September 29, 2005

Externality Debate Continues

Earthevenvesslemz replied to my response here
The Distant Collegian posted an excellent addition to my orignal argument there as well.

Even if Nash's cooperative game theory does provide a precise solution, Earthenvesslemz did not mention, refer to, or argue for it. Therefore, I fail to see how he can claim that a vague reference to game theory equates to a clear presentation of an exact solution. I could equally say that by saying God discussed the problem of salvation in His awesome book the Bible, that I had clearly presented a solution to sin, obviously being Christ's death on the cross. A quick glance over his recent reply once more reveals that he still has not presented any solution, leaving us, within the context of this discussion, as advocating a vague middle ground between socialism and laissez-faire.

Earthenvesselmz argues that the "cooperative system is irreguar". What do he mean by this? If by this he means that cooperation is irregular because not all people seek the same social ideal or personal ideal, then I would say that you are correct and that is the beauty of the laissez-faire system. Under the system, each man is free to determine for himself what he wants society and his life to look like and freely pursue those goals while not being able to violate the freedom of others to do the same by using coersive methods. The problem with ANY middle ground, then, is that it carries with it the implied justification of that coersion based upon a single set of social or even personal ideals which are then forced upon the rest of the nation whether in part or in whole.

As for maximization of the economy, although this is a worthy goal, it is important to remember 4 things:

1 - The meaning of human life is not maximized economies. They are good, but not our purpose for living. Thus, the fact that a specific system may fall short of the maximum possible material production is NOT an issue that demands government intervention.

2 - Because maximization is dependant upon value and value is subjective, maximization is not a concrete state. Various people view maximization differently based on their valuations of various products.

3 - No man or group has the right to define the ideal and force everyone else to follow their ideal. That's why we recognize the divinely granted rights to life, liberty and property/pursuit of happiness in our government. Government is not about maximizing social "good" which requires the previous defining of a social good and forcing everyone else to seek it. Government is about allowing individuals to freely define their own ideal and seek it to the best of their ability while not violating the freedom of others.

4 - The world is imperfect, man is fallible, and the world is indeed fallen. We will not succeed in establishing Utopia under our rule.

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