View Poll Results: Should government exist... at all?

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  • Yes

    44 86.27%
  • No

    7 13.73%
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Thread: Should government exist... at all?

  1. #31
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    So you're saying the the problems of educating people, providing health care, building communications systems, and caring for the indigent cannot be solved by any other agency than government?
    These types of issues tend to have a few features.
    1. Any significant gaps in coverage pretty much screws up the whole thing
    2. Relying on people's good nature is never going to work well in a large and complex society. This sort of thing works great in a small town, but it always depends on relationships because that is how people function.
    3. These sorts of things tend to need large scale coordination

    When I think about the idea of charity handling this sort of thing, I am reminded of Haiti. When the earth quake hit, the red cross was flooded with cash and a few things happened.
    1. People got pissed that the red cross did not spend all of it immediately and tried to hold money back for long term concerns (this hits points 1 and 3 above in terms of issues.) Funding to the red cross dried up quickly because haiti is another country, out of sight, out of mind (point 2). Because there was no real coordination (the red cross only had resources to do so much) the people in Haiti are still loving in poverty camps, having huge problems with water born illnesses, crime, lawlessness and other typical problems of poverty. One of the major issues there is that land deed records were somewhat destroyed during the earth quake so nobody knows who owns what, so the whole private property angle, pulling yourself up by your boot straps idea didn't pan out either.

    A similar thing happened last year when several places were hit by tornados in the south and near Joplin. There is a section of the town I live in right now where you can still see tornado paths with ruined houses and what not from this time period. People forgot about the problem.

    Ultimately, this is a problem of the general public vs experts. Experts tend to be able to keep focus over the long term and can be protected by an entity such as a government to do actual long term good rather than what happened in haiti.

    This is what I see as some of the major differences between private and public approaches to issues like this.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-23-12 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #32
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    These types of issues tend to have a few features.
    1. Any significant gaps in coverage pretty much screws up the whole thing
    2. Relying on people's good nature is never going to work well in a large and complex society. This sort of thing works great in a small town, but it always depends on relationships because that is how people function.
    3. These sorts of things tend to need large scale coordination

    When I think about the idea of charity handling this sort of thing, I am reminded of Haiti. When the earth quake hit, the red cross was flooded with cash and a few things happened.
    1. People got pissed that the red cross did not spend all of it immediately and tried to hold money back for long term concerns (this hits points 1 and 3 above in terms of issues.) Funding to the red cross dried up quickly because haiti is another country, out of sight, out of mind (point 2). Because there was no real coordination (the red cross only had resources to do so much) the people in Haiti are still loving in poverty camps, having huge problems with water born illnesses, crime, lawlessness and other typical problems of poverty. One of the major issues there is that land deed records were somewhat destroyed during the earth quake so nobody knows who owns what, so the whole private property angle, pulling yourself up by your boot straps idea didn't pan out either.

    A similar thing happened last year when several places were hit by tornados in the south and near Joplin. There is a section of the town I live in right now where you can still see tornado paths with ruined houses and what not from this time period. People forgot about the problem.

    Ultimately, this is a problem of the general public vs experts. Experts tend to be able to keep focus over the long term and can be protected by an entity such as a government to do actual long term good rather than what happened in haiti.

    This is what I see as some of the major differences between private and public approaches to issues like this.
    Okay I'm adding them to the list. That brings the list to: building roads, communications systems, water mains, bridges, tunnels, and dams; educating people; providing health care; and caring for the indigent. Only the government can provide solutions to these problems.

  3. #33
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    Of course it should. What a silly question.
    If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.

    If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  4. #34
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    1 anarchist in the message boards.. I'm somewhat surprised by that.
    Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
    - Abraham Lincoln

    Before the war is ended, the war party assumes the divine right to denounce and silence all opposition to war as unpatriotic and cowardly.
    - Robert M. LaFollette, Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Senator

    God, how patient are Thy poor! These corporations and masters of manipulation in finance heaping up great fortunes by a system of legalized extortion,
    and then exacting from the contributors--to whom a little means so much--a double share to guard the treasure!
    - Robert M. LaFollette, Wisconsin Governor and U.S. Senator

  5. #35
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnWisconsin View Post
    1 anarchist in the message boards.. I'm somewhat surprised by that.
    I agree, groups like libertarians and anarchists tend to be over represented in boards like these in terms of message demographics vs real world demographics.

  6. #36
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    No government means no internet, which means no DP.

    so obviously the answer is YES.

  7. #37
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    I don't quite understand what you mean. Could you explain further?
    An externalities is when a voluntary transaction between two neighbours affects an uninvolved third party. They can either be positive such as scientist providing research that becomes public knowlege or negative like cigarette smoke and buds littering the pavement. Consider an example:

    I like to play the drums and so I go to the music store and buy myself some drums. The music store owner is pretty happy to sell me a drum kit and i'm pretty happy with my purchase but you're not. As my neighbour, you get to hear me playing at all kinds of night. You as a third party have had a negative effect from the transaction. Now you and I could go and negotiate a contract and pay you compensation, but such a process is long, expensive and ask the question, "who has a right to what?" and I would have to negotiate several different contracts with my neighbours. Instead we rely on council (government) by-laws that tend to limit noise later in the night.

    One of the main reasons, I believe we should tax cigarettes is because of externalities. There is a private cost to smoking (the actual cost of purchasing the cigarettes) and a social cost( the second-hand smoke, the litter and also the increased stress on the medical system) only the private cost is paid by the smoker. The aim of the tax is to increase the price to include the social cost and better reflect the true cost of smoking. This type of tax is known as a pigovian tax and it's one of the most important functions of the government. Protecting third parties from the effects of voluntary transactions.

    I don't think I cocked that up too much.

  8. #38
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Centinel View Post
    I'm trying to better understand the arguments for why government is necessary.
    With all due respect... I like you and respect you (seriously)... whenever I see somebody trying to "better understand" a political argument what they're really trying to do is draw the other person(s) out so they can shoot down the points one by one. No offense intended, but I cannot remember an instance where it turned out otherwise.
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  9. #39
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    With all due respect... I like you and respect you (seriously)... whenever I see somebody trying to "better understand" a political argument what they're really trying to do is draw the other person(s) out so they can shoot down the points one by one. No offense intended, but I cannot remember an instance where it turned out otherwise.
    Dang it, my evil plot has been foiled!

  10. #40
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    Re: Should government exist... at all?

    That one "no" votes , from a libertarian extremest ?
    Even in an absolutely perfect world, there is a need for government...and this would be 100% community service - gratis - and no taxes...
    We are slowly progressing toward this, achievable within the next million years...
    Achievable ?

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