A Facebook Conversation With a Confused American Statist
A Facebook friend, Jerry Zaski, posted a very interesting link on his wall in which he said: “Let’s think of government as an
industry, where countries and citizens are costumers”. It’s about Patri Friedman’s revolutionary project called Seasteading, a concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea. Patri Friedman, also a Facebook friend, is of course the grandson of legendary economist Milton Friedman.
I posted the following comment: “A good investment indeed. Corporations and entrepreneurs pay more than 30 percent of income tax and other taxes, plus the fact that they also confront all kinds of regulations. Why not create a startup country instead of paying these taxes and being crippled by state regulations?”
Then Zaski’s Facebook friend, Jon Justian, reacted to my comment, saying: “thats what china is.”
Zaski intervened in which he said he doesn’t understand that “that’s what China is” and urged Justian to explain his premise and “use facts only.”
In reply to Justian’s reaction, I made the following comment: “China is akin to a giant HR department that sells cheap labor by enslaving its own people. It does not create wealth. China could have been more productive and wealthier under a truly free market system.”
Here’s what Jon Justian said:
China is a communist state in which all the citizens participate toward the economic goals of the nation just as divisions of a corporation work toward the goals of the corporate entity. The citizens have what is accepted by the world as a …democratic system of election but internally, if you ask the average poor Chinese… that is not the truth. The main difference is that in your opinion, the citizen would have the right to refuse to purchase as a form of revolt but in China, refusal to work results in jail time. What would America do to those who choose ‘not to buy’? would they change what they are selling or simply use the power of the state to imprison violators, or simply tack on more impossible debt for them to crawl out of until they are homeless and die of disease? Perhaps revoke their citizenship and shop them into refugee camps, like other countries have done? Hence the need for startups. We all have the power to fix our nation right now by bothering to take the time to eliminate disposable spending and to choose not to buy products which weaken our local economies by shipping our consumables industry to other countries…. example, without googling, off the top of your head… who is an American cell phone manufacturer? I’ve worked for alot of startups, they typically live on small business loans never really yielding a profit because the international competition for their services is too great in most cases. The only successful startups I have witnessed have been niche players and once a niche dries up, if the proprietors of that business are not MBAs or naturally business minded… they go under. I think people who believe in the free market should read some history books about the industrial boom between 1870 and 1920.
That said, I was tempted to post the following comment: “I think people who believe in socialism or anything that is anti-free market should commit suicide… Well, in reality, that’s what they do.”
Jon Justian: “also, China isn’t a totally free market? why because they have at least some regulations to keep their rivers and ground water from being polluted by industry?”
My reply: “You said it a while ago: “China is a communist state in which all the citizens …””
Jon Justian: “@Froilan: its not marxist communism.”
My reply: “Lol! Yeah! It’s a Chinese communism. And Cuba is a Cuban communism. And Venezuela is becoming a Venezuelan communism. And you are a Justian communist! Get the drift? And murderers are not murderers when you won’t call their crimes murder.”
Then Jon Justian posted a lengthy commentary explaining that he really understood history:
“thats was my point. I’m glad you are able to read in between the lines. You can not be swayed from your ideas. I will only give you a few more instances of history to demonstrate my point and you can choose to learn or ignore… guess what …term is used for the people who ignore? Investigate the history of the term ‘snake oil’, investigate Lidia Pinkham and her miracle cure for all that ails you, investigate the meat packing industry in Chicago, investigate the child labor atrocities of the early 20th, investigate the fire in NYC garment industry, investigate the breakfast cereal industry and how Kellog experimented with preservatives on orphans, investigate the railroad tycoons and how they were able to create a profitable enterprise from their industry, investigate the predecessors of the Hoover damn and how the project manager managed to always be under budget and ahead of schedule… in fact just look at the history of industrialization in this country and you’ll see why the reformers began regulating industry. Now, if you have solutions to preventing these abuses again without regulation or government oversight that don’t involves people being ‘ethical’ or ‘moralistic’ since we know most industrialists are not either of the latter, then hey I say, cool, lets have a free market economy. Just look at Enron, can you even imagine how many people died as a result of their free market system for jockeying the price of electricity around the west coats to the point that California suffered record black outs? How many people on home care without backup generators do you think paid the price for their greed not being kept in check. How many crimes, robberies, stabbings, etc. do you think happened in south central LA when the street lights went off because the city couldn’t pay Enron what they were asking for kilowatt cycles? Why was the price so high? Because Enron, without any government oversight, began to synthesize an artificial marketplace wherein they would sell off large chunks of hours purposefully at a discount to places without necessity(if you buy now when you don’t need it you get it cheaper) that when CA NEEDED electricity, they had to wait for an emergency spending bill to cover the high price. So there’s some data, ingest it if you want, and don’t take my word. I highly encourage you to question these facts and objectively seek the facts rather than being another trolling American who thinks anything will get fixed without personal effort to curtail their own behaviors both economically and ethically.”
And here’s my final reply, ending my interesting conversation with a confused statist:
“Well, then… The only answer is the rule of law. The only answer is: strengthen the courts and make these abusive companies and corporations liable and impose heavy fines for their willful violation of the rights of others. The answer is NOT regulation, because that would give the state more capricious power. But there one abusive giant corporation you missed. Perhaps your knowledge of history is NOT enough. This corporation has the power to kill people and abuse the rights of its members. This corporation is the government. History books show that Soviet Russia and Maoist China killed more than 200 million of their respective citizens combined during peace time. It is the government that must be regulated. The only proper role of the state or the government is to protect individual rights. You may know your history from the leftist perspective, but if you lack proper philosophy, then that would also make you a party to a greater crime: statism. To protect individual rights, the state should make its courts impartial and strong. As long as there are impartial and strong courts, these abusive and murderous corporations you learned from your leftist/liberal history books and professors would be made responsible for their crimes and violations of rights!”
Jerry Zaski sealed the conversation with this excellent comment:
Point well taken Jon. You are well read, and articulate. Just remember that when you study history that there are at least 2 sides to every story. The stories of the native american and the millions of Japanese atomic bomb victims. Industri…alists and business men are the worlds innovators. And it’s free enterprise competition that drives innovation. That’s why Government itself should be a for profit business. Then whatever products or services that they provide would be subject to free market rules. In other words people would vote with their dollars. In the free market people vote with their dollars. Pick any market. If you have company A and company B making and marketing the same product, then quality, price, and maybe some other factors, such as damage to the environment, or ethics, or whatever, would play into the mix. Business owners are the heroes of the world, because without them nobody, or very few of us would have jobs. Granted, the US government is the largest employer there is, but, because they are not for profit their model is unsustainable. They produce things, but they force you to buy them. What’s wrong with that picture? You cannot stop corporate crime and criminals with government interference, because the government is as criminal an organisation as any business, and can easily be bought off. When a crime is committed against any individual, ie force, fraud, or coersien (pardon my spelling) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. That is called justice. But in reality our system is not based on justice, but on mercy, payoffs, and plea deals. What this world needs, and I hope this experiment in start up countries accomplishes is not necessarily just a new philosophy, but a new psychology for living. One based on honesty, accountability, and value production and creation. Good fucking luck with our species adopting that, right?!! But it starts with each one of us individually. When more and more adopt this philosophy/psychology, them more and more will have to in order to survive. But, honest value production, and the unregulated trading of those values is the only system that can accomplish this ideal universally.
At the end of the day, Justian conceded, saying: “very true, that’s why I solicit competing arguments. A wise man has only the knowledge which proved true.”
Well, I admire him for his courage to admit he’s wrong.