Skip to main content

So if you've read my diaries and comments, you know that I have some Ron Paul friends.  (I know, I know.)  Well, one of them decided to share this picture on Facebook, which has gone viral.  He called this "simple logic".  If you can't read it, it says:

Gun laws don't work because CRIMINALS DON'T OBEY THE LAW
Now, I don't want to get into a whole 2nd Amendment debate and all that.  There are good arguments from both sides that are worthy of debate.  The ones this guy has been making, however, are of the STUPID variety.

So I responded:

Logic? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (It's a tautological statement.)

By that same logic, we should have no laws in this country because the bad guys will simply ignore them anyway.

To which he responded:
Yeah. That is my logic. There should be no government because they are the ones that create the laws that must be enforced by force and violence. Coercion will not make a society prosper.

Can you provide me a government that has been successful in the true prosperity of the people through coercion and a monopoly on force? I guess using logic would mean you could prove what you are saying works... still waiting to see how a society can ever be peaceful when the very essence of the society is coercion...

Oh.  It is on like Donkey Kong.

Follow me below the fold for the examples he and I gave.

So I went with an easy case that many people forget about.

Norway. They're socialist. Strong regulations. Universal health care. QED.

Meanwhile, we also have clear examples of governments with almost no laws and pesky regulations.

Well, that didn't sit well with him, so he moved the goalposts.  See, naming a country wasn't good enough anymore, it had to fit specific criteria.
Population of Norway is less than 5 million. Aren't you a pro in statistics? What's the population of America? How big is America? How divided is America? I know you're all for coercion as a means of controlling a society but I don't. And a lot of other people don't either. So keep your opinions to yourself and stop forcing people who don't agree with you to do what you want. Is peace really that hard of a concept to understand? Btw another thing you forget about Norway is the fact that they have mandatory military service which means they're all trained to defend.

I know you casually enjoy changing the subject so you don't have to focus on the fact that your beliefs are only achievable through violence and force but let's stick to the topic here. Clear examples with societies with little regulation...but who cares about historical facts!!

Who cares that the country we live in became great due to the lack of regulation...

Ah, Hong Kong.  Yes, the country Milton Friedman praised for being the best example of a "free market" system in the world.  But seriously?  He's playing the Hong Kong card to a guy with Chinese parents?  OK, first thing I do is call up my parents.  They weren't intimately familiar with the Hong Kong economy, but knew enough to give me a few pointers.  After a few Google clicks, I had all the information I needed.  (Read this long piece if you want ALL the information that debunks just about everything Friedman said about Hong Kong.  And this Economist article, though written by an obvious right-wing free marketer who laments how a minimum wage is bad for the economy, provides some useful background information as well.)

Commence epic smackdown.

Oh please, you asked, I answered.  Now you've moved the goalposts.  Oooh, the population isn't big enough.  Why should that matter?  LOL, you rejected Norway as an example simply because of population size, and then cite Hong Kong, which has only 7 million to make your point?  But thanks for admitting that socialism WORKS in a population of 5 million people.

And we became great due to LACK of regulation??  Um, we ushered in the greatest era of economic prosperity and the growth of the middle class thanks to Glass-Steagall, which was one of the biggest regulatory laws ever on what banks could and could not do.  And I gotta give Ron Paul credit, he knew that repealing it was a BAD idea, because it would basically let commercial banks run wild with our money once they merged with investment banks.  Which is why he voted against repealing it, but it was repealed anyway.

And Hong Kong?  Seriously??  OK, first the economic side of things.  Friedman conveniently left out some things there because they would completely destroy his thesis.  Like how Hong Kong had no problem giving handouts to rich tycoons for years, or folding a troubled bank into HSBC behind the scenes, or even nationalizing some of them in the 1980s to prevent a bank run.  Or how their government's collusion with their version of Wall Street elites to make sure their top 1% stay wealthy makes us look like the most non-corrupt country ever.  And he failed to mention how they can afford a low tax rate because the government owns ALL the land, and you have to lease directly from the government.  That's where they get most of their money from.  Hey, if you're OK with the "government" being your landlord, be my guest.  And no military spending either, because they had a sugar daddy country pick up the bill for that (first the UK, then China).  Also, since it's less than 500 sq. miles, there are no rural areas to hold back growth (I'm looking at you, Kansas).  And guess who has a higher poverty rate, us or them?  Though it still manages to provide universal health care even more socialist than Obamacare, and a strong public education system as well.  :-)

But suuuuuuure, if you ignore all that, then Friedman is right about it being a "free market" system.  ROFL!

Second, since this was about guns and the "monopoly on force" that you don't like, almost no civilian in Hong Kong is allowed to even own a gun.  They've taken it to the other extreme, where ONLY the police and criminals have guns!  THAT is your pride and joy example??  I'm seriously ROFL at how Friedman's best example of a free market system was a colonial DICTATORSHIP.

Seriously, don't bring an Asian country my parents have close ties to into the discussion, and think that you know more about it than I do.  As my dad said, anything any white American has to say about China or Hong Kong is about "90% wrong".  All you've demonstrated is that you can repeat talking points from old white men.

Here are some additional links I used as references.
Poverty in Hong Kong
Protests over poverty
Info on gun laws in Hong Kong

So, as Rachel would always ask her guests, did I miss anything?

He hasn't responded yet, but I'm sure he will with some new incoherent rant, and try to change the subject again, and pretend he never brought up Hong Kong.

Update: Oh, he responded.

I didn't think what I believed in was so hard to understand. So let me explain: I believe in peace and freedom. I base all my beliefs off the non-aggression principle. I do not believe in coercion as a means of running a society. I believe everything should be done through voluntary transactions that result in benefits for all parties. The State has been responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths in the 20th century alone. You support coercion as a means of governing. I do not. That is the main difference between every single issue we see differently on. There can never be peace through coercion. As for demonstrating that I can repeat talking points from old white men... You are the king of repeating government propaganda talking points. Hey Sean....GIVE PEACE A CHANCE??? ♥
So whaddaya think of that response?
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Milton Friedman? (6+ / 0-)

    Isn't he the genius who fairly recently confessed to being wrong about everything he thought he knew about 'free markets'? As in disastrously, horribly, unforgivably wrong?

    Good going BruinKid.

    Wear Your Love Like Heaven ~ Donovan

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:21:29 AM PDT

  •  I am forever getting into the thick of it on (4+ / 0-)

    facebook with my conservative friends. You know you have scored a direct hit when they don't respond or, one of my favorites, when they say, "I'm going to have to take my own advice and stop debating politics on facebook." WIN! I am convinced that the millions of little skirmishes being waged on facebook daily, like a national watercooler gathering, will have a positive, accumulative effect. With Google at our fingertips and the facts on our side, the rightwing facebook brigade doesn't stand a chance. Kudos on your successful pushback! As for me, I ALWAYS pushback. In my own little corner of the digital universe, keeping the weeds in check is my responsibility, and I take it seriously.

  •  Maybe time to point out (7+ / 0-)

    How there are a ton of countries in Africa in which there are no "States" that exist (at least to the First World definition, and yet there are tons of people that are still dying.


    Because warlords and tribal thugs who answer to nobody are able to slaughter at will because there's no government to stop them!

    Seriously, "libertarians" are really just grown up children who are throwing a continual temper tantrum because they can't just do whatever they want, whenever they want, in a free society.

    Yes, that's right. His ability to make those political points, on the Internet, without being thrown in a gulag or rounded up by some paramilitary force and tortured?

    Result of a free society.

    QED, indeed.

  •  What do I think of his response? That he's a (4+ / 0-)

    naive twit.  I'm in favor of peace and love myself, but I know it's not going to do squat about the rapacious tendencies of the power hungry, nor will it put an end to violent behavior.

    And yet his vote counts the same as ours.

  •  No, your friend is completely right. (6+ / 0-)

    We would clearly have peace and a more workable market if his views were put into effect.

    At least, we would until actual, you know, humans got involved.

  •  We, as humans, are a coercive species (4+ / 0-)

    To argue that "I don't want the government to coerce me" is tantamount to saying that "I don't want the government to get involved when someone else coerces me."

    And that comment of "Can't we give peace a chance," coming from someone who is advocating for anarchy where the stronger exploit and ruin the weaker is truly ironic. You want libertarianism, here you go:

    Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

    by banjolele on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 05:57:45 AM PDT

  •  His is contrapositive of "Criminals obey the law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because Gun laws work."  The proof or validity of "gun laws work" would be the whatever condition you might attach but have yet put forward.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:08:12 AM PDT

  •  Using freedom & liberty as talking points devalues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, BruinKid

    them to the point where they are meaningless. That is what Paulista's do IMO. First, they are not libertarians but RW authoritarians. Secondly, what they advocate is probably more radical than what actual anarchists support, and three they are morans (sic).

    Another point about "free market" Hong Kong is that the PRC is not a free market country. They have a planned economy. Free market is just a term. There are no free markets when there is any level of government intervention. These idiots need to read Adam Smith and have a freaking clue about capitalism.

    The neanderthal brain that conservatives have does not allow them to have more than two thoughts at once. If it did, they would release how stupid the first argument about gun laws is. We have laws against murder and rape too, no one suggests those laws are ineffective just because either of those crimes are committed. Why are guns so sacrosanct to these bozos?

    Some idiot I know tried to argue that cars kill people too but we aren't banning cars. I hate having to explain to their third grade minds how cars are not the same thing as guns.

    Equally stupid is the guns don't kill people; people kill people refrain. Oh really, then how come on the ME's report of Cause of Death: the coroner writes GSW (gunshot wound)?

  •  Unregulated free market leads to oligarchy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The problem that Libertarians ignore is that unregulated free markets to NOT lead to optimal outcomes.  For example, they naturally lead to monopolies.   Does he support allowing monopolies?   Monopolies have been proven to have a measurable negative economic impact.    

    What about insider trading?   Why shouldn't free citizens be allowed to communicate freely?  Does he support getting rid of insider trading laws?  That would lead to rampant cronyism and measurable negative economic impact.

    What about patent law?  Why should the government, which regulates monopolies, then grant a monopoly for an arbitrary length of 17 years?   Does he propose getting rid of patent laws?   That would have a devastating impact on innovation and our entire innovation-fueled economy.  

    So what would a society that gets rid of laws like the ones above look like? (the above are just a small sampling)

    The answer is that the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.   Large corporate interests would move into any new business, unhindered by patent laws, and completely dominate, unhindered by anti-monopoly regulations.   All the while they would use insider trading to enrich their friends and colleagues.     Such a society would quickly lead to an oligarchy as powerful as any hereditary nobility in history.  
    The oligarchy would set up barriers to protect their social and economic position, everybody else be damned.  This includes gutting public education and making sure that only their circle of friends that went to the "right" school and came from the "right" families would go to the top universities and get the top jobs.

    So if the reality is a de facto hereditary aristocracy what does that mean for the rest of society?  Why should the vast masses support a system that does nothing for them, and in fact has barriers preventing their advancement?  

    The answer is that they don't have to.  The people do have a right to revolt against a system that doesn't fulfill any kind of reasonable social contract that actually benefits the masses.  

    So isn't that why we need the population to have guns?  So they can revolt?   NO!!    The fact is we now live in a representative democracy.   The populace can now elect a government to represent their interests.    And yes, this government must have a way to enforce laws.  That's why we have law enforcement officers. Any laws must, in the final analysis ultimately be enforced by the barrel of a gun.  Do the Ron Paul types support getting rid of law enforcement entirely?  That is pure anarchy.  If they love anarchy so much, they should move to Mogadishu and see how they like it.

    So, in summary, yes, the government must ultimately use coercion to enforce laws.   To pretend otherwise is to live in a fantasy land.  But these laws (and the enforcement of them), are laws created by a representative government.   And the government is us.    There is no government that is somehow separate from the people and an adversary to the people.  We elected this government.   If the Ron Paul types don't like the laws that are enacted and enforced, they are free to advocate for different laws and elect different representatives.

  •  Government is the authorization for force (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of the first things I learned from an honest libertarian is that government was created mostly to be a legitimate way for society to use force. We don't want vigilante justice, so we create a government to enforce our laws. Every law the government creates essentially has the implied threat of violence behind it, in that breaking the law can eventually lead to guys with guns taking you to prison.

    But that's a good thing, it means that the use of violence is constrained to an entity that is responsible, to an entity that answers to the population as a whole. We don't want corporations and individuals to be authorized to use force, they'll abuse it and have nobody to answer to. Government 'by the people and for the people' is where the use of force belongs.

    Thus government is absolutely necessary, its the only vehicle we have to create laws that are truly enforceable. And if laws are not enforceable, they'll get broken and then ignored. There's too many people out there that can't exercise self-control, enforceable laws are a mandatory part of peaceful civilization. Without enforceable laws, you end up with anarchy and warlords.

  •  The answer to all Libertarian rants- Somalia (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ask them why they aren't moving to Somalia, the Libertarian paradise.

    Most Libertarian Paul-ites spend more time in the bathroom tossing off than actually thinking. Right in line with the 11 yr old alienated boy mentality that they exude.

    WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

    by IARXPHD on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:23:31 AM PDT

  •  Good job with the counterargument (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is hard to reach these people sometimes, since they are so stuffed with drivel that is riddled with lies and half-truths. The whole "Obama = Socialism = Bad" meme is particularly retarded.

    I just read in another diary that the top five happiest nations are Socialist/Socialist-Democratic. It seems like we have some catching up to do.

  •  Pathetic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    millwood, BruinKid

    He couldn't argue with you so he went to some fantasy land.  I would just ask what happens in his fantasy land when someone doesn't agree with his non-agression principle?

    A lot of what he "believes in" is what most people would love.  Unfortunately, it just doesn't happen.  And it's not just violence that is evil.   This line takes the cake:

    I believe everything should be done through voluntary transactions that result in benefits for all parties.
    I wonder whether he thinks the 1% believe the same.

    I'll just end with my favorite thing I learned in my high school civics class:

    "government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another"

    Newt Gingrich, during the primaries, on releasing Rmoney's tax returns: "If there's anything in there that's going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination, and if there's nothing in there, why not release it?"

    by Back In Blue on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:40:23 AM PDT

  •  Voluntary actions without coercion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet, millwood, BruinKid
    I believe everything should be done through voluntary transactions that result in benefits for all parties
    Then Love Canal would still be a festering toxic mess and the Cuyahoga river would still be on fire.

    If everything was voluntary, nobody would pay a dime in taxes, and we wouldn't have any roads or bridges, or social security.  AAs would still not be able to go to school in some places or sit at the lunch counters.

    Ask your friend how he thinks it might work out if he surprised a burglar in his home and asked him to put everything back and leave voluntarily.

    Your friend has either got to be very very young, or a total nutbag.

  •  I didn't like the racist part (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about white people being incapable of understanding Asia.

    Also, I think your correspondent is simply naive, not evil. In fact, he is correct that we all would love to live in a paradise in which universal cooperation made laws and their enforcement unnecessary. But as we go through life, most of us, with regret, must put that fantasy away.

    Trust but verify, Grasshopper.

  •  Just because you win an argument with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    facts and logic does not mean these people will admit they are wrong, They will hold on to their fantasies for dear life. And then they move the goal posts, change the subject, make false accusations and get real nasty and personal. Just look at our friends in the RKBA. They do this all the time. So its not just Paulites, they are in our community also. They are very sore losers, as are the Paulities and the fundies.

  •  He's a COMMIE! He's describing a COMMUNE. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 08:18:17 AM PDT

  •  Well, so do I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I believe everything should be done through voluntary transactions that result in benefits for all parties.
    We should live in a utopian eden where lions lie down with lambs and all humans are people of good will and pure hearts. But then I live in a real world with extreme power differentials where "voluntary" isn't really voluntary, and some parties benefit a great deal more than others.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 09:15:46 AM PDT

  •  Your friend is an idiot! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  That response (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was the usual coward's way out - change the subject, and lie through your teeth.

    "Give peace a chance"?

    OK - I will, so long as you give me undeniable proof that Friedmanists believe in peace, and work toward it... and do so while looking at how the Military/Industrial complex is riddled with Friedmanists.


    That's what I think of that response.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 10:52:50 AM PDT

  •  Gun laws stop crime because??? (0+ / 0-)

    Or, gun laws prevent crime because???
    Is there conclusive evidence because I haven't seen it yet.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 11:40:03 AM PDT

  •  "Peace" and "freedom" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you can manage to pin him down on what he thinks those words mean, you will find his definition to be very different from what we think they mean.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site