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Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:37 pm

Donald wrote:Boy, some people cling to their ideology like they cling to religion and guns. Here's a way to prevent shortages: arrest or kill the fucking bastards who would gouge during a life-or-death emergency. You wouldn't have to kill but one or two and others would get the message.
You can't legislate away the laws of economics. If you don't let the relative values of different resources (e.g. cash, water, gasoline, food) come into balance with the supply/demand situation, you will get a shortage, regardless of what you think is legal or not. Your feel-good system of punishing those who you think have acted too selfishly actually results in a worse outcome for everyone.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:47 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
Donald wrote:Boy, some people cling to their ideology like they cling to religion and guns. Here's a way to prevent shortages: arrest or kill the fucking bastards who would gouge during a life-or-death emergency. You wouldn't have to kill but one or two and others would get the message.
You can't legislate away the laws of economics.

I know you are a hardcore libertarian, but are you also a follower of Thomas Malthus?
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:59 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:I know you are a hardcore libertarian, but are you also a follower of Thomas Malthus?
I know who Malthus is, but I am not a "follower". Since Malthus, many people have predicted apocalyptic overpopulation. The fact that it hasn't happened certainly doesn't mean that it can't, but I think that people are more resourceful and flexible than is often assumed in such dire predictions. One way of fostering this flexibility of human behavior is through market processes.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby Donald » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:06 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
Donald wrote:Boy, some people cling to their ideology like they cling to religion and guns. Here's a way to prevent shortages: arrest or kill the fucking bastards who would gouge during a life-or-death emergency. You wouldn't have to kill but one or two and others would get the message.
You can't legislate away the laws of economics. If you don't let the relative values of different resources (e.g. cash, water, gasoline, food) come into balance with the supply/demand situation, you will get a shortage, regardless of what you think is legal or not. Your feel-good system of punishing those who you think have acted too selfishly actually results in a worse outcome for everyone.

The "laws" of economics are mean nothing in a life-or-death emergency situations, where the market has been badly damaged if not completely destroyed. The "laws" of economics work in certain circumstances, not these extraordinary ones. That the problem with true believers. You are utterly foolish. Your prescription leads to "feel-bad" system, where community values break down and mayhem begins. You really have no clue what you are talking about.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby Bland » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:11 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:You can't legislate away the laws of economics.
You still seem to be assuming that the only option is some kind of free market. Are you really unable to envision any other means of resource distribution besides straight-up capitalism?
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:19 pm

Malthus also claimed to base his beliefs on the laws of economics.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:23 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Malthus also claimed to base his beliefs on the laws of economics.
Cool story, bro.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:32 pm

Bland wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:You can't legislate away the laws of economics.
You still seem to be assuming that the only option is some kind of free market. Are you really unable to envision any other means of resource distribution besides straight-up capitalism?
No, I'm saying that a market will develop and exist regardless of attempts to suppress it. A market is just the aggregate effect of human decisions regarding a particular resource, or combination of resources. Unless you can somehow stop people from making decisions (e.g. I'd rather have a gallon of gasoline than this piece of green paper), then you will have a market. It might not be a smoothly functioning one, of course, if you impede it with violence, as some here have suggested. Capitalism is the system best suited to allow a smooth functioning of markets.

btw, did you edit one of your posts or something? I could have sworn that you made a post about comparing the economic developments of the 20th century under capitalism with the economic systems of other times. You said something like "Times change, economies change". Am I imagining this? I was looking forward to absolutely skewering the ridiculous idea that a superior economic system had existed before capitalism. Alas...
Last edited by ArturoBandini on Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:44 pm

Donald wrote:The "laws" of economics are mean nothing in a life-or-death emergency situations, where the market has been badly damaged if not completely destroyed. The "laws" of economics work in certain circumstances, not these extraordinary ones. That the problem with true believers. You are utterly foolish. Your prescription leads to "feel-bad" system, where community values break down and mayhem begins. You really have no clue what you are talking about.
The laws of economics do not break down in life-and-death emergencies, they just don't work as elastically as they would under other conditions. Before we go too much further, we should clarify just exactly what it meant by "life and death situation". If we're talking about people lining up to buy gasoline, this is not life and death, and in this case, the laws of economics should be our guide for establishing a free and uncontrolled pricing system that best allocates resources. If we're talking about an acute life and death situation like, for instance, a person drowning in an undertow, then establishing a smooth, elastic pricing scale isn't really relevant, because the pricing signal doesn't have any time to establish equilibrium. In this case, there is either a supply (a life preserver within arm's reach) or a shortage (no such thing present). The occurrence of such life and death situations is just a condition of existence and is not dependent on the preference of one economic system over another (e.g. your violent coercive system will either fail or succeed just the same as my price system in a life preserver situation).

I agree that, for most people, my system might seem like a "feel-bad" option, but that's only because it is counterintuitive. It's like "turning into the skid" while driving - it goes against all your basic (flawed) instincts, but it's probably necessary to avoid an even bigger problem immediately following the one you are trying to solve.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby fennel » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:58 pm

I understand now.
One just has to believe in the construct.

Intuition, common sense, empiricism ... such silly concepts.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby Bland » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:00 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:btw, did you edit one of your posts or something? I could have sworn that you made a post about comparing the economic developments of the 20th century under capitalism with the economic systems of other times. You said something like "Times change, economies change". Am I imagining this? I was looking forward to absolutely skewering the ridiculous idea that a superior economic system had existed before capitalism.
Hmmmm.....wasn't me but I agree with the sentiment. Times and economies DO change. How does that imply that previous systems were better? Doesn't it imply the opposite? Things used to be worse and as modern capitalism evolved it supplanted previous models because it was superior. Perhaps then capitalism will be supplanted by a still better model, yes? Why do you continue to insist that capitalism is the end all and be all of economic development rather than just one more step on a neverending evolutionary path?
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:22 pm

Bland wrote:Why do you continue to insist that capitalism is the end all and be all of economic development rather than just one more step on a neverending evolutionary path?
I do not insist this. It is the best system we have at this point.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby Huckleby » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:29 pm

Madcity Expat wrote:I have no illusions about the ideological nature of the Soviet Union. And perhaps you have a point regarding the Gulag system, if their purpose was truly brutality as a method of re-education. The only Solzhenitsyn I've read is A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. It's been a while, but my reading of that book was that ideology in the camps was a facade masking a more basic human brutality - bullying, really - a hyper-magnified version of 8th grade big kids beating up 7th grade nerdy kids. And my interpretation of Soviet history is that Stalin had more in common with Capone than Lenin. Violence was a tool.

Fascism, on the other hand, elevates violence into a key aspect of its theory of political power - in other words, invests it with ideological content.


As far as ideological brutality, I would rank them: Nazis, FOX, Soviet Communism
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:39 pm

fennel wrote:I understand now.
One just has to believe in the construct.

Intuition, common sense, empiricism ... such silly concepts.
Intuition and common sense are often incorrect, especially when it comes to numbers. See last week's thread about the Monty Hall Problem. Your brain is not pre-wired with the right answers (and neither is mine). What was "common sense" in other times would be accurately labeled superstition or quackery today.

Empirically speaking, rationing and price controls create shortages. It just happened in New Jersey when anti-gouging controls were placed on retailers after Sandy, most notably at gas stations. The predictable end result was a shortage of gasoline, a critical commodity for people dealing with emergency situations. It happened in the 1970's when the federal government implemented price controls and rationing on gasoline in the face of massive supply disruptions - shortages resulted. Things like zero-priced use of roads often create shortages of open roadway at times of high-demand. These are called traffic jams. Is it better to charge an ambulance a toll before it speeds down an open highway, or better if it sits in game-day traffic for free?

In other nations, price controls on basic commodities create shortages in food and other household goods.
Last edited by ArturoBandini on Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sandy as election spoiler excuse

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:40 pm

Huckleby wrote:As far as ideological brutality, I would rank them: Nazis, FOX, Soviet Communism
This is a completely inappropriate comparison.
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