Communism page 7

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The alternative to government interference is to end government interference. Lawsuits, the fear of lawsuits, and the desire not to lose consumers by harming them or getting a bad reputation are the real significant factors that reduce corporate wrongdoing. Nothing can make it impossible – my vision is realistic, not utopian – but government interference typically does more harm than good.

Underwriter’s Laboratories as far as I can tell does a fine job of testing electronics products for safety – and it’s a private organization (you’ll see their “UL” stamped on many things in the US). There are numerous private consumer groups that share information and test for quality and safety on a variety of products, and they would almost certainly increase if they weren’t crowded out by government agencies. Best of all, money isn’t taken from you by force to pay for them, and your freedom isn’t restricted by arbitrary rules.

 
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lol. lawsuit, then what? 90% of the people can’t afford a lawyer, none will be provided by the state cause their’s no state, Judges are payed for by the big corporations, prisons are private institutions that lobby for more prisoners that they use as slave labour…

and what laws are these judges going to impose? who writes them?

not trusting democracy, but trusting a privatised judicial system… putting all that power in a court IS ALSO government interference btw, because what else gives them such decree?

and how do you know which of these “private consumer groups” (oxymoron btw) to trust and which cater for evil corporations without government agencies to verify such as OSHA? other meta “private consumer groups”?

 
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Originally posted by AaronB:

The alternative to government interference is to end government interference. Lawsuits, the fear of lawsuits, and the desire not to lose consumers by harming them or getting a bad reputation are the real significant factors that reduce corporate wrongdoing.
Nothing can make it impossible – my vision is realistic, not utopian – but government interference typically does more harm than good.

Its not working now, why should it start working when the government gets out. Your idea fails the reality test since Nothing can make it impossible – right now, but its not happening on a grand scale.

 
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Omega – lawyers even now take cases based on percentage of winnings, rather than an upfront fee. The judicial system is somewhat screwed up because it’s politicized, but juries and judges can sometimes get things right. Yes, there’s a prison complex that lobbies for more laws, more crackdowns, and more prisoners. This is directly a result of non-libertarian democracy.

Giving government more power is virtually equivalent to giving the big corporations that power. At times you appear to get that, but you seem to fight tooth and nail any reduction of government power. If you consider yourself an anarchist, you should spend some time studying spontaneous order and how civil institutions can function without government.

Johnny – the examples I gave are real world. UL works now. Government screws things up massively now.

 
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Originally posted by AaronB:

Omega – lawyers even now take cases based on percentage of winnings, rather than an upfront fee. The judicial system is somewhat screwed up because it’s politicized, but juries and judges can sometimes get things right.

I agree with what you say here and what you said above, about reputation and fear of lawsuits causing people to behave. However, having seen people go through the process, it just seems so much more complicated than that. A little bit about what OmegaDoom said:

lol. lawsuit, then what? 90% of the people can’t afford a lawyer, none will be provided by the state cause their’s no state, Judges are payed for by the big corporations, prisons are private institutions that lobby for more prisoners that they use as slave labour…

This seems kind of like the average experience a person has. I had a friend who looked into getting a discrimination lawyer before, and despite the good documentation they had there were two problems (a) Most lawyers didn’t want to go up against a big corporation (b) The few that did ran between $350/hour and $150K for the whole case from start to completion. I’d say the average, unnoticed Joe who gets screwed by the big corporation just has to take it and move on. There seems to be other types of cases, like maybe disability (someone is hurt tripping in a parking lot with potholes, etc), that lawyers pick up on contingency rather easily, but it seems when it’s one little guy against a big corporation, the little guy often loses out. My brother said something once that didn’t make sense but it’s coming together a bit more, about how lawyers only take the bad cases, not the truly good (justice oriented) ones that have integrity.

Another thing—it seems like when good rules are put in place to get people to behave, the less scrupulous ones just find ways around it. For instance, if sexual harrassment is outlawed, maybe a frustrated employer will simply start a papertrail and document performance “deficiencies” to retaliate against a woman. Or if a school does not want to accomodate a student’s disability, they will simply deny any request for accomodation, saying it’s a “fundamental alteration of course requirements” that would undermine their accreditation. It just seems like as well intentioned as these rules are, they only really keep the honest people honest.

 
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Originally posted by AaronB:

Johnny – the examples I gave are real world. UL works now. Government screws things up massively now.

First i was talking specifically about the law suits. Which are obviously not working on the scale they should. And unlike consumer protection NGO´s, you can´t claim the government is preventing those from happening by “crowding them out”.
Fact is i know lots of businesses that just figure in the costs of lawsuits and/or use different methods to make the lawsuits void of meaning.


UL and other NGO´s do good work. But quite frankly UL is such a major player because its government certified. One look at the none-government certified “independent test-labels” makes your claim laughable.

Also in my country at least the government clearly does more good than harm, even though there a obvious faults on side of the government.

 
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Governments are relevant for court purposes. So that people wouldn’t judge another subjectively. For other needs I wish for private companies where every citizens were its shareholders
Government might work if we treat them like insurance companies. For example if there were theft in the society, police’s salaries were used to replace the losses. If there were war in the society, the military budgets were used to replace damages. When there were illness or plague in the society, public hospital’s budgets were used to pay.
This way it would encourage the government to prevent rather than to just take away people’s money.

 
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even now take cases based on percentage of winnings, rather than an upfront fee.

so your chances at court depends on how much money you will be payed. this would clearly mean an over-representation for people sueing for restitution of damages, and a major under-representation for anyone else, when it’s not about that.

Yes, there’s a prison complex that lobbies for more laws, more crackdowns, and more prisoners. This is directly a result of non-libertarian democracy.

so how would you see that work? prison without government. who would be put in prison? i don’t think you would suggest grass-roots democracy, would you? so what, the richest man decides?

and what if these prisons go rogue? how would you stop them?

who would even arrest the criminals in the first place? civilian arrests? this is such an obvious set-up for perpetual gang war.

Giving government more power is virtually equivalent to giving the big corporations that power. At times you appear to get that, but you seem to fight tooth and nail any reduction of government power. If you consider yourself an anarchist, you should spend some time studying spontaneous order and how civil institutions can function without government.

well, you were American right? in America, the corporations control the government. in the Netherlands, they don’t really, not that much, because we have a multiparty parliamentary system, and they can’t control all parties so we’d always have alternatives.

and also, the government is an exploitable tool, as are all bodies of authority. but different bodies of authority do balance one-another, so by removing some, you empower the others. you can’t just go take them out one by one.
without government, there’s no need for corporations to exploit the government itfp. they’d just do whatever the hell they want, and no-one would have the money to stop them.

atm, the parliament is the most susceptable to public control of all bodies of authority that exist, because it is far more transparant than commerce. until this changes, parliament has my full support.

 
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Twilight – kind of another topic, but I don’t consider discrimination suits to be legitimate, anyway. People should have the freedom to associate with whom they wish. On the other hand, if you think they’re being unfair, you can boycott them. We’re talking more about “is government regulation really the thing preventing companies from putting carcinogens in our food?”

Johnny – of course, you can assume the government does more good than harm. After all, how much harm might the German government have done? Oh wait…

Sleep – that’s actually along the lines of how anarcho-capitalists think a stateless society would work.

Omega – the problems with the prison complex happened because people in a democracy think just voting for laws makes them legitimate. The government can lock millions of people in cages for smoking marijuana, for example. That would be virtually unthinkable under a libertarian government concerned only with protecting the lives and property of its citizens. As to judicial systems under an-cap, I can provide reading materials if you want to actually look into it. Your questions are the same obvious ones everyone who’s wrestled with it has, but it seems to be a waste of time trying to cover it in a few paragraphs.

I would regard a multiparty system as a step forward compared to the US system, but government is still largely an exploitable authority that strengthens the big corporations at the expense of the public.

Omega -

 
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Originally posted by AaronB:

Johnny – of course, you can assume the government does more good than harm. After all, how much harm might the German government have done? Oh wait…

Pathetic. All you got left is associating the BRD government with the Nazi Reich’s government? Really pathetic.

 
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I couldn’t resist – you walked right into that one.

This is a serious point, though. Governments in the last century have killed in the ballpark of 200 million of their own citizens – even apart from all their wars. You may think your specific government has done good than harm if you look only at the last few decades, but that’s a pretty small sample size. The common assumption that governments do more good than harm can’t just be taken for granted.

 
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Originally posted by AaronB:

I couldn’t resist – you walked right into that one.

This is a serious point, though. Governments in the last century have killed in the ballpark of 200 million of their own citizens – even apart from all their wars. You may think your specific government has done good than harm if you look only at the last few decades, but that’s a pretty small sample size. The common assumption that governments do more good than harm can’t just be taken for granted.

Yeah but unlike you i did not make a stupid generalization of that kind. I said my government clearly does more good than harm. Not only is that present tense, but there are very fundamental differences between the Governments of the BRD and the Nazi Reich or of governments like the one in Syria or North Korea.

So you claiming I walked into that one only works by twisting my words(or history*) to make it fit. For me it just looks like your trying to distract from the points i made, because you can´t counter them. Is it a wonder i find that pathetic, considering you drop without addressing any of the points i actually made?

 
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Some of your points are just assertions I don’t feel a need to respond to. Lawsuits are handled under the government, so it doesn’t make sense to say it isn’t crowding out non-government means of adjudicating disputes. Do you really think government recognition is what makes the UL’s work good?

As to why some businesses you know essentially ignore lawsuits, I’d need a lot more information. Do they think the judgments are just so arbitrary that they don’t need to change anything? Are changes not worth the cost and effort?

This could be another large topic, but in my view the differences between dictatorial governments and other modern governments are more subtle than you think; while the similarities are more fundamental. I don’t think the BRD government is worse or closer to nazism than many other governments; but they are all seriously flawed.

 
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Originally posted by AaronB:

Some of your points are just assertions I don’t feel a need to respond to.

If you feel like you don´t need to respond, then don´t respond at all instead of bringing lame jokes that miss the target and just make it look like your avoiding the points i made.

Lawsuits are handled under the government, so it doesn’t make sense to say it isn’t crowding out non-government means of adjudicating disputes.

Could you be more concrete on this. You made the claim that Lawsuits were a alternative to government interference. This is clearly bullshit because nothing stops the Lawsuits from working now, but we can still see great amounts of company wrong doing.
What exactly do you mean handeld under the government? Do you mean the government makes the laws by which Judges (who are government employees) rule cases? If yes, how exactly should this be done differently(come i can use a laugh)?

Do you really think government recognition is what makes the UL’s work good?

Its a significant factor. Because it gave/gives the NGO more credibility, than none quality checked NGO´s. The approval stamp of the government, has helped UL become a major player and its Status as major player is what makes it able to do such much good work.

As to why some businesses you know essentially ignore lawsuits, I’d need a lot more information.

I did not say they ignore them. I said they figure in the costs of lawsuits or use methods to make them void of meaning. Thats something different than ignoring them.
Here an example of a company figuring in the cost of lawsuits:
http://www.citizen.org/congress/civjus/archive/tort/tortlaw/articles.cfm?ID=570
(I will try looking up some more later, having problems with my key words bringing up to much unrelated stuff.)
In the example above the estimated cost of fixing a problem was 8.65 dollars per car while cost for paying for damages was figured in at 2.40-2 dollars. So GM decided not to fix the problem because it considered it cheaper to pay for damages(including deaths) than fix the problem.

Making a lawsuit void of meaning is another Method. The most examples of this (that i know of) happen in the building industry. A business is made with the organization form being one with limited liability of the owners.
The construction (management) firm generally underbids for its contracts but asks for significant potions of its bills to be paid up front(generally claiming that they need it to pay the subcontractors). Once the construction starts, they will find reasons to bill the Contractor(future building owner) more and/or do sloppy work/leave stuff unfinished(once paid for). The contractor might then sue the construction management firm(or pay them more to do the work properly), if the firm gets sued it files bankruptcy before the lawsuit goes through. This is done by building up phony liabilities to other companies(usually subcontractors). These companies belong to friends and family(or sometimes even have the same owners). And the phony liabilities are only called in too move the money gained out of the company before the lawsuit hits. The company and the money is practically gone before they have to pay for damages done.

Do they think the judgments are just so arbitrary that they don’t need to change anything? Are changes not worth the cost and effort?

See above.

This could be another large topic, but in my view the differences between dictatorial governments and other modern governments are more subtle than you think; while the similarities are more fundamental. I don’t think the BRD government is worse or closer to nazism than many other governments; but they are all seriously flawed.

This is certainly where we disagree.

 
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Not exactly. What I’m saying is that lawsuits one of several checks that restrain bad behavior on the part of businesses. They don’t function perfectly – but that’s to be expected with government controlling the judicial system. The government crowds out alternatives the free market may come up with.

A good example of this is the Law Merchant. During the Middle Ages as trade increased, merchants had problems with dispute resolution because each government had different laws related to trade. They wouldn’t enforce contracts made under other countries’ laws, and so on. The merchants developed their own courts and “laws”, and it was backed not by force of arms but largely through boycotts.

The case you’re talking about related to the GM car sounds like the Corvair. What should be obvious but most people don’t understand is that everything has trade-offs. To build a car with every possible safety feature would result in a car that costs millions, and only the very rich will have them. There must be some point at which you conclude that further safety functions aren’t worth the cost. You can have disagreements about exactly where to draw that line, but then you’re nitpicking over details; not condemning them for being unconscionably evil.

 
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^that trade standart still exists yo.

also those laws were essentially just Guild Laws, initially. which is an establishment created by the governments, originally they were craftsman guilds functioning as college/schools (whatever is the english equivalent of MBO) and labour unions, which were destroyed by the Merchant class when they became so powerful they dominated all craftsman guilds because they controlled the capital needed to produce and lobby. this was the beginning of what we still know as the Class Wars.

the Merchant Guilds then monopolised all trade, and they were merely sub-governments using their monopoly on trade and political power to actually block free trade and make the rich richer. they were eventually abolished by the original political left: the French Revolution. that was the start of free trade.

(i am talking out of my ass right now)