Proud to be a Filthy Liberal Scum

Loud, Proud and I don't care about hurting a conservative's feelings!

Sleepy Time Thought: April Fool’s Edition

So I just spent the day on my semi-public profile pretending to be a Paulbot Libertarian after hitting my head (last year I was a hardcore right wing conservative). Apparently, this mightily offended an actual Paulbot that had slipped in there (I have to start vetting that page more carefully). He was quite precious in his insistence that I was misrepresenting Libertarians when I claimed to want the EPA abolished so corporations could pollute at will.

See, here’s the problem with Libertarians: They do not inhabit the real world. In Libertarian fantasy land one of two things happens: 1. Corporations do not pollute because it’s bad for business and the “free” market will punish them or 2. Private individuals can somehow force them to stop by suing.

Utter nonsense. There is no such thing as a “free” market and there cannot BE such a thing. Why? Because either the government is completely hands off and all competition will rapidly be eliminated by whichever company can crush their rivals or the government will have to keep competition alive by keeping monopolies from developing. In both cases the market is not “free.” In the former case, monopolies will cease to cater to their customers and begin price gouging because where else can they go? This is a historical fact. In the latter case, the government artificially keeps competition alive which benefits the customer and the economy in the short AND long term. This is also historical fact unless you are not old enough to remember when the phone companies regularly ripped off the nation. Considering that so many Paulbots are pot smoking college kids that read “Atlas Shrugged” and immediately stopped using their brains, this does not surprise me.

As for the second fantasy, that private individuals will be able to sue huge mutlinational corporations with an army of lawyers and win? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh sure, you’ll have the odd Erin Brockovich victory, but for every one of those, there’s 10,000 more legitimate (and I’m probably being overly generous with a number this small) claims that get buried or bought off or intimidated. My little cutie Libertarian blamed it on “tort reform” but it’s not like corporations were losing every case (or even more than a few) before. So let’s be real: Corporations pollute with impunity now and there are actual laws against it. What kind of idiot thinks that  removing those laws and enforcing “property rights” will remedy the situation? What if you don’t own any property? What if you rent? Will your landlord sue on your behalf? Not bloody likely.

No, the grown-up, non-fairy tale reality is that the government (of the people, for the people) must do for the people what the people cannot do for themselves and what they cannot do is force multinational corporations to not poison them. Complaining that the EPA is corrupt and allows pollution is not an indictment of the EPA itself but a reflection of a system that allows corporations undue influence on our policy decisions. Instead of demanding that the EPA, FDA and all regulatory bodies be disbanded, try spending all that effort on getting Big Money out of our politics. When you do that, I’ll pay attention. Until then, Libertarians of this kind just sound like 5 year old children insisting that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real.

Time to grow up, kiddies.

Sleep tight you filthy liberal scum!

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3 thoughts on “Sleepy Time Thought: April Fool’s Edition

  1. Bernadette Sharpe on said:

    I just wanted to say that while Ayn Rand’s works do have a bit too much of her philosophy in them, they do make note of important trends in society that need changing. Otherwise I agree with you, but then I’m an English major and we tend to read a little too in-depth sometimes and find things that aren’t there.

  2. well done! I hope you didn’t hurt your head – remember – it takes FIVE layers of tinfoil to protect your brain when it’s this intense. Just as with watching Fox News.

  3. Ah, anyone who told you they would “sue” a corporation to get them to stop is not a real Libertarian. A “real” Libertarian will tell you, “You take them to arbitration,” which is an even more magical land where “regular people” decide who is right and who is wrong. It’s so simple!

    But that basic fallacy is still there; the Free Market (without the Invisible Hand) will punish the wicked and shower the land with unicorn farts. It’s as if once we get rid of yucky government, the current corporate powers will stop being so nasty and suddenly seem as if their Board of Directors are run by characters from My Little Pony. Friendship–and Profits–Are Magical!

    I spent about 5 years in the Libertarian movement in the early 1990’s, and the true believers are all nuts. Here’s a question with which to drive them nuts: take a town of about 5 to 10 thousand people, say a normal college town. Ask them how privatizing all the roads in said town and turning them into toll roads, will make my trip from one side of town to the other, easier than it already is. Ask them how the hell you’re going to deal with the possibility that you might have to pay for dozens of stretches, and how that so much better than what we have today. The answers are usually, to say the least, interesting.

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