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Direct Government Interference with Consumption - Ludwig von Mises

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posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 05:17 PM
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I believe it is time to revisit the issue of mandatory consumer goods and prohibited consumer goods.

I am hopeful that, through the steadily increasing suffering caused by these policies and their inevitable expansion, a greater proportion of objective minds will have enough evidence to question their former conclusions.

As the suffering increases, the call for more dramatic intervention increases. As more dramatic interventions increase, suffering increases.

I fear that we have a lot more suffering to do before we give up on such foolish and destructive experiments as the ACA and the war on drugs (representative policies of the corresponding mandates listed above).

Perhaps this is the only way for people to learn. Maybe there are people who can not or will not learn.

I wish this was not necessary but, if it is, then let us not miss a single lesson.

Direct Government Interference with Consumption - Ludwig von Mises



In investigating the economic problems of interventionism we do not have to deal with those actions of the government whose aim it is to influence immediately the consumer’s choice of consumers’ goods. Every act of government interference with business must indirectly affect consumption. As the government’s interference alters the market data, it must also alter the valuations and the conduct of the consumers. But if the aim of the government is merely to force the consumers directly to consume goods other than what they would have consumed in the absence of the government’s decree, no special problems emerge to be scrutinized by economics. It is beyond doubt that a strong and ruthless police apparatus has the power to enforce such decrees.

In dealing with the choices of the consumers we do not ask what motives induced a man to buy a and not to buy b. We merely investigate what effects on the determination of market prices and thereby on production were brought about by the concrete conduct of the consumers. These effects do not depend on the considerations which led individuals to buy a and not to buy b; they depend only on the real acts of buying and abstention from buying. It is immaterial for the determination of the prices of gas masks whether people buy them of their own accord or because the government forces everybody [733] to have a gas mask. What alone counts is the size of the demand.

Governments which are eager to keep up the outward appearance of freedom even when curtailing freedom disguise their direct interference with consumption under the cloak of interference with business. The aim of American prohibition was to prevent the individual residents of the country from drinking alcoholic beverages. But the law hypocritically did not make drinking as such illegal and did not penalize it. It merely prohibited the manufacture, the sale and the transportation of intoxicating liquors, the business transactions which precede the act of drinking. The idea was that people indulge in the vice of drinking only because unscrupulous businessmen prevail upon them. It was, however, manifest that the objective of prohibition was to encroach upon the individuals’ freedom to spend their dollars and to enjoy their lives according to their own fashion. The restrictions imposed upon business were only subservient to this ultimate end.

The problems involved in direct government interference with consumption are not catallactic problems. They go far beyond the scope of catallactics and concern the fundamental issues of human life and social organization. If it is true that government derives its authority from God and is entrusted by Providence to act as the guardian of the ignorant and stupid populace, then it is certainly its task to regiment every aspect of the subject’s conduct. The Godsent ruler knows better what is good for his wards than they do themselves. It is his duty to guard them against the harm they would inflict upon themselves if left alone.

Self-styled “realistic” people fail to recognize the immense importance of the principles implied. They contend that they do not want to deal with the matter from what, they say, is a philosophic and academic point of view. Their approach is, they argue, exclusively guided by practical considerations. It is a fact, they say, that some people harm themselves and their innocent families by consuming narcotic drugs. Only doctrinaires could be so dogmatic as to object to the government’s regulation of the drug traffic. Its beneficent effects cannot be contested.

However, the case is not so simple as that. Opium and morphine are certainly dangerous, habit-forming drugs. But once the principle is admitted that it is the duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments. A good case could be made out in favor of the prohibition of alcohol and nicotine. And why limit the government’s benevolent providence to the protection of the individual’s [734] body only? Is not the harm a man can inflict on his mind and soul even more disastrous than any bodily evils? Why not prevent him from reading bad books and seeing bad plays, from looking at bad paintings and statues and from hearing bad music? The mischief done by bad ideologies, surely, is much more pernicious, both for the individual and for the whole society, than that done by narcotic drugs.

These fears are not merely imaginary specters terrifying secluded doctrinaires. It is a fact that no paternal government, whether ancient or modern, ever shrank from regimenting its subjects’ minds, beliefs, and opinions. If one abolishes man’s freedom to determine his own consumption, one takes all freedoms away. The naïve advocates of government interference with consumption delude themselves when they neglect what they disdainfully call the philosophical aspect of the problem. They unwittingly support the case of censorship, inquisition, religious intolerance, and the persecution of dissenters.

In dealing with the catallactics of interventionism we do not discuss these political consequences of direct government interference with the citizens’ consumption. We are exclusively concerned with those acts of interference which aim at forcing the entrepreneurs and capitalists to employ the factors of production in a way different from what they would have done if they merely obeyed the dictates of the market. In doing this, we do not raise the question of whether such interference is good or bad from any preconceived point of view. We merely ask whether or not it can attain those ends which those advocating and resorting to it are trying to attain.





posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 05:44 PM
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My best example of this is Salmon. It is a fish I consider to be a junk fish. Because they tout the good properties of this fish because it can be farmed sustainably, people eat more of it. Give me a good whitefish or rainbow trout. Even sunfish is better tasting. The healthy fat thing is overblown, most cool water fish have a good fat profile.

This is but one example, think about Avacados. They have properties where a quarter of the people eating them can have issues with them. Why do they choose foods that have high levels of intolerance when consumed, why do they say that one percent milk is better than whole milk when the ratio of healthy fats is better in whole milk. Why do they push milk at all, could it be because it has beta blocker activities?

Our government pushes products that they think is relevant to their desired steering of society. I guess this is normal, they have been doing it for a long time. I guess who ever contributes to the party gets to choose how this is played out. The government is a corporation for hire, it has been for a long time. The government gets their money from consumers and regular workers, not from businesses. They tax people's wages and their properties. This was designed a long time ago.

Well, their policies and deceptions do make the economy work. Actually, most economies are elaborate structured scams. But that is what we got.



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 07:10 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
My best example of this is Salmon. It is a fish I consider to be a junk fish. Because they tout the good properties of this fish because it can be farmed sustainably, people eat more of it. Give me a good whitefish or rainbow trout. Even sunfish is better tasting. The healthy fat thing is overblown, most cool water fish have a good fat profile.

This is but one example, think about Avacados. They have properties where a quarter of the people eating them can have issues with them. Why do they choose foods that have high levels of intolerance when consumed, why do they say that one percent milk is better than whole milk when the ratio of healthy fats is better in whole milk. Why do they push milk at all, could it be because it has beta blocker activities?

Our government pushes products that they think is relevant to their desired steering of society. I guess this is normal, they have been doing it for a long time. I guess who ever contributes to the party gets to choose how this is played out. The government is a corporation for hire, it has been for a long time. The government gets their money from consumers and regular workers, not from businesses. They tax people's wages and their properties. This was designed a long time ago.

Well, their policies and deceptions do make the economy work. Actually, most economies are elaborate structured scams. But that is what we got.


!. I hate Salmon.

2. The 1% milk issue. I showed this in a previous thread of mine. Make people believe it's healthier and then turn the remaining fats into an abundance of cheap cheese products.

Remember 10 years ago? Remember the cheese shelves? Now look at those same shelves. Thousands of cheese products from wrapped to canned to string to squeeze to...

THAT'S where the extra fat is going to.

Peace



posted on Nov, 28 2014 @ 11:13 PM
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originally posted by: jude11

originally posted by: rickymouse
My best example of this is Salmon. It is a fish I consider to be a junk fish. Because they tout the good properties of this fish because it can be farmed sustainably, people eat more of it. Give me a good whitefish or rainbow trout. Even sunfish is better tasting. The healthy fat thing is overblown, most cool water fish have a good fat profile.

This is but one example, think about Avacados. They have properties where a quarter of the people eating them can have issues with them. Why do they choose foods that have high levels of intolerance when consumed, why do they say that one percent milk is better than whole milk when the ratio of healthy fats is better in whole milk. Why do they push milk at all, could it be because it has beta blocker activities?

Our government pushes products that they think is relevant to their desired steering of society. I guess this is normal, they have been doing it for a long time. I guess who ever contributes to the party gets to choose how this is played out. The government is a corporation for hire, it has been for a long time. The government gets their money from consumers and regular workers, not from businesses. They tax people's wages and their properties. This was designed a long time ago.

Well, their policies and deceptions do make the economy work. Actually, most economies are elaborate structured scams. But that is what we got.


!. I hate Salmon.

2. The 1% milk issue. I showed this in a previous thread of mine. Make people believe it's healthier and then turn the remaining fats into an abundance of cheap cheese products.

Remember 10 years ago? Remember the cheese shelves? Now look at those same shelves. Thousands of cheese products from wrapped to canned to string to squeeze to...

THAT'S where the extra fat is going to.

Peace


Then they say we need to consume extra Omega 3s because they take them out when they make it one percent or two percent milk. They make us fear eating fats that are necessary only to sell us the same fats they remove in a pill.

This is happening all over the place.



posted on Nov, 29 2014 @ 12:11 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Indeed and soon we will be 'protected' from bad internet as well.

Even Cambridge, Massachusetts was less tyrannical when I grew up and that is saying a lot.



posted on Nov, 29 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: jude11

It is fascinating and revealing how we now know that fat is not bad for us and that there never was any scientific basis for that particular cultural phenomenon. It was nothing more than a fad based on an unscientific article that became de facto 'wisdom'.

Yet, we still hear it put forth as unquestionably reasonable advice.

edit on 29-11-2014 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 29 2014 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: jude11

It is fascinating and revealing how we now know that fat is not bad for us and that there never was any scientific basis for that particular cultural phenomenon. It was nothing more than a fad based on an unscientific article that became de facto 'wisdom'.

Yet, we still hear it put forth as unquestionably reasonable advice.


So true. We were led to believe a lie. My daughters avoid fats even though I give them evidence to show them the necessity of moderate consumption. They are so well conditioned that I cannot get them to consider that some saturated fats are needed in the diet.



posted on Jan, 8 2015 @ 01:39 PM
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The government interference problem is about natural vs artificial.

When the economy is left alone, everything has a cost or value that is directly set by natural human behavior. The future is easier to predict, and resources are used to maximum effect, because normal human behavior across a whole society doesn't suddenly change. When has society ever suddenly changed without a crisis caused by politics?

The idea that every person should be better, and can be made so by law, is the basis of governmental meddling. If people can be better, they will make themselves better as a benefit to improvement comes into view. All governmental action is, at best, wishful thinking.

People are what they are. Economics should be a science of what to do when people choose this over that, as Austrian Economics is, a science that studies natural human behavior in society.



posted on Jan, 11 2015 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate

Well said.








 
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