Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Note to self:

Read this!

Later accretion: This is the 'graph that caught my eye:
I will admit that I do find it odd the way that only certain parts of the, say, Swedish, "miracle" are held up as ideas for us to copy. Wouldn't it be interesting if we were urged to adopt some other Swedish policies? Abolish inheritance tax (Sweden doesn't have one), have a pure voucher scheme to pay for the education system (as Sweden does), do not have a national minimum wage (as Sweden does not) and most certainly do not run the health system as a national monolith (as Sweden again does not). But then those policies don't accord with the liberal and progressive ideas in the USA so perhaps their being glossed over is understandable, eh?

Eh, indeed.

Oh! Actually, I guess I was originally enticed to read the article by this exerpt quoted in Freedom News Daily:
In the USA the poor get 39% of the US median income and in Finland (and Sweden) the poor get 38% of the US median income. It's not worth quibbling over 1% so let's take it as read that the poor in America have exactly the same standard of living as the poor in Finland (and Sweden). Which is really a rather revealing number don't you think? All those punitive tax rates, all that redistribution, that blessed egalitarianism, the flatter distribution of income, leads to a change in the living standards of the poor of precisely ... nothing.

He's being kind. The official stats say they're doing worse than our poor are. Doesn't surprise me a bit. But don't forget the previously cited paragraph.

But who cares about a strong argument? Certainly not the anti-anti-communists!

Oh, crap! Now I've gotta quote Williams:
Often, when people evaluate capitalism, they evaluate a system that exists on Earth. When they evaluate communism, they are talking about a non-existent Utopia. What exists on Earth, with all of its problems and shortcomings, is always going to fail miserably when compared to a Utopia. The very attempt to achieve the utopian goals of communism requires the ruthless suppression of the individual and an attack on any institution that might compromise the loyalty of the individual to the state. That's why one of the first orders of business for communism, and those who support its ideas, is the attack on religion and the family.

I tend to commit the opposite fallacy: I compare governments that exist to the Anarcho-Capitalist Utopia in which any individual may pursue any dream he or she has using all the resources he or she can muster, as long a they don't use physical force against their neighbors (either directly or delegated to an agent or agency).

A lot of thinking has gone into how life in society could be without the threat of force. The masters are, from clearest to deepest, the Tannehills, Murray Rothbard and (who runs the gamut by himself) and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

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