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August 08, 2018

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Okay, I'll bite. To quote someone far more famous than I:

"Stupid Watergate." (John Oliver)

I guess these people think they'll never be caught. All though I don't get the impression that it's all for the same reasons. Fom my not-very-attentive impressions, Manafort thought he was too smart to get caught, and Collins was too dumb to know he should hide it better.

I hope they all roast.

A couple decades of funding cuts for the IRS. Leading to many fewer audits, and fewer prosecutions for tax evasion/fraud. And a (not totally unreasonable, at least in the short term) belief that they'll never be caught.

Then, possibly because those involved get ever more blatant, a tipping point is reached. And there is a cascade of prosecutions and convictions. Of course it doesn't hurt that a bunch of particularly inept actors end up in very high profile government jobs -- say Secretary of Commerce.

Then, possibly because those involved get ever more blatant, a tipping point is reached. And there is a cascade of prosecutions and convictions.

So just what does it take to reach that tipping point? The S&L scandal sent hundreds to do jail time....now? White collar crime is practically a badge of honor.

Needless to say, this enrages me.

You know what? If you embezzle a dollar, you should do 20 to life. Maybe then some folks will wake the f up about the state of crime and punishment in this country.

I don't know that the punishments need to elongate.**

Far more effective, for this as for any crime you want to discourage, to seriously increase the probability/certainty of getting caught and punished. Which means lots more funding for the IRS, SEC, etc.

** Although it might be worthwhile to eliminate the "country club" prisons, and just dump them in with the general population.

Republicans and conservatives lie, cheat and steal.

It's in their nature.

They hire underlings to then steal again what they've already stolen .. see Gates and Manafort.

If you haven't committed fraud on some magnificent scale, your resume is turned away by republicans and conservatives.

The entire anti-tax and anti-regulatory movement is designed to enable republican and conservative theft, fraud, lying, and, why not, sexual abuse.

Government is merely an underaged boy or girl, bending over for the rogering by a piece of shit republican.

Government is a wallet on a sidewalk with a string attached and tugged on by a republican piece of shit in a dark alley.

Executions, on some unheard of scale to put to rest and miniturize the Mao/Stalin/Hitler body count sweepstakes once and for all, are in order.

Finally, America too can be exceptional in the field of killing its internal enemies to save the country,

Then, what's left, the decent remnant of America, may hold unstolen elections and carry on.

Count, you could make a better case on "libertarians" than on "conservatives". Because that's what the "anti-tax and anti-regulatory movement" is: libertarian.

Granted there is an alliance currently between the libertarians and the reactionaries. But, as the Koch brothers are discovering, it's strictly an alliance of convenience.

An interesting perspective:
http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2018/03/koreas-nine-years-of-darkness-part-i.html

Now they want to bring asbestos back and Russia is celebrating
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/russian-asbestos-trump_face/

The Donald seems to have been a very pro-asbestos guy in the past. There are even claims that he said the Twin Towers would still stand, if 'good' asbestos had been used (on the other hand there is a conspiracy theory that 9/11 was perpetrated by the owners in order to save money on asbestos removal from the towers).

A reminder that the malign revival of ethnic nationalism isn't confined to the west:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-45082757

Fortunately, the practical implications of the EPA's volte face on asbestos are likely to be limited:
https://slate.com/business/2018/08/the-trump-administration-is-not-bringing-back-asbestos.html?

Now they want to bring asbestos back and Russia is celebrating

he probably licensed the use of his face on the packaging.

The cynic would say that liabilty suits were and are a prime target for the cons (they are by definition frivolous when coming from the lowborn without connections).
And some read the 'EPA approval required' clause as a simple 'open for business' sign (of course libertarians have always seen it as a racket).
In case of doubt it is just another 'stick it to the libs and especially Obama' from The Donald.
On the other hand, since he is believed to have/had mob connection during his real estate days, his claims about asbestos and the mafia should not be dismissed too lightly ;-)

And for those clamouring about a witch hunt...

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/slow-burn-season-2-the-clinton-impeachment-saga-was-crazier-than-we-remember.html?
One of those turning points came on Jan. 16, 1998, the day Monica Lewinsky was confronted by the Office of the Independent Counsel and threatened with 27 years in prison unless she agreed to help Kenneth Starr catch the president in a crime…

"the Office of the Independent Counsel"

Another notch on a certain SC nominee's CV.

Trumper MAGAts should be outfitted with asbestos MAGA hats and Klan robes, to protect themselves from count's flamethrower, it's clear.

It'll be the start of "cough if you luvv Trump"

No one ever goes to jail for insider non-trading.

Insider trading enriches and informs us, and could prevent scandals. Legalize it.

Learning to Love Insider Trading: Here's a hot tip: Want to keep companies honest, make the markets work more efficiently and encourage investors to diversify? Let insiders buy and sell.

Why Is Insider Trading Even Illegal?

Riiiight, Charles. Because, as the Collins case demonstrates, it's just totally fair to have a trade where one party is in possession of information that is denied to the other party.

Why Is Insider Trading Even Illegal?

that article actually answers the question pretty well.

good news, everybody!

the Federal deficit is up 20%!

thanks, Obama!

Hit the trifecta yesterday as I heard a third individual of the stinking white conservative persuasion (I'm white and I stink which puts one up on the enemy), who forever have been telling us shiftless blacks didn't WANT to work and were welfare leeches because of the latter's identity group sociopathy, tout record low black unemployment under racist cuck mp.

Two in the media and a personal acquaintance whose previous solution to homelessness among the unemployed was to mime a guy rapid firing an automatic weapon at black and hispanic sidewalk sleepers.

Only during slavery before 1865, these filth think to themselves, was black unemployment lower.

Yeah, I read minds via the writing on their cuck faces.

https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000006

Never did I hear a peep out of their mouths about the plunge in black unemployment from the get go of Obama's two terms, after the carnage of the Bush crash, nor the months and months of RECORD lows during much of Obama's last year in office.

The two liars in the media were not questioned about their misuse of the stats by the news outlets because journalism in this country is just another turd on the stupendous American pile of shit.

David Nunes makes yours truly, a politically correct liberal who opposes the death penalty, pine for the days of public executions at close range surrounded by a crowd of cackling knitters:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/08/nunes-we-will-protect-trump-no-matter-what-hes-done/

I long to be a cheating, lying, thieving American under the protection of the First Amendment who can relay false, optimistic insider information to my friends at OBWI about the equities I own when I want to dump them and take profits as you guys go all in.

Libertarian Rule of Law. No rules and no law.

In an opinion article on a new Star Trek show (featuring Sir Patrick Stewart; Picard 20 years later), I came across this in the comments:

Here's a mental experiment for you:

Bring all the episodes of Next Generation you've seen to mind and replace Jean Luc with Barack Obama.
It works quite well.

Now do the same thing, but replace Picard with Donald Trump.
CAUTION: I will not be responsible for any mental health injuries experimenters might incur.

Interesting, is it not?

But then, Star Trek was always about a hopeful future, not a fearful one.

Trump is more like the Ferengi of Star Trek TNG, rather than the more endearing Ferengi of DS9.

DS9 was more efficient than the other Star Trek series. Usually, most of the action took place in a known, predefined environment and didn't require as much setup at the beginning of each episode. Sort of like the various hotel, cruise ship, island dramas.

I only read the first link CharlesWT provided. Its arguments for making insider trading legal are nonsense.

First of all, Mathews claims that individual investors wouldn't be hurt if they didn't buy individual stocks but stuck to index funds as he (and I) think they should.

So what? Investors have a right to buy individual stocks, no matter what anyone thinks, and have a right not to be cheated by corporate insiders. Of course not all the stock sold by a crook is bought by individuals, by a long shot. Some - probably most - is bought by mutual funds and the like in which individual investors hold a stake.

Another argument was that insider trading provides information to the market, and helps assure accurate pricing. Bullshit. The price of Innate didn't go down until the news about the clinical trial was made public. The trading by Collins' tippees didn't move the price, and even if it did, so what? Presumably the price will drop when the news is public, and end up at the same place.

Then there is the issue of fiduciary responsibility. Collins was on the board. The information he had properly belonged to the shareholders, not his family. What he did was cheat his own shareholders - the very people to whom he had a fiduciary obligation.

Then there is the issue of fiduciary responsibility.

I have the distinct impression that the very concept of fiduciary obligation is foreign to the folks who make these kinds of arguments. They seem to be really strong on "devil take the hindmost" . . . with the implicit assumption that they will never be there.

Kevin Drum is going to lose his reputation as a squish if he keeps this up. Let's hope so.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/08/nos-victi-reipublicae/

I'm pretty much where Drum is. drive the bastards out.

There is not much more despicable in financial abuse than board members insider trading. They already approve their own comp including equity, control the strings financially right up to grey areas of material, then to trade on clearly material info should make them criminal and destitute.

Imho

Punishment for financial "white collar" crime is FAR too light.

When the greedheads ruin someone's life by stealing their savings, the greedhead's life should be EVEN MORE ruined. Life imprisonment at hard labor, frex.

Jesus wept, when you've got Bolton being the reasonable one and machinating to save NATO from Trump, you know you're in big trouble:

Is this people trolling the pollsters, or do they actually hold these opinions ?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-poll-43-of-republicans-want-to-give-trump-the-power-to-shut-down-media?ref=home
All told, 43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Only 36 percent disagreed with that statement

... and 12% of Democrats agreed.

Laziness - and conservatism - likely led to the extinction of Homo Erectus:
https://phys.org/news/2018-08-laziness-extinction-homo-erectus.html

43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”

these are likely the same people who were convinced that Obama was a tyrant.

don't call them racist, though!

43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.

... and 12% of Democrats agreed.

Instead of the president, we have major tech platforms closing down "news outlets." (E.g. Alex Jones.)

So define "news outlets," and define "bad behavior," and quote the First Amendment to people.

Part of our problem is the oversimplification of everything. I have never seen a poll or a questionnaire that I felt I could reply to in thoroughness and good faith, because the answers are pre-loaded and the questions are stupid and both are over-simplified.

Plus, I have typed and erased "plus people are just too fncking stupid" three times in this comment, but even that's too problematic and too oversimplified (not to mention too arrogant) to stand.

/useless rant.

Saturday, lovely day after a week of heat and humidity......what to do, what to do.....

"what to do, what to do...."

Yes cool enough to open the windows, watch the rain and listen to my Music from the Big Pink playlist.

Maybe I will get the 50th anniversary release on vinyl.

Marty, despite loving the couple of albums I knew from the Band, and knowing about Music from Big Pink, I had never listened to it and didn't know that they were the first people to record I Shall Be Released, which I am listening to as I type this. It just goes to show how a short comment can send someone else out on a rewarding quest...

Overcasted and rainy in Texas too.

In the spirit of the OP:

"But champions of these tainted presidents can take heart. Since Jan. 20, 2017, Americans have seen an endless torrent of corruption beyond anything previously imagined. No president has ever had a surer instinct than Donald Trump for finding and empowering scam artists, spongers, and thugs."

The Trump Administration Is a Sinkhole of Sleaze: Donald Trump has an instinct for finding and empowering scam artists, spongers, and thugs.

An upside of this administration may be that a number of people are in the dock that would perhaps never have been otherwise.

we have major tech platforms closing down "news outlets."

nobody is entitled to set up shop on someone else's property.

and infowars.com is still going strong.

GftNC,

I find it fascinating that it was a seemingly questionable decision to open the album with Tears of Rage. The producers thought it was too slow for a first song, The Band thought they recorded first. Tons of interesting stuff out about the album because of the anniversary.

nobody is entitled to set up shop on someone else's property.

Sinclair Broadcasting knows that quite well, I'm sure.

I was just trying to point out that poll results depend heavily on simple-minded leading questions, and on whose ox is being gored in any given instance.

Will continue to check it out, Marty, thanks.

"nobody is entitled to set up shop on someone else's property."

I dont disagree with this, but it certainly adds a perspective to the net neutrality discussion. Or should.

we have major tech platforms closing down "news outlets."

Far as I can tell nobody is preventing Alex Jones et al. from setting up his own website and spewing his deranged fantasies to his little heart's content. They are just declining to provide him a megaphone.

Yes cool enough to open the windows, watch the rain and listen to my Music from the Big Pink playlist.

This evolution is perhaps also in a small way driven by Trump:
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/democrats-primaries-candidates-demographics/

They are just declining to provide him a megaphone.

because he violated their Terms Of Service.

i mean...?

Trump's ant farm

the GOP needs to be exterminated

One can only hope (probably futilely) that someone in the administration will work up the guts to say that the President has lost it. There's a process for relieving a President who is no longer compos mentis -- not just doing things which seem crazy, but flat out lost to reality. It's time and past time to use it.

Just to be clear, it's pretty obviously in the GOP's selfish interest (if the national interest isn't sufficient, as it seems it isn't) to give a President Pence a couple of years to establish a track record to run on in 2020.

they aren't going to touch Trump. the GOP adores him.

The republican party is totally creeping me out, and I'm not easily creeped out.

It could be Omarosa and mp remain comrades, Russian or not, and with the full knowledge of the entire White House staff her book is an attempt to throw chaff in the public's radar as Mueller closes in, and the republican party is full in on it.

To take our eyes off republican vermin thieving business-as-usual rapine like this:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/08/election-donald-trump-crushing-blow-neoliberal-order-3

They might be extra-terrestials with malign intent and a funny bone.

Go ahead, call me the crazy one, but there has never been anything like this in American history.

Being completely, laughably nuts on August 12, 2018 may be the only path to ascertaining what the fuck these animals are up to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnpISyu09B4

When was the moment when it would have been acceptable, as policy to save a country, to murder Hitler or Stalin or any other fucking psychopath?

Shall we wait again until millions are slaughtered?

"One can only hope (probably futilely) that someone in the administration will work up the guts to say that the President has lost it. There's a process for relieving a President who is no longer compos mentis -- not just doing things which seem crazy, but flat out lost to reality. It's time and past time to use it."

If Pence is given anything other than a jail cell then the government needs to be overthrown with savage violence.

If Pence is given anything other than a death sentence, then the Constitution is a fake flower on a clown's lapel squirting poison and should be suspended until these ilk are executed.

Pence is a sociopath with different, but just as notorious symptoms than mp.

That his symptoms might be more acceptable to the republican party than mp's reveals only that the republican party must be utterly fucking destroyed.

Their remnant can meet annually in Ostritz, Germany and be set upon with dogs, water hoses, and armored vehicles, the filth.

Count, what capital crime, exactly, do you think Pence is guilty of?

Sure, he's a horrible person. Probably, he would be a terrible president. I'm with you there.

But if you are going to demand his death, how about a specific crime that he has already committed? Because absent that, you're pretty much in the same position as the far right scum who want to kill off anyone who disagrees with them. And I'm sure you don't want that.

Not many Republicans will speak out against Trump when a clear majority of their voters are, quite evidently, solidly behind him:
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/trump-supporters-arent-budging.html

The only solution is at the ballot box - and in answer to Count’s (I hope rhetorical) question, the US is nowhere near there yet.

"you're pretty much in the same position as the far right scum who want to kill off anyone who disagrees with them."

Well, it will be self-defense then, won't it?

Besides, during the current rule of lawlessness in mp's republican America, this could be as a good a reason as any .... the crime of mimicking an asshole:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R22wRUHFi7w

It was Pence's version of a Nazi salute.

Ask George Will:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iCst_i00yA

Ask this guy, one of many Nazi sympathizers winning elections across the country, (or are we watching "Hogan's Heros" reruns?) and the republican cucks who voted for him what the fucking plans are:

http://juanitajean.com/missouri-to-texas-here-hold-my-beer/

I'm not interested in winning civilized elections against Nazis. I want to kill fucking Nazis.

Because they are Nazis.

Besides, who is threatening whom with impunity without a single fucking word from shithead republicans:

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-withered-soul-of-moral-majority.html

"how about a specific crime that he has already committed?"

I'm merely following the conservative playbook of "broken windows" policing with Pence and company.

You put them away for the small infractions, because if you don't, you'll be arresting them later for the big stuff.

If it worked for Guiliani, it will work against Guiliani.

Or is that little shit somehow wired differently than the poor blacks he incarcerated for petty crimes?

Yes, he is wired to commit huge crimes against the Constitution.

Yes, well, Michelle, we'll be going back and reviewing your parents' visas and citizenship papers because they didn't raise the kind of person with the qualities we want in the United States.

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/08/12/michelle-malkin-calls-moratorium-accepting-refugees-because-they-have-shown-none-qualities-we-want/220972

Talk about an anchor baby.

Her birthright citizenship is rescinded.

Re: "specific crimes"

If I steal $120M from one person, I have committed some pretty grand larceny. Maybe not death-penalty serious, but possibly worth a life sentence.

If I steal $1 from each of 120M people, is my larceny less grand somehow? Would our legal system go after me as hard?

Note that in the first case, the person I stole from had $120M on him to steal. The Law takes offenses against such people very seriously.

--TP

I'd point out that Malkin is one of the reasons I hate libertarians, because her early career had her using libertarian tics to get visibility until she went full blown racist.

Nigel posted a link the Ask The Korean blog. I've read him quite a bit to get ready to go to Korea, but didn't think of reading him in the context of this blog until Nigel posted the link, and this post

http://askakorean.blogspot.com/2017/10/koreas-alt-right-and-how-to-fight-ones.html

seems to get at a lot of things.

I'd point out that Malkin is one of the reasons I hate libertarians, because her early career had her using libertarian tics to get visibility until she went full blown racist.

That logic could justify hating just about any and every ideology.

I missed reading Nigel's link, but looked at the one lj posted, and then read some more of the Ask The Korean blog. It's really good.

That logic could justify hating just about any and every ideology.

No, not really. The point is that libertarian philosophy allows a lot of grifters and plainly mendacious people to use those ideas to get a mainstream hearing and then use that to bring in things that really shouldn't see the light of day. Malkin being a particular case in point.

https://www.substance.com/right-wing-nut-job-michelle-malkin-loves-marijuana-hated-the-drug-war/6087/

This could be just a rant provoked by the Count's invocation of Malkin

(this link describes her journey, though I don't know why the text is munged up a bit
https://crosscut.com/2009/11/michelle-malkins-journey-from-ideas-tribes )

but it seems like a lot of people on the right get their start with libertarianism. Whether shilling libertarian ideas cause that gives them an initial platform, or libertarianism is a gateway drug that let rationalizations take over, I've got no idea, but while that logic could justify hating all ideologies, statistical tendencies support the logic in regards to libertarians, whether they are true or faux.

Also, it is not simply logic. The Koch Brothers, after providing seed money for the Cato institute, aimed to take over the Cato Institute.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-kochs-v-cato-winners-and-losers

So in our world, libertarianism has found itself trapped in the orbit of conservatism. If I were an authentic libertarian, I'd be looking for the escape pods...

The point is that libertarian philosophy allows a lot of grifters and plainly mendacious people to use those ideas to get a mainstream hearing and then use that to bring in things that really shouldn't see the light of day.

This is true.

It's also true that there are much better reasons for hating libertarianism.

My favorite reasons (although I could probably think of many more) are: the libertarian response to global warming; the libertarian response to old people having made less than optimal financial decisions; the libertarian response to the poor, mentally ill and chronically disabled.

I kind of like CharlesWT's views on immigration, although I do think that the government has a role to keep terrorists from entering. (And I'm assuming a good faith definition of the word "terrorist".) I also think that true libertarians' views on the autonomy of people with regard to their own bodies is good (although most politicians who claim libertarianism don''t really subscribe to that, in reality).

So, yeah, a lot of grifters use libertarianism as a launching pad, and that's to hate, but there's a lot more to hate, and maybe better things!

my issue with libertarianism is the last 10,000 years of human history.

it's a nice idea, but there's a reason that there has never been a libertarian society since the neolithic revolution. not one i'm aware of, anyway.

7 billion people on the planet now. ideas that don't scale are of, at best, limited value.

After reading the "Ask a Korean!" blog post, it would seem that a number of the Korean drama series I've watched are closer to the truth than I had thought.

A cautionary tale about giving a government too much power and influence. And then the wrong people get their hands on the controls.

Speaking of Korean dramas series, I'm currently watching on NetFlix one of the best I've seen so far.

"The drama is set in 1900 to 1905 and tells the story of a soldier in the righteous army an American Marine falling in love with an aristocrat's daughter. It begins in 1871 when the hero boards an American military ship as a little boy during the Shinmiyangyo, a U.S. military expedition to Korea that resulted in a battle. He lands in the U.S. and then years later returns to Korea as an American soldier Marine, to the country that abandoned him. While stationed in Korea, he'll meet and fall in love with a nobleman's daughter."
Mr. Sunshine

A cautionary tale about giving a government too much power and influence. And then the wrong people get their hands on the controls.

ffs, it's a country that was made an unwilling colony of Japan at the turn of the century, totally ignored in the aftermath of WWII, such that it was divided in half and then ended up being the site of a proxy war between the West vs. China and Russia that saw the southern half of the country (along the country's capital!) overrun twice as can be seen in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBeiD6kGugE

and you take Korea as a cautionary tale about government regulation? Words fail. It is precisely this monomania of libertarians that lets them get hijacked by the right so easily.

Some libertarians are good on some issues. I’m thinking of the ones who oppose our military interventions and the drug war and excessive surveillance and so forth. Even on those issues you find self- proclaimed anti- statists who were for the Iraq War and really just seem like standard Republican militarists. I think Glenn Reynolds was in that camp. But on the other side you had people like Jim Henley and his co- blogger, whose name I have forgotten. They were antiwar. Some of the antiwar posts at the American Conservative are from Cato people.

On most other issues I agree with sapient’s critique.

Perhaps I should have said, ...giving a governments too much power and influence. Then the current US situation might come to mind.

Yes, as we all know, if the governments of the world didn't have so much power, everything would be hunky-dory now. How this is prevented is, as usual, left as an exercise for the reader.

I know it is hard to admit that you couldn't be bothered to take into account the history of the Korean peninsula, let alone the history since 1951, in making your claim. Maybe even impossible. But if you would, it would certainly leave me much more willing to consider any arguments you made. As it stands now, not so much.

Up until about the '60s, both Koreas were in about the same condition with the North having more industry from before the war. Then the South tried a bit of economic freedom. Which, in time, grew into policial freedom.

While they still have a way to go, they're one of the strongest and wealthiest democracies in Asia. Strong enough to survive a decade of bad government. And wealthy enough to provide me with thousands of hours of good quality entertainment. :)

Edward Gibbon wrote of Rome, William Shirer of the Third Reich, Demothenes on the rot of Greece, many others eloquently of the fall of entire civilizations.

Who shall hold forth for the ages on the practical joke of pigfuck stupid America?

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/8/12/1787723/-Open-thread-for-night-owls-Bikers-for-Trump-selling-imported-Trump-shirts-US-companies-gouge-you

Soupy Sales? Carrot Top?

Huntz Hall?

Who is low but ironic enough to write the accurate memoir of this bullshit puppet show?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL357BrwK7c


Then the current US situation might come to mind.

or not.

Who is low but ironic enough to write the accurate memoir of this bullshit puppet show?

p.t.barnum

On the subject of chain migration, contd...
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/08/13/stephen-miller-is-an-immigration-hypocrite-i-know-because-im-his-uncle-219351

Up until about the '60s, both Koreas were in about the same condition with the North having more industry from before the war. Then the South tried a bit of economic freedom. Which, in time, grew into policial freedom.

1960 - Syngman Ree resigns 2nd Republic begins
1961 - Military coup
1963 - Third Republic, declared by the person who led the coup, declared
1972 - Martial law again and increase of power by Park
1979 - Park assassinated by KCIA head
1980 - Gwangju massacre, martial law reinstated
1981 - Martial law ends
1986 - Constitution is changed to allow direct election of the president
1987 - Now on Sixth(!) Republic
1993 - First free elections for parliament and first civilian president
1997 - Past president Chun Doo-hwan sentenced to death but pardoned on the advice of incoming president Kim Dae-jung. Kim was sentenced to death 20 years earlier

Yes, just a few tweaks for those economic freedoms and they were off to the races! Who knew it was that easy?

I don't like pointing out that people are deficient in their knowledge of history because I know I have gaping holes in my own knowledge, and complaining that someone doesn't know what you happen to know is unfair. But I have to say that it seems like you really don't care about the history as long as the anecdote can prove some libertarian nostrum.

Libertarianism is an example of how you can take a good idea to an extreme to create a bad one.

Total government control of every aspect of life is a bad thing -- I'm pretty sure everybody here would agree with that. But it doesn't follow that the ideal is no government control of anything -- which is the Randian/Libertarian view.

Reasonable people can, and do, disagree about just how much control and of what is desirable. But that control is sometimes necessary for civilized life isn't really arguable . . . except to (most?) libertarians.

I don't like pointing out that people are deficient in their knowledge of history because I know I have gaping holes in my own knowledge, and complaining that someone doesn't know what you happen to know is unfair.

I don't know much at all about (North or South) Korean history. That's why I don't comment on it (other than to say I don't know much about it, or maybe to ask questions if the mood strikes). I'll just leave it at that, assuming my point is made.

An economic and policial history overview of the two Koreas in the modern era from a not necessarily libertarian point of view:

"Economists have debated for years why it is that some nations prosper while others do not. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea, DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea, ROK), for example, started out as poor nations after World War II. Now, South Korea has the same wealth as Western European nations, on average, yet North Korea firmly remains at the bottom of the world’s development ladder. This article suggests that institutions matter and that key institutions are fundamental to economic success."
Why Do Some Nations Prosper? The Case of North and South Korea (pdf)

But it doesn't follow that the ideal is no government control of anything -- which is the Randian/Libertarian view.

For most libertarians, no government is aspirational, not obtainable or desired. A goal to pursue, not to obtain.

Sounds a bit like communism, Charles.

For most libertarians, no government is aspirational, not obtainable or desired.

If it's not desired, why is it an aspiration? Why would anyone pursue a goal which they did not desire to achieve?

Guess I'm just slow this morning, but I can't see it.

Sounds a bit like communism, Charles.

It actually is like communism in that it is a theory of how society should operate that is based on fantastical ideas about society, human nature, and economic behavior.

...it is a theory of how society should operate...

More of is alowed to than should.

Should be allowed to, maybe?

It's just ever so much easier to design a model society or economy if you aren't constrained by the pesky realities of human nature.

Taking a different angle, one problem I have with the more devout libertarians is that they make the idea seem foolish. I think there is a lot to be said for libertarian viewpoints in many areas, and they should be heard.

But when those viewpoints come along with a a total contempt for government, wild claims about economics, Randism, etc. they are hard to credit.

It actually is like communism in that it is a theory of how society should operate that is based on fantastical ideas about society, human nature, and economic behavior...

That was indeed what I meant.

A utopian theory which, when pursued with sufficient enthusiasm by its true believers, can lead to untold damage.

It's just ever so much easier to design a model society or economy if you aren't constrained by the pesky realities of human nature.

"Design" implies a top-down approach. Libertarians favor a bottom-up emergent order approach.

"emergent order?" That's a means to the end, perhaps. But the end is still a design.

“Libertarians favor a bottom-up emergent order approach.”

Not according to Karl Polanyi. Two views on his work. Note the critic of Polanyi is writing on the eve of the financial crisis. Polanyi’s defender in that exchange has the better argument imo, but I would say that.

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2008/06/polanyis-the-gr.html

"emergent order?" That's a means to the end, perhaps. But the end is still a design.

So is evolution, in the end, also a design?

So is evolution, in the end, also a design?

No. But then, evolution doesn't have a goal or an aspiration.

Either we got where we are because of "emergent" properties of the process of humans trying to get along together on this planet, or the term makes no sense as applied to this question.

I go with the latter.

Otherwise, I suppose, only things libertarians approve of can be considered "emergent"? Like, if the idea emerges in a village that no one should be allowed to pour poison into the village water supply, and there's consensus on the subject, then......well, that involves some kind of collective action and probably some top-down coercion (or punishment), so obviously it's not "emergent."

Back to doing something arguably useful......

No. But then, evolution doesn't have a goal or an aspiration.

Neighter does free markets, free-market capitalism, etc. Abstractions don't have aspirations. Only people do.

Generalizing, social conservatives don't believe in evolution. Economic liberals don't believe in the hidden hand. But the two concepts are related. Darwin was aware of and drew inspiration from Adam Smith.

Neighter does free markets, free-market capitalism, etc. Abstractions don't have aspirations. Only people do.

evolution exists and functions without humans. there is no 'hidden hand' or markets without humans. that tells us a lot about what the hand actually is.

Economic liberals don't believe in the hidden hand.

"Economic liberals" often refers to those who are laissez faire in their views, at least among those who are more prone to discussing the intersections of economics and politics. But it's pretty clear that you mean something more like the American leftward sense of "liberal," which might lean toward socialism.

In any case, speaking just for myself, I don't really deny the existence of the invisible hand. I just don't think it makes everything work optimally all by itself.

When I start advocating for, just as an example, the federal government determining how many smartphones should be produced in a given year and at what price they should be sold, you can accuse me of denying the existence of the invisible hand.

there is no 'hidden hand' or markets without humans.

So the world, as it is, was designed in detail by human intention? What about all those unintended consequences everyone's always talking about?

Unless you're a conspiracy theorist that believes there's a hidden cabal controlling everything, the state of the world caused by human actions seems to include a lot of things that no one expected or intended.

We are much better off than ants who have no awareness or understanding of what an ant colony is. But there're severe limits on what individuals and institutions can know and understand about the world's complexities caused by human behavior.

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