Home > Regular Features > Monday Message Board

Monday Message Board

July 27th, 2009

Its time once again for Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

Categories: Regular Features Tags:
  1. Ikonoclast
    July 29th, 2009 at 09:22 | #1

    I would wager that every respondent to this blog believes in regulation to some level, accepts it and indeed wants it in various aspects of economic, civil and social life. To take the argument to the extreme. Zero regulation is anarchy. Total regulation is totalitarianism.

    We should get the above clear at the outset of any argument on regulation. I strongly susepct that Andrew Reynolds would not be in favour of total abolition of labour regulations and total abolition of immigration controls. That would very quickly affect the amenity of your life and the sanctity of your private property A.R.

    Hmmm, let’s take it a bit further. As well as totally deregulating labour, how about totally deregulating the rules and laws relating to the protection of private property and even its existence as a valid concept. Are you in favour of these things Andrew R? LOL. I thought not.

    Private property laws protect private property. Given that we are material beings and cannot live without material support a reasonable level of freedom depends on having some materials at our command and disposal. Labour laws protect the capacity to labour. Labour laws give the possessor of the capacity to labour some protection against abuse of that personal capacity by others just as laws proscribing assault give us some protection against personal assault. All these laws have been found to be necessary and good in the historical-empirical melting pot of common law.

    The argument is not about regulation itself but the correct settings for regulation. “De-regulation” is an unfortunate term. Does the person proposing it want no regulation or less regulation than currently? And if less regulation, how much less?

  2. Donald Oats
    July 29th, 2009 at 10:40 | #2

    When Howard was in power I used to dream of the Dickensian times – “Ah, the good ‘ol days” – but then I’d awake to the nightmare of WORKCHOICES, and that language would have me reaching for my copy of “Nineteen Eighty Four”.

    There isn’t much I’d fight for, but the minimum wage and conditions is one thing I would. As Ikonoclast points out, without a minimum wage and conditions the race to the bottom can go very low indeed.

  3. Alice
    July 29th, 2009 at 11:16 | #3

    Ah Don,

    John Howards “Workchoices”…so much choice for employers it made me sick. The worst I heard was when Darryll Lea was rostering its counter sales people on one hour rosters in the city (it put me off their chocolates and thats saying something). Another I heard was the son of a friend, suddenly taken off his full time week and put on rotating 3 to 4 hour casual contracts working for the same shoe chain with two differenty stores at Macquarie centre. They could cover their two stores, after hours (no overtime), Sats and Suns this way and not even include so much as a tea break for the young man.

    Bah to John Howard…curse him. Workchoices was the ultimate humilation of many Australian youth and Id like to send John Howard to the workhouses of Dickensian England (and even that would be too good a punishment for the little blighter).

  4. July 29th, 2009 at 11:29 | #4

    @Ikonoclast

    Ikonoclast wrote “I would wager that every respondent to this blog believes in regulation to some level, accepts it and indeed wants it in various aspects of economic, civil and social life. To take the argument to the extreme”.

    You would lose; I for one do not. See Kevin Carson’s mutualist blog for a view I find persuasive, certainly at the philosophical level although I am unsure of some practicalities.

    “Zero regulation is anarchy”.

    This is a common confusion of anarchy with anarchism.

    “As well as totally deregulating labour, how about totally deregulating the rules and laws relating to the protection of private property and even its existence as a valid concept. Are you in favour of these things Andrew R? LOL. I thought not.”

    But getting rid of those laws and regulations has nothing to do with getting rid of the concept, but rather to do with handing over the concept to a more philosophically sound and consistent form of implementation – a private one.

    “Private property laws protect private property”.

    Except to the extent that they undercut the concept, from being a contradiction in terms (and see above). They amount to asserting that none but the state may violate property. And, of course, incidental benefits can neither offset other harm nor constitute justification and legitimacy.

    “All these laws have been found to be necessary and good in the historical-empirical melting pot of common law”.

    No, actually – since we have ample historical record of just how they have worked to procure harm, e.g. in the Enclosure of the Commons (in England) and the Highland Clearances (in Scotland). People are welcome to explore the outworkings of Terra Nullius nearer at hand, though they are likely to come to one or another of two different wrong and simplistic conclusions, that Aborigines did or did not own land in Australia before the Europeans came (my own view is that some few in some areas did own land, that of those few most owned it communally, but that the rest generally only owned communal and/or individual hunting rights etc. and that proper and fair dealing would have involved not negotiating any purported purchase but negotiating quit rents on those rights).

  5. Ikonoclast
    July 29th, 2009 at 17:04 | #5

    I stick to my statement that zero regulation, zero law equals anarchy. I did not mention anarchism nor did I equate anarchy to anarchism. I meant a state of disorder. Though I would also accept from the Meriam Webster, definition 2. : “a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority”

    Definition (c) “a utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government” is for those who believe in fairies. In the absence of legitimised power, illegitimate power would soon arise. I prefer an ever imperfect democracy to warlordism thank you.

    P.M.L. says, “But getting rid of those laws and regulations has nothing to do with getting rid of the concept, but rather to do with handing over the concept to a more philosophically sound and consistent form of implementation – a private one.”

    I could argue that the connection between practice and theory is closer than that. That the concrete existence of laws and regulations (and their causes and effects) informs abstract moral philosphy just as abstract moral philosophy can inform, modify and progress the practice of law. Further, to remove all concepts and practices to a private form of implementation seems a rare and hopeless combination of solipsism, isolationism and asocialism. The private implies the social and vice versa.

    I laugh, quite frankly, to think what would eventuate if we each privately, multifareously and consistently implemented our private notions of property. Actually, this is exactly what we all try to do to some extent in our own little ways but laws and regulations limit this endeavour in each of us or else society per se could not exist.

    I grant your examples of the enclosure laws and the doctrine of terra nullius. Both are examples of the iniquitous and manipulative operation of laws to suit sectional interests. I equally grant that many other examples could be advanced. However, democracy and law have progressed from the enclosure laws and carte blance application of terra nullius, I hope.

    OMG, I am showing signs of optimism. I must be ill. Readers of some of my more gloomy prognostications will know that optimism is not my default setting.

  6. melaleuca
    July 29th, 2009 at 17:16 | #6

    Ikonoclast says:

    “However, by post #35 you were re-writing your own history and shifting your position.”

    Umm no, you apparently lack basic comprehension skills. In #15 I asked a question because I wanted to hear your views. I didn’t state my position until later.

    “This gets back to a “general good” versus “individual freedoms” argument. There are many cases where our individual freedoms are limited for the general good.”

    The effect of this is racially discriminatory. Huge numbers of immigrants with very poor English skills have very little chance of getting a minimum wage job. Most therefore work in the “black economy” for below min wages. For those of you who live in Melbourne you may want to consider why you can get a good $10 meal and a $10 haircut in Victoria St, Richmond, even though these businesses pay very high inner city rents. The reason is because most of the staff are Vietnamese with poor English skills who work cash-in-hand for low wages.

  7. Ikonoclast
    July 29th, 2009 at 18:57 | #7

    The “black economy” is a public, social and moral hazard at so many levels. The picture you paint argues for a much stronger policing of minimum wage laws, tax laws and immigration laws. The shonky unregulated migrant agency business has much to answer for and should be shut down lock stock and barrel by legislation.

    There is no reason that immigration policy cannot be enforced by one govt agency while another govt agency acts as an Immigrant Advisary. Throw in a well funded Immigration Ombudsman as well but for heaven’s sake keep private enterprise out of social policy. Private enterprise always subverts social policy.

  8. Fran Barlow
    July 30th, 2009 at 14:31 | #8

    JQ

    I just heard a clip from you on newsradio regarding contingency “success” fees and lobbying.

    Your proposal for a hiatus between ministerial duty and being a lobbyist ought to be taken up. Two years doesn’t sound excessive.

  9. Pedro
    July 30th, 2009 at 15:22 | #9

    How is the general good advanced by pricing people out of employment? Let me tell you the story about the disabled woman who had to be fired from the cleaning job she loved (yep, it’s true) because the govt would not let her be paid by the clean instead of by the hour. Did you notice an improvement in the general good in about May 2006 when that happened?

    The race to the bottom is nonsense. Clearly any job has to pay at least the dole to attract people from the dole. But if the race to the bottom were true, how is that anyone is paid more than the minimum wage?

  10. Fran Barlow
    August 1st, 2009 at 13:34 | #10

    I wonder what people here think about the connection between the state and elite sport.

    This is an issue that has troubled me for quite some time. Try as I might, I can think of no good reason for public funds to be given (directly or otherwise in the form of tax deductions, allowances for sponsoship in company tax returns etc) to elite sport.

    Now let me say I fall far short of being a sports fan. I will put my hand up to an enduring interest in cricket as narrative, but that’s it. I don’t believe my personal interest ought to attract puiblic funds either.

    The issue comes up pretty much everytime there’s some controversy surrounding elite sport — drug taking, Beijing Olympics and human rights, and the latest — the World Swimsuit Competition in Italy. Apparently the best male swimmer in the world, one Michael Phelps, was bound by a sponsorhip arrangement to work with inferior equipment and therefore get beaten by some chap nobody but the connoisseurs had ever heard of.

    Now frankly, I don’t much care. At best, elite sport is entertainment, in just the way the latest Harry Potter is entertainment. ‘Is it worth watching?’ is the beginning and the end of its justification for me. I couldn’t care how they get there. They could swim in outfits that made them look like mer people and be bloated to the gills with steroids for all I cared. But why is the state involved?

    We’ve separated church and state — why not elite sport and state?

  11. Alice
    August 5th, 2009 at 22:28 | #11

    Fran – no one is beating Phelps right now at Fina…seriously his swimming is hypnotic to watch – completely amazing – (and I do so love good swimming). Have you seen what makes this Phelps so special (apart from the fact that he swims like an angel…).
    He is the tallest, but he has an unusually long strong back. He is long from his shoulders to his swimming leggings – long, really long and strong.
    Never seen anything like that. The most uniquely designed swimmer’s body on the planet. This boy was born to swim. They will be hard pressed to find someone to beat him.
    Whoever beat him wont last long – must have been a fly by night.
    Phelps is a swimming god Fran. There is nothing better…. than watching Phelps in the pool – a machine.

Comment pages
1 2 6400
Comments are closed.