Free Markets, Free People

How government creates and abets “crime”

I’m always a little taken aback that normally intelligent people just don’t seem to get the fact that for the most part, without government, there can be no “blackmarket”:

Indiana’s cigarette tax is relatively low. Chicago has been complaining for some time that people will go to the Hoosier State, buy a few cartons, then come back to Chicago and sell them at prices undercutting Illinois rates, but still make money. Kentucky, though its tax isn’t too high, also finds its citizens crossing into Indiana to buy their tobacco to sell them cheaper back home. It’s called the black market and high tobacco taxes foster this criminal enterprise.

Now California wants to hike taxes to some of the highest rates in the country.

Democrat State Senator Kevin De Leon has introduced a plan to hike cigarette taxes (SB 768 ) in order to pay for more state spending. But this idea is nothing new and has been defeated several times before. Even law enforcement has been against these tax hikes because such plans embolden dangerous criminals

States with high tobacco taxes like New York have reported higher levels of black-market smuggling, a big source of money for gangs and organized crime. By one 2011 estimate three of every five cigarettes smoked in the Empire State was purchased illegally.

If government doesn’t a) make something “illegal” or b) tax it to the point that other sources of a wanted commodity from states which tax it less become attractive, how would a blackmarket form among voluntary traders?


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103 Responses to How government creates and abets “crime”

  • Mumble mumble…. markets don’t regulate themselves…mumble mumble.

  • I’ve known some fairly “high-end” criminals in my life time and they love it when the government does things like this.  It makes their job soooo easy.
    When we first moved to Idaho about 27 years ago, cigarettes were so much cheaper here than in Minnesota where my dad lived I mailed him 4 or 5 cartons every month.  I’m quite sure that wasn’t “legal.”

    • Boy, are YOU ever on a list…!!!

      • And all because she got this crazy idea that her money is actually hers and doesn’t belong to the state!

        • 🙂
          Ironic,  isn’t it, that someone who isn’t willing to be gouged on taxes is “greedy” but parasites that want to leech off the taxpayers ISN’T greedy…or a parasite.
          Recall, too, that quite a few of our Founding Fathers were smugglers, most famously John Hancock.

  • For anyone who ACTUALLY loves the idea of the rule of law, watching this kind of thing proliferate is maddening.
    Governments who try prohibition or quasi-prohibition HAVE to understand the cost/benefit ratio.  Sometimes that ratio augers in favor of the action…as in crack cocaine, perhaps.
    Most often, it does not, and ONE of the greatest costs is that you turn ordinary people into bootleggers, petty criminals, and scoff-laws.
    You also divert police resources to stupid pursuit of violations.  And, seriously, what cop would NOT prefer catching cigarette smugglers to hunting for someone dangerous?  (Yeah, there are some…and a damn good thing it is, too.)

    • the other half of the problem is government’s idea that your stuff is THEIRS, and you need to pay them for the privilege of building/growing/selling/buying/using/owning/earning so they can have money to finance the “Home for nasty naughty wayward girls who like state representatives” in the capitol.

      • Especially since…given the chance…I might voluntarily contribute to the “Home for nasty naughty wayward girls…”
        Quite liberally.  Heh!

      • The, too, it took months and months and a lot of $$$ to get the building permit to build that “Home for nasty naughty wayward girls who like state representatives”, but the girls could just waltz in and be “provided” for.

  • So keep raising ciggy taxes so less people buy and there’s less revenue to find the boondoggle you raised taxes to support in the first place.
    Do these idiots EVER learn? Rhetorical, I see Erb after all…

    • The ironic thing is when they whine about the ‘lost revenue’ that results from fewer people smoking due to the cost…..
      they should admit it, if was ever about stopping the behavior, it isn’t any more, it’s to make money.   Lying hypocritical rat bastards.

  • Without government it would be all black market – mafia gangs and organized crime.  Without government there can be no functioning free market.  That is not just conjecture, that is historical fact.  Markets only operate well with a strong and effective state.  Only a true idiot would think that markets can magically self regulate – or at least someone who has NO knowledge of history and how the economy functions.  Those people live in a theoretical fairy world where “assumptions” create reality.  The real world doesn’t work like that, power relations are everywhere.   So I just shake my head at the naive ideologues of either the far left (who wrongly think government can do it all right) or the libertarians (who wrongly think the market can magically regulate).  Naive fools across the ideological spectrum.   You gotta be pragmatic – look at what works, notice when government goes too far (over-regulates and damages the markets) or not far enough (under regulates, as with the financial sector and the mortgage bond fiasco) and allows the insiders to make a killing.

    • Same result with stupid government

    • thank you scott, for completely and adequately demonstrating that you don’t have a clue about basic economics.
      Where, EXACTLY,  does the mafia enter the picture when a farmer agrees to sell a bucket of his milk to his neighbor for a dozen carrots?
      Where, precisely, you dolt, is ‘organized crime’ in all that?
      Let’s step it up – cigarette company A decides to sell it’s cigarettes at $1.00 a carton, no tax involved…..and people buy them for $1.00 a carton….organized crime is?  where?  in this transaction?
      The state intervenes, and do-good morons like you think people shouldn’t smoke, so you pass laws to infringe on their freedoms and the state decides to charge a sin tax of $1.00 a carton in your state.  Cost of a carton of cigarettes, now $2.00 a carton.
      the state next door continues to leave the sinner’s be, and the price is still $1.00 a carton.
      Do you see where maybe ‘criminals’ might get involved and buy cigarettes in the neighboring state for 1 $1.00 and then sell them, illegally of course, in your state for $1.50, thereby making a 50 cent profit in undercutting your idiot state’s tax law?
      Now THERE, I can see opportunities for some ‘organized crime’.   Prior to that, hard to make money on a product that people can buy themselves at the same price.  If there’s no reward for risk, there’s no incentive to be a criminal.   By restricting things, prohibiting things, causing things to cost more than the market would otherwise cause, government encourages criminals by incentive to provide the prohibited or restricted items at a cost or a lower cost than through the ‘government approved’ channels.
      It’s SIMPLE and obvious.
      But you’re a moron, and you couldn’t come up with that scenario without running back to your standard view that markets can’t work without your goddamned government enforced finger poking, because someone used the word ‘markets’, and you can’t think from the micro level up to the macro level.   You’d be a hoot in a small village culture, every village needs an idiot to look down on.

      • You’re dealing in theory.  “When a farmer decides…”  You’re setting up a fantasy scenario.  I look at the real world.  There are never functioning markets if there isn’t a strong state.  Organized crime manages to gain power and make sure markets cannot be established.  That’s history – that’s empirical reality.  You’re dealing in theory, in fantasy.  You’re not looking at the real world, you’re dealing with vastly over simplified economic theory.  Cute.  But you don’t understand the real world.  But that’s OK.  As long as you don’t teach, you’ll do no harm with your cute little illusions.

        • There are never functioning markets if there isn’t a strong state.

          Well, you are a persistent idiot.  And builder of straw-men.
          There were certainly markets in 1776, when Smith published The Wealth Of Nations, and our nation was born.  Was there a “strong state”?  Not by any definition we would recognize.  Regulation?  Naw.
          But you are just a lying, delusional tool.  And a historical boob.

          • If this is what he believes……
            Shaw’s “wrestling with a pig” quote comes to mind here.

          • You also never read Smith if you think he thought markets work magically.  Smith in fact was very critical of the capitalists of his era, and noted that there had to be a legal or moral order for markets to function.   Libertarians who cite Smith clearly have not read him (and by the way, he was Karl Marx’s favorite economist).  Your knowledge, Rags, is limited to slogans.  You need to educate yourself.

          • “You also never read Smith if you think he thought markets work magically.”

            Really?  ANOTHER straw-man, Erp?  You really are intellectually bankrupt. 

            The POINT was that there WERE markets functioning at the time of Smith’s brilliant insights, and they were functioning in the absence of what you would describe as “regulations”.

            Smith DID talk about moral restraint as being necessary to enjoy a full, happy life, as opposed to a crass obsession with acquisition alone.  And, like Smith, I think a SMALL government is very much a provider of human goods.

            FYI, I BOTH read AND UNDERSTOOD Smith.  Which is unique as between you and I.

    • “You gotta be pragmatic”
      the word pragmatic is not like Abracadabra or Shazaam, it’s not a magic word, waving it around and inserting it at approximately appropriate points in your comments does not improve them.

      • Mussolini was pragmatic, and he would up hanging out by the streetlight.

    • Step further –
      Show me where organized crime is in selling television sets cheaper than Wal-Mart.
      Cars perhaps?
      Why is it that organized crime almost always is involved in things government has restricted, artificially inflated price, or out right prohibited?  Can you answer that without some half assed lecture about haves and have nots or evil greedy capitalists?
      Why don’t you try comprehending the point McQ was trying to make instead of seeing the word ‘market’ and doing your impersonation of Pavolv’s dogs.

      • Notice he didn’t answer the question, namely “how would a blackmarket form among voluntary traders?”

        • He didn’t read what you wrote, his response isn’t economics, it’s class warfare politics with the word markets thrown in.

          • He doesn’t come here to read the posts. He comes here to lecture us. And, since he has to know at some level that we think he’s at the intellectual level of pond scum, it can’t be because he want’s to convince us of anything.

            So he’s doing it for some kind of personal satisfaction or gratification. I’ve long believed it’s a release from that nagging feeling he has that, if he were 1/10 as smart as he thinks he is, he wouldn’t be in the equivalent of a community college teaching bored freshmen for very modest pay. He would be talking to important people about important things.

            It’s pretty pitiful for him that coming here and debating his intellectual betters about things on which he’s profoundly ignorant is the closest he can get to what he thinks he should be doing. It’s like someone who delusionally thinks they should be playing major league baseball, but they suck, so they play co-ed softball, make a dozen fielding errors per game, and strike out ninety percent of the time. Then they have the nerve to lecture the other players about how to play softball.

          • And then we haven’t even touched on GOVERNMENT being used as the club of regulation and restriction to beat down one group for the benefit of another in the market place.
            Subsidies, tariffs, selective rule and regulation enforcements, favorable and unfavorable administrative and judicial rulings, regulations designed to favor certain participants, the list goes on and on.
            These are the things Erb is railing against, instituted and enforced BY government, not prevented or reduced by it.
            Organized crime my ass, most of us worry about threat of legally ordained force on a day to day basis, not organized crime.
            Easy to understand why some view ‘government’ as nothing more than as legally organized criminals on

        • Because in the real world voluntary traders quickly get overtaken by organized criminal gangs.  Unless you have a strong state and rule of law to assure that trade is voluntary and not subverted, organized gangs take over.  That’s historical fact.  You can’t magically “assume” that all traders are and will remain voluntary.   That doesn’t happen in the real world.  Hard core libertarians are as out of touch with reality as hard core Marxists.  Too much ideology leads to weak and shoddy thinking.

      • looker – I think I’ve fallen in love with you.  😉

      • They’re not because we have regulations and rule of law.  Take that away and Walmart would become a mafia.  You’re so naive about power, looker.  That’s cute about you.

        • And you’re a condescending moron.  That is very unbecoming in an ignoramus.

        • Wal-Mart would become the mafia?
          Hmmmm, my first response is to call you an asshat, but rather than do that, perhaps I should ask you to elucidate on Wal-Mart becoming the Mafia.
          Outline the process by which Wal-Mart becomes the mafia because ‘government’ doesn’t stop them through regulations.
          I’m sure that will be enlightening to those who think they understand economic fundamentals.
          Or, alternatively, perhaps you could tell us what you think the ‘mafia’ is, I’m sure that would be equally entertaining.

          • Well of course Wal-mart would become the mafia, because they’d make you buy their stuff </sarc>

          • In the real world large actors like Walmart, when unregulated, use their power to enhance their role, with the first goal being to subvert the market to prevent competition.   To naively think Walmart would remain benign without regulations is insane.

          • More self-parody.  You cannot BEGIN to suggest a model for what you assert.  Conversely, you CANNOT BEGIN to deal with the models I have cited.
            Wal-Mart…were it to act like the DMV…would invite competitors.  THEY would effectively control any “government-like” behavior by Wal-Mart.
            Who controls “government-like” behavior by government?  Who competes with DMV-quality monopoly government schools?

          • “In the real world large actors like Walmart”
            And in this ‘real world’ I suppose Wal-Mart manifests itself spontaneously, rather like a divine being springing forth from the head of a Titan, as a mega conglomerate.
            This is done in your ‘real world’ without having to rise under the management of an owner starting with a small store in some town and doing business selling goods to the locals at a price that is reasonable for them to pay and still nets the owner a profit.   In that artificial world of my imagining, by doing a fair and honest business with his clientele, who self select and are not coerced, he expands his operations locally, eventually over time expanding his business to other places, growing in the market place and establishing a reputation for decent products decently priced so the average person can afford them.
            But no THAT is a fantasy….we all know Wal-Mart the mega corp of your ‘real world’ appears in the market spontaneously, ready to conquer but for the kindly oversight and protection of wise stewards in government.
            …in your real world….Wal-Mart appears on the scene, complete with thuggish army borrowed from Capital One commercials ready to subvert the ‘market’  and coerce the common man into ‘buying’ their product at the point of spear, sword and halberd.
            And in this ‘real world’ where ‘government’ stops Wal-Mart’s Capital One borrowed brigands….who does ‘Wal-Mart’ turn to to help oppress or eliminate competition, bargain with to obtain beneficial tax treatment, negotiate with to obtain subsidies…the market place?
            No…they do all that through GOVERNMENT, because well, government has their own brigands, and Wal-Mart can save themselves the cost of renting Capital One’s army by using local government to achieve various thuggish goals within the ‘letter of the law’.

          • Heh McQ –
            “I notice youse gots a car, I tink maybe youse folks needs some of dis motor oil, dat I’m selling for $50.00 a quart.  You gonna buy it or am I gonna have to start breaking parts off youse?”

          • And I apologize to the Greeks for suggesting divine beings spring forth from the foreheads of titans.   We know after much study they actually spring forth from the foreheads of other gods.

    • “Without government it would be all black market – mafia gangs and organized crime.”

      You are such an idiot.

      That’s not a “black market”, nor is selling goods a “crime” under those circumstances.

      • In the real world the lack of a state and a solid regulatory system means there are no real markets.  Markets require a state and regulations to function (or perhaps strong social norms of behavior that all choose to follow – which is unlikely in high population situations).   That’s how the world works.  People who dream up perfectly working markets absent a strong regulatory system are naive dreamers, seduced by an ideology that pretends that all can work out perfectly, but which ignores real world power.

        • You repeating the same drivel will NEVER make it credible, Erp.  You are fully in the “LA, LA, LA” mode of your “persuasive style”.
          In the real world…of which you have demonstrated a GLOWING ignorance.

        • People who dream up perfectly working markets absent a strong regulatory system are naive dreamers….

          Thus the idiot calls those who are figments of his imagination dreamers.
          The only people who envision “perfectly working markets” are “leftist” ideologues like you who think that if just the right people were in charge, to “nudge” the stupid and weak, all the “power relationships” could be balanced out and life on Earth would be idyllic.  This sort of thinking has roots in your hero, Marx, who was an abject failure at predicting anything, lacking any understanding of human nature.

          Instead of the state withering away, your hero, Marx, spawned ideologies in which the state became a massive, murderous behemoth.
          Perfection of markets is an absurd concept, as good is in the eye of the beholder.  Whenever you babble about whether a system “works”, you ignore the simple fact that “works” is subjective: anything is of different value to each individual.  For you, declaring that system S is “better” than system C means that you, in your position as “wise leftist”, get to decree that those individuals for whom C is as good as, or better than, S, are just trash to be disregarded.  Your notion of “freedom” means that the freedom of this “human trash” is to be dispensed with.  After all, their lives are not their own, and “wise leftists” like you can dispense with their freedom as you see fit.

          • Lives are not their own –
            And we went through that with him too, since his ‘government’ owns you and waves away the idea you have inalienable rights.
            He’s rather a scary picture when you fully assemble all his jumbled pieces, and we can be thankful he’s a dead ender in Moose college, though certainly his idols sit at their jobs in the chambers of our highest political offices.

          • And we went through that with him too, since his ‘government’ owns you and waves away the idea you have inalienable rights

            He claims to “teach this stuff” but denied any knowledge of the concept of self ownership (credited to John Locke’s Second Treatise of Civil Government, 1690).  Over three centuries of political philosophical discussions regarding the concept, and a so-called “expert” thinks he can just decree that it is unimportant–obviously because he only lives in the rarefied air of “leftist” thought, confused and confounded by anything outside that bubble.
            On the matter of inalienable rights, he just parrots the party line, that rights derive from government, being socially constructed.  Of course, that has to be the position of anyone who wants the option to violate the rights of the “human trash” who counter the five year plans of the “wise leftist” architects.  If an individual has any rights which can not be taken away by those in “official authority”, it undermines those officials, calling into question the authority by which they claim to rule.
            Thus, Jews under the Third Reich, Ukrainians under Stalin, intellectuals under Pol Pot, women, homosexuals, apostates in the Muslim world–all of these people, by Scott’s reasoning, have no rights.  Having no rights, there is no ethical basis to hold the murderers and oppressors accountable for killing or harming such victims.

            He’s rather a scary picture when you fully assemble all his jumbled pieces, and we can be thankful he’s a dead ender in Moose college, though certainly his idols sit at their jobs in the chambers of our highest political offices.

            For all his pretense at scholarship, he has virtually no influence, though he has delusions of grandeur.
            I find it hilarious that a man who thinks he is so intelligent and effective would not look at how ineffective he is in this forum and realize that his “superior talents” are needed in a more productive medium.  Then again, maybe he realizes that he isn’t very good at doing much outside of trolling comment sections, so he retreats from “the real world” to lick his wounds, occasionally popping up here in his half-drunken state to dull the pain by getting his ideological enemies to spend time on him.
            All he is doing is giving others the opportunity to ridicule how pathetic he is.  I suppose it is a distraction to protect himself from the dark thoughts he must have in his idle times.  I know that if I had treated good people with such cruelty, had spent decades of my life championing the cause of oppression and depraved violations of the rights of innocents (all bundled under cheap political rhetoric of egalitarianism, of course), I’d certainly be filled with self-loathing.
            One of the advantages of taking a rational, scientific approach to problems, of being open to recognizing one’s mistakes, of dispensing with partisanship so as not to be put in the position of defending cretins, is that one need not suffer such guilt.  No matter how intelligent I am, I don’t know what is best for you, the person who lives in the slums on the other side of town, or some schmuck living on the other side of the country.  It’s not for me to decide that some idiot who is behaving recklessly could do better with guidance.  Because, while my judgment may be far superior, if I were to override their wretched judgment, I would become an unethical scumbag for denying their rights.  How “wise” would that be?

    • Without government it would be all black market – mafia gangs and organized crime.

      Hey, SFBs, that’s a good description OF government.
      Seig heil, man!

      • Consider the sale of goods: guns, alcohol, drugs, food, vehicles.  Two items, which are identical in every way that matters, can have disparate legal status.  The notion that you deserve to go to prison if you have one, but not the other, is preposterous.
        And yet, idiots like Scott will shout “oooga boooga BLACK MARKETS” as though those words should strike fear in the hearts of people, sending them running into the arms of benevolent regulators and BATF agents.
        Oh, but he’ll warn about mafia yakuza thugs, you know the men with guns who organize their efforts to enforcing the diktats of the leaders of the gangs.  We need police to carry around guns to protect us, so they can enforce the diktats of the leaders of the government.
        But wait, he might think to mention that the BLACK MARKETS involve slavery.  Meanwhile, young men are still required to register for selective service, so benevolent government might call upon them to do good.  And, all productive Americans are required to spend months of the year working without compensation to pay their taxes.  Because, you know, we need more drones and smart bombs to use against the wogs and all.

        • Don’t forget our need to supply Sandra Fluke with her birth control so she can be prepared for her fantasy shags at college.

    • More ignorant idiocy from our idiot bud.
      Tell us, Erp, WHO “regulates” feeder cattle sales?  Fed cattle sales?  eBay?  The mutliple industry standards that control electronics?
      You just insist on punking yourself.  I will always help you.

    • The early American republic functioned very well with minimal government. In fact, in the 1880s we replaced the UK as the wealthiest nation, despite having almost no government control of the market whatsoever.

    • …or not far enough (under regulates, as with the financial sector and the mortgage bond fiasco) and allows the insiders to make a killing.

      Of course, since BOTH Dodd AND Fwank were TWO of the biggest crooks in the Congress, you are assured that what they put their name to (but the boys from Wall St. WROTE) is completely going to prevent any future “killings”.
      (That was sarcasm, btw, you poor idiot.)

    • Without government it would be all black market….

      Proving, once again, that you didn’t bother to read the article, or were too stupid to understand it.
      A “black market” is a market which lacks the imprimatur of government officials.  By definition, without government, there would be no official to grant permission, and thus any possible exchange of values would be BLACK, i.e., evil, dirty, bad, harmful.  Without a bureaucrat, the common people are thus rendered abject idiots, unable to manage their lives or deal with predators.  And, anyone with any wealth, free of the watchful eye of benevolent officials, turns into a sociopathic pirate gangster mafia thug tough guy.
      It is impossible for people with any wealth to behave morally.  And, good people are too stupid to cooperate with one another to combat the gangster mafia yakuza monsters.

      Only a true idiot would think that markets can magically self regulate….

      …which of course is the argument of anyone who argues that individual economic freedom is ethical.  It’s just MAGIC.  We all dance around in robes with stars, chanting, shaking our talismans, and calling forth the spirits.
      It couldn’t be that true idiots who are too stupid to understand reasoned arguments can do little but throw out strawman arguments, like “magic”.
      Free market capitalism: that crazy, idiotic notion that other people are not your property.  Why, only a believer in magic would buy such a ridiculous concept.

      • We all dance around in robes with stars, chanting, shaking our talismans, and calling forth the spirits.

        You guys have open membership, or would I need a sponsor…???

  • Without government there can be no functioning free market.

    Ewww…   The old, old straw man.  WHAT government? The SMALL government that provides for enforcement and interpretation of contract?  The SMALL government that provides for basic infrastructure?
    WTF are you referring to there, Erp?  See, I really doubt you have a clue.  No more here than about the UN.

  • If we went back to the dawn of man, I would suspect markets existed long before government regulation.
    In fact, if you think about it, it would have to be that way. Nobody would dream up government rules for something that did not exist yet.
    “Hmmmm, imagine if two neighbors made a voluntary trade of foodstuffs…but then there were a dispute aftwerwards. How would we solve that?”
    “Two neighbors made a trade and then there was a dispute that caused a lot of bad feelings…hmmm, maybe we should have an impartial judge to resolve this problem in the future?”

    • Markets are usurped by power.  That’s why libertarianism is a totally flawed ideology.

      • Or “government”.  You walked right into that, stupid.

      • “Markets are usurped by power.  ”
        Government IS power.   That’s a fact.  You yourself are arguing it is in indicating it can and must control the market.
        Therefore markets are usurped by government.
        Let’s take GM as an example – rather than the market killing the company as a result of it’s poor management of it’s business,
        the government intervenes, screws the bond holders, props up the company with tax payer money and jacks with the market.
        Organized crime indeed.
        Keep talking, the village is entertained with your antics.
        We probably shouldn’t poke at you this way though, it’s unbecoming to treat fools in this fashion.

      • Markets are usurped by power.

        The power which harms markets is, most of the time, either the result of some law or bureaucratic regulation, or the crony of someone with political power exploiting that relationship to leverage the power of government to get away with corruption.

        That’s why libertarianism is a totally flawed ideology.

        Which is an incredibly stupid, childish attempt to shift the burden from those who do harm to others onto those who say that doing harm is unethical.
        It’s like saying that atheism is flawed because religious groups do bad things.
        Only “wise leftists” can fathom the logic underlying such arguments.

  • One more thought on free markets vs. government. Erb is assuming that government is always nice and that without government we would have the mafia. I supposed Erb being a complete idiot doesn’t understand that in European history often “the government” was simply the man with the most soldiers…which is suspiciously like his version of the mafia.
    (The actual mafia in Sicily was not what most people think it was. It was often preferred to use them vs. Italian government.)
    I guess Erb missed these basic history lessons while getting his PhD.

  • It’s always a balance.  Rule of law and democratic oversight is hard to establish and maintain.  Governments can be like mafias.  It’s all about power – whoever has it can shape the system to their advantage.  Markets aren’t magic – power manipulates them.

    • Markets…like democracy…dissipate power, moron.  (Yeah, I AM using that term.  Sue me.)  Markets are all about choice.  Duh.

      • Without government and rule of law, markets can’t dissipate power.  You are clearly in need of education.  I can help you, but you have to admit your failings and instead of name calling and bravado admit you need some education.  I’m here to help when you’re ready!

    • Markets aren’t magic….

      Only seem to think there is anything involving magic in these arguments.  You’re just too dense to understand the rational justifications for the ethical exchange of values, so you assume there is something mystical in there, beyond the grasp of your mind.

      …power manipulates them.

      Yes, so when you call for government to “fix” the problems created by “free markets” and “deregulation”, you pretend that the power of government, which is either applied directly or leveraged by cronies, has not already manipulated and distorted the markets before any illusory “deregulation” was put in place.
      So, since markets can be manipulated, you therefore call for more power in the hands of unaccountable people.  They are unaccountable because people like you rush around with your little fire hose putting out the flames and declaring that any abuse of power is not really a scandal, that we should just move on.
      People like you enable the misuse of power.

  • Ummm…stupid.  You have not dealt…honestly or in your usual lying way…with the models I have named above.  I know why.  You are an ignorant, narcissistic Collectivist tool.  You haven’t a freaking clue.  And everyone here knows it.  That must be mortifying.

    • You have not given models.  You have not made an argument.  The best you can do is that when we had massive poverty, slavery, theft and rule by force back when government was smaller (in the 19th century) there were markets.   But without government regulation not only did you have child labor, exploitation of workers in sweat shops, industrialists controlling markets to protect their share (subverting markets) and the like.  But any efficacy of local markets was due to custom and social norms.  In a modern complex capitalist system that’s not going to limit much in terms of the global economy.   So if you think you can have an effective market economy in this day and age without a strong regulatory state, I look at the world and have to tell you that all the evidence is against you.  You have to make your case, and you’ve provided nothing.  OF course, the issue is moot – the world is moving away from what you want it to be at light speed (in social issues too).  You’ve lost the fight, rags.

      • Quoting myself from above.

        More ignorant idiocy from our idiot bud.
        Tell us, Erp, WHO “regulates” feeder cattle sales?  Fed cattle sales?  eBay?  The mutliple industry standards that control electronics?

        You just insist on punking yourself.  I will always help you.

        Those are the models, liar.  Now, I understand you are clueless, and don’t think you CAN deal with these because your are so uninformed.  Well, and a delusional, lying Collectivist tool.  But there they are.  Deal with them.

      • “The best you can do is that when we had massive poverty,”
        May 30, 2013.   Salon (that hotbed of Libertarian Free Marketing right wing nut jobs) posted the following article.
        Since you are sometimes link challenged, let me snatch the head-line as the link
        Half of Americans below or near poverty line
        One in Six – worst record since LBJ…..
        Thank God for the government regulating the market eh?

        • Apparently, Erp’s mommy called him home to dinner…!!!
          Here’s a WAY smarter version of Erp, and why he is STILL a laughable self-parody….

        • Yes, since 1980 the US has seen a dramatic decline in social mobility and the gap between the rich and poor is widening, something that happened alongside deregulation of the 80s and 90s, and major tax cuts.  That has to be turned around, the 80s saw the US debt double in terms of debt to GDP and much of that was deficit spending during a boom.   We’ve had 30 years of dysfunctional policy that has yielded a country where the American dream is dying.  That’s a real problem – one caused in large part by deregulation.  Thanks, apparently we agree this is a huge problem!

        • Here’s another good article about how the country has become divided between rich and poor, with a real lack of social mobility:

          • We all note…with heightened interest…that you cannot deal with the models.  Nor can you suggest a model that supports your MONUMENTAL bullshit.
            Nor have you provided ONE historical example of “historical fact”.

        • Thank you Comrade Erb.
          Perhaps some quotes from Das Kapital are in order before we adjourn the meeting.

      • You have not given models.  You have not made an argument.

        The Baghdad Bob schtick is getting really, really old.
        Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?

  • What’s funny is that I’m probably closer to most of you than are most Democrats.  So is Obama – Democratic pragmatists resist ideology.

    • What’s funny is that your lack of self-awareness is so immense, you could write something as inane as that, while getting your ass kicked all over this thread.
      But it was ever thus…

      • You like to think that if you and a bunch of like minded people call names that’s “kicking ass.”  But we both know differently.  I’m annoying the hell out of you because you can’t counter my arguments with anything real.  You know that markets aren’t magic, you know I’m right about that.  Admit it.  We need rule of law, we need a stable regulatory system in order to avoid the wealthy abusing power (like the big financial sector did in the mortgage bond run up – a clear example of deregulation leading to abuse of power by insiders with money and information).   I think most of you know that markets aren’t magic, and that ideology is a poison, be it from the Rand types or the Marx types.  Markets aren’t magic, but they are essential for a stable, functioning democratic capitalist system.   Over regulation is bad, under regulation is bad.  There is no “objective” right answer (and those who want to find one say more about their own psychological state than they say about reality), it’s a complex world of problem solving and learning by seeing what works.   That’s complex, and I think some of you view politics as an emotional “fix” rather than a way to discuss, learn from each other, and figure out creative solutions to problems.   But hey – it’s just the blogosphere and that’s proving less important than people thought it would be a few years ago (both on the left and on the right, to be sure)

        • What’s funny is that I’m probably closer to most of you than are most Democrats.

          And yet…

          You like to think that if you and a bunch of like minded people call names that’s “kicking ass.”  But we both know differently.


          I’m annoying the hell out of you because you can’t counter my arguments with anything real.

          While you IGNORE any model challenging your bullshit.  AND you ignore any demand for a model supporting your bullshit.  PLUS you cannot provide any historical reference for your naked (stupid) assertion of “historical fact”.
          What is irritating is that you are such an arrogant, ignorant, lying, deluded Collectivist tool, who just keeps repeating the same vacuous bullshit, over and over.


          • I’m ignoring nothing.  You provided no “model”.  Don’t lie.  But you can cover you your lack of content with name calling.  Cool.

          • Wow.  Reading challenged now, too?!?!?
            Poor stupid thing.
            Tell us, Erp, WHO “regulates”
            feeder cattle sales?
            Fed cattle sales?
            The mutliple industry standards that control electronics?
            FOR THE THIRD TIME.

          • PLUS. where are YOUR models to support your BULLSHIT?

          • PLUS, where is YOUR HISTORICAL CITATION?
            (See how I broke that up for you, so you could sound it out s-l-o-w-l-y…???)

          • Oh…ERRRRRRRRPY…
            C’mon, darlin’, come out an’ play the pinata today again…
            Speak to my models.
            Provide your own.
            Give us that “historical fact”.
            Heh!  Come and “teach me”.  I am alllllll eager to learn.

        • Ah, good, a summary victory comment.
          I can’t speak for the others, but I view politics emotionally when I have to endure watching assholes destroying my country.

    • in your fantasy world, yes,  we’re the armor merchant shop one door down from your psychotropic mushroom emporium.

    • What’s funny is that I’m probably closer to most of you than are most Democrats.  So is Obama….

      That is funny, because you and Barry deny that each individual owns his or her own life, and yet we, who assert they do, are alleged to be quite close on some imaginary spectrum or map.
      Clearly, your spectrum/map/notion of the proximity of various political ideas is what is wrong.  You disregard the rights of the “trash people”, so, for you, that we respect them is of no consequence.  And yet, that makes all the difference in the world.  It puts an ocean between us and you and Barry, between the ethical and the oppressive control freaks.
      If I ever thought I was as loathsome as you or your political messiah, I’d be so horrified I’d throw myself off a cliff.

  • This thread was absolute theatre!  i literally had to go back on each Erb post to be sure Ott Scerb hadn’t snuck in.  When he does, I may wet myself.

  • The shine has never worn off Daddy and Mommy telling little Scotty what to do, pick up your socks, eat your supper, don’t torture the cat.
    He continues to long for those bygone days of PBJ’s and milk and discussing Locke and Marx with the other girls during a hot game of Hop Scotch.

    • He continues to long for those bygone days of PBJ’s and milk and discussing Locke and Marx with the other girls during a hot game of Hop Scotch.

      I doubt he knows anything about Locke, outside of seeing the name mentioned by others.
      And, I doubt he heard of Marx until his college professors got a hold of him and began the programming.  Unless, of course, his parents were like Obama’s, and he was steeped in that from an early age.

  • Ewwww… Erp…!!!
    Come on over to the Gorebal Warmongering thread McQ has up, so we can punk you out all over that one, too…!!!!


    We can only speculate on which tools will unlock the grimy secrets of this egregious misuse of government authority. An ongoing self-examination by the IRS is laughably untrustworthy. The U.S. Department of Justice also is on the case.
    But as we wrote May 23, many Americans won’t be much interested in what one arm of the Obama administration concludes about the conduct of other arms — the IRS, the Treasury and possibly the White House. There are times when only a special prosecutor has the independence and credibility to resolve such a politically fraught matter.

    Awww… Erp…  Your moonbat buddies led you astray…AGAIN…!!!
    What must it be like, being pwnd essentially every day…???

  • Huh.  I guess Erp is MORE occupied on a weekend than on a week day.  Or he is hiding under his covers.

    • Sitting in the drunk tank?

      • I worry about the boy.  Being eschewed by his Russian bride and all…  Plus, he seems to have accommodated the magenta caterpillars.  Maybe even has grown to like them…

    • Judging by Erb antics in the past, he’ll wait until the thread is off the main page, then sneak back to it so he can post the ‘last word.’  It’s the sort of behavior more common among kindergarteners than grown ups, but, well, there you are.

      • Well, we have been pretty mean ol’ poo-poo heads to him, asking him questions and all when he pontificates.
        For my part, I am feeling really guilty.  I plan to go do penitence with a nice Scotch and a fine cigar.

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