TCS Daily


A Dialogue with a Liberal

By Arnold Kling - October 13, 2006 12:00 AM

"Consider this an invitation. Are these propositions meaningful? Are they helpful? Are they simply wrong? As a liberal, how would you change them or modify the list? As a conservative, how would you draft a similar list for conservatives?"
-- Geoffrey R. Stone, What it Means to be a Liberal

I will take up this invitation University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone, speaking not for conservatism, but for my own brand of libertarianism. First, let me comment on a couple of his propositions.

Stone writes,

Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others...Liberals are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate.

I agree that this is the liberal ideal. In my experience, liberals are not as open-minded as I would like, but open-mindedness is a difficult ideal to uphold. I am pleased to see open-mindedness listed first.

Later, he writes,

Liberals believe government has a fundamental responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society. It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to "promote the general welfare."

I believe that in reality what has helped the less fortunate is economic growth. Today's elderly are affluent not because of Social Security, but because of all of the wealth created by private sector innovation over their lifetimes. Government involvement in health care and education is an impediment to progress in those fields. Job training and welfare are demonstrable failures. I think that treating a national community like a family is a grave intellectual error. A national unit is an institution that creates a legal framework for a large group of strangers to interact. A family is a small group that interacts on the basis of personal bonds. Strengthening government serves to weaken families and other vital civic institutions. If Professor Stone is truly as open-minded as he says, then he ought to examine what economists have found about the sources of economic growth and the ways that poverty has been alleviated over time.

My Libertarian Propositions

1. Liberty is important for its own sake. People are entitled to make their own choices.

2. There are other values in addition to liberty. However, many noble causes end up infringing on liberty without achieving their desired ends. Government policies should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences, not on the basis of how they make us feel. It may feel good to set a minimum wage, to impose rent control, or to declare a war on drugs, but the evidence is that such policies tend to work to the detriment of their intended beneficiaries.

3. I value relieving the suffering of others. However, compared with liberals, I have considerable humility when it comes to advocating taking other people's money in order to satisfy my urge to alleviate poverty.

4. Corporate power is adequately checked by market forces. Competitors are the main force protecting consumers. Alternative job opportunities are the main force protecting workers. For corporate power to be a threat, it must be allied with government power.

5. We would be better off with much less regulation. I will grant that some forms of deregulation, such as eliminating meat inspection, appear to have risks that outweigh the potential benefits. On the other hand, many forms of deregulation, such as eliminating licensing restrictions for medical practice, have potential benefits that outweigh the risks.

6. Government is just one of many institutions for collective action. There also are trade associations, civic associations, religious groups, charities, and many other organizations that can provide collective goods.

7. Government's unique institutional characteristic is the legal use of coercive force. This creates enormous potential for abuse, and indeed, there are many countries where government abuses its powers constantly, to the severe detriment of the population. The abuses are less evil in the United States, but where liberals look at government expansion and see opportunity, libertarians see threat.

8. Providing for the common defense is a legitimate function of government.

9. There is no such thing as the "international community," only a constantly-changing array of allies and adversaries. The United Nations serves mainly to prop up authoritarian regimes. The European Union is a bureaucratic nightmare. The United States should be proud of our ideal of liberty, especially economic liberty.

10. In a world where small, covert operations (also known as terrorism) are a significant threat, government needs to use the tools of surveillance. However, surveillance power must be subject to checks and balances that are beyond those currently available.

Arnold Kling is author of Learning Economics.

Categories:

296 Comments

talking to liberals(if you must)
Liberals seem to be full of it because seem to only SAY that they espouse certain ideals as mentioned in this article. But in reality they are actually more interested in the control of people, and forcing them to do things they otherwise don't do. Then liberals rationalize this by saying that people are too stupid to to have freedom. And they also believe in stealing money from people and giving it away to others who they deam deserve it more than the people who actually earned it.

The basis for Government policies
While "Government policies should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences, not on the basis of how they make us feel" may help us to "drop" existing bad policies, it is no guide to "draft" new good policies to replace them.

In fact, when the basis for formulating Government Policies is accepted as the expected consequences, what will prevent the politicos from trying an endless line of policies proclaiming that they produce "good" consequences?

After all, ALL talk of consequences is just that, talk, until a given policy is implemented and the results measured and evaluated.

The ONLY acceptable basis for formulating Government policies should be protection of Individual Rights, not their intended consequences, whether they (the expected consequences) are good, bad or ugly.

Dialogue with a liberal
Mr. Kling expresses the ideas of libertarianism far better than I can. This is an important voice. Unfortunately, the idea of having a dialogue with a liberal is probably too optimistic. I don't see any willingness on the part of liberals to challenge their own closed-mindedness. In fact, for me, the primary characteristics of liberals are an inability to accept facts that contradict the ideology, a stubborn insistence on preserving institutional and organizational mechanisms that are proven failures and worse, that are counter-productive to the very goals liberals profess to believe in, and a defensive, reactive intolerance that shouts down any challenge to the orthodoxy. It is quite simply not possible to have a rational debate with liberals. Their opponents are immediately branded racist, stupid, mean, unfeeling etc. I sense a defensiveness that comes from the need to repress the knowledge that their goals are not being met, not because of political opposition, but because the methods preferred by liberals (taxation, bureaucracy, regulation, government interference, legalisms, propaganda) are being sensibly rejected by non-elitist, common folks with good common sense. Liberal anger is generated by a sense of frustrated entitlement that the elite classes should rule by "divine right", which in the case of liberals, refers to their own divinity, in light of their rejection of any higher power.

That's your opinion
And others disagree.

>The ONLY acceptable basis for formulating Government policies should be protection of Individual Rights, not their intended consequences, whether they (the expected consequences) are good, bad or ugly.

Convince supermajorities to do this, fine. But it is not a set eternal truth beyond debate or doubt that you can just state and expect to come to be. Government does some things effectively. You think it shouldn't? Fine. But you're not the arbitrator.

Unfortunately, the idea of having a dialogue with a liberal is probably too optimistic.
Absolutely. After years of observing with leftists, its clear they talk at you rather than with you. They ignore evidence, traffic in hyperemotional utopianism, refuse to admit error, engage in philosophically incoherent arguments (such as committing the fallacy of composition and post hoc errors) and engage in endless qualifications, diversions and rhetorical questions.

All in all, its like talking to an an unruly 3 year old-they want what they want, want you to get it, pay for it and ignore the consequences.

corporate power
"4. Corporate power is adequately checked by market forces. Competitors are the main force protecting consumers. Alternative job opportunities are the main force protecting workers. For corporate power to be a threat, it must be allied with government power."

History has shown that Marx was closer to the truth: large companies have economic power, which translates into political power and power over peoples' lives. Has Kling heard of the "robber barons"? In a US without antitrust laws, every computer in the country would run Microsoft Windows.

almost right
The author says; "Government policies should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences, not on the basis of how they make us feel." Feeling good is, I suppose, how an individual liberal feels when he does (or supports) something through government action that he deems good. But we are talking about liberal government and so collective action. Governments don't have feelings, they have intentions. So I would say that "Government policies should be evaluated on the basis of their consequences, not on the basis of what they intended."

Monoplies ONLY can exist with government coercion
If Microsoft were a monopoly as you imply they would not have to continously try to upgrade and improve their software.

Like the real monopoly of old, ATT, you could not purchase a telephone and you only had a limited choice of colors and styles.

Microsoft never was and never has been a monopoly.

And I would challenge your indictment of the so called robber barons.

But the fundamental issue is that corporations seek government power to restrict the market in thier andvantage. So, what is the solution? More power for the government that can be co-opted?

Also, MS 'borrowed' Windows from Apple.

I, as a liberal take offence.
1. I am nothing like that.
2. The same thing can be said about conservitives.

So what?

But the same is true of conservitives.
Libretrians are the only ones who believe in freedoms.

Trueth is controling people is what government is about, doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrate.

GOVERNment.

Hmmmm.

Your offense is noted.
1.) I am nothing like that.

Yes, you are, you've posted enough here to be a poster child for for some of these characteristics-especially the ones about endless qualifications. However, even if you don't exhibit each and every attribute, the assertion was a group characterization, where of course there is individual variation. In short, its not about YOU.

2. The same thing can be said about conservitives.

Not honestly or with credible evidence. Notice the technique here-instead of disputing the assertion (not that it is disputable), you simply say "you are too".

Nonetheless, your offense is noted-it is of course an emotional reaction which underlies just about every left-wing argument.

So what? The point is that liberals are a pain. Notice how many engage in endless diatribes about Florida in 2000. The verdict is in, but 6 years later, the hardcore left is still chanting conspiracy.

Of course we never head a peep about "disenfranchisement" or any other of the myriad of endless, tedious anthems we've heard since 2000, 40 years earlier when the dead voted in Chicago and actually DID steal an election.




If a super majority is convinced
that Government can arrest and torture Lemuel to death without due process, that is a legitimate function of the Government and Lemuel will gladly suffer it and would not even speak against it. After all he is not an arbitrator of any Government action supported by the majority.

You see, the Right to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness and Due Process are all just somebody's (in this case DWs, aka Dead Whitemen) opinion.

Goofball Alert
History has shown that Marx was closer to the truth: large companies have economic power, which translates into political power and power over peoples' lives.

I'd like to dismiss this leftist regurgitation with a simple "res ipsa loquitar", but it bears some scrutiny.

First of all, Marx wasn't concerned with large companies-the corporate form of organization was still in its infancy.

Secondly, such power exists only when enforced by government- if you think not ask GM & Ford who were able to give us crapmobiles when protected by government import quotas but now, exposed to the market pay dearly for their managerial inadequacies.

As for every computer running Windows, they just about do and it has nothing to do with Antitrust, but the utility thats derived from interoperability and ease of use. There's nothing to stop the legions of open source applications from superceding Windows, but the Linux fanatics can't seem to understand the install base won't increase as long as they keep writing code that doesn't have as its primary feature ease of use. I'd love to be able to say open office was just as good as MS Office 2003.

Third, Marx's lunacy has left hundreds of millions dead, millions more in economic, spiritual and cultural poverty. Maybe you can tell us next the merits of Mussolini having the Italian trains running on time.

You'd be really surprised...
...but that's why we have a bill of rights, which sets limits on just this kind of thing, and I'm glad we do.

But you seem to think the present scope of governmen -- including things like (say) Social Security -- arrived at under this same bill of rights, is too broad. Fine. But that's just your opinion, not something eternally true and undebatalbe, something you just have to announce and everyone has too agree with it.

Once again, we aren't talking about Marx or Mussolini but Teddy Roosevelt
Was TR a lunatic who left hundreds of millions of dead and millions more in economic, spiritual and cultural poverty?

If not, please deal with the issue of monopoly as presented in American history, not in your anti-everything fever dreams.

PS - Mussolini had nothing against monopoliies.

Why not deal with specifics instead of labels?
I know: that requires thought. Forget it.

Liberal Behavior made me question my own liberal ideas.
When I think back to the things that made me stop being liberal and start being a libertarian, I usually recall being embarrassed when observing how fellow liberals argued with conservatives or anyone else they disagreed with. Generally (not always), the other guy was more reasoned, articulate, and civil. Meanwhile, the liberal (again not always but often) was hot-headed and quick to resort to name-calling and/or other childish tactics.

After watching enough fellow liberals seeth with anger
everytime politics came up, I had to be honest with myself and reconsider everything I believed. It turned out that I still fundamentally agreed with many of the social issues but opened myself up to the possiblity that everything I thought I knew about economics might be wrong.
Of course, that's where libertarianism comes in.

I wonder how many other people liberals have turned off in this way. Can one liberal out there explain to me why they think so many go from liberal to libertarian or conservative and so few the other way around? Doesn't that trend tell us something?


I missed the part about Teddy Roosevelt??
?

'Robber Barons'
"As common as it is to speak of "robber barons," most who use that term are confused about the role of capitalism in the American economy and fail to make an important distinction — the distinction between what might be called a market entrepreneur and a political entrepreneur. A pure market entrepreneur, or capitalist, succeeds financially by selling a newer, better, or less expensive product on the free market without any government subsidies, direct or indirect. The key to his success as a capitalist is his ability to please the consumer, for in a capitalist society the consumer ultimately calls the economic shots. By contrast, a political entrepreneur succeeds primarily by influencing government to subsidize his business or industry, or to enact legislation or regulation that harms his competitors."

"In some cases, of course, the entrepreneurs commonly labeled "robber barons" did indeed profit by exploiting American customers, but these were not market entrepreneurs. For example, Leland Stanford, a former governor and US senator from California, used his political connections to have the state pass laws prohibiting competition for his Central Pacific railroad,[1] and he and his business partners profited from this monopoly scheme. Unfortunately, the resentment that this naturally generated among the public was unfairly directed at other entrepreneurs who succeeded in the railroad industry without political interference that tilted the playing field in their direction. Thanks to historians who fail to (or refuse to) make this crucial distinction, many Americans have an inaccurate view of American capitalism."

"With so much tax money floating around, the executives of the CP and UP stole funds from their own companies in order to profit personally, something that would have been irrational for James J. Hill or any other private, market entrepreneur to do. For example, the UP managers created their own coal company, mining coal for two dollars per ton and selling it to themselves for six dollars per ton, pocketing the profits. This crooked scam was repeated in dozens of instances and would be exposed as the Crédit Mobilier scandal. (Crédit Mobilier was the name of one of the companies run by UP executives.)

With virtually everything riding on political connections, as opposed to creating the best-quality railroad for consumers, the UP and CP executives naturally spent an inordinate amount of time on politics as opposed to business management. While James J. Hill detested politicians and politics and paid little attention to them, things were very different with the UP. Folsom explains:"

"Despite the quality services and reduced costs that Hill brought to Americans, he would be unfairly lumped in with the political entrepreneurs who were fleecing the taxpayers and consumers. The public eventually began complaining of the monopoly pricing and corruption that were inherent features of the government-created and -subsidized railroads.

The federal government responded to the complaints with the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, which was supposed to ban rail rate discrimination, and later with the Hepburn Act of 1906 which made it illegal to charge different rates to different customers. What these two federal laws did was to outlaw Hill's price cutting by forcing railroads to charge everyone the same high rates.[21] This was all done in the name of consumer protection, giving it an Orwellian aura."

"All of Rockefeller's savings benefited the consumer, as his low prices made kerosene readily available to Americans. Indeed, in the 1870s kerosene replaced whale oil as the primary source of fuel for light in America. It might seem trivial today, but this revolutionized the American way of life; as Burton Folsom writes, "Working and reading became after-dark activities new to most Americans in the 1870s."[30] In addition, by stimulating the demand for kerosene and other products, Rockefeller also created thousands upon thousands of new jobs in the oil and related industries.

Rockefeller was extremely generous with his employees, usually paying them significantly more than the competition did. Consequently, he was rarely slowed down by strikes or labor disputes. He also believed in rewarding his most innovative managers with bonuses and paid time off if they came up with good ideas for productivity improvements, a simple lesson that many modern corporations seem never to have learned.

Of course, in every industry the less efficient competitors can be expected to snipe at their superior rivals, and in many instances sniping turns into an organized political crusade to get the government to enact laws or regulations that harm the superior competitor. Economists call this process "rent seeking"; in the language of economics, "rent" means a financial return on an investment or activity in excess of what the activity would normally bring in a competitive market. This sort of political crusade by less successful rivals is precisely what crippled the great Rockefeller organization."

http://www.mises.org/story/2317

The real robber barons of today are companies like Enron who depend upon political favors.


The US Constitution
“The ONLY acceptable basis for formulating Government policies should be protection of Individual Rights, not their intended consequences…”

The US Constitution should be the ONLY acceptable basis for formulating Government policy.

The US Constitution was designed specifically to define individual rights and the role of government. The US Constitution defines the role of government in detail, and defers all other matters to the states and the citizens. The enumerated role of government defined in our Constitution has been gradually and greatly expanded over time. This has been allowed by the courts due to the apparent latitude empowered in Congress by various generic statements…such as “the common good”.

The fact is…we have way more government than the founders intended. As a nation, we have meaningfully departed from the letter and spirit of our Constitution. The Courts and most citizens do not have a problem with this. If US citizens want a Federal government role more in tune with the founding documents, all they have to do is vote accordingly. Of course, if the courts followed their Constitutional mandate and struck down all of the unconstitutional legislation our Congresses have passed, a similar result would occur.

Do you read anything correctly?
LG mentioned Marx. There wasn't a word about TR.

Stop embaraasing yourself and annoying us.

I liked your response
I just dissagree with it.

When you say "Liberals are a pain". You are expressing an emotional rection, are you not?

I also state I have know one or two conservitives that are VERY closed minded. The only constantly repeat them selves. They won't listen to any, I mean ANY alternative point of view. They just are not well rounded.

Are there liberals like this? HELL YESS! Are there more liberals then conservitives that behave like this? The real honist answer is, there is know way to know. This isn't measurable.

So what is the point of the conversation. There is non. It is just best we avoid generalizations and talk about topics. Thats what I feal.

When it comes to Chicago, they are STILL talking about it. I heard this joke in a bar a few months ago.

The mayor of Chicago, L.A. and New York where deal sea fishing and the boat starts to sink. There is only one life preserver. They all start to argue who is mor important as the boat is going down.

The Mayor Daily say, "Lets have a vote!". So they had a vote. The results where, 1 vote for the mayor of L.A., 1 vote for the Mayor of New York, and 1,623 votes for Mayor Daily".

My Dad was VERY liberal and very involved in the civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's. Ho protested against illiagle housing practices. He marched in Chicago. He was a highschool social studies teacher and preached against The War (Vietnam of course).

He also owned about 10+ guns, he preached about the Bill of Rights being trampled. Expecially in the case of Roe v. Wade. It had no place being settled in the courts. He also voted for President Nixon.

Was he a liberal or conservitive?

I argue using these labels proves nothing. The moment you say Liberal are like this. Or conservitives are like that. There are going to be exceptions and you are lying.

How about just talk about topics. I agree with Lemuel.

All rulers want all power in their hand.
All over the world which may be ruling system, democracy, dictetorship, or communism,rulers interfering in all section of man`work place, they are not giving to people any freedom to doing any thing independently. democricy give only freedom of speach, which have zero value in practical world

So
If having arrived at the conclusion they are all wet on economics, why would you not, conclude or at least consider that they employed improper or uniformed judgement on social matters as well.

Lets face it, you really want to see a leftist go nuts, try telling them "a woman's right to choose" is an incomplete sentence, a vacant slogan and manifestly incorrect on the rare occasion that they insert "what she wants to do with her own body".

Taxes a regulation are just the appetizers at the leftist death banquet.

You forgetting a simple problem with Windows
There time in the market is limited. You havn't used Open Office in a while. It is easier to install the MS Office. I think it is easier to use.

The reason why people don't know, is its already installed. But thats not the real problem.

Open source software is free. I work for a very conservitive company and is a windows, IBM world. I brought in some open sourse sollutions and they are getting noticed.

Its the price.. Its free.

Try and come up with a marketing plan that compeats with free.

Microsoft is doomed.

Here's your answer!
A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged by reality. Consider yourself mugged!

You were talking anti-monopoly
Read up on TR & 'malefactors of great wealth'

LG was talking about monopoly power
TR acted against it.

Correct
Its ironic that classical or Ricardian (David Ricardo) liberalism was so perverted by the radical left (which is not liberal) that we now have this confusion. By and large real conservatives (not country club or corporate welfare conservatives) tend more towards classic liberalism; free trade, minimal government meddling, and so on. Remember Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party was the forerunner of the Democrat Party, not the Republican party. They were actual liberals back then. Because a radical leftist like Marx (class warfare, centralized government, anti private property, anti corporations) had the same supposed good intentions of liberals, liberals were seduced by the left and so became (in many ways) doctrinaire (ie. unwilling to debate) big government, class warriors. Seems to me a real conservative is a lot more humane (and open minded) than a modern liberal.

eliminating govt meat inspection is not the same thing as eliminating meat inspection.
Would you be willing to pay a penny or two a pound more for meat that bears the seal of a private inspection agency that you trust, vs meat that bears no inspection label at all?

I would.

as always, eric will defend to the death policies that take other people money to give to him.
...

that now a reasonable question.
Of Course.

Would you trust a company stamp over a Goverment.

No. You can't make me believe that a private company would be completly honist all the time.

It only takes one little lie.

I will take this over impersonal beurcracy.

every monopoly or near monopoly relied on govt force.
That economic power always translates into having political power is a given. Which is why govt must never have the power to grant economic power.

The robber barons never were. They were nothing more than a media myth, backed by those with a political agenda.
It wasn't govt that kept MS from total domination, it was the existence of acceptable alternatives.

I am a now Kling Libertarian
Dr. Kling's list should be required reading in all US schools starting with grade 4, but it won't. High school graduates must memorize it to graduate, but they won't.

Also, didn't his list used to be "Conservative" concepts? What happened there?

I'll be Ronald Reagan could have co-wrote them.

In any case, I will now call myself a Kling Libertarian. (Hope the good Dr. doesn't mind.)

just because you believe the propaganda, doesn't mean people who think do.
...

PS: Mussolini was much closer to socialist in his economics.
His monopolies were also created and enforced by govt fiat.

Prima Facie Case, Lib incapable of staying on topic.
History has shown that Marx was closer to the truth: large companies have economic power, which translates into political power and power over peoples' lives. Has Kling heard of the "robber barons"? In a US without antitrust laws, every computer in the country would run Microsoft Windows.

Where do you see anything here about monopolies or TR? I already told you in another thread antitrust law (Sherman Act, 1890) predates TR, so unless TR authorized action against Microsoft, he's irrelevant here.

This is why you can't have a dialogue with a lib.


I just checked my copy of Ooo 2.03.
Its current. I like the direct export to PDF, but Ooo opens slower and in Calc "Datapilot" needs to be improved to catch up with Pivot tables. My Powerpoints display as "grainy" in Presentation, although that migh be because they were made in Office. Again, interoperability is a big thing. I'm no fan of Redmond, but they have the best product, in some cases with unique features. Therefore, I slapped down my money for Office 2003. As for the OS Windows is a pain, but its still better than fussing with Linux for me-and apparently others as well.

However, for the sake of argument, I'll stipulate Ooo is the functional equivalent of Office and is "free" to boot- the original assertion was that the antitrust was what prevents everybody from being stuck with Redmond.

Prima Facie case, liberal assertion (Antitrust is beneficial to software diversity) goes unsupported (in fact is condradicted)-when this pointed out, there's a diversion. Did I miss something or did all the suits in Washington with lawbooks start wearing khakis and dabbling in C++, because if not, its Sun, Corel, Software 602 and the Openoffice Community that provides alternatives,aka the market NOT GOVERNMENT.

Yet, we're supposed to defer to leftist opinions. The support of federal antitrust enforcement here is the equivalent of "four legs good, two legs bad".









the point is still monopolies
Which TR and many other american non-Marxists, including the authors of the Sherman act thought were dangerous.
-

one little lie
will put a private company out of business.

As I pointed out, the meat with the stamp is going to cost more than the meat without the stamp.
If the stamp turns out to be worthless, than who in their right mind would pay extra for that worthless stamp.

On the other hand, instances of govt malfeasance are many, and what are the consequences. Sometimes somebody is fired.

I agree that private companies will never be honest all of the time.
Are you arguing that govt is alway honest, all of the time?

A private company that cheats, goes out of business.
A govt that cheats does not, and often ends up getting bigger. Now we need inspectors to watch the inspectors.

In the private world, the people who watch the inspectors are the competitors, who have an economic interest in catching such cheating.

In the long run, private inspection is both more cost efficient, and safer for the consumer.

Professor of Laws v. Cybercrank
Stone:

“Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others.”

Rob:

This statement is patently foolish because by its own terms, one of the truths Liberals must doubt is whether Liberals should consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others. If Liberals are smarter than the rest of us, then how come they can’t see the glaring illogic of their beliefs?

Stone:

“Liberals believe government has a fundamental responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society. It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to ‘promote the general welfare.’”

Rob:

Why has government failed the less fortunate? For if government hadn’t failed, there wouldn’t be any Americans less fortunate than any others. How about the needy? Why do they exist when government spends trillions on programs to improver improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare in order to exterminate neediness? Something doesn’t match up with Liberals’ beliefs and reality. What could that something be? Simply this: Need doesn’t make one needy. Rather, relative differences in wealth make one needy, such that a person who owns his own car, house, color TV, home entertainment center, coterie of durable white goods, and a fistful of credit cards is needy because Bill Gates owns half of Mercer Island and Hood Canal.

Just because one is a professor of laws does not make one smart, and just because one is a cybercrank does not make one wise. Let the arguments decide relative virtues.

Some actions by Theodore Roosevelt
The law was there. The point is Roosevelt moved to enforce it. I can't conceive of how you could regard this as irrelevent to the point about corporate power. TR corporate regulation highlights included:

Department of Commerce and Labor. In 1903, Roosevelt persuaded Congress to establish a new cabinet-level department to increase the federal government’s purview over the interstate commerce actions of business and to monitor labor relations. Big business interests lobbied heavily to halt this innovation — the first new executive department since the Civil War — but failed. (Commerce and Labor would be separated into independent department in 1913.)

Bureau of Corporations. As an arm of the newly created department, a Bureau of Corporations was established to find violations under the existing antitrust legislation. The Bureau began investigations into the activities of the meatpacking, oil, steel and tobacco industries, among others.

Antitrust Law Suits. Roosevelt instructed his attorney general, Philander C. Knox, to launch a series of lawsuits against what were deemed offensive business combinations. Such giants as J.P. Morgan’s Northern Securities Company, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust and James B. Duke’s tobacco trust were targets of the government’s attorneys. In all, forty-four suits were brought during Roosevelt’s administration.

Malefactors of great wealth
This concept's Achilles Heel is that the poor aren't more valuable as human capital than the misplaced wealth of the wealthy. Is money really worth more than people? To be a socialist, as TR was, you really have to believe so.

You really think what Teddy Roosevelt did had nothing to do with stemming corporate power?
For example:

Department of Commerce and Labor.
In 1903, Roosevelt persuaded Congress to establish a new cabinet-level department to increase the federal government’s purview over the interstate commerce actions of business and to monitor labor relations. Big business interests lobbied heavily to halt this innovation — the first new executive department since the Civil War — but failed. (Commerce and Labor would be separated into independent department in 1913.)

Bureau of Corporations.
As an arm of the newly created department, a Bureau of Corporations was established to find violations under the existing antitrust legislation. The Bureau began investigations into the activities of the meatpacking, oil, steel and tobacco industries, among others.

Antitrust Law Suits.
Roosevelt instructed his attorney general, Philander C. Knox, to launch a series of lawsuits against what were deemed offensive business combinations. Such giants as J.P. Morgan’s Northern Securities Company, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust and James B. Duke’s tobacco trust were targets of the government’s attorneys. In all, forty-four suits were brought during Roosevelt’s administration.

Govt => good?
If meat is government approved and packaged, how many of you wash the meat before you cook it?

Last month, how many washed the 'triple washed' pre-packaged spinach?

I am not argueing the goverment.
Of course the market drives products.

Not the issue.

MS DOES have a monoply but it won't last. You completly ignored the big question...

FREE!

Please address that.

I am right now using mozilla. It is VASTLY superiour to Exploder.

J2EE and .NET are almost exactly equal.

Microsoft sharges 2500 bucks for development env.
Sun changes a big fat 0.

There are other completly open source sollutions that are a big fat hairy zero.

Again compeat with free? Please anser that?

Point 9
"There is no such thing as the "international community," only a constantly-changing array of allies and adversaries."

This must be true, for where one nation's power equates to another's powerlessness in the absence of alliance and even so in proportion to said alliance's terms, then the whole international sum of national power is an indictment of each nation's powerlessness whether diluted by alliance or not.

You'll have to explain that one
first, TR was a Republican, not a socialist.
Second, as for this:

>hat the poor aren't more valuable as human capital than the misplaced wealth of the wealthy.

what does this have to do with anti-trust or corporate regulatory activity? what does it mean in terms of policy or ethics?

Mindless and Pointless, Done!
LG didn't mention TR, he mentioned Marx. If you can't control your urge to CHANGE the topic thats your problem.

I think you've aptly demonstrated your ADHD/ADD

Results??
Because you guys keep telling us how we're under the thumb of all these giant greedy corporations.

TR was a giant ego who did more damage than good. His interventions in railroads, along with the Hepburn Act, created a situation that persisted until government got in the business and then decided the ICC was a giant mistake.

I care about results. The show was for stupid envious morons. Businesses simply lobby harder ever to get rules that they can live with. Duh!

I deem you offensive perhaps the U.S. AG can sue you.

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