# Indiana's freedom to discriminate law

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Magical Realist, Mar 29, 2015.

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1. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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You keep assuming that, but theory as well as evidence says it's not true.
The deeds of the government, not the "will", are what is necessary for industrial market exchange. The "will" of the government, if such a strange entity were held to exist, would be irrelevant.
All of the market exchanges in this "world market" take place within the infrastructure provided by one or more governments.
Yes.
No, try to keep up - my point was that uncurbed freedom of contract results in abuse of the poor by the rich, if the rich control too much of the community's wealth. I said nothing about what one should do about the wealth distribution, only about the need to curb freedom of contract if one wishes to avoid widespread misery and poverty and abuse.
It was the central means by which the white people abused the black people in the US for 150 years after the Civil War.
Spoken like a true Marxist.
So you think that there is a class of people involved? More Marxist insight. I said nothing about any class - I would curb the freedom of contract of all major controllers of community resources and employers of human beings, regardless of their membership in any "class". Everyone would be equally subject to these curbs, whenever they owned a coal mine or some such economy-dominating pile of resources.
The ordinary towns in Western civilizations have poor people living in them. They do not therefore become shitholes. And there is no law of the universe that says coal miners are poor, anyway. They produce a lot of wealth, doing a job lots of people do not want or cannot do - how is it that they are poor, in these company towns?

Last edited: Aug 7, 2015

3. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
No, its only your statist ideological claim which says it's not true.

Real life shows that ownership and markets appear everywhere, and that it is hard to impossible to suppress them, even if one wants, as proven by a lot of illegal markets.
So what? The deeds of the American government are long time imprisonment for drug dealers, making the US the state with largest number of prisoners, as absolute, as relative to the population. But the drug market nonetheless exists.
Yes, and we all used the sunlight which is provided by the state by not starting the global nuclear war.
A quite stupid idea - to take away basic freedoms from all people, because a few bad guys (in your case, the rich ones) can, possibly, misuse them. It is, last but not least, only freedom of contract which distinguishes a poor free man from a slave.

By the way, you can be sure that a restriction of freedom of contract will not really harm the rich. They are ready accept the hard burden of being slaveholders, you know, the white man's burden and so. And, don't forget, the Jim Cow laws are also restrictions of the freedom of contract.
I know that simply preaching libertarian beliefs gives not much. So, I often try arguments which are irrelevant for me but relevant for those who believe into something different. Why not quoting the Quran to a Moslem or the Bible to a Christian, why not Marx to a Marxist? Why not explain to a Nazi that what he proposes harms Germany or aryan people? Or a communist that what he proposes harms to poor? It does not make much sense to argue that their actions will harm rich jews - this is what they want.

So, of course, restricting freedom of contract will harm the rich. But if you restrict the freedom not only of a class or group - now you name this group "all major controllers of community resources and employers of human beings" - but for everybody, this means only that you harm everybody. Ok, to harm everybody is, in some sense, more just than to harm only a certain group. But it is nonetheless harmful.
The actual Western civilization is a very rich one, thus, even the poor have a living standard higher than middle class or even rich people in more poor societies.

And, of course, coal miners can have good wages too. In a free society, it depends on the market what is their wage, and the market wage depends on objective as well as subjective factors. If they are poor or middle class depends on the alternatives the society provides, on the technical equipment used in mining, and other things. If a miner has to use high tech, so that he needs good education to manage the job, his job will be nicely paid. But if it is accessible for everybody, even uneducated, drunkards, ex-convicts and otherwise unreliable people, there will be sufficiently many people ready to work there, even for low wages, because they anyway have no chance for high wage jobs, and the result will be low wage. It does not depend on ideological dreams.

(Some objective circumstances closely connected with ideological aspects have an influence too. If the technical conditions require that the job is dirty, dangerous, has to be done far away from civilization, the prestige of this job will be low. This could lead even to increased wages - less people ready to do the less prestigeous job, thus, higher wages necessary to find workers. But not necessarily - if one can have many low quality low paid workers instead of few high quality high paid workers, the first choice may be preferable.)

5. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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You have yet to present a single example of a market without government supplied infrastructure. Standard economic theory says they can't exist, as well.

So? No drug market exists without massive government infrastructure supporting it. Illegal drug marketers need the same infrastructure legal ones do - currency, roads and ports and navigation, banking systems, educated employees, accountability in exchange, communication with customers, the whole shootin' match.

Freedom of contract is not a light bulb, either on or off. It can be curbed and regulated. And if it isn't, most people will suffer serious harm, including loss of many freedoms. We have dozens of examples of that, but the one ready to had was racial oppression in the US after the Civil War.

The rich disagree. Are they wrong? You just got done claiming that such restrictions were cause for secession and full scale war by the 1% of the American Confederacy.

Marx was a Hitler? Just an example of Marxist ideology and economic analysis, from you. There's no shame in employing Marxist theory - all modern intelligent and educated people do, because Marx was right about some stuff and his insights have been incorporated into the basic modern worldview.

Even less excuse for the misery of the American coal towns.
If the rich who own the landscape and industry have uncurbed freedom of contract, the society will not be free for the non-rich. That's kind of the point.

7. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
I do not care at all about what "standard economic theory" says. I care about arguments.

Of course, it is an argument that up to now there is no successful completely stateless society - and, therefore, there can be no such example, because, once there is some state, you can always claim that it supplied some infrastructure, even if this infrastructure is completely irrelevant.

But I have a reasonable explanation why large scale anarchistic societies have failed up to now. This is the problem that up to now there was no working reputational system for large groups of people. This problem restricted the viable anarchistic societies to small communities, and such small communities have no change against the military of a large state.

Fortunately, this restriction is no longer decisive, large scale reputational systems are possible with modern information technology, and, once possible, they will appear in near future.
Communication with customers needs no state support, currency they can use even one not supported by the state like bitcoin (I know you will tell me that bitcoin uses the internet and claim internet is governement-made, but it isn't - its international without any real support from international state-based organizations like the UN), roads and ports do not count, because they have also shown often enough that they can use their own roads and ports to cross state borders.

But, I know, these drug trafficers have all used government schools during their childhood (because those who have finished private schools usually do not have to become criminals to have a nice income).
Of course, you can take away only a small amount of freedom, and the loss of freedom and the harm it creates will be not that obvious, so that you can simply deny it. But this does not really change the point. If taking away a little bit of freedom is good, why not more? Why not all freedom? It should be much better, not?
Of course, there are always a lot of examples to show that freedom harms people. Because freedom means freedom to make errors, and if you make errors in a free society, this is also connected with responsibility, thus, no taxpayer will take care of your bank if you err, it simply goes bankrupt. Really harmful for you.

But, of course, in a society without freedom those who give the orders also make errors, but they do not take any responsibility. So, even if you do not care about freedom, and prefer to be a slave, it is not really a good idea. Other people decide what you have to do, but if they err, you have to live with the consequences, not they. Nonetheless, they like to have the power, they like to tell you what to do, they like it even more if they don't have to take any responsibility for their errors. And they will not tell you about this possibility. In their propaganda, the state does not make errors, only you are too stupid to make decisions for yourself.
No, you are wrong, because you have quoted completely out of context.
"Ad Hitlerum" is, of course, not about Hitler alone. But about comparisons with all those people where reasonable people would consider such a comparison as offensive. Given that I have some basic knowledge in economy, for me a comparison with Marx is not much better than a comparison with Hitler. Essentially, in his economic policies the fascist economic model is even more reasonable than the communist one, and it is, de facto, the economic model of the modern world.
As much as 2+2=4 (Marx would not object) would be Marxist ideology. My point which you named Marxist - that ownership is important - is a point which is a triviality everybody accepts.

Not at all. Ok, some of his political polemics have had a point, but his economic theory was simply nonsense, and he was right only about one thing - not to publish part II and III of Das Kapital. He has probably understood, at least after understanding the profit rate, that the theory of part I based on Ricardos labor value is completely off. Engels was to stupid to understand this, so that he has published these parts after Marx' death.

I see no reason at all to excuse them. It is interesting for me to understand, to explain such things. But I have no moral connection with this, thus, no base nor for accusations nor for excuses.
But this is simply wrong. If the poor have freedom of contract, they have alternatives. Without freedom of contract, they are slaves. In this case, the rich may be also obliged to be slaveholders - if they don't like a slave, they nonetheless would be obliged to hold him, until they find another guy ready to take him. But they will not really be disturbed about this. At least, much less than the slaves, who usually would prefer to be free.

Of course, and again, slavery is only the extremal case of no freedom of contract. But to understand the point, the simplest way is to consider the extremal cases of application of some proposed principles. I'm ready to accept the extremal case - absolute freedom of contract - and I'm ready to accept that in some, quite artificial, situations (everything owned by guys which hate you) one may not like the result of freedom of contract. But the cases where freedom of contract may become harmful are, first of all, quite artificial, and, second, there are other things which one can consider as the real problem - in this case the unjust distribution of ownership. Without this extremal case, there will be some people who don't hate you but own what you need, so that you can get what you need.

If we, instead, take your proposal - the limitation of freedom of contract - to the extreme, we have simply slavery. So, if we don't take it to the extreme, we have partial slavery. Not that problematic as complete slavery, but nonetheless bad.

8. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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27,811
The argument is this: according to standard free-market capitalist theory, markets need government infrastructure and maintenance to come into existence and remain in existence. According to historical and physical observation, all markets have depended on government infrastructure to come into existence and remain in existence. Something that is both theoretically necessary and observationally universal has earned the label "established fact".

You need evidence and argument to deny established fact. You have provided none.
The point that you made - that matters such as the racially oppressive structure of a society often depend on the physical distribution of resources, not morality or religion or ethical principles like freedom of contract - was very controversial when Marx proposed it.

It still is: you still find people trying to claim that such factors as "freedom of contract" will override the distribution of resources in a society.
You did, however, attempt to excuse them - you said there was no better arrangement possible, that "libertarians" whose recommended practices established such towns were doing the best that could be done.

That is false, in theory and in observation. And you have seen several examples of its falsity, such as racial oppression in the US after the Civil War. The black people in the former Confederacy after the Civil War did not have those alternatives. They were denied those alternatives, by freedom of contract among the white bigots who controlled all the community resources.
1) They are not only not "artificial", they are all but universal in real life. They are standard major aspects of everyone's reality and all known industrial societies. You yourself referred to the rich as a "class".

and 2) you are the guy claiming that "unjust distribution of resources" is not a problem if people have uncurbed freedom of contract.

You have even denied the role of government in preventing or correcting "unjust distribution of resources", and demanded that government refrain completely from interfering in "freedom of contract" regardless of the distribution of resources that result.

So which is it: not a problem or the real problem?

9. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
In fact, I think your claim about "standard free-market capitalist theory" is simply your invention. Maybe some sectant claims this. Of course, nobody doubts that a free market uses the Nature as it exists, and if governments have paid, with taxpayers money, for some infrastructure, they will use it completely unashamed. But markets have existed long before governments. Probably you will name the shaman of some wild tribe "government" too, because such tribes have also participated in markets, and exchanged things with other tribesmen of the same as well as the neighbour tribes.

But you will ignore the markets used in such tribes as well as you have ignored illegal markets.
That they play a role is something nobody has ever denied. What was (and is) controversial is that everything else plays no role. And, of course, other things are important too. And, in fact, freedom of contract is an important part of what allows the poor - at least some of them - to become less poor.
I have given economic arguments why such temporary, low comfort towns near mines may be a good idea. Of course, there can be, in principle, no libertarian argument for racial segregation. So, it is elementary economic consideration (completely unrelated to libertarianism) as well as their existence not only in the hated capitalism but as well in praised communist Soviet Union.
First, with freedom of contract the blacks were free to emigrate away from these racist communities. Many have done this even during slavery, thus, it was and was known to be a possibility to survive - but during slavery this was illegal and very dangerous, without slavery it was legal and nobody objected. Then, nobody has objected against cooperation between black people. And even under Jim Cow laws blacks have not starved to death, and were allowed to use some of the community ressources. Of course, separated ones.
LOL, it is universal that it is a certain class with common ideological believes which owns everything. Ok, we have all learned now that everything you claim is an undeniable fact supported 100% by all economic science and all observation. But we also know that such claims are not worth anything. In fact, in societies with freedom of contract it never happens that some class owns everything. There may be societies where one class owns everything - but this is and has to be supported by force and a restriction of freedom of contract, namely the freedom to give or sell property to the other classes, as well as a restriction for the other classes to own what they create with their own work.
It is a temporary problem. If it remains for long time, one has to look for other reasons.
Oh? Again some news about me. But, ok, everybody can see that your claim about what I believe is self-contradictory. (If I would deny that something is done, I would not demand that it should be stopped.)

Of course, everybody knows that the main job of the governement is redistribution of property - from poor to rich, via taxes and regulations. And everybody knows that what the government does will always support the 1% of the society, thus, will not harm them. Whenever it claims that it will harm them, they lie. If something really harms some of the 1%, it means that the 0.5% who have actual political power rob the other 0.5%. Which is what happens today in the Ukraine, where one corrupt oligarch - Poroshenko - robs the other corrupt oligarchs, and names this "fighting against corruption and oligarchy".

A redistribution from the rich to the poor exists only in propaganda. There may be some redistribution from the middle class to the very poor - a useful thing to stabilize the power of the 1%. Of course, the ownership of the 1% is unjust - it has been obtained using the government, stealing taxpayer's money. But it will never be corrected by the governement.

So, there is, of course, a problem - but it is a problem unsolvable in principle by the governement.

10. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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It's in every econ textbook I've ever seen - the requirements for an undistorted free market, in particular, are not easily met: the parties to the exchange have to be informed, have alternatives, be accountable, be competent to make and deliver on contracts, be able to transport and deliver the goods or services, have to be able to communicate and/or meet, have an agreed medium of exchange or barter available, and so forth.

None of these exist for very long without a government - so necessary is governance to an industrial market that one can identify a "government" as whatever entity is performing those services.
Except they lacked the means, including non-racist communities to emigrate to.
In the first place, since no black people owned the means of prosperity cooperation among them didn't help enough. In the second place, white bigots did in fact disapprove of cooperation among black people, and since they controlled all the community resources their disapproval had serious effects. Third: You've been warned against making assertions about American race relations and their history. You keep saying things that are absurd, not just wrong but goofy. That was one of them.
It has lasted from 1865 until 2015 in the United States, although some think it is eroding under the long term pressure of the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s - which interfered in the freedom of contract that had maintained the injustice for a hundred years.

And of course, once again, I refer you to the technical proof of stability in such injustice within a free market economy - remember the links etc?
And so the US governance from 1930 or so until 1980 or so never happened. And the rich in the US are remarkably foolish in their pursuit of freedom from regulations and massive expenditures on buying political influence - they are going to a lot of trouble for nothing more than what they already have.
And in the tax systems of the more prosperous Western countries, such as the United States between 1930 and 1980. And in some of the Revolutions we've seen, especially in their early years. And in war of course - the most common means of wealth redistribution since the major plagues died out. Justice by peaceful means, or expect violent ones, is the rule of thumb.

What "principles" forbid solving such problems by what are in practice and theory effective means?

Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
11. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
LOL, now you are switching from real free markets to some artificial ideal ideological construction you name "undistorted free market". With all this "informed consent" nonsense. Artificial, because, for example, children cannot start free market relations with each other and adults at all simply because they are not yet "competent" as defined by some bureaucrats and so on. But, in fact, they use their pocket money for market operations without any hesitation.

ROTFL, the ability to communicate or meet, as well as the agreement about the medium of exchange, is nothing which depends on the existence of the state, language has been invented long before the state, and the possibility to meet was available to all our ancestors, else we would not even exist.

Oh, yes, I know, all the slaves which have been run away from the slaveholders to the North have died there because of starvation.

Really? Means, there was no freedom of contract for the blacks even among the blacks? Anyway, thank you, my claim is that freedom of contract gives the blacks the possibility to organize their live, and now you destroy your counterexample by clarifying that there was no freedom of contract even between blacks, naming the assumption that there has been such freedom "absurd, not just wrong but goofy". That means, it is "absurd, not just wrong but goofy" to use these race relations as a counterexample to my claim about the usefulness of freedom of contract.
Ok, once we have found out that my assumption of freedom of contract among blacks was "absurd, not just wrong but goofy", it remains to clarify how long it has been "absurd, not just wrong but goofy", and then start the consideration from the moment than it was no longer "absurd, not just wrong but goofy". 1960? 2015? In above cases, it fits nicely with my description "It is a temporary problem. If it remains for long time, one has to look for other reasons."
A, this link about the claimed stability of child labor? Which was based on quite artificial assumptions, and based on the classical broken windows fallacy?
No, the 1% have a lot more now than in the past. And the time from 1930 or so until 1980 was no exception.
As I said, in propaganda. Yes, I know about horrible tax rates for the rich in some countries like Sweden. But I also know they have given essentially nothing, the largest part of the tax income coming from the middle class. And you know how Putin has heavily increased the Russian tax income? By a really low flat tax. Low enough to make it acceptable for the very rich oligarchs, so that they have legalized at least some part of their business.
This is what I name a redistribution from the former 1% to some new 1% of the 99%.
Justice by peaceful means, or expect violent ones, is the rule of thumb.
The principle of egoism. Those in power never allow their wealth to be distributed to those they oppress.

12. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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27,811
That's just the category of market that needs the most government support, and is also the one used by you - implicitly, always - in extolling the benefits of market exchange.
Nonsense? It's absolutely necessary for a free market.
Of course there was. So?
I said no such thing.
I pointed out that without access to means and resources, black people got little benefit from freedom of contract - with anybody.

And what I called absurd and goofy was your abysmally ignorant delusion that "nobody has objected to cooperation between black people".
Without government, these things necessary for a market to be established do not exist.
Yes, it was. Look it up. Between 1930 and 1980 the share of the wealth of the US possessed by the 1%, as well as the share of newly created wealth that was taken into their possession every year, was greatly reduced compared with the years before and after - we just now, a couple of years ago, after the tax policies of Reagan had been operating for thirty years, returned to the 1929 unbalanced distribution. But for fifty years there the US government prevented that unbalanced distro by taxation of the rich and distribution to the rest. It worked, just as it has elsewhere.
Sweden is much more prosperous than Russia. Why would anyone want to imitate Russia's tax policies? And some poster around here was insisting that Russia was not an oligarchy - any idea who that was?
That's not what happened, in the plagues and wars I referred to by "some".
Well, in much of the Western world now the rich have in fact seen wealth diverted from them and distributed to the rest. It's been done.

13. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
Idealized constructions I may use in simplifying considerations, but I do not need them in practice, I can use a non-ideal reality.
An abstract set of condition, constructed to justify that one can forbid children (below 7 or 21, as government likes, different governments like different equally arbitrary restrictions) participation in markets, are not a necessity. At least the children think so and use their pocket money in market operations.

And I pointed out that freedom of contract ended their slavery. So they were free to go away to the North, where other, before, have been run away under great danger - that means, because they thought their conditions in the North will be much better. Now they could go North for cheap. That means, if the former slaveholder wanted to hold them, all he could do was to pay them a sufficiently high wage. So, there was a clear and obvious advantage of freedom of contract.
So, or these objections were irrelevant bubble of irrelevant people, or there have been - non-legal but de facto - restrictions of freedom of contract. I leave it to you to decide. Its your choice. The argument that freedom of cooperation between blacks was irrelevant to the blacks because it was taken away from them is kind of funny.
But markets did exist, so, the things you claim to be necessary or are not necessary or have existed even without a state.
How do you know this? I would guess, based on statistics. LOL. Think about which data the statistics use go get information about how many people are how rich. Of course, the data available to the state. That means, the tax declaration. Have you at least understood, that my point was, that a tax declaration if you have to pay 89% taxes or so and the real wealth are quite different things?

So, I can also predict, with certainty: If you increase the taxes for the superrich to 100%, there will be no superrich people immediately. But, strangely, there will be also no income from that taxation. This will be a very unhappy time for the superrich - all their former income disappears. I would guess, because of a serious crisis or so. But the effect of the redistribution would be an immediate and complete one - no more superrich at all. Ok, may be a few on the top - but even the income of Bill Gates will heavily decrease, I'm sure. So, yes, it works - in your mind and in the official statistics. LOL.

As if this would be what matters. That Sweden is more prosperous is based on neutrality in the world wars and a much better economic policy during all the communist time, which tells nothing if it is better now. And, no, I would not recommend to imitate Russia's economic policies in general, they are far too Keynesian too. And the Russian oligarchs have been quite comfortable with the very high taxes for the rich - this was what made everybody, even small firms, dependent on the Mafia.
Wars have also some other ways to handle the property of the former 1% - to simply destroy it, for example.

14. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Your use of "idealized constructions" in all your arguments here has led you to make many false claims about reality.
You have to be kidding.
What ended slavery in the US was the Federal Government bringing the full weight of the US military to bear on the armies of the slaveowners: killing hundreds of thousands of pro-slavery white people using cannons and rifle fire and the miseries of combat, blasting and burning their houses and fields, killing their dogs and horses and cattle, making their children orphans and their lands waste, utterly destroying the "way of life" of enough slaveowners that the remainder sued for peace even at the cost of their slaves.
No, that's not what happened. You are posting childish fantasies about other people's history.
Now we have this new category: "de facto" restriction of freedom of contract. Ok, sure - that's one way to describe how actual, legal, unregulated and unrestricted freedom of contract for the white people in the US worked : it allowed them to restrict the "de facto freedom of contract" of the blacks. You could describe it that way, if you want to.

Since the Civil War all black people in the US have had as much legal freedom of contract among themselves as white people have had. In most of the US they have had as much legal freedom of contract as whites in all respects, even from before the Civil War.

The unrestricted freedom of contract for bigoted white people gave us miserable racial oppression. It's been a bad thing, for a long time. Libertarians are opposed to actual, real life, facto oppression - right? You have an example here of unrestricted, unregulated, freedom of contract for everybody producing - de facto - an ugly and damaging racial oppression that has lasted seven generations across an entire continent.

So to prevent the worst effects of this "de facto restriction of freedom of contract", adults get together and establish governments and restrict the legal freedom of contract to some extent, especially for people who own community resources and have the means of abuse. That's how one obtains liberty, justice, and actual "facto" freedom of contract - in real life.
You would guess, would you? Notice that I invited you to look it up, instead. This habit you have of "guessing" from complete ignorance has not served you well here. You are prepared to throw out any and all factual information about US economic history, in the service of your theories - just as you did for US racial history, Civil War political history, and so forth.
No, markets have never existed without government.
Many countries that fought in the wars are also prosperous now, and Sweden has had a much better economic policy through all the capitalist time, which does tell us something about whether it is better now.
? The Russian oligarchs do not pay high taxes. Putin is the Mob - he doesn't pay high taxes. Taxation is not how the Mob works - extortion is how the Mob works. The Mob is capitalist.
That's how the plagues worked as well - got rid of the 1% oppression by killing the 1%. Which is why a sane person would prefer decent government to plague and war.

Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
15. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
What is the point of this, except the pretension of misunderstanding the meaning of what I wrote? Which was simply that if they have freedom of contract, they are no longer slaves?
This was also not about history, but about their position. Once the blacks are no longer slaves, they can start to work with the former slaveholder for wage, but have the right to decide otherwise and to do what other slaves have done violating former law - to go to North. Not?
Sorry, but you have made a claim that cooperation between the blacks - completely legal if there is freedom of contract among the blacks - was somehow restricted. To quote you: "white bigots did in fact disapprove of cooperation among black people, and since they controlled all the community resources their disapproval had serious effects". But, ok, if I have misunderstood you, and the whites have not prevented blacks from cooperating with each other, fine, let's forget about it.

Not exactly. They don't care if some, say, marxists whine about poor opressed workers if these workers have volitionally accepted their contracts. They are opposed to oppresion by law, like slavery, and other, less serious, restrictions of freedom. They are opposed to robbery and murder, which is the way the whites have owned all the ressources from the natives. But what some left or right ideologes name "oppression" is nothing they care about. And if this "oppression" is "racial" or whatever else is also nothing they care about.
No. There was ugly an damaging oppression of the blacks, first by slavery - the most rigorous restriction of freedom of contract imaginable - then Jim Cow laws which restricted the freedom of contract between whites and blacks by law. There was the genocid and robbery of land from the natives by the whites, which has created a large inequality of ownership. Thus, even after the end of slavery, the starting conditions have been quite unequal.

So, there was nothing "produced" by freedom of contract in this direction. This would have been true only if you could show that the situation of the blacks now is worse than after the end of slavery - and, I think, it is not.

No. There is an increasing attack against basic principles of a just and free society, in particular against freedom of contract and against equality before the law, by various legislations which favour gays, women, black and other groups. If this is named "liberty", "justice" and "freedom of contract", this proves only the degree of totalitarian degeneration of language toward Orwellian Newspeak.
You forget that I have given arguments why I think that this "factual information" did not tell us anything about the facts in real life. The problem - tax evasion - is a serious one if there are high taxes, and becomes even more serious if the taxes are very high - which was the case for progressive income tax in those years - and those taxed are very rich and powerful, rich enough to use international connections to hide their income. You have not even mentioned this problem in your answer - even if it is obviously important. You have proposed no idea how to estimated the part of the income of the very rich which has been simply hidden to minize taxation.

What remains is a strange mixture of denial (markets never existed without government, LOL), anti-Russian and anti-Putin rabble, and nonsense (of course, I slo prefer a decent robberer who only takes my money to a sadistic rapist and murderer, as if this would be a point).

16. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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27,811
No, you haven't. You guessed at the source of the data, and assumed it was completely invalid, without bothering to verify either the guess or the assumption in the case at hand - United States, 1930 - 1980.

And you have not bothered to check on whether this problem has already been addressed, thoroughly and from many different angles, by fifty years of competent research and economic analysis in the Western universities and other research organizations.

You continue to make assumptions in matters you know nothing about. You are always wrong, when you do that.

You cannot provide a single counterexample, with the entire planet and all of recorded history to sift for one. Your attempts - prison markets, illegal markets in various goods and services, etc - betray incomprehension of the matter in the first place, which explains your otherwise inexplicable claims. Why would anyone deny the necessity of government in the establishment of markets in goods and services? C'mon - even weights and measures require standardization.

And notice it's a much stronger statement than I need, to deny the validity of your theory. Even if somewhere, somehow, the infrastructure necessary for a market in goods or services had been set up without employing a government, it would still be the case that without government services none of the modern capitalist industrial markets would last a month. So your claims wold not bear on any modern industrial economy in the world.

And Indiana - whose laws at issue here are economically significant and bearing on a modern industrial economy - illustrates the point.

17. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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Feel free to prove this claim. Given that I have provided arguments for this "guess", without some counterarguments or references to sources which have provided such counterarguments, this would be nothing but your usual boring "no you are wrong".
Feel free to refer me to open access papers which have addressed this problem, thoroughly and from many different angles. Without this, this is only your usual boring "no you are wrong".
I have given a lot of them, but given that you reject them all because all the people have used roads, and even the hunter and gatherer tribes are rejected - it seems, because they are states or so - to provide a counterexample to you seems impossible in principle - you will ignore them all.
Any reasonable person recognizes that if the state cannot even destroy some illegal markets (drug war), even with a lot of police force fighting against it, even in extremal conditions where he is able to control almost everything (black markets in prisons), then it is simply a triviality that markets do not need a state.

Standardization also does not need a state. No world government exists, but a world market exists. And even this market exists in illegal forms known as smuggling.
I have not denied that without a large scale reputational system some other system for the enforcements of contracts is necessary for a modern industry (which, necessarily, has to be large scale to be a modern industry). This other system of contract enforcement is, today, provided in all industrial countries by the state.

But I expect that such an internet-based reputational system will be created. The technology is available, on a level that the state can not even prevent its use if he wants. So, it will appear. Of course, this needs some time to appear and to extend. But if this happens, there will appear a chance for developing a state-free industrial society too.

So, the point that there exists no state-free industrial society today is part of my own theory, thus, not sufficient to deny the validity of my theory.

18. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Your claim was absurd, extraordinary. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Asserting the sky is blue does not require proof. Where did you get the idea that the only data available for analyzing income, GDP, and wealth, in the US were rich people's tax returns, on which they could lie without limit? You were being silly.
You haven't. You have stated the situation that obtained to be impossible, according to your theory, without otherwise addressing it. That would disprove your theory, btw.

Your insistence on that fundamentally confused claim reveals your incomprehension of the matters at hand.
The roads of course were obvious, and calling them "trivialities" doesn't mean they aren't necessary. You have not offered a hunter gatherer example of a market - possibly because you started out from my original claim about industrial economies and their markets. But feel free - tribes do trade negotiations, you know. They establish rules.
Standardization of weights and measures requires a government. No market exists on this planet without State infrastructure - most obviously in the international markets, which depend on treaties and such flagrantly and overtly State based infrastructure. And legality has nothing to do with the matter - why do you keep bringing it up? Legal infrastructure is just one the kinds, and is not obviated by specific legal prohibitions anyway.

Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
19. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
There may be other data. But these data cannot be easily accessible to the taxmen. Else, hiding income from taxation would miserably fail, and those who try would end up in prison.

So, you have to assume that some scientists have access to data inaccessible to taxmen. Not really plausible. But I'm interested in examples of such sources. So, please give the papers which use these other sources.

And, BTW, to criticize the accessible sources is nothing extraordinary, but an elementary obligation for each statistical study worth to be taken seriously.

The other problem discussed - your claim that markets need a state - is not worth to be discussed further. To summarize, your logic of type "no human society exists without crimes, thus, crimes are necessary for a human society".

20. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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There are all kinds of aggregate data from corporations and land use records and so forth, property ownership data, inheritance and probate records, shipping and trade records, census and population records, etc etc etc etc, that are not useful for tax avoidance prosecution, but are useful for economic analysis. There is also the obvious factor of the tax laws being written in rich people's favor, so that they owe no taxes on this or that type of property, inheritance, etc., which are nevertheless recorded as existing.

What you have to recognize is that your uninformed philosophizing is not going to change reality. There is a real world, in this case an enormous body of knowledge you claim cannot exist and is "implausible" (you can start with the references and notes in Thomas Piketty's recent book "Capital in the Twenty First Century" - a good beginning for you to read anyway).

No, it isn't. In the first place, you have the misconstrued logic not only wrong but backwards - my logic is of "type" 'some crimes cannot exist without human society, therefore human society is necessary for those crimes'.

In the second, my logic is based on the simple, basic, theoretical requirements for a stable market in goods or services we all learned when we first encountered economics as a field of study (accountability, contact and transport, medium of exchange, information and communication), all of which require government provided infrastructure - whether the trade is legal or not. And every one of your examples of markets - most comically the black markets in prisons, although the internet you depend on for your utopian future of barter is also kind of obvious - illustrated that basic situation.

And that basic situation partly describes how Indians's "freedom of contract" will work, and is intended to work, as a means of oppression, a way for the rich and powerful to reduce and constrain the civil liberties and freedoms of other people.

21. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
Ok, nice point, so let's look at the data which claim that the superrich have become more poor during the time you have liked much more than the actual one. Just for checking if they have really used such tax-avoidance-independent data, or simply the tax revenue, or whatever else.
Fine, this is what I have asked for, you could have omitted the blabla around this and the last post and given this reference immediately.
From reading the introduction, it looks like an interesting book, even if I already disagree with the empiricist methodology (but, so what, I disagree with von Mises methodology as well, but he nonetheless has a lot of good points).
But, let's note already now that already the first guy, mentioned in the introduction as the guy who has used "income distribution statistics" at all, at p.11:
Bingo. So, at least we have already clarified that my first naive guess what kind of data will be used was not completely off, but coincided with the first data which have been really used by economists. But I will see what else can be found there.

Ok, so a society which has build some roads is necessary for a market of the usual cars, because they would be quite useless without roads. But it is not necessary for a market of horses or camels, which can be used for transporting various other things to markets even without roads build by governments.
Accountability exists in stateless societies as well, if not more, because simply leaving the environment where you have grown up (tribe, family) once you have discredited yourself has been even more problematic in the past, where these structures have provided all the social security, than today, where the state has taken over a large part of this. That the usual, stateless reputational system is restricted to small societies is uncontroversial.
Contact and transport, information and communication exist in every human society. A medium of exchange appears automatically if the exchange becomes more regular.
So, what remains is nothing but the point that the classical reputational system is not sufficient for a large scale market in a modern industrial society.

[some incomprehensible ... about Indians deleted]

22. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
And, I see, already on page 12 the continuation:
So, I will continue to read this book, simply because it starts interesting. But I would not expect to find there information which contradicts these basic insights presented already in the introduction.

23. ### SchmelzerValued Senior Member

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4,148
But let's continue with p.12:
And we see a nice correlation with the increase of the tax rates during the same time:
So, let's simply think about these numbers. Assume you have an income of $300,000. At 1913, you have to pay less than 6%, something one could afford without any problem, thus, one could afford the luxery of remaining a honest taxpayer. But one who pays 94% is simply stupid. Or has simply a much larger income so that claiming only$200,000 would be too obvious even for corrupt taxmen. So, if the part which is nonetheless paid decreases only from 50% to 30% in the most extremal interpretation, I would even guess that there is even an increase of the real income. Simply think about the question if it is worth to invest, say, 10% of the income into methods to hide the income from taxation, and what can be done to hide the income of a single person with the costs of \$30,000 per year of 1945 dollars.

And let's continue with p.16:
So, your first source gives nothing else.

This does not mean there is nothing interesting there. I will read it. Even questionable can contain a lot of interesting information. But it will certainly tell us nothing about the idea that high progressive income taxes lead to a redistribution of wealth in favour of the poor. To summarize, following p.17:
I would not have formulated it in such a rigorous way, but this is simply what I have guessed.

Last edited: Aug 13, 2015