Unintentional Comedy

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Watch as this lefty comments thread struggles to reconcile everything they know about libertarianism with the possibility that a libertarian might—just might—have done something worthwhile.

They seem positively baffled.

Thanks to Anne Knox for the link.


Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

106 Responses to “Unintentional Comedy”

  1. #1 |  MikeinAppalachia | 

    glasnost-
    You say that a balanced budget amendment would entail “…drastic limits on all future spending, forever(sic).” As if such is a bad thing.
    That implies that you believe that the government can continue to incur deficits, “forever”? How does that work, exactly?

  2. #2 |  MikeinAppalachia | 

    BillC-
    You are totally wrong about how at least 99.9% of Ohio and Western Pa (I don’t know about areas of the south) would react to an establishment that would ban or refuse customers on a racial basis. And your believing such makes you as much a bigot as those you slander.

  3. #3 |  Doctor Slack | 

    102: I don’t know about Ohio or Western Pa, but BillC’s general point is perfectly valid. Good test case: Denny’s. It’s a chain with outlets throughout North America a notorious reputation for racist policies, racist staff and refusal of service or selective provision of poor service to blacks, including the infamous (but far from isolated) ’96 case in which a Denny’s in Anapolis refused to serve black Secret Service agents. This behavior persisted even after it settled a brace of class-action lawsuits and supposedly instituted “racial sensitivity” training. In fact it persists to this day. Did people stop going to Denny’s? Did it go under as a result? No.

  4. #4 |  parsimon | 

    It seems clear from this thread that people here have a different conception of rights from that held by many left-liberals, to put it very simply. Roughly, there’s a distinction drawn between freedom to, and freedom from, and the former takes precedence.

    abhisaha upthread at 50, for example, says:

    Libertarians tend to believe that the right of association is absolute, or at any rate sufficiently important so as to make any law prohibiting private discrimination unjust.

    The right of association strikes me as a subcategory of a right to private, and unconstrained, behavior in general.

    I’m curious, then, how people here — libertarians in general, or libertarians here, since I don’t know if people here consider themselves representative or a subset — feel about environmental protection laws. As you know, some politicians are calling for the abolition or radical curtailment of the EPA; sometimes they say it’s because it’s too expensive, but mostly they say it’s because environmental regulations infringe on the rights of private entities.

    If freedom-to trumps freedom-from, I would think some libertarians (all? I really don’t know) are on board with this line of thinking.

  5. #5 |  glasnost | 

    That implies that you believe that the government can continue to incur deficits, “forever”? How does that work, exactly?

    Yes. Here’s a thought experiment for you. How many years could we run a budget deficit of $1 on our current government revenue of > 1 trillion $/yr? The only constraint are interest costs. After 100 billion years, at current interest rates, we’d be paying interest of perhaps 0.003% of current revenues ($100 billion in debt, 3% interest).

    Obviously, these are much larger deficits, but interest rates float. The trend has been nothing but down since at least the 1970’s, and there’s no sign of it much turning around. Meanwhile, the above analysis is *too pessimistic”, because tax revenues grow every year, along with GDP.
    As long as the growth in your debt is below the growth in GDP and tax revenue as % of GDP stays constant, you can run not only deficits, but steadily larger deficits every year while paying less in interest as a % of total revenue every year than the year before.

    Unfortunately the number of Americans who understand this remains at >1%, so the Boogah Boogah Large Numbered Deficits hysteria reigns supreme (this is not to say that current deficit sizes are sustainable forever, they’re not, but at some point between 2020 and 2040, given expected growth rates, ones of this absolute size will essentially be holding even)

  6. #6 |  Rune | 

    it reminded me of comment threads up in this here place whenever Radley posts something on agreeing with a habitual enemy.