The problem with anarcho-capitalism

A few days ago, I came across a rather stunning comment on the Facebook “Your Say” application, which is often trolled by both Right and Left wing extremists (with the vast majority being extremely far Right). The gist of this comment, as far as I can tell, was that the poster’s state had severe budget issues, and that he hated Obama’s “socialism” because his state taxes were “killing” him. The man concluded with a statement about how Obama is destroying the Free Market by giving “socialized pay-outs to druggies and bottom-feeders”.

My response to his post is as follows:

I don’t know where you live, but we have some severe budget problems here in Indiana too…but I fail see how you connect those fees back up to Obama, who is in charge of the federal government, not the city, county, or state governments. 75% (9 out of 12 trillion dollars) of the National deficit is the fault of the Bush, and honest to God, I can’t understand this sudden fervor against Obama when the deficit was slowly filling for 8 years. I mean, I’d be all for joining these tea party movements against Obama, but I can’t out of principle, since they have demonstrated their utter partisanship by only protesting during a Democrat majority.

I think the fact that the richest 1% of Americans are wealther than the bottom 90% seems to contradict your last statement. We’ve not all just gotten lazier, you know. We’ve been victims of corporate lock-in.

Let’s use a recent issue that I have specifics on as an example..texting. We have only four primary cellular providers here in the United States (“free market” my ass) that all have increased their rates from 10 cents to 20 cents since 2005. In Europe (which actually has real market competition), the rate is almost always below a dime because of the fierce competition and lack of large monopolies in those countries.

The same goes for the following market sectors: Agriculture/farming (Archer Daniels Midland monopoly), Internet Service Providing/Cable Providing (Comcast/Timewarner/AT&T), Defense Contracting (Boeing/Lockheed/N-G/General Dynamics), Software Development (Microsoft/Apple), Retail (Walmart/Target/Kroger/Home Depot).
In a healthy economy of days gone past, there would be thousands of small companies on that list after each market sector, not just ~ 4 or fewer. This is what the “free market” has done to us. We really do need to rebalance the playing field in order to survive economically.

Additionally, I do not deny that a great number of leechers are drug addicts. Which is why we should test for drugs before we allow people to take advantage of our social support programs. But simply assuming that all such people are leeches is fallacious in the extreme.

I support social support programs and policies to increase Wall Street regulation to promote competition. I do not support bailouts or thrown-together health care plans. However, I do not think such things can automatically classify our current Administration as “socialist”, particularly as compared to the previous one. Only time will tell.

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2 responses to “The problem with anarcho-capitalism

  1. A lot of great points. I agree with the majority of what you’re saying, with a few minor exceptions. The only thing I don’t really understand is the bit about agreeing with a lot of what the Tea Partiers stand for, but not joining them because of the fact that the movement didn’t start sooner, when Bush was in power. Wouldn’t this be similar to someone not joining the Civil Rights movement because it didn’t start sooner? Not a perfect analogy, of course, because of the partisan nature of the Bush -> Obama transition.

  2. Everything I’ve seen tells me that this is an issue of partisanship. If what you are saying were true, then the transition to protesting the new president would have been more gradual. Unfortunately, massive protesting largely by one demographic (Right wing FOX and talk radio listeners) took off right away. The 3 dimensional correlation is too perfect between the Bush-Obama transition, the beginning of large protests, and outlets such as FOX ramping up their rhetoric. Using your Civil Rights example, this would be analogous to the sudden increase in Civil Rights protesting being correlated with Martin Luther King Jr’s charismatic influence. Causal factors are also readily identifiable, such as the direct relationship between the first birther speculations/first use of the descriptor “socialist” and the sudden increase in fervor in the spring of this year.

    Of course, the same goes for people who were massively protesting Bush’s domestic policy and suddenly quit when Obama came to power and changed very little. I VERY firmly oppose Obama’s CIA and NSA directorship appointees, his decision to continue to give those secretive and bloated organizations more power, his choice of Treasury Secretary, his support for the FISA bill of 2008, and his general populist nature. On the other hand, I am tired of the gross misrepresentation and conspiracy theorist attitudes among the various opposition crazies, both Right and Left. Birther, “secret socialist agenda”, and 9/11 Truther speculation all irritate the crap out of me and are great examples of rampant confirmation bias among extremist ideologues. The difference is that the Leftist Truther speculation never quite went mainstream because the Liberal Media made a notable post-9/11 effort to firmly refute the Truther allegations. The same cannot be said of FOX News and Talk Radio when it comes to the Rightist conspiracies, and so I see rampant, paranoid speculation going mainstream. These people are going to end up destroying not only the Republican party, but tarnishing the reputation of Libertarianism as well.

    Strength lies in diversity. Those “Conservatives” that oppose the differing variations on conservatism (the “big tent”) and believe in some sort of “purity test” for Rightist politicians are going to find themselves in control of a fringe movement with little to no capacity for critical thought or effective action. Shrinking the Right is not an answer that will yield a successful American Conservatism.

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