# Libertarianism is killing our economy

#### SimpleDon

##### Veteran Member
Medium reprinted an article from The New Republic, The Libertarian Ideas That Wrecked the Fed, subtitled, Milton Friedman’s influence on America’s monetary policy blew up the past and mortgaged our future.

I don't rate Milton Friedman at all as an academic economist. See here. He was a successful political pundit as a political economist. Rather than studying the economy that we have, he crafted a vision of an economy that could never be, an economy that he wished we could have, the holy grail of neoclassical economists, the self-regulating, self-organizing free market. He rescued an Austrian/Libertarian economics idea that had been basking in well-deserved obscurity, the theory that the originators, Ludwig Mises and Friedrich Hayek, resurrected called .

Neoliberalism is the idea that we should return to the economics of the "classical liberal" period of the 1830s in England. The economics of that time advocated the free market, a true factor market for labor, free trade, the free flow of capital, money, and labor across borders, the gold standard for money, and the elimination of cash welfare for the poor, which everybody in the US will recognize as Reaganomics.

In an essay, Neo-Liberalism and its Prospects Friedman called for a turn away from collectivism back to 19th-century liberalism and its laissez faire capitalism in the private markets albeit retaining the policing power of the state over the economy to prevent bad behavior, monopolies, as an example. A mixed message if there ever was one.

Unfortunately for his legacy and for us who have to live with the results of his work, the classical liberals of 1830s England that he wanted to emulate didn't have any success putting their ideas into practice, a fact he would have found out easily if he had wanted to. If he had he would have found out that the "classical liberal" period failed in just a few years.

Milton Friedman was a smart man and a trained economist. He certainly realized that Neoliberalism wasn't compelling economics, that it was nothing more than a rehashing of the classical and neoclassical dream that the Great Depression had crushed. It probably didn't escape his attention that wealth and fame along with the support for research for his university that comes from economics used to support the conservative political memes that justify making the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.

His monetarism is half Keynesian, admitting that the government must intervene in the economy but maintaining that it should be done in the manner that offends the rich the least, by restricting the intervention to increasingly ineffective monetary policies and never, ever using the much more effective fiscal policies that might involve taxing the rich. It is probably more accurate to say that monetarism is three-quarters Keynesian. Faced with a problem the government under monetarism can raise or lower interest rates and it can lower taxes, but it can never raise taxes.

So yes, Friedman did use the neoliberalism name for his theory but dropped it because he wanted his theories to become mainstream economics. Unfortunately for us and for our economy, he succeeded in the guise of the current neoclassical synthesis economics.

The main tenets of neoliberalism will be familiar to everyone as it is the political economics that sets our current economic policies of the government. They are a self-regulating free market with deregulation, free trade, the free flow of capital and labor across borders, a true market for labor, the gold standard for money, and canceling of cash welfare for the indigent. It is the political economics of 100% of the Republican party and one half of the Democrats, including Joe Biden, both Clintons, and Obama. It is the political economics that a national politician has to pledge fealty to in order to receive campaign contributions from corporate America and Wall Street. Those who don't toe the neoliberal line are unfairly called "socialists." It is the political economics that has produced the extreme income inequality that is the largest threat to capitalism in the US.

#### prideandfall

##### Veteran Member
libertarianism is killing *insert literally any social structure* is just as accurate.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
I did not know there was any libertarianism left in the US economy.

Oh, it's about Friedman. A common mistake.

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member

PJ: Many labels have been used to apply to you—off the top of my head, you've been called a libertarian, a neo-conservative, a conservative, a neo-liberal, that's a popular term right now, a classical liberal and so on. I'm curious how you would describe yourself and whether the label has any value.
MF: I regard myself as a libertarian. But I think the term classical liberal is also equally applicable.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
I know that around here the only thing you know about libertarianism is our advocacy of free markets. Even then people confuse it with the corporatism supported by Republicans, which means that around there people don't even know what our economic positions are. Still, those who advocate free markets know there's this different ideology called "Monetarism". You might want to investigate the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

You do realize that libertarians do not like the Federal Reserve? That we do like the gold standard? I hope you know at least that much. Guess where Friedman fell on those issues.

Here, let us see what a libertarian site says about Friedman.

Search results

Not what you expected, eh?

Milton: I'm one of you.
Libertarians: No you're not.
Milton: Yes I am. I swear I am.
Libertarians: You don't talk, act, or think like one of us.
MF: Doesn't matter, I am one.
You: See, he is. He says so.

What is it about politics that, when you see a political person saying one thing and doing another, people are very inclined to believe the former and ignore the latter.

If he's such a libertarian, why is he a favorite of the establishment?

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
I know that around here the only thing you know about libertarianism is our advocacy of free markets. Even then people confuse it with the corporatism supported by Republicans, which means that around there people don't even know what our economic positions are. Still, those who advocate free markets know there's this different ideology called "Monetarism". You might want to investigate the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

You do realize that libertarians do not like the Federal Reserve? That we do like the gold standard? I hope you know at least that much. Guess where Friedman fell on those issues.

Here, let us see what a libertarian site says about Friedman.

Search results

Not what you expected, eh?

Milton: I'm one of you.
Libertarians: No you're not.
Milton: Yes I am. I swear I am.
Libertarians: You don't talk, act, or think like one of us.
MF: Doesn't matter, I am one.
You: See, he is. He says so.

What is it about politics that, when you see a political person saying one thing and doing another, people are very inclined to believe the former and ignore the latter.

If he's such a libertarian, why is he a favorite of the establishment?

Not only are you factually incorrect, but your premise is just profoundly idiotic.

Know where I can get a Labrador?

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
Ah yes, he did change his tune on that from time to time. He still spent the bulk of his career as a monetarist economist, not a free market economist.

If he's such a libertarian, why is he a favorite of the establishment?

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
He's the favorite of the establishment because he spent the bulk of his career as a Monetarist and not an advocate of the Free Market.

I guess nobody knows the difference. Or cares.

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
He's the favorite of the establishment because he spent the bulk of his career as a Monetarist and not an advocate of the Free Market.

I guess nobody knows the difference. Or cares.

I don’t think he advocated for destitute people selling their organs, or paying children for sex, but nobody can be a perfect libertarian

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
He's the favorite of the establishment because he spent the bulk of his career as a Monetarist and not an advocate of the Free Market.

I guess nobody knows the difference. Or cares.

I don’t think he advocated for destitute people selling their organs, or paying children for sex, but nobody can be a perfect libertarian

Oh my, are we at the point in the cycle now where the political Rand Paul's dick-sucking Libertarians who spent the last several years being very careful to never say anything bad about Trump claim that they aren't like the other girls or whatever?

#### GenesisNemesis

##### Veteran Member
Libertarianism is killing our economy people.

FIFY.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
He's the favorite of the establishment because he spent the bulk of his career as a Monetarist and not an advocate of the Free Market.

I guess nobody knows the difference. Or cares.

I don’t think he advocated for destitute people selling their organs, or paying children for sex, but nobody can be a perfect libertarian

You don't seem to realize how significant the distinction is between free market and monetarism.

#### RVonse

##### Veteran Member
The main tenets of neoliberalism will be familiar to everyone as it is the political economics... It is the political economics of 100% of the Republican party and one half of the Democrats, including Joe Biden, both Clintons, and Obama.

Neoliberalism is not libertarianism in any way shape or form yet your post would indicate otherwise.

Furthermore, while it is true that Joe Biden, Clintons, Obama, and even the Bushes were/are neoliberals, it is in no way true that 100% of the Republican party is. We know this because if 100% of the Republicans were neoliberals, they would not be supporting Trump in his 2nd impeachment. There is absolutely no question that Trump opposes neoliberalism just based on his stance with trade alone. The fact he put tarriffs on China tells us instantly he can not possibly be a neoliberal.

At this point in time, I think it is actually fair to say there are more Democrat neoliberals than Republicans. And that is a very sad state of affairs indeed when you consider that the party that used to support the middle class no longer does anymore.

You need to get your definitions straight and learn who today is for the common man and who isn't.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
Not what you expected, eh?

Milton: I'm one of you.
Libertarians: No you're not.
Milton: Yes I am. I swear I am.
Libertarians: You don't talk, act, or think like one of us.
MF: Doesn't matter, I am one.

I am NOT a Milton Friedman fan, but I think I can settle this argument:

Milton Friedman is what a "Libertarian" would be if that Libertarian were intelligent and had ever taken classes in economics.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
You don't seem to get the significance of the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

#### AthenaAwakened

##### Contributor
Is there only one school of libertarianism?

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
Is there only one school of libertarianism?

Objectivist, Austrian, Anarcho-Capitalism... no, there's more than one.

But Monetarism ain't it. Know why?

This is another case of "We, who are not libertarian, declare X to be a libertarian position. Libertarians disagree, so libertarians are wrong about what they believe."

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
You don't seem to get the significance of the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

Four times now you have made a post about there being a difference between Monetarism and Free Market, and charging that no one but you knows the difference.

In those four posts, you could have posted the difference, according to you.

I think we can all agree that if a person “not knowing the difference” goes to look on the internet, it is entirely possible they will find some inaccurate sources (in your eyes) and then argue an inaccurate (in your eyes) rebuttal that could be construed as a straw man. Given that highly likely scenario, why would you post four times that no one knows the difference, without expounding on your own what the difference is, (in your eyes) so that a meaningful discussion could be made?

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
You don't seem to get the significance of the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

Four times now you have made a post about there being a difference between Monetarism and Free Market, and charging that no one but you knows the difference.

In those four posts, you could have posted the difference, according to you.

I think we can all agree that if a person “not knowing the difference” goes to look on the internet, it is entirely possible they will find some inaccurate sources (in your eyes) and then argue an inaccurate (in your eyes) rebuttal that could be construed as a straw man. Given that highly likely scenario, why would you post four times that no one knows the difference, without expounding on your own what the difference is, (in your eyes) so that a meaningful discussion could be made?

So that he can't be pinned down to a specific position which may at that point be proven wrong or used as leverage to proclaim a lack of morality, which is apparently The Worst Thing in JH land.

Chronically never answering questions or avoiding actually talking about what you believe and what principles you hold on a discussion board where the whole point is to discuss your positions rationally does not seem to be very appropriate to me.

#### laughing dog

##### Contributor
First, the notion that Friedman was not a free market economist for most of his career is wrong. He consistently and persistently advocated for freeing up markets for goids and services.

Second, the gold standard is anti-free market because it requires a government to fix the price if a commodity (gold) instead of the market.

Third, depending on the version of “Monetarism” there is no necessary inconsistency between Monetarism and libertarianism.

Fourth, regardless of one’s opinion of the validity or applicability of some of Friedman’s views or policy proposals, his work greatly influenced generations of economists for the good.

In my view, Friedman and his followers neglected the importance of the social fabric and norms, along with transaction costs in their policy proposals snd positions.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
Let me try to answer Rhea's question. First a historical look at central banks:

"Monetarism" is the idea that central banks should control interest rates and/or the money supply. Whether the U.S. should even have a central bank has long been an important political issue. Hamilton and the Federalists wanted one; Madison, Jefferson and the Dem-Reps didn't. (Madison and his rural supporters felt that substituting paper for gold would let Northern businessmen cheat Southern farmers.) Under Pres. Madison, Hamilton's First Bank's charter expired, but Madison soon realized this was a blunder and chartered a Second Bank. And again. there was schism with Andrew Jackson and his Southern popular supporters splitting from the Dem-Reps on this issue and allowing the Second Bank's charter to expire near the end of Jackson's Presidency. The U.S. didn't have another true central bank until 1913, and of course many right-wingers are still squawking about that.

A key purpose of central banks is to provide liquidity when stockpiles of gold and silver are depleted by a credit crisis. (Imagine how the 2008 financial crisis would have played out if Wall St. bankers had demanded that all debts be paid in gold! During the 77-year period that the U.S. lacked a central bank there was at least one financial crisis that didn't abate until a shipment of gold from London was sighted in New York Harbor!)

It is good to realize that the earliest central banks were private banks, which Libertarians might approve of. Most (80%?) of the shares in The First and Second U.S. Banks were owned by private citizens — IIRC a maximum of 49%(?) shares could be owned by foreigners. Even the Federal Reserve Bank is set up nominally as a private bank, with the Federally-chartered banks who "own" the FedRes, electing its Governors. Central banks offer several conveniences, especially a stable well-defined currency. During the periods when there was no central bank to issue stable paper money, a traveler from Boston to Philadelphia might not be able to purchase anything until the shopkeeper checked his newspaper to see what Boston paper money was trading for relative to Philadelphia paper money!

That environment, where buyers and sellers decide on a case-by-case basis which bank's paper, or which precious metal, or which crypto-currency to use for a transaction, is the Utopia that today's Hyper-libertarians want to return to!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Crudely speaking, there are two plans to cope with recessions. (Set aside hyper-libertarians, who don't have a plan.) Recession can be fought with fiscal stimulus (tax cuts and government spending) or with "Monetarism," which attacks recession with increases in the money supply and/or lowering interest rates. Obviously these two approaches appeal respectively to those who favor government action, and those who just want to grease the wheels of the free market.

Friedman was a Libertarian — he wanted small government and unregulated economy — so naturally he supported Monetarism (I think he coined the word). The idea is to put money in the hands of private businesses to spend rather than having the government spend it as F.D. Roosevelt did.

Hyper-libertarians, unlike Friedman — who, whatever his faults, is one of the premier economists of all time, respected by both the Right and the Left — oppose almost all government action, including the government's role in providing stable currency. Gold? Bitcoin? Let the free market decide! I don't know how well this would have worked a century or two ago, but in the present environment it would definitely cause huge chaos.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The unifying theme of all Hyper-Libertarians is hatred and fear of government. What about policing or courts of law? Some libertarians want private police and private courts. One libertarian (Rothbard?) believes police should be free to torture suspects — with no government there are only "natural" laws — but that if the suspect later proves his innocence he can sue the torturers in some sort of civil court!

Mr. Harvestdigger's posts do not appear for me unless someone quotes him, so please let me know if he finds my synopsis flawed in any respect.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
Let me try to answer Rhea's question. [...]

Crudely speaking, there are two plans to cope with recessions. (Set aside hyper-libertarians, who don't have a plan.) Recession can be fought with fiscal stimulus (tax cuts and government spending) or with "Monetarism," which attacks recession with increases in the money supply and/or lowering interest rates. Obviously these two approaches appeal respectively to those who favor government action, and those who just want to grease the wheels of the free market.

[...]
Hyper-libertarians, unlike Friedman — who, whatever his faults, is one of the premier economists of all time, respected by both the Right and the Left — oppose almost all government action, including the government's role in providing stable currency. Gold? Bitcoin? Let the free market decide! I don't know how well this would have worked a century or two ago, but in the present environment it would definitely cause huge chaos.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The unifying theme of all Hyper-Libertarians is hatred and fear of government. What about policing or courts of law? Some libertarians want private police and private courts. One libertarian (Rothbard?) believes police should be free to torture suspects — with no government there are only "natural" laws — but that if the suspect later proves his innocence he can sue the torturers in some sort of civil court!

Thanks that is helpful and informative. (Snipped for reply, but I read the whole thing with interest.)

It sounds like Jason’s point is that he wants, as a True Liberatarian(tm), to distance himself from any act of a government and beleives that carrying around gold is a great way to have a safe and stable society because the alternatives are oppressive and nothing could possibly go wrong with disparate and leverage-driven private currencies.

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
You don't seem to get the significance of the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

Four times now you have made a post about there being a difference between Monetarism and Free Market, and charging that no one but you knows the difference.

In those four posts, you could have posted the difference, according to you.

I think we can all agree that if a person “not knowing the difference” goes to look on the internet, it is entirely possible they will find some inaccurate sources (in your eyes) and then argue an inaccurate (in your eyes) rebuttal that could be construed as a straw man. Given that highly likely scenario, why would you post four times that no one knows the difference, without expounding on your own what the difference is, (in your eyes) so that a meaningful discussion could be made?

Because he's proselytizing for his religion that's only scrutable through divine revelation. We lack the ability to see the truth, and until we open our hearts we won't be able to bask in its gross incandescence.

Only by opening your heart and emptying your mind can one truly understand.

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
You don't seem to get the significance of the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

Four times now you have made a post about there being a difference between Monetarism and Free Market, and charging that no one but you knows the difference.

In those four posts, you could have posted the difference, according to you.

I think we can all agree that if a person “not knowing the difference” goes to look on the internet, it is entirely possible they will find some inaccurate sources (in your eyes) and then argue an inaccurate (in your eyes) rebuttal that could be construed as a straw man. Given that highly likely scenario, why would you post four times that no one knows the difference, without expounding on your own what the difference is, (in your eyes) so that a meaningful discussion could be made?

So that he can't be pinned down to a specific position which may at that point be proven wrong or used as leverage to proclaim a lack of morality, which is apparently The Worst Thing in JH land.

Chronically never answering questions or avoiding actually talking about what you believe and what principles you hold on a discussion board where the whole point is to discuss your positions rationally does not seem to be very appropriate to me.

But that's actually not true. I did pin him down and proved him wrong. The other canard he offered, though I didn't take the time to address it at the time, was also wrong and the only issue that Friedman had with the gold system is that he didn't think any sovereign country would give up fiat currency. He certainly preferred it.

What's happened is that now that the absurdity of his two earlier assertions has been demonstrated he's moved the goalposts to Friedman having implemented one certain type of policy that in some undefined way isn't 'true' libertarianism, therefore Friedman isn't a libertarian. That is to say, JH is the most extreme type of libertarian, one who believes in libertarian free will - and so simply by cogitating it Friedman could have implemented a pure libertarian landscape, and he didn't therefore he isn't a libertarian.\

The comical stupidity of it all is apparent to anyone reading, but he's in the center of the cone of ignorance and therefore in his mind's eye he's making perfectly logical points. I bet he was smugly smiling when he posted that last response having really nailed us with his remarkably witty retort

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
So that he can't be pinned down to a specific position which may at that point be proven wrong or used as leverage to proclaim a lack of morality, which is apparently The Worst Thing in JH land.

Chronically never answering questions or avoiding actually talking about what you believe and what principles you hold on a discussion board where the whole point is to discuss your positions rationally does not seem to be very appropriate to me.

But that's actually not true. I did pin him down and proved him wrong. The other canard he offered, though I didn't take the time to address it at the time, was also wrong and the only issue that Friedman had with the gold system is that he didn't think any sovereign country would give up fiat currency. He certainly preferred it.

What's happened is that now that the absurdity of his two earlier assertions has been demonstrated he's moved the goalposts to Friedman having implemented one certain type of policy that in some undefined way isn't 'true' libertarianism, therefore Friedman isn't a libertarian. That is to say, JH is the most extreme type of libertarian, one who believes in libertarian free will - and so simply by cogitating it Friedman could have implemented a pure libertarian landscape, and he didn't therefore he isn't a libertarian.\

The comical stupidity of it all is apparent to anyone reading, but he's in the center of the cone of ignorance and therefore in his mind's eye he's making perfectly logical points. I bet he was smugly smiling when he posted that last response having really nailed us with his remarkably witty retort

So, a no-true-Scotsman through and through.

That's just fucking stupid.

JH is a dyed in the wool true colors but-he-never-said-it trumpsucker.

This is what he will never properly admit to asking for, but which we all know he did. And it fucking killed a bunch of people. My bet is he asked for more.

This is someone who hates bikes riding in front of everyone putting a rod through his own spokes and crying that bikes aren't good, down with bikes.

If government doesn't work when people break it, stop letting in people who want to break it.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
You don't seem to get the significance of the difference between Monetarism and Free Market.

Four times now you have made a post about there being a difference between Monetarism and Free Market, and charging that no one but you knows the difference.

In those four posts, you could have posted the difference, according to you.

I think we can all agree that if a person “not knowing the difference” goes to look on the internet, it is entirely possible they will find some inaccurate sources (in your eyes) and then argue an inaccurate (in your eyes) rebuttal that could be construed as a straw man. Given that highly likely scenario, why would you post four times that no one knows the difference, without expounding on your own what the difference is, (in your eyes) so that a meaningful discussion could be made?

Sorry for assuming you had any basic knowledge of economics. I won't make that mistake again.

Free Market should already be understood - minimal government intervention in the economy. In any way, method, mode, or aspect, government is kept to a minimum. That means taxes, spending, regulation, anything that the government might to to influence the economy in any way. If the question is steering the economy and you start a question with "should the government ..." the answer from a Free Market perspective is "No".

Monetarism is one of the several ways to depart from that. In that system the money supply is, directly or indirectly, controlled by the government in order to steer the economy in some desired direction. Government issued currency, central banking controlled interest rates, and central banking controlled money supply. Usually the government establishes a central bank and the other banks are required to be part of it. Sometimes the government is also the central bank, though that is more rare. The central bank is often said to be independent, but it wouldn't exist without government making it what it is. All of its powers are derived from government edict, so in effect they are actually government powers.

To summarize

Code:
              | Free Market | Monetarism
Fiat Currency | No          | Yes
Interest rate |             |
Manipulation  | No          | Yes
Money Supply  |             |
Manipulation  | No          | Yes

There actually is a real difference there. It shows that there is indeed a real difference between Monetarism and Libertarianism, as the economic system of Libertarianism is the Free Market.

My mistake was assuming people even knew what I was talking about when I said there is a distinction between what libertarians advocate and what Friedman advocated.

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
It's been days since you visited this thread. Why not take an extra few minutes and actually read people's responses before posting?

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
It's been days since you visited this thread. Why not take an extra few minutes and actually read people's responses before posting?

Since I started at the erroneous premise, all the conclusions that followed don't matter.

What do you expect me to say, to, say, Swammerdami when he wrote "Friedman was a Libertarian — he wanted small government and unregulated economy — so naturally he supported Monetarism". Doesn't he see the internal inconsistency within that sentence? That in order to establish Friedman as a Libertarian he had to contradict himself from the start?

I know, libertarians say they don't believe in Monetarism, libertarians say that Monetarism isn't compatible with Libertarianism, but what do libertarians know about what libertarians believe. Lots of people say Friedman was a libertarian. Keynesians say it. Conservatives say it. Liberals say it. Progressives say it. Everyone except libertarians say it.

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
Who the fuck is Monetarism compatible with then?

That’s the question that you seem to be ignoring. If a libertarian stabs me in the head he can’t argue in court that libertarians are opposed to the initiation of violence.

These people who all sup at fountain of Rand and would implement pure libertarianism but for practical matters are the ones who proffered monetarism. You can squint and say that they’re not libertarians but we don’t care. That you think Friedman is closer to any ism other than libertarianism is a phantom that haunts your brain, but for all practical purposes doesn’t matter to anyone. The semantics are your problem, not ours

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
Who the fuck is Monetarism compatible with then?

That’s the question that you seem to be ignoring. If a libertarian stabs me in the head he can’t argue in court that libertarians are opposed to the initiation of violence.

These people who all sup at fountain of Rand and would implement pure libertarianism but for practical matters are the ones who proffered monetarism. You can squint and say that they’re not libertarians but we don’t care. That you think Friedman is closer to any ism other than libertarianism is a phantom that haunts your brain, but for all practical purposes doesn’t matter to anyone. The semantics are your problem, not ours

There are actually few pure Monetarists, as Monetarism has mostly been subsumed into modern Keynesianism. It is distinct from textbook pure Keynesianism as that is only concerned with government spending, but real world Keynesians have never met a government intervention they do not like.

Still, most Monetarists fit within the Republican Party, as they like to talk about how they like small government but never actually do anything to shrink government.

Not sure what your "stab in the head" question is supposed to relate to. It seems to have come from nowhere. If you want to know what is compatible with libertarianism, perhaps the thing to do is find out what libertarians believe in the first place.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
Let me try to help again.

The confusion involves the distinction between Libertarians and Hyper-Libertarians.

To clarify this with an analogy, let us consider a hypothetical debate between a Democrat, Dick, and a Hyper-Democrat, Jane. Just as Jason thinks of himself as a Libertarian, so the Hyper-Democrat Jane thinks of herself as just a Democrat.

Jane: "So the voters have decided! 51% of voters agreed to send all the blacks and red-heads to the slave camps, first confiscating all their wealth and splitting it among white-skinned blonds and brunettes. Yayy!!!! MAGA."
Dick: "That's what you call democracy? Persecuting a broad class of innocent people just because 51% are in favor of the persecution?"
Jane: "Democracy IS rule by the majority. Don't you even know how to use a dictionary?"

Is Jane correct? Near the top of Merriam-Webster's definition it does say "Rule by the majority." But most of us would side with Dick, I think, and regard Jane's idea as an unfortunate caricature of "democracy."

IMO, the true Democrat is Dick, who uses majority rule as one of several guiding principles. Jane should be called a Hyper-Democrat: Instead of just a guiding principle, to her majority rule is a perverse obsession which allows no exceptions.

And similarly we see a difference between Libertarians like Milton Friedman and the Hyper-Libertarians that show up in Yahoo blogs and message-boards. Friedman was thoroughly familiar with all facets of economics, but chose minimizing government as one guiding principle. A Hyper-Libertarian can't think beyond "Teh gummint is teh Evil."

On another message-board, where the Hyper-Libertarians were willing to express themselves fully rather than indulging purely in obfuscation and snide remarks, one Hyper-Libertarian came out, in effect, in favor of smallpox! The eradication of smallpox would have been impossible without government intervention so was therefore a bad thing!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Short-term interest rates are set by government-controlled central banks in today's developed world. I do sincerely wonder what would happen if those central banks dissolved and let "the free market" set interest rates. Are there journal articles discussing how such a major shift would be likely to play out? For starters, most of the "money" in the U.S. consists of FedRes computer records. Would those records be turned over to a cabal of private banks? Some sort of blockchain? Would FedRes money be redeemed into gold or silver on a first-come-first-served basis? (Much of the Hyper-Libertarian crap on YouTube is pushed by people buying or selling gold.)

Much higher interest rates is the one certainty if Hyper-Libertarians have their way. Even they understand that this would have severe adverse consequences in the short term, but think it would lead to a better economy in the long term. I would be delighted to study an academic paper that projects the future in such a scenario. Is there such a thing? Or if we ask for links, will we just get gold-bug Youtubes?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hyper-libertarians use the "Dot-com bubble of 1999-2000" as a case study where FedRes' loose money policies failed. They speak of the "misallocation of resources" with companies manufacturing many miles of fiber optic cables that nobody wanted. I don't know what Hyper-Libertarians saw as the preferred alternative. Unemployment?

In fact, people were content in the 1990's. Whatever one thought of Buy_Widgets.com, the economy was succeeding. Yes, unemployment rose during the Bush-43 term after the bubble burst, but unemployment was a goal of the Hyper-Libertarian solution anyway, no? And, BTW, there is still demand for fiber optic cables!

#### laughing dog

##### Contributor
Who the fuck is Monetarism compatible with then?

That’s the question that you seem to be ignoring. If a libertarian stabs me in the head he can’t argue in court that libertarians are opposed to the initiation of violence.

These people who all sup at fountain of Rand and would implement pure libertarianism but for practical matters are the ones who proffered monetarism. You can squint and say that they’re not libertarians but we don’t care. That you think Friedman is closer to any ism other than libertarianism is a phantom that haunts your brain, but for all practical purposes doesn’t matter to anyone. The semantics are your problem, not ours
There is no real point in discussing economics with anyone who uses narrow definitions for schools of thought that ignore the breadth or depth of diversity of thought within those schools of thought.

Given JH's definitions, he is correct. The fact that his definitions are accepted as valid by a very small minority of the public means fruitful discussion is highly improbable. If he wants to continue to stamp his metaphorical feet insisting that Milton Friedman was not a "libertarian" (according to his definition), nothing will dissuade him. Of course, no one is obligated to accept his definitions.

#### Jason Harvestdancer

##### Contributor
Given JH's definitions, he is correct. The fact that his definitions are accepted as valid by a very small minority of the public means fruitful discussion is highly improbable. If he wants to continue to stamp his metaphorical feet insisting that Milton Friedman was not a "libertarian" (according to his definition), nothing will dissuade him. Of course, no one is obligated to accept his definitions.

The fact is, my definition is accepted by all libertarians, even if nobody else accepts them.

If you want to know what ideas are libertarian, it would seem obvious to ask a libertarian. That is the one thing not done around here.

#### Angra Mainyu

##### Veteran Member
Given JH's definitions, he is correct. The fact that his definitions are accepted as valid by a very small minority of the public means fruitful discussion is highly improbable. If he wants to continue to stamp his metaphorical feet insisting that Milton Friedman was not a "libertarian" (according to his definition), nothing will dissuade him. Of course, no one is obligated to accept his definitions.

The fact is, my definition is accepted by all libertarians, even if nobody else accepts them.

If you want to know what ideas are libertarian, it would seem obvious to ask a libertarian. That is the one thing not done around here.

Do you mean your definition is accepted by all who are libertarians per your definition? Or by all who are libertarians per some other definition? Or by all self-identified libertarians?

#### laughing dog

##### Contributor
Given JH's definitions, he is correct. The fact that his definitions are accepted as valid by a very small minority of the public means fruitful discussion is highly improbable. If he wants to continue to stamp his metaphorical feet insisting that Milton Friedman was not a "libertarian" (according to his definition), nothing will dissuade him. Of course, no one is obligated to accept his definitions.

The fact is, my definition is accepted by all libertarians, even if nobody else accepts them.
When Milton Friedman was alive, he did not accept you definition. So I doubt the validity if your fact.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Given JH's definitions, he is correct. The fact that his definitions are accepted as valid by a very small minority of the public means fruitful discussion is highly improbable. If he wants to continue to stamp his metaphorical feet insisting that Milton Friedman was not a "libertarian" (according to his definition), nothing will dissuade him. Of course, no one is obligated to accept his definitions.

The fact is, my definition is accepted by all libertarians, even if nobody else accepts them.
When Milton Friedman was alive, he did not accept you definition. So I doubt the validity if your fact.

Not to mention that nobody out here in the real world actually cares.

It does not actually change the fact that it is essentially "keep all the asymmetrical power dynamics but deny those harmed by them from ignorance or lack of leverage the one means to combat that (collective public violence)."

No, if you are going to leverage ignorance against people through "contract" and then hold them to that ignorance even when they are disabused of it, I'm just going to respond with violence of whatever level is necessary to make you stop and drop whatever it was you think you had a right to, alongside everyone else.

Let the seller make the buyer aware, or the seller beware. Don't like that? Don't be a piece of scum cheating people out of their hard work

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
When Milton Friedman was alive, he did not accept you definition. So I doubt the validity if your fact.

Not to mention that nobody out here in the real world actually cares.

It does not actually change the fact that it is essentially "keep all the asymmetrical power dynamics but deny those harmed by them from ignorance or lack of leverage the one means to combat that (collective public violence)."

No, if you are going to leverage ignorance against people through "contract" and then hold them to that ignorance even when they are disabused of it, I'm just going to respond with violence of whatever level is necessary to make you stop and drop whatever it was you think you had a right to, alongside everyone else.

Let the seller make the buyer aware, or the seller beware. Don't like that? Don't be a piece of scum cheating people out of their hard work

Holy crap.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
When Milton Friedman was alive, he did not accept you definition. So I doubt the validity if your fact.

Not to mention that nobody out here in the real world actually cares.

It does not actually change the fact that it is essentially "keep all the asymmetrical power dynamics but deny those harmed by them from ignorance or lack of leverage the one means to combat that (collective public violence)."

No, if you are going to leverage ignorance against people through "contract" and then hold them to that ignorance even when they are disabused of it, I'm just going to respond with violence of whatever level is necessary to make you stop and drop whatever it was you think you had a right to, alongside everyone else.

Let the seller make the buyer aware, or the seller beware. Don't like that? Don't be a piece of scum cheating people out of their hard work

Holy crap.

Don't like that? Don't be a piece of scum cheating people out of their hard work.

#### Worldtraveller

##### Veteran Member
Given JH's definitions, he is correct. The fact that his definitions are accepted as valid by a very small minority of the public means fruitful discussion is highly improbable. If he wants to continue to stamp his metaphorical feet insisting that Milton Friedman was not a "libertarian" (according to his definition), nothing will dissuade him. Of course, no one is obligated to accept his definitions.

The fact is, my definition is accepted by all libertarians, even if nobody else accepts them.

If you want to know what ideas are libertarian, it would seem obvious to ask a libertarian. That is the one thing not done around here.

Do you mean your definition is accepted by all who are libertarians per your definition? Or by all who are libertarians per some other definition? Or by all self-identified libertarians?
Let's re-word Jason's idiocy:

If you want to know what a Nazi is, you should just ask a Nazi. It should be obvious, and it's the one thing that's not done around here.

See how that works out for ya.

#### Elixir

Do you mean your definition is accepted by all who are libertarians per your definition? Or by all who are libertarians per some other definition? Or by all self-identified libertarians?
Let's re-word Jason's idiocy:

If you want to know what a Nazi is, you should just ask a Nazi. It should be obvious, and it's the one thing that's not done around here.

See how that works out for ya.

...and if you want to know how many members of Antifa there are, ask a member of Antifa - preferably an officer of the organization.
Good luck with that too.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
Holy crap.

Don't like that? Don't be a piece of scum cheating people out of their hard work.

Are you serious? I'm currently earning 12.15 an hour. I work in a nursing home.I am homeless and living in a motel. I've said all this here on TFT many times.

Hey, you want to help poor people, Jarhyn? How about sending me a thousand bucks so I can rent this room for another month?

#### Elixir

FORBES said:
Texas residents are taking to social media with screenshots of the massive electric bills they're racking up in the aftermath of an unusual, days-long coldspell, with some Texans reportedly facing bills as high as \$17,000–even before the billing period has ended.

GO, Free Market!

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Holy crap.

Don't like that? Don't be a piece of scum cheating people out of their hard work.

Are you serious? I'm currently earning 12.15 an hour. I work in a nursing home.I am homeless and living in a motel. I've said all this here on TFT many times.

Hey, you want to help poor people, Jarhyn? How about sending me a thousand bucks so I can rent this room for another month?

I would love to send you a thousand bucks for rent. That's what I'm currently arguing for. Republicans, and especially libertarians, have been rather shitty about that, however. Something about not wanting to use the infrastructural vehicle of the state to service the giving of money to you.

What? You want 1000 directly from my pocket to yours? LOL, that's not how it works. We have these systems for taxation and distribution, that's what they are there for, and they tend to work quite well...

Don't want the system to work? Don't want to do what is your part in doing so? That's your fault.

Don't like that? Stop defending scum cheating people out of their hard work.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
Are you serious? I'm currently earning 12.15 an hour. I work in a nursing home.I am homeless and living in a motel. I've said all this here on TFT many times.

Hey, you want to help poor people, Jarhyn? How about sending me a thousand bucks so I can rent this room for another month?

I would love to send you a thousand bucks for rent. That's what I'm currently arguing for. Republicans have been rather shitty about that, however. Something about not wanting to use the infrastructural vehicle of the state to service the giving of money to you.

What? You want 1000 directly from my pocket to yours? LOL, that's not how it works. We have these systems for taxation and distribution, that's what they are there for, and they tend to work quite well...

Don't want the system to work? Don't want to do what is your part in doing so? That's your fault.

Don't like that? Stop defending scum cheating people out of their hard work.

No I don't really want your money, Jarhyn. Lol. It is entertaining to see you getting your knickers all knotted up, though.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Are you serious? I'm currently earning 12.15 an hour. I work in a nursing home.I am homeless and living in a motel. I've said all this here on TFT many times.

Hey, you want to help poor people, Jarhyn? How about sending me a thousand bucks so I can rent this room for another month?

I would love to send you a thousand bucks for rent. That's what I'm currently arguing for. Republicans have been rather shitty about that, however. Something about not wanting to use the infrastructural vehicle of the state to service the giving of money to you.

What? You want 1000 directly from my pocket to yours? LOL, that's not how it works. We have these systems for taxation and distribution, that's what they are there for, and they tend to work quite well...

Don't want the system to work? Don't want to do what is your part in doing so? That's your fault.

Don't like that? Stop defending scum cheating people out of their hard work.

No I don't really want your money, Jarhyn. Lol. It is entertaining to see you getting your knickers all knotted up, though.

My knickers have no knots. Maybe check your own, if you are detecting knots in knickers?

The funniest part here is that you are the guy who is getting robbed blind by the leverage others have over you, making pittance and living out of a hotel, and you still defend the asymmetries that make that possible, and all for the dream that you too shall be able to do this to some other poor schlub some day knowing how much you hate it being done to you.

#### WAB

##### Veteran Member
No I don't really want your money, Jarhyn. Lol. It is entertaining to see you getting your knickers all knotted up, though.

My knickers have no knots. Maybe check your own, if you are detecting knots in knickers?

The funniest part here is that you are the guy who is getting robbed blind by the leverage others have over you, making pittance and living out of a hotel, and you still defend the asymmetries that make that possible, and all for the dream that you too shall be able to do this to some other poor schlub some day knowing how much you hate it being done to you.

Really? I'm 56 years old.

When I was much, much younger I was in management for two years, but realized I didn't like the stress, and didn't like taking my work problems home with me; so, at around 34 I went back to team leader positions or head cook positions, so I could earn enough to live and have what I needed...

I've explained my history a thousand times here at TFT. How is it that you can dare to make the assumption that I want to fuck some working person over in the future?

What I suspect is that you need to vent your anger, and I make myself an easy target, by being absolutely candid and honest.

Don't believe me? I will give you my full name and you can search me. William Anthony Baurle. There are very few, if any, people in the USA with that name. You will find my blogs, my Facebook account, and whatever else you want.

Then, when you're satisfied, you can apologize to me for maligning my character.

Peace, Jarhyn, or whatever your name is.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
No I don't really want your money, Jarhyn. Lol. It is entertaining to see you getting your knickers all knotted up, though.

My knickers have no knots. Maybe check your own, if you are detecting knots in knickers?

The funniest part here is that you are the guy who is getting robbed blind by the leverage others have over you, making pittance and living out of a hotel, and you still defend the asymmetries that make that possible, and all for the dream that you too shall be able to do this to some other poor schlub some day knowing how much you hate it being done to you.

Really? I'm 56 years old.

When I was much, much younger I was in management for two years, but realized I didn't like the stress, and didn't like taking my work problems home with me; so, at around 34 I went back to team leader positions or head cook positions, so I could earn enough to live and have what I needed...

I've explained my history a thousand times here at TFT. How is it that you can dare to make the assumption that I want to fuck some working person over in the future?

What I suspect is that you need to vent your anger, and I make myself an easy target, by being absolutely candid and honest.

Don't believe me? I will give you my full name and you can search me. William Anthony Baurle. There are very few, if any, people in the USA with that name. You will find my blogs, my Facebook account, and whatever else you want.

Then, when you're satisfied, you can apologize to me for maligning my character.

Peace, Jarhyn, or whatever your name is.

I will impugn the character of anyone who claims any acceptance of the core philosophical claims of Ayn Rand.

I can't really say for certain why you defend the asymmetries that make your life shit, which you have expounded on enough to know the fact that it is. I don't care about your real name. It sounds remarkably like "come at me bro" but whatever.

What I do know is that you are in here, now, supporting the actions people have taken against you, for whatever reason that is harder and harder to fathom.

Because the fact is, libertarianism is a Devil's wet dream: lawful evil distilled to it's very basic essence. It is the use of contracts, with all asymmetry permissible, for the sake of personal enrichment. And this is the paradigm that makes you, yourself, a homeless wage slave. It's really just quite sad.