“So why are you against government spending, again?”
By: Keegan Idler

A friend asked me this just a bit ago, and my response was lengthy and straight baller, so I had to make it its own post.

There are two main problems of government spending. The first is that you don’t get your moneys worth. When you spend your own money on yourself you care what you get and you care what you pay. When you spend your own money on someone else, you still care what they get (but not nearly as much and are less capable of determining what they need) and you care what you spend. When you spend other peoples money on yourself you dont care the cost, but you care what you get. But when you spend other peoples money on other people, you neither care what you get nor what you spend. Of course in situations where natural monopolies exist or where redundancy is inefficient, public goods are preferred because the problems associated with them are less than the problems of monopoly and redundancy.

The second reason why government spending is bad is that it creates malinvestment. The market allocates resources to best deal with people’s desires. When the government steps in for example, to encourage house ownership, we end up with soaring house costs, overbuilding, and all the rest, leading eventually to its destruction.

This is true in both the boom and the bust. Its obvious to see how this is a problem in the boom, but less obvious in the bust (but no less true). The government does not increase the economy, it simply allocates resources to where they desire. They can only spend what they take whether through inflation or taxation. The money they take would either be saved or spent. Money spent by individuals would be spent more efficiently. Money saved by individuals, is not money destroyed, but rather money able to be invested. If we had no federal reserve to manipulate the market, we would instead find that the boom is kept in check by consumer spending competing with investment. The bust would be kept in check by falling consumer spending allowing more money to be available for investment. The simple supply demand curve for the price of money would make it so that in booms the interest rate would rise to insane amounts, while in the bust it would fall to nearly zero. Thus the market regulates itself (not perfectly because people are not always rational and informed, but much better than a central authority can regulate it).

The boom is generally created through government by malinvestment. This is the problem. The bust is the cure by removing worthless investments (along with good investments too, but this is an unfortunate by-stander in the boom bust cycle). The longer you delay the cure, the longer the patient will be sick. We have a dope-fiend economy, continually injecting easy credit. Well now we are dope-sick. The addict thinks the cure is just a ‘quick fix, man’. But that just enhances the problem. Sure you’ll feel better for a short time, but you always need more and faster. The real cure is to get it out of your system. I propose going cold turkey. “If you’re riding high on that cheap credit hog, don’t look for a cure from the hair of the dog.”

More importantly, the economy is not about money, but instead about resources. The government does not create resources, simply re-allocates them. The real question is whether people are the best at deciding what’s best for themselves, or are other people best at deciding at how people should spend their own money. And actually now that I put it in those terms, it seems obvious that there should have been a third reason: freedom.

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Balance: Milton Friedman on pump priming
By: Keegan Idler

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Milton Friedman was the shit
By: Keegan Idler

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Drug Legalization: Case Study
By: Keegan Idler

There is a lot of argument on the necessity of the drug war. The benefits would be revenue gained from taxation, less drug dealers and less drug war associated crime, less money spent on fighting the drug war (police, jails, customs, etc.), easier access to treatment, and of course freedom.

The harmful effects are less clear… will people use more drugs? Will this lead to higher violent drug user crime? Will children have more or less access to drugs?

Well, Portugal legalized all illegal drugs, and so provides a fantastic case study of the issue. In short, the answer is that legalization is better in every possible way (that I can think of at least).


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Ayn Rand is so much better in dialog than monolog
By: Keegan Idler

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AnarchoDebates: Barry vs. Keegan, Keegan’s Unnecessary Follow-Up
By: Keegan Idler

Keegan’s last e-mail:

Your entire argument is, “What I say can happen and anything that doesn’t make sense I don’t have to explain because I don’t have to know every detail. A man doesn’t have to set up gas stations before making an automobile.” This is it entirely. And you feel that I should be convinced by this…interesting. But really its more like someone saying, “Teleportation can exist.” And when I say to this, but matter cannot be transported faster than the speed of light (or something along those lines), your response is “I don’t need to know all the details to know it can happen.”

The law issue is a big deal, and one that must be answered some way. If one group’s laws say that possession of drugs is punishable by death, and another’s does not, there will be innocent people punished. Not by mishap, but by the system itself.

The police arresting innocent people is another one that is vital (actually the same one) but you misunderstood my argument completely. There are mechanisms to control this in the State system, of course it won’t work perfectly, but I can see of no way at all for this to function in a Stateless system. So I asked the supposed Guru, and you answered, “I don’t have to answer that.” You hint at the free-market taking care of this, but my question was not that the police would harm those that are paying them, but instead those that are not. I don’t see how free-market cures this.

You insinuate that my questions are a barage of unrelated questions constantly moving the target of where you are shooting, but so far as I can see you haven’t taken a shot and the target is still in the same place. Granted it may be impossible to hit from your position, but that doesn’t mean the target is in the wrong place, only that you must abandon your position in order to take a decent shot.

So no, I don’t feel that I should be convinced by your arguments. But do I feel you should be convinced by mine? No. I couldn’t convince you that a community without private goods or a free market is not capitalism, how could I possibly convince you of anything? Moreover I didn’t really make much argument, I was only trying to get you to settle on a position. Only after you settled on how anarchy works could an argument discussing whether it was possible or good even start. I don’t fight with the air, it just moves when I try.

I am afraid that your bloated head has permanently closed your eyes. Which I don’t much care about, but I just thought you could point me in the right direction. I didn’t realize you were just flailing your arms.

With hope that eventually some prick will deflate it,

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