23 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2018
    1. In terms of flexibility of the labor market, Denmark stands out above both Spain and its Nordic neighbors. To begin with, firing costs in Denmark are very low. For instance, a white collar worker that was unfairly dismissed today would receive a compensation of maximum four months of salary after working for 10 years in the company. On the other hand, if the dismissal was considered to be fair, the employee would receive no compensation. In addition, there is no minimum wage established by law, and social contributions paid by employers on behalf of employees do not exceed 2% of the gross salary. In contrast, the severance pay that the same employee would receive in Spain would amount to between 13 or 21 months of salary (depending on whether the new or the old legislation is applied), a fair dismissal would result in around eight months of pay in compensation, the legal minimum wage is 756€ a month (although the cost for the company is substantially higher), and social contributions borne by the company account for one-fourth of the gross salary.
  2. Nov 2017
    1. Everyone has a right to free speech, but in practice many individuals have very little access to free speech. When we try to address this on platforms, by clamping down on things like harassment or bots, it’s portrayed as “curtailing” free speech, in the same way that making the rich pay more tax or follow regulations is seen by conservatives as “curtailing” economic opportunity.

  3. Jun 2017
    1. a techno-libertarianism that was contemptuous of most government attempts to regulate disruptive innovation.

      Turns out this has been a bad look. I wonder if it'll really cost Uber, though.

    2. radical libertarian ideology and monopolistic greed of many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs helped to decimate the livelihood of musicians and is now undermining the communal idealism of the early internet.

      Truth.

  4. Feb 2017
    1. But suppose on the way to Wal-Mart, you see a random mom-and-pop store that looks interesting. What do you know about its safety standards? Nothing.

      There exists trust. You trust a lot of people you don't know every day -- you also do the opposite and don't shop in stores that look suspicious today.

      You can also trust small business whose owner or previous records you know personally, that also happens a lot today.

      Besides that, in a libertarian world law would exist and solve part of these problems: https://hypothes.is/a/PBirDvnYEeaWvjeIs4H9kg.

    2. Right, well of course people don’t look up product information now because the government regulates that for them. In a real libertarian society, they would be more proactive.

      Most people don't care, or trust the big companies. I do that. I also think that the existence of some government regulation incentive companies to not sell poisoned food.

      On the other hand, there is certification, independent certification, and these are being used today and trusted by people today. It's reasonable to supposed independent certification would be much much greater in a libertarian world.

      Of course certification would not cover every field, every product and every possible problem, but neither does the State.

    3. For a boss to fire a worker is at most a minor inconvenience; for a worker to lose a job is a disaster. The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale, a measure of the comparative stress level of different life events, puts being fired at 47 units, worse than the death of a close friend and nearly as bad as a jail term. Tellingly, “firing one of your employees” failed to make the scale.

      Because of State labor laws, stupid. They make it hard to change jobs, hard to fire workers and hence hard to hire workers. In a libertarian world this would in principle be much smoother.

    4. Once the employee is hired, the boss may ask on a moment’s notice that she work a half hour longer or else she’s fired, and she may not dare to even complain. On the other hand, if she were to so much as ask to be allowed to start work thirty minutes later to get more sleep or else she’ll quit, she might well be laughed out of the company. A boss may, and very often does, yell at an employee who has made a minor mistake, telling her how stupid and worthless she is, but rarely could an employee get away with even politely mentioning the mistake of a boss, even if it is many times as unforgivable.

      Here and after the author treats as a libertarian problem what happens today under the rule of the State labor laws.

      In a world without State labor laws, contracts would apply. Contracts could evolve and have all these situations expected in their clauses. Also, this seems to me to be a case for actually working law (which the criticism imagines as unexisting in a libertarian society): https://hypothes.is/a/PBirDvnYEeaWvjeIs4H9kg.

    5. Let’s say Wanda’s Widgets has one million customers. Each customer pays it $100 per year, for a total income of $100 million. Each customer prefers Wanda to her competitor Wayland, who charges $150 for widgets of equal quality. Now let’s say Wanda’s Widgets does some unspeakably horrible act which makes it $10 million per year, but offends every one of its million customers.

      If the person doesn't care if it is "offended" then that's ok, it can still buy. If it is offended in a way the common law qualifies as punishable then the person can sue, and lawsuits are expensive for the company. If the offence is not sufficiently serious then the person should either move to a different culture or try to change its culture, it is not a matter of State, but of law and culture.

    6. The classic libertarian solution to this problem is to try to find a way to privatize the shared resource (in this case, the lake).

      This is a hard problem, but the lake must have an owner, or some bizarre magical special juridical property that someone must come up with. Anyway, this whole example treats it as "public" resource, hence the tragedy of the commons follow.

      Ok, it seems that the lake may be owned by someone and the rivers that go into it owned by other people, so the problem arises. This seems to me to be a case for law: https://hypothes.is/a/PBirDvnYEeaWvjeIs4H9kg.

      Probably there could be a way for the lake owner to sue the people who are damaging the lake, or these sue the lake owner for their lack of productivity.

    7. 1.2: But aren’t there are libertarian ways to solve externalities that don’t involve the use of force?

      Well, this article forgets about law. Law and justice still would exist in a libertarian society.

      I haven't read the rest of the article, but this is probably the answer to most of his criticisms of libertarianism, and it is fair that this guy is missing it, because law is difficult and most libertarians forget about it or think that purely monetary transactions between persons would solve everything, thus making libertarianism a crazy creed (as I've done myself for a time).

  5. Dec 2016
  6. Apr 2016
    1. Here’s the basic idea — slow & measured reform is often a web of unfortunate compromises, but its protection of the status quo generally preserves business regulation, at least at some level. Because this is unacceptable to business interests, business needs to create a crisis or scale up an existing crisis. It needs to make the status quo malfunction to the point where there is supposedly “nothing left to lose”. With the system reduced, supposedly, to rubble, economic interests can move in to “solve” the problem — if the public will only place its faith in them, and abandon their old public institutions and outdated business regulations.

      Mike Caulfield summarizes Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, and points out that it's being applied to public education.

  7. Jan 2016
    1. Uber presented itself as a refreshing alternative to the over-bureaucratized world of urban transportation. But that’s a false choice. We can streamline sclerotic city regulators, upgrade taxi fleets and even provide users with fancy apps that make it easier to call a cab. The company’s binary presentation – us, or City Hall – frames the debate in artificial terms.

      Neither business nor government is automatically good or bad. But both tend toward bad when unconstrained. Government should be of the people, for the people, and by the people. We should not allow anyone to use wealth and power to amass ever greater wealth and power.

    2. Uber claims that its driver rating system is a more efficient way to monitor drivers, but that’s an entirely unproven assumption. While taxi drivers have been known to misbehave, the worldwide litany of complaints against Uber drivers – for everything from dirty cars and spider bites to assault with a hammer, fondling and rape – suggest that Uber’s system may not work as well as old-fashioned regulation. It’s certainly not noticeably superior.

      Several links to other stories about Uber.

      Neither Uber nor Taxi companies should have a monopoly. Cities should issue cab licenses to independent drivers. They should issue enough to make it easy to get a cab when you need one. Some licenses could be part-time, to provide extra cars during busy times. The licenses should go to the applicants with the best driving records and work histories.

    3. Even without surge pricing, Uber and its supporters are hiding its full costs. When middle-class workers are underpaid or deprived of benefits and full working rights, as Uber’s reportedly are, the entire middle-class economy suffers. Overall wages and benefits are suppressed for the majority, while the wealthy few are made even richer.
    4. A “sharing economy,” by definition, is lateral in structure. It is a peer-to-peer economy. But Uber, as its name suggests, is hierarchical in structure. It monitors and controls its drivers, demanding that they purchase services from it while guiding their movements and determining their level of earnings. And its pricing mechanisms impose unpredictable costs on its customers, extracting greater amounts whenever the data suggests customers can be compelled to pay them.This is a top-down economy, not a “shared” one.

      The true sharing economy is about things like sharing unused tools and resources, community property, and combining purchasing power. (People should not say "there is no such thing" when pointing out that Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are not examples.)

  8. Dec 2015
    1. Corporate businesses are owned by absentee shareholders who do not participate in managing the enterprises or doing the work. Everyone -- from the CEO down to the office janitor -- works as an "employee" of the corporation. The collective resources of the corporation ensure the collective security of the myriad owners and employees.<br> ...<br> Yet Rand wants to style opulently renumerated corporate managers as rugged entrepreneurs who did all the work themselves. What about the hundreds, thousands of employees who contribute to the collective effort that builds and maintains a "big business"?

      When they moved to Galt's Gulch, did the titans mine their own ore and refine metals in their personal backyard foundries? Build their own airplanes from tree leaves and chewing gum like McGiver? Dig oil wells with their bare hands and crack gasoline over an open fire?

      -- Derryl Hermanutz (in the comments)

    2. I am all for individual life, and individual liberty - those are my highest values. In that I align well with Ayn Rand.Where we part company is in how those values are best served.

      I am clear that cooperation is the most powerful way to serve those values. And I am clear that Axelrod demonstrated that raw cooperation is always vulnerable to cheating, and requires secondary strategies to prevent cheats from dominating and destroying the cooperative. Arguably, many of those who control the flows of capital in today's world can be characterised as using cheating strategies to do so, however lawful those strategies happen to be."

      -- Ted Howard (in the comments)

    3. Taggart and Reardon made their fortunes in the railroad and steel sectors, industries that received massive public subsidies. In the exaggerated black-and-white world that Rand creates, taxation and public accountability over private industry amounts to collectivist tyranny.

      -- Eric Michael Johnson (in the comments)

  9. Jul 2015
    1. “Anybody that made it through the ’90s and [aughts] without having their libertarianism taking a pretty good hit wasn’t paying attention,” he says in a recent telephone interview. “We deregulated every g--d--- thing, and it came back at us in this way that we may never recover.”
  10. Oct 2013
    1. To conceive of libertarianism as only the NAP is incredibly shortsighted and oversimplified. That needs to be understood and it needs be excused because we have a whole raft of scholars in our community who tell us that the proper use of force is the full width and breath of what it means to be a libertarian. I say it is a whole lot more. For me, it includes, skepticisim of authority, questioning, reasoning, forgiveness, love, kindness, mutual aid, collective defense, voluntary cooperation, building and not destroying. It is about prosperity, about helping people. It is about ending the rule of violence and replacing it with the rule of reason. It’s about resolving disputes not with the executioner or the torturer but with cooperative mediation or voluntary arbitration. It’s about, not returning to a darker time but advancing to a more brilliant future where every life is valued, cultivated and brought to its maximum potential.

      The depths of libertarianism.