Variations on a theme
This novel is long, we know, and wordy with a couple of rambling speeches. But all of this serves a purpose, which is to allow its detractors no avenue by which they can dispute the theme of the book without actually arguing the philosophy. Now, I don't agree with Rand's metaphysics—I think concepts do have existence and cannot simply be derived as functions of a consciousnessless universe—nor do I agree with her ethics—I think her lodestone of "Man's life" is arbitrary and not sufficiently defined. But I do agree with her economics, which is one of the hammered-home points of the book. Stated briefly, the principle is:
The more you dick around with the economy, the more you fuck it up.
I'm using profanity here to do the same thing Rand did by repeating her points: trying to cut down counterarguments that use semantics to avoid the issue. I could have said, "The more you interfere with the economy, the less efficient it runs," but that only invites people to say, "We're not interfering; we're just trying to find a more ethical means of resource distribution," or, "Well, who's to say what efficiency is anyway?"
I'm constantly amazed that people argue for economic systems other than Capitalism with this book in existence. Because the plot holds, because it is not contradictory, the basis of capitalism and the flaws of anti-capitalism are manifest. If a railroad is run for "the public good," expect train crashes. If steel is sent to poor countries instead of being used for coal mine bracings and oil pipelines, expect less production of steel. If any business is forced to run for any reason other than profit, expect the businessmen to curtail production and move into where they can get the most money, instead of making it. This could have been called, "Laffer Curve: The Novel."
This book is better than good; it is *correct*, and that its correctness is ignored is a sad commentary on mankind.
Except that when one has a "completly free economy" is that it isn't free, competition is stiffled by large corporations maintaining a stranglehold and getting rid of upstarts, new ideas are suppressed and in general a free market becomes a wealthy "old boys" network. Thats why Rand doesn't work, because her perfected capitalists are not good at anything but money making, and the best way of doing that is to have the sole rights to something that everyone needs.
3rd Jan 11
I don't think you've spent a second of your life studying actual economics.
3rd Jan 11
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8th Jan 11
^But governments can also improve efficiency if they intervene correctly.
15th Jan 11
Maybe, but how often does -that- happen? Government is run by people - politicians, no less. They're in it for themselves just like everyone else. They have little incentive to be helpful, just to gain another bullet point in their campaigns for re-election.
24th Jan 11
It's the businesses that have incentives to fuck over efficiency, not the government.
24th Jan 11
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19th Feb 11
this reviewer's a troll, check out his review of twilight for a good laugh
24th Feb 11
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6th May 11
As an example, the internal logic of Bioshock shows objectivism to be a flawed system that will irreparably break down society, but that doesn't necessarily match up with the world as it is. so a philosophy proposed in fictional setting will never have the substantiation to be worth reading and I think you would be better to recommend people an actual textbook/factual book than recommend a book soly because the philosophy that the author set to propose isn't contradicted in the book that the author wrote. It's the same reason that the message in the awful Crichton book about global warming, doesn't make the book worth reading, because although the book makes it sound plausible, it's actually just wrong and the only positive of the book is that it lies to you convincingly
7th May 11
The Laffer Curve is an economic fact.
Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant, and does not understand what the Laffer Curve says. (Not surprising since the main source of information about the Laffer Curve for most people come from politicians, and neither opposing nor supporting politicians know what they're talking about).
Or they are lying.
The Laffer Curve is not conservative, nor liberal, nor does it have anything to do with political philosophy. It is a simple observation about the natural limitations of power. Specifically, about the natural limitation of the power to tax. At a certain point, people just won't pay their taxes anymore.
That's all the Laffer Curve says. Which is just common sense when it comes down to it.
Liberals hate the Laffer Curve and declare it false, because they don't want to admit that at a certain point there is just no more money for the government. It doesn't matter that the rich got all this money, the government simply does not have the effective
power needed to squeeze anymore money out of people. Right or wrong have nothing to do with it. The fact that the government has the legal power to do it does not matter. The truth is that there are natural limits on power other then the legal limits.
Conservatives tend to embrace the Laffer Curve and declare that we can cut taxes and get more government income! Well, that made sense when Reagan became president and the top rate was 75%
. (Just think for a moment, how hard would you work if the government took 3/4 of everything you made?) Now that the top rate is 36%, (or whatever it is now), that no longer works, but some of them keep on trying to argue for it.
(As side note on the Laffer "debunkers", that depends on the deceptive tactic of combining Reagan's tax cut of the top rate and the tax cut on the middle class- who were not taxed that high and thus not on the far side of the Laffer Curve. The top tax rate did produce more revenue after the tax cut then the top tax rate did before the tax cut- however, the tax cut to the middle class decreased revenue by a greater margin. Politically they are considered the same tax cut, but economically they are not the same tax cut, and the revenue effects predicted by the Laffer Curve are different, and match the actual behavior of revenues.)
13th May 11
(edited by: Sackett)
23rd Jul 11
28th Aug 11
(edited by: Faramir)
Counterpoint: British Rail
29th Mar 14
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