Category Archives: Economics (Public Goods)

Enemies of What State? « Little Alex in Wonderland


 

Enemies of What State?

Posted by Kevin Carson on 29 March 2009

Kevin Carson

On the economic fascism of  crony capitalism and irrational American common sense.

19 Mar 09 | C4SS

There are all too many people in American politics whose real concern, concealed behind all the “free market” rhetoric, is not so much “statism” per se as statism that benefits the wrong class of people. A good example: it was quite amusing to hear some Republicans, during yesterday’s Congressional hearings on the AIG bonuses, wringing their hands over the prospect of “interfering with the management of private business” and “altering the terms of contracts.” Last night Rachel Maddow ran clips of some of the very same people, last December, crowing about how they were forcing the UAW to renegotiate it’s contract and accept lower wages in return for bailout loans to the auto industry.

Another example: I don’t advocate Social Credit or greenbackism, but I don’t understand the reasoning of those who object to either as an increase in statism over the present system.

By way of background, Social Credit is a proposal to remedy corporate capitalism’s chronic tendency toward overinvestment and overproduction by periodically depositing a sum of interest-free new money, equivalent in aggregate to the demand shortfall, in the citizenry’s bank accounts. Greenbackism is a proposal that countercyclical deficit spending, rather than being financed by interest-bearing debt in the form of government bonds, should simply take the form of directly spending money into existence by the Treasury.

It seems to me the sticking point, if there is one, should be at the idea of government as regulator of the money supply by creating fiat money, or of deficit spending to meet demand shortfalls, in the first place. But these things are overwhelmingly accepted in principle by the mainstream public. So the sticking point about Social Credit and greenbackism can only be the sacred principle that the fiat money must be specifically lent into existence at interest, and that deficit spending must be financed by government bonds.

The problem is not the function itself, but only carrying it out in a way that doesn’t enable a class of coupon-clippers to skim the cream off the top.

It also seems to me, on the other hand, that if these basic functions are accepted in principle, it makes it more statist–not less–to compound the injury by doing it through private accomplices, and empowering them to charge interest for the function, rather than simply doing so directly.

It’s just another instance of a broader phenomenon, what the Libertarian Alliance’s Sean Gabb calls “economic fascism.” Economic fascism is his term for the phony regime of “privatization” advocated by such organizations as the Adam Smith Institute. It doesn’t get government out of the business of performing particular functions. It just delegates the function to nominally “private” corporations that perform the function with public money, with government protection from free market competition, and with a guaranteed profit for performing the function (on the regulated utility’s “cost-plus” model).

Under this vulgar libertarian model of “free market reform,” the only thing that matters is the comparative percentages of functions which are carried out by nominally “private” and nominally “public” organizations–not the substance of things. But it seems to me that if a corporation receives its revenue from the government, is protected from competition by the government, and is guaranteed a profit by the government, it IS the government. The only significance of the entity’s profit is to increase the overall cost of performing the function, and thus increase the total injury to the taxpayer.

And while we’re at it, let’s be honest about something. Given the existence of a corporate economy on the present model, countercyclical government spending is absolutely essential to prevent its collapse. Those who advocate a return to the Reaganism and Thatcherism of the ’80s, or the cowboy capitalism of the ’90s, absent high government spending, are either delusional or disingenuous. Reagan was the biggest Keynesian of them all.

There are only two alternatives: to eliminate the existing–statist– structural causes of overinvestment and underconsumption, or to continue adding new layers of statism to counter the chronic crisis tendencies. Either more and more statism, or forward to anarchy.

The American corporate economy has been statist to its core since its beginnings in the late 19th century. There wouldn’t even be a national market at all, or national corporations serving it, had it not been for the land grant railroads and other subsidies to long-distance shipping that made possible artificially large firms and market areas. There wouldn’t be stable oligopoly markets had it not been for the cartelizing effect of patents, or the stabilizing effects of the Clayton and FTC Acts’ restrictions on price warfare.

To repeat, the system was statist from its beginnings. There are all too many on the Right who like to refer to a mythical “free market” system that prevailed before 1932, and to pretend that the “statism” only began when government started intervening on behalf of workers and consumers. But in fact, all the “progressive” interventions of government under the New Deal were secondary, aimed at ameliorating the side-effects of the prior interventions that created corporate capitalism in the first place. Had it not been for the secondary, ameliorative interventions, corporate capitalism as we know it would have collapsed in the 1930s.

Returning to my earlier point: if we are to have statism at all, and we are reduced to quibbling between Democrats and Republicans over what kind of statism it is to be, I make no secret of the fact that I prefer the kind of statism that weighs less heavily on my own neck.

If phony “free market” Republicans accept NLRB certification of unions in principle, and only want to quibble over the Employee Free Choice Act because it makes it easier to certify unions without harassment, intimidation and punitive firing of organizers–well, why would I, a worker, prefer a system of certification that suits the bosses’ interest?

If we’re going to talk about a genuine free market labor regime, then let’s eliminate the Wagner Act–and with it Taft-Hartley’s prohibitions on sympathy and boycott strikes, and its mandatory arbitration and cooling off periods. Let’s eliminate the Railroad Labor Relation Act’s provisions that prevent transport workers turning local and regional disputes into general strikes. In short, let’s eliminate all the legal prohbitions on the tactics that unions were using to win before Wagner was ever passed.

But if we’re going to have government certification of unions, let’s have a form of certification that fulfills its stated purpose–determining the intention of workers–as accurately and automatically as possible.

Likewise, if we’re going to have a welfare state, let’s eliminate the costly and intrusive welfare bureaucracies and spend the same amount of money on a guaranteed income. If we’re going to have a regulatory state, let’s eliminate all the agencies and replace their functions with pigovian taxation of negative externalities.

My goal is the abolition of the state. I would welcome all these things tomorrow, if I thought they were genuine steps toward the abolition of the state altogether the day after tomorrow. They certainly wouldn’t be net increases in statism.

C4SS Research Associate Kevin Carson is a contemporary mutualist author and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political Economy and Organization Theory: An Individualist Anarchist Perspective, both of which are freely available online. Carson has also written for a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation and his own Mutualist Blog.

Enemies of What State? « Little Alex in Wonderland

If in doubt….PAYRISE!


Fred Bloggs

In the face of the current economic crisis (some might say fiscal armageddon) the goverment has devised a plan, which consists of, briefly, giving themselves a 60% pay rise. No doubt this “plan” will solve all the economic problems in the world, feed all the starving Africans, raise Atlantis, and with all its well-crafted majesty, scare the Russians so shitless they’ll give Lenin a haircut. Or, well, maybe not.

Apart from the Atlantis bit.

Find out more Here.

Death by paper cut.


Mummylonglegs

It’s Me, Mummy. Mr D has only gone and asked me to rant on here as well. This Mummy is very, very flattered. So here is my first post on The Libertarian Alliance : BLOG.

Who does this sound like?………..

“It is unacceptable that the pursuit of targets was repeatedly prioritised, alongside endless managerial change and a ‘closed’ culture, which failed to admit and deal with things going wrong.”

Sounds like a description of the Labour government to me. Unfortunately this is a description of Stafford Hospital which is run by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. The actual statement said……..

“It is unacceptable that the pursuit of targets – not the safety of patients – was repeatedly prioritised, alongside endless managerial change and a ‘closed’ culture, which failed to admit and deal with things going wrong.”

Can you spot the difference?.

This is a shocking but not very surprising story. What the hell did Alan Johnson expect? For the last 12 years Labour have messed around with the NHS and have just about destroyed it. Why? How? Because they could. No other reason really. Because they are control freaks. Because they think if you set a target and tick a box every thing will be just fine. Because they think that the NHS can be run like a private Doctors surgery, maximum profit for minimum out put. Because tax payers money/NI contributions are an endless pot to be dipped into, as and when you need it. Because not one of the idiots that dreamt up the million and one targets/tick boxes/schemes/ideas/drives that will bring this institution to it’s knees has ever set foot in an NHS hospital, let alone been treated in one. They don’t use NHS GP’s, NHS Polyclinics, NHS Nurse Quacktitioners, NHS Direct, NHS Dentists, NHS Paramedics, NHS Ambulances, NHS Midwives, NHS Mental Health Services. In fact they don’t use anything NHS at all. They go to Harley Street, they go to The Priory, they go to The Portland Hospital, they go to the States, they go private, they go anywhere but to the NHS. I wonder why?

Lets fisk shall we………….

It said there were deficiencies at “virtually every stage” of emergency care and said managers pursued targets at the detriment of patient care – Managers, not Doctors, not Nurses. Managers chased targets. Managers forced their staff to obey these targets, regardless. Targets set by who? ah Labour.

Mr Johnson said: “On behalf of the government and the NHS I would like to apologise to the patients and families of patients who have suffered because of the poor standards of care at Stafford Hospital”. – Sorry seems to be the word of the week. Nice of you to apologise on behalf of the hospital, Mr Johnson, How about apologising on behalf of all those that ‘Targeted’ this Hospital right into the ground?

“There was a complete failure of management to address serious problems and monitor performance. This led to a totally unacceptable failure to treat emergency patients safely and with dignity”. – It’s them pesky Managers again.

Its report cited low staffing levels, inadequate nursing, lack of equipment, lack of leadership, poor training and ineffective systems for identifying when things went wrong. – Let’s look at this bit here. Low staffing levels – Why?, you have money, employ staff. S*** nursing – that’ll be because Nurses don’t nurse anymore, they quacktition. So nursing is left to Non-nurses aka Plebs. Lack of equipment – again why? Lack of leadership – that’ll be even worse now, since you sacked most of the Doctors (MTAS etc). Poor training – well what can I say, we have Plebs doing nursing, Nurses doing doctoring, Doctors doing nothing cos they can’t get a job and Sally from accounts running the whole s*** and shebang. They are all trained, but they are doing jobs that don’t relate to their training – duh, it’s not rocket science.

It said that:

  • Unqualified receptionists carried out initial checks on patients arriving at the accident and emergency department – Receptionists are not Nurses.
  • Heart monitors were turned off in the emergency assessment unit because nurses did not know how to use them – What Nurses?, they are too busy being quacktitioners, I think you mean Plebs.
  • There were not enough nurses to provide proper care – All the Nurses were on 4 week courses learning how to do the job of a Doctor, can’t blame the Nurses, they weren’t there. So it must have been the Plebs (or the Managers).
  • The trust’s management board did not routinely discuss the quality of care – Who would they discuss it with, the Doctors are unemployed, the Nurses are on quacktitioner courses so that just leaves the Plebs. And most of them don’t speak English.
  • Patients were “dumped” into a ward near A&E without nursing care so the four-hour A&E waiting time could be met – And who’s fault is that. Did the Managers, Doctors, Nurses or Plebs come up with these targets. No. Labour did.
  • There was often no experienced surgeon in the hospital during the night – There was often no experienced ANYBODY in the hospital at night. Or during the day for that matter. You could have had a squillion surgeons but with no Doctors or Nurses to make initial diagnosis they would have been pretty idle.

The trust’s chairman Toni Brisby and chief executive Martin Yeates resigned earlier this month. The interim chief executive, Eric Morton, said lessons had been learned and that staffing levels had been increased. – It appears that neither Tony or Martin were Doctors, I am certain if they were they would have had Dr before their names, but they may just be shy. If so Eric is the shy type aswell. He doesn’t appear to be a Doctor either, but hey, that’s cool. You don’t really need to be a Doctor to understand how to run a medical facility do you. As long as you hire more Plebs staff it’s cool isn’t it.

The health secretary added: “The new leadership of the trust will respond to every request from relatives and carry out an independent review of their case notes. This will be an essential step to put relatives’ minds at rest and to close this regrettable chapter in the hospital’s past.” – Oh, with 400 cases on the books, and quite possibly many hundreds/thousands more to come it sounds like Eric isn’t gonna have much time left to actually run ANYTHING.

So, what have we learnt from Mummies Fisk. Well I think it is safe to say that Labour has F***** the NHS. Big Time. I could extend this fisk to all other aspects of the NHS. GP’s, Dentists, Emergency Peeps etc but it would just take too long.

I know that out there in the blogosphere there is a list of pointless NHS jobs, many peeps posted it up a while ago but for the life of me I cannot find it now, Sorry. If some one has this link, please could you give it to me. After 12 years of Labour the NHS has a multitude of Managers and Plebs but not many peeps that understand the whole medical/caring side of the NHS. And it is very sad, and it results in stuff like this.

I am not a medical person, but I got into blogging via the likes of

Dr Crippen

Tom Reynolds

Stuart Gray

Mark Myers

Spence Kennedy

and of course last, but by no means least, the very lovely, very funny, very georgous in pink tights,

Kal

These guys are on the Front Line of what is left of the NHS. Every day and every night. If you take a moment to check their Bloggs you will find out that this problem is not just in Stafford Hospital, it’s in the NHS as a whole. Those that work the Front Line hate it. Those that work the Front Line get up every day to do their jobs. They do it because they care. And no amount of Managers, Quacktitioners or Plebs will ever be able to replace those Front Liners, so please Labour, stop trying to.

Nice Message to Mr D – I hope this is ok. If there are any problems with this please edit as you see fit, I reckon the only bit I may have messed up was the Do it in Dark Blue, Italic.’ I couldn’t understand this bit so I put my name, Mummy, made it Italic and then linked it to my blogg. If this is not what you meant, please change it. Thank you for letting me be a Guest Blogger here. I hope you will ‘have me again’

Mummy x

p.s I think I remove all the swear words.

Mexico coming undone at the seams: why ALL drugs should be legalised absolutely everywhere.


David Davis

We stand aghast, at the possibility of “military intervention by the USA” against – of all places – Mexico. We know that, since “drugs” are grown in Latin America, and since Mexico is in the way of their transfer to “Film Stars” and wannabes in British North America, where these things are officially illegal to have or trade, that therefore mexico will be on the road of transfer.

This is all very well and ought not to matter. Cars and lorries carrying cocaine and other stuff whose names I can’t remember ought to be able to cross Mexico as though it was anywhere. The problem arises because – and only because –  it is locally illegal to have, sell or use these substances, in the points of destination.

This has several effects:-

(1) It makes the substances themselves more desirable in the eyes of certain people. They will want it more because “The State” says they shouldn’t have any at all at all at all, for their own good at all at all at all .   Nsty useless Hollywood delinquents film stars will leak details of their use of it, and because they are pretty and shaggable (and that’s just the men) you will want to do it too, as you are sheeple because the liberals Stalinists have told you to become so.

(2) It makes it risky and unprofitable and demoralising, for legitimate businesses to supply the stuff. If you wozz an off-licence, would YOU want to supply cocaine to any willing buyer, if you got raided every week by the rozzers for doing it, and had your shop smashed up by them (rozzers) and were put in jug?

(3) It makes the risks of supplying it worthwhile, for shysters and hoods, who don’t mind having to shoulder the boring business of killing people including police and soldiers, in the course of securing their hold on the distribution of of their stuff, to you. The £5-a-day habit, if the stuff was legally sold through chemists even including the impost of State Taxation, becomes the £100-a-day habit if you have to buy it through hoods who have to insure themselves – at your cost –  for their own risk against both the State and against other hoods who want to compete, for what is really a rather small niche sector.

(4) it makes jobs for Police rozzers. Rozzers are inherently tormented people, who ought not to have got like that; they need psychiatric help, and quickly.  Just as you ought not to want to be a criminal, also you ought not to want to be a policeman in the 21st century: what does that desire say about you, and your morals, and world-view, as a person?

So the way forward is quite clear. ALL drugs have to be legalised, in all jurisdictions, preferably by yesterday. This will have a number of good effects:-

(1A) The “Police”, currently a pantomime collection of gamma-minus droids unfortunately increasingly supplied with real guns as opposed to things that shoot out a flag which says “bang”, and who are “employed” by their “states”  not in chasing real muggers, robbers, burglars and killers but in harrassing “drug dealers”, “motorists”, “paedophiles”, “racists”, “terrorists”, “non-payers of council tax”, “TV-license-evaders” and “climate-change-deniers”, will find that their workload is decreased alarmingly. We will “need” fewer of them. Good.

The main solution to civilisation’s ills is

fewer Laws,

and more and better people.

There may even be “calls for” “FEWER POLICE ON THE STREETS”. I think that in a civilised society, the police ought to be invisible: see poll below.

(2A) The use of “drugs”, which is to say substances currently classified as drugs”, by all people, will fall dramatically. or it may not: I do not know. But I think it will fall.

(3A) The legalisation of “drugs” will mean that Galxo-Smith-Klein, Schering-Plough, Ciba-Geigy, and all the others, will be abot to compete legally for whatever market they think they can get. Adverttisisng will be allowed. Advertising is the best way to garotte bad stuff fast. The purity and quality of products will thus rise, and the price will fall to the point where the “State” will come in.

(4A) The “State” will take a take. Where GSK wants to sell you your Ecstasy for 50p a go, via the chemist down the road in Shaky-street (PR8  . . . ) , the State will take £4 or so, making it about the price of 20 fags. What’s the point of going and doing crime, if it’s only that much? You can get it from your dosh you that get “on the sick”.

OK so the “State” wins, win-win in the short run. But it’s got to justify how it needs to spend so much less on policing, since there’s so much much less less petty crime going on down.

That in itself will be tremendous fun to watch.

As it gets colder, and sterling becomes toilet-paper, we shall be glad to be able to have chip-butties.


David Davis

I have even met builders, with whom I worked a bit last summer as a second-fix trade-polisher on a housebuilding job, who had crisp-butties for their tea-breaks (many.)

The Landed Underclass tells us, I am happy to relate, that the Vegan stuffed vine leaves are off in 2009 because of Sterling’s continuing fall. I can’t say I’m very sorry about that, although I do like stuffed vine leaves, preferably full of a nice lemony mixture of minced lamb, rice, pine nuts, coriander and other poncy (but scrumptious) Wireless Tele Chef type comestibles. However, his main point is the most cunningly marvellous exposition about foods in general by a proper doctor, the kind who knows about war and stuff. We’d all really prefer to get treated by guys llike that whom he describes, if push came to shove: and not the sneering hectoring sub-types of “professionals” like State “dieticians” whom I met in a certain famous children’s hospital not 30 miles form here, a few years ago when our new-born (now five) was rather less well than he orta-av-been.

The problem arises of course where the State, whether nanny, jackbooted or otherwise (I can’t tell the difference) steps in. I quote from landed’s quote from the Daily express:-

Tam Fry of the National Obesity Forum said …: “As prices rise and incomes fall, people will be drawn to the cheaper, less healthy processed foods, which are precisely the sort of things we are trying to wean people away from. Once habits change, it becomes hard for people to go back, especially because cheaper junk foods are so seductive.”

I have not previously heard of the “National Obesity Forum”, but I bet it’s (a) not a national movement and (b) it’s anything but a forum in which people engage in civilised discourse.

The libertarian issues are as follows:-

(1) If people are to be “weaned” off certain foods, and forced to eat others which they desire  less, then they are the state’s farm animals. I do feel quite sure that this is what “Tam” “Fry” does truly intend, although he’d not see it like that. he’d be “helping” people. Like Stalin did.

(2) If there was a real market in food, then the price of Vegan stuffed Vine Leaves would reflect demand and also the affluence (or otherwise) if the clientele that would go for it.

DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Peter Davis

Within the last hour of this post, the value of the Pound Slerling has gone below the value of the EURO!!

this is a terrifying prospect, but as of 23:11 GMT, £1 is worth 0.72 Euro cents (my keyboard cannot do euro signs, funny though, because it can do everything else though, even these: Ψ Φ ♦ ♣ ← ↑ → ↓↔ θ Ξ ¿)

“RAMBLERS”, walkers, theft of property by government. I’ve thought of a solution which will please all lefties.


David Davis

Earlier, we wrote here about the State Plan to steal nationalise open for all to enjoy, a 10-metere-wide strip of coastline all round the British Isles. (Bet they won’t include Ireland.)

I have thought about hbow to deal with this, so as to satisfy the nazis RSPCA and the Gramsco-Marxian anti-farming-brigade the Greens.

In return for their property being stolen opened for the outdoor enjoyment of all, people who have been defrauded have willingly handed over their property rights will be allowed to breed or sponsor the introduction of wild bears, wild wolves, pumas and fierce predatory dogs, or other large vertebrate predators that they might care to specify, which will be allowed at all times to live freely in the “zone”.

I presume it will be fenced?

Otherwise, how will the “ramblers”  know where their ill-gotten gains end, and real human beings’ property begins?

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