Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,


This conversation is closed.

In what instances does the government give too many rules, whereas it becomes detrimental to its people? Any insight into future issues?

It has come to my attention that in some instances the government gives way too many rules. It begins to suffocate society in the sense of creative direction and advancements of all occupational fields.

I don't know much about laws, but I feel as though I am a whining citizen at times. I sometimes say "it isn't fair that 'this' law says 'this'" and I don't think I am the only person, but maybe I am?

When will these issues ever be solved or will they never be solved? Are we really affected by these issues? Is there reason to complain or is it a societal dillusion?

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    Jun 21 2012: One other passing thought on this subject. Regulations and government in general specializes in stopping things the free market specializes in starting things. These two are natural enemies, when too many stops are put on an economy it falters when the stops are taken away it takes off like a sprinter. Just something I wanted to point out as a simple way to understand the tumultuous goings on.
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      Jun 21 2012: let me add that it is not obvious. at a glance, the government looks like doing a lot of positive things, providing safety and security, and so on, that the market, allegedly, could not. so it is not a self-evident claim that the government does not create. it is a claim that comes from centuries of scrutinizing, thinking, analyzing. one needs to study the argument carefully in order to comprehend. at first, it looks plain stupid. just like the theory of relativity.
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        Jun 21 2012: The deceptive thing as you say is that it is tantamount to a mother telling a child to pick up the things in his room but before he can complete the task the mother then say to vacuum the den but before he can complete the task the mother says to mow the lawn. The illusion is that the mother is trying to get the child to start many things, the reality is that the she is stopping the child who I guarantee will only want to quit in exasperation because of the mother's efforts to stop him.
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          Jun 21 2012: which at the end boils down to henry hazlitt's seen and unseen (which is in fact bastiat's, but we forgot the poor fella).
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        Jun 22 2012: Exactly, especially regarding war which is a common myth here in the land of the economically "challenged".
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      Jun 21 2012: There are perhaps some situations where things need to be stopped. My concern is with the formation of monopolies For example in AUS we have strict rules governing media ownership to prevent the situation that is currently unfolding in the UK. Without government interference who would prevent Murdoch buying every newspaper and TV channel? BTW I'm not trolling here I'm genuinely interested in both your opinions on this matter.
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        Jun 22 2012: Peter

        Yes that is why countries have a rule of law and a national defense but that is where it should stop.

        In this country 100yr ago the president Teddy Roosevelt started antitrust laws to "reign in" the Robber Barons. One of them Rockefeller figured out a way to raise everyone's standard of living tremendously by providing them with cheap energy and defined modern philanthropy yet Teddy in his infinite wisdom decided that Rockefeller the richest man in history (even today inflation adjusted) listened to all of the scuttlebutt and decided to pass laws to "safeguard" the little people.

        Today I don't know how much longer Bill Gates will be the big Kahuna but I will predict not long with the way technology changes. Yet you contend that Murdoch will control the media in spite of the fact that print media is fast becoming an anachronism and tv has 100's of channels not to mention that internet tv is replacing regular cable and satellite tv. I will lay you odds that the doesn't happen EVER.

        Question can you give me an example of an enduring monopoly without government cronyism if even then?
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          Jun 22 2012: The closest thing we have here is a duopoly in groceries. Woolworths and Coles have systematically bought out all the smaller competitors over the last 20 years. Now the consumer watch dog is constantly monitoring them due to price collusion. Recently they have both opened gas stations at their supermarkets so many independant operators have closed down as they use income from the supermarket to subsidise their gas prices. One result being that even though the AUS dollar has gone from 70c to parity with the US dollar there has been no drop in gas prices (allowing for oil price variation). My concern is it kills competition.
          Is this a situation where you would support government monitoring of the situation to ensure some competition?
          If there is collusion between the only two players in the market would you see the governments role as informing the public only? Or is some level of intervention justified?
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        Jun 22 2012: Absolutely not.

        Woolworths = 58 billion in Australia Coles = less than a billion Walmart = 447 billion

        Walmart replaced Sears, Sears replace Montgomery Wards I guarantee you that someone will replace Walmart. This has been playing out for 100 years and will go on for a lot more years.

        Who is the winner in this? It is without any doubt the consumer who has had his standard of living raised by these WONDERFUL corporations, because now the consumer can buy more crap for less money.

        You probably suffer from the notion that the pie is one size (a zero sum game) and that anything taken away is a win lose situation. It is not it is a win win situation.
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          Jun 22 2012: I guess even if they did undergo a merger and form a total monopoly their prices could only rise to the point where the profits started attracting new players into the market. I can see how the system would self regulate as long as the existing players can't prevent new players entering.
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        Jun 22 2012: And that can only happen with the help of the government which is the Real salt water croc you have to watch for.
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      Jun 17 2012: I listened to your link again. In the past I discounted this talk somewhat because it was from Psychologist. On looking at this again I gave Schwartz more credit.

      In my experience with workers I have found statistics to be useful, as they become gauges by which I could measure their production. But like Schwartz I found that when I added the carrot to the statistics I got undesirable results. I later decided that the carrot was not a good idea. But I have to say that statistics or gauges are absolutely essential in any transaction where the measure of that transaction is not obvious.

      In government Schwartz makes a good point about judges that I have seen first hand. In this case I don't think voters are qualified to judge this type of statistic. In fact this subject can become quite tricky as someone who has transgressed to a level of deception, as is often the case in politics, are very hard to discern to the untrained eye. Having been the victim of such individuals on more than a few occasions I have since learned and acquired a highly sensitive bull shit detector. This is where I think the idea of Republic is very useful.

      It is also a problem in this area where the status quo foments a lack of applying this judgement for fear of disapproval which in my mind is the biggest danger of the collective or collective thinking.

      The view I have on this is that any transaction has to be monitored to create accountability so that both parties are satisfied with the transaction, so the free market is the touch stone, the invisible hand on this subject. To arrive at this one has to use a balance of intelligence and effort which is at the very heart of this subject and for that matter life.
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      Jun 27 2012: Thank You Krisztian!

      That was a very interesting talk! I have, hopefully, assimilated the wisdom from this tedtalk to further my knowledge of properly using my agency wisely. =)
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    Jun 17 2012: Looking at history, there was a recent (glaring) example of a ruling body that spun out of control with it's labeling of certain groups of people being "unequal" and not part of the "superior" gene pool. Many people's loved ones died in gas chambers after being labeled as "not good enough".

    Lack of self worth creates individuals who need "inferiors" to feel better about themselves. When a ruling body creates a situation of inequality, it's frequently for the purpose of profit and power. If there is no feeling of "US vs. them"...there is no friction and therefore no need for power play.

    Imagine a world where people attempted to understand each others needs as fellow human beings rather than constantly being superior by using our differences as a means of separation.

    Probably the wisest words I've ever heard were "look to similarities to find truth". Whenever I hear someone say "Well, that's different because..." has an agenda that does not incorporate finding an answer or looking for any underlying truth.
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      Jun 18 2012: Hi Wes,

      Yes, let's not have something so devasting happen again, though evidence shows that in smaller scales it is constantly happening in most 3rd world countries.

      I think schools and other institutions show spread the knowledge of emotional literacy, then more individual's can realize their self worth and to have healtheir relationships with others.

      Your comment about "Imagine a world where people..." just reminded me of John Lennon's-Imagine. =)

      Similarities are sometimes seen as 'popular', but hopefully most people will be able to realize those differences.

      Thanks for reading my thoughts and sharing yours'.
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    Jun 21 2012: http://www.amazon.com/The-Price-Inequality-Divided-Endangers/dp/0393088693/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340244086&sr=8-1&keywords=price+of+inequality

    Joseph Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia, Nobel Laureate in economics, former chief of the Council of Economic Advisors (must have been under Clinton), and former chief economist for the World Bank.

    So much economic conversation is ideological, so it is useful to go ahead and take the time to understand the issues yourself.

    Whether you have taken college economics or not, you will be able to understand what Stiglitz lays out.
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    Jun 17 2012: Law serves some and restricts others. There is a lack of consistency.

    Also, in New Zealand, we seem to have a mentality among officials to legislate for safety every time someone hurts themselves. eg a teenager dies from alcohol poisoning and there is a rush to raise the drinking age or restrict the consumption of alcohol. It's all a bit knee-jerk.
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      Jun 17 2012: Based on the link below the Kiwis aren't doing too badly.
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    Jun 17 2012: Life is not fair, get over it, and the government cannot and should not do much for you other than a rule of law and a national defense.

    Look at this index of the countries that do a better job of this than others look at the standard of living in the ones near the top compared to the ones near the bottom:


    Notice North Korea at dead last number 179 to South Korea at number 31, same people similar culture, only difference is the form of government.

    What is the touch stone for this. I think this video covers it very well:

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      Jun 19 2012: There are some interesting contradictions between the two lists. HDI v IEF
      Norway HDI 1 IEF 40
      Chile HDI 44 IEF 7
      Mauritious HDI 77 IEF 8
      Bahrain HDI 42 IEF 12
      Singapore HDI 26 IEF 2
      Saint Lucia HDI 82 IEF 24
      Germany HDI 9 IEF 26
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        Jun 19 2012: refresh my memory what am I looking at?

        and this one:


        and this one


        Just because someone puts a list together does not mean it has been vetted, in fact more often than not it is a manifestation of some insidious memes as is the case with the Gini index

        Here in the U.S. the evil Bankster meme is more crap than not and has caused endless anger but the reality is that politicians gain votes by this created anger.
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          Jun 19 2012: human development index v index of economic freedom. From your link above
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          Jun 19 2012: It just shows that within first world and even developing economies the correlation between economic freedom and standard of living isn't very clear as long as there is some democratic process involved. Dictatorships like North Korea almost always crash and burn because they lack adaptability.
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        Jun 19 2012: That statement is ambiguous, get plain and specific, you want me to chase ambigouties I refuse to waste my time on that.
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          Jun 19 2012: Your original post on this thread asked us to compare freedom index with standard of living,which I did. I was just pointing out that the correlation between the two is not very clear other than third world dictatorships are at the bottom for both. The pattern amongst democratic nations is very unclear regarding the political stance of the government. eg Sweden.etc. A high level of economic freedom doesn't necessarily produce high standards of living. eg Chile etc
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        Jun 19 2012: When I said look at the standard of living I meant at the obvious. N Korea vs S Korea, West Germany vs East Germany, Mainland China vs Hong Kong or Taiwan. You explain this away by in adaptability, that is crap.

        The human development index is may be dubious. There was a similar equality trope here in the early 80's started by a couple of economists who twisted economic numbers so badly that they were beyond disingenuous. I don't have time or the expertise to find out if it is crap or true.

        Suffice it to say that when there is a big deviation like you are showing one of them is wrong. Wouldn't you agree?
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          Jun 19 2012: The origins of the HDI are found in the annual Human Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).These were devised and launched by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990 and had the explicit purpose "to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people centered policies".

          The Index of Economic Freedom is a series of 10 economic measurements created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Its stated objective is to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations.

          The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense".
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        Jun 19 2012: Of the two you know who I would trust more.
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      Jun 19 2012: Hi pat,

      Going back to your first comment...My topic didn't ask for the fairness in government, but I do ask for when rules are too much and where in your own government is rules too much.

      Interesting link for the ranking site you shared, but I am going to be a pessimist and say that every ranking systems have their own biases and agendas. Who are we to say one ranking system is perfect, but analyzing each individual situation or instance of events seems more relevant to me. Maybe if the rankings were based on happiness of its people, then I would take interest, but a bunch of escoteric information is difficult to relate to or understand for that matter.

      The TedTalk by Ferguson was very interesting, but I'm not sure it related to my topic, though if it did I might have missed the point. I am sure you have the answer that makes the TedTalk relatable, so if you could, please explain how the TedTalk relates to this topic?

      Thanks for reading my thoughts and hope to read yours'. =)
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        Jun 19 2012: The six killer apps as Ferguson explain are the touchstone (rules) to a higher standard of living.

        When the government subjugates these rules to the government's laws then the country will not do as well.

        The first app is competition, this gets negated all the time by crony capitalism and regulations that favor one company over another and other ways.

        The second app is scientific revolution, In this area the U.S. has done well but in some areas less as of late like in healthcare as when the incentive to innovate is taken away so goes the innovation or Sarbanes Oxley that makes a company go through a lot of hoops in order to do a IPO or when a company is heavily punished because the government has seen fit to punish them for going above the status quo.

        The 3rd app of private property because the government will decide if public domain applies and then give the property to one of it's cronies or as with intellectual properties not being protected.

        The 4t app of modern medicine, when the government meddles with healthcare the incentive created by Adam Smith invisible hand is taken away and the care becomes lower quality as is the case in England.

        The 5th app of a consumer society when money is extracted from the economy to pay taxes, regulations, licenses, etc. there is less money (a lot less) for consumers to spend on what they consider to valuable. It also drives investment capital out of the area because the investment capital is offered a better return elsewhere.

        The 6 th app of the work ethic is very much subject to the culture The culture is very much effected by the government. Recently the government in their infinite wisdom decided to extend unemployment benefits to 99 week, the the government cant understand why no one goes off unemployment but then miraculously find a job just before their benefits run out. The immigrants here in Calif are given free healthcare receive the healthcare and the go home to Mexico,. they did not work at all and expect i
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          Jun 19 2012: " government cant understand why no one goes off unemployment but then miraculously find a job just before their benefits run out."

          market failure! the free market fails to relieve the government of the burden of wasting public money!

          btw i'm glad you are around. you save me so much work :)
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          Jun 20 2012: Ah....I get it. Brain has been on overdrive as of late. The TedTalk totally made me think that these six apps were a good thing....I thought "killer" as in great, but Ferguson meant "killer" as in killing the nation....Thank you pat.
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          Jun 21 2012: Re the 4th app. Its funny because the UK rates 20 places higher on the WHO healthcare rating than the US. My only experience of the US healthcare system is that my uncle died in a US hospital from a post-op infection even though he worked for NASA at the time and had full coverage. Healthcare is one area where I will never be "free-market" as your insurance company still pays even if you die. A hospital whose income is related to the number of patients treated will always be tempted to cut corners. In my Uncle's case they proceded with an operation even though he was immune compromised by cancer treatment as it was quicker to do both at the same time. Yes we could sue, but my Uncle is still dead.
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        Jun 20 2012: Note to self do not waste any more time on this ingrate.
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          Jun 20 2012: umm...thank you for your time pat....?
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          Jun 21 2012: Hi pat,

          Going back to your explanation about the six killer apps...you say:

          "The six killer apps as Ferguson explain are the touchstone (rules) to a higher standard of living.
          When the government subjugates these rules to the government's laws then the country will not do as well."

          and my understanding is that keeping these six apps out of laws is the emphasis of Ferguson's talk, but how can something so good in one area be that detrimental when implemented into governmental laws? Kinda scary......
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        Jun 21 2012: HI Peter

        Sorry to hear about your uncle.

        This is a complex subject, but I'm quite sure that England is no paradigm of healthcare. In the U.S. from my superficial understanding of the problem government involvement where medicare influences the cost while at the same time crony capitalism keeps out the competition. In a nut shell a lack of the 1st app is killing the 4th app.
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          Jun 24 2012: Thanx Pat.
          My main concern with free-market healthcare is that if I'm poor I still don't want to see the doctor equivalent of a second hand mazda. Or a doctor who is in a hurry. I do see how government involment that prevents competition at one end of the market forces more government involvment at the bottom of the market due to high prices. Perhaps if the government concentrated on regulating the standard of care and kept out of the economics?
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        Jun 21 2012: Derek

        I have no idea what you just said?

        What is the definition of subjugates? It appears that you either don't know what it means or misunderstand what it means.

        You cannot effectively legislate the six killer apps in fact I would go so far as to say it is a reciprocal in that the stronger the six killer apps the weaker the government and the stronger the government the weaker the six killer apps.
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          Jun 25 2012: pat,

          I wish I could hear you talk because I bet your a sarcastic person, but through reading, your words totally sounds different. I am okay with that, if you are mostly sarcstic, I think.

          It seems that my brain has some issues and often switches letters when I first read words that look common. Subjugates looked like subjects, but I also didn't know the definition before, though now I do. =)

          My previous comment was talking about how you say that the six killers apps (without subjugating to the government) are the touchstone to a higher standard of living, and I understood, in my mind, that standards of higher living are a good thing, but when you subjugate these rules to the governments law they will be a bad thing. So without subjugating these six killers apps into rules to the government, then these apps are just accenting a nation instead of being the main component?
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        Jun 24 2012: Peter

        One of the main reasons healthcare is expensive is that the government has made money available for the healthcare through the medicare program. Whenever more money is made available the price goes up for the service. This occurred during the gold rush here at Sutters mill in Calif where a shovel or pick would cost many times more than anywhere else.

        Part of the problem with this is that the patients do not know what the cost of the various treatment is even if they wanted to know it is hard to get answers. Consequently the patient does not have any concern with cost.

        When the money starts running out then the only solution is to ration the healthcare as with England who is notorious for rationing the healthcare.

        The solution is to get the government out of healthcare.

        This video is pretty good on the subject:


        This one is funny because it shows a young Michael Moore being shown a concept of the free market by the venerable Milton Friedman.

        I hope you are quicker on the uptake than Michael Moore as he never did get the lesson that Mr Friedman was trying to impart to him.

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          Jun 25 2012: I do fully appreciate Friedman's point in both videos, but my remaining concern for healthcare is for those with small resources and costly requirements but this could point out a cultural difference between the US and AUS. We tend to look to the government rather than charity in tough times. Possibly because we have never had the same philanthropic tradition as in the US.
          The other concern with the second video is that I'm not sure I have the same level of faith in your average Joe's ability ot make the correct decision if given all the relevant information. But I could be an intellectual snob.
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        Jun 25 2012: Derek

        The thing about sarcasm is that it is bad manners as most scorn is. I have not shown you ANY sarcasm, you may see it that way but that is not what I have said.

        I stated that I have no idea what said and that is EXACTLY what I meant, that is NOT sarcasm.

        Subjugating the six killer apps to the government does not make them a bad thing it makes them a smaller and less important thing which is VERY different than a bad thing.

        If I can give you some advise? when you read anything that you want to understand I highly recommend that when you see a word that you don't know the meaning of, that you look it up and when you have a hard time understanding something that you look for words that you do not know the meaning of.
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          Jun 25 2012: Hi pat,

          Thank you for the 101 on life. I am going to take in your advise, but I don't enjoy your rhetoric. I'm just a critic, but I enjoy the diverse comments and views with varying rhetorics of each commenter.

          You do pose good points though and it is very relevant, though at times clarifications may be needed from each of the participating members in a conversation, especially through pure text base where facial and tonal cues lack, but it has its upside. I think patience is key in seeking clarification.

          Sarcasm is taken differently from person to person. I happen to enjoy sarcasm, when I can tell it is sarcasm, but that is another topic I suppose.

          Best Wishes.
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        Jun 25 2012: Peter
        Americans also look to the government. But that is not a good thing as anything that government is doing is with your own money.

        The average Joe is pretty damn smart, don't sell him short. The reason he is smart is that his very existence depend on his being smart. Which is the problem when the government steps in and says oh no Joe is not very smart and we have to decide for him, Look at this and determine if the government is smart or not and if you are really looking the answer is obvious.
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    Jun 17 2012: Still, you might be interested in Stiglitz's new book, "The Price of Inequality."
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      Jun 18 2012: Thanks Fritzie, I shall consider buying that book next time I am at a book store. =)
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      Jun 21 2012: So, I was searching for your book today and I couldn't find it. Could you link me to a page where I could see the book, please?

      Thanks! =)