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:: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 ::

More Zompist Deconstruction...

...from Perry de Havilland, writing
on Samizdata yesterday. That's the same article referenced here on Monday. Advantage: You know who.

And thanks to Lucas Wiman who posted in the comments section at Samizdata mentioning my post. He sent me this e-mail:

Walter,
That critique of libertarianism is astounding. I don't think I've ever
seen so many fallacies in one place. Incredible.
Her arguments start out with basically the following: a lot of
republicans has certain similar ideas to libertarians, and the
republicans are bad, and therefore the libertarians are bad. I don't
even know where to start on that one. The LP also usually agrees with
the ACLU. Would she be opposed to the ACLU by similar logic?
Then there are a number of complete misrepresentations of libertarian
views (like that libertarians are opposed to governmental regulation of
any kind). Then the baffling "Sins of the Market", including "People in
the inner city pay more for food and pay surprisingly high rent," "The
entire near west side of Chicago, just east of where I live, doesn't
have a single movie theater," and "Services the middle class takes for
granted, like cashing their paychecks for free, are expensive for the
poor."
So the only possible explanation that life is more expensive in a city
is that the market doesn't work. Never mind that taxes are higher in
big cities, real estate prices are higher due to higher demand, and
transaction costs are higher. The markets failed.
Perhaps the reason there are no movie theaters is that too few people go
to movies. Finally, every bank I've ever heard of gives you free
check-cashing if you have an account. Poor people can't get a bank
account? My bank has a no-minimum balance checking account with a $50
minimum starting deposit. Even the very poor could swing that on payday.
"If you press the point, libertarians will generally cotton to being
against corporate welfare and for legalizing drugs. The Libertarian
Party website makes as much of social liberty as it does economic
liberty. However, I've never seen the libertarian elements among the
Republicans do a thing about these theoretical ideals"
If this is true, then why did the Connecticut LP refuse to allow Ann
Coulter to run for the house on the Libertarian ticket? They seemed to
care about personal freedom there.
Then there's the fact that "libertarians benefit like the rest of us
from government services: defense, public safety, universal education,
consumer protection, a court system, highways and airports, Social
Security. I can't respect a philosophy that enjoys services it objects
to paying for."
How, exactly, would she suggest not using highways? Not getting social
security*? Not enjoying national defense? Not using airports**? This
is ludicrous. In any case, libertarians have to pay taxes, and may as
well get something for their money, even if it is an inefficient
governmental something.
I agree with many of the Libertarian party's views, and could write a
better critique of libertarianism than this. Sheesh.
-Lucas
* I wonder in what way you "benefit" from social security. Even if the
program functions exactly as it should, then you only get back
inflation-adjusted money you "put in" to social security. It's like a
crappy bank account.
** Wouldn't she be opposed to this kind of corporate welfare?


I think that 'she' was a he, but accuracy isn't crucial over at Zompist, so what the hey.

:: Walter 7:55 PM [+] ::
...

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