attempting to silence the voices in my head.
now for something completely different: The green party runs ads in Mexico pushing for the Death Penalty.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIpcrsFqtPgDoes this seem very strange to others, or is the green party normally pro- death penalty. i couldnt beleive the ad when i saw it in a movie theater.
Just to take the opposing position...I think the people in the photo might (if they were intellectually interested, which they probably aren't) argue that all those services--stoplight, traffic signs, absence of E-coli, etc.--would still be provided in a perfectly liberal market, but would be provided much more efficiently, whereas as it is now there is much wastage in resource allocation (e.g., perhaps it's a waste to have a traffic sign here, because no-one would pay for it in a perfectly free market, so the resources that went into the sign could have more efficiently gone elsewhere). Somewhat along the lines of Smith's Wealth of Nations.Again, not that I disagree with you. And that's probably not the argument these people would make--they probably just want all the services but don't want to pay for them.
The biggest myth of the right is that capitalism is more efficient than state-run utilities, prisons, medicine etc. the amount of waste and inefficiency in the private sector is criminal. The main difference is that the wealthy are favored by the private sector, so rich and upper-middle-class people think it is more efficient. Poor people wait longer in line at hospitals than they do at the DMV. And if we factor in exorbitant management salaries as waste, the private sector is off the charts.
Anonymous, I hear you but can't say that I agree. Smith argued for real capitalism. I kind of capitalism these people would never support. I agree with you that they would have a hard time elucidating exactly what it is they might support though. David, you are right on. Our system, indeed many systems, relies on poor people being able to shut up and take it. I think the upper classes have absolutely no idea how much more costly it is to be poor. How much more effort is involved.
Yes, I don't think these people would be Smithians. I'm not a political economist so I'm getting a bit out of my depth, but just wanted to point out that the issue is somewhat complicated. I suspect Smith would not think of what we have today as real capitalism, but again I am getting out of my depth and don't want to fall into the "no true Scotsman" fallacy. anyway, thanks both for a good conversation.
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