Monday, 5 April 2010

In government, less is more

Great point this morning made by Lindsay Mitchell:

  “An AUT survey shows that,   

    ‘Feeling as though the Government is listening to them is one of the most important things to New Zealanders, but it is the area where the country scores the worst.’

   The best remedy for this [says Lindsay] is not more democracy, more participation, more consulting, more select committees, more representatives, more commissions of enquiry, etc.
  “It is LESS government. If government weren't so pervasive in all aspects of our lives its non-responsiveness would be less of a problem.”

Exactly right. 

And it shouldn’t take a moment on that basis to work out what the real problem is with “campaign finance reform” (if politicians weren't so pervasive in all aspects of our lives the origin of the money that elected them would be less of a problem) and with the super-bureaucracy Rodney Hide is building in Auckland (if local government weren't so pervasive in all aspects of our lives then the unresponsiveness and inapproachability of its super-bureaucrats would be less of a problem).


  1. Government would be replaced by unaccountable private sector bureaucracies where no voice other than exiting to another unaccountable private sector bureaucracy is possible. Except of course where there's a monopoly. Then you're just stuffed. Great solution.

    Judge Holden

  2. Really?

    Where did you get such a weird notion?

    In reality, government has taken the developed world into an abyss of economic doom. The costs for the destruction of wealth caused by govt is going to take generations to resolve. No individual can afford to support the depravations of government. None should be expected to.

    When individuals are left free to trade amongst themselves such disasters do not occur across entire societies (as at present). This is because free economic systems are not host to frauds on the scale of central banking, fractional reserve banking and fiat money (to name a few).

    Something you'd do well to consider is that in a free market capitalist system, no private sector entity is able to resort to initiations of force, fraud or coercion to expropriate wealth from individuals. They can survive only by supplying that which other people are prepared to voluntarily purchase from them and employing the vast bulk of what they thus earn to pay the costs/overheads of their operations (i.e. they voluntarily pay their suppliers who voluntarily supply them goods and services). If a private sector entity is unable to supply what other people will voluntarily purchase from them, then they soon discover that they can't pay their costs/overheads and so become insolvent. The resources they control are soon redistributed to others.

    Accountability is absolute. It is transmitted by a price mechanism undistorted by govt rorting/fraud/ regulation/arbitrary meddling etc.

    THAT is a great solution.


  3. "Accountability is absolute. It is transmitted by a price mechanism undistorted by govt rorting/fraud/ regulation/arbitrary meddling etc."


    Where did you get such a weird notion?

    Seriously. What are your empirical examples of this absolute accountability?

    You guys are like scientologists (replacing L. Ron with Rand).

    Judge Holden

  4. Holden

    I encounter the accountability of the price mechanism in everyday life, in every transaction. What occurs daily is that I sell services, expertise and skills to those who voluntarily trade with me. They pay me in money or other goods or in some cases services of their own. So long as I am able to generate as much as I consume all is well for me. When I am able to generate more than I consume I profit. I can save the extra or I can invest it in more things/services my productive activities may benefit from or I can consume the extra in pleasurable pursuits like taking a holiday or purchasing a crate of good beer etc.

    Should I not be able to generate as much as I consume, then I would begin to deplete my savings and if the situation persisted to the point where my savings were all gone, then I'd need to sell assets to pay my costs. If things continued beyond that point, well, that's insolvency and whatever remaining resources I controlled would be reallocated to other people (to pay creditors). Obviously I'd avoid letting things slide to that point. The signal I would be receiving loud and clear from the price mechanism is known as "making a loss". Perhaps you may have heard of it.

    Looking ahead I know that a loss-making situation, if allowed to continue unchecked, would result in insolvency and bankruptcy. My goods were hard to get in the first place so I don't want that to occur. Hence I'd need to find means to trade my skills etc. for higher return. Perhaps a change of location or undertaking some prospecting for more clients or even changing to a new industry would be the go. Meanwhile I'd also be looking to cut my costs/overheads. That's known as "economising" or "doing without" or "saving money" or "only buy what you need." Perhaps you may have encountered these.

    The point is that I am absolutely accountable for what I do. The price mechanism sees to it that I am well aware of that.

    Go see for yourself. Stop bludging, get yourself into productive work and find out.


  5. ---continued from above---

    The interference of government in the economy distorts the price mechanism and the signal it generates. Money and property is expropriated from the productive simply because they are productive. It is disbursed to the unproductive in a variety of ways (through rorts, frauds, structural corruptions, arbitrary regulations, legislation, subsidy and so on). The entity that undertakes this distortion of the economy is the government. The result is reducing productivity, increasing cost, lower standard of living, elimination of freedoms and liberty.

    The magnitude and totality of the interferences of govt in the economy is substantial. Hence the distortions are similarly great. This results in the dilution and elimination of accountability from many people, simultaneously increasing the costs/overheads for others. The price mechanism fails to clear the problems because it isn't allowed to function as it should. Over time the result is that people modify their behaviour to "game the system", reducing exposure to government imposed costs and increasing the benefits and priviledges they demand (so productivity declines while consumption of other people's money & resources increases).

    In the end, the result of the distortions is a steady decline in the wealth and welfare of people throughout the economy to the eventual detriment of all of them (although many will fail to grasp this until, like a deer in the headlights, they "suddenly" encounter the results personally). That's how the developed world arrived at the present abyss of economic doom. This will take generations to resolve. And the entire mess was generated by the actions of...... govt.

    In conclusion, the price mechanism works if it is allowed to operate as it should, undistorted. Then accountability is absolute and direct. Voluntary trade between individuals remains superior to coercive expropriations of wealth undertaken by initiations of force or fraud.

    Think on it.


  6. Judge Holden, you have hit the nail on the head, most of the shit spouted on this site (and 'libz' policy in general) has no empirical evidence to back it up. It's all just stuff that should work if everybody always operates in their own rational self interest, which of course never happens. If you invert the terms in LGM's spiel (for example replace 'government' with 'business') you obtain exactly the sort of bullshit diatribe you may have the displeasure of reading on 'The Standard', to me they are just different sides of the same 'we know better than you and want to ram our philosophical framework up your backside because we are right and everybody else is stupid' coin.

    Just what the world needs right now, more inflexible ideologues.

  7. Mitchell is exactly right. I've just been reading Bastiat's The Law and he made the same point 150+ years ago. The more the govt involves itself the more unhappiness it creates.

    He's a great read, especially in these times. Not that it appears that anyone in France ever listened to him.

  8. Judy, Holden (or whatever your next identity may happen to be)

    So now you've descending into talking to yourself. That is odd. You still have no valid point to make. Pretending to be two people does not alter that shortcoming.

    Denial of that which exists (in this case the price mechanism) is delusional. It exists and it operates. You should have no trouble experiencing the price mechanism for yourself. As stated previously, you need to stop bludging, get yourself into a productive job and experience it directly.


    Your latest nonsense is to try to pretend private sector "business" and government are interchangable. They are not. They are fundamentally different.

    Government retains the ability to tax, regulate, legislate and enforce its control over every private individual throughout the economy. These attributes differ utterly from those of a private sector business (such as my own business, for instance) which relies on voluntary trade in order to survive. Govt interferes and distorts the economy in a manner that no other entity is capable of. In essence it is an institution of coercive force.

    Substituting an institution that employs coercive force for one which relies on voluntary free trade in order to pretend they are the same is invalid. Your argument is poor. Your position is irretrievably false.


  9. LGM

    Firstly you're deluded. A is A apparently, and I am not she.

    Second your equating of price setting with "absolute accountability" is frankly laughable, which is why you have failed to provide an example of how this is so in reality other than with vague references to your own alleged business. The reason for this is that your understanding of reality is a false one (ouch). The world is simply not as crude and one-dimensional you describe (there are often more than two actors in a transaction for example), and even in your wildest Randian utopian minarchist fantasy would not be as you describe.

    Thirdly brevity is the soul of wit. That explains why you spend five hundred words trying to demonstrate that which you can't.

    Squawk on.

    Judge Holden

  10. Holden, Judy, Liar or whatever you go by

    You asked a question. I answered it for you. That you lack the ability to comprehend fact is evidence of your own intellectual shortcomings and lack of real experience. Again, you need to get out and seek productive work.

    It is clear there isn't much of substance to you. Your position is without foundation- completely worthless. As a consequence, the sum total of your contribution here consists of mere denial, fibs, smears and emotion. As worthless as you are.


    PS. A is A.

    Private business is not government.

    Smearing and emoting are not substantive argument.

  11. "Smearing and emoting are not substantive argument."

    Hey, congratulations LGM! Realising you have a problem is the first step.

    Judge Holden

  12. Holden

    Yes, I accept your thankful congratulations. It's right and proper that you have finally realised that you do have a problem. I'm pleased to have been able to help you to realise that.


  13. " the sum total of your contribution here consists of mere denial, fibs, smears and emotion."

    You end up here in every discussion you participate in you useless blustering blinkered big mouth.

  14. Judge Holden is correct that you have not justified your position LGM. If you can provide a link to a scientifically rigorous study to prove this statement -

    "Accountability is absolute. It is transmitted by a price mechanism undistorted by govt rorting/fraud/ regulation/arbitrary meddling etc."

    .. then please do so.

    Of course that's not going to happen, your argument is flawed because your understanding of the world around you is flawed.

    "PS. A is A.

    Private business is not government."

    A is a letter, we've assigned it a value, but it is only representative. The value we've assigned it is rational, but the reality it represents is not. "Government" is different from the private businesses that exist, but they are only compartmentalised on a conceptual level. In reality, government is just a form of business, and a business is just a form of government. Either one will be corrupted by an imbalance of influence. Real liberty will only be obtained by eliminating corruption, from both government and business.

  15. Judge Holden et el.....Its called Fucking reality!Open your eyes and LOOK!

    You don't need a scientific study....just look at the real world about you and observe the law of cause and effect.

    Jesus you people are retards...

    Mates with the flat earthers are you...?

  16. David S

    Ah, hold up there son. Now don't be jumping to unsupportable conclusions.

    What you are enquiring about is known as catallactics.

    You'll find exactly that which you seek in Von Mises', "Human Action". There is an introduction (including definitions with careful explanation) and rigorous analysis.




    So A is A, except when you say that as A is a letter and B is a letter and since they are both letters, A is B.

    No, David.

  17. David S

    Actually, I owe you some thanks. Your enquiry got me discussing the topic with a friend who reminded me of a good introduction. I looked it up and had an enjoyable few hours last night reading it again. Much better than the TV.



  18. I requested a scientifically rigorous study, that book does not provide one.

    "So A is A, except when you say that as A is a letter and B is a letter and since they are both letters, A is B."

    I didn't say that.

  19. David S

    Read it and find out.



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