Wrong! Libertarianism (
and socialism) are built on sand. They are grand cathedrals built on sand. Complicated and well-built, but built on sand nonetheless. So they can work in theory without being grounded in the dirty, less than accomodating, reality. And I'm not aware of libertarianism being tried in practice anywhere, and perhaps there's a reason for that - does it inherently contravene human nature? Are we individuals or are we people? Can we know what is rational?
(Original post by CyclopsRock)
Yeah, I'm aware science and fantasy are different things, I'm just confused about how either come into the equation. There's no such thing as "good in theory but bad in practice." If it's bad in practice, it's bad in theory too, you've just missed someone out or rationalised it poorly. As a Libertarian - in fact, it's one of the key tenets of my belief - I recognise the existence of unintended consequences; But they aren't things you just shrug at, they're things that make you change the theory.
Rational risk is good, irrational risk is bad. The banking crisis was caused by ill-thought out judgements in the juggernaut investment banks - they wanted a short-term profit on the loans they gave, thinking that even if it turned sour they'd be able to survive and pass the damage on to whatever other bank was willing to buy the debt/mortgages. This is not how capitalism should work, Rand knew that. The government needs to ensure that banks operate in the interests of themselves as a business rather than to simply enrich the individuals that dominate these banks. If they don't then everyone else gets hurt. Markets can't solve problems like this.
If you support the government offering low interest loans to businesses that can't get support from banks, you might think "how jolly good of us. They're loans, so they don't cost us anything, and they help the economy!" Great in theory, right?!?! Except of course they aren't. There's a reason why commercial banks don't lend to these businesses - because they fear they're not going to make it, and they'll lose their money. That the government is willing to take this risk doesn't fill me with confidence, and it doesn't help the economy when money gets wasted when we're already in times of austerity. Also, it's basically exactly the same as what the banks were doing pre-crisis (lending to people who couldn't afford to pay it back - thanks to cheap credit from the bank of England), so they're just continuing a policy that lead to the collapse but cutting out the middle man.
That's exactly why it's difficult engaging with libertarian arguments - they are great responses to problems that you guys have identified but that aren't necessarily the way you guys think they are - also there's never room for compromise.
It has a lot of bad, unintended side effects. But that doesn't mean the policy was good in theory but bad in practice - there's no difference between theory and practice. If there is, you have messed up the theory. As a Libertarian, I feel that everything I say is practically as watertight as in theory. If you disagree, then let's discuss the issue. Don't just hide behind this mask of a faux-dichotomy between the two. The differences of opinions rarely come in the solutions, but first in defining the problem (ie differing views on the cause of the recession will lead to different solutions.)
There is nothing "wrong" with people using oxymoronic statements. Oh, wait, that was another Daily Expressism on your part. Your bills passed here without any scrutiny, people indubitably mistook shiny eloquence for brilliant legislation. You made them look professional and so people assumed that they were.
Without meaning to troll at all, it actually sounds like there is something wrong with you when you simultaneously refer to something as 'crap' and 'well written' and 'imaginative'. Not only that, but none of our bills failed and more than half passed. I think you're clutching at straws if you try and argue that any party but the Libers did the best last term. I can't take any credit, I didn't write a single bill, but the team is fantastic.
Last edited by Faland; 07-04-2012 at 13:31.