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Truculent Sheep
20th May 08, 11:41 AM
Want to move into a Ron Paul-approved gated community? Don't go for half measures, you poofs! Go the whole hog and build your own countries - in the middle of the ocean!

http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2008/05/seasteading?currentPage=all

Peter Thiel Makes Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies
By Alexis Madrigal


Tired of the United States and the other 190-odd nations on Earth?

If a small team of Silicon Valley millionaires get their way, in a few years, you could have a new option for global citizenship: A permanent, quasi-sovereign nation floating in international waters.

With a $500,000 donation from PayPal founder Peter Thiel, a Google engineer and a former Sun Microsystems programmer have launched The Seasteading Institute, an organization dedicated to creating experimental ocean communities "with diverse social, political, and legal systems."

"Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public-sector models around the world," Thiel said in a statement.

It might sound like the setting for the videogame Bioshock, but the institute isn't playing around: It plans to splash a prototype into the San Francisco Bay within the next two years, the first step toward establishing deep-water city-states, or what it calls "seasteads" -- homesteads on the high seas.

Within the pantheon of would-be utopian communities, there's a particularly rich history of people trying to live outside the nation-state paradigm out in the ocean. The most ambitious was Marshall Savage's Aquarius Project, which aimed at nothing less than the colonization of the universe. There was also Las Vegas millionaire Michael Oliver's attempt to create a new island country, the Republic of Minerva, by dredging the shallow waters near Tonga. And the Freedom Ship was to be a mile-long portable country costing about $10 billion to construct.

None of these projects has succeeded, a fact that The Seasteading Institute's founders, Google's Patri Friedman and the semi-retired Wayne Gramlich, are keenly aware of throughout the 300-page book they've written about seasteading.

Instead of starting with a grand scheme worthy of a James Bond villain, the Institute is bringing an entrepreneurial, DIY mentality to creating oceanic city-states.

"There's a history of a lot of crazy people trying this sort of thing, and the idea is to do it in a way that's not crazy," said Joe Lonsdale, the institute's chairman and a principal at Clarium Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.

The seasteaders want to build their first prototype for a few million dollars, by scaling down and modifying an existing off-shore oil rig design known as a "spar platform."

http://www.wired.com/images/article/full/2008/05/seastead_350px.jpg
This schematic illustrates the ballasting system that Wayne Gramlich imagines would keep the seastead from tipping over. The amount of water in the ballasts could be raised or lowered to move the seastead up and down.

In essence, the seastead would consist of a reinforced concrete tube with external ballasts at the bottom that could be filled with air or water to raise or lower the living platform on top.

The spar design helps offshore platforms better withstand the onslaught of powerful ocean waves by minimizing the amount of structure that is exposed to their energy.

"You have very little cross-sectional interaction with waves [with] the spar design," Gramlich said.

The primary living space, about 300 square feet per person, would be inside the tube, but the duo envisions the top platform holding buildings, gardens, solar panels, wind turbines and (of course) satellites for internet access.

To some extent, they believe the outfittings for the seastead will be dependent on the business model, say aquaculture or tourism, that will support it and the number of people aboard.

"We're not trying to pick the one strategy because we think there will be multiple people who want one for multiple reasons," Gramlich said.

Dan Donovan, a long-time spokesman for Dominion, an energy company that operated Gulf of Mexico-based gas rigs, including Devils Tower, the world's deepest spar structure, said the group's plan wasn't too far-fetched. His company's off-shore rigs, which are much larger than the institute's planned seasteads, provided long-term housing for its workers.

"They were sort of like mobile homes. We could move them from one place to another," Donovan said. "People did live on them."

But even the institute members admit that their plans aren't far enough along to stand up to rigorous engineering scrutiny. Some engineers, Gramlich said, have been skeptical of their plan, particularly their desire to do it on the cheap.

"We have some legitimate doubting Thomases out there," Gramlich said.

But if the idea turns out to be just crazy enough that it works, Friedman, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, envisions transforming the way that government functions.

"My dad and grandfather were happy arguing their ideas and were happy influencing people through the world of ideas," Friedman said. "I see a real need for people to go out and do something and show by example."

True to his libertarian leanings, Friedman looks at the situation in market terms: the institute's modular spar platforms, he argues, would allow for the creation of far cheaper new countries out on the high-seas, driving innovation.

"Government is an industry with a really high barrier to entry," he said. "You basically need to win an election or a revolution to try a new one. That's a ridiculous barrier to entry. And it's got enormous customer lock-in. People complain about their cellphone plans that are like two years, but think of the effort that it takes to change your citizenship."

Friedman estimates that it would cost a few hundred million dollars to build a seastead for a few thousand people. With costs that low, Friedman can see constellations of cities springing up, giving people a variety of governmental choices. If misguided policies arose, citizens could simply motor to a new nation.

"You can change your government without having to leave your house," he said.

Of course, one major role of government is to provide security, which would seem to be an issue on the open sea. But Friedman's not worried about defense beyond simple firearms because he thinks pirates will lack the financial incentive to attack the seasteads.

"More sophisticated pirates will take entire container ships that have tens of millions of dollars of cargo and 10 crew [members]," he said. "On a seastead, there's a much different crew-to-movable assets ratio."

In fact, his only worry is that a government will try to come calling and force their jurisdiction upon them. Toward that end, they are planning to fly a "flag of convenience" from a country that sells them, like Panama, to provide them with protection from national navies.

"If you're not flying a flag any country can do whatever they want to you," he said.

Even if their big idea doesn't end up panning out, their story should live on in internet lore for confirming the dream that two guys with a blog and a love of Ayn Rand can land half a million dollars to pursue their dream, no matter how off-kilter or off-grid it might seem.

"Everything changed when we got the funding," Friedman said. "Before that, it was two guys with some ideas writing a book and blogging about their ideas.... Now that we've got some funding, it's something I plan to make a full-time job out of."

Actually, I think this is a wonderful idea and hope it goes ahead, if only to see what happens next. What would a Sociocide members-run city state look like, though?

ironlurker
20th May 08, 11:47 AM
First Rand, now Kevin Costner . . .

Slindsay
20th May 08, 12:11 PM
Two words: Zombie proof

HappyOldGuy
20th May 08, 12:17 PM
Only a libertarian would think they could make money selling multi million dollar 300 square foot apartments with bare starvation amenities.

Wounded Ronin
20th May 08, 12:19 PM
I want to see a bunch of pirates come and kick their asses, since I've become increasingly annoyed by libertarians the more I hang out at bullshido.net and sociocide.com.

Shawarma
20th May 08, 12:21 PM
SOCIALIST pirates!

Wounded Ronin
20th May 08, 12:25 PM
YES! And the pirate captain must have Carl Marx facial hair!

Zendetta
20th May 08, 12:50 PM
Libertarians tend to be pro-gun and pro-nuke, so Fuck Pirates.

Also: Bioshock, Hubris, etc.

Thinkchair
20th May 08, 12:55 PM
Want to move into a Ron Paul-approved gated community? Don't go for half measures, you poofs! Go the whole hog and build your own countries - in the middle of the ocean!

http://www.wired.com/science/planetearth/news/2008/05/seasteading?currentPage=all

Peter Thiel Makes Down Payment on Libertarian Ocean Colonies
By Alexis Madrigal


Tired of the United States and the other 190-odd nations on Earth?

If a small team of Silicon Valley millionaires get their way, in a few years, you could have a new option for global citizenship: A permanent, quasi-sovereign nation floating in international waters.

With a $500,000 donation from PayPal founder Peter Thiel, a Google engineer and a former Sun Microsystems programmer have launched The Seasteading Institute, an organization dedicated to creating experimental ocean communities "with diverse social, political, and legal systems."

"Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public-sector models around the world," Thiel said in a statement.

It might sound like the setting for the videogame Bioshock, but the institute isn't playing around: It plans to splash a prototype into the San Francisco Bay within the next two years, the first step toward establishing deep-water city-states, or what it calls "seasteads" -- homesteads on the high seas.

Within the pantheon of would-be utopian communities, there's a particularly rich history of people trying to live outside the nation-state paradigm out in the ocean. The most ambitious was Marshall Savage's Aquarius Project, which aimed at nothing less than the colonization of the universe. There was also Las Vegas millionaire Michael Oliver's attempt to create a new island country, the Republic of Minerva, by dredging the shallow waters near Tonga. And the Freedom Ship was to be a mile-long portable country costing about $10 billion to construct.

None of these projects has succeeded, a fact that The Seasteading Institute's founders, Google's Patri Friedman and the semi-retired Wayne Gramlich, are keenly aware of throughout the 300-page book they've written about seasteading.

Instead of starting with a grand scheme worthy of a James Bond villain, the Institute is bringing an entrepreneurial, DIY mentality to creating oceanic city-states.

"There's a history of a lot of crazy people trying this sort of thing, and the idea is to do it in a way that's not crazy," said Joe Lonsdale, the institute's chairman and a principal at Clarium Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar hedge fund.

The seasteaders want to build their first prototype for a few million dollars, by scaling down and modifying an existing off-shore oil rig design known as a "spar platform."

http://www.wired.com/images/article/full/2008/05/seastead_350px.jpg
This schematic illustrates the ballasting system that Wayne Gramlich imagines would keep the seastead from tipping over. The amount of water in the ballasts could be raised or lowered to move the seastead up and down.

In essence, the seastead would consist of a reinforced concrete tube with external ballasts at the bottom that could be filled with air or water to raise or lower the living platform on top.

The spar design helps offshore platforms better withstand the onslaught of powerful ocean waves by minimizing the amount of structure that is exposed to their energy.

"You have very little cross-sectional interaction with waves [with] the spar design," Gramlich said.

The primary living space, about 300 square feet per person, would be inside the tube, but the duo envisions the top platform holding buildings, gardens, solar panels, wind turbines and (of course) satellites for internet access.

To some extent, they believe the outfittings for the seastead will be dependent on the business model, say aquaculture or tourism, that will support it and the number of people aboard.

"We're not trying to pick the one strategy because we think there will be multiple people who want one for multiple reasons," Gramlich said.

Dan Donovan, a long-time spokesman for Dominion, an energy company that operated Gulf of Mexico-based gas rigs, including Devils Tower, the world's deepest spar structure, said the group's plan wasn't too far-fetched. His company's off-shore rigs, which are much larger than the institute's planned seasteads, provided long-term housing for its workers.

"They were sort of like mobile homes. We could move them from one place to another," Donovan said. "People did live on them."

But even the institute members admit that their plans aren't far enough along to stand up to rigorous engineering scrutiny. Some engineers, Gramlich said, have been skeptical of their plan, particularly their desire to do it on the cheap.

"We have some legitimate doubting Thomases out there," Gramlich said.

But if the idea turns out to be just crazy enough that it works, Friedman, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, envisions transforming the way that government functions.

"My dad and grandfather were happy arguing their ideas and were happy influencing people through the world of ideas," Friedman said. "I see a real need for people to go out and do something and show by example."

True to his libertarian leanings, Friedman looks at the situation in market terms: the institute's modular spar platforms, he argues, would allow for the creation of far cheaper new countries out on the high-seas, driving innovation.

"Government is an industry with a really high barrier to entry," he said. "You basically need to win an election or a revolution to try a new one. That's a ridiculous barrier to entry. And it's got enormous customer lock-in. People complain about their cellphone plans that are like two years, but think of the effort that it takes to change your citizenship."

Friedman estimates that it would cost a few hundred million dollars to build a seastead for a few thousand people. With costs that low, Friedman can see constellations of cities springing up, giving people a variety of governmental choices. If misguided policies arose, citizens could simply motor to a new nation.

"You can change your government without having to leave your house," he said.

Of course, one major role of government is to provide security, which would seem to be an issue on the open sea. But Friedman's not worried about defense beyond simple firearms because he thinks pirates will lack the financial incentive to attack the seasteads.

"More sophisticated pirates will take entire container ships that have tens of millions of dollars of cargo and 10 crew [members]," he said. "On a seastead, there's a much different crew-to-movable assets ratio."

In fact, his only worry is that a government will try to come calling and force their jurisdiction upon them. Toward that end, they are planning to fly a "flag of convenience" from a country that sells them, like Panama, to provide them with protection from national navies.

"If you're not flying a flag any country can do whatever they want to you," he said.

Even if their big idea doesn't end up panning out, their story should live on in internet lore for confirming the dream that two guys with a blog and a love of Ayn Rand can land half a million dollars to pursue their dream, no matter how off-kilter or off-grid it might seem.

"Everything changed when we got the funding," Friedman said. "Before that, it was two guys with some ideas writing a book and blogging about their ideas.... Now that we've got some funding, it's something I plan to make a full-time job out of."

Actually, I think this is a wonderful idea and hope it goes ahead, if only to see what happens next. What would a Sociocide members-run city state look like, though?

What a perfect backdrop for a survival horror flick.

Stick
20th May 08, 01:31 PM
Damnit, Thinkchair! Don't quote the whole thing if you're just gonna add one line!

YARGH!

Seriously though, this Bioshock.

Rich Randians will build their ocean utopia. They will experiment wildly. Then they wil die horribly.

Shawarma
20th May 08, 02:55 PM
http://www.angryflower.com/atlass.gif

Shawarma
20th May 08, 03:03 PM
Double post, yehaa!

Sun Wukong
20th May 08, 04:30 PM
Two words: Zombie proof

I think I've found my dream home. It's the most ingenius zombie defense I've ever seen. The other option I could think of was to dangle a shaved monkey wearing a girl scout uniform over a 40 foot deep trench I'd built around my home that was filled jagged metal hooks and a giant machine cranked meat grinder.

Cullion
20th May 08, 04:38 PM
This isn't going to work.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
20th May 08, 06:53 PM
Does this surprise anyone? I thought we had established that libertarians are attention whores - hence why we had to hear so many theories about why the Republican nomination was stolen from Ron Paul (who really did have a chance) and why it would actually be better to have to pay to drive down the street.

Cullion
20th May 08, 06:57 PM
Does this surprise anyone? I thought we had established that libertarians are attention whores - hence why we had to hear so many theories about why the Republican nomination was stolen from Ron Paul (who really did have a chance) and why it would actually be better to have to pay to drive down the street.

Yes, because free-market capitalism always means 'pay per use', except for flat-rate broadband bills, or insurance premiums, or.. fuck it, you know what I'm talking about.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
20th May 08, 07:08 PM
Don't act like I didn't perfectly describe large swaths of the libertarian movement.

Cullion
20th May 08, 07:10 PM
Come on, you've got to admit there's some good ideas in there. I can't believe that somebody your age really loves central planning comittees that much.

Toby Christensen
20th May 08, 07:17 PM
It's hardly a new idea; all they're proposing is OTEC generator built and powered city states.

I always thought it would be a socialist type idea though.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
20th May 08, 07:19 PM
I never said I do, it's just that the Communist Manifesto was well written and only 50 pages long whereas Atlas Shrugged was a thick ass brick of middle school level dreck.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
20th May 08, 07:20 PM
(I dislike small communal farms just as much as shut ins who don't want to pay for roads with their taxes because they never leave their houses, by the way)

Cullion
20th May 08, 07:22 PM
Atlas shrugged is not for me. Ayn Rand was a bitter and harsh-hearted person.

Toby Christensen
20th May 08, 07:28 PM
(I dislike small communal farms just as much as shut ins who don't want to pay for roads with their taxes because they never leave their houses, by the way)

So John Howard's policy of "baby bonuses" being abused by 14 year old girls to support further habits (such as drugs) doesn't bother you?

I've never heard of people not wanting to support roads.... anti-war yes, anti-genetic engineering, even the crazy deaf separatists, but who the hell doesn't support civil infrastructure?!

Cullion
20th May 08, 07:30 PM
but who the hell doesn't support civil infrastructure?!

People who pay close attention to whether that 'civil infrastructure' is really just a 'bridge to nowhere' that arose out of altruistic but misguided central planning, or perhaps the result of high level corruption.

Toby Christensen
20th May 08, 07:32 PM
That's true. Urban sprawl is a pain in the arse, as is the demolition of heritage sites.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
20th May 08, 07:41 PM
It's only fair that people that never leave the house shouldn't have to pay for roads right? Transfer the cost to all those people with lives who drive places.

Toby Christensen
20th May 08, 08:15 PM
I use roads, even though I don't drive. I disagree with money being taken away from pensions and medical research for:
a) The war in Iraq. Yes, Australia has excellent ground and naval and airforces. What a spectacular way to misuse them and get bin Laden threatening a very politically unassuming country. Way to go, Johnny.
b) The baby bonus. Enough said
c) Stupid academic papers. There will always be money for stupid academic papers.
d) Detaining refugees in the desert while murderers rapists and paedophiles live comparatively well in city areas (until somebody shivs them)
e) Our woefully ignorant education system. Nothing gets my back up like those people. who would insist at gunpoint that they were doing their best by everybody when we're not even taught Australian history properly.

Zendetta
20th May 08, 08:25 PM
Atlas shrugged is not for me. Ayn Rand was a bitter and harsh-hearted person.

That was just the meth talking.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
20th May 08, 08:31 PM
Australian history

hahahaha

Arhetton
20th May 08, 08:41 PM
why do people always have to be total spastics about this live in the ocean idea.

That design is fucking terrible, a big wave and that elevated tower will sway out into space and probably throw its inhabitants out to sea.

First of all, if a bunch of rich people just bought and floated a cruise ship armada, you could already have a community of a few thousand (3500 - 5000 per cruise ship, ten cruise ships, 35000 people). The amount of people who would be willing to base themself offshore would be ridiculous because it would be a tax free zone. Just find an area with low hurricane/storm risk and theres your berth.

People joke about pirates but pirates stole $1 Billion of shit last year. they are a fucking menace. Yaaaaar!

The obvious issue is just day to day energy, food and materials. All sovereign countries claim land within a certain number of nautical miles so you won't be able to dock near any coast to do anything useful. Effectively you would have to import everything you need, and the only thing you could export would be labour (probably knowledge intensive labour), but it wouldn't matter.

Bioshocks ocean floor starts to sound much better!

socratic
21st May 08, 04:00 AM
So John Howard's policy of "baby bonuses" being abused by 14 year old girls to support further habits (such as drugs) doesn't bother you?

That's total and utter rightist anti-welfare bullshit. You can't support shit with any family payouts from the government. Children are not and never will be a profitable enterprise in purely cash terms.

The only way a 14 year old could support a child and a drug habit (which is expensive, you know) is to have a job or sponge off someone who does. You're full of shit, and you're an asshole for believing that the 'baby bonus' (which is a stupid fucking term, by the way. You don't win by being a teenage mother.) is a waste of money. Here's a hint- those kids are going to be the ones holding up society when you're half-braindead in the old folks' home. Sure, coming from a single teenage mother, it'd be vary rare for them to have a higher education and get high paying work, but even blue collar workers keep the economy going.

I'm just kidding. You and I will only be able to retire when we die.

Anyways, about the stupid Randians. 1. Floating colonies of really rich people are the biggest 'PLUNDER ME!' beacon ever. Why is it that theives break into rich (if they can. I think most settle for middle-class) people's homes and not the impoverished houses? 2. What's to stop a country simply bringing an army and declaring the gated commuties as part of their nation? "Oh, but we're neutral. Rich and neutral." "Okay... But see, me and Mr Gun here say you're part of my nation now. And you owe me a lot of taxes." 3. Dude, those communities have no way of producing anything. They're just a way for everyone but the people on it to make money. 4. How do you leave a community gone bad when it's in the middle of the ocean? If one of them got a bad case of Fascism, I'd bet you ten to one the 'exit' signs would be taken off the doors and all the boats would be confiscated. 5. Fuck rich Libertarians just wishing to dodge taxes. Boo-hoo, you have to pay your precious money to allow society to survive, just like everyone else. Fuck you. I have to pay taxes too, and I work for my money.

Arhetton
21st May 08, 05:30 AM
Dude, those communities have no way of producing anything. They're just a way for everyone but the people on it to make money.

I'm assuming you were talking to me with my armada suggestion.

They can produce any non tangible good (knowledge). You could perform some science, mathematics research, data analysis, create software etc. There would be a very limited ability to manufacture, unless you had pretty much an entire ship (or several ships) designated as a manufacturing facility (say a few large workshops being the content of an entire ships hull).

Basically you would be an artificial 'nation' with very large annual imports and exports. What you would do to 'grow' the nation is sell exports at a higher price than imports - i.e you would import ten tons of steel but export nine tons of derived goods of the steel, and keep the surplus. That way you could have a surplus of raw material and you could grow the 'nation' (build more ships, acquire more stuff, richer citizens etc).

You would have to import a lot of food and raw materials, although I'm sure a small fishing fleet would be able to provide alot of food too.

I think the lifecycle of the largest existing ships (aircraft carriers) is at maximum around 50 years, so to have a 'sustainable' ocean city armada you would have to be producing enough wealth (exports) to import enough materials to completely remake the fleet every 50 years - and more if you wanted the fleet to actually grow.

The real sustainability issue is that your largest ships would be derelicts after 50 years and without an ocean based shipyard you wouldn't be able to reproduce them.

Actual aircraft carriers (and oil rigs) are often sunken as artificial reefs :) - otherwise they are taken to shipbreaking yards where the steel is recycled.

9l-wYnlBZis

I had more ideas while I was thinking and typing about this topic - it would be possible to set up solar power plants for the city, perhaps a slightly submerged grid of solar collectors that spans out over a large area.

In regards to pirates, defence etc - assuming the people that are a part of the city are hardcore randians or libertarians, I imagine it would be full of engineer/scientist type people, and I'm sure they would quickly make some really big guns to defend themselves.

Effectively it would be some sort of microjapan lol

socratic
21st May 08, 05:40 AM
I actually meant the ones proposed, not the armada. A boat can be used for fishing, even though a bunch of fuckers on a cruise shit wouldn't partake in hard work.

This is the exact reason why the early American colonies starved to death. Entrapaneurs cannot maintain a society by themselves. All they can do is barter- barter everyone else's hard work, for example.

While those ideas of making money on the armada would be good, I seriously doubt that the armada could simply contain enough equipment, labourers, goods, etc, to make the 'cost vs benefit' ratio substantial at al. Say a ship costs you a few million- how many tonnes of steel can it carry? How many labourers will you need to supply the industry? How much food will these people need? Where will they stay? The only way you could really run these things and make it profitable is if you had ships full of robots, with a bunch of rich, old people sunning themselves on the deck and paying out the nose for the luxury. Unfortunately, solar power probably wouldn't hack it at all in terms of powering all the consumer goods (let alone the industry) necessary to make the whole thing a good idea.

I suppose the best anti-pirate measure is to simply shoot any and all small craft that approaches an xyz radius. That still wouldn't hold you in particularly good stead when a full on navy approaches.

Arhetton
21st May 08, 05:55 AM
look I know the real reason people want to do it is so they can have a tax haven, I'm not really discussing that though, I'm more interested in simply can it be done or not (in terms of material, labour, having an artificial economy etc).

Large vertical cities can't be done for several reasons in my opinion - sway (the higher you make the structure the more unstable it is), weather (large storms, waves or a hurricane will fuck the shit out of your city), weight (you would have to displace an equal amount of water to the weight of the structure, I'm not sure what the 'upper limit' of that is) - but anyway, I am more sure that a more spread out, horizontal city would be more feasible than a vertical one.

http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/2022/tankersizecomparisonqn1.png

socratic
21st May 08, 06:37 AM
To my mind, it isn't even a matter of the architecture. It's whether or not these communities could at all sustain themselves. Without a population of workers and room to work in, how far can your economy go?

ICY
21st May 08, 07:17 AM
The point of those platforms would be for rich people to do illegal shit.

Truculent Sheep
21st May 08, 09:42 AM
In case you're wondering, here is the manifesto for our would-be aquatic Randian chums:

http://seasteading.org/seastead.org/book_beta/full_book_beta.html

It does try to address the various problems this thread has identified, but I'll leave it up to you as to whether or not they do the job.

Anyway, let's rephrase my original question - if this forum set up a Bioshock-style city state under the waves (with Porpoises and Rays and shit), what would it look like?

Zendetta
21st May 08, 10:22 AM
The point of those platforms would be for rich people to do illegal shit.

If you ever take up drugs again, i'll get you onboard with my plan to operate a floating Vegas/Bangkok Pleasure Yacht that will sail in international waters and provide a morality-free playground for the rich and shameless.

(There is a fluffer position available)

Zendetta
21st May 08, 10:23 AM
Anyway, let's rephrase my original question - if this forum set up a Bioshock-style city state under the waves (with Porpoises and Rays and shit), what would it look like?

More to the point: how many of us need to become supporting members before Phrost ponies up for our own Pirate Island? :confused:

HappyOldGuy
21st May 08, 10:58 AM
The point of those platforms would be for rich people to do illegal shit.

Exactly, but you can get much better amenities for much less money in any number of corrupt tropical locales with nice beaches and cheap local nookie.

Zendetta
21st May 08, 11:04 AM
Yeah, but having to bribe corrupt 3rd world cops takes the edge off of the the heady feeling of being a god-like promethean ubermensch.

Kein Haar
21st May 08, 11:57 AM
MJS = Fox and the Grapes.

Wounded Ronin
21st May 08, 01:29 PM
In regards to pirates, defence etc - assuming the people that are a part of the city are hardcore randians or libertarians, I imagine it would be full of engineer/scientist type people, and I'm sure they would quickly make some really big guns to defend themselves.



Eh, my gut feeling is that the majority of libertarians don't have the balls, since in my personal experience a great many of them are well-off college kids who couldn't bar fight their way out of a paper bag, let alone engage in mortal combat with pirates.

Besides, how much are you going to enjoy your libertarian tax-free lifestyle if you get your legs blown off in defense of the floating pod city?

Shawarma
21st May 08, 01:36 PM
Libertaritown would be well defended....by a deadly phalanx of Phil Elmores.

Wounded Ronin
21st May 08, 02:22 PM
When the pod city is surrounded by pirates the Elmores would complain that he only fights unfairly, so the pirates need to not attack in tactically advantageous ways, since Elmore doesn't fight unless he has an unfair advantage.

Cullion
21st May 08, 03:18 PM
It isn't pirates they'd need to worry about as established countries wanting to tax them. Escaping from paying taxes en masse is going to see a change in international waters boundaries approved real quick-like in the UN under pressure from countries like the US and UK.

HappyOldGuy
21st May 08, 03:48 PM
It isn't pirates they'd need to worry about as established countries wanting to tax them. Escaping from paying taxes en masse is going to see a change in international waters boundaries approved real quick-like in the UN under pressure from countries like the US and UK.
Taxation is really not a thing. There are plenty of no income tax countries already. Remember, you owe for what you earn in the US regardless of residency, and it's hard to earn significant amounts without having siezable assets within US jurisdiction.

Intellectual propery, money laundering, maybe gambling, etc is where the real issues are.

Drugs laws could be a big money maker also, but the big countries have already demonstrated pretty conclusively that they can enforce those across international boundaries and get away with it.

Cullion
21st May 08, 03:54 PM
Taxation is really not a thing. There are plenty of no income tax countries already. Remember, you owe for what you earn in the US regardless of residency, and it's hard to earn significant amounts without having siezable assets within US jurisdiction.

You can earn over $80,000 per year (which I understand is the allowance after which the US govt. wants to collect tax from US citizens living outside US territory) operating a website served from one of those platforms (guess what a lot of those tech. industry libertarians' first likely export operations are likely to be..), then the US govt. will be wanting to collect.



Intellectual propery, money laundering, maybe gambling, etc is where the real issues are.

Drugs laws could be a big money maker also, but the big countries have already demonstrated pretty conclusively that they can enforce those across international boundaries and get away with it.

These are all good points too of course.

HappyOldGuy
21st May 08, 03:55 PM
You can earn over $80,000 per year operating a website served from one of those platforms (guess what a lot of those tech. industry libertarians' first likely export operations are likely to be..), then the US govt. will be wanting to collect.


But how is that different than the bahamas etc today?

Cullion
21st May 08, 04:02 PM
But how is that different than the bahamas etc today?

Most current tax-havens have several differences than what I understand is being proposed here:-

1) They generally have restrictive immigration rules, there's no danger of US or British citizens moving to them en masse, because they can't.

2) These established tax havens are the havens used by politically connected corporate elites. They won't draw the same fire as quasi-hippy libertopias built by Ron Paul voting, pot smoking Silicon Valley escapees.

It's going to be a difference in the attention they draw.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
21st May 08, 05:14 PM
MJS = Fox and the Grapes.

Kein Haar = hamfisted analysist.

Kein Haar
22nd May 08, 10:23 AM
That's all it really takes with you, bra'.

krazy kaju
30th May 08, 08:25 PM
Only a libertarian would think they could make money selling multi million dollar 300 square foot apartments with bare starvation amenities.

Only a dumbass would assume that an individual accurately represents an entire group of people.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
30th May 08, 08:30 PM
Normally when I find a post that's a week old I don't attempt a witty response because I know that the time has long since passed for me to capitalize on the opportunity.

What's worse is that your joke sucked.

krazy kaju
30th May 08, 08:31 PM
Jesus Christ, you're a tool. It wasn't a joke.

socratic
31st May 08, 06:19 AM
Jesus Christ, you're a tool. It wasn't a joke.

But Libertarianism sure is.

krazy kaju
31st May 08, 07:16 AM
Shouldn't you be off Hare Krishnaing somewhere?

jvjim
31st May 08, 07:20 AM
http://themoderatevoice.com/wordpress-engine/files/caglecartoons02/_32E76C4B_6CE2_4AB9_BCE1_BD792A921389_.gif

socratic
31st May 08, 08:11 AM
Shouldn't you be off Hare Krishnaing somewhere?

Your best come back is that I'm a Hare Krishna Hindu?

I'm actually an Atheist, you know. So really, you should have suggested I should be busy wanking Dawkins. But see, I haven't actually read any of his books. So the easiest comeback probably would have been to attack my name, in which case you should have said "Shouldn't you be reading about 2500 year old pederasts?", or, "Shouldn't you be asking more questions?" or something.

Even if I was a Hindu, that'd still put me way above a Libertarian in terms of ideological sanity.

socratic
31st May 08, 08:13 AM
http://themoderatevoice.com/wordpress-engine/files/caglecartoons02/_32E76C4B_6CE2_4AB9_BCE1_BD792A921389_.gif
http://www.yodaslair.com/dumboozle/barks/images/bin-dive.jpg

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
31st May 08, 08:17 AM
Scrooge McDuck is too generous and sociable to be a libertarian.

socratic
31st May 08, 08:23 AM
Scrooge McDuck is too generous and sociable to be a libertarian. http://static.flickr.com/101/313782774_19a3f233a2_o.jpg
?

jvjim
31st May 08, 01:07 PM
Socialism's villainy would rival that of Communism's if it weren't for the idiocy inherent in Socialist ideas.

krazy kaju
31st May 08, 01:42 PM
http://themoderatevoice.com/wordpress-engine/files/caglecartoons02/_32E76C4B_6CE2_4AB9_BCE1_BD792A921389_.gif
Somewhere a liberal is steaming from anger.


Your best come back is that I'm a Hare Krishna Hindu?

I'm actually an Atheist, you know. So really, you should have suggested I should be busy wanking Dawkins. But see, I haven't actually read any of his books. So the easiest comeback probably would have been to attack my name, in which case you should have said "Shouldn't you be reading about 2500 year old pederasts?", or, "Shouldn't you be asking more questions?" or something.

Even if I was a Hindu, that'd still put me way above a Libertarian in terms of ideological sanity.
Translation: I don't understand basic economics.


Scrooge McDuck is too generous and sociable to be a libertarian.
I guess providing the poor with employment, low inflation, and stable purchasing power is not considered generous.

EDIT: Something is wrong. Me and jvjim are agreeing for like the third time?

Shawarma
31st May 08, 01:44 PM
lol, Americans talking about Socialism like they have a clue.

krazy kaju
31st May 08, 01:51 PM
lol, Americans talking about Socialism like they have a clue.

I'm actually Polish.

Maybe you want to have a conversation with my aunt who was thrown into a Russian gulag for being Polish? Or my grandfather who was shot at by socialists? Or my other grandfather who was imprisoned because bridge is an "imperialistic" game? Or my dad who was arrested multiple times? Or the hundreds of thousands of people killed by socialist regimes the world over?

Shawarma
31st May 08, 02:19 PM
No, I do not wish to have a discussion with any of them since they're not present or at all relevant to the discussion at hand, Captain Strawman. I wish to have a discussion with idiots who apply the "soshalizm is ebul" faggotry to any discussion involving anything VAGUELY associated with left-wing politics.

Actually, I don't. You're tiresome people, just as tiresome as Western socialists.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
31st May 08, 02:22 PM
I guess providing the poor with employment, low inflation, and stable purchasing power is not considered generous.

National Recovery Association

Zendetta
31st May 08, 02:23 PM
You're tiresome people, just as tiresome as Western socialists.

Translation: "I wish I could quit you!"

jvjim
31st May 08, 02:27 PM
EDIT: Something is wrong. Me and jvjim are agreeing for like the third time?

Ugh, I hope my neo-classical cronies don't find out I'm hanging around Libetarians, they'll kick me off the anti-trust board.

krazy kaju
31st May 08, 05:13 PM
No, I do not wish to have a discussion with any of them since they're not present or at all relevant to the discussion at hand, Captain Strawman.

You brought all of them up by implying that none of us have felt the effects of socialism.


I wish to have a discussion with idiots who apply the "soshalizm is ebul" faggotry to any discussion involving anything VAGUELY associated with left-wing politics.

Actually, I don't. You're tiresome people, just as tiresome as Western socialists.

I don't really see how this statement is relevant to the discussion at hand.


Ugh, I hope my neo-classical cronies don't find out I'm hanging around Libetarians, they'll kick me off the anti-trust board.

LOL. Speaking of antitrust boards, do neoclassical economists base their assumptions on perfect competition (hence the need for antitrust laws) or on imperfect competition? Just wondering.

Shawarma
31st May 08, 05:27 PM
No, you have not felt the effects of socialism. You don't even understand where it is coming from. Your relatives might have felt the effects of totalitarianism, which is not a tenet of socialism, although communist states unfortunately tend to devolve into it because too much trust is placed in a single party.

Basically, you bring up your violated relatives in a faggotty attempt to do a "My granddad got killed in Auschwitz, how dare you criticize Israel?!" kind of argument. I do not care. It's another copout of discussing the actual merits of a socialist economic and social model as opposed to one based on the free market or strawberry pudding or whatever.

krazy kaju
31st May 08, 05:37 PM
No, you have not felt the effects of socialism. You don't even understand where it is coming from. Your relatives might have felt the effects of totalitarianism, which is not a tenet of socialism, although communist states unfortunately tend to devolve into it because too much trust is placed in a single party.

Basically, you bring up your violated relatives in a faggotty attempt to do a "My granddad got killed in Auschwitz, how dare you criticize Israel?!" kind of argument. I do not care. It's another copout of discussing the actual merits of a socialist economic and social model as opposed to one based on the free market or strawberry pudding or whatever.

Right, because putting government in the absolute control of your economic actions is not a recipe for totalitarianism. Actually, just the fact that socialism means that you are not free to make voluntary decisions with your own acquired capital is totalitarian in itself.

And I wasn't the one to bring the topic up, you were. I never bitched about how socialistic health care was, you brought up "Americans who have never felt the effects of socialism."

My main reason for opposing socialism is that economic calculation by some kind of planning board is impossible. The same goes with universal health care. The government can't plan the health and health insurance markets and expect it to be better and more efficient than the free/open market form.

jvjim
31st May 08, 05:45 PM
LOL. Speaking of antitrust boards, do neoclassical economists base their assumptions on perfect competition (hence the need for antitrust laws) or on imperfect competition? Just wondering.

I'm not an economist, so take my answer with a grain of salt. From what I can see, neo-classical economist prefer to work with perfectly competitive markets, but they study all the intracacies of monopoly, monopsony, etc, reaching the same conclusion: the less government intervenes and more competition present, consumer surplus and total value is always maximized.

ironlurker
31st May 08, 06:23 PM
the less government intervenes

In what, specifically?

socratic
31st May 08, 06:39 PM
Translation: I don't understand basic economics.

That's an insult? Because I disagree with insane Libertarian ideals, I don't understand basic economics? And I'm a Hindu?

Here's a crazy thought: The free market was not present in Stalinist USSR. Stalin got his country through the bloodiest conflict ever and somehow managed to produce a superpower. I wonder how, considering those crazy Commies just can't build good economies, right?

Also, the hilarious strawman presented as always by Libertarians, that charitable actions by governments are actually stealing other people's money- well, you know what? It stopped being your money the minute you paid it to the government in the form of taxes, you selfish little shitdick.

kungfujew
31st May 08, 07:59 PM
Here's a crazy thought: The free market was not present in Stalinist USSR. Stalin got his country through the bloodiest conflict ever and somehow managed to produce a superpower. I wonder how, considering those crazy Commies just can't build good economies, right?


Erm... as a crazy nutjob lefty-pinko anarcho-socialist, I'm gonna go ahead and discourage the use of the USSR at any period in its existence as some kind of viable alternative form of economy. Under Stalin, the economy was propped up by a constant supply of slave labor thanks to the NKVD. After Stalin, the economy was propped up by clannish personal networks exchanging services and favors for vital goods needed to keep a factory running or workers fed.

Zendetta
31st May 08, 08:07 PM
Here's a crazy thought: The free market was not present in Stalinist USSR. Stalin got his country through the bloodiest conflict ever and somehow managed to produce a superpower. I wonder how, considering those crazy Commies just can't build good economies, right?

WTF? Are you drunk? There's a big difference between "crazy" and "stupid".

Here's a sane thought: the Egyptians built pyramids. Obviously Imperial Dynasties work!!!

Nobody said TOTALITARIANISM couldn't be efficient - its just that nobody wants to live under one.


Also, the hilarious strawman presented as always by Libertarians, that charitable actions by governments are actually stealing other people's money- well, you know what? It stopped being your money the minute you paid it to the government in the form of taxes, you selfish little shitdick.

I don't really ascribe to this view myself, but you couldn't miss the point of it more if you tried too: you pay your taxes 'cuz if you don't the government compels you with force - imprisonment and impoundment of property.

socratic
31st May 08, 09:37 PM
WTF? Are you drunk? There's a big difference between "crazy" and "stupid".

Here's a sane thought: the Egyptians built pyramids. Obviously Imperial Dynasties work!!!

Nobody said TOTALITARIANISM couldn't be efficient - its just that nobody wants to live under one.


Erm... as a crazy nutjob lefty-pinko anarcho-socialist, I'm gonna go ahead and discourage the use of the USSR at any period in its existence as some kind of viable alternative form of economy. Under Stalin, the economy was propped up by a constant supply of slave labor thanks to the NKVD. After Stalin, the economy was propped up by clannish personal networks exchanging services and favors for vital goods needed to keep a factory running or workers fed.

I didn't say it was something worth encouraging. My aim was to point out that a successful economy can be achieved with what is effectively the total opposite of the free market, just at the cost of millions of lives and moral integrity.


I don't really ascribe to this view myself, but you couldn't miss the point of it more if you tried too: you pay your taxes 'cuz if you don't the government compels you with force - imprisonment and impoundment of property.

But they don't make you give money to charities. They donate money that's theirs because they took it from you in exchange for all the services society provides, such as an army to keep the Huns out, electricity, roads and education. It's not even robbery at all- you're just paying the bill for what you use. And then some of the money that now belongs to the government gets used keeping non-rich people alive. Your tax-money stopped being yours the minute you turned on the light switch or took your Mercedes-Benz for a spin, or called the police, or didn't die from the Huns invading.

WarPhalange
31st May 08, 09:59 PM
I'm actually Polish.

Maybe you want to have a conversation with my aunt who was thrown into a Russian gulag for being Polish? Or my grandfather who was shot at by socialists? Or my other grandfather who was imprisoned because bridge is an "imperialistic" game? Or my dad who was arrested multiple times? Or the hundreds of thousands of people killed by socialist regimes the world over?
Oh FUCK OFF. I'm Polish too, with parents and grandparents from Poland who went through that shit, too, and I'm not stupid enough to think that that has anything to do with what we're talking about here.

Don't play that card, it won't work with me around.

bob
31st May 08, 10:34 PM
I don't really ascribe to this view myself, but you couldn't miss the point of it more if you tried too: you pay your taxes 'cuz if you don't the government compels you with force - imprisonment and impoundment of property.

That may be true around where you are but it's certainly not universally true here. Time after time polls in Australia show that a majority of people would prefer improved services to tax cuts.

jvjim
1st June 08, 12:36 AM
In what, specifically?
In a given market.

socratic
1st June 08, 03:14 AM
That may be true around where you are but it's certainly not universally true here. Time after time polls in Australia show that a majority of people would prefer improved services to tax cuts.

I'd much rather pay money and get fantastic public services than pay no money and get none. Even without tax poor people are still poor.

Zendetta
1st June 08, 03:27 AM
But they don't make you give money to charities.

Whut? BTW, in my anecdotal experience, wealthy low-tax types almost always donate MUCH more to charities than broke-ass bleeding hearts who want to make the world a better place (on someone else's dime and effort).

But when those hippies start making mortgage payments themselves, they almost always start looking to reduce their tax burden.

A bowl of Genghis Khan's Mongolian BBQ in Chatswood says you will too.


They donate money that's theirs because they took it from you....

Precisely. Its "theirs" because They took it from others. I'm glad you are starting to admit this.

Suppose you thought the uses immoral, like Thoreau's "Don't Pay War Taxes" - what would happen if you didn't want to let them take what was once yours? I'll tell you what: bad things, that what.

Replace "theft" with "extortion" if it helps your cognitive dissonance.


in exchange for all the services society provides

Oh, so you are drunk.

Let me say that, having lived there, I'm quite open to the possiblity that Australia might be better run than the ol' US of A. But you do have a smaller population.

I notice you arn't touching the immigration issue with a ten-metre pole. If AUS policy changes to allow more immigration of uneducated people from undeveloped nations you'll find that taxes go up AND quality goes down. (OMG xenophobia!).

But lets look at this "exchange", and whether I might be justified in seeking a renegotiation:


such as an army to keep the Huns out

Dude, our founding fathers, after watching centuries of useless, destructive wars ravage europe, wanted no standing army. In addition to not being needed in their eyes, they knew that armies fight and that a tax-eating military industrial complex would find ways to start wars.

Think about current US foreign policy - can you see why I might want smaller government?


electricity

In my state, a classic clusterfuck resulting from a government sponsored monopoly masquerading as a deregulated market. Worst of both worlds, like US healthcare.

For what its worth, I'd much prefer a publicly-owned cooperative.


roads

In many states, a grotesque boondoggle of government contracting gone wild.


education.

Dear fucking god.

http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/

Start reading, kid. Don't stop until you are cursing Rockefeller. SRSLY.


It's extortion - you're just being compelled by threat of force to pay the bill for what you and other people use. And then some of the money that is not squandered by government bureaucracy gets used keeping non-rich people alive[B]as well as often enabling incredibly self-destructive lifestyle choices/B].

If it simply insured base survival you'd have a point. Our indulgent entitlement system is much better at producing learned helplessness, too many destitute children, and the resentment of success that goes with a victim mindset.

You may need to spend some time in a major american city to appreciate what I'm saying here.


Your tax-money stopped being yours the minute you turned on the light switch

See above.


or took your Mercedes-Benz for a spin

I have no car. Instead I ride a free shuttle (voluntarily paid for by the bigger local businesses (Pixar, etc) whose employees benefit from it, and walk.

Sorry that I can't play the role of Evil Industrialist in your economic psychodrama.

You might want to entertain the notion that these ideas, for me, are more about a love of freedom than a love of money.


or called the police

Mostly state and local taxes, sweetheart. No law-abiding person minds paying for that.

In many cases they guard the productive folks from a criminal underclass that would rather prey on others than work to create value for themselves and society.

(oh shit! Did he really say that?!)


the Huns invading.

LOL. I think you mean the Mexicans. I'm not trying to be a dick, but our social welfare net can't survive open borders any more than yours can.

socratic
1st June 08, 04:07 AM
Whut? BTW, in my anecdotal experience, wealthy low-tax types almost always donate MUCH more to charities than broke-ass bleeding hearts who want to make the world a better place (on someone else's dime and effort).

Sure, some rich people bankroll charities. They also have lots of money. And can even sometimes make money through their 'philanthropy'. And a guy with 10 million dollars donating $100 000 to a charity is far less impressive than a guy with $200 000 donating the same amount to charity, wouldn't you agree? Either way, charities are happy for the money.

Besides, don't you guys get it back anyways from your tax returns?


But when those hippies start making mortgage payments themselves, they almost always start looking to reduce their tax burden.

A bowl of Genghis Khan's Mongolian BBQ in Chatswood says you will too.

I pay taxes. I work. If I keep the reciept, I get the money I donate back at the end of the financial year, too. Win win.

Think of this, also- who has a greater role in determining economic policy? The rich or the poor? You don't hear about poor people pressuring the government to divert funds straight into their pockets on the same scale as you do Halliburton.


Precisely. Its "theirs" because They took it from others. I'm glad you are starting to admit this.

Suppose you thought the uses immoral, like Thoreau's "Don't Pay War Taxes" - what would happen if you didn't want to let them take what was once yours? I'll tell you what: bad things, that what.

Replace "theft" with "extortion" if it helps your cognitive dissonance.

See, the thing is, though, that you're actually paying money to keep the government that benefits you and the rest of your country immensely alive. I don't care how shitty all the government stuff is, you wouldn't have it at all if it weren't for a government.


Let me say that, having lived there, I'm quite open to the possiblity that Australia might be better run than the ol' US of A. But you do have a smaller population.

Yes, we do. In some ways more than others, though.


I notice you arn't touching the immigration issue with a ten-metre pole.

I gave my opinion about immigration already in one of the other Libertarian vs Everyone threads. I hate the immigration policy. I didn't say Australia was perfect.


Dude, our founding fathers, after watching centuries of useless, destructive wars ravage europe, committed to having no standing army. In addition to not being needed in their eyes, the knew that armies fight and that a tax-eating military industrial complex would find ways to start wars.

How did America win the War of Independance without an army?


Think about US foreign policy - can you see why I might want smaller government?

The 'size' of the government doesn't inherently effect military or socioeconomic policies of a nation. Firing 1/2 of the public servants won't end the Iraq war. Remember that all those policies were made by people voted into office, not some huge single entity that is the government. There's the policy makers, and then an army of public servants that keeps the nation running.

I understand that the nationalised system sucks. What you don't realise is that it wouldn't be there at all without the government to run it. Or, alternatively, it could be owned by some fatcat who turns a profit on it. And while many Libertarians seem to think that fatcats are responsible people, I can point out several examples of shitty newly-privately-owned services throughout Australia. Ask anyone from Sydney how well the public transport's going- it's privately owned and it sucks more dicks than Paris after her third Light Beer.

Just remember that it's big businesses that shat all over the Brazillian rainforest, not the public service. A business is a means of generating money. The second making money runs counter to giving a shit about humanity, or the environment, or anything for that matter, guess which way it'll go?

Let me put it this way: the Brazillian rainforest is being logged for pasture for Big Macs, not because the Public Service decided it didn't like trees anymore.


If it simply insured base survival you'd have a point. Our indulgent entitlement system is much better at producing learned helplessness, too many destitute children, and the resentment of success that goes with a victim mindset.

Learned helplessness is a strawman. Being poor is not something anyone willingly chooses to do, because the lifestyle sucks ass. It's hardly a lifestyle at all. Nothing, not a drug habit, not a family, not even a small business, can be run on the welfare. People become poor for a variety of reasons. Drug addiction is one of them. Coming from a social strata that frowns on education and encourages teen pregnancy is another. Think of it this way- how many people born to a 16 year old single dropout mother are going to grow up to become lawyers?


You may need to spend some time in a major american city to appreciate what I'm saying here.

Maybe.


I have no car. Instead I ride a free shuttle (voluntarily paid for by the bigger local businesses whose employees use it) and walk. Sorry that I can't play the role of Evil Industrialist in your economic psychodrama.

It's cool, I thought maybe you'd be the nice one who says "But maybe we shouldn't dump radioactive waste into the ghetto's water supply, then create an anti-rad medicine and sell it to them at $10 000 a pop because they can either get the meds or die?"

I recently bought a car. Up until then I used the public transport. It sucked, but it's a helluva lot better than the public transport anywhere else in Australia.


Mostly state and local taxes, sweetheart. No law-abiding person minds paying for that.

So which taxes are you against? You said taxes, and I assumed taxes period. I can almost guarantee to you that the biggest expenditures by the government aren't on pay checks or welfare, by the way. Nor even charity. The money that used to be yours is more than likely going into some megacorporation's pocket or being used to mass produce heavy explosives and bullets.


In many cases they guard the productive folks from a criminal underclass that would rather prey on others than work to create value for themselves and society.

(oh shit! Did he really say that?! You know its true)

I agree that some criminals maybe turn that way because they are unmotivated to work. The vast majority probably do so out of desperation (poverty, unemployment) and lack of education.


LOL. I think you mean the Mexicans.

Mexicans? Those guys are actually productive. The Huns are horseback archer rapists. I think you'll be changing your tune when your missus is playing nurse to Attilla, because you refused to pay taxes, man!

Zendetta
1st June 08, 04:45 AM
Who has a greater role in determining economic policy?

The Filthy Rich. The elite does just fine under socialism.


I don't care how shitty all the government stuff is, you wouldn't have it at all if it weren't for a government.

Read that back to yourself several times, while remembering that nature abhors a vacuum.


Learned helplessness is a strawman. Being poor is not something anyone willingly chooses to do, because the lifestyle sucks ass.

I'll agree that its rarely a conscious choice. I see by your examples that you recognize that in a thriving economy, its very often the result of bad lifestyle choices.

Really, why is it so morally right to you that others should subsidize bad choices?


People become poor for a variety of reasons. Drug addiction is one of them.

Totally NOT a victim. Show some fucking self-responsiblity.


Coming from a social strata that frowns on education and encourages teen pregnancy is another. Think of it this way- how many people born to a 16 year old single dropout mother are going to grow up to become lawyers?

LOL. Its right in your face and you can't see it. Let me put it this way: perhaps we should explore social policies that don't provide incentives for those kinds of behaviors.

So it seems learned helplessness and socialized victimhood is not at all the strawman you were hoping for.

At any rate, we certainly don't need more lawyers.


The money that used to be yours is more than likely going into some megacorporation's pocket or being used to mass produce heavy explosives and bullets.

Funny how that so often happens.


I agree that some criminals maybe turn that way because they are unmotivated to work.

Or de-incentivized and enabled. Or nurtured by a nanny state and a local culture that drags down the successful and encourages people to ignore their own failings by lashing out at those who have done well.


The vast majority probably do so out of desperation (poverty, unemployment) and lack of education.

You have a very sunny view of criminality. If your fantasy paradigm was true, wouldn't all rich kids turn out nice?

I'm beginning to think this thread is a commie plot to keep me from sleeping.

socratic
1st June 08, 07:48 AM
Double post.

I AM A LEFTIST. I BELIEVE ALL SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE MONEY, AND THAT ONLY HOBOS AND JUNKIES DESERVE GOOD LIVES, ESPECIALLY AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS. I WEAR COMMUNIST IMAGERY TO SHOCK AND APPALL, BECAUSE I THINK IT MAKES ME EDGY. I'M YOUNG AND OUT OF CONTROL!

Now we've got that out of the way, on with the debate.

Cullion
1st June 08, 08:24 AM
The rich or the poor? You don't hear about poor people pressuring the government to divert funds straight into their pockets on the same scale as you do Halliburton.

I know you and I have very divergent views on a lot of politics, but I'd like to point out that one of the differences between a mainstream pro-corporatism neocon and me is that I'm all about clamping down on this stuff. I don't hold the beliefs I do because I look down on or dislike people with less cash than me, I genuinely believe that they can be helped by lower taxes and freer markets.

I'm totally opposed to military-industrial-banking complexes that suck money from the poor and middle class to the rich via central government. To me that's more like feudalism than the type of free-wheeling capitalism I'd like to see more of.

TM
1st June 08, 10:29 AM
Tallys my thoughts exactly.

kungfujew
1st June 08, 12:17 PM
The Filthy Rich. The elite does just fine under socialism.

There are some headless French aristocrats and refugee Russian nobility outside that would like a word.

jvjim
1st June 08, 12:29 PM
There are some headless French aristocrats and refugee Russian nobility outside that would like a word.

What?

Shawarma
1st June 08, 02:01 PM
Is it that hard to comprehend? Having too much inequality between the poor and the wealthy is very likely to eventually lead to armed revolution and the violent replacement of the upper class with a new one. The money you throw at poor people to pacify them with welfare is money well spent as it prevents them from becoming enraged and taking ALL your shit by force.

It may not be fair, but LOLLOL LIFE ISNT FAIR LOL, as is often pointed out by laissez-faire proponents.

jvjim
1st June 08, 02:13 PM
Is it that hard to comprehend? Having too much inequality between the poor and the wealthy is very likely to eventually lead to armed revolution and the violent replacement of the upper class with a new one. The money you throw at poor people to pacify them with welfare is money well spent as it prevents them from becoming enraged and taking ALL your shit by force.

Negative cheif. Herschel over there was trying to equate the fall of inept monarchies to two movements whose sole similarity was terror and violence with socialism having some sort of magic power to prevent those in power/with connections/who are appointed by the state to run major industries from oppressing the populace.

Shawarma
1st June 08, 03:28 PM
Hmm, maybe I should read the threads before I participate in them.

Cullion
1st June 08, 04:19 PM
There are some headless French aristocrats and refugee Russian nobility outside that would like a word.

Kim Il Sung and Stalin are in that crowd too.

kungfujew
1st June 08, 04:39 PM
Apologies for making a point perhaps more subtle than the usual club-to-face discourse. To extrapolate on the original point to which I was responding: that elites do just fine under socialism (read totalitarianism / authoritarian socialism); what I was trying to say is that socialist revolutions (often, if not always leading to totalitarian or authoritarian "socialist" regimes) usually come about over the corpses of the previous elite group, to be usurped by whatever group was waiting in the wings. Intellectual Bolsheviks in Russia, Jacobin bourgeoisie in France, these are elite groups, to be sure, but they did not become THE elite in their respective post-revolutionary regimes until they had bumped off their predecessors.

Cullion
1st June 08, 05:08 PM
That's true of all revolutions. It's not a specifically socialist characteristic.

ironlurker
1st June 08, 10:57 PM
In a given market.

Which markets and what counts as intervention?

socratic
2nd June 08, 02:07 AM
There are some headless French aristocrats and refugee Russian nobility outside that would like a word.

You realise the French Revolution was an attempt to establish full democracy (which was then perverted) rather than the-yet-to-be-invented Socialism, right?

socratic
2nd June 08, 02:11 AM
I know you and I have very divergent views on a lot of politics, but I'd like to point out that one of the differences between a mainstream pro-corporatism neocon and me is that I'm all about clamping down on this stuff. I don't hold the beliefs I do because I look down on or dislike people with less cash than me, I genuinely believe that they can be helped by lower taxes and freer markets.

I'm totally opposed to military-industrial-banking complexes that suck money from the poor and middle class to the rich via central government. To me that's more like feudalism than the type of free-wheeling capitalism I'd like to see more of.
The only thing I disagree with in this post is that I don't understand how a system that caters to 100% of the population will cater less effectively or to less people than a system that caters to less than 100% of the population.

ironlurker
2nd June 08, 11:32 AM
I can't keep track of these threads. Will the black helicopters land on the floating libertarian city states, forcing them to provide universal health care? No one knows for sure.

socratic
3rd June 08, 01:53 AM
I can't keep track of these threads. Will the black helicopters land on the floating libertarian city states, forcing them to provide universal health care? No one knows for sure.

The IRS will probably send black ops to ice the lot of them, if you ask me.

Then the healthcare.

kungfujew
3rd June 08, 03:20 AM
The IRS will probably send black ops to ice the lot of them, if you ask me.

Then the healthcare.

Healthcare for dead people is pretty cheap...

socratic
3rd June 08, 03:27 AM
Healthcare for dead people is pretty cheap...

Not if it's socialised!

Toby Christensen
5th June 08, 12:31 AM
Well, Australia is rich enough to spend trillions blowing up peasants, but we fuck our healthcare (at least the little round man who headed us previously did)

Socialised healthcare is throwing a bone to people with chronic health problems, the disabled and the elderly.

krazy kaju
8th June 08, 10:04 AM
That's an insult? Because I disagree with insane Libertarian ideals

Deregulation isn't an insane and it isn't specifically libertarian. You have yet to rise above name calling to point out any deficiencies in a free market.


I don't understand basic economics?

You don't.


And I'm a Hindu?

There's this thing done on the internet, and it's called trolling. I'm sorry your asshole is still sore after that little incident, but I thought anyone who posts on sociocide and bullshido


Here's a crazy thought: The free market was not present in Stalinist USSR. Stalin got his country through the bloodiest conflict ever and somehow managed to produce a superpower. I wonder how, considering those crazy Commies just can't build good economies, right?

If a good economy is one with chronic food shortages that killed millions of people then I guess socialism has outperformed capitalism every single time.


Also, the hilarious strawman presented as always by Libertarians, that charitable actions by governments are actually stealing other people's money- well, you know what? It stopped being your money the minute you paid it to the government in the form of taxes, you selfish little shitdick.

So if I steal your money or coerce you to give to me, it is now mine, and not yours?

By your line of reasoning all forms of stealing and robbery are acceptable and should be legalized.


I'm not an economist, so take my answer with a grain of salt. From what I can see, neo-classical economist prefer to work with perfectly competitive markets, but they study all the intracacies of monopoly, monopsony, etc, reaching the same conclusion: the less government intervenes and more competition present, consumer surplus and total value is always maximized.

ty

Cullion
8th June 08, 10:08 AM
The only thing I disagree with in this post is that I don't understand how a system that caters to 100% of the population will cater less effectively or to less people than a system that caters to less than 100% of the population.

What do you mean by 'cater to' and 'system' and '100%' ?

Toby Christensen
9th June 08, 12:27 AM
I still stand by my statements that the Howard government gutted our health system, demonised immigrants and misused our military so as to piss off our friend Ibnny Laden.

It also appears that Mega Jesus finds Australian history funny. I assume he was drunk at the time.

Socratic had a point in admonishing me for criticising the recipients of the child bonus; there ARE poor people who have a lot to contribute to the gene pool and need a helping hand. It's being abused though.

Socialism is simply a distribution of wealth to people who don't have anything. I don't like junkies, however I like people who reform. I don't like panhandlers because they are breaking the Summary Offences Act.

I would like to see things like Medicare reform and education reform. If there was education reform I might even swallow my pride and get that Doctorate of Social Sciences majoring in Disability Science I always wanted. Voluntary student union should be abolished for starters.