is just the sort of opportunity a 'bootstrapper' might benefit from.  Who says hordes of social workers must be released?  Not I.  Just because a social worker once offered me a drink, then gave me a huge tax bill for it, I should not disavow water to spite social workers.  The water wasn't the problem, it was the way it was provided.  :)

RS


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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2003, 02:13:36 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

There is too much fo me to properly respond to so please accept some specific comments basically keyed to your format above.

NASA came from the Defense Department.  The real  mission is core government security.  The rest is disguised unemployment and "pork".  The first launch center was Cape Canaveral (sp?), Florida.  Then, after LBJ became president, MSC, Houston, Texas, then Alabama got a site and of course, Vandenburg AFB, California (Where was President Nixon from?).  Virginia has a small launch site along with a couple of other places. NASA also funds some foreign government launch sites.

The mental health private sector is LARGER than the government's programs.  Although there is a blend, most can be accomplished by the private sector.  NIMH is a drain on public funds.

Mining the moon is out.  I know because we tried to mine the ocean floor.  The Europeans stopped the US from this.

I agree that things have a true cost.  However, everything cannot be measured.  "Nothing vast enters the human mind without a curse"  Socrates

"Borrowing" is not ipso facto bad.  It is actually healthy when properly done for the right reasons.  Borrowing for nongovernmental functions such as programs in competition to the private sector mental health professionals is bad.  

I do want to challenge you on a point with a view to have you review your position.  I believe the US experience with slavery  was not "sad history" in the realm of world history and the US response to human bondage.  The US forbade the importation of slaves after 1808.  It was so common an industry both worldwide and in the US, that this restriction on the slave trade at this early date is as shocking as the French Revolution.  

Interracial marriages are so common now, it's not too much to even discuss - except for filling out government forms for the kids' schools.

My last point is another "challenge".  Re "both paths were funded by Federal money" has no relationship to self-pride and accomplishment - nor to dead ends.

Human attributes need not even involve money.  Sometimes only a little is needed.  Dr. Albert Schweitzer did more for Africa with his small donations than the World Health Organization and the other UN catastrophies.

Whatever was accomplished by Federal money caused some amount of suffering by the person who gave the money for the program.  A proper ratio is required.  A space center in  every state is not needed.

BobW

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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2003, 12:02:05 am »

Hi Rhythm Star,

There is too much fo me to properly respond to so please accept some specific comments basically keyed to your format above.

...

My last point is another "challenge".  Re "both paths were funded by Federal money" has no relationship to self-pride and accomplishment - nor to dead ends.


Hi,

Lots of stuff for us to talk about, but I don't want to hijack the thread with off-thread-topic stuff.   I'd love to discuss those other issues, but perhaps in separate threads, or even in a different section.

Just to briefly respond,  I wasn't making the claim that the money was causitive, only that the paths had different outcomes.  How much is due to the path and how much the walker?  I don't know.  :)

Anyway, I think there are examples of good things done using government money.  That doesn't mean I think everything government does is good (far from it), or that anything ought to be done funding-wise the way it is done today.  Yet, there are still community needs.  In fact, without the common bond of those needs, one wonders why the word 'community' applies at all.

There are ways that Libertarians can replace coercive programs to address community problems.  Since so much really boils down to information these days, an information technology solution might help.  Why not a common online library of Libertarian-oriented courses, training materials, how-to's, model plans, etc.?   Kinda like the Library of the Congress for the FSP?  Rather than an authoritarian structure, why not an open-source model with volunteers doing the work?

1) Online document-management system where individuals can create 'Projects', like an American History course, or a Parenting Skills Course.

2) Built-in change-management so that the authorship can be a community or a group effort.

3) Rating and reviewing system so that people can rate the good stuff and criticize the not so good (thus driving improvements).

Advantages are that no one dictates the materials, yet everyone interested gets to play. It's a 'coalition of the interested' model.  

For the community member or other interested party, they can use the system to get the tools necessary to help themselves, rather than looking to state programs.  Why take a state parenting course when one that is just as good or better can be had on the FSP Library site?  Why search the web for homeschooling stuff than you can go to the FSP site and find exactly what you need?

I think this idea is one way for Libertarians to build their community without statist constructs.  If someone wants a more secular curriculum, they'll start one and the coalition of the interested will help them build it out.  If someone else wants a more religious curriculum, the same follows.  And both can look to accreditation guidelines and like information also on the same site, so that the quality of the FSP-hosted projects can be improved with some consistency.

FWIW, as a software engineer, I kinda tend to see everything as a software application waiting to be written, but that's not always so bad.  :)

RS
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2003, 01:34:32 am »

Hi Rhythm Star,

Will reply with a focus to the thread title "Children in a free state".

I agree with your idea of online programs.  Had thought they already exist.  

The Conservatives have a university, Yorktown University on line, the libertarians have a think tank Cato, this site links to a "how to's" re "gulches"

Ref your 1) " 'Projects, like an American History course,..".  They are out there. I'm 1 of 12 who work a history site for Middle School, High School and college students doing reports on the Vietnam war.  We are corp funded, positions need not be the "official line" and we self-police with internal controls, eg no insults, no doing someone's report for them, etc.


It's not fair to write "there are examples of good things done using government money." It's true but not the basic issue facing American society.  

The public sector is suffocating the country.  

Rating and reviewing already exist.  Decide to buy the LA Times or refuse to buy the Washington Post.  I don't know what's best for you and your family nor does someone in Washington, DC or Austin, TX.

Although you probably do not read the FEDERAL REGISTER, it is the current document we all theoretically read for what's going on.  It's nonsense and many of us know it.

It is a good thing for the USG to monitor certain financial  institutions against fraud.  It can be done cheaper and better by the private sector.

You and I funded the Resolution Trust Corporation to make whole those who didn't want nor care to make their own arrangements.  

The public sector is suffocating the country.  Here it is true, on point and urgent to recognize it is indeed the children who will suffer.

BobW
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2003, 04:18:47 am »

Hi LisaLew,

Ref Reply # 27,

I read something very close to the Sears material you posted above.

In a book on the history of advertising in the US;

"McDermott's familitial social engineering was an updated version of the "influence" advocated by Horace Bushnell and other liberal child-rearing advisors since the mid nineteenth century.  But the whole idea of submerging one's opinion and defering to a reassuring consensus acquired an intensified appeal amid the insecurities of the Depression era.  It could even provide a basis for expansion of state power. "

Fables of Abundance; A Cultural History of Advertising in America, Jackson Lears, ISBN: 0-465-09076-1

The titles are definitely a mosiac.  

BobW
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2003, 10:25:53 am »

On titles being a mosiac and all that, I have to say that just as people who refer to the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' tend to sound a bit paranoid to me, those who seem to believe that every scientific treatise ever published with the help of public funding is somehow an evil tool for statist brainwashers do not seem 100% objective in my view.  

Like I said before, unhappiness about the past can hide opportunities in the future.

One thing about actual science is that the scientific method is a known quantity.  Rigorously applied, regardless of the bias of the researcher, the scientific method and especially the subsequent peer review will squeeze the unrepeatable speculations from a work, leaving only that which can be demonstrated by any experimentalist to be factually true.  Why didn't cold fusion make it into the textbooks and power plants of the world?  No one could replicate the results with their own experiments (correct me if I'm wrong -- that's the gist of science).

Getting back to parenting skills, the work in this area that is scientific involves observation and measurement.   The resulting courses use techniques inspired by observation and measurement.  The effectiveness of those courses are evaluated via the same method.  If it cannot be observed and measured, it isn't science.

From the University of Wyoming page on Dr. Alvy's work:

Quote
Two major parenting strategies are presented:

The Family Approach for Developing Respectful Behaviors (utilizing family rules and family rule guidelines) and the
Thinking Parent's Approach to Disrespectful Child Behaviors (utilizing systematic decision making processes).
The program teaches:
rule development,
family meeting and problem assessment skills, and shares
basic child development information to help parents make age appropriate rules
several basic child management skills:
- effective praise,
- mild social disapproval,
- systematic ignoring,
- time out, and
- special incentives.
The regular program consists of 14 three-hour training sessions and a fifteenth session for a graduation ceremony. Each training session includes an extensive review and role playing of ideas and skills which were taught in previous sessions. Optimal group size appears to be about 15 to 20 parents, but more could be accommodated if necessary. A one-day seminar version of the program can be conducted for 50 to 500 parents.

Now, from the University of Utah's "Strengthening American Families" project, a bit on the evaluation of Alvy's program:

Quote
Evaluation: EBPP was field tested on two cohorts of parents and their first- and second-grade children. Pre-post changes were compared in a quasi-experimental design with 109 treatment and 64 control families. Significant reduction of parental rejection was observed, along with improvements in the quality of family relationships and child behaviors. At 1-year followup, reductions in rejection and problem behaviors were maintained. Both the long and short versions have been well received in African American communities nationwide, and 1,500 instructors have been trained and are delivering the programs.

(Source: Strengthening America's Families Project, University of Utah, Model Family Strengthening Program Descriptions)

Again, I note that while Alvy meant to address a particular demographic, the parenting skills are not demographic specific.  Rather, it was the presentation that was culturally tuned.  

Anyway, here we get back to the comments about how Libertarian-oriented information is available "out there".  Out where?   How do I know that I'm reading material that won't be judged part of the vast statist conspiracy to brainwash me into paying high taxes and loving it?  Even if I can intuitively tell the difference, how much time am I supposed to have for researching and evaluating alternatives in the midst of relocating my family and participating in a bloodless coup to take over the government of an entire State?

There is value in aggregation.  There is value in being able to see what other FSP folk think about a particular work.  Above all that, there is enormous value to having the work in a content management/version management system, so that the information can be improved by a community of users, commented on, redlined, and in essence peer-reviewed by a host of experimenters with a common set of biases.  It might not be science per se, but it would be an interesting experiment in whether or not there is a coalition of the interested at all.

Just a thought.

:)

RS
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2003, 10:56:20 am »

Hi Rhythm Star,

It is not my position that government assisted research is evil.  Much is good.  Please reread my material.

I'll concede I am not 100% objective.  Please note that this  100% standard does not exist in the human species.

Rhythm, you are missing the theme of our concerns.  

USG scientific research incorporates substantial use of funds not related to the research.  

Cold fusion is not unknown.

The scientific method is not relevant.  The size and scope of government is.

Please post a list of parents who you know who purchased a copy of Dr Aluy's work.  I know of no parent who did.  There are parent participants here.  Maybe they can augment the list you post.

I cannot answer how you will judge material.  

Rhythm, it is a defamation to write "bloodless coup".  I am a Republican who strongly supports Senator Enzi and the rest of the delegation.  I am not "taking over" anything, other than my own destiny in assisting Senator Enzi.

I am not familiar with =version management system [sic]=. Ii do not believe you can evaluate world trade policy positions.  Hopefully you will prove me incorrect.  The information is available.

BobW
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LisaLew

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2003, 11:23:07 am »

BobW-- that quote from the book on the history of advertising is very interesting.  I do not have the Sears book on hand anymore, as it was a library book, but the Sears talk in the history portion about how quickly views on childbirth changed in this country. They had statistics on midwife births vs hospital births.  By the Depression era, the whole thought on childbirth changed and the common thought was home birht was only thought of being used by the most uneducated, poorest families because they just didn't know any better.  RThe advertising approach used by the doctors in the ob field was to rope in the rich families, change their opinions, which then spread to the families in lower socioeconomic levels, until as a society people did not think of home birth as a realistic, viable option.  Common persecption for a long time was onluy whacky, crazy, or uneducated people did that.

I am confused by your responses Rhythm Star.  I have not read any where on this thread that anyone said that any publicly funded research is bad.  I did state I have my reasons to doubt government funded research in this area, and why.  The observation criteria you site in your two examples in your last post seem pretty simplistic for measuring something as complex and variable as human behavior.  Also, the viarable of belief systems  is one that is so huge it is almost impossible to scientifically measure, really, IMO.  Not attacking here-- just voicing my opinion, so please do not lambast me.
There have been so many changes in theories about human behavior over the centuries, that it is probably healthy to be wary of reports and presenting of theories as fact, which is my opinion of what alot of these research projects do.
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #39 on: June 13, 2003, 01:03:31 pm »

Hi LisaLew,

The FABLES OF ABUNDANCE also addresses the MDs entering the new children market via advertising.


I'm not sure what my 2 observation criteria examples are.  Wasn't I joking?  

My entire position doesn't relate to the research.  It relates to the public sector doing projects (in the example, it was research but this is not substantive) more appropriately and cheaper in the private sector.

Actually, "belief systems" go well beyond being a variable.  I hold some government studies on human factors research involving belief systems.  

I agree that belief systems don't plug into scientific studies.  I'd catalog them under eg social or political.

I have nothing against research.  My concerns voiced to Rhythm Star involve the public sector absorbing too much of GDP.

Our country is far from impoverished.  If a study is needed, it usually shows up.  Some fields are purely core government and, of course, these studies must be commissioned and funded.  

Our goal must be to trim down what is not core governmental.  

BobW
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RhythmStar

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #40 on: June 13, 2003, 01:08:13 pm »

Well, I keep saying "look at this here science" and people keep telling me "eeuwww, there was government funding!"  Seems a logical extension (to me anyway) to think that there is political resistance to some information, regardless of its quality.  This is the essence of my observation that unhappiness about the past can hide opportunities in the future.

The topic of this thread (I thought) was how issues relating to child abuse were to be addressed in the Free State.  I was just trying to  provide some factual information, hoping that the participation of 3 Republican administrations in the creation and dissemination of this information might at least keep it from being labelled 'liberal'.   I was also hoping that people might focus on the practical methods where by good work that existed might be assimilated, improved and disseminated in a Libertarian framework.  Somehow, these hopes seem to be overly optimistic.  Oh well, us programmers are eternal optimists.

Perhaps it is my fault.  (shrug)

>>what is version control?

You may want some coffee... :)

In the engineering fields, we have a subdiscipline called 'configuration management'.  Think of your car.  It has many parts.  Each of those parts has a design document and a revision number.  A given model of car with a particular list of optional features may be assembled from a list of those parts and their revision numbers.  We call that list a 'configuration list' and the parts 'configuration items'.   The assembled car is known as a 'configuration', or alternatively a 'build'.   In the software field, since computer programs are also created from subassemblies of parts (called subroutines), and since these parts are in fact text files, we store them in computer programs called 'version control systems'.   In the software subdiscipline of website design, we call specialized version control systems geared towards staging pages onto (and off of) a website 'content management systems'.   A given program you use, or website you view, is built from a given list of items and revision numbers.  Say build 1000 has feature X in it, because it includes version 200 of file Y, where that feature is implemented -- that's like saying Revision 10 of Book A has the Thomas Paine references in it, because it includes Revision 27 of Chapter 15, wherein they were written.

You've heard of Linux? Linux is created and maintained by legions of individual programmers, who volunteer their time.  The Linux source code is online in a web-based version control system.  A programmer 'checks out' a piece of code (a text file), modifies it, tests it, then checks it back in.  The changes that are good (as judged by the rest of the community and ultimately Linus Torvalds, originator of Linux), are included in the next official version (build) of Linux.  Without software configuration management (SCM), it would be really hard for there to be a Linux as it currently exists.  SCM is a HUGE lever.

These sorts of systems are also used for teams of people working on documents.  Law firms use them for contracts.  Authors use them for writing big reference books (FWIW, have been a contributor to a number of books for Que, Sybex, etc.  I also helped program one of the more effective software configuration management systems (StarTeam), which was recently acquired by Borland.)  

Any time you have a large document, such as a course, curriculum, book, or software application, and you want the thing to be worked on by a team of people who are not in the same place, such a system is just the tool you need.   If someone were to say, donate such a system to the cause, it could be used to create ad hoc working groups for a variety of purposes -- white papers, courses, items addressing various topics, party platforms, etc.  Obviously, all of this could be done by alternate methods, but none of them would have the utility, the security, or the project management capabilites of the system.

Anyway, if there is no coalition of the interested for such a beast, that's fine by me.  I'll just go back to lurk mode, but I'll leave you with this thought:

Innovative political solutions require innovative practical methods.

:)

RS
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BobW

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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #41 on: June 13, 2003, 02:04:44 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

All I ask is not to group my posts in that collective noun "people".

My recent post to Lisa clearly identifies my position that government funding is not ipso facto bad.  Plus, it's not just a research issue.

Core government functions must be met.  Those not core will be handled by the private sector.

I only "attacked" your child study because you referenced it.  There are loads of wasteful government studies absorbing precious funds.

"Practical methods" are one of the attributes of the American character.  Good works will, indeed, be enhanced.  Still, the problem is a bloated public sector.

Appreciate the computer engineering info and admit to not knowing about Linux.

I'll offer a counter to your thought:

"If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome.  If you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe.  If you believe the theologicans, nothing is pure." Lord Salisbury

BobW
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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2003, 03:35:17 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

I just found the NASA study by Fred Reed.  It is private sector.

http://toogoodreports.com/column/general/reed/050901.htm

BobW
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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #43 on: June 13, 2003, 07:10:58 pm »

Hi Rhythm Star,

All I ask is not to group my posts in that collective noun "people".

Sorry.  Sometimes, I'm too polite for my own good.

Quote
My recent post to Lisa clearly identifies my position that government funding is not ipso facto bad.  Plus, it's not just a research issue.

Glad we agree on something.

Quote
Core government functions must be met.  Those not core will be handled by the private sector.

That depends on how you define 'core' and 'private'.  

Quote
I only "attacked" your child study because you referenced it.  There are loads of wasteful government studies absorbing precious funds.

Sure are. There are also projects that yield the desired benefits at a reasonable cost.  Plus, there is quite a body of work already done that is there to be leveraged.   If tax dollars built a bridge, should we tear it down and wait until some private firm builds another one and charges us a toll to cross it?   I expect you to reasonably answer 'No', just like I would reasonably expect you to want to retain the value of other resources already built with public money.

Quote
"Practical methods" are one of the attributes of the American character.  Good works will, indeed, be enhanced.  Still, the problem is a bloated public sector.

That is but one of our problems.  Assume that no government programs at all exist tomorrow, as that is the ultimate ideal of many Libertarians.  What then?  What do people do in the meantime, while they hope some private company comes along to charge them some of their tax money savings to do what used to be done by gov't. spending?   What happened to the value of all those things that their tax money had gone to create over these past generations?  How are those social issues currently addressed (however poorly) by gov't programs going to be dealt with?  

It's not enough to decry the status quo, one must formulate working strategies for change.  If the FSP is to gain any success, it will have to demonstrate viable alternatives for each and every statist edifice it aims to deconstruct.  If the answer is privatization, extreme skepticism will be the response, unless there is some plan for handover, equitable reimbursement of the public for public property, and a seamless transfer of services.  Otherwise, it's like shutting down the public utility and having people sit in the dark while they wait for a private solution to emerge.

Quote
Appreciate the computer engineering info and admit to not knowing about Linux.

You seem to be interested in economics.  Therefore, you might find the Linux thing interesting:

http://linux.com/article.pl?sid=02/03/09/1727250

Linux is free and publically developed by individual volunteers.  Yet, it is a very powerful operating system (Microsoft Windows is an operating system), that is popular with companies like IBM and Oracle for running corporate web and database servers.  Also, some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world are running Linux.  MS' Bill Gates doesn't like Linux.  He calls it a 'cancer', eating away at the heart of the intellectual property industry.  This is because his operating system isn't as powerful as Linux in many ways, but costs big money.  So, Bill Gates worries that if free Linux gets too popular, Microsoft will go out of business.

Microsoft is like Big Government.  They keep asking for money to pay for stuff you neither wanted, nor needed, while breaking the stuff you did want and need.   Linux is like Libertarianism, in that it claims to do all the stuff MS Windows claims to do, only better and without having to spend all that money.  

Well, except that Linux developers don't get paid.  They get other benefits, like status and pleasure (yes, they LIKE to program).  Also, they get to advance an alternative way of organizing the society of programmers and program users, where the programmers get paid for consulting, rather than royalties, and the users enjoy low-priced software.  Or, the programmers work for companies that use Linux and thus need Linux programmers around to tweak their in-house systems. Either way, the Linux source code is free to all comers.

Linux is an example of a 'coalition of the interested' doing a big project for no money that has proved so powerful and capable a product that it has got Bill Gates wondering if MS is going to fall.   Kinda like Libertarians would like to see the Big Gov. bureaucrats doing, after the centralized systems were voted out.  

Example:

If Libertarians got together and authored a parenting skills course and made the course freely available on a website, then self-helpers could access it for free, and those with more money than time could pay private counselors to train them using the same course, or perhaps an 'enhanced' version.  If it came to pass that the numbers for family dysfunction in the recipients of the training demonstrated the same (or perhaps even better) improvements as the gov't subsidized courses lke Alvy's, then when asked on the State floor "What are you FSP people going to do about the children?!?"  the honorable representative could reply "We don't believe in government subsidies for everything.  However, here is a private project that combines volunteerism, grassroots activism and private companies to address the same problems.  This report shows that their efforts are just as effective as this NIHM-sponsored project, yet it cost no tax money, the training is available on a free website, and private companies are making money repackaging the work."

I offer that example as an alternative method of doing things, not to plea for the creation of a parenting course per se.  Plenty of other information-based government services could be co-opted and replaced using the same method.

Capiche?

Quote
I'll offer a counter to your thought:

"If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome.  If you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe.  If you believe the theologicans, nothing is pure." Lord Salisbury

If you believe the engineers, nothing is impossible, but neither is it free. :)

RS
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Re:Children in a free state
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2003, 12:40:12 am »


Hi Rhythm Star,

We probably agree on a lot of things.  Responses are generated by disagreement or clarifications.

Sure, "public" and "private" are not clearly defined.  The principle must still be met.  Otherwise, the USDA will continue to publish pamplets on how to mow a lawn.  

Your next para misses the thesis of those seeking smaller government.  A USG study, more properly a function of the private sector, can NEVER have a "reasonable" cost.  There are practical exceptions but I allude to principle and not certain matters of state.

Otherwise, economic distortions occur, eg large government hospitals with large fixed budgets located in areas of depleted population.

The bridge example is called fallacy.

I am not a Libertarian.  I am a Republican.  Your supposition can't get addressed by me.  I have many posts here discussing transition from government programs to the private sector.  Again, I believe in transition.  My writings document this and my work products demonstrate this.

Those "working strategies" already exist.  I accept the FSP program because it concentrates these preexisting programs in a small state to get magnified.  

Extreme skepticism is not a problem.  It will always be present.  "Equitable reinbursement" never occurs.  "Deals" always occur.  Read up on Teapot Dome and the Penn Central RR transfer to the USG.

Your example of closing down a public utility is fallacy.  If the operation is indeed a public utility, it must be retained and maintained.  Review of the tariff is another matter.  Dominion Resources/Virginia Power is exempt from review because of lifestyle requirements of some. I'm sure this situation can be found in 2 or 3 other places.  

Appreciate the computer example, esp re Microsoft.  I once bought a camera with features I never used.  It was the only camera available.

A collective question could not be:"What are you FSP people going to do about the children?!?".  The more realistic scenerio will be asking in the hallway  :" Who can I speak with to get my grandson in your school over at Maple Street and Elm? X needs a little help in Y and I know that you successfully helped...."  

BobW
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