Posted: Apr 13, 2020 11:12 pm
by OlivierK
Hermit wrote:
OlivierK wrote:Yes, you're talking is, and I'm talking ought.

Arguing about what is from the standpoint of what ought to be is a well known logical fallacy. Surely, you must know that. In case you don't, please avail yourself to the readily available resources of the internet. The relevant article provided by Rational Wiki could serve as a useful starting point. An excerpt from it:
The is-ought problem ... deals with an apparent logic gap between statements of what "ought" to be, following statements regarding what "is". The first often following the second without any kind of explanation regarding why they are logical or correct.

OlivierK wrote:Edit: also, your take on what I'm "insisting on" is a misrepresentation of my position.

I'm always happy to be corrected. In my defence I can only go by what people write, not by what they didn't. So far I have not noticed anything you wrote, apart from "that government and capitalism both have roles, and that those roles are distinct". You defined those distinct roles as "promoting the cause of capital. It's a wealth creator. That's its role in a mixed economy, and it does it well" for capitalism and "other concerns - particularly social capital and environmental capital - are what government exists to serve, either by regulation of capitalist activity to limit social or environmental harms, or direct service provision" for government.

Feel free to point out the alleged misrepresentation. If you succeed, I will apologise without hesitation, misgivings or clausulations. Be aware, though: You will need to point to some part of any of your posts in which you have allowed that the function of capitalism is not limited to being a wealth creator and the function of government is not limited to being a regulator.

I'll give you a longer answer in an hour or two, but I'll note in passing that you've quoted me saying that the government is not limited to being a regulator in your own post, as it happens.

OK, I had a few minutes, so I went back in the thread, and the very post before the one where you claimed I was insisting on a bunch of stuff I hadn't said, let alone insisted on, was this:
OlivierK wrote:Yes, it's not really working as it should.

Partly, it's because people have lost sight of what governments' proper role is (aided by well-funded campaigns by the 1% to foster cynicism about the worth of government). As long as governments behave like the 1%'s bitch, and the 99% re-elect them then we're stuck with it. It's also hard to tighten rules against corruption (in which I include corporate funding of politicians generally) when those who take the bungs write the rules.

Maybe this pandemic opens some eyes. Not holding my breath, though.

Note the first sentence, where I clearly make a distinction that the "is" of how governments like ours are working is not, in my view, how they "ought". The rest of the post expands on why that might be, including a view that the cause of that situation is much along the lines that you yourself suggest regarding corporate influence over democratic institutions.

But in general, I don't insist that the private sector's role is limited to wealth creation (although I do think that wealth creation is within the remit of the private sector). The private sector also provides social capital via employment in general, and ancillary benefits such as welfare roles through paid sick and holiday leave (largely to the minimum extent required by regulation, but sometimes in excess of those), and sponsorship of other social goods (such as community events, the arts, and sport).

And absolutely I don't think the role of government is limited to regulation. Sure, I've said that regulation is government's job, in particular with regard to requiring the pricing in of externalities to corporate activity, but I've never said that this is their only role. Plainly government has other roles including direct service provision in areas like education, health, transport, justice, defense, and welfare, and responsibility for applying and collecting taxes to fund that service provision. This is so obvious that it barely requires stating, but nevertheless I did explicitly state it, and you quoted me doing so.

tl;dr version:

While I said that the corporate sector in a mixed economy drives wealth creation, I didn't say that the role of capitalism was limited to that role alone. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.

While I said that regulation to price in externalities is a government responsibility, I didn't say that that's their only role, nor that regulation is their only role. As a corollary of not saying that, I certainly can not be said to have insisted on that.