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Author Topic: Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?  (Read 30144 times)

Kyle

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #60 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.
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underwater

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #61 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

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.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2003, 08:39:48 pm by underwater »
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Kyle

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #62 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?
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underwater

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #63 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.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2003, 09:16:27 pm by underwater »
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- I will only vote for people that live in my local community and that are willing to meet with me to discuss the issues.
- I will only pay a tax (preferably a LVT) that is levied by my local community and spent on local infrastructure improvements and security.
- To me, FedGov does not exist.

LeopardPM

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #64 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
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Kyle

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #65 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?
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underwater

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #66 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

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...
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- I will only vote for people that live in my local community and that are willing to meet with me to discuss the issues.
- I will only pay a tax (preferably a LVT) that is levied by my local community and spent on local infrastructure improvements and security.
- To me, FedGov does not exist.

LeopardPM

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #67 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
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BillG

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2003, 09:57:25 am »

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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...
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BillG

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2003, 10:01:54 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...
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LeopardPM

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #70 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
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BillG

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #71 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/2003/orloff01.htm
« Last Edit: November 23, 2003, 05:55:54 pm by BillG (not Gates) »
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LeopardPM

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #72 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/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
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<Patrick>

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #73 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."

     


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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
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Kyle

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Re:Why Privatize Utilites? Shouldn't the People Own Them?
« Reply #74 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?
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