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post #166 of 222 Old 12-15-2016, 11:00 PM
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Self interested, yes. Rationally acting in their own best self interest? No.

How do you qualify if someone is 'rationally acting' in their own self best interest?
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post #167 of 222 Old 12-15-2016, 11:03 PM
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John, an independent health inspector? Talk about a business set up to be bribed and corrupted, if there ever was one!!
There would also have to be an independent, independent health inspector to monitor the independent health inspectors. Look at sites like Yelp, they clearly can't maintain independence (even if they tried).

Also, the idea of a third party accreditation would only with if the market wanted it and deemed it relevant. To avoid even the sniff of corruption is of paramount importance. If my seal of approval isn't great then people will go to another third party that has a better reputation and certainly it had to be better than the government's, they don't set a very high bar.


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post #168 of 222 Old 12-15-2016, 11:22 PM
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Also, the idea of a third party accreditation would only with if the market wanted it and deemed it relevant. To avoid even the sniff of corruption is of paramount importance. If my seal of approval isn't great then people will go to another third party that has a better reputation and certainly it had to be better than the government's, they don't set a very high bar.


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Here is a pretty important counterpoint to that position. The credit ratings agencies are private institutions. Yet they gave toxic assets AAA ratings, which helped lead to our crash. Not sure if it was bribery, corruption, incompetence, mix all of the above, but there you go.

I'm a believer that at the extremes things get wonky. If you have a company 'win' at capitalism, and in effect become a monopoly (or duopoly or oligopoly) you get as many if not more problems than the government. Those credit agencies are one example, your local cable company are another, the old telephone company (you can have any telephone as long as it's this ugly hideous model that we provide).

I think there is a balance to be had between unfettered capitalism and unrestricted govt. Finding that good balance is key, and times and culture and technology will constantly keep that happy balance point changing. The point is to use some good judgment of when you do a bit more/less of one vs the other. Fair minded folks will disagree where that happy point is. Generally, I'm a believer of less govt. as well, but I'm not dogmatic about it either, and there a bunch of private institutions that have let us down mightily in the past as well.

But yea, I'd rather go to the dentist while simultaneously going to the proctologist than dealing with the govt. on most days. As always, YMMV.
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post #169 of 222 Old 12-15-2016, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
Also, the idea of a third party accreditation would only with if the market wanted it and deemed it relevant. To avoid even the sniff of corruption is of paramount importance. If my seal of approval isn't great then people will go to another third party that has a better reputation and certainly it had to be better than the government's, they don't set a very high bar.
George Akerlof won a Nobel Prize for his work on how to reconcile, or to optimise the consequences of, asymmetrical information. His seminal article, written in 1970, was called "The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism".
Quite apposite to this discussion:

http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...ket_for_Lemons
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post #170 of 222 Old 12-15-2016, 11:37 PM
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24 hour fake news now

Who knows what is true anymore
Brutal isn't it? I suppose the news has always been fake to an extent. But it's just so blatant nowadays, I think I actually prefer it when it is more covert! Sad!

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LOL, just like the government, right? No corruption or bribes there...
There is tons, I am not disagreeing with that. Point being there is, IMO, a benefit to having a group of people looking out for the best interests of everybody. As long as they are motivated to do it for the right reasons.

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Also, the idea of a third party accreditation would only with if the market wanted it and deemed it relevant. To avoid even the sniff of corruption is of paramount importance. If my seal of approval isn't great then people will go to another third party that has a better reputation and certainly it had to be better than the government's, they don't set a very high bar.
Sure, but people are still going to get hurt, or misled. Leave the government comparison out of it for a moment. People may only find out that your 3rd party accreditation firm is corrupt a long, long time after they've already trusted you. What if you were on the take from a large pharma company and the drug's side effects didn't show up for several years? I would argue the motivation to be corrupt or deceive is just as strong in your firm, maybe greater.

Maybe I'm just getting old. In my 20s and 30s I argued for free market economies, didn't want the govt getting in the way of anything, least of all my business ventures. Was routinely pissed about living in safe, conservative and regulated Canada, with our high income taxes. Now, in my 40s, with a family, I've realized it's actually a very decent place to live. Sure we still think our government are for the most part corrupt morons that can never get anything done on time or within budget. And it always stings come tax season, with that in mind. But on the flipside, I'm not seeing too many States I'd rather live in, even the ones with no income tax. At the end of the day, I think a certain amount of happiness and fulfilment in life comes from being part of a community that is, at least, generally trying to help everybody else along the way.

I don't feel indoctrinated. I feel like we need to keep working hard, every day, at making our governments better. In many cases, that does mean starting by making them smaller, for sure.
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post #171 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 12:20 AM
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"I don't feel indoctrinated. I feel like we need to keep working hard, every day, at making our governments better. In many cases, that does mean starting by making them smaller, for sure."

My feelings only better written.
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post #172 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
Also, the idea of a third party accreditation would only with if the market wanted it and deemed it relevant. To avoid even the sniff of corruption is of paramount importance. If my seal of approval isn't great then people will go to another third party that has a better reputation and certainly it had to be better than the government's, they don't set a very high bar.
George Akerlof won a Nobel Prize for his work on how to reconcile, or to optimise the consequences of, asymmetrical information. His seminal article, written in 1970, was called "The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism".
Quite apposite to this discussion:

http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...ket_for_Lemons
Just read the wiki summary, very interesting and thanks for sharing. Although I wonder if there are better analogies to use, rather than the used car market. Maybe the topic is just too close to home for a car buff!
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post #173 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 01:16 AM
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"I don't feel indoctrinated. I feel like we need to keep working hard, every day, at making our governments better. In many cases, that does mean starting by making them smaller, for sure."

My feelings only better written.
This going to sound ridiculous, in this age of fake news and cyber hacking, etc., but the other night after reading every post in this thread and particularly the balanced dialogue between you and ONC, I actually started thinking about a Web forum based government process. If it could be done. Clearly you'd need iron clad security, as well as access solutions for various demographics and disabled individuals. Oh and no ads, haha.

But could it work in some form, with non-biased moderation, reliable dissemination of information, orderly consensus building and voting?

We would know anybody using Scooby-Doo or Pluto as their avatar is probably Putin.
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post #174 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 03:08 AM
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Here is a pretty important counterpoint to that position. The credit ratings agencies are private institutions. Yet they gave toxic assets AAA ratings, which helped lead to our crash. Not sure if it was bribery, corruption, incompetence, mix all of the above, but there you go.

I'm a believer that at the extremes things get wonky. If you have a company 'win' at capitalism, and in effect become a monopoly (or duopoly or oligopoly) you get as many if not more problems than the government. Those credit agencies are one example, your local cable company are another, the old telephone company (you can have any telephone as long as it's this ugly hideous model that we provide).

I think there is a balance to be had between unfettered capitalism and unrestricted govt. Finding that good balance is key, and times and culture and technology will constantly keep that happy balance point changing. The point is to use some good judgment of when you do a bit more/less of one vs the other. Fair minded folks will disagree where that happy point is. Generally, I'm a believer of less govt. as well, but I'm not dogmatic about it either, and there a bunch of private institutions that have let us down mightily in the past as well.

But yea, I'd rather go to the dentist while simultaneously going to the proctologist than dealing with the govt. on most days. As always, YMMV.
We are not in a free market with no regulation so whatever standard and poor's or moody's did can't be applied to the scenario we're outlining. Who knows if securities would even exist for them to be rated in this world.

My local cable and utilities wouldn't have a monopoly without the government's protectionist laws.

As far as the monopolies go, the government already has a monopoly on just about whatever they choose. I don't believe that the big bad capitalist monopolies that people think of if there were no government would be half as bad as what we currently have.

There can be no middle ground, at leat not morally. Of course, a happy medium with limited government would be nice but that's what the constitution was supposed to guarantee. Also, if we could guarantee righteous and wise men would always lead, it would be great but that will never happen (and I acknowledge my dream fantasy of a world without government will, likewise, never happen).

When one realizes that every law is backed up by violence and you wonder if you had to be the one to exert that force, would you really want that law to exist? Do we really need to kill a guy like Eric Garner for selling single cigarettes? Do we need to fine 70 yr old retired school teachers $15K for renting her house on Air Bnb for operating a business without a license? And if she fails to pay, they steal her house and throw her in jail. The list of examples is endless.
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post #175 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 03:19 AM
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except smoking DOES affect others; not even just the health aspect of 1st and 2nd-hand smoke, but add to that the amount of litter, the amounts of carbon monoxide in a household, the increased likelihood of home fire, etc. Expanding health care costs d/t people's poor judgement gets passed on to healthier people, with those with no insurance/leaving against medical advice/"frequent flyers"all end up passing on that cost. That can directly and indirectly affect other people's wallets. I'd argue some people would be more upset about losing money than they would losing a toe to diabetes.

Bloomberg regulated soda sizes in NY, california raised the minimum smoking age, hawaii has more of a single-payer system for healthcare...the point is there are options that tend to work. sure, if someone wants their "fix," they will find a way to cheat the system, but if you can push to make smarter decisions become the norm, that "payment" would be a lot less.

And to add to Craigy's comment, i personally do think "people" are too dumb. Individuals are smart, mob mentality is retarded. In the same vein of why we have lobbyists, I feel (unfortunately) that the gov't does have a role in helping people not kill themselves. Same time, id be happy to have a lot less people on the road, haha
I'm sorry if you think I inferred that second-hand smoke doesn't affect others, it obviously does but that doesn't change anything about what I said. Also, the government doesn't outlaw smoking so I don't really get your point. As far as the insurance goes, none of that would happen in an unregulated world. If you don't smoke, exercise regularly, eat right, I bet you could get some amazingly cheap insurance and if you smoke, you probably can't afford insurance and will be incentivized to quit.

I hope you don't assume that Bloomberg's soda regulation, increased smoking age single-payer health insurance are examples of solutions that 'tend to work' because they certainly do not and have a myriad of flaws and unforeseen consequences.

I do however agree with you that a lot less people would be a good thing but I do not think people are too dumb. I think they're too coddled and if the coddling went away, they'd get a whole lot smarter in their decision making,
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post #176 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 03:28 AM
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Self interest is choosing the cheapest price for a commodity you want to purchase.

Rationally acting in your own best self interest is realizing that allowing a monopoly to develop will cost more in the long run, and paying a few dollars extra to make sure that the market has choices/competition actually saves you money.

Self interest is taking out a payday loan to make sure the water bill is paid.

Rationally acting in your own best self interest is realizing that you'll lose the house due to the domino effect of that payday loan, and making due for a few weeks or asking for a raise at work.
Self-interest goes so far beyond choosing the cheapest price you can find for a given commodity. That's just myopically deciding cost as the only factor involved in making a purchasing decision which is not the case and that doesn't even address all other life decisions that don't involve price.

You're confusing self-interest with stupidity for some reason and you're confusing rational thinking with making the always making the right decision in any given situation which assumes two false ideas; 1, that there's only one right decision given a certain situation and 2, that you can predict the outcome thus justifying the decision which you think is right.

I don't know what's right for you and I don't think we should be telling people what's best for their lives. We all have made bad decisions in the past but it's those mistakes that help us make better decisions in the future. If we were to somehow try and prevent people from making mistakes, then we take away their ability to learn.
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post #177 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 03:29 AM
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"I don't feel indoctrinated. I feel like we need to keep working hard, every day, at making our governments better. In many cases, that does mean starting by making them smaller, for sure."

My feelings only better written.
Now, that's a cause I can get behind.
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post #178 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 03:33 AM
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Brutal isn't it? I suppose the news has always been fake to an extent. But it's just so blatant nowadays, I think I actually prefer it when it is more covert! Sad!



There is tons, I am not disagreeing with that. Point being there is, IMO, a benefit to having a group of people looking out for the best interests of everybody. As long as they are motivated to do it for the right reasons.
Surely, you canNOT think that this describes government.
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post #179 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 03:41 AM
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Sure, but people are still going to get hurt, or misled. Leave the government comparison out of it for a moment. People may only find out that your 3rd party accreditation firm is corrupt a long, long time after they've already trusted you. What if you were on the take from a large pharma company and the drug's side effects didn't show up for several years? I would argue the motivation to be corrupt or deceive is just as strong in your firm, maybe greater.
Yes, people will get hurt. Why would you think otherwise? Th free market is a vehicle in which moral men can voluntarily deal in a moral way but that does not guarantee there is no pain, hurt or misleading. If that's the standard by which we're judging then the argument for government has failed at every possible opportunity.

However, in the scenario you outline above, the accreditation firm and the big pharma company could be held liable for whatever harm to persons and property they caused and would be responsible to pay damages.
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post #180 of 222 Old 12-16-2016, 03:44 AM
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We are not in a free market with no regulation so whatever standard and poor's or moody's did can't be applied to the scenario we're outlining. Who knows if securities would even exist for them to be rated in this world.

My local cable and utilities wouldn't have a monopoly without the government's protectionist laws.

As far as the monopolies go, the government already has a monopoly on just about whatever they choose. I don't believe that the big bad capitalist monopolies that people think of if there were no government would be half as bad as what we currently have.

There can be no middle ground, at leat not morally. Of course, a happy medium with limited government would be nice but that's what the constitution was supposed to guarantee. Also, if we could guarantee righteous and wise men would always lead, it would be great but that will never happen (and I acknowledge my dream fantasy of a world without government will, likewise, never happen).

When one realizes that every law is backed up by violence and you wonder if you had to be the one to exert that force, would you really want that law to exist? Do we really need to kill a guy like Eric Garner for selling single cigarettes? Do we need to fine 70 yr old retired school teachers $15K for renting her house on Air Bnb for operating a business without a license? And if she fails to pay, they steal her house and throw her in jail. The list of examples is endless.
Well saying there might be an alternative universe with no stocks, something that is associated with pinnacle of of capitalism and free markets. And the reality it's a failure.

And while you're right on the money about cable companies being granted artificial market power, the phone company is an example of what happens when natural monopolies develop. And the patents that even Ayn rand thought were great are a govt. construct, and if you get rid of that you'll see large entities undercutting and killing new competitions stillborn. Some of these rules of the game are encouraging to competition.

Agree about the violence, but corporations hired people to conduct violence on employees that would strike.

I also agree that the longer things go the more bloated and crufty things get, and constructs built on the purity of those governing are set for some struggles to put it mildly.

Anyway, you certainly may well be right with your construct. Best we can do is make our best guesses and see how they work out. As always, I reserve my unwritten constitutional right to be wrong about 100% of everything.
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