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Everything posted by daniel

  1. It is often said that if something is bad in practice than it can't be good in theory. However what do you think of this view: it's not the theory that's to blame but the world, the people etc. The ideas are still right it's just this world that lets them down and so we can't criticse the theory.
  2. Governement, as measured by expenditure and legislation, has grown greatly over the past hundred years in a great number of countries. What explains this? Self serving pen pushers? Lobbyists? Rising wealth? Public demand? War?
  3. Hi I was reading an article which argued that in the Uk cheap labour is taking over. It casts doubt on the idea that the UK is doing well in the emplyment stakes since Germany has a higher unemployment rate but is the highest exporting nation in the world. Consequenlty it argues that the government should do more to bring back manufacturing jobs. It ends with the argument that the government can't put all the blame on China give that Germany is the top exporter? Wht are your views on these views? What is wrong with the above argument?
  4. I was told that the freest time the world has ever had was in the early 19th century and especially the late 18th century in the US. Is this true? He argued this was because there was an absence of monopolies and government control. I thought the mid and late 19th century US was the freest era. However this was dismissed with the idea that monopolies and trusts etc in oil, shipping etc made it less free. Furthermore it was said that competition was destroyed, prices increased and entrepreneurship in 'old industries' e.g. oil was very difficult. What are your views on this?
  5. You are wrong it is based on the 12 apostles. Please read John Redwood's book 'Just Say No'. It's not true. Just because it's 12 doesn't automatically make it related to 12 Apostles. Same goes for the number of hours in the day, or months in a year, or inches in a foot... It is true. As i suggested to the other poster read Redwood's 'Just Say No'. Yo make it sound as if I looked at the EU flag and saw 12 stars and than said it must be based on the 12 Apostles because of that. I never did. I know it's based on the 12 Apostles because it's a historical fact documented in a very succes
  6. It is a historical fact that the EU flag is based on the 12 apostles. I never said the people of the EU are/were irrational. Rather I implied the EU was irrational, which is obvious given such polices as CAP. Furthermore the EU (and the flag) was formed in the 1950s, a much more religious and so irrational period. On the issue of the people of the EU I would hardly call them rational - electing the corrupt Chiraq, reaction after Madrid bombings, the mess Germans have got themselves into with their recent election etc
  7. Yes, CAP costs each household $1,100 a year in taxes, each cow got $2.62 in 2003, we pay two times over the world price for lamb, 80% over the world price for sugar and 50% over the world price for corn. France and Germany are standing in the way of a much more open Europe. Non-agression pact? That is not even required thanks to Nato and in fact the EU may lead to aggression not prevent it. Also the flag of the EU is based on the 12 Apostles - irrational to the root.
  8. A flat tax is a great idea. Hong Kong has had one for decades and we all know what an economic miracle that is. Those countries with a flat tax are growing (GDP wise) at around double to those without a flat tax.
  9. How do you view the EU? Politically good but economically bad? Just plain bad? Do you think it has a good future?
  10. I agree. I would counter positive freedom theorists by saying man is an end in himself, not a part of man hidden inside himself is an end in himself. I'd also say positive freedom results in abuse and tyranny. How would you counter the 'dilemma's point'? I'd say that even though people face dilemmas the person concerned has the biggest incentive of making the correct choice, after all it's their life.
  11. Free from himself. Its not schizophrenic to realise people face dilemmas. I've had dilemmas, i think most people have, for example, today i was tired and wanted to go home but I had a lecture which was important so I went to the lecture. I felt this way because I can experience a variety of emotions. I know that even if this choice is irrational its still me making it, however, positive freedom advocates argue if its irrational you shouldn't make it. Furthermore you wouldn't be being forced because its for your own good you just don't know it because your 'lower' self is dominant due to a lack
  12. Positive freedom is the freedom to achieve certain ends, negative freedom is freedom from coercion. Positive freedom means, for example, people being coerced into education so they can 'realise' themselves. I oppose it because it is so open to abuse. I know that my scenario showed he was acting of his own accord, that's part of the point. 'His' being the important word - his irrational self. Most people have felt two selves, for example when someone wishes to sleep with their best friends wife but also wishes to remain loyal to their friend. Thus is he free? Some scholars such as Charles T
  13. Freedom is the independence of an individual from interferance by others. PS I don't actually support positve liberty, I'm merely interested in the ways Objectivists would counter the above scenario. I know my views, I want to know others. Out of interest why? Why do you require my defintion of freedom before you give an answer. Will my answer have any effect whatsoever? If he was irrational, why did he stop to buy cigarettes? Evidently, your idea that the man is irrational is irrational. Because he was motivated by passion, a spur of the moment feeling. Not all actions are rat
  14. A man is driving to the airport to catch a flight to a very important meeting that he wants to go to; it will help his career. However on the way he diverts his drive to buy cigarettes. Is he free? Is he not a prisoner to his irrational self? Is he not divided? Should not someone interfere? Does interferance always lead to dictatorship? Or take this example: Are British people free to go to the Bahamas? There is no law against it, but few can afford it. So is it freedom (after all it's not practical)? Edit - Corrected, in the future please use proper grammar. - Felipe
  15. Though Germany has had bad news lately in Britian things look a bit better. It looks that tne next leader of the conservative party will be the best thats on offer i.e. wants low taxes, supports euthanasia, abortion, zero tolerance. He also highlights American approaches to welfare reform thaty have succeeded in getting huge proprtions of American people back into work. He talks of replacing the welfare state with a welfare society i.e relying more on chairty, families looking after one another. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4262522.stm So far he has around 44 MPs, his nearest
  16. The FDP (or FDU as it is called on this forum sometimes) reached 10%, which is the highest percentage I have heard of. In 1990 they did better with 11% of second votes as opposed to the 9.8% it got this time. Also in 1990 it got 7.8% of first votes and 79 seats. Now they got 4.7% of first votes and 61 seats.
  17. As the results come in it appears to be a sad day for Germany. Germans have not embranced reform to the extent that they should have. It really is amazing to see just under 35 per cent of people supporting a party which has been in power for the past 7 years and after that time 5 million are unempoyed and 40,000 bankruptancies occur a year. I have argued that things looked good for Germany - they did until now. Things were picking up however now what progress that has been made will probably come to no long term effect. I don't understand these Germans who vote for Greens, socialists and commu
  18. IMO, you are getting too utopist here. According to your equation, Wesley Mouch would have eventually become a capitalist. Whats utopian about it? Its aready happened e.g the West (also there's more to the West than the US) - capitalism = peace. And China is becoming capitalist. Already Chinese people are becoming more aware of indivdualism. No longer are they being held back by families, and the village life. You can see this for yourself if you bother to go to Shanghai. Wasn't Hitler democratically elected? When Britian declared war on Germany it was not a democracy, as a ho
  19. The below is taken from the Globalization Institute: Economic freedom is the key to prosperity. Many persist in regretting this equation, but few now doubt its truth. But classical liberals also argue that economic freedom causes peace, and now comes new evidence that the causal link between economic freedom and peace is real, and significant. Economic freedom is almost 50 times more effective than democracy in diminishing violent conflict between nations, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2005 Annual Report, released today by The Fraser Institute. In new research publis
  20. I'd love to! Not sure how ARI would react. They've managed this far without a European branch I guess. Also I've got to finish university first
  21. My socialist friends would say something like 'so with negative liberty those who are born to rich families, won the lottery etc don't have to work while those who just by bad luck were born poor have to spend their lives working. Thus in effect their lives are not free - they must work, while others are free to choose whether to work. Thus some have more freedom than others. Why should they have their options in life reduced because of bad luck? Since when did the hand of nature make something right?'
  22. At least its good to see immigrants looking for work. In the UK they generally don't come for work but for the generous welfare state. Though that's a reason why I sympathetic to open borders - the more strain on our welfare services the bigger the demand for getting rid of the welfare state. However I've always wondered wouldn't this then lead to all the immigrants just voting for the next politician who came along promising lots of welafre and so we would end up with a socialist government?
  23. I've recently been reading some Isaiah Berlin - his Four Essays on Liberty. In the counter literature some interesting points are made. For example on the issue of freedom Kymlicka argues that negative freedom - the freedom to not be coerced - is not freedom at all. That freedom, he argues, takes away others freedom to learn to read, get medical help etc. It leads to them being coerced by circumstance, thus negative freedom is not freedom at all. For example are all Britons free to go on holiday to Florida? Legally yes but in effect no - so many can't afford it. Thus do they have freedom? What
  24. I'm not sure about China. As it opens up more I think this new capitalism will lead to stronger calls for democracy, just like what happened in the USSR or in the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - with increased wealth comes democracy as people demand protection for that wealth. However there are exceptions, for example, Singapore, which though free market is not democratic. Russia is also becoming much more supportive of capitalism with a recent introduction of a 13% flat tax.
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