Thursday, January 13, 2011

Libertariate All Night Long!

I generally avoid any "serious" "position" "article" that invokes Atlas, shrugging, Ayn, Rand or Galt, because it's a sure way to give myself heartburn, but [redacted] dared me to read this one, so here we are.

I assumed, given the title, A New Way to Fix, oh, I'm sorry, apparently libertarians don't waste money on needless capitalization rules, "A new way to fix debt crisis*: Unchain Atlas", that this was an article about cutting wasteful spending on feeding and housing the disabled and elderly. (Betcha didn't think I was going to go straight back into that sentence, did you? Ha!**) While this article does touch upon such "solutions", as is required by the Ghost of Ayn Rand under penalty of being read the infamous 70 page speech by Glenn Beck on a meth bender, that's actually not the "solution" being proposed.

I know, right?

No, Walter Donway blazes a newish trail straight into deregulation.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act drives companies to list their stocks abroad, and the effects of the huge financial regulation package passed by the Obama administration are too new to estimate accurately. But all anti-trust laws, relics of the Nineteenth Century, are unnecessary and protect no one except less able competitors. Environmental laws consume gigantic amounts of capital every year, even though United States air quality and the water supply are hugely cleaner and better than they were 20 years ago.

Huh. That's weird. Environmental laws in full force and effect and the air and water supply are cleaner and better than they were 20 years ago. It's almost like, well, I hate to say it, but, it's almost like those laws might have something to do with the cleaner air and higher quality water supply. Apparently, if you actually read the 70 page speech, cause and effect no longer have any connection whatsoever. I wonder how often Mr. Donway sticks his fingers in electrical outlets and then says, "Damn! Hurt that time, too!"

He's being a teensy bit disingenuous about the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, btw. I have no idea how effective the Act is, but it was actually drafted in response to the corporate and accounting scandals, like Enron, that cost investors billions when the price of the shares collapsed. But, hey, caveat emptor and who's John Galt and all that.

So, what sort of deregulation does Mr. "I can't believe it hurt that time, too!" Donway want? Total. Total deregulation. Of everything.

Give it all a rest, a complete rest, for 10 years. Occupational Health and Safety regulations could be left to the trial lawyers, who already exact a staggering toll from hospitals and businesses. One idea is just to put regulations on hold for a full decade, creating a holiday from regulations and regulatory compliance.

I hope you enjoy eating salmonella sandwiches on your ergot bread as you drive your old school Pinto over a bridge made entirely of twisty-ties. I hope you enjoy living in a brand new house that catches on fire as soon as you turn on the lights and collapses into a pile of scrap timber when a car with no muffler drives by. Oh, that penicillin you're taking? It's not 500mg to a capsule, it's 100 mg, and it's not penicillin, it's sawdust. Too bad you can't test that shit yourself, at home. I certainly wouldn't get into a plane. Or live near an airport. Or under any flight paths.

I wouldn't put your child in a car seat, or in a car, or in a crib, unless you have some way of testing those things for safety yourself. Then again, who knows what their clothes are made of now, or their diapers, or their toys.

As for working? Good luck. If you're lucky enough to have a desk job, you'll be working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for a lot less than you do now. Health insurance? Are you high? Well, maybe, who knows what was in that aspirin you took this morning. Do you work anywhere even moderately dangerous? Don't worry, you won't be working there for long, but I'm sure your 11-year-old won't mind picking up where you were killed off.

But it's only for 10 years. I'm sure the economy will be completely fixed by then . . . by the generous cash donations the unregulated companies will be giving to the government. Sure.

*Or pointless grammar rules. I had no idea Ayn Rand was opposed to the definite article. The more you know . . .

**I drank 2 beers at 3am this morning in a desperate bid to get 3 hours of sleep. It did not work.


  1. Wow. This man's a genius! If we do all that, then all the problems will be completely gone!

    Because, you know, we'll all be dead.


    I've recently got back from holidays to find the local area kinda sorta utterly flooded, (but our house is okay, and we're helping out others where we can), so I've just gone and read several months worth of Forever In Hell concentrated into an hour or two. If I don't post after this, I'm in hospital recovering from headdesk induced concussion. Where do you find these people? But the laughs in between make up for it.


    And you mentioned Oblivion several months ago, so I am obligated under pain of being eaten by Ash Creatures to make this recommendation: give The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind a try. I know it's old, I know the graphics are nothing to giggle over, but it makes up for all that in the overwhelming stupifying inventive weirdness of the setting. Where Oblivion has stock medieval castles, Morrowind had living mushroom towers. Where Oblivion has haunted elven ruins, Morrowind had steampunk ruins inhabited by rolling autonomous steampunk dwarvish robots. Where Oblivion has humano looking daedra, Morrowind had cthulhoid abominations, complete with tentacles coming out of their faces...

    I really cannot recommend the game enough.

    Actually, I can better explain the difference between Morrowind and Oblivion by linking to this penny arcade comic.

  2. Best of all, Morrowind has all the story quality and worldbuilding details that you loved about Oblivion. I second the recommendation.


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