The Liberal Vision of the Marketplace

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Replies

  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    Really? I missed this in history class. Government exists to protect the natural rights of its citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (aka property).

    John Locke just groaned and turned over.

    You perhaps slept through your history class as you managed to confuse the ideals of the Declaration of Independence with the actual role of government. As to the actual Constitution think Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 aka the Commerce clause.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • I can't find the part in the Commerce Clause where the power to regulate the channels of interstate Commerce means that Government exists to meet to insure that business meets societies goals.

    A little help?

    And Benjamin Franklin just groaned and rolled over.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    I can't find the part in the Commerce Clause where the power to regulate the channels of interstate Commerce means that Government exists to meet to insure that business meets societies goals.

    A little help?

    And Benjamin Franklin just groaned and rolled over.

    Obtuse?....Steven....it's so you.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • I'm sure I'm just confused. Still looking for help.

    And Robert Morris says hello.



    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

    To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

    To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

    To establish post offices and post roads;

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    Business exists to make money. When it does, it creates the greatest good for the most.

    you seriously believe this? that's more delusional than anything I've ever seen posted on this board. And I mean that with all due respect and in complete seriousness.

    I worked for years with many research economist, including at least one who earned a share of a Nobel prize for his work. And I can't think of ONE of them that believed that.

    And economists are notoriously good at believing their own illusions.
  • you seriously believe this? that's more delusional than anything I've ever seen posted on this board. And I mean that with all due respect and in complete seriousness.

    I worked for years with many research economist, including at least one who earned a share of a Nobel prize for his work. And I can't think of ONE of them that believed that.

    And economists are notoriously good at believing their own illusions.

    You ought to call up your Nobel friend. Within the constraints of regulation surrounding public goods and the problem of the commons, I'd pretty much guarantee he'd agree.

    The idea that business exists to further societal goals as set forth by the government is not only inane and impractical, but dangerous as well.
  • you seriously believe this? that's more delusional than anything I've ever seen posted on this board. And I mean that with all due respect and in complete seriousness.

    I worked for years with many research economist, including at least one who earned a share of a Nobel prize for his work. And I can't think of ONE of them that believed that.

    And economists are notoriously good at believing their own illusions.

    We can talk about the degree of regulation. But as an instrument of human flourishing, its hard to argue with the efficacy of markets. Look at China. 400 million citizens moved into the middle class in the last twenty years, an astounding development.

    If you want to argue about the externalities created by markets (ie.e pollution in China) we can do that. But its hard to argue with the existence of free markets as a good.
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    and nobody is arguing that markets don't have a vital role to play. But the idea that if we just let markets do their thing, it will maximize social good?

    Yeah, not so much.
  • Scott ButnerScott Butner Senior Member Posts: 3,918 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »

    The idea that business exists to further societal goals as set forth by the government is not only inane and impractical, but dangerous as well.

    But Steven, nobody here is ARGUING that it does -- in fact, we've gone to great lengths to point out that it's precisely because business doesn't give a **** about societal goals that government is needed to insure that business goals do not overly conflict with societal ones. We (the people) do NOT exist to serve the shareholders.

    it's not an "either/or" proposition. I think a good argument can be made that it's precisely the tension between government and markets that has helped to make this country as good as it is. Laissez faire capitalism leads to third world status, with a small number of extremely wealthy people running the show, and everyone else existing merely to serve their needs.
  • "it's the private sector's role to compete within constraints that are provided to insure that some broader societal goal is met." - Scott Butner

    Reads to me like business exists to further societal goals.

    On the other hand, nobody has argued that regulation isn't warranted or that laissez-faire capital is the bees knees (at least not since the last time Emerger posted). I've already accepted that a couple of times in this thread and many, many more times over the years.

    FWIW, arguing that the third world is laissez-faire is a non-starter. State capitalism is the name of the game in the significant majority of non-socialist/communist third world countries (assuming an economy even exists). This in turn leads to a small number of extremely wealthy people through cronyism
  • I don't think its self-evident that laissez-faire leads to third world status. Until the time of the New Deal, the federal government had little involvement in people's lives. and yet, by the turn of the century, the United States had the world's highest standard of living. At the time of the Founding, the colonies had the 2nd highest per capita income in the world (After Great Britain).

    And yes, a great deal of inequality. I don't have a solution for that, except to say that income matters more to a given individual in absolute terms than it does in relative terms. Let's stipulate that you're correct though about the effects of laissez faire. We have lots of government now and lots of inequality. Inequality is a structural and not a political issue.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Steven, argue these points with me please.

    We regulate Air travel to insure safety, good or Bad. We regulate interstate truck travel for safety, good or bad? We regulate food safety, car safety, train safety. We regulate items manufactured for children, good or bad? We regulate the pharmaceutical industry, good or bad? We regulate the fire resistance of various furniture and bay clothing fabrics. We regulate the hours worked by children and the industries they work in. Etc. etc. etc. and freak'n etc.

    Is it your contention that all this regulation is bad?

    Do you deny that it's real practical purpose is to protect society from the damage unhindered businesses can cause society to suffer?

    Convince me, if you can, that business practices of the 19th century would be in keeping with society's best interests in the 21st century.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • "On the other hand, nobody has argued that regulation isn't warranted or that laissez-faire capital is the bees knees (at least not since the last time Emerger posted). I've already accepted that a couple of times in this thread and many, many more times over the years."

    Which part of post 42 wasn't in English?
  • Fun thread.

    I will say this: the scope of acceptable regulation is a different question from the philosophical issue of the role of government.

    The scope of regulation is what Dems and the GOP argue over. The terms of the debate are already set. its just a question of how much.

    The conservative v. Liberal issue is more fundamental: what is the role of government. Questions of scope can help clarify what the role should be, but can never definitively answer it. I think what's really being argued about here is that conservatives believe in a distinction between the State and civil society. In other words, most things are left to society to develop organically. This has the effect of limiting the scope of government in order to create space for that civil society. Liberals argue for a more holistic approach, on the theory that civil society, left to its own devices, will tolerate, even celebrate all sorts of evils and that its the role of government to correct it. Naturally this has the effect of enlarging the scope of government. But the incidental increase or decrease in government activity, size or scope is not the same as defining government's role. This is why I think we often talk past each other.

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