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"Just Like Catcalling": Dismissing Ben Shapiro's Debate Offer, Ocasio-Cortez Says "Men With Bad Intentions" Don't Deserve a Response


Of course it’s impossible to change them and their baseless myths and opinions. Only having more power than them will change their behaviors. Part of building that power is clarifying what is right (not on the right) and organizing around programs that work for the people. That means getting our shit together. When so many liberals and progressives and LOTE sayers and “big tenters” are out muddying the waters, you have to be really clear about your positions and express them in ways that make sense. One concrete example of that in terms of the Duopoly (s)electoral arena is the differences between HR 676 and S. 1804, which are both called “Medicare for All.”


We all understand what monopoly is and when it exists –

When we are referring to the US FDA as “Monsanto’s FDA” it’s clear we have a Monopoly.

The Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is Bad News for the Planet


The Trump administration should veto the chemical giants’ pending merger to protect not just competitors but human and environmental health.

It is when government becomes so corrupted by Elite/corporate-fascism that we see monopolies rise.


Deck –

Look back at the article’s links to examples of Shapiro – he isn’t a debater,
he’s a confronter and bully and uses the debating platform only to spread
his sexist, racist and anti-Semitic propaganda.

Take a look at the links I’ve put up to debates and appearances by Shapiro.
If it’s so urgent that someone take on Shapiro, let Bernie do it.
There is no indication in anything that Shapiro has said to suggest that he
has anything but HATE speech to donate to a debate.


Who, me? Nobody pays me for this. I debate ideas because I think they’re profoundly important. I wish someone would pay me to do this, but alas, no one has ever offered.
In any case, I’ve been studying economics & philosophy for over a decade now, I’m willing & very much able to defend my beliefs in a reasoned debate. I say that free market capitalism (the policy of “laissez faire”) is the only policy that is consistent with liberty & justice, and also happens to be the policy that is most conducive to social & economic progress & prosperity. Socialism is actually destructive of those ends; it reduces individual citizens to the role of inert & obedient cogs, & condemns them to a life of poverty & strife. The supposed “third way” retention of private property rights & market price/profit system but “regulated” by a political/bureaucratic class with arbitrary authority to coercively intervene in the otherwise mutually-voluntary contractual & exchange relationships of citizens, only sabotages the functioning of the price system, perpetrates theft & injustice, & makes the vast majority of the citizens much poorer than they would otherwise be. That’s my case, if you want to debate it I’m game. But I insist on valid argumentation. So either refute me or piss off.


I don’t believe you can cite a current example of laissez faire capitalism, but can you cite a single example from any era that failed to reduce the great majority of the population to “cogs in a machine”? Social theories are very hard to refute because they can be exist seemlessly in ones mind. Any failure is just in the implementation, not the theory itself.


Seamless, of course.


I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a smart enough politician not to clarify what democratic socialist means. Bernie Sanders showed the way. Don’t clarify, just give a definition that will be cool with most American people. You will not hear either of them they say it means much more than what are called welfare state programs. For those who really want to know more they can go to the website of Democratic Socialists of America or research other sources. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are politicians and want to win elections. They are not going to tell it as is. That will have to be left up to others who are not running for office. .


Refute what exactly? An economic system that has never existed, other than in the heads of people like you? There has never been an economic system run along libertarian lines, no country has ever used a libertarian economic program to develop. Ever, not once, never will. You can argue that some economic systems are closer to that unrealistic, utopian ideal if you want, but they all radically depart from it in countless ways.

Since at least Reagan, we have lowered taxes on the rich. Carried interest, dividends, capital gains, estates, the top marginal income tax brackets. We used to have capital, wage and price controls. Gone. Unions are weaker. We have done, at every level of government, mass privatizations, financial deregulation, and investor rights deals like NAFTA and the WTO that have undermined financial, environmental and labor regulations. The government has committed itself to austerity (for everyone but the rich that is) since the crash as well, and wanted to cut programs even more. On every single level, we have moved in a direction that you prefer. What has been the impact? Exploding private debt, decades of stagnating wages, an explosion in inequality, crumbling infrastructure, and the costs of everything from housing, to healthcare and education have been far outpacing wage growth for decades now. Since the crash, the entirety of economic growth has been monopolized by the rich. It has been a total disaster for everyone but the rich. And the US didn’t develop behind free trade, we developed behind the highest industrial tariffs in the world from roughly the war of 1812 until the onset of WWII, and still used protectionism tons thereafter. That is the rule, by the way, not the exception, which the economist Ha Joon Chang has shown. Agricultural exports are very important for this economic system right now, and we have one of the most protectionist agricultural systems in the world. A large portion of our technology has come out of the state sector or with state funding. Computers, the internet, satellite technology, touch screen technology, nanotechnology, civilian aircraft, biotech breakthroughs, the state was instrumental in bringing all of that about.

And let’s be clear too, markets are missing massive amounts of information, which economists call “externalities” (some used to call them social costs and benefits). You silly libertarians think the proper response to this is to privatize everything (and I mean everything, down to individual animals) and to have people duke it out in court. If you have e a huge factory and pollute into my drinking water, I am to sue you in court to recoup damages and to get you to stop. There are no laws to stop you from polluting, cause that would be a violation of “liberty” and “freedom”. If I want to protect an endangered species (and why would I, with biodiversity collapsing?), we would no longer have laws protecting that species, cause that would be a violation of liberty (LOL!). What we do, according to people like Terry Anderson, is we privatize individual animals, we place tracking devices on them, and if a whale or something dies, we find the whale, investigate and sue the person that caused the death. It’s comically stupid and unworkable. The horrible impacts from global warming, the species extinction rate being thousands of times the natural rate, dead zones in the Gulf and the Baltic Sea, plastic pollution, the destruction of coral reefs the world over, ocean acidification, among countless other things, have no market prices. It is a fact that, because of this, we produce things far too much that have negative externalities, and produce too little of things that have positive externalities. Markets themselves are key drivers in the environmental crisis. What you want is speeding up our collapse.

Just so you know anyway, the classical economists like Ricardo supported things like free trade more than anything because they were strongly opposed to the landed interests and unearned income. They thought that protectionism increased rents for landowners, and since wages were often indexed to the price of food, that increased wages as well, which squeezed profits. The classical economists all talked about unearned income a lot, economic rent, and economic rent dominates our present society. Monopolistic power, inheritance, financialization, the capacity to create costs, which capitalists then push off onto others, society at large, future generations and the environment, among countless other things. You don’t defend a free market, you defend a return to something like feudalism. Whether you realize it or not doesn’t matter.

We have moved to the right on policy, it has entirely benefited the rich, and you want to talk about freedom and liberty. There is no policy at all that you could imagine that increases freedom for everyone any fucking way. If you remove restrictions on pollution, that does free up some to pollute more, but it denies others the freedom of clean air and water. If you remove minimum wage laws, you allow companies to pay lower wages, but you take away the freedom of those whose wages have declined, and the outcome of that will be a simple matter of power dynamics. Pareto optimal outcomes don’t exist in reality, so there is no policy that actually increases freedom in general. Every policy benefits some and harms others, period, end of story. The capitalists and the rentier class win in the modern economy every time when people like you push for your “freedom”.


Libertarians are just absurd. No country has ever used their program to develop, it has no basis in reality. We and other developed countries have at least moved in that direction in recent decades and are we better off? I mean, facts, economic history, objective reality have no place at all in libertarian economics, and yet none of them seem to notice. They also don’t seem to think critically at all about the assumptions in their theories, or their conceptions of things like “freedom”. What policy, name one, benefits everyone? What policy, name a single one, increases freedom for everyone? Not a single one. Even laws that ended slavery harmed slave owners and those that defended that system. Every single policy we could imagine would benefit some people and institutions, and would harm others. No exceptions. So, talking about “freedom” and “liberty” as if these are universal concepts is absurd on its face.

I am interested in cosmology. I have read a bit about string theory. The problem with string theory is that they can’t develop a test to prove those strings actually exist. So, they have this theory, and apparently the math works out (provided that you accept the assumptions in the model), but they can’t prove the actual existence of strings. That has led some to say that string theory isn’t even wrong. Well, that is how I think about libertarian economics. It isn’t even wrong.


How have they not clarified this? He gave a long speech during the campaign on democratic socialism at Georgetown. He has explained what he means by it countless times. AOC has said, in addition to specific policies like single payer, that democratic socialism is democratizing the economy and our society. They have done far more to clarify what they mean by democratic socialism than people like you have in explaining what a “centrist” or a “moderate” is. And how many people anyway could define “conservative”, “liberal”, “progressive”, “socialist”, “moderate” and “centrist” anyway? People want specification on the term far more than the worldviews they themselves attach themselves too. And they want to do that because they want to focus on that word far more than the popular policies democratic socialists support, for obvious reasons.


FACTS stand alone. Facts are not true or false. Facts just ARE. He is not promoting false facts. He is LYING.


She is a Democrat. Republicans and Democrats always lie and neither are to be trusted.


This response is completely illogical. Each of the 10 Bill of Rights are Libertarian concepts, starting with the Right to Free Speech. Are there any of the Bill of Rights you want overturned (beyond maybe the 2nd amendment; I don’t want to debate that one for the basis of this discussion; it’s odd-topic)?

Then your definition of “freedom” becomes absurd. Libertarians don’t believe people should be free to do whatever the want. Otherwise, yes, one person’s “freedom” is someone else’s slavery. My freedom from being murdered by you is your slavery from being able to murder me. That’s a ridiculous definition of “freedom.” A libertarian concept of freedom is voluntary interaction. So murdering someone is an involuntary action. Forms government intrusion that prevent voluntary interaction between two willing parties create involuntary action or inaction.

Now that the actual definition of “freedom” has been established, the debate should be around which government intrusions on individual freedom are necessary for a civilized society. A true socialist would argue to the extreme that no individual should ever have individual rights and only the community (and by extension the State) should control behavior. An anarcho-Libertarian is at the other extreme to argue that government shouldn’t exist at all. More mainstream libertarians and all other people are somewhere in between those two poles.

Let’s avoid the straw man claims, please.


Sorry, the Bill of Rights, when they were created, did they harm anyone? Like, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, why did those rights have to be articulated? Because there were those with power that violated those rights and those with power that would like to in the future. So, those rights did negatively impact some groups, those that don’t want freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and those that would benefit from those rights going away, among other rights. There are many things in the real world that are not voluntary any damn way, but will always dominate a capitalist system. None of us consented to companies creating social and environmental costs, then passing those costs off onto others. But they do. Markets and power dynamics allow them to create social and/or non-market impacts, which (because of their power) they are allowed to push off onto the environment, future generations, society at large and those weaker than them. Did I consent to you going to a car dealership and buying an SUV? You and the dealership are doing a voluntary transaction, but the production and use of that SUV will negatively impact me, public health and the environment. It isn’t just a small byproduct of our modern society, it dominates our economic system and society, and they pose a threat to human civilization. Large financial institutions pose systematic threats to our society, their downfall could lead the entire economy going down, so their behavior has massive negative societal externalities. Did you or I consent to those costs being created and pushed off onto us time and time again, and what exactly do you libertarians propose to deal with that? Let me guess, more competition. Our capitalist (especially relative to systems in other developed countries) healthcare system results in tens of thousands of people dying from a lack of care every year. You think your definition of what constitutes a voluntary activity could help to explain that? Did those people consent to being in a position where they could literally die because they couldn’t see a doctor? Do healthcare companies have interests opposite those of sick people that are part of their health insurance pool? Have any sick people died because of those conflict and how relatively weak they were? Was it voluntary, or an issue of power relations? Data shows that inheritance and passing down wealth during a person’s lifetime is far, far greater among the rich than other groups. So, lots of people are born with massive wealth, which they didn’t earn. Did anyone consent to some people being born with such massive advantages relative to others? That wealth will give those people power over others. If you buy a piece of property and there is economic development surrounding that property, all other things being equal, that property will go up in value simply because of its proximity to economic development. Did the person that owned the property earn that wealth? No, the community on the whole did, but because of the benefits of private property rights and in the absence of a tax on economic rent, that person will monopolize the economic rent of that location and will, all other things being equal, become richer relative to others in that community. Did anyone consent to that, is it fair, since the property owner didn’t do anything to earn the profit? If you invest in a company, and the profits of the company increase because they can drive the wages far below the value the worker produces (power dynamics again), investor/owners will benefit. Did they earn it, the value that others created with their labor? Did they create that surplus? Did the workers at that company consent to their wages being driven down far below the value their labor produced, and investors/owners being in a position to monopolize the surplus the workers created? This is all simply an issue of power dynamics, not actual voluntary behavior. You libertarians want to create a context where the powerful are almost always going to win over the less powerful, and the state is often the only institution that can lessen the massive power differentials we see in modern society.

We know that wealth and income inequality are massively high and have grown over the last generation. If people go to a market with opposing interests and compete, who is likely to win? The person with far more power and wealth, or a working stiff? Many working people would like to become business owners themselves, either individually or collectively. But it is a fact that there are structural barriers in regards to starting businesses. On average, poor people and people of color have less money to begin with, have more difficulties as far as obtaining credit, are at a disadvantage in regards to borrowing, cannot rely on inheritance, and have less in reserve when things go wrong. So, the truth is that increasing percentages of the public are only going to be in a position to sell their labor, and the economy (domestically and internationally) has been structured in such a way that those that sell their labor often are in a relatively weak position relative to those buying the labor. That has increasingly been the case in recent decades, and we can see from the data that workers are collectively too weak to increase their wages, even when unemployment is low. If you want to pretend that workers and capitalists are on an even footing in regards to power and the structural barriers they face, go ahead, but it is absurd on its face. A person accepting a wage that is far below what they need to survive does so because they have no other option available to them and because they aren’t powerful enough to demand higher wages, period. If you want to call that “voluntary”, go ahead. Less powerful people would feel that the situation was truly voluntary if they had more options and power, if they were in a position to refuse a job that paid them too low wages to live a decent life, and if the power differential between capital and labor was not so great. If it is great, then the situation isn’t voluntary generally. It is for the more powerful interest, who can find someone else desperate enough to accept horribly low wages.

“Libertarians don’t believe people should be free to do whatever they want”

I didn’t say do whatever they want, I said that there were a huge range of activities that are not really voluntary, and a wide range of activities which allow powerful interests to create costs and then to externatlize those costs onto others, that you allow that wouldn’t be allowed if the state had more power to regulate their behavior. You go watch the presidential debates in the Libertarian Party, which I will link below. Some people were silly anarcho-capitalists types, and there were “moderates” like Gary Johnson, who backs a brutal right wing economic program too. Some nice round of boos for everything from the Voting Rights Act to the idea that the government has any role to play in regards to infrastructure (most said no). And I have read lots of libertarian economics. Rothbard, Mises, Hayek (who got more extreme as time went on), among others.

That debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJuFfWwGpjA

And a pretty typical treatment of how libertarians deal with environmental issues: https://mises.org/library/austrian-paradigm-environmental-economics-theory-and-practice

The third component of the paradigm specifies that property rights are the key to resolving environmental problems. To quote Cordato again, “it is logical that both the origin and the solution of the problem is to be found in a lack of clearly defined or enforced property rights.”

The policy implication is that government has no cause to intervene in market exchange where property rights have been allocated and legislative procedures exist that that make it possible for the victim to take legal action against the polluter…

The Austrian or libertarian policy must therefore be to privatise “climate change policy,” repealing all existing climate change legislation…. There simply should not be a public policy towards “climate change.” Instead, the courts should build up a body of common law and establish precedents to guide the actions of the users of fossil fuels.