Links for October 10, 2011: Elizabeth Warren’s Social Contract; The Poor Get Richer; The Poor Get Poorer, others….

  1. I like Elizabeth Warren. I think she makes a lot of sense a lot of the time, especially on the issue of spending. I don’t want to see her on any sort of ideological hit list. Still, those who have labored even a moment to process such thoughtless sloganeering must have cocked their heads in bewilderment. What social contract is Elizabeth Warren reading?

    Even assuming that the “social contract” theory is valid, which I do not, her timing is weird. It sure is odd to imply that everybody BUT the factory owner has paid for the roads, etc. Indeed, the factory owner very likely paid more in taxes for them than did most other people (albeit at possibly a lower rate compared to income, a la Warren Buffet). Why not simply acknowledge that the factory owner is entitled to a share of the road and police service commensurate with the taxes he or she has paid? Doesn’t that satisfy the social contract? Since when was “pay it forward to the next kid” a part of the social contract? Even if “pay it forward to next kid” was a part of the social contract, the factory worker does this not only by employing the next kid, but also by mass-producing a useful good and making it available to the next kid at a competitive price. I do not appreciate this misguided portayal of producers as take-take-takers.

    I wish there was some more context to this clip so that I would know exactly what evil she is attempting to remedy with her newly-amended social contract.

    See also Robert Murphy’s response:

    Warren alludes to an “underlying social contract.” Well it’s very convenient for her to discuss this contract, which none of us has ever seen but apparently she can interpret.

  2. Yes, this is the economy as Elizabeth Warren has described it. 

  3. No, they are not (EDIT: At least not int his country). Steven Horwitz explains.

  4. I don’t think the failure is capitalism. I think it is a specific kind of capitlasm that weve developed. We’ve created what I consider a mutant, viral form of capitalism, and this mutant form of capitalism, which I think is really a predatory form of capitalism, has created an extremely unstable, unsustainable, unjust, and very, very, dangerous world.

    The mutant form of capitalism is that in which governments and world banks to distort markets to favor the big financial players. Ron Paul calls it “corporatism”. I sometimes call it “neo-mercantilism”, but I would never call it a “free market”. Ideas that depend on the referring to the above scenario as a “free market” must be heavily scrutinized.

  5. It’s funny how we have to keep answering this. First, inequality of income was evil in itself, and it was, like, duh. In a free society, income will be unequal. That’s simply a consequence of being free. So now they gotta repackage it. Ok, if we don’t support fighting income inequality on principle, maybe we’ll support fighting it if it is discovered to be the cause of some related evil. So now we’re getting this “Income inequality kills economic growth” business. Which is, like, a re-packaging of the same old story: Greedy rich people are swindling the not so rich people by loaning them money. That caused the collapse, keeps people down, etc. So now I gotta dig deeper into my bag o’ economic tricks to answer it….

    We’re ignoring the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle. A lot of people do. That’s not a big shocker, but here is the argument: It’s not like rich people had all this money lying around, so they were all like “Hey! Let’s go loan all this money to people who can’t afford to pay it back!” No No. They had all that extra money and credit lying around because the Federal Reserve flooded the economy with money and cheap credit. Funny how people looking to give more power and property to government never suggest this as a reason the economy tanked. They want us to believe that the economy tanked because of “income inequality”. I’d love to know how that’s figured.

    Those like me who don’t much fancy reading should find Tom Woods’ lectures fun and informative. Right here is all you need to know to understand the counter-argument to the above article. Not having read the original report, I can’t really speak to that, but I’m curious at how the conclusion is reached…

  6. Responding to the occasional criticism of actual former libertarians is always more satisfying than answering the constant bleating and heckling of those who never were libertarians and who consistently fail to evince any genuine understanding of the libertarian point of view. This piece did not convince me, but the author exposes some of libertarianism’s thornier questions. I hope to answer him in a later post.

  7. It means that when we see a wild-eyed White House ignore the Constitution and claim the despotic right to assassinate American citizens without criminal charge, we demand that Congress stop the madness — rather than quietly acquiesce.

    In a piece that is mostly about the alleged insanity of corporation, the only crime the author manages to allege with any specificity is this one, committed by the government. The author should get back to me when he ready to allege a crime.

  8. Just as I was warming up to the OccupyWallSt crowd: OccupyPhilly? Look at the hammers and sickles, the proud Marxists. ***shudders*** Can I bring myself to be a part of this? I’ll have to consult my friend EvilChurch dOc, who is a proud supporter on facebook and a very reasonable guy.

  9. This is what it looks like when the military protects OUR liberty! Good for them and thank you!

  10. Great advice for Wall St. occupants: Dress up. Polos and khakis is the recommendation here, but any half-serious attempt to look professional will do the trick.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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3 Responses to Links for October 10, 2011: Elizabeth Warren’s Social Contract; The Poor Get Richer; The Poor Get Poorer, others….

  1. You should attend the Occupy Philly demonstration. There may be people you disagree with on some issues but find that you agree with on others. I think the great thing about Libertarians is that we can walk amongst many crowds.

    • autofyrsto says:

      I did make it down once, actually. You are correct. I agree with many of their messages, but I disagree with many others.

  2. Known Quality says:

    A mutant form of Capitalism…can you show me any other form in the US history that did not USE the low labors of others; that did not take for granted their impacts on society and environment. Capitalism at its core is Theory..and we all must remember that.

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