About the Economic Freedom Index

This is the place for ON or Off topic conversations. Almost anything goes - but be kind, and no trolling.
Forum rules
While the rules in this forum are more relaxed than in other parts of the Expat site, there are still a few things we’d like you to remember: No name calling, no insults – be civil to each other!
User avatar
craig
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: Pueblo Libre

About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby craig » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:10 pm

An interview with Michael A. Walker of Canada's Frasier Institute. He discusses Guatemala, Chile, China, etc. and how economic freedom is closely related to prosperity.

One topic he touches on that is very relevant to Peru at this time is that as a country becomes more prosperous due to economic freedom, as a consequence its people tend to gain a greater political voice. And often they use that voice to reduce their own economic freedom and destroy their own economic well being. This is a danger Peru faces in the coming years.


--
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -- Thomas Jefferson
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:17 pm

Interesting, but the guest's repetitive insistence that the index has been designed to remove "bias" raised an eyebrow with me. When someone repeats a word enough times, it's likely there's something else at work.

Poking further, one finds that the Index was developed by arch-conservative organizations such as The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, it's ten core criteria introduce bias right from the start, by defining "Economic Freedom" in purely libertarian terms. The ten criteria are:

Business Freedom
Trade Freedom
Monetary Freedom
Government Size
Fiscal Freedom
Property Rights
Investment Freedom
Financial Freedom
Freedom from Corruption
Labor Freedom

The usual conservative mantras are thus embedded, including smaller government, no taxes, freedom to work (anti unionism), property rights, etc.

Nowhere in their concept of "economic freedom" are such things as basic human rights, which can easily be calculated in terms of economic freedom as much as these other criteria. The right to basic healthcare -- something long loathed by libertarians -- is nevertheless an economic freedom. The right to collective bargaining (another clearly economic freedom) usually bumps heads with such groups, who feel it impinges of the rights of the corporations.

Of course, the problem with any such one-sided definition of "freedom" (in any sense) is that it is subjective. It is a natural state that the freedom of one party will inherently hinder (either in small OR large ways) the freedoms of another. My freedom of speech may hinder the freedom from insult for another person. My freedom to work may hinder the freedom of someone else to do the same. These are historical and economic realities never addressed by such thinkers. Freedom is in the eye of the beholder.

I really don't want to get into an argument about libertarianism, so apologies to the original poster (with the avatar of a stack of gold bars!). That's not my intent here, and I am no expert. Libertarians are happy to exercise whatever they like, and soon enough they will have the biggest sandbox in the world to play "Fountainhead" in: the USA, that is, as it turns from a conservative to libertarian state in the next few decades. I will gladly sit that fight out and watch from the sidelines.

But to in any way claim the Index, or its developers, are "unbiased" is simply inaccurate and misleading. It is no accident that the "Axis of Evil" countries, and the other usual enemies of the USA, all rank within the lowest 20% of the list, whether or not they have market economic principles in play. It is no accident that the USA remains in the top ten of the list of 180 or so countries, and that Hong Kong -- which suffers from massive overpollution, prostitution, and a slow rollback of human rights laws -- sits in the # 1 slot. Saudi Arabia, placed above the median at position # 65, is of course the land of horrible abuse against women, theocratic monarchic dictatorships, illiteracy for anyone but the privileged, human rights abuses galore, and the world's primary growing pot for terrorism worldwide; but they are honored by this organization for showing "Economic Freedom." Hmmm....

An interesting interview, however. Thanks for posting it.
User avatar
tupacperu
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 3350
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Pimentel Beach-Chiclayo- Sanford NC
Contact:

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby tupacperu » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:32 am

This seem to be a common human trait. Voting or acting against your own self intrest.

Just posted an article which seems to concur with this theory.

My take is greed leads you to the feeling of invincibility, which breeds self destructive behavior.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11630
User avatar
craig
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: Pueblo Libre

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby craig » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:49 am

Xibalba wrote: ... the USA, that is, as it turns from a conservative to libertarian state in the next few decades.

:!: However much I wish it were true, I'd say that is the most off-the-wall and unlikely prediction I have ever heard! My expectation is that the US will descend into the abyss of a completely Marxist state in that time frame. It will be interesting to see which of us is right (if I should live so long).
--
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -- Thomas Jefferson
User avatar
craig
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: Pueblo Libre

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby craig » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:53 am

Perhaps I can clarify some of the misconceptions about the Economic Freedom Index in Xibalba's post.

When they speak of lack of bias they are not talking about political neutrality (ie. equally mixing the Marxist notions of "freedom" whose lack Xibalba correctly notes in with the libertarian ones the index exclusively measures). What they mean by lack of bias is that their results are not subjective; ie. that any third party who applies their publicly announced methodology will come up with the same results.

Xibalba is correct in pointing out that a high index score measures exclusively libertarian values. Inasmuch as these libertarian values are in direct conflict with the Marxist notions Xibalba extols it is simultaneously measuring the Marxist concept of "freedom" by giving it low scores. That is the purpose of the index.

Libertarians contend that the extent of libertarian values manifested in a society determines the progress and prosperity that that society will attain and that implementation of Xibalba's Marxist schemes produces poverty and misery.

The reason for constructing the Index and compiling the data as a reliable time series is to make it possible to test this theoretical prediction empirically and to do so. This purpose would not be served if it did not consistently measure exclusively libertarian values.
--
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -- Thomas Jefferson
User avatar
tomsax
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1394
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:28 pm

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby tomsax » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:45 pm

All Xilabra is saying is that the index is based on measuring things that libertarians consider important to freedom but not others. Besides all the grandstanding and the labelling of Xilabra as a bogeyman Marxist, you are basically conceding that point.

Its a bit like using the body mass index and calling it a beauty index. There may not be bias in measuring it but then stating it is an unbiased index of beauty is obviously complete nonsense. That is all that Xilabra was pointing out.
Tom
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:42 pm

craig wrote:
Xibalba wrote: ... the USA, that is, as it turns from a conservative to libertarian state in the next few decades.

:!: However much I wish it were true, I'd say that is the most off-the-wall and unlikely prediction I have ever heard! My expectation is that the US will descend into the abyss of a completely Marxist state in that time frame. It will be interesting to see which of us is right (if I should live so long).


Marxism, first and foremost, is a science which attempted to explain how HISTORY functions... not economics. Dialectical materialism.

Socialism is an economic expression of Marxism that was far more a Leninist ideology than that of Marx or Engels. Yes I know who wrote the Manifesto, but notwithstanding that, Marx was first and foremost a student of history, not economics. It was his theory of dialectal materialism as the engine that drives history that led to his predictions of socialism and communism, not the other way around.

In any event, the notion that the US is in any way a socialist state, or Marxist or any of the other scary-sounding buzzwords currently used to terrify people into voting conservative or libertarian is inaccurate from purely historical, economic and even BASIC DICTIONARY senses. It arises from the a social adoption of Godwin's Law, that somehow calling people you like a Nazi or a Socialist (two different spectrums) will win over your opponent, but the people using the terms rarely have the slightest historical clue on what the terms mean.

Socialism requires worker ownership of the means of production. Not GOVERNMENT takeover, mind you, but WORKER OWNERSHIP. With the exception of some water-downed cases where a fwe companies allow their workers shares in a company (never enough to have sufficient majority voting rights), there are no significant examples in the US of workers owning industries.

Unfortunately, poor education about economic theory and history have led an entire two generations to believe a Hollywood actor (Ronald Reagan) and his view of what constitutes "socialism" or "communism" -- which nowadays is anything less than total libertarian freedom of the corporation to do whatever it wants, even if that means trampling the rights and freedoms of the individual.

The US is not, and never has been, anywhere NEAR a socialist state. In fact, we have private industry running the GOVERNMENT (under Bush it was Halliburton and friends, under Obama it is Goldman Sachs), with private companies using their leverage against politicians in both parties to get what they want for their particular companies and industries. This is why the bailout of banks, and the Obama attempt to handover healthcare to private insurers, failed. History shows us for generation after generation that corporations do not "trickle down", they retain the money they make. They may buy some goods, but they do not drive the economy, contrary to what conservative and libertarian economists would have us believe. If that were true, the bank bailout would have worked.

Until WORKERS own the means of production, anyone saying the US is a socialist, Marxist or even QUASI-socialist state is factually and historically incorrect. Sorry to disabuse you of your fears, which are probably offering you some kind of comfort in an ironic manner. People have been calling the US "Marxist" for generations, and we are still have a private-sector economy.

Of course, if the two parties continue their uneducated name-calling, and erroneous citing of history, then it's just a matter of time before China -- a REAL socialist state -- comes and takes the US over anyway. And the funny thing is, they will be using capitalist tools to do so. So long as corporate leaders are free to line their pockets with Chinese money (something libertarians would never dare limit in any way!), then the Chinese will take advantage of that and dominate.

But the only way the US will become anything NEAR socialist, Marxist or communist is by invasion... whether that's a full blown war, or (more likely) a silent coup, as China uses capitalist means to buy up everything we ever had.
User avatar
craig
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: Pueblo Libre

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby craig » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:48 pm

tomsax wrote:All Xilabra is saying is that the index is based on measuring things that libertarians consider important to freedom but not others. Besides all the grandstanding and the labelling of Xilabra as a bogeyman Marxist, you are basically conceding that point.

I think that is what I said. Measuring what libertarians mean by freedom is the pupose of the Index, not measuring what Marxists use the word to mean.

The index measures what libertarians call economic freedom. It doesn't measure what Marxist's use the word freedom to mean. When they say it is unbiased they do not mean otherwise. They only mean it is reproducible by any researcher and not subjective.

tomsax wrote:Its a bit like using the body mass index and calling it a beauty index. There may not be bias in measuring it but then stating it is an unbiased index of beauty is obviously complete nonsense. That is all that Xilabra was pointing out.

The more I think about your analogy the more it seems apt for explaining what you seem to have such difficulty understanding (or, perhaps, such determination not to understand).

First, it illustrates that you view freedom as an abitrary, vacuous value word (like beauty). You seek to sieze control of the word, with typical Marxist obfuscation, as a means of manipulating people's motivations. If you can change the meaning of the word in people's minds (while out of habit they mindlessly continue to seek it in the form of the ends you have sureptitiously substituted for it) you can divert their goals to your own purposes. This is a cheap trick. But it has proven to be one which has been very politically effective in recent decades.

In contrast, I, and libertarians, use the word to describe facts of reality (like a body mass index). Our purpose is to express a cause and effect relationship we think exists. For example, "people with a lower body mass index tend to live longer lives". Such a relationship connects some facts, eg. enjoying economic freedom (in the libertarian sense), with other facts, eg. progress, prosperity and well being of individuals (and of the societies which they form). The facts and their relationships are what are important to us, not vacuous value judgements.

As such, strictly speaking, control of the word is not of such crucial importance to us as it is to you Marxists. We could perfectly well use another word, say, "Frasier stuff" instead to describe the characteristic libertarian concepts of freedom. In these terms, we could still articulate the theoretical relationship that Frasier stuff leads to progress, prosperity and well being of individuals. We could then rename the Economic Freedom Index and call it the Frasier Index instead. And we could observe empirically that the Frasier index accurately predicts a society's level of progress, prosperity and general well being.

While abandoning the word "freedom" to Marxist redefinition like this would serve our purposes tolerably well, it still would not be satisfactory to you Marxists because you have intentions beyond merely siezing control of the word. You also seek to corrupt the language until it becomes conceptually impossible to formulate and think about, let alone empirically test, the causal relationship between freedom and human well being.

If we did adopt another word and it gained common usage, the inevitable result would be that, in time, people would begin to value Frasier stuff because it was beneficial to them. Frasier stuff would acquire a value judgement connotation. You would then repeat the same tired Marxist attacks you now make on the meaning of freedom on Frasier stuff in order to expropriate the new word and destroy its meaning.

So we are not going to abandon the word freedom to your specious double-talk. That would would only be a pointless retreat. Your real objection is not to the way we use the word, it is to the very existence of its meaning in human discourse.
Last edited by craig on Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
--
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -- Thomas Jefferson
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:59 pm

craig wrote:Perhaps I can clarify some of the misconceptions about the Economic Freedom Index in Xibalba's post.

When they speak of lack of bias they are not talking about political neutrality (ie. equally mixing the Marxist notions of "freedom" whose lack Xibalba correctly notes in with the libertarian ones the index exclusively measures). What they mean by lack of bias is that their results are not subjective; ie. that any third party who applies their publicly announced methodology will come up with the same results.

Xibalba is correct in pointing out that a high index score measures exclusively libertarian values. Inasmuch as these libertarian values are in direct conflict with the Marxist notions Xibalba extols it is simultaneously measuring the Marxist concept of "freedom" by giving it low scores. That is the purpose of the index.

Libertarians contend that the extent of libertarian values manifested in a society determines the progress and prosperity that that society will attain and that implementation of Xibalba's Marxist schemes produces poverty and misery.

The reason for constructing the Index and compiling the data as a reliable time series is to make it possible to test this theoretical prediction empirically and to do so. This purpose would not be served if it did not consistently measure exclusively libertarian values.


That is EXACTLY my point. By establishing purely libertarian base code, OF COURSE anyone using their data will result in the exactly the same outcome. That is the opposite of "unbiased". By defining the base code on ten purely libertarian ideals, there can be NO OTHER OUTCOME than a libertarian one. As a result, the entire index is useless, except to support libertarian talking points by citing statistics.

Imagine if Code Pink or PETA made up a "Freedom Index" and then swore up and down it was "unbiased", you'd have to take it with a grain of salt. Anything they came up with would be based on their core principles, and always result in an answer that supported Code Pink or PETA ideals.

The Heritage Foundation is purely and solely dedicated to the expansion of libertarianism, a theory that not everyone agrees with. I don't have to be a Marxist to know that smart people should get a funny smell in their nose when anyone with that degree of dogmatic obsession puts out something, you should look at it with some skepticism.

Therefore, any usage of the index is useless. As I said, if Saudi Arabia -- one of the most economically repressive regimes in the world (if you are female, or not of the royal family!) is ranked in above the median. Only under libertarian ideals can a sexist, repressive regime that restricts religious freedom and the rights of women and homosexuals be above the median on "Economic Freedom." Since I've been called a Marxist already (and I'm not), it opens the door to invoke the other side and muse that Nazi Germany would rank very, very high on this same index, since it factors only into economic advantages for corporations (despite it's talk of "people"), and ignores atrocities.

For the record, all "Marxist" failures have occurred when they didn't follow Marx. Lenin introduced the cornerstone which would later doom every communist nation, through the idea of democratic centralism. In short, this was "full democracy" with a built-in limiter ("centralism"). The latter allowed democracy to be thrown out the window, since once the democracy voted, everyone in society lost their freedom of speech and had to follow the mandates of the majority. This led to the trend we still see today: communist leaders who not only put in place ways to control the majority's decisions (thus guaranteeing -- through the centralism part -- total adherence to whatever they wanted. This because the OPPOSITE of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" and just became another capitalist dictatorship, with all the profits going to the Great Leader.

In short, every communist failure can be traced to when the leaders exhibited CAPITALIST tendencies. That is why REAL historians recognize that there has NEVER been a truly "communist" or even "socialist" state in the world. Countries can call themselves that, but it doesn't ret-con the original meanings of the words. Communism and socialism are, by design, anti-greed, yet all such regimes fall prey to the greed of their leaders. This is because of Lenin's democratic centralism.
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:06 pm

craig wrote:You may view the idea of freedom as an abitrary value judgement (like beauty). But I, and libertarians, use the word to describe facts of reality (like a body mass index). We are not going to change what we mean by the word because you seek to corrupt the language.


Libertarians don't own the definition of "freedom". It is not a requirement that the word be defined in terms of facts (even if some of your facts are not quite facts, but opinions.)

And it is not "corrupting the language" to understand that "freedom" is an abstract, not a concrete thing.

Thus, my original comment, that freedom is in the eye of the beholder.

Classic libertarian conundrum (never explained, always ignored): your definition of freedom as defining it only in terms of facts therefore restricts my freedom to be free of such restrictive definitions, and consider such things as freedom from fear. By restricting my freedom with your freedom, you just proved libertarianism's classic paradox.
User avatar
tomsax
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1394
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:28 pm

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby tomsax » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:16 pm

craig wrote:The more I think about your analogy the more it seems apt for explaining what you seem to have such difficulty understanding (or, perhaps, such determination not to understand).

First, it illustrates that you view freedom as an abitrary, vacuous value word (like beauty). You seek to sieze control of the word, with typical Marxist obfuscation, as a means of manipulating people's motivations. If you can change the meaning of the word in people's minds (while out of habit they mindlessly continue to seek it in the form of the ends you have sureptitiously substituted for it) you can divert their goals to your own purposes. This is a cheap trick. But it has proven to be one which has been very politically effective in recent decades.

In contrast, I, and libertarians, use the word to describe facts of reality (like a body mass index). Our purpose is to express a cause and effect relationship we think exists. For example, "people with a lower body mass index tend to live longer lives". Such a relationship connects some facts, eg. enjoying economic freedom (in the libertarian sense), with other facts, eg. progress, prosperity and well being of individuals (and of the societies which they form). The facts and their relationships are what are important to us, not vacuous value judgements.

As such, strictly speaking, control of the word is not of such crucial importance to us as it is to you Marxists. We could perfectly well use another word, say, "Frasier stuff" instead to describe the characteristic libertarian concepts of freedom. In these terms, we could still articulate the theoretical relationship that Frasier stuff leads to progress, prosperity and well being of individuals. We could then rename the Economic Freedom Index and call it the Frasier Index instead. And we could observe empirically that the Frasier index accurately predicts a society's level of progress, prosperity and general well being.

While abandoning the word "freedom" to Marxist redefinition like this would serve our purposes tolerably well, it still would not be satisfactory to you Marxists because you have intentions beyond merely siezing control of the word. You also seek to corrupt the language until it becomes conceptually impossible to formulate and think about, let alone empirically test, the causal relationship between freedom and human well being.

If we did adopt another word and it gained common usage, the inevitable result would be that, in time, people would begin to value Frasier stuff because it was beneficial to them. Frasier stuff would acquire a value judgement connotation. You would then repeat the same tired Marxist attacks you now make on the meaning of freedom on Frasier stuff in order to expropriate the new word and destroy its meaning.

So we are not going to abandon the word freedom to your specious double-talk. That would would only be a pointless retreat. Your real objection is not to the way we use the word, it is to the very existence of its meaning in human discourse.


What complete nonsense. I have no problem in libertarians naming their index whatever they want. I have no desire to seize control of the word, or to take control of people minds "for my own purpose"! Where do you get this stuff from?

Freedom like beauty is not something arbitary or vacuous but yes different people have very different opinions about what it is. That's why any form of index of freedom can never be unbiased. I was just agreeing with Xibalda on this self-evident point when you seemed to take such great exception to it.
Tom
User avatar
JoshuS
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:40 am

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby JoshuS » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:47 pm

craig wrote:An interview with Michael A. Walker of Canada's Frasier Institute. He discusses Guatemala, Chile, China, etc. and how economic freedom is closely related to prosperity.

One topic he touches on that is very relevant to Peru at this time is that as a country becomes more prosperous due to economic freedom, as a consequence its people tend to gain a greater political voice. And often they use that voice to reduce their own economic freedom and destroy their own economic well being. This is a danger Peru faces in the coming years.


Economic freedom is a myth, you're only as "free" as your discretionary income allows it, and nowadays, in most cases, for most people, not even that. Economic freedom in the mythical real of the "free market" is one the greatest illusions and deceptions of our times, the mantra promoted by the neoliberal Chicago school of Milton Friedman to propagate the "freedom for all" lie, the "Freedom to Choose" illusion. The real freedom was for groups of power through corporations and banking cartels to plunder and steal at will. The economic chaos that we’ve seen and are seeing right now on Wall Street and on Main Street and in Washington, among other things, stems from many factors, of course, but among them are the ideas of Milton Friedman and many of his colleagues and students from this school. Therefore we can conclude that this ideology is not failing, it actually has been enormously successful, the project never was the development of the world and the elimination of poverty but rather a class war waged by the haves against the have nots, the elitists have won. Milton Friedman ideas were highly profitable and his work was supported at the university and think tanks and sponsored by the corporate world since it was his ideology that allowed them to consolidate power and control. The current neoliberal system is more wasteful than all other systems in the history of this planet, so you're not dealing with an economic system and I'd go so far as to say an anti-economic system. Its economists in fact are not economists at all, they're propaganda of money value.

The problem we have is essentially a system disorder, and the system disorder seems to be failed. There's no profit under the current paradigm, in saving lives, in fighting poverty, putting balance on this planet, having justice and peace and anything else. You have to create problems to create profit, crime does create business, we have now roughly 2 million people incarcerated, many of them are in prisons run by private corporations who trade their stock in Wall Street based upon how many people are in jail but that's a reflection of the culture in which we live, in which we all to one degree or another endorse, so we are taught values to uphold this corrupt system, including the monetary system, a value system disorder. There's no link between a real economy and the resources on this planet, the resources being of course all animal and plant life, the health of the ocean our eco system and everything else. This is a monetary paradigm that will not let go until it has pretty much destroyed our planet.

The only relevant thing is the fact that the entire global economic system is based upon people constantly consuming regardless of the state of affairs and natural orders of energy, earth resources, and everything else, it is blind, narrow consumption, with absolutely no regards to the environment. It's also enough to look at what happens to freedom, what happens to democracy, what happens to the size of government, what happens to the social structure, what happens to the relationship between politicians and big corporate players when neoliberal policies are put into practice, we do see patterns if we dare to step out our own bubbles for a minute.
There can never be a true and honest discussion either about "economics" as long as the 'who controls the monetary system' issue is not part of the discourse. Amsel Rothschild put this reality candidly in good perspective: " Give me control of a nation's money supply and I care not who made its laws".

The interviewee conveniently doesn't even address how the dictator Pinochet responsible for the coup against a democratically elected president and responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Chileans was installed and backed by the US under Nixon, Kissinger and M. Friedman, so that Chile could be used as an experiment. And the so called Miracle of Chile is just that a myth, a fairy tale. It is often said that the true indicator of a nation's progress is by the progress of its majority, and it was the very Pinochet who recognized, however reluctantly, that the "neoliberal reforms" had led to intolerable levels of misery and social unrest. It was, in fact, the re-introduction of many of the reforms that had been originally introduced by Salvador Allende that provided relief to the bleeding Chilean economy after moving away from the "free market" fundamentalism. Proof that the illusion of the "free market" simply does not solve all economic problems, but actually creates many of them, and ignores completely the social consequences of economic decision making.
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:54 pm

craig wrote:
First, it illustrates that you view freedom as an abitrary, vacuous value word (like beauty). You seek to sieze control of the word, with typical Marxist obfuscation, as a means of manipulating people's motivations. If you can change the meaning of the word....


I didn't realize Karl Marx had written Webster's dictionary. I'd bet Noah Webster didn't know that either.

Anyway, as I said, you are free to think whatever you want. Your attempts at vitriol and name-calling are only an attempt to crush MY freedom to present my point of view, further providing evidence of the famous libertarian paradox, but I still defend your right to say whatever you want. If you really wanted to have a discussion, while observing my freedom to do so likewise, you wouldn't be so adamant about destroying my personal credibility and insulting me as a person.

I condemned Lenin and you insist I am a Marxist. Right. Trust me, by condemning Lenin I just got disinvited from pretty much ANY Marxist party (political party OR all night kegger) that will ever exist. But calling me a Marxist makes a good soundbite, I guess.

Anyway, your demagogic namecalling isn't my cup of tea, and now that I see you infuse most of your posts about libertarian values even in other threads, even when off topic, I understand what's going on here. You get energy from this argument, when I am seeking a nice, polite discussion. Since our goals are different, I leave you to find someone else to debate. I am sure there is someone who gets energy fighting and name-calling and insulting... sorry, that's not me.

As expats we should be focusing on our commonality, not our differences. People who cling to what's wrong with everyone else often find themselves pretty isolated. I hope that doesn't happen to you, really. You are a smart guy, you just need to dial down that mean streak a bit, and discover where all that pent-up fear is coming from. You're not going to start a Peruvian revolution to overthrow the government while typing on an Expat website. And be thankful of that! You don't want soldiers at your door. They are less likely to be as willing to listen to calls to abolish government as the folks here on the forum.
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:04 pm

JoshuS wrote:
The problem we have is essentially a system disorder, and the system disorder seems to be failed. There's no profit under the current paradigm, in saving lives, in fighting poverty, putting balance on this planet, having justice and peace and anything else. You have to create problems to create profit, crime does create business, we have now roughly 2 million people incarcerated, many of them are in prisons run by private corporations who trade their stock in Wall Street based upon how many people are in jail but that's a reflection of the culture in which we live, in which we all to one degree or another endorse, so we are taught values to uphold this corrupt system, including the monetary system, a value system disorder.


Case in point. It was recently reported that the Arizona law which allowed police to arrest, on the spot, any "suspected" illegal immigrant was written by a closed door think tank whose members are congressmen and private corporations. The actual law was written by a company who stood to benefit from its private prisons. The only way to fill the prisons was to get more prisoners, so they created laws that allowed them to (almost literally) haul up huge nets of new prisoners to fund their private-profit projects. Now we are no longer deporting them, since the private prisons won't profit from that, so instead we put them in the prisons. And again... this very law was written by the same corporation that owns the prisons.

They created a problem, and then put in a solution which profited themselves and their shareholders, while giving fear-mongering talking points to the politicians, who then sold it to the public... never once mentioning the law was written word-for-word by a corporation.

Fast forward to the day when Wal-Mart makes it illegal to shop anywhere but Wal-Mart. Farfetched? Obama's insurance lobby made it a law to buy health insurance. Same thing, different industry.
Last edited by Xibalba on Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:32 pm

I had to post this. In this thread, even the Libertarians can't agree on what, exactly, "libertarianism" is. It really depends on the faction you belong to, or your own personal thinking.

The strongest case presented is that Libertarianism (big L) calls for a strong central government dedicated to protecting individual rights. This flies in the face of craig's total anti-government position, which would put him on the outs with most Big L libertarians.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2076552&page=3

It's an interesting read, if you ignore all the fighting about misspellings (which is just people avoiding actually answering the OP's original question.)

A curious aside: in the US, if you propose Communism, you are treated as a traitor, someone attempting to overthrow the government, and can be imprisoned. If you are a Libertarian, and talk about overthrowing the government, you are rewarded with a seat in Congress. Hmmm.

That's why every election year I only vote for myself. I am a Dictator of One.
User avatar
craig
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: Pueblo Libre

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby craig » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:10 am

In the unlikely event that anyone is interested in the philosophical and historical origins of the Marxist (it was not original with Marx but began with William Godwin a century earlier) attack on the historical meaning of the word freedom (and other related issues) as maintained by the Classical Liberal tradition (and now by libertarians), Thomas Sowell provides a book length discussion in A Conflict of Visons.
--
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -- Thomas Jefferson
Xibalba

Re: About the Economic Freedom Index

Postby Xibalba » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:45 am

craig wrote:In the unlikely event that anyone is interested in the philosophical and historical origins of the Marxist (it was not original with Marx but began with William Godwin a century earlier) attack on the historical meaning of the word freedom (and other related issues) as maintained by the Classical Liberal tradition (and now by libertarians), Thomas Sowell provides a book length discussion in A Conflict of Visons.


It's worth pointing out the irony -- or confusion, depending on your point of view -- that the cited Godwin was the father of what would be become Anarcho-Libertarianism, the very same views espoused by Craig.

So somehow now Marx -- who Libertarians feel is the OPPOSITE of Libertarian for wanting too much government -- was now influenced by an anti-government, proto-libertarian Anarchist.

Thus the never ending conundrum and paradoxes of libertarians. No one can fully agree on what the heck they mean, and in any discussion, the libertarian almost ALWAYS contradicts him or herself.

(Expect to hear that Godwin had nothing to do with Libertarianism next. Not true, but it's a good rattle.)

Return to “Expat Conversations”

Login  •  Register