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posted by FatPhil on Wednesday July 25 2018, @05:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the choose-life dept.

This Bold Plan to Fight Opioid Overdoses Could Save Lives--But Some Conservatives Think It's "Immoral"

With Ohio beset by a massive public health around opioid use and overdoses--more than 4,000 Ohioans died of opioid overdoses in 2016--the Cleveland Plain Dealer sent travel editor Susan Glaser to Amsterdam in search of innovative approaches to the problem. While there, she rediscovered Holland's long-standing, radical, and highly effective response to heroin addiction and properly asked whether it might be applied to good effect here.

The difference in drug-related death rates between the two countries is staggering. In the U.S., the drug overdose death rate is 245 per million, nearly twice the rate of its nearest competitor, Sweden, which came in second with 124 per million. But in Holland, the number is a vanishingly small 11 per million. In other words, Americans are more than 20 times more likely to die of drug overdoses than the Dutch.

For Plain Dealer readers, the figures that really hit home are the number of state overdose deaths compared to Holland. Ohio, with just under 12 million people, saw 4,050 drug overdose deaths in 2016; the Netherlands, with 17 million people, saw only 235.

What's the difference? The Dutch government provides free heroin to several score [where a score=20] hardcore heroin addicts and has been doing so for the past 20 years. Public health experts there say that in addition to lowering crime rates and improving the quality of life for users, the program is one reason overdose death rates there are so low. And the model could be applied here, said Amsterdam heroin clinic operator Ellen van den Hoogen.

[...]"It's not a program that is meant to help you stop," acknowledged van den Hoogen. "It keeps you addicted."

That's not a sentiment sits well with American moralizers, such as George W. Bush's drug czar, John Walters, whom Glaser consulted for the story. He suggested that providing addicts with drugs was immoral and not "real treatment," but he also resorted to lies about what the Dutch are doing.

He claimed the Dutch are "keeping people addicted for the purpose of controlling them" and that the Dutch have created "a colony of state-supported, locked-up addicts."

Your humble Ed (who rechopped the quoting, so head off to the full article(s) to see the full story) adds: of course, this is quite a contentious issue, digging deep into moralistic debate, and where clearly there's little agreed-upon objective truth and plenty of opinions. However, we are a community dotted widely round the globe, and so I'm sure there are plenty of stories of what has or has not worked in different locales.

Previous: Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization


Original Submission

Related Stories

Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization 41 comments

The old rat-with-drug-laced-water "experiment" is a sham. The only choice the rat in the empty cage has is drinking plain water or drinking drugged water. They never show you a CONTROL where there is a rat with a cage full of cool rat toys and rat friends.

Johann Hari reports via Alternet:

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection. [...] just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop [smoking by] using nicotine patches.

[...]Nearly 15 years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe [...] They decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts and spend it instead on reconnecting them--to their own feelings and to the wider society.

[...]The [sic] most crucial step is to get [addicts] secure housing [as well as] subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.

[...]An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that, since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.

[...]The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country's top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect: more crime, more addicts; but when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass--and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal's example.

Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis? 95 comments

US needs to invest 'tens of billions or hundreds of billions' to fight opioid epidemic

The goal of an opioid is to reduce pain, but the addictive drugs are creating pain for millions of families suffering through the crisis. Deaths from opioid overdoses number at least 42,000 a year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"This is an epidemic that's been getting worse over 10 to 20 years," Caleb Alexander, co-director of Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety, told CNBC's "On The Money" in a recent interview. "I think it's important that we have realistic expectations about the amount of work that it will take and the amount of coordination to turn this steamship around," Alexander added.

[...] Alexander added: "The statistics are stunning. More than 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder or opioid addiction" and he says the country needs to "invest tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars" to shore up the treatment system. He said patients should be able to access medications that "we know work to help reduce the cravings for further opioids."

Don't mention the Portugal model!

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Attorney General is suing members of the family that runs Purdue Pharma:

Their family name graces some of the nation's most prestigious bastions of culture and learning — the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum, the Sackler Lefcourt Center for Child Development in Manhattan and the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University, to name a few.

Now the Sackler name is front and center in a lawsuit accusing the family and the company they own and run, Purdue Pharma, of helping to fuel the deadly opioid crisis that has killed thousands of Americans. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey took the unusual step of naming eight members of the Sackler family this week in an 80-page complaint that accused Purdue Pharma of spinning a "web of illegal deceit" to boost profits.

While prosecutors in more than a dozen other states hit hard by the opioid epidemic have sued Purdue Pharma, Healey is the first to name individual Sackler family members, along with eight company executives.


Original Submission

Do Supervised Injection Sites Work? 33 comments

What's The Evidence That Supervised Drug Injection Sites Save Lives?

Critics say supervised injection sites encourage drug use and bring crime to surrounding communities. Proponents argue that they save lives and can help people in addiction reconnect with society and get health services. [...] But what does evidence say? If the policy goal is to save lives and eventually curb opioid addiction, do these sites work? It's a tricky question to answer, although many of these sites have been studied for years.

At least 100 supervised injection sites operate around the world, mainly in Europe, Canada and Australia. Typically, drug users come in with their own drugs and are given clean needles and a clean, safe space to consume them. Staff are on hand with breathing masks and naloxone, the overdose antidote, and to provide safer injection advice and information about drug treatment and other health services.

But most have grown out of community and grassroots efforts, according to Peter Davidson, a researcher specializing in harm reduction at the University of California San Diego who is researching an underground supervised injection site [open, DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.06.010] [DX] in the United States. They lack big budgets for comprehensive services or for conducting high level evaluations, he says. Still, he says the research – both "the grey" and the robust - point to the benefits, especially in preventing deaths among society's most vulnerable. No death has been reported in an injection site. A 2014 review of 75 studies [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.10.012] [DX] concluded such places promote safer injection conditions, reduce overdoses and increase access to health services. Supervised injection sites were associated with less outdoor drug use, and they did not appear to have any negative impacts on crime or drug use.

[...] However, in another review of studies [DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.06.018] [DX] published in August in the International Journal of Drug Policy, the researchers, criminologists from the University of South Wales in the United Kingdom, found that the evidence for supervised injection is not as strong as previously thought. Only eight studies met the researchers' standards for high quality design. And of those, the findings on the effectiveness of supervised injection were uncertain, with no effect on overdose mortality or needle sharing. "Nobody should be looking at this literature making confident conclusions in either direction," says Keith Humphreys, an addiction researcher and psychiatry professor at Stanford University who wasn't involved in the study.

Related: Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization
The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA


Original Submission

U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing 19 comments

Opioid Deaths May Be Starting To Plateau, HHS Chief Says

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

[...] In 2017, the number of Americans dying from opioid overdoses rose to 72,000 from 64,000 the previous year. However, according to new provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control, the numbers stopped rising toward the end of 2017, a trend that has continued into the beginning of this year. It is "finally bending in the right direction," Azar said. He added that the death toll flattening out is "hardly a victory," especially at such high levels. Current government statistics show that opioids kill over 115 Americans each day.

[...] On Wednesday, President Trump is expected to sign a bill recently passed by Congress that expands Medicaid opioid treatment programs and workforce training initiatives, and supports FDA research to find new options for non-opioid pain relief.

It's Too Soon to Celebrate the End of the Opioid Epidemic

While we don't know why deaths have begun to fall, experts say there are a few likely reasons. Doctors are prescribing fewer painkillers. More states are making naloxone, which reverses opioid overdoses, widely available. And it's possible that more addicts have started medication-assisted therapies like buprenorphine, which is how France solved its own opioid epidemic years ago. Indeed, the states with the biggest declines in overdose deaths were those like Vermont that have used evidence-based, comprehensive approaches to tackling opioid addiction.

[...] Still, it's possible this is a "false dawn," as Keith Humphreys, an addiction expert at Stanford University, put it to me. "Opioid-overdose deaths did not increase from 2011 to 2012, and many people declared that the tide was turning. But in 2013, they began racing up again," he said. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl are still rising, as are those from methamphetamines.

Related: President Trump Declares the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency
U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Opioid Legislation; China Will Step Up Cooperation
The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA


Original Submission

CDC Report Says That Fentanyl is the Deadliest Drug in America 22 comments

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, CDC confirms

Fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug involved in drug overdoses, according to a new government report. The latest numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics say that the rate of drug overdoses involving the synthetic opioid skyrocketed by about 113% each year from 2013 through 2016.

The number of total drug overdoses jumped 54% each year between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, there were 63,632 drug overdose deaths.

[...] In 2016, over 18,000 overdose deaths involved fentanyl, and 16,000 fatalities were due to heroin.

China recently agreed to reclassify fentanyl as a controlled substance to curb sales to the U.S. Will that agreement hold given ongoing trade war tensions?

Also at CBS.

Related: U.S. Life Expectancy Continues to Decline Due to Opioid Crisis
Senate Investigators Google Their Way to $766 Million of Fentanyl
"Synthetic Opioids" Now Kill More People than Prescription Opioids in the U.S.
120 Pounds (54 kg) of Fentanyl Seized in Nebraska
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Opioid Legislation; China Will Step Up Cooperation
The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA
U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing


Original Submission

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma May File for Bankruptcy to Disrupt Lawsuits 48 comments

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma reportedly exploring bankruptcy

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is exploring filing for bankruptcy to address potentially significant liabilities from thousands of lawsuits alleging the drug manufacturer contributed to the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the United States, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The deliberations show how Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, are under pressure to respond to mounting litigation accusing the pharmaceutical company of misleading doctors and patients about risks associated with prolonged use of its prescription opioids.

Purdue denies the allegations, arguing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved labels for its opioids carried warnings about the risk of abuse and misuse associated with the drugs.

Filing for Chapter 11 protection would halt the lawsuits and allow the drug maker to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge, the sources said.

No "Big Tobacco" moment for Purdue Pharma. Cut and run.

Previously: City of Everett, Washington Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma
OxyContin's 12-Hour Problem
South Carolina Sues OxyContin Maker Purdue
Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis?
Purdue Pharma to Cut Sales Force, Stop Marketing Opioids to Doctors
Colorado Attorney General Sues Purdue Pharma

Related: The Dutch Supply Heroin Addicts With Dope and Get Better Results Than USA
U.S. Opioid Deaths May be Plateauing


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @05:50PM (112 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @05:50PM (#712519)

    So, that doesn't mean this alternative is the correct way to handle the problem.

    I don't want to pay for an addict's heroin; it's not the role of government to supply heroin to people

    Instead, the government should get out of the business of regulating people's personal activities, and then let charities decide how best to help addicts (including supplying heroin as necessary).

    Get your goddamn hands out of my pockets. GET OUT!

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @05:52PM (24 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @05:52PM (#712522)

      I meant: It's easy to do better than the War on Drugs.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:07PM (23 children)

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:07PM (#712537) Journal

        The Trump administration already slipped on the banana peel.

        Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis [soylentnews.org]
        FDA Labels Kratom an Opioid [soylentnews.org]
        President Trump Promises to Support State Legalization of Cannabis; Boehner Evolves [soylentnews.org] (it took a Republican Senator blocking DoJ nominees in order to get this previous promise respected)
        Tens or Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Needed to Combat Opioid Crisis? [soylentnews.org]

        Sessions is still in charge at DoJ, which remains a problem [cato.org]. The day Trump kicks his ass to the curb can't come soon enough (although we can't be optimistic about a successor).

        We all know the way [soylentnews.org].

        Legalize/decriminalize all drugs, divert money that would otherwise be going to criminals and cartels, and collect taxes. Boost needle exchange and supervised injection sites [wikipedia.org]. Completely legalize cannabis, which leads to lower opioid use rates [soylentnews.org].

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:17PM (21 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:17PM (#712544)

          Taxes pay for nonsense like the War on Drugs. Why would you still trust a violently imposed monopoly to do something right? IT MAKES NO SENSE! You have Stockholm Syndrome.

          Leave money in the hands of the people who earned it; then at least the Catholics can pass on this money to their Church, and thereby actually help people through their shrewd, non-nonsense, help-those-who-will-help-themselves charities.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by takyon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:21PM

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:21PM (#712551) Journal

            I hope you pay lots of sales taxes on the microwave dinners you eat.

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:42PM (18 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:42PM (#712569)

            And you have a case of stupidity so severe you can't figure out why dictatorships are an inevitable consequence of anarcho-capitalism, why an endless regress of contract enforcers is not a rational basis for a legal system, or what a legal system even is.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:47PM (17 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:47PM (#712570)

              There is a difference between iteration and recursion.

              It doesn't have to be turtles all the way down.

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:11PM (16 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:11PM (#712584)

                Both iterative and recursive algorithms can be non-terminating. That is why I call contract enforcement in anarcho-capitalism an endless regress.

                Other endless regresses such as turtles all the way down can be iterated, but the iteration never terminates.

                We can have contract enforcement without an endless regress. The termination condition is called a violently imposed monopoly.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:28PM (15 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:28PM (#712600)

                  If anything, violent imposition is what encourages people to retaliate with their own violent imposition, thereby resulting in an endless regress of violence.

                  Better instead to advocate for a well-defined system of dispute resolution, entailing contract negotiation and enforcement according to the resulting contracts.
                  That's why the arc of Civilization has involved an improving appreciation for the individual over the ruling class or even the collective, because society will always be more stable when individuals at least feel that their existence is voluntary rather than involuntary.

                  So, thanks for your honesty.

                  You have decided to throw your voice behind violent imposition, while I have chosen to spend [part of] my short life seriously considering alternatives.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:36PM (10 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:36PM (#712610)

                    How do you prevent contract enforcement from becoming an endless regress?

                    Furthermore, since you brought it up, how do you deal with the inevitable original sin of the first violent act?

                    Have I misjudged that you're looking for men to become angels when you're actually trying to wind back the clock and restore man to his state before original sin?

                    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:49PM (9 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:49PM (#712616)

                      Like the Newton–Raphson method [wikipedia.org] for finding successively better approximations to the roots (or zeroes) of a real-valued function, you don't have to start with perfection. Even a bad guess for a start to law-by-contracts (as opposed to law-by-imposition) can be good enough—capitalism is an iterative, evolutionary process.

                      In contrast, a violently imposed monopoly requires the men in charge to be angels; this is the reason that a modern, constitutional, parliamentary republic always involves a Separation of Powers, because it is competition amongst powers that keeps them in check. Alas, multiple, competing branches of government are a poor approximation of competition within a culture that reveres voluntary interaction; that's why in a mere 200+ years, the United States have consolidated power under the increasingly kingly Federal executive.

                      Consider that there has never been One World Government; at the level of the nation state, there has always been total anarchy, whereby something as crude as mutual annihilation as managed to keep relative peace among the powers, and where mutual trade has done the most to spread prosperity and good will.

                      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:04PM (7 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:04PM (#712626)

                        I understand better the distinction you were making between iterative and recursive. (Let us table the idea of a one world government for later, because this is a logical consequence of my position, but we are not quite there yet.)

                        So we will use international diplomacy as our model for contract enforcement without a central authority.

                        Between nations, we see a pattern of imperialism throughout history. The condition of anarchy leads to overreach by those who have power, which leads to war. Consider the Iran nuclear deal. According to an independent authority, who could be a contract enforcement service for our purposes, Iran has upheld their end of the bargain. Yet we see that the actor who believes they have more power unilaterally tearing up the agreement and issuing violent threats.

                        So let's elevate that independent authority to contract enforcement, and let's even suppose that they are the contract enforcement service mutually agreed upon. (And, indeed, in the Iran nuclear deal example, that seems very much to be the case.) How does that prevent disregard of the verdict given by the contract enforcer and initiation of violence?

                        Wouldn't the contract enforcer need to have more power than the strongest party involved in order to prevent the initiation of violence?

                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:44PM (6 children)

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:44PM (#712668)

                          Caveat Emptor. I guess Iran shouldn't have agreed to such a piss-poor enforcer of the contract. That's not a fault with the concept, but rather a fault in this iteration's implementation. One World Government doesn't solve this issue; in fact, it would probably exacerbate the problem by providing a centralized point of failure for special interests to hijack.

                          What you've identified is that at the level of the nation state, the framework for dispute resolution, contraction negotiation, and contract enforcement is really poorly defined; part of the natural iteration that WILL occur is that Iran and its ilk won't be quick to enter into such an agreement without more robust guarantees. Indeed, Iran should have insisted on the deal being approved by the Senate, which would have made it a treaty.

                          The point of promoting capitalism and this way of thinking is to hasten this iterative development by explicitly identifying the need for a system that is not only better defined, but that is also designed around competitive implementation rather than decree. "Honor" is something that nations talk about; hard collateral is what capitalists bank on. Where are the objective incentives? Most "private" disputes in the U.S. are already handled by arbitration, because governmental courts just don't work well, and most people (and their corporations) are more than happy to follow rules laid out in advance (like a game); nations, in contrast, are not so sophisticated, because their violent imposition affords their wastefulness, slothfulness, and stupidity, and it also means they are used to taking what they want when they can.

                          One of the hardest aspects of enforcing something like the Iran deal is creating the right incentives for all parties. Maybe something like Bitcoin is necessary, so that the United States can be forced to transfer into an internationally controlled escrow some large sum of money that can be released to an aggrieved party when M of N parties to the treaty agree to do so. Sure, the U.S. could wage war over such a decision, but when rules to the game are set in advance, it's much easier for politicians to say "Well, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose; everything went according to the rules." Game rules allow for people to save face even when they lose. And, hell, if war did break out, well, the aggrieved party would be flush with American bitcoin for funding its defense and retaliation.

                          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:53PM (5 children)

                            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:53PM (#712676) Journal

                            You still haven't answered how you prevent an infinite regress of contract enforcement.

                            Face it, at some point, "violently-imposed monopoly" is where the buck stops. End of story. There's just no way around it. Men, as you point out, are not angels. I go a step further: some people are about as close to demons as one can get in reality, and understand nothing *but* violence. Sometimes violence *is* the answer. What you want to do it make sure 1) it's very rare, 2) it's applied surgically and intelligently, and 3) it's an absolute last resort.

                            --
                            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:59PM (4 children)

                              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:59PM (#712684)

                              The problem is imposition.

                              If a contract specifies violence as agreed enforcement for some condition, then that violence is necessarily voluntary.

                              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:43PM (3 children)

                                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:43PM (#712722)

                                So basically treaties and laws like we already have? You just love to evade the problem where the enforcers will become the violent monopolies and we'll at BEST get dystopian corporate rule where if you want to survive in the world you "voluntarily" agree to their terms. Probably some small groups of co-op humans will be around, but again the "violently imposed monopolies" or "economically imposed monopolies" will still come to power.

                                We're still tired of this debate yet you keep trying to push it. At least thanks for not being your usual jerk self and spamming the comment section.

                                • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:05PM (2 children)

                                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:05PM (#712737)

                                  I just don't even understand what your point is; your Government doesn't solve your problem.

                                  Well, when you're don't censor someone with downmods, you don't get "spammed". Get it yet?

                                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:39PM

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:39PM (#712758)

                                    Ugh you're too lame.

                                    No one agrees with you except a few of the more extreme libertarians around here! You ignore all the valid arguments and just repeat your mantra and spew the same shit over and over. You spam cause people downmod your bullshit? Grow up, do YOU get it yet?

                                    Of course not, keep reinventing the wheel buddy but it sure was hell won't be done here. I'll take the less-than-perfect system of government we've developed so far over your outlandish mad maxx style of society.

                                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:58PM

                                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:58PM (#712769)

                                    You keep stating that without demonstrating how a series of contracts prevents the formation of warlords, which are the precursors of government. All you can seem to offer us are magic free market beans.

                                    In fact, the path of capitalism, observable in the real world with transnational corporations, is towards oligarchy. That is, it results in concentration of power in the hands of the very few. Pure capitalism is inherently anti-democratic. Sufficiently advanced capitalism, therefore, is indistinguishable from one world government.

                      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 26 2018, @05:47AM

                        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 26 2018, @05:47AM (#712937) Journal

                        Welcome to the hell of Newton-Raphson [wikipedia.org], where the starting point and the shape of your curve can lead to chaotic and/or divergent behaviour.
                        And this only when considering one dimension.

                        --
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:46PM (3 children)

                    by sjames (2882) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:46PM (#712726) Journal

                    The problem is, when someone wrongs another (for example by reneging on a contract), if that person is intractible the options are:

                    1. Give up and accept a crippling loss
                    2. An endless regression of arbitrators saying "make it right or I'll say make it right again!"
                    3. Either a government or you impose a settlement by force.

                    One reason we evolved a court system and forbade individual efforts is that the latter often ended up with one or more people dead, often not the party that cheated in the first place.

                    On a further note, we are experimenting with non-government arbitration now. Already we can see an issue where the party that pays the arbitrator regularly seems to have an unfair advantage over their opponent. Already there are calls to either disallow arbitration clauses or to make the regular courts available to appeal the decisions of arbitrators.

                    It's good to consider alternatives, but only if you look for and consider the available data from existing experiments.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:35PM (2 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:35PM (#712753)

                      As emphasized earlier [soylentnews.org]: Nobody said that violence is never the answer.

                      The problem is imposition.

                      If a contract specifies violence as agreed enforcement for some condition, then that violence is necessarily voluntary; it is not imposition.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @11:29PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @11:29PM (#712781)

                        You don't seem to want to acknowledge the inevitability of violence that is not stipulated by a contract.

                      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:19AM

                        by sjames (2882) on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:19AM (#712800) Journal

                        All that means is that every contract will specify force. That's different from now in what way?

          • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:28AM

            by LoRdTAW (3755) on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:28AM (#712804) Journal

            (Score: -1, Retarded)

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by krishnoid on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:17PM

          by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:17PM (#712586)

          Completely legalize cannabis, which leads to lower opioid use rates [soylentnews.org].

          I'm interested in its contribution to lower opioid use (prescription and otherwise) when considered alongside the heroin-provision program in the Netherlands. Looks like there's a tl;dr 2017 study [europa.eu] on this that may have more info on this.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @05:59PM (23 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @05:59PM (#712531)

      Not 100% sure how serious this is, but the stupidity of people who DO take it seriously is off the charts.

      So paying for heroin doses is bad, but paying almost $3 BILLION to fight the "drug war" which results in more negative outcomes is fine? Get your head out of your ass, your brain is lacking oxygen.

      Don't come back with "I don't want to fund the DEA either" because otherwise you'd be making a massive stink about THAT all the time and I have yet to see any such thing.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:17PM (18 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:17PM (#712545) Journal
        I suspect he doesn't want to pay for the DEA either and he's simply trying to stay on subject.

        I can sympathize with his view. And there are more objections to this.

        Consider hypothetically; 300k addicts in our population, however that is defined. With the current drug war policies the group has very poor outcomes in terms of, say, mortality at 10 years, or incarceration at 10 years, and so on. If you scrap the drug war and spend a small portion of the money to provide these people with heroin, their outlook is better. So from that outcome, great, right? But look closer. Will your policy mean *more* young people becoming addicted? (My gut feeling is that the answer is either no or yes but very small effect, but I don't really know.) If so, then that by itself might well be an overriding reason to not make the change - if your yardstick for policy is this diffuse sort of statistical analysis.

        But that raises the question of whether that's the right yardstick to take in policy decisions. And there's a very good argument it's not. No matter which of these policies is adopted, it will benefit some and harm some unjustly. This sort of legislation arguably amounts to human experimentation, which is prohibited by international and national laws.

        The only truly good solution is to get the state out of the issue entirely. End prohibition, and replace it with *nothing.*
        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:26PM (15 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:26PM (#712556)

          "Don't come back with "I don't want to fund the DEA either" because otherwise you'd be making a massive stink about THAT all the time and I have yet to see any such thing."

          Dumbass didn't listen. It isn't about being on topic, it is about never seeing any objections to the DEA EVER except from other pinko-commie-leftist-SJWs who dislike having the highest prison population in the world.

          My gut feeling is that the answer is either no or yes but very small effect

          You're an idiot then? The evidence is in but you still pussyfoot around like there is any debate left. War on Drugs is bad! Incarcerating people for drug use is stupid! Supplying people with heroin is leaps better for the whole society than having those addicts do other things to fund their addiction.

          At least you've got the end prohibition part right, that would go a looong way to help the problem. I guess humanity has always been pretty selfish and shitty so I should stop being surprised by the lack of moral fiber from so many of you.

          Removing the state from education has been BAD, removing mental health institutions was BAD, and basically every other attempt to remove society's safety nets have been BAD! There is no more debate here, just dragging you VIM types into reality.

          • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:31PM (6 children)

            by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:31PM (#712562) Journal

            When can I expect my check to pay for my tobacco?

            --
            Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:33PM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:33PM (#712656)

              If your tobacco problem becomes so bad that hordes of idiots start committing crimes just to pay for their next pack? Well, then we should do something to minimize the crisis. Sadly your straw man doesn't really apply here.

              However, I am all for some government run health facilities which would include rehabilitation programs. I wouldn't be happy paying for your cigarettes, but I would be happy paying for nicotine patches etc. Sadly heroin addiction is a lot more problematic and bridging the gap with a safe heroin / needle program to first stop the crimes and then help the people would be better.

              Additionally, it seems that many heroin users are capable of performing a variety of jobs as long as they are getting their doses. So ultimately such a program would actually be more of a gain by keeping people employed as they struggle with their addiction.

              The world isn't black and white, but the conlibertards can't quite figure that out. To be fair the tarderals have similar problems with the topics of racism and capitalism. As always the real path forward is somewhere in between the extremes.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:55PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:55PM (#712680)

                You being happy to pay isn't the problem.

                The problem is you being happy to force me to pay.

                • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:26PM (2 children)

                  by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:26PM (#712706) Journal

                  Sometimes there's only a choice of evils. Which will you pay for: vaccinations, or horrible diseases? Firefighters, or damage from fires? Cops, or more crime? And if you think that you don't pay when someone else suffers disaster, think again. Prices jump when calamity strikes. We've seen that with oil, food, RAM, hard drives, and pretty much every commodity.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:34PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:34PM (#712713)

                    Nobody denied your notion.

                    The problem is forcing people to pay rather than convincing them to pay.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:46PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:46PM (#712727)

                      Hahahahaha, convince people to pay? People have their own problems and dreams and many of the services we RELY on would go unfunded as people work on building their private wealth. That is like saying "don't violently throw me in jail for murdering someone, just try and convince me to NOT murder instead!" That is so much retarded you've got there.

            • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:09AM

              by sjames (2882) on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:09AM (#712797) Journal

              Well, first you'll need to report for your mandatory inpatient tobacco rehab. Then you'll need to lose your job. Still sound good?

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:35PM (7 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:35PM (#712564)

            The libertarians won't STFU about ending the War on Drugs. DEA? Ha! They want to dismantle the entire goddamn federal government, and that's just for starters.

            You've got your head up your arse mate.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:25PM (6 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:25PM (#712597)

              There seem to be many people here who are interested in confusing libertarianism for anarcho-capitalism.

              • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:31PM (5 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:31PM (#712606)

                The limit of libertarianism is necessarily capitalism, which is necessarily anarchy (which some call "anarcho-capitalism" in order to be clear that capitalism is the fundamental philosophy of society, not socialism, which can only work when built atop and therefore constrained by capitalism).

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:16PM (4 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:16PM (#712636)

                  Then we must be clear what we mean by capitalism. Are we talking about the valuation of goods in a currency?

                  It sounds like we are also talking about property relations. By capitalism do we also mean exclusive ownership of property by a certain party? (Where a party may be any set of people, such as the set of Mondragon employees, the set of people who work a neighborhood vegetable garden for example, or the set of people who are citizens of a certain government.)

                  Are we also talking about a mode of production where ownership of the means of production is alienated from the operation of the means of production?

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:59PM (3 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:59PM (#712732)

                    Capitalism is the philosophy that every resource should have a well defined owner; practicality demands that this applies only to a resource whose ownership comes into dispute, or could likely come into dispute.

                    This necessarily implies the need for a process to handle dispute resolution; in our current society, people mostly look to a government to provide the necessary structure for this process. However, such a process itself may be implemented under capitalism instead by placing the resources for this process under the same constraints as all other capital (e.g., the process cannot be funded by taxation, but rather must be funded by the participants' capital); ownership is defined by contracts to which parties in dispute agree in advance of future interaction; capitalism is an iterative process, one that may start at a point which is not perfect, and then be evolved by variation and selection. As all of society is the allocation of resources, then law is merely the collection of contracts. The system is stable when it is more profitable to work within that process rather than to ignore it.

                    Therefore, a notion such as the "means" of production is meaningless; there is no distinction between "Capitalist" and "Laborer"—everyone is a capitalist; everyone is the owner of some resource (such as his labor or his factory building or whatever). Individual owners (whether individual humans or corporations, etc.) interact according to the rules of their respective capital, as defined by contracts to which parties have agreed in advance, whose enforcement (whether violent or not) is by definition voluntary and specified in advance by the contracts themselves.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:03PM (2 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:03PM (#712736)

                      Dumbass.

                      Capitalism: ownership of the means of production, the "capital" if you will.

                      You use lots of words to explain really simple things, then tag on your ideology at the end like all the simple points somehow validate your ideas. They don't, your ideas fail in the real world without a structured system to base them on.

                      You want a series of contracts? Fine by me, but they will be enforced by the government. You want private enforcers? Get bent, you're obviously incapable of understanding any system larger than a dozen people.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:38PM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:38PM (#712756)

                        Get it yet, dumbass?

                        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:54PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:54PM (#712766)

                          You're too stupid for this discussion as usual. Piss off little TMB wannabe.

                          Ok I can't let you remain so dumb. The labor is only a means of production when paid by the owner of the factory. You may have had a point back in the day when raw materials could be collected and processed by hand like moccasins and home spun clothing. In the age of mechanization labor is owned by the capitalists by paying the peon to work. A nicer form of slavery with just enough of an opening where some idiot such as yourself can believe the lie "well anyone can bootstrap themselves and compete! they're just laaaazzzyyyy!!!"

                          Seriously, you're too dumb for this entire topic. I doubt it is a genetic handicap so there is hope for you yet.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by NewNic on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:11PM (1 child)

          by NewNic (6420) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:11PM (#712741) Journal

          Portugal. Look it up.

          Anywhere that drugs have been legalized (or even de-criminalized), the outcomes have been positive.

          --
          lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:31PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:31PM (#713197)

            "Positive ? You mean positive growth of my profits, right ?" - anonymous major US campaign donor

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:29PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:29PM (#712560)

        Have you heard of the Libertarian Party [lp.org]? They don't want to fund the DEA. See here [lp.org]:

        Libertarians believe that it is immoral for the government to dictate which substances a person is permitted to consume, whether it is alcohol, tobacco, herbal remedies, saturated fat, marijuana, etc. These decisions belong to individual people, not the government.

        GP sounds like a libertarian or anarcho-capitalist.

        I have yet to see any such thing.

        Perhaps you're relying too heavily on the media to construct your knowledge of external reality?

        But I understand where you're coming from. The media doesn't want to tell you anything about any political candidates that aren't Red Team Blue Team, and if they have to, they'll make sure to use the same tactics used by Project Veritas to make sure you walk away with a negative impression.

        If we want the DEA dissolved, The Libertarian Party and the Green Party [gp.org] are the way to go. Chances are, the Libertarian Party and Green Party will be on the ballot in most states in the USA this November.

        I should mention that the Libertarian Party and Green Party have engaged in joint initiatives to increase media access during elections. However, there is only so much we can expect from those efforts, given the fact that all of our media is owned by just a few guys. Our only immediate option for getting the information we need to have is to regard the mainstream media as the only truly "fake news" and find alternative news sources, such as Common Dreams and World Socialist Web Site, to name two that publish regularly and have also been punished by the all-mighty Oracle at Google presumably in the name of "fake news." (Also other sources like NORML's blag are good to check once per week or so.)

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:25PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:25PM (#712649)

          I've got no problem with the sane libertarians, there are just so many that take the ideology to extremes that would regress society.

          Quite simply there are things best left to government bodies and things best left to private interests. The good of society requires certain prohibitions and programs instead of total freedom. The data is in, Drug War bad and if you want to prevent small time violence and crime then a program to provide people with their heroin dose is ideal. No one wants to be addicted to drugs so the worries about some explosion of heroin use is just stupid. Most people will keep their addictions to themselves instead of going into a government building to somewhat publicly display their choices.

          Tell me, which public programs do the moderate libertarians believe in?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @05:33AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @05:33AM (#712935)

            They're also for open immigration and against tariffs. Or at least were 30 years ago (I don't follow politics).

            so many that take the ideology to extremes that would regress society.

            I think this can be safely said about any ideological group. Go over to reddit and you'll find many groups that want to immediately end western civilization, full stop.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:47PM (#712615)

        Doing it right is more costly than doing it easily.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:01PM (46 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:01PM (#712533)

      I don't want to pay for an addict's heroin;

      Please provide a list of the things you do want to pay for. We have many, many government programs and using your list would help us whittle them down to a more acceptable number of programs.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:12PM (31 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:12PM (#712540)

        Therefore, in order to figure out both what society needs and whose going to pay for it, there needs to be a market of voluntary exchange to find out the answers.

        At most, a government should enforce contracts between individuals, and even that activity should instead be handled by firms that compete in the market place—society is that phenomenon which emerges from countless interactions among individuals; it is an iterative, evolutionary process whose robustness is proportional to variation (supplier competition) and selection (consumer choice).

        If you have to fund your ideas at the point of a gun, then your ideas are no good.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:15PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:15PM (#712543)

          If you have to make a shitty argument about theoretical violence / murder then you ARE shit. VIMVIMVIMVIMVIM! lol back to try again huh? Just don't spam the same shit repeatedly please, we're tired of you whining about downmods.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:21PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:21PM (#712553)

            How can you possibly look back your reply and think "Yup. I'm on the right side of this."

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:49PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:49PM (#712728)

              Ditto right back at you. You're an ideological fool and after the typical rational responses have been worn out yet again the only response left is a variation on "you're an idiot!"

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:32PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:32PM (#712563)

            Can't we just tell him, ":qa!"

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:18PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:18PM (#712547)

          Don't worry scrow, there are plenty of tards out there living totally kickass lives. My first wife was tarded, she's a pilot now.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:03PM (25 children)

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:03PM (#712579)

          Ah yes, the "Free Market Cures All Ills" hypothesis. I'm now going to demonstrate this can lead to a suboptimal outcome.

          Here's a good idea: "Hey, it would really help if we had a road from here to the next town over, so we can get goods and people to and from where we live". And several different organizations are competing to build that road in a marketplace, with the plan of paying the expense of the road via tolls. So far, so good, right? Well, 1 particularly well-funded competitor, Acme Inc, manages to, for $60 million, buy a thin ring of land all around the town in question (easy enough when nobody who is selling knows anything other than "This company is paying well over market value for a small strip of my land), and refuse to allow anyone else to build a road across their land out of the town. The residents are quite concerned about this, and go to Acme and ask them what their terms are: Acme says "OK, here are your options: You can buy this small piece of the ring of land from me for $120 million, or you can sell a strip of land for $20,000 and I'll build the road and charge the tolls." They choose option B because that's short-term cheaper and they really need a road out of town, Acme Inc spends an additional $1 million to build the road to the next town, and proceeds to charge the residents enough in tolls that they make $10.2 million in toll revenue and spend $0.1 million on maintenance each year, and in 6 years they've recouped their entire investment. From now on, they continue to make $10 million or so maintaining their little road.

          What's the problem, you ask? Well, I just demonstrated that this town's residents now have to pay, over 10 years, $102 million in tolls for a road that actually cost $2 million to build and maintain. That's ridiculously inefficient. And no, they can't get away with taking a different route, because Acme still controls all the potential alternative routes out of town.

          This can be prevented by either of the following actions by the government:
          1. Make it illegal to completely surround a town with land you own. Which is to say, prevent the final contract forming that ring of land from happening due to the third-party interest of having a way to leave town.
          2. Require a property owner to sell their land at fair market value when there's a compelling public interest in forcing them to do so. This is what the US actually does.
          In either of those cases, the government pays about $3 million to build and maintain the road, with the money coming out of taxes, and that's far far cheaper for the residents of this town than the free-market scenario.

          The mistake most Free Market believers make is thinking that competitors are going to play fair. But as profit-seeking entities, they won't if there's more profit to be had by playing unfairly.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
          • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:08PM (11 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:08PM (#712581)

            I'd take irritating voluntary exchange any day over irritating involuntary exchange.

            That is to say, your libertarian shithole still eeks out a victory over the governmental alternative.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:30PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:30PM (#712604)

              If we eliminate government, we are no longer in the realm of libertarianism. We have crossed over into the twilight zone of anarcho-capitalism.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:33PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:33PM (#712608)

                Here [soylentnews.org]. Maybe that will clarify things for you.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:19PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:19PM (#712641)

                  Ah. I'll reply over there.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:17PM (7 children)

              by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:17PM (#712638)

              I just demonstrated how government can be and has been used to solve the problem I presented: Eminent domain laws. It ain't perfect, but it's much cheaper than the scenario I described above.

              You definitely have a strange idea of how "voluntary" the situation I described is. If you are a resident of this town, you don't have a lot of options. You can pay the tolls, or you can stay where you are and have all the traders you rely on to stay where you are pay the tolls and pass the cost on to you. Either way, if this town has 10,000 residents, you're paying about $1000 a year to Acme Inc. You could leave town I suppose, but that would mean giving up a substantial percentage of your wealth because everyone is factoring in that they have to pay $1000 / yr to Acme Inc just to get to work.

              And while you're doing that, you're looking at the people paying 1/100th of what you're paying, and getting better and more convenient service, and thinking "Those suckers!" I have to admit I have a hard time understanding that mindset. About the only reason I can think of that you don't see a problem in any of this is that you imagine yourself to be part of Acme Inc that is putting this town in a stranglehold, rather than one of the 10,000 people caught in said stranglehold, when the odds are very much the other way.

              --
              The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:37PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:37PM (#712661)

                It is blind belief born of the post WWII propaganda. Like religious belief you can't fight it directly. I'm not quite sure how to get such people informed, on this site only the facts have been stated numerous times. I think the only way is to get a majority and vote in the changes. Once the better outcomes are directly evident then these suckers MIGHT change their tune. My money is that they will stop bitching so much but will maintain the "taxes are theft!" mantra even as their lives are saved from financial dissolution over a serious health issue.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:18PM (5 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:18PM (#712699)

                You forgot the other option, because you are conditioned to view violence as the purview of those who monopolize it. Want me to pay for your shitty road? Got me fucked up. I'll pay the goon squad to fuck your life up. Take sledgehammers to your stuff. Rob your toll booths. Mob any one of you that steps near the town and string them up. It's not pretty, but neither is exploitation. Oppression under the boot of wealthy shysters who use fairy tales like "law" to bully and exploit by the million is even uglier. THAT is the reality of the current system.

                • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:39PM (2 children)

                  by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:39PM (#712719)

                  Also known as "turn the place into a war zone". Because you seem to be assuming that you and your goon squad are going to be more capable of winning that fight than the company who is pulling this off can come up with. Nothing really improves a neighborhood like a good old-fashioned artillery barrage.

                  --
                  The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:52PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:52PM (#712731)

                    He finally showed us the real side of his personality. A violent thug one small step away from justifying his violent tendencies. He wants to live in complete freedom and just IMAGINES that he and his friends will be able to maintain the libertarian utopia against all odds. One person steals some food from them and they'll go get it back and likely end up murdering people over it. Morally. Bankrupt. Asshole. Or MBA for short.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @03:46AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @03:46AM (#712905)

                      Actually, I'm not the VIM guy, just playing devil's advocate. The point was, economic violence can be met in kind, which is why the type of shit he was talking about earlier just wouldn't happen from any serious businessmen. A happy customer will gladly give and give. Fighting, whether literally or figuratively, just isn't sound business. The trick is to make your customer willingly embrace the prison, not extort them like you seem sure would happen.

                • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:28PM (1 child)

                  by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:28PM (#712751) Journal

                  And now we see the viloence inherent in your system

                  --
                  "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
                  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:56PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:56PM (#712767)

                    But its mutually agreed to violence! Or something... how does that work again?

                    I wish every thief had come up to me and had me sign an agreement that if I caught them breaking into my car again I'd kick their ass. Would have saved me some time and kicked their ass right there!

                    Seriously, that troll reads like a 5th grade bully trying to get out of detention.

          • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:34PM (10 children)

            by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:34PM (#712657)

            What's the problem, you ask? Well, I just demonstrated that this town's residents now have to pay, over 10 years, $102 million in tolls for a road that actually cost $2 million to build and maintain.

            Or just cut a hole in the fence and walk/drive across to the main road, assuming Acme isn't in the business of private property rights law enforcement as well. Yours is an extreme example, but if it involved a service, the lack of which was more an inconvenience than a necessity, I could see this easily happening, reguarly.

            The mistake most Free Market believers make is thinking that competitors are going to play fair. But as profit-seeking entities, they won't if there's more profit to be had by playing unfairly.

            The mistake seems more along the line that competitors don't have enough resources to nearly/completely lock others out of the market. Although at that point, they're more de facto monopolists/oligarchs/owners than competitors, you could say.

            • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:42PM (9 children)

              by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:42PM (#712666)

              The mistake seems more along the line that competitors don't have enough resources to nearly/completely lock others out of the market.

              Which of course we know is bunk, because otherwise Standard Oil, US Steel, and the other major monopolies of the robber baron era wouldn't have existed.

              --
              The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:23PM (8 children)

                by Arik (4543) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:23PM (#712704) Journal
                "Which of course we know is bunk, because otherwise Standard Oil, US Steel, and the other major monopolies of the robber baron era wouldn't have existed."

                But all of those companies relied on help from the legislature to secure a monopoly.
                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:00PM (4 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:00PM (#712734)

                  They wouldn't have needed to rely on legislature if they were in the libertarian anarchy world, they'd just hire their personal army and we'd be living in another version of Medieval Society right now.

                  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:23PM (3 children)

                    by Arik (4543) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:23PM (#712746) Journal
                    That makes no sense at all.

                    Without the intervention of the legislature there would have been no monopoly position, and that monopoly position is what lead to them having so much money the could hire their own armies!

                    --
                    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:44PM (2 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:44PM (#712760)

                      I don't think you understand the very basic underpinnings of capitalism and market forces. The big corporation purchased favorable legislation, they weren't a monopoly granted to a small 5 man outfit that then grew into Standard Oil.

                      Government enabled the bad behavior it didn't create it, but that goes against the anti-government mantra constantly pushed around here.

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:21AM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:21AM (#712802)

                        Explain Walmart.

                      • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:56AM

                        by Arik (4543) on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:56AM (#712814) Journal
                        No, actually, these robber barons were all involved in relatively small operations before they hit on the brilliant idea of investing their profits in the legislature, rather than in their business, and were rewarded many times over by lucrative legislative provisions. That's how they became big corporations.
                        --
                        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:46PM (1 child)

                  by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:46PM (#712761)

                  But all of those companies relied on help from the legislature to secure a monopoly.

                  Care to explain? What laws did they pass at the behest of each of the companies I mentioned, and how did it aid them in securing their monopoly?

                  Because right now, your argument amounts to "Some form of government existed in the US at the time that this thing happened, ergo the government must have been responsible for that thing happening." But by the same token, I can blame the Catholic Church, ragtime music, Howard University, and Evelyn Nesbit.

                  --
                  The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
                  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday July 26 2018, @01:18AM

                    by Arik (4543) on Thursday July 26 2018, @01:18AM (#712821) Journal
                    "What laws did they pass at the behest of each of the companies I mentioned, and how did it aid them in securing their monopoly?"

                    Standard Oil is an interesting case, the academic debate still rages today as to exactly how it got it's position. One popular theory is that they gained it by acting as a sort of justice system for the railroad cartel. The railroads had already relied on the legislature to reduce their competition, and there were only three companies as a result. They had already tried to form a cartel and screw the rest of us, but just as expected these attempts broke down quickly because they all cheated each other as well. In this theory, Standard earned their position by making sure the railroads played fair with each other, while all of the above proceeded to screw us. So under that theory the whole situation stems from the legislative interference in the early days of railroad.

                    There has been some interesting criticism of that theory, and there were clearly other factors. They had a big advantage of accident in the early days, being established in the area where all the oil was being pumped, and I'm sure they leveraged that just as hard as they could. But that advantage petered out quickly once oil wells started being dug other places.

                    But no matter how you cut it, they wouldn't have been where they were without the railroads, and the railroad monopolies were built on paybacks for campaign contributions and kickbacks.

                    --
                    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday July 26 2018, @03:19PM

                  by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday July 26 2018, @03:19PM (#713157) Journal

                  Standard Oil became a monopoly because Rockefeller hired thugs to beat up and strong arm all the wildcatters he was competing with. He literally built his company on violence. Later, much later, the Rockefellers hired a private army to set up on a ridge and machine gun men, women, and children who were on strike, living in tents on private land the union had rented for the duration of the strike at Ludlow, CO. Hundreds more would have died except for the intervention of a train engineer who interposed his boxcars between the guns and the camp, on the rail spur that separated them. The Rockefellers should have been rounded up and shot for that, but they barely got a slap on the wrist.

                  Violence, theft, and thuggery are at the heart of this capitalist system. People sublimate all of that away and pretend it's an aberration; they will do almost anything to rationalize their comfort and convenience rather than confront their own contributory culpability, but it's there, and posterity will curse us for it.

                  --
                  Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by FatPhil on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:35PM

            by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:35PM (#712716) Homepage
            Before the road is built from A to B, or any agreement is made with Acme Inc., Bozos Corp. will buy a slightly larger ring outside Acme's. Crapcast LLC will follow immediately by buying a slightly larger ring around Bozos'. Phucker, just out of spite, will speculatively buy a rectangle of land between that outer ring and B, that will be crossable for suitable rent. And then there will be a sequence of deals and mergers.

            Eventually, the stock market will be at an all-time high, and everyone will therefore be a winner!

            All hail the free market!
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:24PM

            by NewNic (6420) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:24PM (#712747) Journal

            It doesn't even take someone buying up land to block development.

            Google "Birmingham gas street basin" to see how private development results in inefficient and expensive infrastructure.

            --
            lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Arik on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:21PM (13 children)

        by Arik (4543) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:21PM (#712552) Journal
        "Please provide a list of the things you do want to pay for."

        And then strike all the items that can be provided by competitive actors in a market. What's left?

        It's going to be a very short list. Courts of last resort, a small military designed to deter attack rather than project power, not a lot more.
        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by NewNic on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:27PM (12 children)

          by NewNic (6420) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:27PM (#712749) Journal

          So you would be OK with your neighbour not having a fire service, and, when his house burns down, yours also catches fire?

          How are you going to enforce the decisions of the courts of last resort?

          You don't care that the economy will tank when millions of people can't afford to educate their kids?

          I could go on forever, but these are some examples to show how naive the Libertarian ideal is.

          --
          lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
          • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:53AM (10 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Thursday July 26 2018, @12:53AM (#712813) Journal
            "So you would be OK with your neighbour not having a fire service, and, when his house burns down, yours also catches fire?"

            In a word, no.

            Fire service pre-exists the state, therefore it is ipso facto far from impossible for it to be provided outside the state.

            Admittedly, it's not a classic market good, and it might well be more efficiently provided by some sort of (local) government. Adding it still leaves a very short list, however.

            "How are you going to enforce the decisions of the courts of last resort?

            In the case of the US Federal Courts, they have the US Marshall Service to do that. Historically, stateless courts relied ultimately upon the power of outlawry. Someone who refuses to submit to the judgement of the court of last resort may be declared an outlaw, which means that they are no longer under the protection of said courts. This is cleaner, if it could be made to work again.

            "You don't care that the economy will tank when millions of people can't afford to educate their kids?"

            Quite the contrary, I'm concerned that we're held artificially poor (in more ways that one) via the provision of free, low-quality education, which ruins the market for anything better.

            "I could go on forever, but these are some examples to show how naive the Libertarian ideal is. "

            And I could probably go on as long, showing how these examples that you think demonstrate Libertarian naïvete, actually only demonstrate your own ignorance and lack of vision.
            --
            If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 26 2018, @01:49AM (4 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 26 2018, @01:49AM (#712855) Journal

              Fire service pre-exists the state, therefore it is ipso facto far from impossible for it to be provided outside the state.

              Yeah, right.

              Firefighting in the 1800’s: A Corrupt, Bloated, Private For-Profit Industry [huffingtonpost.com]

              Let’s look at this reasonably: Firefighting used to be a private for-profit industry. In the 1800’s, the early days of urbanization, in cities like New York and Baltimore, there were private “clubs” or “gangs” who were in charge of putting out fires. The infamous Boss Tweed started his illustrious political career at a volunteer fire company. The way it functioned was the first club at the scene got money from the insurance company. So, they had an incentive to get there fast. They also had an incentive to sabotage competition. They also often ended up getting in fights over territory and many times buildings would burn down before the issue was resolved. They were glorified looters. It was corrupt, bloated and expensive — but at least it wasn’t the much maligned “government controlled.”

              Horrible histories. Georgians The perils of for-profit fire brigades [youtube.com] (sound track only - sorry) - from the 1800-ish time the fire brigades in London were operated by insurance companies. [wikipedia.org]

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday July 26 2018, @02:31AM (3 children)

                by Arik (4543) on Thursday July 26 2018, @02:31AM (#712875) Journal
                A system whose roots probably reach back in Britain to the early bronze age if not before and served reasonably well for most of that period had a bit of a breakdown right at the end of the 19th century and BOOM the whole concept never worked.

                Come on man, that's too simple for you to really buy isn't it?
                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 26 2018, @03:05AM (2 children)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 26 2018, @03:05AM (#712889) Journal

                  A system whose roots probably reach back in Britain to the early bronze age if not before and served reasonably well for most of that period

                  [Citation needed].

                  The link to Wikipedia says

                  Between the 17th century and the beginning of the 19th century, all fire engines and crews in the United Kingdom were either provided by voluntary bodies, parish authorities or insurance companies.

                  Missing reference on how those roots looked like in "early bronze age" and how "reasonably well" they worked in Britain... but I'm not the one making the claim.

                  ---

                  I found some other bits, like this [wikipedia.org]

                  The first ever Roman fire brigade of which we have any substantial history was created by Marcus Licinius Crassus. Marcus Licinius Crassus was born into a wealthy Roman family around the year 115 BC, and acquired an enormous fortune through (in the words of Plutarch) "fire and rapine." One of his most lucrative schemes took advantage of the fact that Rome had no fire department. Crassus filled this void by creating his own brigade—500 men strong—which rushed to burning buildings at the first cry of alarm. Upon arriving at the scene, however, the fire fighters did nothing while their employer bargained over the price of their services with the distressed property owner. If Crassus could not negotiate a satisfactory price, his men simply let the structure burn to the ground, after which he offered to purchase it for a fraction of its value.
                  ...

                  In Europe, firefighting was quite rudimentary until the 17th century. In 1254, a royal decree of King Saint Louis of France created the so-called guet bourgeois ("burgess watch"), allowing the residents of Paris to establish their own night watches, separate from the king's night watches, to prevent and stop crimes and fires. After the Hundred Years' War, the population of Paris expanded again, and the city, much larger than any other city in Europe at the time, was the scene of several great fires in the 16th century. As a consequence, King Charles IX disbanded the residents' night watches and left the king's watches as the only one responsible for checking crimes and fires.

                  London suffered great fires in 798, 982, 989, 1212 and above all in 1666 (the Great Fire of London). The Great Fire of 1666 started in a baker's shop on Pudding Lane, consumed about two square miles (5 km²) of the city, leaving tens of thousands homeless. Prior to this fire, London had no organized fire protection system.

                  Mmm... the emphasized doesn't look good for your claim. Looks like the very first attempts to organize fire brigades in Britain has been in 17th century and they didn't quite actually worked as private for-profit enterprises just from the start.
                  Until they were reassigned to municipalities, the way they mostly stayed until now.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                  • (Score: 1) by Arik on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:26AM (1 child)

                    by Arik (4543) on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:26AM (#712918) Journal
                    Wait, wait, because the earliest date mentioned in the wikipedia article is late you think nothing happened before? And then you cite a Roman fire brigade from many centuries earlier. None of that makes any sense at all.

                    "The first ever Roman fire brigade of which we have any substantial history was created by Marcus Licinius Crassus. Marcus Licinius Crassus was born into a wealthy Roman family around the year 115 BC, and acquired an enormous fortune through (in the words of Plutarch) "fire and rapine." One of his most lucrative schemes took advantage of the fact that Rome had no fire department. Crassus filled this void by creating his own brigade—500 men strong—which rushed to burning buildings at the first cry of alarm. Upon arriving at the scene, however, the fire fighters did nothing while their employer bargained over the price of their services with the distressed property owner. If Crassus could not negotiate a satisfactory price, his men simply let the structure burn to the ground, after which he offered to purchase it for a fraction of its value."

                    So, a few things that should have been obvious to you here;

                    1. This is not by any means the first Roman fire brigade. It's the first one 'of which we have any substantial history.' No doubt precisely because it was so out of line.

                    2. There are many antidotes to a situation like that, *as long as they can't get competition prohibited.* I would expect in such a situation the property owners would very quickly hit on the idea of pooling risk and supporting their own fire brigade, if they couldn't attract a more reasonable competitor more easily. The biggest worry here is that they will be able to lobby the state to prevent competition by force, under the guise of lowering costs, making sure everyone is covered, etc.

                    As to bronze age Britain having fire brigades, well doh. Of course we don't have any records from the time, but there's plenty of archaeology, and it's fascinating, you should check it out sometime. Bronze age Britain was densely populated, thoroughly cultivated, cultured and wealthy. Furthermore their primary building material was wood, often using thin dried coppice wood and straw. Fire was extraordinarily dangerous in that situation, far more dangerous than it is to us today, not only because buildings were made of tinder but because open flame was a daily necessity, particularly in winter. The settlements often grow in place for centuries without burning down. If you posit they didn't have fire brigades, then you can't explain how that would be possible.

                    Firefighting is a local affair though, it doesn't need anything like a modern centralized state to organize it, and in one way it would have been even easier then - since people virtually always worked and lived around the same property, this would have typically been a group of neighbors, who have every incentive to drop everything and run when a fire threatens to spread through their village.

                    As transport improved and work and home came to be more separated for many, the need for a specialized force to watch residential areas arose, and that's more the context of your Roman example. But Rome was founded very late, we may be sure that all post-farming civilizations which lacked some method of organizing fire brigades failed. The very fact that they're not something often talked about in ancient literature points towards them working fairly well more often than not - as we already noted, this is something much more likely to be written about when something goes spectacularly wrong (as with Marcus Licinius Crassus) rather than when it's getting the job done.

                    --
                    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday July 26 2018, @05:03AM

                      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 26 2018, @05:03AM (#712928) Journal

                      Wait, wait, because the earliest date mentioned in the wikipedia article is late you think nothing happened before?

                      I gave you the chance to provide citations supporting your claims of:

                      On July 26, @02:31AM, Arik wrote

                      >A system whose roots probably reach back in Britain to the early bronze age if not before and served reasonably well for most of that period

                      So... how about some links, especially on the "served reasonable well" concern, before drowning the page with walls of texts?

                      (I'll come to "past performance is not an indicator for future performance" aspect after you provided those citation)

                      --
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
            • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:54PM (4 children)

              by NewNic (6420) on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:54PM (#713219) Journal

              In the case of the US Federal Courts, they have the US Marshall Service to do that.

              So we have to add something like a police force to your list of required government service and agencies. Declaring someone an outlaw is meaningless to someone who already flouts a court order, unless you have some method of enforcement: a police force.

              Fire service pre-exists the state, therefore it is ipso facto far from impossible for it to be provided outside the state.

              Try reading more carefully. That wasn't my point. My point was that you may be impacted by your neighbour's failure to buy fire service protection. C0lo has shown clearly why private fire protection is a bad idea.

              Quite the contrary, I'm concerned that we're held artificially poor (in more ways that one) via the provision of free, low-quality education, which ruins the market for anything better.

              1. Many private schools provide a worse education than public schools provide. Many public schools suffer from two things: a: lack of funding and b: lack of parental support (often because the parents are working multiple jobs and don't have time). Private schools don't have these issues.
              2. You didn't answer the question of how poor people are going to pay for this private education. Your argument amounts to the idea that private schools are too cheap because of "competition" from free public schools, which implies that the result of your changes would be to increase the cost of education, making it unaffordable for even more parents.

              All you are doing is redoubling on your naivete.

              --
              lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
              • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday July 26 2018, @09:26PM (3 children)

                by Arik (4543) on Thursday July 26 2018, @09:26PM (#713372) Journal
                "So we have to add something like a police force to your list of required government service and agencies."

                We're not adding anything, that's a fundamental, necessary elemeent of any state. When you get rid of that you cross the line from minarchy to anarchy.

                The only question is just how small that force can be, and still perform the necessary function.

                "Declaring someone an outlaw is meaningless to someone who already flouts a court order, unless you have some method of enforcement: a police force."

                That's NOT necessarily true. Again, your ignorance of history is showing. This was an effective punishment for centuries if not millennia!

                Once you're declared an outlaw, anyone - whether your old enemy or your best friend or second-in-command; that thinks they can take you is free to try - with no legal consequences if they succeed. This can be very effective in the right setting, and it has the advantage of being an imminently approprate 'punishment' - if you do not consent to the jurisdiction of the court, the court will not take action against you. It will simply withdraw its protection. A good reminder of *why* you should obey it voluntarily, in the first place.

                "Try reading more carefully. That wasn't my point. My point was that you may be impacted by your neighbour's failure to buy fire service protection."

                Well then you were making a shitty, redundant point. Of course it may be. Doh!

                So what? You think there are no potential problems with state-provided fire service?

                "1. Many private schools provide a worse education than public schools provide. Many public schools suffer from two things: a: lack of funding and b: lack of parental support (often because the parents are working multiple jobs and don't have time). Private schools don't have these issues."

                Again, so what? Private schools suffer from a race to the bottom caused by the existence of public schools, as well as by regulations placed on them requiring them to emulate the prussian model just like the public schools do. You're quibbling over a few crumbs sitting on top of a giant trash-heap.

                The prussian model of schooling was never designed for a liberal democracy. It was designed for prussian autocracy. It can't be just a coincidence that we've been hurtling head-first towards that end ever since we adopted it.

                "2. You didn't answer the question of how poor people are going to pay for this private education. "

                Work.

                Look, you want to give the poor things you think they need, and cannot afford. A noble sentiment. But not the most practical, nor is that setting your sights so high.

                Instead, find out why they're poor. Find out why they can't afford what they need. Set your sights on fixing *that*, not procuring handouts that at best tend to be dehumanizing and risk creating dependency.

                "Your argument amounts to the idea that private schools are too cheap because of "competition" from free public schools, which implies that the result of your changes would be to increase the cost of education, making it unaffordable for even more parents."

                Not at all.

                Look, I'll spell it out for you. Everyone pays for the public schools, whether you use them or not, making them 'free' in the bad sense of the word. They're not truly gratis - clearly they have a cost, and we pay for them - nor are they in any way a matter of liberty, quite the contrary, both payment and attendance are compulsory. The only sense in which they are 'free' is that payment and attendance are de-linked, so when you are in a position to attend, you've already paid, and you cannot get a refund, so it's 'free' only in that sense.

                So when you look at a private school as an alternative, you're not comparing the cost of the public school and the cost of the private school. You're oomparing something near the actual cost of the private school with an effective cost of 0 for the public school. This gives the public school a HUGE, and undeserved, advantage. By itself it's very close to a monopoly grant, and when you calculate in all the other advantages given to this system by law, it's virtually impossible for anyone to effectively compete with it. The fact that private schools still exist speaks to just how awful the public schools are, objectively.

                So, no, my system would not necessarily increase the cost of education. It would allow the cost (and other aspects) of education to respond dynamically to the needs of the students, and result in greater value for the dollar. The actual amount spent on education would similarly become a matter for the market to decide, in response to supply and demand. The likely effect would be spending slightly down and results significantly up.

                You're fixated on the fact that the system does not *guarantee* that each and every person gets some shitty minimum level. You're right, it does not. That doesn't mean that anyone would be unable to access education, it means that that's not a function of the high level design, it's an implementation detail. Exactly as it should be. The overall design should maximize opportunity, rather than minimize it.
                --
                If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Thursday July 26 2018, @10:13PM (2 children)

                  by NewNic (6420) on Thursday July 26 2018, @10:13PM (#713390) Journal

                  You did not list a police force as necessary in your hypothetical state. Now you say it's necessary. What else is also necessary? Your argument style is intellectually bankrupt.

                  Of course having a police force then changes other things about your argument, such as the concept of outlaws. If you have a police force, you don't need to have outlaws.

                  If you have outlaws, you are going to spend far more on defending yourself from outlaws than a functioning society would spend on keeping an orderly society.

                  You still have not provided any way for the poor to be able to afford to educate their kids. You keep trying to dance around the issue, but it still remains. Your society will have a huge underclass of uneducated people that will ultimately provide a drag on society.

                  What the children of poor families *need* is education. You seem determined not to provide it, despite acknowledging its value to society as a whole.

                  I am not going to challenge your economic arguments because they are simply too stupid and you have chosen to ignore my points on private vs. public schools.

                  You are merely deflecting with my point about fire service. I'll take it that you concede my point.

                  --
                  lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
                  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday July 26 2018, @11:06PM (1 child)

                    by Arik (4543) on Thursday July 26 2018, @11:06PM (#713425) Journal
                    I don't care what you think about my style, and it's not my fault you lack the basic concepts to keep up with the conversation you barged into.

                    Here, read up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night-watchman_state

                    "Of course having a police force then changes other things about your argument, such as the concept of outlaws. If you have a police force, you don't need to have outlaws."

                    Nonsense. There are any number of possible scenarios where you do have some sort of police force, even several of them, yet it's still preferable to simply declare a person outlaw rather than order them to kidnap him. The poverty of your imagination boggles the mind.

                    "If you have outlaws, you are going to spend far more on defending yourself from outlaws than a functioning society would spend on keeping an orderly society."

                    In the historical examples I referenced, and of which you are clearly completely ignorant, this was an unusual event, most often an exceptional one, and a person declared outlaw almost always left the jurisdiction for the period of the outlawry rather than face a situation where anyone could do anything they wanted to him without legal repercussion.

                    "You still have not provided any way for the poor to be able to afford to educate their kids."

                    It's not my job to provide your kids with an education! Why do you have so much trouble understanding that?

                    "Your society will have a huge underclass of uneducated people that will ultimately provide a drag on society."

                    No, no it would not, because what creates that underclass are the same policies I would end. The same policies you persistently advocate, as if it's completely inconceivable to you that anything else were possible! I would let the poor escape from poverty, while you would keep them there so you can feel good about yourself, giving the handouts to those poor desperate folks, aren't you a good boy!

                    Your self-righteous posture is as comical as it is misplaced.

                    --
                    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
                    • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Friday July 27 2018, @12:45AM

                      by NewNic (6420) on Friday July 27 2018, @12:45AM (#713480) Journal

                      Whatever, buddy. Let me suggest you move to Somalia and see how you find life with minimal government.

                      --
                      lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @01:54AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @01:54AM (#712858)

            ... former high-school football stars riding around in a preposterously large red truck.

            A market solution would be insurance, and an insurance company might protect itself by requiring that a covered house be built with sprinkler systems both for the inside and the outside.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:10PM (7 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:10PM (#712538) Journal

      I don't want to pay for an addict's heroin; it's not the role of government to supply heroin to people

      Just fuck off already with this stupid argument. You are paying for a bunch of bullshit and will continue to do so until you decide to stop paying taxes and live in the woods. I hope your tax dollar pays for a lot of heroin and abortions.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:22PM (6 children)

        by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:22PM (#712554) Journal

        Instead, the government should get out of the business of regulating people's personal activities

        I don't think the anon was defending the war on drugs, from how I read that the government should get out of it all together and let the addict figure out how to get their drug of choice. If someone wants to do heroin they should be free and open to do so to the extent that they can pay for it. We already have laws on the books for theft so if they decide to go that route they can get hit for that. If the government is going to pay for people to have opiates because they are addicted then why not buy tobacco for people addicted to that? If I am addicted to coffee and can't stop drinking it then why am I footing the bill. My internet bill is $100/month, why doesn't the government cover that because I cannot live without internet and people are trying to claim that is an addiction.

        I have no doubt that a program that gives you heroin so you don't have to worry about paying for it would reduce crime related to people stealing to pay for heroin, I just think that if someone wants to be reliant on a luxury they should figure out how to get it on their own.

        --
        Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:26PM

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:26PM (#712555) Journal

          It's just another violently imposed monopoly/voluntary system of contracts anarchist anon. An idealist who will never get their way, at least not without a lot of bloodshed first.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tfried on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:59PM (4 children)

          by tfried (5534) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:59PM (#712621)

          If the government is going to pay for people to have opiates because they are addicted then why not buy tobacco for people addicted to that?

          Because the latter does not help save any costs, and so why should it. In contrast, when looking at the typical hardcore heroin addict (which is the only group of "beneficiaries"), they will not be able to keep a job to fund their own addiction, but they will do just about anything to get their next dose. This "anything" will generally include criminal activities such as burglary associated with external costs much higher than what it takes to just buy them their damn drugs.

          For the typical tobacco addict - even if out of cigarettes and broke - the prospect of getting caught and jailed will generally deter from self-destructive strategies like that. Not so for a hardcore heroin addict.

          So that really sucks from a "fairness" point of view, but it still makes lots of sense to pay free heroin for addicts, economically. Not to mention when allowing oneself to take a humanitarian perspective.

          • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:11PM (2 children)

            by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:11PM (#712632) Journal

            So the heroin payments are just protection money?

            --
            Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tfried on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:21PM

              by tfried (5534) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:21PM (#712645)

              Yes. And it's still the best option, because all alternatives suck more (for everybody).

              On the positive side, there is no risk of setting a precedent for being susceptible to blackmail. There is extraordinarily little incentive in becoming a hardcore heroin addict just because you want to get something for free. (As also evidenced by Dutch data, for those who would think otherwise). And for - most - other cases of criminality, the prospect of jail is an effective deterrent.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Barenflimski on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:05PM

              by Barenflimski (6836) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:05PM (#712692)

              Otherwise known as, Insurance.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:35PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @09:35PM (#712715)

            Actually, before it was illegal heroin (and opium and cocaine) were often in use by middle and upper class professionals. Given a supply of high purity and low cost drugs, an addiction was not a problem for most people, probably less than an insulin dependence is now a problem for diabetics.

            If it wasn't for the fact that it is illegal, heroin would be cheaper to make than aspirin.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by rigrig on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:58PM (1 child)

      by rigrig (5129) <soylentnews@tubul.net> on Wednesday July 25 2018, @06:58PM (#712577) Homepage

      So, that doesn't mean this alternative is the correct way to handle the problem.

      Giving all addicts free drugs probably isn't the best solution, but if enough people start yelling that it is[1], maybe they'll manage to shift policy a bit towards a better[2] solution.

      [1] Like the authors of this article, who make it sound like all Dutch addicts are handed free drugs instead of the handful of cases where after several years of treatment it's become clear that they'll never get over their addiction.
      [2] People might not like the idea of their taxes being "wasted on a bunch of junkies", but it turns out that treating people for their addiction costs less than the damage they tend to cause otherwise.

      --
      No one remembers the singer.
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:52PM (2 children)

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday July 25 2018, @07:52PM (#712619) Journal

      That's what you have now with unlawfully obtained drugs: The government out of the process of ensuring heroin that is used is pure and meets a certain quality standard. That's mainly how overdoses happen. User is used to a certain purity of product, and then gets hit with a product that is an order of magnitude more pure than the addict is used to. Too much is used of the pure and you get an overdose. (Or it is laced with Fentanyl and the user didn't know it.)

      So by the government being out of it you are paying a whole lot more for it.

      --
      This sig for rent.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @06:54AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26 2018, @06:54AM (#712944)

        question: wouldn't legal heroin be much cheaper than illegal heroin as well? I'm under the impression that the high price is mostly associated to the expensive illegal distribution system, but pharmacists could make it relatively cheaply.

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:42PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:42PM (#713211)

          The solution is obviously to make sure a significant amount of the imported heroin is cut with a high dosage of Fentanyl.
          Kills tens of thousands of addicts, scares the ones who still have enough willpower. Usage drops. Problem solved !

          What? That's the current plan, and it ain't working ? Fucking humans...

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:51PM (2 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 25 2018, @08:51PM (#712675) Journal

      I don't want to pay for an addict's heroin either.

      But if it prevents crime and it saves taxpayers more than it costs them, then it seems like a good deal.

      Not paying for an addict's heroin has other costs:
      * losses due to crime (or higher insurance costs)
      * law enforcement costs
      * costs of incarceration (if you're going to get them off the streets)
      * devaluation of property adjacent to drug houses

      If paying for an addict's heroin cleans up our streets and saves money, then it is worth it.

      The question is: does it do those things? And if so, how well does it do them?

      --
      The most difficult part of the art of fencing is digging the holes and carrying the fence posts.
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 25 2018, @10:07PM (#712738)

        Yes and better than not, respectively.

        The evidence is already in, there is no more quibbling except from bigots who think black and brown people are the REAL problem and everything would be hunky dory if we wiped them off the Earth. Ok, the last bit is too extreme, these days most people realize genocide is a bad idea so they stick to trying to harm those communities as much as they can. If they can do it out of pure apathy even better cause they can proclaim "I don't care what they do, just leave ME alone!"

        Neo-racists if you will :D

      • (Score: 2) by NewNic on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:57PM

        by NewNic (6420) on Thursday July 26 2018, @04:57PM (#713223) Journal

        RTFA. Or even just the summary.

        --
        lib·er·tar·i·an·ism ˌlibərˈterēənizəm/ noun: Magical thinking that useful idiots mistake for serious political theory
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