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Friday, January 30, 2004

Libertarianism cont..

I've been picked up by www.crescatsententia.org part of who's argument I think I waded into yesterday. Or maybe the day before. At any rate its clear that when arguing with lawyers you should expect your paragraphs to be 'unpacked' . I think they're lawyers anyway, they describe themselves as

"The brand of pseudo-intellectual pageantry practiced by the hitherto unnamed coterie of jackasses, otherwise known as Crescat Sententia, is a load of unconscionably boring and particularly malodorous [excrement]."
-Assprat Pretentia

which probably seemed a good idea at the time. Plus at least one of them went to the other place so I suppose we have to show some sympathy.

Still, Tony assures me they have readers so I should probably reply. I mean you lot didn't come here to read about Nolberto Solano did you? Crying shame. I suppose I should unpack their stuff till it's all over the floor....

"Firstly, a number of Libertarians (I'd wager it's the vast majority) certainly believe themselves capable of failure." Well yes, but that wasn't what I said, I said falling, to the safety net under discussion. The real question is not do you expect to get the job and the receptionists' phone number, but to spend a portion of your life long term unemployed, or disabled, or unwaged and caring for a sick parent. If you did you might consider 4-8k$ a little low. I mean the guys panhandling on the street probably clear $10 a day and that's nearly $4000 - (maybe they get a Christmas bonus).

Incidently living for $4k in America strikes me as pretty tough. I mean you're going to be homeless. I guess that's the point though, force the scrounging beggars to get a job. Lord knows they got themselves into this mess on purpose. Probably trying to pay for a drug habit they couldn't handle. Didn't they know drugs are only for responsible folk?

Still I'm probably playing the 'search for hidden assumptions game' there, which seems to be off limits. I apologise, that's the kind of argument I reserve for Screwtape.

And while I'm sure it is possible to hold down a drug habit and a job (crack whores manage it so I guess lawyers could too) I doubt its easy. I mean its bad enough looking at the productivity loss you get when your staff take fifteen minute smoking breaks, imagine your horror when your project manager explains that if he doesn't shoot up he won't make it through the day. You'd have to add it to risk analysis too, you know, chance that the lead programmer has a bad trip over the weekend and spends six months having his brain put back together (at who's expense?) or worse, comes into work anyway and starts pressing the buttons that 'just feel nice'.

Odd too that here in Holland, many of the social problems are down to excessive libertarianism. There's not a lot of poverty here, the safety net is as high as the taxes. Indeed despite being resolutely somewhere in the middle on most issues the Dutch have created a pretty impressive left wing state. I mean trains run on time, and so do the buses. There's little homelessness and almost no teenage pregnancy. Most of the crime stems from the almost legal drugs and their failure to properly integrate their immigrant populations. Not to mention the slave trade running through the libertarian paradise that is the red light district.

Which reminds me, the drug addict I talked to while waiting for the bus the other day (she spoke great English, everyone does) assured me that she wished to god the drug laws were stricter. She'd been on drugs for ten years.

Anyway, I'm rambling now. So lets leave it there. I'm sure someone will come along and unpack it.

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