View Poll Results: Which of the following Libertarian Party Issues do you support(Libertarian only vote)

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  • Laissez Faire capitalism

    31 70.45%
  • End drug prohibition

    42 95.45%
  • avoid interventionism in foreign polic

    29 65.91%
  • End foreign aid

    30 68.18%
  • End gun bans

    37 84.09%
  • Deregulate healthcare

    32 72.73%
  • Semi-amnesty for illegal aliens(work for amnesty)

    15 34.09%
  • End welfare

    30 68.18%
  • Allow opting out of Social Security

    37 84.09%
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Thread: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

  1. #41
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    But even if the existing monopolies we have were "propped up" by government; it still doesn't mean that absent of government there will be no monopoly. In fact, that makes no sense. There are plenty of things which monopolies can do to prevent fair competition and keep a large portion of the market to themselves. And a company may be innovative and new and drive to the top; but that doesn't mean that it's going to behave properly and within the confines of proper free market capitalism. Standard Oil held its position through resource and consumer outlet control in part. This was a time when there was very little government "propping up". The Rail roads turned into the perfect example of oligopoly, oil turned into monopoly, steel, banking, commodity, etc fell into various forms of monopoly and oligopoly without much government interference at all. It wasn't until the government go involved in which it was able to clear out a lot of the unfair business practices and open up the markets to actual competition.
    The only proof of that would be if things are getting worse. Do you have any evidence that in any of these companies that things were getting worse?

    Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24
    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

  2. #42
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    The Robber Barons constructed quite a bit of monopoly and oligopoly. With the help of government? Certainly didn't need it.
    Yes they did need the aid of the state to form those monopolies, through protectionism, exclusive franchising, grandfather clauses, occupational licensing, and various other state created barriers to entry.

    Prove it. What dynamic exists which would counter the monopoly/oligopoly formation without external government force?
    Market competition.

    It's not a myth,
    Yes it is.

    it's been done before.
    No it has not, did you even read the article I presented?

    There is not a single instance of unambiguous monopoly forming due to price fixing.

    It was completely within the tactics of Standard Oil and the other monopolies of the time.
    That is simply false:

    The Irrationality of Predatory Pricing

    The classic article on predatory pricing was written by economist John McGee in 1958.(4) McGee examined the famous 1911 Standard Oil antitrust decision that required John D. Rockefeller to divest his company. Although at that time popular folklore held that Rockefeller had "monopolized" the oil refinery business by predatory pricing, McGee showed that Standard Oil did not engage in predatory pricing; it would have been irrational to have done so.

    Judging from the record, Standard Oil did not use predatory price discrimination to drive out competing refiners, nor did its pricing practice have that effect. Whereas there may be a very few cases in which retail kerosene peddlers or dealers went out of business after or during price cutting, there is no real proof that Standard's pricing policies were responsible. I am convinced that Standard did not systematically, if ever, use local price cutting in retailing, or anywhere else, to reduce competition. To do so would have been foolish; and, whatever else has been said about them, the old Standard organization was seldom criticized for making less money when it could readily have made more.(5)

    McGee was the first economist to think through the logic of predatory pricing, laying aside the emotional rhetoric that had always surrounded it. He concluded that not only would it have been foolish for Standard Oil to have engaged in predatory pricing; it would also be irrational for any business to attempt to monopolize a market in that way.

    In the first place, such practices are very costly for the large firm, which is always assumed to be the predator. If price is set below average cost, the largest firm will incur the largest losses by virtue of having the largest volume of sales. Losing a dollar on each of 1,000 widgets sold per month is more costly than losing a dollar on each of 100 widgets.

    Second, there is great uncertainty about how long a price war would last. The prospect of incurring losses indefinitely in the hope of someday being able to charge monopolistic prices will give any business person pause. A price war is an extremely risky venture.

    Standard Oil was not the only trust accused of predatory pricing; antitrust folklore has it that virtually all of the late-19th-century trusts were guilty of the practice. However, as I have shown elsewhere, the industries accused of becoming monopolies during the congressional debates on the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act all dropped their prices more rapidly than the general price level fell during the 10 years before the Sherman Act.(6) It would certainly have been irrational for those businesses to have engaged in predatory pricing for an entire decade in the dim hope of someday being able to charge prices slightly above the competitive market rate.

    Third, there is nothing stopping the competition (or "prey") from temporarily shutting down and waiting for the price to return to profitable levels. If that strategy is employed, price competition will render the predatory pricing strategy unprofitable--all loss and no compensatory benefit. Alternatively, even if the preyed-upon firms went bankrupt, other firms could purchase their facilities and compete with the alleged predator. Such competition is virtually guaranteed if the predator is charging monopolistic prices and earning above-normal profits.

    Fourth, there is the danger that the price war will spread to surrounding markets and cause the alleged predator to incur losses in those markets as well
    .

    Fifth, the theory of predatory pricing assumes the prior existence of a "war chest of monopoly profits" that the predator can use to subsidize its practice of pricing below average cost. But how does that war chest come into being if the firm has not yet become a monopoly? That part of the theory is simply a non sequitur.

    Finally, the opportunity cost of the funds allegedly used to try to bankrupt rivals must be taken into account. For predatory pricing to seem rational, the rate of return on predation must be higher than the market rate of inter- est; in fact, it must be higher than the expected rate of return on any other investment the predator might make, including "investment" in lobbying for protectionism, monop- oly franchises, and the like. Predation is unlikely, given the great uncertainties about whether it would have any positive return at all.

  3. #43
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Maybe, maybe not (Standard Oil, BTW, is not the only monopoly/oligopoly from the region). It could have gotten there for good reason. Once there it can become corrupt. The point is that it stifles the market and prevents proper competition from being in place. With no government regulation, it's going to automatically fall to the monopoly/oligopoly state quickly. Maybe quicker than with government intervention. If the goal is free market capitalism, then one has to put in the necessary tools to prevent monopoly. That takes some amount of government oversight. Laizze-faire will not end in good places, we've seen this.
    Standard Oil was never a full monopoly and the monopoly began to break up long before the government stepped in:

    2. The Standard Oil Monopoly

    John D. Rockefeller, who in the 1860s founded what was to become Standard Oil, resolved, as John Chamberlain put it, “to ‘stabilize’ the oil market by eliminating competition.”[2] Between 1860 and 1870, Standard Oil’s share of the market rose from less than I0 per cent to nearly 90 per cent. During the so-called “oil war” of the 1870s, Standard began to buy out its competitors. Those who refused to sell were often driven out of business by Standard’s prices. But the reason Standard was able to “buy out” so many of its competitors—by 1874 it had purchased 21 of the 26 Cleveland refineries—was that given the depressed state of the oil market at this time many wanted to be bought out and, as D. T. Armentano noted, the simple fact of the matter is that “the original cost of a refinery in 1865 was irrelevant in 1875” and Standard “paid the best market prices for properties that were almost bankrupt and so inefficient that most were subsequently closed down by Standard.”[3]

    Legend has it that those who refused to be bought out were driven out of business by Standard’s “predatory pricing,” i.e., selling below cost to drive competitors into bankruptcy and then exploiting the monopoly position by raising prices. There is no doubt that Rockefeller was a “savage competitor.” But it is equally clear that Standard Oil did not practice predatory pricing. Such a policy, John McGee has pointed out, “would have been foolish; and, whatever else was said about them, the old Standard organization was seldom criticized for making less money when it could readily have made more.”[4]

    For one thing a policy of predatory pricing is very costly, and its cost is directly proportional to the firm’s share of the market. Thus, predatory pricing is most costly to the largest firm in the industry since it has the largest share of the business. Losing more money than any other firm in the industry is hardly a way to establish “market dominance.” Second, the notion of predatory pricing is logically flawed since it assumes “a ‘war chest’ of monopoly profits to see the firm through the costly battles,” thereby implying that it already possesses the very monopoly the policy is supposed to achieve.[5]

    Rather, in an industry characterized by waste and inefficiency, Rockefeller made Standard a model of efficiency and innovation. Standard Oil was the first firm in the industry to emphasize research, the fast to expand its operations beyond the Appalachian area, the pioneer in developing overseas markets, in exploiting economies of scale, and in developing new marketing techniques. Thus, while the price of kerosene fell from 26 cents to 8 cents a gallon between 1870 and 1885, Standard was able to reduce its costs from 3 cents a gallon in 1870 to .45 cents in 1885. Standard, notes Armentano, “was relatively efficient, and its efficiency was being translated to the consumer in the form of lower prices for a much improved product, and to the firm in the form of additional profits.”[6] Standard Oil’s success resulted not from the illogical notion of predatory pricing but from the efficiency of its operation.

    Nevertheless, even at the height of its success Standard was never able to fully monopolize the market. Between 1880 and 1895 Standard’s share of the refining market fell from about 90 per cent to 82 per cent despite the fact that during the same period it reduced its prices from 9 1/8 cents a gallon to only 5.91 cents. Standard’s share of the market began to decline rapidly after 1900, i.e., well before the court-ordered dissolution of the “monopoly” in 1911, when gas and electricity began to cut deeply into kerosene sales. And the discovery of huge oil reserves in Texas, Oklahoma, and California—reserves which literally dwarfed those in the oil regions of Pennsylvania—further undercut Standard’s position. By 1901, John Chamberlain has written, “the Rockefellers could no more dominate oil than King Canute could dominate the tides.”[7]

    Clearly, it was the free market, not the courts, which thwarted Standard Oil’s attempts to monopolize the oil industry. Even more importantly, the case of Standard demonstrates that there is nothing evil or pernicious about a free market “monopoly.” On the contrary, the consumers were the chief beneficiaries since the pinnacle of Standard’s success coincided with the lowest prices in the history of the industry. In short, so long as there are no legal barriers to entry, i.e., so long as the market is free, no firm, even if it is the sole producer, can prosper unless it is able to benefit the consumers better than its competitors, actual or potential.

    Voluntary and Coercive Cartels: The Case of Oil | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty
    In fact in the case of the oil industry it was big oil with the aid of the state that engaged in artificial price fixing through the National Industrial Recovery Act and when that was declared unconstitutional the Transportation of Petroleum Products Act both of which set up a system of prorationing to artificially inflate prices.

  4. #44
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    That's a great point, and another issue I am personally ambivalent about. On the one hand, if we keep bringing in more immigrants, we could start stressing the resources available, mostly due to our already HUGE social programs in place. If, however, we don't make welfare-type incentives an attractant to immigrants, maybe it would be okay. The problem is that we already have all those programs in place, and that won't change anytime soon.
    I've always had reservations about intense border security from the get go (what if I want to sneak out?) but working with people from a myriad of South and Central American countries helped influence me more.

    That and learning about those countries influenced my decision making process.

    I'm against guest worker programs but am all for allowing illegals to come in and work as veggie and fruit pickers until they have stayed long enough to start a family and integrate into the U.S.

    For the most part, they are excellent, dedicated and hard working people.
    They are strongly family and community orientated which is what we need in this country more than anything else.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I've always had reservations about intense border security from the get go (what if I want to sneak out?) but working with people from a myriad of South and Central American countries helped influence me more.

    ...........

    For the most part, they are excellent, dedicated and hard working people.
    They are strongly family and community orientated which is what we need in this country more than anything else.
    I find that to be true as well, but I work with MANY legal immigrants- mostly from Africa and the ME, whom I can say the same things about. Strong work ethic, strong family values, and dedication to integrating into American society. It seems that it's after a couple of generations have been here that these values start declining, unfortunately.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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  6. #46
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychoclown View Post
    I voted for everything but amnesty and ending welfare, but even in the things I voted for I'm not necessarily in favor of taking it to the extreme the Libertarian Paty would.

    Lassiez Faire Capitalism: Yes, I believe the free market is generally best left untampered with. Government regulation often has unintended consequences. Consequences that are often used as justification for further regulation. That said, certain regulations are needed.

    I'm a strong supporter of anti-trust laws, as the free market depends upon robust competition to work at an optimal level and monopolies are a antithesis of competition. I'm for reasonable safety standards since many defects or unsafe issues are easily concealed from the consumer, making it impossible for them to make an informed choice.

    I recogonize that pollution has a cost to all of us (aka society, a word so many libertarians seem to hate) and it is not accounted for in the price a company charges. Its called an externality cost and government is well suited to account for that cost through regulations. I recognize the market can fail - imagine the disaster that private roads would be. And government again is the ideal body to step in fill the gap left by those failures.

    So while I'm for laissez faire capitalism in general, I'm not opposed to any and all government involvement in the free market.

    End Drug Prohibition: Definitely favor the immediate legalization of pot. I've yet to hear an intelligent reason why it should be illegal, but alcohol and tobbacco should be legal. Harder drugs are a little harder for me to get a firm position on. Still most of the research shows that decriminalization and/or legalization has little impact on user rates and it would remove a massive source of revenue from various criminal cartels, while saving us a fortune in government expenditures.

    Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy: I don't favor non-interventionism because of some principled opposition to force or initiation of force. When it comes to foreign policy, I fall firmly in the realist camp. America should promote and pursure its interests actively. I happen to believe that our interests are often best served by a non-interventionist approach. That said, certain dire circumstance could warrant intervention (a nuclear Iran for instance) or even pre-emption.

    Ending Foreign Aid: Usually it ends up in the pockets of dictators anyway. I know its a tiny portion of the budget, but hey, every million helps and we need to start trimming the budget somewhere. I'm not opposed to humanitarian aid for disaster victims.

    End Gun Bans: The right to bear arms is as essential, if not moreso, as the right to free speech. Gun bans don't keep guns out of the hands of criminals, since they are by definition people who have qualms about breaking the law.

    Deregulate Health Care: Some tort reform would be nice also.

    Amnesty: No. I'd be willing to accept a pathway to citizenship, under certain circumstances, if it came along with truly effective measures to get control of our borders. America is a soveriegn nation and it has every right to control its borders. Our economy cannot handle an unlimited influx of unskilled laborers (which is what most illegal immigrants are). Furthermore, there are legitimate security concerns as well. Open borders a pipe dream that will never happen.

    End Welfare: I'm not opposed to offering some government assistance to the truly disabled. History has shown that private charity alone is not sufficient. I'm also not opposed to creating a tempory program designed to help people who have fallen on hard times get back on their feet. I'm strongly opposed to allowing able bodied individuals become long term dependents of the state.

    Opting out of Social Security: Please! I want out before this giant pyramid scheme comes crashing down and my generation is the one left holding the bill.


    I couldn't put it much better than that.

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  7. #47
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    The only proof of that would be if things are getting worse. Do you have any evidence that in any of these companies that things were getting worse?
    With things such as the railroad oligopoly which developed, most certainly so. The collusion reached into buying up all means of transport and storage as well. Steel, oil, other commodities all saw rise in monopoly and oligopoly during the most hands off period of time our government took towards the economic sector. It's natural progression for unbridled capitalism, and one which will often end either in the government regulating industry to promote free market or the government becoming hopelessly entangled within it and promoting corporate capitalism.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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  8. #48
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Didn't Agent Ferris already answer your claim about the railroads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Ferris View Post
    Yes they did need the aid of the state to form those monopolies, through protectionism, exclusive franchising, grandfather clauses, occupational licensing, and various other state created barriers to entry.
    I've already shown along with Agent Ferris that Standard Oil never had a monopoly and was already losing prominence before the anti-trust case. Have an example for steel and other commodities getting monopolized during "the most hands off period of time our government took towards the economic sector?"
    Last edited by phattonez; 05-26-10 at 01:32 PM.

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    "True law is right reason in agreement with nature . . . Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature [and] will suffer the worst penalties . . ." - Cicero

  9. #49
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Didn't Agent Ferris already answer your claim about the railroads?



    I've already shown along with Agent Ferris that Standard Oil never had a monopoly and was already losing prominence before the anti-trust case. Have an example for steel and other commodities getting monopolized during "the most hands off period of time our government took towards the economic sector?"
    The Rail Roads are another quintessential example of state sponsored monopoly and crony corporatism, the passing of the Pacific Railways Act granted the Southern Pacific Transportation Company 30 year 6% bonds to construct the Rail Roads and 175 million acres of free public land upon which to build them. Of course no other companies were getting these bonds or these land grants and even if they could afford to build competitive rail roads without governmental investment they would need to get the Feds to seed to them the public lands in the Western Territories which of course the state would not do as the government did not want competition because then they would have more trouble getting the bonds paid back by Southern Pacific. In a free market that unused public land would have been homesteaded the second someone invested labor into building a rail road track on them and there would have been much more competition between many different firms because no single firm could afford to produce the transcontinental railroad on their own without federal investment.

  10. #50
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    Re: Libertarian Issues-Libertarians only please vote

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Didn't Agent Ferris already answer your claim about the railroads?



    I've already shown along with Agent Ferris that Standard Oil never had a monopoly and was already losing prominence before the anti-trust case. Have an example for steel and other commodities getting monopolized during "the most hands off period of time our government took towards the economic sector?"
    No, because most of them started up independently at first. It wasn't until the oligopoly was established in which the government took over the expansion of railroad tracks. And the government regulation which occurred in the railroad industry was mostly an optimization/safety standard than it was a "propping up" of a monopoly. Steel had it's own regional monopolies as well. Monopoly and oligopoly enjoyed a brief explosion during the industrial revolution and slightly afterward till government stepped in with regulations and rules. But the Robber Barons and their monopolies were born during times of very little oversight and regulation.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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