Lion of the Blogosphere

Subprime auto loans

There was an article in yesterday’s NY Times about subprime auto loans. Those are auto loans to poor people at what some would considered to be usurious interest rates.

I think that Wikipedia has a good definition of usury: “Usury is the practice of making unethical or immoral monetary loans that unfairly enrich the lender. A loan may be considered usurious because of excessive or abusive interest rates or other factors.”

Libertarian types would argue that there’s no such thing as usury. They would say that poor people are making wise decisions based on their need for a car to get to work so that they can build a career and a life for themselves, thus the car is an investment in their future that has a higher net present value benefit than the net present value of the future loan repayments.

The reality is that the vast majority of poor people taking out these loans have low intelligence and/or low future-time orientation, and they probably irrationally overvalue having a blingy car. This is demonstrated by one of the poor people mentioned in the article, “a former administrative assistant in the New York Police City Department, has not made a single payment on a $30,770 Santander loan that was taken out to buy a 2011 BMW 328xi. Ms. Payne, who has no driver’s license, said she took out the loan so her daughter, who lives in New Jersey, could have a car.” Even if her daughter needed a car really badly, she could have purchased a car she could afford such as a used Ford Fiesta.

I strongly suspect that most subprime auto borrowers are more like the woman in the story buying cars they don’t need and can’t afford than the wise net-present-value-maximizers envisioned by clueless libertarians.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

Posted in Economics, Underclass

142 Responses

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  1. It also sends a terrible social message. “Oh, you don’t have to be nice to the hardworking beta! You can have the same or even flashier stuff than he has by taking out loanz! That way, you can keep treating him as invisible except for those awkward moments you need ‘puter/handyman help.”

    Fiddlesticks

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • I wonder if I’m the only one here who finds this comment to be obscure. Are saying that if subprime auto loans weren’t available, then cute chicks who spend all their money on shoes would be more likely to hump Camry-driving beta guys?

      youjt

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • The thing is, we can actually observe how young daters behave differently and respond to incentives in countries where artificially cheap credit and unsustainable gov handouts aren’t so easy to come by.

        Read Roosh’s book on Colombia. He met an expat who was able to get dates just by asking grateful blue-collar girls on the street to join him for dinner. I have a fb friend in Mexico in a similar economic situation and she posts these Instagram-like “foodie” pictures from time to time, except I kid you not, they are from McD’s. She captions them with stuff like “OMG I am a princess! My bf took me to McDonalds!” and no she’s not being ironic.

        The other point is that America’s proliferation of funny munny makes it way too easy for insolvent GUYS to spend big and masquerade as being much richer than they are.

        Fiddlesticks

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • Following on from Fiddlesticks, I’d also add that the key in America is that women actually are major users of credit and so no longer need men – well, until their credit card debt goes out of control, anyway – for resources generally, thus they pursue what you call ‘alphas’, the criminally/mentally ill types with low future time orientation and higher potential for violence because their behavior keeps women emotionally engaged more easily.

        Negro of the Bongosphere (formerly Viscount Douchenozzlé)

        January 31, 2015 at EDT am

      • @bongos

        Great comment, and name.

        Value Transference Sociopath

        January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

      • VTS, you should rename your moniker as Value Transference Parasite (short: VTP, which is also means Value T…Protocol).

        JS

        January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

  2. Libertarianism would be an excellent ideology for a community of robots programmed with sophisticated utility-maximizing algorithms.

    Unfortunately, it’s a terrible fit for frequently irrational and highly emotional biological organisms like human beings.

    majneb

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • My undergraduate econ courses left me influenced by libertarian thought in the style of Tyler Cowen and Greg Mankiw.

      Lion, Sailer, Heartiste and life experience snapped me out of it. Especially Lion, who sounds like a former libertarian.

      Ava Lon

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Indeed I used to be a libertarian.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ Lion

        When did you stop being one, and why? I don’t really understand your disagreement with the ideas. Every time I see you bring it up, it’s to imply that libertarians are too autistic to understand what others can and cannot do.

        Is deficiency in the ability of others the substance of your disagreement? Do you not think that the unable will be helped by charities, clubs, and other community organizations? Do you not see that most people are compassionate, generous, and care about the other members of their communities?

        Lowe

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • “Do you not see that most people are compassionate, generous, and care about the other members of their communities?”

        The executives at my company care only about profit, and not whether it’s good for poor people to be spending their money on our products and services. I am sure that all other big corporations are the same way.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Are the executives at your company representative of most people? I can hardly think so. You write yourself about proles, i.e. regular people. Do regular people seem mercenary to you? They definitely don’t seem that way to me.

        Of course I can’t really question your account of the executives in your company, nor of the goodness of the products for the poor. But it strikes me as unlikely that none of these executives donate to worthy causes, or to help those less fortunate than themselves.

        Beside this, even if I am totally wrong about these executives, and wrong about people generally… let’s say I am, and that people are basically self-interested a-holes. Then that gives legitimacy to libertarianism, because the state is a lever of power that can be used to the benefit of skilled operators. It makes no sense to give deadly force to a small group of people, when there’s a good chance some of them are bad apples.

        Still not getting your position. Can you state it in simple terms, so that I understand?

        Lowe

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • A common criticism of libertarianism is that there is no such thing as a ‘libertarian country’, but seldom, especially in the past few decades, is there any form of government that follows an absolute rigid framework. Instead, there are hybrid forms of movement or mixed forms of economies like China, which is still communist, but allows capitalism.

        grey enlightenment

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • “Do regular people seem mercenary to you? They definitely don’t seem that way to me.” ———————————–

        Most municipal employees are ‘regular people.’ That should answer your question about the distribution of mercenaries among regular people.

        Curle

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • I strongly suspect that most subprime auto borrowers are more like the woman in the story buying cars they don’t need and can’t afford than the wise net-present-value-maximizers envisioned by clueless libertarians.

        This is bullshit.

        Subprime lending exists because liberal social engineers coerce and threaten the private sector to malinvest in non-productive areas. In a libertarian economic environment there would be no free market support for minority car ownership, low emission vehicles, feminism, affirmative action, or 90% of what you accuse libertarian economics of causing.

        Subprime loans are no more the fault of libertarians than Obama is Friedrich Hayek.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • When did you stop being one, and why?

        He stopped being a libertarian when he stopped understanding the difference between libertarianism and liberalism.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Yeah. The ideas were persuasive once. Life experience changed that. Seen too many monopolies, oligarchies, corruption, human failure, etc. Nice idea I guess. But in that sense communism might have been nice too. Reality not matching ideals? Go with reality.

        ModernReader

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • Mankiw talks so fast, it’s like he’s on crack, speed, and a dozen cups of coffee. he’s a moron.

        TUJ uses the usual, it’s da gubment’s fault “argument”. there’s never been a truly libertarian country so libertarianism is above criticism. a world of pure imagination. would be funny if this disease weren’t so widespread and malignant.

        after the crisis of 2008-9, Henry Paulson blamed da gubment. it reminded me of if only the fuhrer knew and

        The Law of Gravity is nonsense. No such law exists. If I think I float, and you think I float, then it happens.

        Jorge Videla

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • It was asked “Do people seem mercenary to you?” The implication is since they are not– as a whole– then clubs, Churches, community centers, and other sundry charities would all take care of the needy. Easy peasy!

        The thing is, the entirety of libertarian thought is predicated on homo economicus (as is all of economics, actually); the notion that men and women will all act at all times to maximize their personal profit and utility.

        This core assumption does not describe any human population ever. Ergo the entire thought-edifice is built on a vaporous foundation.

        Note: I used to be libertarianish as well, and still am a small-state guy. Not a weak-state guy, it is important to note. The distinction is important.

        karlub

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ karlub

        No, libertarianism is not built on assumptions about the rationality of human beings. It’s built on a moral precept, that people should be free from the initiation of force. At core it’s about what is right and what is wrong.

        The consequences of everyone being free to pursue their own ends, or the ends of others if they so choose, are immaterial. However it really is ridiculous to see grown people insist that society will fall apart without the state. That people will starve to death, etc.

        As if the state is what puts groceries in the stores, or what provides people with the economic incentive to render goods and serves to others. Or that every human being is a raging animal keen to tear others limb from limb, if not for the state.

        For all the talk around here about being autistic, I can only imagine how autistic you have to be to think there are criminals lurking behind every block, ready to burn and loot at the drop of a hat. Not every neighborhood is a ghetto, remember? Most of them aren’t actually. People get along, believe it or not. Try going outside and seeing just how fantastically people get along, like 99.9% of the time.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ ModernReader

        Except communism was an overwhelming success while libertarianism is a movement of middle class utopian dorks.

        https://eradica.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/old-and-new-gods/

        eradican

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Eradican makes an interesting point – it often seemed to me that an overwhelming majority of American libertarian types are the types of people who would actually have thrived in communist societies: they would have done better with women, they would have been able to pursue educational and career opportunities on a far more egalitarian playing field, and they most certainly would have had the opportunity to subjugate the lower classes to their rule (as the communist countries regularly did). I can only attribute this, in the end, to the success of Western propaganda or, as Josef Stalin called it, “American exceptionalism” (yes, he coined that phrase).

        Negro of the Bongosphere (formerly Viscount Douchenozzlé)

        January 31, 2015 at EDT am

    • Someone should write an article “Classic quotes on the absurdity of libertarianism.” About half of these quotes would come from this blog. And the post above would certainly be one of them.

      Maryk

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • majneb, develop an ideology where you know what you’re talking about. For info on Libertarianism and how its transforming the world today (including making this blog possible), click my link.

      rob

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  3. Libertarians are trolls.

    Kant

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • This comment wins.

      pork chop

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  4. The subprime lenders in this case are like a *huge* percentage of college students, totally ill-suited for college, who think that they’re being wise in taking out student loans to get a degree, only to drop out or barely graduate with a useless degree from a terrible school.

    It is just another form of usury.

    Smart people make the same mistake when they take out loans to enroll in sub-par colleges, grad schools or professional schools. The schools and banks are happy to take advantage of them.

    There really should be such a thing as subprime student loans, and they should be illegal.

    grumpy

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Better to buy a degree from a diploma mill and get top level job at a federal agency. http://reason.com/archives/2005/01/01/cut-rate-diplomas. BTW – I’m surprised Lion hasn’t weighed in on the scandal that is the for-profit online college industry. http://www.republicreport.org/2013/students-across-america-report-deceptions-for-profit-colleges/.

      Curle

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • except a college degree is a requirement of most decent jobs. often not an “economic” requirement, but still a social requirement, a requirement of American society.

      so the student loan is a form mandatory indebtedness. and where is it worst? the Anglo-prole-sphere of course.

      the usurers and the college administrators should be strung up together.

      Jorge Videla

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • Libertarians telling people not to attend college or that it’s overrated are always sending their kids to college. That’s not to say the system is perfect but they won’t even acknowledge the primary purpose of a college education is social prestige. Human factors can’t be figured into their maximum utility claptrap.

        eradican

        January 30, 2015 at EDT am

  5. At its root libertarianism is a moral argument, which is that nobody ought to use force to extract resources from others. Taken to its logical conclusion, it means there cannot be a state.

    The consequences of that absence are immaterial to the moral argument. People may get fleeced. It is not up to anyone else to look after these adults. However, if anyone does decide to take care of them, it will probably be their families and communities.

    Both of which would be much more close knit in the absence of the state, which incentivizes single-motherhood and reliance on outsiders.

    Lowe

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • they will be punished…drrr…

      but you would let those who’ve grifted them go free and keep doing it. your logic applies to straight up conmen.

      it’s none of my bidness when someone gets off on on being grifted….drrrr…..drool….

      Jorge Videla

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ Jorge

        Yes, con men may fleece people, and that does not have the same moral import as robbing someone by gunpoint, in a libertarian moral framework. However this does not mean that free people are not able to use things like credit scores and social ostracism to enforce mores such as “do not fleece people.”

        The irony of your condescending remarks is that, seemingly, you lack the social savvy or experience to see that groups enforce their agreed-upon rules on their members, and on outsiders who want to join. Libertarianism doesn’t require ignoring this fact.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • At its root libertarianism is a moral argument, which is that nobody ought to use force to extract resources from others. …

      But libertarians have no problem with extracting resources by trickery.

      … Taken to its logical conclusion, it means there cannot be a state.

      Empirically this (no state) doesn’t work out so well.

      James B. Shearer

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • There are variations on this, but basically in a libertarian moral framework, confidence games are bad, but not bad like forcible theft, etc. It is about the degree of avoidability. More or less you can’t avoid an armed robber who comes looking for you. However, more or less you can avoid a con man who comes looking for you.

        It’s true it gets gray at times. If someone is not smart at all, can they truly avoid a con man? At some point low intelligence can make an adult like a child. However people can deal with the grayer situations on a case-by-case basis. I understand if you don’t trust others to handle these situations responsibly.

        However, if that is what you think, then you should have even more of a problem with the state, and thus be an even greater libertarian. Leaving the state around is an invitation to all the people whom you don’t trust, to come use to to exploit the vulnerable.

        Unfortunately humankind is nowhere near a stateless society, because of the mass abuse and indoctrination of children, which has reduced even most intelligent adults to a state of unthinking worship toward institutions like the church and the state. Even in the few examples that exist of stateless societies, state-like entities such as churches, cults, and tribes existed. These are state-like in that they claim ownership of their members’ labor (can tithe). People will have to more mature emotionally, before a stateless society is possible. That takes time.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • “People will have to more mature emotionally, before a stateless society is possible. That takes time.”

        You’ve just confirmed a point other commenters have made, which is that Libertarianism could be great for a community of robots or for an emotionally advanced, rational alien species.

        But it’s no good for human beings on Planet Earth. It is not a coincidence that many Libertarians are Star Trek fans. At least LotB grew out of Libertarianism.

        I guess you can take the Star Trek fan out of Libertarianism but you can’t take the Libertarian out of Star Trek?

        Ava Lon

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • James, you’re making that up.

        rob

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ Ava Lon

        Society does not make progress because it is being driven by external forces, or intrinsic physical laws, like the climate. It improves over time, because of the contributions of individuals. The human races won’t ever get to the point, emotionally and intellectually, that it could sustain a free society, unless we work toward it, each in our on small way. Some of us in large ways even.

        Telling each other it just won’t happen, that it’s out of our reach because we’re just too dumb or damaged, or because the worst of us will drag us down, is excuse-making for doing nothing. As if future generations who wind up living under yet another set of rich, lying oligarchs would forgive you for your complacence, if only they could hear your great excuses.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  6. So Big Finance went from housing loans for obviously unqualified people to auto loans for obviously unqualified people. Meanwhile, they’ve been giving college loans to obviously unqualified people for decades. What a racket. The great untold story here is that many of these loans are foisted on NAMs by their ethnic cohort. E.g. smarter than average black or Hispanic floats loan after loan to average and below-average members of his own group. But that would ruin the image of only white people exploit minorities so the Times won’t tell that story.

    There’s a great story at Sailer about a couple from Africa that managed to rack up a million — ONE meeeeeeeeel-yun dollars! — in debt. Amazing. Basically, freeloading on the American system. They haven’t made a mortgage payment in SIX YEARS! Yet they still live in their much-too-big house. Nice work if you can get it.

    Libertarians are imbeciles of one insight. They have one idea and apply it to everything, and they understand nothing about culture, HBD or human behavior in any way. As if offering usurious car loans to a community of Germans would result in the exact same results as offering them to ghetto blacks.

    peterike

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • But that would ruin the image of only white people exploit minorities so the Times won’t tell that story.

      Most corporate retail honchos that exploit NAMs are White.

      JS

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • And it makes sense that corporate retail install as many stores in NYC as they can, since it’s the most profitable to do so. NYC’s SWPL population would never take a job at Walgreens, but will happily shop there as always, which allows the corporate masters to pay measly wages to NAMs who work there, most of whom live in public housing or draw some other form of welfare not afforded to proles. I’m thinking the “powers to be” already know this and just loves this arrangement. Don’t be surprised if some corporate CEO comes out and show solidarity with de Blasio with his affordable housing initiative.

        JS

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Libertarians just think it isn’t their business, or yours, what blacks do with their money. Whether that is use it wisely or waste it. Most advocate that since it isn’t your business, you shouldn’t have to pay for it, if the money is wasted after all.

      Doesn’t that sound good to you? Letting other people experience the negative consequences of their poor decisions? For example, letting the Ghanian immigrants get kicked out of the home they cannot afford? Libertarianism sounds like exactly what you should want, and yet you describe its proponents as imbeciles.

      The same goes for the Lion, frankly. If libertarian principles were brought to bear on the federal gov’t, there’d be a lot less giveaways for the obscenely rich, who lobby in their own interests. The fewer gov’t programs, the less there is to lobby for. Isn’t that what the blog author wants?

      Lowe

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • People are born stupid or smart, with low future-time-orientation or high. Expecting poor people to become wiser with more libertarian economics is like expecting children who perform poorly on reading tests to magically become smart if only we can figure out a better way to educate them.

        The only effective way to reduce bad behavior and low intelligence is to prevent people like that from breeding and passing on their genes.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Low intelligence is more of a problem than low future time orientation. Honestly, many Americans from all walks of life are impulsive when it comes to money.

        Guys like peterike will give attractive White women a free pass and not speak of their spending problems, who’ll waste every dime on frivolous consumption (that’s more than 50% of SWPL female demographic in NYC).

        JS

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Okay, now your position makes more sense. If poor people are poor almost entirely because of bad decision they made due to their genes, then giving them the chance to learn from their mistakes will not help them, because they will not learn.

        I guess, what I would wonder is, do you think poor people could find some basic level of subsistence where they can’t make mistakes that ruin their lives? I mean, I can only imagine in your life that you must avoid many mistakes, because you have a sophisticated profession. However that isn’t necessarily true of a gas station attendant, a waiter, or a domestic helper.

        Why can’t the genetically poor-off be allowed to find their level naturally? Do others actually have to be forced to pay for their mistakes? With enough negative feedback, I can’t see why an unintelligent person couldn’t make it as a janitor or a servant. Their breeding would also be reduced this way, because they would have fewer resources. This still seems like exactly what you want.

        Lowe

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • “Guys like peterike will give attractive White women a free pass and not speak of their spending problems, who’ll waste every dime on frivolous consumption”

        What now?? When did I become the excuse maker for attractive white women?!?

        peterike

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • I’m like a partial libertarian. Libertarian on market issues, neocon on fed and fiscal policy, and right of center on social issues, Although low IQ people make poor decisions, that doesn’t mean we have a moral obligation to prevent them from digging their own graves. If we let them fall between the cracks, the ground will seal and they will disappear.

        grey enlightenment

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • People criticize libertarians under fake concern for the low IQ people getting fleeced. But the truth is, a lot of these critics are just jealous they’re not the ones doing the fleecing.

        Most Marxists pretend to have compassion for the poor, when really, they’re just jealous of the rich

        That doesn’t make them wrong however, but they shouldn’t pretend they’re compassionate people when they’re really just jealous people

        pumpkinperson

        January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ grey enlightenment

        Good comment.

        Like most right-leaning people, I’m sympathetic to some libertarian viewpoints (say, eliminating deductions for mortgage interest) and less so others (open borders, not sending dangerous people to prison, common-sense regulation of drugs, guns, publicly traded securities, heck, probably usurious car loans.)

        I can’t help but notice all the absurd contradictions libertarians run into in real world situations. For example, no one with a professional license, such as a doctor or lawyer could claim to be libertarian, because a professional license is just the state selecting a few people into a cartel that corners the market.
        Same goes for tenured college economics professors, who live a comfortable life outside the competitive labor marketplace all thanks to the government.

        Ava Lon

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • Doesn’t that sound good to you? Letting other people experience the negative consequences of their poor decisions? …

        Large numbers of starving desperate people roaming the streets? Strangely enough that doesn’t sound so good to me.

        James B. Shearer

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ Ava Lon

        Why wouldn’t professional licensing wouldn’t exist without a state? Most professional bodies exist outside the state, although they receive its sanction. Removing the state wouldn’t remove the social proof these organizations have, nor would it prevent new professional bodies from emerging, and gaining social proof through third-part audits, etc.

        I understand if you don’t trust that people are competent to the task of managing these organizations responsibly, although this does run counter to the fact that many people take pride in the quality of their work, and of their profession, and want to maintain it, with no regard for the state’s rules.

        However if you do not trust people at all to do this, then why would you trust anyone to run the state? The state is the ultimate moral hazard. If people generally cannot be trusted to form and run professional licensing organizations responsibly, then they definitely cannot be trusted to form armies and impose taxes responsibly.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ James B. Shearer

        It is sad to think that so many people would starve, even with the many people who would probably donate to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other charities, and all the money that would be freed up for this, in the absence of the taxes of the state.

        As you can tell, I don’t believe in that situation at all. However I can see why you might. Lots of people are undeserving of our good faith. Many people are not naturally intelligent or conscientious, and many more are wounded internally by bad childhoods. These people may need strong guidance (even violent at times) to prevent them from hurting others. Is there any reason such guidance could not be found in a stateless society? Wouldn’t their neighbors, community leaders, and surrounding property owners have an interest in policing the behavior of potential troublemakers, while maintaining fairness?

        Even assuming the situation you describe is inevitable, this sounds like a problem that the state helped to create, by subsidizing the reproduction of the naturally indigent and criminal. Why should future, stateless people be held accountable for fixing a problem that past, state-having people created? Maybe it is just in the cards for a lot of people to die of starvation. That is sad, but no more so than the many who starve right now, under the watchful eye of the state.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • What now?? When did I become the excuse maker for attractive white women?!?

        When you rag about blacks, and skirt the fact that they are the foremost problem in America, together with the utterly ignorant behavior of proles and the intentional obliviousness of SWPLs, especially their self righteous women. Furthermore, you often point out the problems of Chinamen and Hispanic invaders (which I do agree with you on many points), but they aren’t the most serious of offenders.

        You have a parasitical, welfare mooching, belligerent black demographic in America being lauded as honorable and morally deserving above everyone else, except White liberals, who don’t care about anything else, as long as it doesn’t personally effect them, and their prole counterparts, who are just downright dumb and unable to act accordingly, as this country evolves into a cesspool wasteland.

        JS

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ Lowe,

        I agree with you that if there was no state, groups of powerful people would probably still work together to screw over weaker people and make it look legitimate. (That’s the whole point of licenses and other cartels/monopolies.)

        But then again, Somalia and most of tribal Africa is a stateless society and I’m not sure what kind of licensing goes on there. And if the federal, state, and local governments collapsed where I live there would be bigger problems to worry about.

        Your fantasyland hypothetical confirms my original point that real world is too messy and complicated for a simplistic ideology like Libertarianism to be useful. I’m still sort of sympathetic to it, I used to be more so, but I grew out of it.

        Ava Lon

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ Ava Lon

        I agree that part of the motivation of licensing is to keep people out of a certain profession, to keep wages higher than they would be otherwise. Needless to say I do not approve of this. However, at least in part, licensing serves a worthy social function. Professionals need some way to show that their skills have been tested against a known standard, and found satisfactory. This is a legitimate need, and one that would be addressed in a free society.

        Not seeing how my explanation falls into fantasy land. Maybe you don’t understand that professionals have a strong vested interest in the public perception of their field, and the trust placed in them by strangers, who come to them for services. Maybe you aren’t any kind of professional, so you don’t get that this is a need that would be met in a free society, because so many people want and need it.

        Maybe you don’t get that people form groups and make agreed-upon rules, in order to get what they need. You must have grown out of those inarguable observations on life. Yes, like you, I can be condescending to others.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • it seems lion and i agree on eugenics and agree that some sort of eugenics isn’t only permissible but mandatory, that the prevailing free market in human reproduction is a complete failure and causes needless suffering. this is surprising as Jews post-Holocaust are especially opposed to eugenics.

        at the same time i expect the results of eugenics would be disappointing to hereditists.

        Jorge Videla

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ pumpkinperson

        Marxism isn’t about jealousy it’s about understanding and seizing power. You don’t change society with ideas but with power hence why blogging is a failure despite being “correct” on all the issues. Some people here would prefer to spend their entire lives documenting problems than actually fixing them.

        eradican

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • libertarians don’t understand people or they have no conscience.

      large human societies are not rational. social institutions and norms have inertia. they don’t stand or fall by common consent. the reason is that most people are sheep. they conform in thought, not just in deed, if it is expedient, and they do so automatically, without reflection. so that the people at the top are the true believers. exactly those who are least likely to effect change.

      If I work for a big corporation which claims that its product is better than that of all competitors, the question whether this claim is justified or not in terms of ascertainable reality becomes irrelevant. What matters is that as long as I serve this particular corporation, this claim becomes “my” truth, and I decline to examine whether it is an objectively valid truth.

      from Fromm’s afterward to 1984.

      is the Pope Catholic?

      Jorge Videla

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ Jorge Videla

        Societies being rational, and social institutions and norms having no inertia, are not tenets of libertarianism. Those sound like implementation problems. Like, society is largely irrational, so we would have a hard time forming a libertarian society out of it. Or the state has inertia, so it would be hard to abolish.

        Those sound like hard problems, and I agree that they are there. Most people are kind of sheep-like, and easily cowed by purported moral authority. I totally agree. However that doesn’t reflect on the core of libertarianism, a moral framework that merely says that initiating force is wrong, whatever your motives.

        Also, while a goal may be hard to get to, for many reasons, that does not make it impossible, nor unworthy. In the beginning of the abolitionist movement, I am sure the institution of slavery was daunting.

        While I did once read guys like Hayek and Rothbard, I learned most of what I know about libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism from a guy named Stefan Molyneux. He runs a podcasting website called Free Domain Radio. He’s a frequent speaker at libertarian conventions. I encourage you and others to take a look at his work.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

  7. A core value of both conservatism and libertarianism is the idea of personal responsibility. People should be able to make decisions, and then be held accountable for them. The reason why there is no such thing as usury is not because everyone makes decisions that we think are smart, but because it is immoral to interfere with consensual behavior.

    BehindTheLines

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Yes.

      Lowe

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • “People should be able to make decisions, and then be held accountable for them.”

      Actually, in many cases no, they shouldn’t. Pecause people are biological organisms that despite some capacity for rational thought are frequently ruled by emotions and their own cognitive limitations.

      To start out on the extreme end, for example, people generally shouldn’t be allowed to kill themselves, or others. People shouldn’t be allowed to drink alcohol or drugs and then get behind the wheel of an automobile. People shouldn’t be allowed to possess or consumesubstances that are extremely addictive and injurious to themselves or others. People shouldn’t be allowed to contract themselves into indentured servitude. So it goes…

      majneb

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ majneb

        Yes, but nothing you have said contradicts the claim that people should be held accountable for their actions. You apparently agree with this, and have a whole list of actions for which you’d like people held accountable…

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • “it is immoral to interfere with consensual behavior”

      According to who? Did a libertarian god that I don’t know about deliver this on libertarian tablets to a libertarian Moses?

      Lions schoolmate might have a different moral view on this vis-a-vis the legality of consuming bath salts, but he was, sadly, eaten.

      Dan

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Well, you probably wouldn’t be interested in a kind of philosophical debate about the underlying axiom of libertarianism. That is that initiated force against others is wrong. There are justifications for it, one of which I think this the correct one. This one is based on the assumptions of argument, which can get an idea of from the Wikipedia entry on “discourse ethics.”

        We’ll sidestep that, though, since it is boring. Instead let’s note that you are free to hold whatever view. Likewise you are free to eat whatever you please, regardless of what dieticians or nutritionists might say. It is up to you. Libertarians are content to leave you alone to believe or eat whatever you please. Are you willing to let them alone, to do what they please? To be free of initiated force, as they prefer?

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • Whatever, man. Clearly I was not trying to insult your intelligence, so maybe lay off on sounding like you want to challenge me to a duel.

        If you can’t handle the consensual behavior of other people, so much so that you need to inferfere with it violently, or praise those who would do so for you, then I guess you’re just a jerk.

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Lowe — No worries. I guess I can be enthusiastic on this topic because I too was where you are. The first ballot I ever cast was in 1996 for Harry Browne.

        I actually do have an open borders policy but it comes with a caveat. Every person who wants to migrate has to find one person who agrees to go in the opposite direction. If a population makes some country into a craphole, then obviously it will be hard to find any takers. This would fix the problem of floods of humanity from such countries ruining civilization where it still remains.

        Dan

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  8. Even if these people bought cars they could afford they’d probably still take out Car Title Loans at crazy rates down the road.

    Many lower income people people fortunate enough to have a paid-off car with a value in the 4-7k range end up taking out a $3k or so title loan. They end up paying 80-100% interest on that loan to keep their car since the payment plan is geared towards extending that loan as long as possible, and they’re too financially inept to see the ramifications of that.

    Camlost

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • True. What they need is to listen to Dave Ramsey. He tells you how to buy a used car and then “trade up” over time. I bought my nephew a DVD about how to buy a used car without getting ripped off. He’s too young to drive, so I’ll have to give it to him in a few years. But I’m going to try to make him knowledgeable about car ownership so he gets a good head start. Future time-orientation can never start too soon.

      Maryk

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • MaryK, don’t talk about Dave Ramsey on this board to much or you’ll earn yourself the dreaded “prole” tag. lol

        Camlost

        January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • Not all states allow title loans.

      Peter

      ironrailsironweights

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  9. In today’s society having high future time orientation gives you no incentive if you’re

    1) Not working in a secure high paying job, or

    2) Not a female with White privilege

    This being said, with Obama’s America and I assume going forward, NAMs get a free pass for their poor decisions, and proles do not. However, being a righteous prole means you’re an obliging chump to liberal Whites.

    JS

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  10. I believe the classical definition of usury — at least as Catholicism has traditionally understood it — is any profitable loan that has recourse beyond some specifically defined asset that serves as collateral for that loan. It isn’t really a function of the interest rate charged. So for example, any for-profit auto loan where the lender has recourse beyond the car (serving as collateral) for which the loan was used to purchase, is usurious. Any for-profit personal recourse or full recourse loans would be usurious (at any interest rate so long as it’s for profit).

    Andrew E.

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  11. What the advocates of subprime lending fail to mention is that an increase in the interest rate leads to an increase in the default rate. High interest is supposed to compensate for default but it actually causes default.

    Michael Milken (the famous junk bond investment banker) solved this dilemma by meticulously investigating finances of businesses before lending to them. In this way, he selected borrowers who most likely would repay the high interest loans. Milken was like a parasite who lives off his host but does not kill it.

    A usurer is a parasite who kills his host and then moves to another one.

    WRB

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  12. lion is right.

    in his autobiogrphy Unregulated Economist Stigler says,”usury laws hurt the poor.”

    i kid you not.

    that’s when i knew libertarians were either aspies or evil.

    but still the regulation of life insurance is so laxm it’s “the payday lender of the middle class”.

    Jorge Videla

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Sure Jorge, go back to burning Jews for usury law violations as they did in old Spain.

      rob

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  13. I used to be a libertarian as well, until I realized what is necessary for it to be practical: a high trust, ethnically and culturally (mostly) homogenous society, comprised of people of above average intelligence, with an above average work ethic.

    Those conditions have not existed in this country since at least Grover Cleveland’s presidency, if not earlier than that, and in fact we are headed in the opposite direction at alarming speed. The movie Idiocracy was made 9-10 years ago, set 500 years in the future. Mike Judge will turn out to have been uncannily prescient; the only thing he will have been off about was the timing.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • I used to be a libertarian as well, until I realized what is necessary for it to be practical: a high trust, ethnically and culturally (mostly) homogenous society, comprised of people of above average intelligence, with an above average work ethic.

      That only shows libertarianism is incomplete without an understanding of evolutionary adaptations to different social environments. It does not mean libertarian economics by itself is wrong.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Undiscovered, that’s why Libertarians begin with spread of the Libertarian pledge and general conversancy with working libertarian-based solutions, on of which is federalism/localism.

        rob

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • and where those conditions obtain there is much more redistribution and higher taxes and so forth.

      and this is exactly as one should expect. as soon as race or creed an’t be used as excuses, everyone becomes a “socialist”.

      an American interviewing a Swede referred to Sweden’s current government as “conservative”.

      no. there are no conservatives in Sweden. the current government is just not majority socialist.

      Jorge Videla

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • @ Sgt. Joe Friday

      I agree that libertarians seldom discuss the effects of dysgenic breeding and ill-conceived immigration policies. I also agree that these are serious problems, which threaten the emergence of a libertarian society. I think these problems will be worked out, and I also think there would be negative feedback against these problems, in a state-less society (whereas the state limits such feedback through its social welfare programs, graft, and cronyism).

      That is neither here nor there, though. The fundamental moral and economic ideas of libertarianism are not violated in the recognition of these problems. You seem still be a libertarian to me, just one who notices that non-Westerners mostly lean toward fascism or socialism, and might not be assets in the march toward a freer society.

      Lowe

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

  14. So are banks bundling piles of lousy car loans and selling them as securities, the way they did with mortgages? I would think not since the resale value of a car always and only goes down, whereas real estate was supposed to go up forever. But I wouldn’t put anything past our bankster overlords.

    peterike

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  15. “they probably irrationally overvalue having a blingy car”. Do you have data to prove that having a used Ford Fiesta will make her better off? We are talking about a woman here. A better life will materialize if she gets a better husband. Will a blingy car increase her chances? Oh, yes it will – just like a blingy everything else on/around her. Trivial Physics of shiny things. All women know it. Birds and bees know it too. No need to have much IQ for it.

    MyTwoCents

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • A blingy car will help a man score a chick. I don’t think it works much the other way around. In fact, a man may be intimidated if the girl has a sweeter ride than he has. A woman is much better off spending money on a personal trainer or a stylist to stay slim and well dressed, if it’s a man she’s looking for. Fit and slim always wins. I mean, you wanna data a fat slob in a BMW, or a hottie in a Fiesta? The question answers itself.

      peterike

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • What man gives a shit what kind of car a woman has? If she wants a better husband she just needs to get into good shape.

      chairman

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Nope. What attracts a better husband is being pretty, feminine, agreeable, and ideally young as well. The number of heterosexual men who car how much “bling” a woman is adorned in is close to zero.

      Sgt. Joe Friday

      January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  16. Or, as the saying goes, “People who are crazy about THE FOUNTAINHEAD have water on the brain.”

    Mark Caplan

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  17. What is true of auto loans is also true of many other decisions libertarians would push on their dumber bretheren.

    Other examples include drug use, relationship and divorce freedom, the possibility to ‘choose’ a gender other than the one you actually are, and of course, the right for everybody to vote.

    Regarding the last one, why on earth did they get rid of the 50 acre property requirement? I saw an article recently that Hyattsville, Maryland, a blue ghetto with single-digit voter turnout for primaries, was extending the vote to 16 and 17 year olds. If those children vote in school they will control the local government. What a joke.

    Dan

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Assuming that they’ve got civics classes in the local high school, I’d trust juniors and seniors to be a lot more informed than the typical adult. I’d love to see some kind of education-based program that would give the vote and other adult responsibilities to people at younger ages, but only to those who contribute to society. Graduate high school at 17 and have a part-time job from which you pay taxes? You get to vote on graduation day; no waiting until you turn 18. Want to drink alcohol when you’re younger? Don’t drive an automobile (it’s drinking and driving that’s dangerous, not drinking by itself), finish high school, and you can drink at other people’s driving age.

      These ideas are not like the much-maligned poll tax and literacy tests of old. These are ways to extend adult privileges to people who are not yet adults, but have demonstrated that they are ready for adult responsibility.

      Kyo

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

  18. If taking advantage of stupid people should be illegal then there’s plenty of businesses aside from subprime lending to take a look at.

    If these people get a loan they complain, if they get denied for a loan they complain.. who cares.

    H

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  19. People are commenting on the borrowers being stupid. I think people buying these auto loans are acting even more irrational. Cars depreciate a lot faster than houses and unlike student loans auto loans can be discharged in bankruptcy.People stop making payments when they run out of money or the car needs major repairs. I have a relative who bought a used car on credit last year despite not paying off his three previous vehicles.

    Mercer

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • The buyers of these loans are not so foolish. They are asset-backed loans. The loan owner gets to repossess the car if you miss a payment. This makes owning this kind of loan much better than owning unsecure credit card debt with a similar interest rate. If the car buyer made some payments before defaulting, the default might not even be a loss for the lien-holder.

      Dan

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

  20. Usury is a perfectly good term for the practice of somebody paying you to use your property. All you need to do is look at it. It was turned into a verbal spitball by people who have nothing better to do with their time than to dictate to other people how they are to live their lives.

    Tiomoid of Angle

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  21. There is no such thing as debtor’s prison. creditors have little recourse when someone doesn’t pay; hence lots of defaults and high interest rates. They can try to seize goods, but often there is little to take and the resale value is low. Second, in the post-2008 economy it’s harder than ever for average people to get credit. Even I wasn’t able to qualify for a high interest loan on lendingclub. The 2008 crisis saw a lot of deadbeats make bad investments (0 down housing in crappy, overbuilt areas) and walk away when the market went south; huge companies like Cit group, Freddie, Fannie, Citi, Bank of America bore the losses and went bankrupt and or were bailed out, destroying billions of dollars of shareholder equity in the process. The victims in the 2008 crisis wasn’t so much the ‘innocent; borrower’, but the shareholders of these companies, their employees, and so on. Come to think of it, the deadbeats came out ahead.

    grey enlightenment

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  22. Additionally, leftist policy was a major contributing factor for the housing crisis. That’s what libertarian bloggers have been saying all along, about the politicians and leftist pressure groups that forced this reckless lending. From Wikipedia:

    “The National Homeownership Strategy: Partners in the American Dream”, was compiled in 1995 by Henry Cisneros, President Clinton’s HUD Secretary. This 100-page document represented the viewpoints of HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, leaders of the housing industry, various banks, numerous activist organizations such as ACORN and La Raza, and representatives from several state and local governments.”

    As long as home prices were rising this scheme was sustainable, and then it all fell apart.

    grey enlightenment

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Great point. The socialist policies of the state prevent the free market from correcting course before more serious capital misallocation occurs. A minor crisis averted, and a major one ensured.

      Lowe

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • This is total nonsense. From Conclusions of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (http://fcic.law.stanford.edu/report/conclusions):

      “In conducting our inquiry, we took a careful look at HUD’s affordable housing goals, as noted above, and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA was enacted in 1977 to combat “redlining” by banks—the practice of denying credit to individuals and businesses in certain neighborhoods without regard to their creditworthiness. The CRA requires banks and savings and loans to lend, invest, and provide services to the communities from which they take deposits, consistent with bank safety and soundness.”

      “The Commission concludes the CRA was not a significant factor in subprime lending or the crisis.”

      The sub-prime mortgage crises was created by a collapse of lending standards. Mortgages were packaged into securities that hide the underlying risk. The securities were so complex that buyers could not evaluate the risk themselves. They relied on rating agencies who were paid off to rubber stamp these securities as safe investments. The creation of this financial market where extremely high risk securities could be resold as very safe caused the collapse in lending standards by companies that originated mortgages. This then brought many buyers into the market that could not afford to own a home and caused the housing bubble.

      There is nothing inherently evil with sub-prime lending. The evil happens when wall street wizards claim to have found the secret to changing high risk investments into safe, low risk investments. In the sub-prime mortgage crises they claimed to have developed computer models that proved the repackage high risk mortgages were now low risk. There models were completely wrong, of course, but they were too complex for anyone to understand.

      With sub-prime auto loans I have heard that some people argue they are safer than you would think because the cars they make these loans on are now equipped with devices that allow the company holding the loan to remotely disable the car if the borrower falls behind on the payments. The claim is, this reduces delinquencies and these devices make it easier to recover the car in the event of default. This is obviously true to some extent. As long as this does not lead to a complete collapse in lending standards, it should not cause a crisis, although I hear ads on the radio that lead me to believe that lending standards may be collapsing in the auto market now too.

      MikeCA

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

  23. Libertarians argue that things like usury help the poor because it gives them an opportunity to get services and good when if the usurious rates were not allowed no loans at all would be available to them.

    Of course at the same time they take off the table all policy options that can similarly help the poor WITHOUT their needing to dig a deeper hole for themselves.

    chairman

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  24. “Across the country, there is a booming business in lending to the working poor — those Americans with impaired credit who need cars to get to work.” I didn’t see one single source in the story who fit this profile. Not one borrower quoted had a job.

    Sheila Tone

    January 28, 2015 at EDT pm

  25. It is much more valuable to have fancy BMW when you are 20 than when you are 40, because such car could get you hot chicks more easily when you are 20. If you take account this, those loans might make lot of sense.

    tmmm

    January 29, 2015 at EDT am

  26. “Libertarian types would argue that there’s no such thing as usury. They would say that poor people are making wise decisions based on their need for a car to get to work”

    No they wouldn’t. They’d say it’s not your place to tell people what decisions they can make for themselves. Do you want people telling you how to run your life? Of course not. But don’t let that get in the way of a good straw man.

    A lot of people confuse tolerance with an endorsement. Most libertarians oppose alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, sub-prime loans, promiscuity, etc and would advise others of the risks involved. But they wouldn’t punish someone for doing it. The consequences of behavior are their own punishment. By the way, if you outlaw those things then it will just go underground with even worse consequences, such as organized crime during prohibition or the drug war now. Do you realize nearly every one of those listed has an illegal counterpart? I’ll take casinos and sub prime loans over bookies or loan sharks any day.

    Nor are most libertarians as rigid and extreme as their detractors portray them. Most are not anarchists. Most support national defense and property rights as well as laws against DWI, pollution, etc. What libertarians oppose is the nanny state. They’d cut welfare back to subsistence but very few would let someone freeze or starve. That’s the same kind of bullshit liberals say about conservatives. The reason leftists make those dishonest claims is that they can’t support their own emotionally based views.

    destructure

    January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • The extreme concentration of wealth affects the liberty of all who don’t own property. Taking orders from a boss to work a job to survive is not liberty. Changing masters, I mean, employers at all is not liberty.

      Kant

      January 29, 2015 at EDT am

      • Freedom creates wealth, though. If we were all freer, we’d be wealthier. Then you wouldn’t have to work for a boss as much as you do now.

        Not that any of that matters, because you don’t have an alternative. You either work for a living for a capitalist boss in a free society, or you can work in worse conditions for a state-sanctioned crony-capitalist boss, in a society where state-enforced regulations inhibit your social mobility.

        Take your pick. Seriously. Those are your options. There is no third way. This seems to be something regular conservatives just don’t get, apparently. The state won’t allow you to shrink it back to just whatever laws against gay marriage, pot smoking, etc, you might want personally. It’s either all or nothing. Just be an adult and face it.

        I would like to see Lion write a post about the state, and its legitimate role in society, if there is any. Every so often I read as he talks trash about libertarians, and yet I haven’t ever seen him seriously address the ideas. If the state is a necessity, why? Just to take care of genetically stupid people? Why can’t free people do that? Is there some metaphysical rule that you need a gigantic, tax-collecting, army-raising gang to feed and clothe the poor? Really?

        Lowe

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • You remind me of a video by a black woman I saw on youtube. She was talking about how ridiculous it was that people had to pay rent and buy groceries. She was shaking her head incredulously saying, “Can you believe people STILL have to pay rent and buy food? Those are basic necessities you HAVE to have. You’ve got no choice but to work if you want to eat and have a place to live. How ridiculous is that? How is that any different than slavery?” As if someone owed her free room and board and was shocked that, in 2010, people still had to work and buy these things for themselves.

        Well, I’ll tell you the difference between that and slavery. The difference is that you have the CHOICE to “change masters”. You can live anywhere you want, go to school anywhere you want and work anywhere you want. You can even start your own business. But it’s voluntary. So far as the government keeps it’s nose out of it. Government is the primary obstacle to liberty in today’s world. Everything else is between you and others to negotiate according to your own wants and abilities. Sounds like liberty to me.

        A lot of people raised in middle class homes feel just as entitled as the black woman in that video. They think they’re SUPPOSED to have certain things given to them. She thinks she’s owed free room and board and middle class whites think they’re owed… what? A managerial position? Executive VP at a fortune 500? And if they don’t get it then they think they’re getting screwed. What have they (or you) done to earn any of that? Gone to school? Good for you. Lot’s of people have gone to school. That doesn’t entitle them to a “golden ticket” to ride Life’s train for free. It would be oppression if you got any of those without earning them. Because you can only get them for “free” if they’re paid for by someone else.

        If you want a socialist utopia then have at it. You have the freedom to do that in free market. Form a commune and pool your income. Nothing is stopping you. But you won’t do it. Because you would be worse off. You’d be the donkey pulling the cart while the slackers rode in it. Instead, you want government to FORCE those more successful than you to pull the cart while you ride in it.

        destructure

        January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • I hate the government too. Working people should have the right to determine their lives via worker coops and democracy in the workplace. Like I said before, Libertarians are trolls.

        Kant

        January 30, 2015 at EDT am

      • “Well, I’ll tell you the difference between that and slavery. The difference is that you have the CHOICE to “change masters”. You can live anywhere you want, go to school anywhere you want and work anywhere you want. You can even start your own business. But it’s voluntary. So far as the government keeps it’s nose out of it. Government is the primary obstacle to liberty in today’s world. Everything else is between you and others to negotiate according to your own wants and abilities. Sounds like liberty to me.”

        Actually you don’t. The vast majority of people stay at their jobs from a lack of choice. It is interest of employers to not have employees with choice. See NAIRU or the reserve army of labor.

        No you can’t start a business other than the most low cost startup. A few firms dominate every sector of the economy…can one just compete with GM? Has any domestic company come ever in the last 30 years? Any firm that comes close to competing is just bought out anyway.

        In a right libertarian dream, property owners would use whatever force they could to pacify workers. Corporate oligarchy is the natural consequence of right libertarianism.

        Kant

        January 30, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ kant “I hate the government too. Working people should have the right to determine their lives via worker coops and democracy in the workplace. Like I said before, Libertarians are trolls.”

        I don’t hate government. Government has a legitimate role in in supporting national defense and property rights. What I disagree with is excessive government.

        What you want is to increase wages by restricting the supply of labor. You want to create a labor monopoly and exclude anyone who’s not a member of that monopoly. Who are you to say someone doesn’t have a right to work and feed their family?

        **
        **
        The vast majority of people stay at their jobs from a lack of choice.

        The vast majority of people stay at their jobs because it’s easier. If you owned a business you’d know that a lot of people are dumb, lazy and make excuses. When I find someone who is smart, hardworking and takes responsibility I put them on a list to watch, develop and promote. You people are crabs in a bucket trying to pull each other down. Successful people are usually reaching down looking for someone to pull up.

        No you can’t start a business other than the most low cost startup.

        Harley Davidson, Lotus Cars, Disney, Hewlett Packard, Maglite, Mattel, Yankee Candle, Apple, Google,
        Amazon all started in someone’s GARAGE and are either the largest, most profitable or recognized leaders in their industry. Sam Walton, Warren Buffet, Ross Perot, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Mark Cuban, Pierre Omidyar, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg all started on their own without big money backing them. Notice that none of these people worked on Wall Street. Even Buffet lived in Nebraska.

        Mostf those were tech companies but you can do the same with fried chicken. Col Sanders started selling fried chicken out of a gas station in a small Appalachian town. “Papa” John sold his car to buy used pizza equipment and sold pizzas out of a converted broom closet in a bar. Starbucks was started by 3 school teachers with $1350 each. It only took them 20 years to become an overnight success. When Whole Foods’ founders were evicted from their apartment they moved into their store. (Been there, done that and have the t-shirt to prove it.) McDonalds, Whataburger, Chick-fil-A, Subway, Chipotle Grill, etc. Practically every chain has a similar story.

        I limited this list to names everyone knows to make the point that the biggest and most successful companies all started small. None of these people had large money backing them. And it took some of them decades to get where they are.

        Tesla aside, it’s probably true that no small company could compete with GM today. Do you really think it’s unfair that you or I don’t have the money to build a automotive plant from scratch? What this really shows is not unfairness but that corporations allow operations on a scale that can’t be achieved by small companies. Are consumers not better off for having access to goods that small companies are incapable of providing?

        Still, there are more opportunities for startups today than when GM was founded. And some of those startups will go on to become the GM of the 22nd century. Just as there are areas where larger companies have the advantage there are also areas where smaller companies do. You can’t start at the top. Do you think I tried to compete with GM or Burlington Northern? No. I went small and planned to expand. To be honest, trying to start too large with too much debt will sink your boat.

        destructure

        January 30, 2015 at EDT pm

      • “What you want is to increase wages by restricting the supply of labor. You want to create a labor monopoly and exclude anyone who’s not a member of that monopoly. Who are you to say someone doesn’t have a right to work and feed their family?”

        Strawman. Everybody who works has a say in the production and distribution of goods if there were freedom (democracy) in the workplace.

        “The vast majority of people stay at their jobs because it’s easier. If you owned a business you’d know that a lot of people are dumb, lazy and make excuses. When I find someone who is smart, hardworking and takes responsibility I put them on a list to watch, develop and promote. You people are crabs in a bucket trying to pull each other down. Successful people are usually reaching down looking for someone to pull up.”

        How does one reconcile the notion of freedom with a boss that simply can choose as he or she wills over their labor? Sounds more like a dictatorship to me. In a true free society, workers have a say in their production. Germany by law requires workers to be compose a large fraction of the board of directors of any company.

        Alan Greenspan himself has testified that worker insecurity is more or less a good thing. At a certain rate of unemployment, workers don’t ask for raises, don’t get poached by the competition, and don’t get benefits. Our corporate oligarchs love this.

        “Harley Davidson, Lotus Cars, Disney, Hewlett Packard, Maglite, Mattel, Yankee Candle, Apple, Google,
        Amazon all started in someone’s GARAGE and are either the largest, most profitable or recognized leaders in their industry. Sam Walton, Warren Buffet, Ross Perot, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, Mark Cuban, Pierre Omidyar, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg all started on their own without big money backing them. Notice that none of these people worked on Wall Street. Even Buffet lived in Nebraska.”

        All straw men again. These people cashed in on EMERGING markets not already established markets. Same with all the companies you list.

        If freedom is the issue at hand, corporate oligarchy presents a significant threat to that freedom. A few firms have the power to lower wages and pass costs over to the consumer from the lack of competition.

        Kant

        January 31, 2015 at EDT am

      • @ kant “Everybody who works has a say in the production and distribution of goods if there were freedom (democracy) in the workplace.”

        If workers want a say in the production and distribution of goods then workers should start their own companies based on that principle. Not try to hijack an already successful company. If your model is so successful then why aren’t all you marxists voluntarily forming communes? There’s no one stopping you.

        Democracy is not freedom. It’s mob rule that violates the freedom of others. I wipe my feet with democracy.

        “How does one reconcile the notion of freedom with a boss that simply can choose as he or she wills over their labor? Sounds more like a dictatorship to me. In a true free society, workers have a say in their production.”

        A boss doesn’t simply “choose as he or she wills” over others’ labor. It’s a mutual arrangement in which one agrees to supply labor in exchange for wages. If the employee doesn’t want to do the job the way the employer wants then they should either leave on their own or the employer should replace them with someone who will. What you want is for workers to hold their employers hostage.

        “Alan Greenspan himself has testified that worker insecurity is more or less a good thing. At a certain rate of unemployment, workers don’t ask for raises, don’t get poached by the competition, and don’t get benefits. Our corporate oligarchs love this.”

        That’s called “supply and demand” and will exist no matter what. However, I disagree that “corporate oligarchs love” it. If worker insecurity is caused by a stagnant economy then they hate it. But if it’s caused by immigration then they get worker insecurity without a stagnant economy. That’s why so many corporations push immigration. It’s one of the most egregious acts against workers there is.

        “All straw men again. These people cashed in on EMERGING markets not already established markets. Same with all the companies you list.”

        Candles, dry goods and fried chicken were an “emerging market”?

        “If freedom is the issue at hand, corporate oligarchy presents a significant threat to that freedom. A few firms have the power to lower wages and pass costs over to the consumer from the lack of competition

        What represents a “threat to freedom” is when people conspire to fix prices and wages through monopolistic actions. That’s true whether those doing it are producers and managers or consumers and employees.

        My views are based on two simple principles — the right to own property and the right to engage in voluntary trade. If people don’t even have those two rights then they’re not free.

        destructure

        January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Pinochet, is that you?

        Kant

        January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

      • “If workers want a say in the production and distribution of goods then workers should start their own companies based on that principle. Not try to hijack an already successful company. If your model is so successful then why aren’t all you marxists voluntarily forming communes? There’s no one stopping you.”

        Corporate oligarchy, again. And now you freely admit workers have no freedom!

        “A boss doesn’t simply “choose as he or she wills” over others’ labor. It’s a mutual arrangement in which one agrees to supply labor in exchange for wages. If the employee doesn’t want to do the job the way the employer wants then they should either leave on their own or the employer should replace them with someone who will. What you want is for workers to hold their employers hostage.”

        “Work or starve”, there is nothing mutual about those choices. Sure there is an “agreement”, sort of like Al Capone with a gun to your face.

        “That’s called “supply and demand” and will exist no matter what. However, I disagree that “corporate oligarchs love” it. If worker insecurity is caused by a stagnant economy then they hate it. But if it’s caused by immigration then they get worker insecurity without a stagnant economy. That’s why so many corporations push immigration. It’s one of the most egregious acts against workers there is.”

        Yeah of course and the supply is tinkered with by corporations and their lobbying power. A priori, no sane employer wants employees with options. The fact that corporations can push immigration is one example of a lack of liberty for workers.

        “Candles, dry goods and fried chicken were an “emerging market”?

        Whole foods cashed in on the “health” food trend. KFC began when workers no longer had time to cook along with all the other fast food joints. The issue is, who competes with these corporations once they have become so large? Again, who competes with Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.,? Who competes with Target, Wal-Mart, etc.? Technological advances are the only way to compete with these huge firms who will do everything in their power to stop these advances so their businesses don’t go extinct. Online file sharing is one example.

        To the point, workers can “start their own business” but the chance of failure is high. If starting your own business was a realistic goal, why is not everyone or even close to more than 1% of the population doing it? PS it’s not because 99% are lazy, it’s because it’s unrealistic and not possible.

        “What represents a “threat to freedom” is when people conspire to fix prices and wages through monopolistic actions. That’s true whether those doing it are producers and managers or consumers and employees.”

        Agreed. This of course is a natural consequence of right libertarianism: corporate oligarchs who fix prices. 99% of the population can theorectically compete but the reality is they will be wage slaves who at best can start a business that will fail.

        “My views are based on two simple principles — the right to own property and the right to engage in voluntary trade. If people don’t even have those two rights then they’re not free.”

        Property is worthless without workers and workers cannot live without work. They are not free without some degree of say in the workplace. Of course, a good libertarian would say “if you don’t like it, well you can ‘choose’ to starve.” Freedom?

        True freedom is when everyone has a say and a choice. In a right libertarian world, a few firms would dominate the means of production allowing workers nothing but the bare minimum necessary to live. If workers don’t like it, the “minimal state” will turn into a police state that counteracts ANY dissent against employers.

        Kant

        January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

      • How much of the prosperity mentioned was mostly a product of 20th century capitalism? A marketplace WITHOUT open borders, deregulation, deindustrialization, and decadent elite. The problems are political and the solutions will be political as well. We’re nearly two decades into the 21s century and little has improved except modern communications technology; which mostly owes its existence to the Cold War. If anything living standards and job opportunities are in decline but this is presented as the “new normal”.

        eradican

        January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

      • @ kant “And now you freely admit workers have no freedom!”

        If an employer doesn’t like the job a worker is doing he can tell his employee to piss off. If an employee doesn’t like his pay or conditions he can tell his employer to piss off. It sounds like workers have just as much freedom as employers.

        “Work or starve”, there is nothing mutual about those choices. Sure there is an “agreement”, sort of like Al Capone with a gun to your face.

        Suppose you were the last person on earth. Your choice is to work or starve. Who are you going to blame for that? You’re no different than the black woman in the video I mentioned. You think the world owes you free room and board.

        Yeah of course and the supply is tinkered with by corporations and their lobbying power. A priori, no sane employer wants employees with options. The fact that corporations can push immigration is one example of a lack of liberty for workers.

        Of course corporations lobby. So do unions and every other special interest. That’s why I don’t like big government. More government means more government abuse.

        Whole foods cashed in on the “health” food trend. KFC began when workers no longer had time to cook along with all the other fast food joints. The issue is, who competes with these corporations once they have become so large? Again, who competes with Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.,? Who competes with Target, Wal-Mart, etc.? Technological advances are the only way to compete with these huge firms who will do everything in their power to stop these advances so their businesses don’t go extinct. Online file sharing is one example.

        Most people on the Forbe’s list don’t work in tech. If the market is already dominated by Whole Foods, KFC, Verison and Walmart then find a way to service them. There’s always a bull market somewhere. Identify the opportunity and fill it. Better yet, create a new opportunity and fill it. But there’s no reason to blaze a new trail. There’s plenty of money to be made following the boring trails others have blazed.

        To the point, workers can “start their own business” but the chance of failure is high. If starting your own business was a realistic goal, why is not everyone or even close to more than 1% of the population doing it? PS it’s not because 99% are lazy, it’s because it’s unrealistic and not possible.

        (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrX9Ca7LSyQ&t=0m10s)

        Agreed. This of course is a natural consequence of right libertarianism: corporate oligarchs who fix prices. 99% of the population can theorectically compete but the reality is they will be wage slaves who at best can start a business that will fail.

        Most people were born to be serfs. Not because anyone is keeping them down but because not everyone has what it takes to build anything better for themselves. They should be grateful for the opportunities created by those who do. You’re right that producers and managers will conspire through monopolistic actions. Consumers and workers will too. Both will use government as well as non governmental means to do it. Government represents a special danger because it is itself a monopoly with the threat of force behind it. I’m always amazed that leftists can recognize the dangers from corporations but not the dangers from government itself. Why is that?

        Property is worthless without workers and workers cannot live without work. They are not free without some degree of say in the workplace. Of course, a good libertarian would say “if you don’t like it, well you can ‘choose’ to starve.” Freedom?

        If I’m paying you to wash my car should you have a say in where I drive it?

        True freedom is when everyone has a say and a choice. In a right libertarian world, a few firms would dominate the means of production allowing workers nothing but the bare minimum necessary to live. If workers don’t like it, the “minimal state” will turn into a police state that counteracts ANY dissent against employers.

        True freedom is when everyone has a say and a choice. In a left authoritarian world, government would dominate the means of production allowing workers nothing but the bare minimum necessary to live. If workers don’t like it, the “people’s republic” will turn into a police state that counteracts ANY dissent against government.

        destructure

        February 1, 2015 at EDT am

      • “If an employer doesn’t like the job a worker is doing he can tell his employee to piss off. If an employee doesn’t like his pay or conditions he can tell his employer to piss off. It sounds like workers have just as much freedom as employers.”

        Such a parting would have little consequence for the employer but could ruin the life of the employee.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 1, 2015 at EDT am

      • “If an employer doesn’t like the job a worker is doing he can tell his employee to piss off. If an employee doesn’t like his pay or conditions he can tell his employer to piss off. It sounds like workers have just as much freedom as employers.”

        Sure. The former happens often while the latter rarely if ever. This sort of thinking stems from Austrian school nonsense, an influence on libertarianism no doubt. The Austrian school explicitly denies empiricism and instead their basis for economics is an axiomatic approach. It’s amazing how far a line of thought can go that has no interest in the real world except for making employers appear to be heroic entrepreneurs coming to save the world.

        When employees had any say in the means in the production (around 1950-1975) they truly did have a choice of employer. Big business of course hates employees with options and has been at war with labour since.

        “Suppose you were the last person on earth. Your choice is to work or starve. Who are you going to blame for that? You’re no different than the black woman in the video I mentioned. You think the world owes you free room and board.”

        Nice straw man and ad hominem! Work is a necessary fact of life and life is not possible without work. The issue at hand, which you have avoided, is that employers have the power to create the conditions of work without any input from the employee (especially in the world of right libertarians). Dickens and Hugo captured the essence of this world: low wages, awful work conditions, and poverty. Employers by default will compensate workers with the bare minimum possible. Hence, “work or starve” is a slogan that goes to show who has all the power in the employment equation. In every society and every epoch people must work, work is necessary which is why it should be an environment that is as fair and democratic as possible.

        “Of course corporations lobby. So do unions and every other special interest. That’s why I don’t like big government. More government means more government abuse.”

        Even in a minimal state, corporations would have excessive power. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-union_violence. The national guard will ensure that workers have no liberty to strike or demand a better quality of life. I guess that is one (of many) liberties that right libertarians don’t think people should have: the liberty to organize.

        “Most people on the Forbe’s list don’t work in tech. If the market is already dominated by Whole Foods, KFC, Verison and Walmart then find a way to service them. There’s always a bull market somewhere. Identify the opportunity and fill it. Better yet, create a new opportunity and fill it. But there’s no reason to blaze a new trail. There’s plenty of money to be made following the boring trails others have blazed.”

        …so ignore the excessive power of corporations and service them? Many of these “great” companies do nothing for society except engage in rent-seeking behavior. They seek to expand for the sake of expansion and not for the good of society. They will end all competition to continue their oligarchy. Again, even in a minimal state, oligarchy would be the norm.

        “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrX9Ca7LSyQ&t=0m10s”

        That’s true. Paris Hilton, the Walton heirs, and George Bush are all extremely competent. They are “tough enough” and deserve their wealth. Right libertarians love to argue that one can just open a business but when confronted they retort with that impracticality that the majority of people are just too stupid, too incompetent, too whatever to succeed. This furthers the case that right libertarianism leads to corporate oligarchy. Enough smart people have been screwed over by their employers to know that it is hogwash. As Lion has noted, corporate CEOs have modest IQs on average.

        Kant

        February 1, 2015 at EDT pm

      • “Most people were born to be serfs. Not because anyone is keeping them down but because not everyone has what it takes to build anything better for themselves. They should be grateful for the opportunities created by those who do. You’re right that producers and managers will conspire through monopolistic actions. Consumers and workers will too. Both will use government as well as non governmental means to do it. Government represents a special danger because it is itself a monopoly with the threat of force behind it. I’m always amazed that leftists can recognize the dangers from corporations but not the dangers from government itself. Why is that?”

        Serfs should be grateful for poor working conditions, low wages, and poverty? Especially when the success of any business depends primarily on labor? Right libertarianism just keeps getting better! Right libertarianism denies liberty for workers to choose their work conditions. The only liberty in right libertarianism is the liberty to exploit workers.

        Stop the straw men. I am just as skeptical of big government.

        “If I’m paying you to wash my car should you have a say in where I drive it?”

        False analogy. This describes a simple transaction. This does not describe at all the power imbalance between employer and employee in negotiating work conditions.

        “True freedom is when everyone has a say and a choice. In a left authoritarian world, government would dominate the means of production allowing workers nothing but the bare minimum necessary to live. If workers don’t like it, the “people’s republic” will turn into a police state that counteracts ANY dissent against government.”

        I have not once championed soviet style communism. This is another straw man. The only philosophy I have put forward is democracy in the workplace. This can be as simple as an annual meeting of worker representatives at a corporation, like a shareholder meeting except all the shareholders aren’t CEOs of other large corporations.

        Kant

        February 1, 2015 at EDT pm

  27. I used to be broadly sympathetic to the libertarians, and while they seem to annoy some people, they are at least not the soulless husks we call liberals, or the cosplayers that call themselves conservatives. The only sensible version of libertarianism is that looking back to when we had it — a hundred years ago or more. Perhaps that idea of liberty is obsolete once we have an economy based on factory workers rather than self-sufficient farmers. These days (post-Thatcher/Reagan, perhaps), libertarianism seems a sterile intellectual posture where adherents lack any desire to actually implement practical ideas.

    As I grow older, it seems ideologies are mostly worthless anyway, and doesn’t guide us far even for organizing the economy. (For example, isn’t the most important question today not left vs right but nationalism vs internationalism?)

    In practice, the US these days is most properly viewed as a nasty alliance of big business and those holier-than-thou without the morals or any real upside to them. We might call that ‘progressive capitalism’, a limp-wristed version of corporatism with Cathedral cheerleading where beta’s job is not to better himself but to yield whatever surplus he produces to those in better need of it.

    Glengarry

    January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • There’s some truth to that.

      destructure

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • techne develops. ideology serves techne or dies.

      Marx’s “materialism” wasn’t vulgar materialism/Dawkins materialism it was technism. to a much greater extent than admitted by HBDers, man creates himself.

      the base determines the superstructure.

      Robert Gabriel Mugabe

      January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

  28. OT- this article is straight up your alley. Lesson for clueless middle-class people with student loan debt who want to self-actualize in the expensive city.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/01/25/sponsored_by_my_husband_why_its_a_problem_that_writers_never_talk_about_where_their_money_comes_from/

    SJ

    January 29, 2015 at EDT am

  29. In this world we have rational, future oriented people, and emotional, present-oriented people. These two tribes don’t interact with each other and are often hostile.

    You have two choices:

    1: A strong government (which is run by emotional people who gravitate towards groups and people).

    Rational people endure getting controlled emotionally and exploited economically.
    In return, emotional people are socially encouraged to avoid vices and are protected economically.

    2: A strong market (which is run by Aspergery nerds who gravitate towards planning and numbers).

    Emotional people are left to their self-destructive vices and are exploited economically.
    In return, rational people are free to live their lives and are protected economically.

    As we are of the future-oriented tribe, you should support #2. Supporting #1 is merely selling out your own tribe.

    Ray Lopez

    January 29, 2015 at EDT am

    • “Emotional people are left to their self-destructive vices and are exploited economically.
      In return, rational people are free to live their lives and are protected economically”

      Unless of course the emotional people’s “vices” include behavior that destroys not only themselves but also the rational people. The problem here is failing to see that unless the emotional people believe, to some extent, that the system is treating them fairly, they will not allow a libertarian society to remain. There will always be more emotional people than rational people. The emotional people could destroy things simply through the vote. But even without political change the emotionalists can do a lot of damage. And zoning laws and gated communities could only go so far in keeping the rabble at bay.

      Maryk

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  30. libertarians have no problem selling cigarettes to children. it’s the kids choice and all.

    laughing children

    January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • laughing children, that was legal in the US until a few years ago, and still legal in many countries. Don’t blame libertarians for other’s problems or your ignorance. Small-l libertarians are just appliers of the ideas.

      rob

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • This is your defense of the state? The thing that has 30-40% income taxes, and bombs Iraqis to death?

      That’s all you have, seriously? That street vendors might hand out cigarettes to minors? Oh, wow, what a tragedy. I’ll let all the people in prison for marijuana use, and all the dead civilians and children hideously burned, know that’s your great moral rebuttal.

      Lowe

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • I’d be willing to compromise and make alcohol, tobacco and drugs a corporal offense ie. flogging, caning, etc. Would that make you happy? No wait. Let’s make it a CAPITAL offense. Let’s throw in gambling and prostitution, too. Seriously. I’m good with that. It’s not my personal preference but it’s better than the half-ass measures we have now that result in organized crime, gang violence, drunk driving fatalities, etc. Over 10,000 people are killed a year by drunk drivers. I know a woman in a coma on life support right now because of a drunk driver. I don’t like the idea of making things illegal but if you’re going to do it then let’s not pussy around. Let’s do it right and put a stop to it once and for all.

      destructure

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Posner takes on the 10,000 deaths issue. Claims that the vast majority of victims are the drunk driver themselves or a passenger; i.e., someone who made a decision to ride with a drunk driver. That only a smallish fraction are like your friend, innocent third parties. He then estimates that there are 12 million drunk driving incidents per year where nothing happens, in other words, a large number of people can operate a vehicle well enough even while drunk. That our current criminal penalty system is way out of proportion to the danger. http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2006/12/drunk-driving–posners-comment.html.

        Curle

        January 30, 2015 at EDT pm

      • apparently d doesn’t know that pornography is prostitution. he’d have to top himself.

        Robert Gabriel Mugabe

        February 1, 2015 at EDT am

    • from the responses it’s clear:

      libertarianism is not a thoroughgoing theory of the state or the economy. it’s just zit popping. no true Scotsman has acne.

      Jorge Videla

      January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  31. These people should not have bought cars to begin with.

    People with good credits tend to have better financial acumen and they do not need usurious institutions to buy stuff they can’t afford.

    Usurious interest rates are high because the default rate is very high. That ‘s common sense which the people paying these usurious rates are unlikely to have.

    toos is god

    January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  32. This was (is) a damn good comment thread.

    peterike

    January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • I agree. I always found libertarianism interesting. Totally unrealistic and impractical – but interesting. Because it has a unifying theme at it’s core (freedom above all else) libertarianism has a consistency to it and therefore, has a certain appeal to people in the same way that other ideologies do. However, I wonder if its been pointed out (probably it has somewhere) that libertarianism tends to draw its recruits from the two segments of the population that the 1960’s New Left and counterculture also did – the upper middle classes and those under 30 (particularly college educated single people under 30.) This to me was always a red flag. Both of these groups (UMC and under-30’s) are well-known for being able to escape the consequences of their actions. Young people are “cushioned” by time and wealthier people by money. You rarely find a 48 year old plumber with a wife and 3 kids in parochial school espousing libertarianism.

      Ultimately, libertarianism is for those with a much rosier view of people than I have. I’m too cynical about human nature to be anything other than a social conservative.

      Maryk

      January 30, 2015 at EDT pm

      • their freedom is slavery Mary. their motivation is justifying to themselves making a living in ways which are or were criminal.

        that’s all it is.

        Robert Gabriel Mugabe

        February 1, 2015 at EDT am

  33. I don’t think anyone here wants to go back to the usury days of restricted loans and a throttled economy before the Libertarians led the coalitions that ended the usury laws in the 70’s. You really want to go to jail for lending someone money at 4%?

    Another effect was legalizing microloans and peer to peer loans helping the poor.

    What the case is about is an irresponsible bureaucrat.

    rob

    January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  34. cars are prole. even expensive ones.

    Walkability, uber credits, private car service of some sort – swpl.

    uatu

    January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

  35. What happened to all the doomsday talk about the upcoming crash in auto loans and student loans? It never materialized just like other libertarian nonsense.

    eradican

    January 29, 2015 at EDT pm

    • Their prediction sounds a lot nicer, than the proles who rage about how higher education is a waste of time and college grads are doomed (because they didn’t learn a trade).

      JS

      January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

      • Ummm isn’t THAT the libertarian position or at least associated with it?

        eradican

        January 31, 2015 at EDT pm

      • I don’t think so. Proles are just as boorish as libertarians, when it comes to public opinions and naysaying. They would critique that college is a waste of time, and students who go into some fluff subjects are idiots because it’s all about practicality with them. The same guys who would attack college professors as never holding a real job and being out of touch, not realizing at all, that the bourgeois are the ones who pull the strings of their proletariat servants.

        JS

        February 1, 2015 at EDT pm

  36. of course government per se is the opposite of a panacea. it usually makes things worse. but only usually, not always. the most important principle of government is that government can change, evolve. because it’s impossible in advance and a priori to say such and such is best. try it. likely it’ll suck.

    today’s world is very different from Patrick Henry’s. a contemporary Patrick Henry would exclaim

    Give me liberty or give me libertarianism which is worse than death!

    Robert Gabriel Mugabe

    February 1, 2015 at EDT pm


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