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Old 08-20-2013, 07:59 AM   #1
'busa
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Free markets, government intervention, Friedman, Hayek and Rand

Every day on here we here about the market and about how the invisible hand of the free market would take care of things, if only it wasn't shackled by the government. And how the Austrian school of economics is the only right way to go. And then you'll hear about moochers and parasites and producers and entrepreneurs as if they were different species, not members of the same society. Then you'll hear someone say how people without insurance should die in the street, because it was their own fault they don't have insurance.

I think conservatism has been hijacked by fans of the Ayn Rand type of Libertarianism. People go on about the free-market and Austrian economics and about Hayek and Friedman, but what they really epsouse is Rand.

Just for reference...

Milton Friedman advocated a "Negative Income Tax" where people who fall below a certain level of earnings receive money from the government to ensure a guaranteed minimum income. If this isn't redistribution of wealth, I don't know what is. Meanwhile, today's Republicans are constantly spreading the falsehood that 47% of the country pay no taxes at all and making absurd claims like the safety net has become a "hammock".

Friedrich Hayek advocated "assured minimum income":

"There is no reason why in a free society government should not assure to all, protection against severe deprivation in the form of an assured minimum income, or a floor below which nobody need descend. To enter into such an insurance against extreme misfortune may well be in the interest of all; or it may be felt to be a clear moral duty of all to assist, within the organised community, those who cannot help themselves. So long as such a uniform minimum income is provided outside the market to all those who, for any reason, are unable to earn in the market an adequate maintenance, this need not lead to a restriction of freedom, or conflict with the Rule of Law."[1973. Law, Legislation, and Liberty]

On health care:

"Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state's helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong.... Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken." [Road to Serfdom]

Road to Serfdom, by the way, was distributed by Paul Ryan. He must not have read this part:

"There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision."

Finally, he says: "In no system that could be rationally defended would the state just do nothing."

So, go look at John Stossel, Paul Ryan, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and see them invoke the names of Hayek and Friedman.

On Creators.com (Rand reference?) Stossel talks about Hayek's "Road to Serfdom", yet makes no reference to any of the quotes above.

Look at this quote about Paul Ryan and Milton Friedman: "Milton Friedman, who would have been 100 years old on July 31, had strong, clear views on Social Security, in particular, and on the welfare state more generally.Paul Ryan shares many of these views, and the future of Social Security and Medicare might be very different if his ideas are adopted." REALLY?


I like this part from Politico:

Quote:
Consider, to bring new staffers up to speed, Ryan gives them copies of Hayek’s classic “Road to Serfdom” and Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” — books he says inspires his political philosophy.

But Hayek and Rand were violently opposed to each other’s ideas. It is virtually impossible to hold them in the same brain. When the termagant Rand met Hayek, she screamed across the room, “Compromiser!” and reviled him as an “abysmal fool,” an “ass” and a “totally, complete, vicious bastard.”
Can we finally reject Ayn Rand once and for all?
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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Many people like Hayek and Friedman not because of their views on a negative income tax, but because of their work in monetarism and the effect of monetary policy. That doesn't mean they have to buy the other thing they espoused wholesale. We're all cafeteria Catholics in this regard.

In any case, you're focusing too much on rhetoric. In Paul Ryan's Roadmap plan, the vast majority of his spending cuts are actually just slower spending increases. He hasn't advocated eliminating things like unemployment benefits, SNAP, Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. But there is a genuine, compelling case for financial reform because many of those programs have become actuarial black holes.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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Many people like Hayek and Friedman not because of their views on a negative income tax, but because of their work in monetarism and the effect of monetary policy. That doesn't mean they have to buy the other thing they espoused wholesale. We're all cafeteria Catholics in this regard.

In any case, you're focusing too much on rhetoric. In Paul Ryan's Roadmap plan, the vast majority of his spending cuts are actually just slower spending increases. He hasn't advocated eliminating things like unemployment benefits, SNAP, Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. But there is a genuine, compelling case for financial reform because many of those programs have become actuarial black holes.
Hiding behind the shield of Hayek and Friedman and with their status as a tool, Paul Ryan and the "Libertarian" wing of the Republican Party are spreading Ayn Rand's values.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:19 AM   #4
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Hiding behind the shield of Hayek and Friedman and with their status as a tool, Paul Ryan and the "Libertarian" wing of the Republican Party are spreading Ayn Rand's values.
Except for the abortion part, which was one of her biggest sticking points. It's funny that some on the right will celebrate her as the best thing to happen to conservatism in a century, but when abortion is brought up the room goes silent.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #5
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Except for the abortion part, which was one of her biggest sticking points. It's funny that some on the right will celebrate her as the best thing to happen to conservatism in a century, but when abortion is brought up the room goes silent.
And atheism.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #6
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And atheism.
And the fact that she died as a liability of the state
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:35 AM   #7
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Interesting thread, 'busa, and I will read it more closely when I have a little more time. But thanks for starting it.

I have one quick comment though: Since when does one's agreement with one or more concepts espoused by another individual, say Friedman or Rand or Obama, necessarily require one to agree with ALL of that individual's concepts? Can we once and for all abandon that notion? Or at least try to in this thread?
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:40 AM   #8
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Hiding behind the shield of Hayek and Friedman and with their status as a tool, Paul Ryan and the "Libertarian" wing of the Republican Party are spreading Ayn Rand's values.
You're really conflating two separate issues. Hayek and Friedman are the go-to guys when it comes monetary policy and how it affects the investment decisions of businesses and investors. Ayn Rand is the go-to girl for rhetoric on rugged individualism.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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I have one quick comment though: Since when does one's agreement with one or more concepts espoused by another individual, say Friedman or Rand or Obama, necessarily require one to agree with ALL of that individual's concepts? Can we once and for all abandon that notion? Or at least try to in this thread?
I can totally agree on this, but let's take Ayn Rand, for example. For me, it's hard for someone who is totally pro-life and conservative to endorse Ayn Rand as the shining model of what a conservative or libertarian should be when she, herself, was 100% pro-choice, and thought those who were pro-life were scum. I also find it interesting that by most accounts, Ayn Rand would despise the current lot of conservatives.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:35 AM   #10
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Paul Ryan isn't a libertarian, what the eff are you smoking busa
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:30 PM   #11
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Paul Ryan isn't a libertarian, what the eff are you smoking busa
The level of discourse continues to decline with you, huh?

Reason magazine said that "for advocates of limited government, Ryan remains one of the most important allies in Congress."
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:54 PM   #12
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Hi there. Have you read the entire health care bill?
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:05 PM   #13
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The level of discourse continues to decline with you, huh?

Reason magazine said that "for advocates of limited government, Ryan remains one of the most important allies in Congress."
oh well that settles it! He is more certainly NOT a libertarian. Just. Stop.
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Old 08-26-2013, 07:07 AM   #14
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Busa - Who is John Galt?
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