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C & C: Coronavirus #4

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Easy Truth
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17 hours ago, whYNOT said:

However, since life isn't an emergency, the wealthy advocate of capitalism who sets up and maintains a hellishly costly emergency disaster operation will rightly ask: What's in it for me? I am not a charity worker ..

Your position sounds like:

"Disasters are special circumstances. They cost a lot of money and require a lot of organization to get through. Even wealthy advocates of capitalism cannot offer that, because by acting selfishly, they won't see any benefit in spending their money to do so. Therefore, the government needs to do it."

I just found it comical that this line of reasoning was used by characters in Atlas Shrugged to justify authoritarian control.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Your position sounds like:

"Disasters are special circumstances. They cost a lot of money and require a lot of organization to get through. Even wealthy advocates of capitalism cannot offer that, because by acting selfishly, they won't see any benefit in spending their money to do so. Therefore, the government needs to do it."

I just found it comical that this line of reasoning was used by characters in Atlas Shrugged to justify authoritarian control.

What are you, a minarchist?

What perplexes me is that when no obvious "initiator of force" is to be found, (i.e. an act of nature) an O'ist doesn't carry the thought further and into reality. That's how to turn a principle into a floating abstraction.

Always worth repeating. The right to life, so the right to freedom of action of the individual in society, is the only concern of government.

That is the ground for individual rights justifying a government monopoly on retaliatory force:

Freedom of action.

Impossible - to have and exercise one's "right to freedom of action" when one is drowned and dead in the sort of natural and national disaster, I imagined . Don'cha think? One needs to see that protection of individual lives is also under the government's purview, "initiator" or no initiator. Or else, the people we explain individual rights to will be unconvinced and find the idea comical.

Taken another example and a step further, and one's nation is under unprovoked attack by a belligerent enemy. That's easier. We have a clear initiator of force, and the full monopolistic force of our armed forces must be used in defense of nation and our protection. I.e. our physical lives, our property, our liberty - one's freedom to act.

 

You can't fathom my position on corona w.r.t. government; I haven't been self-contradictory. To reiterate what I said from the start, this pandemic doesn't qualify as a national, natural disaster (as it could be with other emergencies). There is exceedingly more of what one and every member of public can do "selfishly", in one's self-interest with self-discipline and awareness , to take steps to avoid and/or ameliorate the effects of the virus (in voluntary self-isolation, if needs be) than needs doing i.e., forcing, by the government. All the govt. has to do, simplistically, is test arrivals from abroad on entry, quarantining where necessary,  make self-testing stations more available, collate and provide information and advice from all sources and handle the patient overflow and worst cases in public hospitals. I'm summarizing many writers with expertise in this field.

Not to make light of this pandemic. But it is not the sort of dangerous crisis in the here and now, of destructive flooding over a major part of one's country, one which must be reacted to swiftly - and with co-ordinated, centralized response - to save lives.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

What perplexes me is that when no obvious "initiator of force" is to be found, (i.e. an act of nature) an O'ist doesn't carry the thought further and into reality.

What are you talking about? You literally told me that you don't think a capitalist would do anything about it. 

Anyway, I'm not really reading the rest of what you're writing.

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3 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

 

What are you talking about? You literally told me that you don't think a capitalist could do anything about it. 

Misquote. I said because [he, they] could doesn't mean he, they would.

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Right, because your example was that by being selfish, they probably wouldn't. You know, the whole moral justification of capitalism.

*I edited my previous post to make it clearer, and said "would" instead of "could"

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8 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

 

 

Anyway, I'm not really reading the rest of what you're writing.

Ha! When do you, ever? You typically extract what you want and ignore the rest.

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Right, because your example was that by being selfish, they probably wouldn't. You know, the whole moral justification of capitalism.

 

Yes. What's immoral in that? Outside of periods of crises the capitalist doesn't recognize them. His effort, creativity and production and motivation are selfish, not in the service of others out of selfless duty. Reality is his standard, not the aberrations of emergencies. During emergencies (and at other times to charities he thinks have value) many a wealthy one will and does help out with significant aid of a sort, or divert products to those in need. Well and fine, but they are not a capitalist's purpose.

After the crisis it's back to business. What's in it for me?

Capitalism 'with a social conscience' has visibly become the universal norm in recent years, brought about by the 'capitalist' millionaires themselves. 'Giving back to the community' is an admission of their guilt or self-abnegation or lack of pride in making (i.e. 'taking') wealth, and that way compromised the moral ideas of capitalism and made all the new and future moral capitalists vulnerable to socialist government takeover. When anyone helps out others often, we all know from experience it will be perceived as his propitiation to the recipients who increasingly disvalue his service and will demand more.

To anyone proposing a post modern 'caring' capitalism - *Capitalism Lite*, heh - far too late, this is already here and will accelerate the downfall of laissez-faire .

Heard again today - when this (pandemic) is over capitalism will be finished and we'll see a new world order.

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1 hour ago, whYNOT said:

Capitalism 'with a social conscience' has visibly become the universal norm in recent years, brought about by the 'capitalist' millionaires themselves. 'Giving back to the community' is an admission of their guilt or self-abnegation or lack of pride in making (i.e. 'taking') wealth, and that way compromised the moral ideas of capitalism and made all the new and future moral capitalists vulnerable to socialist government takeover.

At this point Capitalism has many definitions to people. It is has lost its meaning. Same with Socialism. Both Bernie and Trump have confused the next generation regarding the definition. Articles appear saying that the free market promoters are a fraud because Trump who is an anti socialist has chosen socialist solutions to the problem at hand. They conclude that since Trump is anti socialist, then all anti socialists don't really believe in what they are saying.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

I'm kind of surprised how stupid those dairy farmers are. Even giving out the milk for free is better than dumping it.

By what standard?

If you value what you do and produce, how does suddenly giving it away for free provide justice in return?

Edited by dream_weaver
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"Despite strong demand for basic foods like dairy products amid the coronavirus pandemic, the milk supply chain has seen a host of disruptions that are preventing dairy farmers from getting their products to market.

"Mass closures of restaurants and schools have forced a sudden shift from those wholesale food-service markets to retail grocery stores, creating logistical and packaging nightmares for plants processing milk, butter and cheese. Trucking companies that haul dairy products are scrambling to get enough drivers as some who fear the virus have stopped working. And sales to major dairy export markets have dried up as the food-service sector largely shuts down globally."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-dairy-insight-idUSKBN21L1DW

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10 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

If you value what you do and produce, how does suddenly giving it away for free provide justice in return?

What do you mean by justice? They are throwing out the milk, destroying what they produce. With a little creativity, any option would be better than throwing it out. Even giving things away for free provides publicity.

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'Free' publicity has been given to the matter. From the Reuter's article:

“We need you to start dumping your milk,” said his contact from Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), the largest U.S. dairy cooperative.

I wonder what the contractual agreement might be that is not being disclosed here in the story that may exist between the parties.

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2 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

 

I wonder what the contractual agreement might be that is not being disclosed here in the story that may exist between the parties.

I've strongly considered this to likely be a cause, but it just seems extremely wasteful to be dumping the milk down the drain while it's one of the items that's often out-of-stock at grocery stores right now. There has to be better idea's to try to increase distribution capabilities. I agree with Eiuol that I'd rather give out something I produce for free (for a limited time in an emergency) rather than seeing it completely wasted to fulfill a contract obligation that might not be valid right now, and to artificially boost it's price.

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On 4/4/2020 at 3:09 AM, Easy Truth said:

At this point Capitalism has many definitions to people. It is has lost its meaning. Same with Socialism. Both Bernie and Trump have confused the next generation regarding the definition. Articles appear saying that the free market promoters are a fraud because Trump who is an anti socialist has chosen socialist solutions to the problem at hand. They conclude that since Trump is anti socialist, then all anti socialists don't really believe in what they are saying.

Quite so, things aren't as black or white. Where there is Capitalism Lite, one also can expect 'Socialism Lite'. In timely part answer, I've just heard a useful podcast by Stephen Hicks about Young Socialists today. They can't, he says, be so easily refuted by old arguments from history and from economics. Mao and Venezuela (e.g.) haven't the same impact on this generation. Putting himself in the minds of students he's heard, he outlines 8 broad groupings in the fresh appeal of Socialism to youngsters. He names:

Anti-cronyist socialism; altruistic socialism; central planning socialism; "free stuff" socialism; communalist socialism; Welfare State socialism; environmentalist socialism; emotionalist socialism.

Hicks probably will go on to show in his concluding analysis that the young Western socialist today, is more morally-sensitively "concerned". But I haven't heard his next session. And however, one has a complex task, breaking down to fundamentals and dissuading new socialists. Again they will respond that this is "different" now...

 

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9 hours ago, Eiuol said:

What do you mean by justice? They are throwing out the milk, destroying what they produce. With a little creativity, any option would be better than throwing it out. Even giving things away for free provides publicity.

I think this is right in general. A regular practice by French farmers was dumping of their agriculture products. This wastefulness shows contempt for your profession, your produce, for your customers and lastly for people who could have benefited. A spiteful display. (Though I don't know all the context, likely the huge trucking problems there are now).

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There is a connection that references Hank Rearden's anticipated meeting with the "boys in Washington" where the question "Who is the guiltiest man in this room?" is tackled. It is also intertwined, somehow, with the "Trolley Car Problem."

To tackle the last first, @whYNOT, those who could have benefited are akin to those whom Hank Readen's efforts had made the looting possible.

Beyond that, I'm not interested in trying to provide a comprehensive answer to each individual objection presented here within. Those seeking answers understand what satiates their expectations. Those seeking obfuscation are content with what satisfies their own criteria established forthwith.

 

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On 4/2/2020 at 5:39 PM, Boydstun said:

Tony, I wanted to make sure that you saw the second link in this quoted post. The US response to the 1957-58 outbreak, the stats, and the economic impact is interesting to compare with what is being done now here.

Here is what one needs for self-defense against Covid 19.

I'm pleased to see your exchange with E has come to the larger question, also, of evaluation of government policy in terms of the proper functions of government. I do think it is proper that government be engaged in tort actions, not only criminal and contract actions. That would mean engagement in protection of people against accidental harms from other people in the government's region of jurisdiction. So I'd start from there and then on to specific methods of providing this interpersonal protection by proper government in the current virus contagion.

 

On 4/2/2020 at 5:39 PM, Boydstun said:

 

Stephen, I noted your earlier comment "...is how much the character of the social response[to this outbreak] is altered by the advance in communication technology" . I thought, dead right.

It was in the 50's that polio penetrated to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), and at a young age and until the 60's I still recall the worry of my own and other parents. How scarce was their information, limited to brief radio and newspaper reports. One can imagine what alarm polio would have created if there were today's internet.

Something doesn't 'gel' with these present global measures for the pandemic. From W.H.O I read that the "ordinary" flu causes 3 to 5 million severe cases per annum; and 250 to 500 thousand deaths.

How do the two correlate? Why such overblown (imo) response to Covid-19, but hardly any reaction to the other? For all Covid's greater virulence, transmission rate and mortality rate, the ordinary influenza has been taking a much greater toll for decades. That's - in the age of - communication technology. But here we have dedicated massive resources to this specific pandemic, alone, and shut down massive human activity. I don't get it.

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4 hours ago, whYNOT said:

How do the two correlate? Why such overblown (imo) response to Covid-19, but hardly any reaction to the other? For all Covid's greater virulence, transmission rate and mortality rate, the ordinary influenza has been taking a much greater toll for decades. That's - in the age of - communication technology. But here we have dedicated massive resources to this specific pandemic, alone, and shut down massive human activity. I don't get it.

The flu doesn't cause a spike that can overwhelm health care systems like Covid-19 does due to it being novel with no immunity or vaccine's for it. The actual problem is worldwide socialized medicine that can't/couldn't properly prepare or real-time pivot during such a sudden and novel disease outbreak.

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