Acton Institute Powerblog

Distributism Is the Future (That Few People Want)

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C630x400_4ce9d1625fdf2092261a462fea2de0b9-1418824744Over the years, many of us here at Acton have been engaged in long-running (and mostly congenial) feud with distributists.

Family squabbles can often be the most heated, and that is true of this rivalry between the Christian champions of distributism and the Christian champions of free markets here at  the Acton Institute. We fight among ourselves because we have an awful lot in common.

For example, we share the a focus on encouraging subsidiarity, self-sufficiency, and entrepreneurship. We also share a respect for rule of law, private property, and the essential nature of the family. The key difference — at least as viewed from this side of the feud — can be summed up in one word: distributism is mostly unrealistic.

That’s a long-standing critique, but it’s also one that may be changing. Not that distributists are necessarily becoming more realistic (I don’t know that they are) but merely that some of the most forward-thinking of the neo-distributists (the neo-neo-distributists?) are adopting a more realistic form of unrealistic aspirations.

To see what I mean, consider the old school neo-distributist model for how the system could work in the real world: the Mondragon Corporation. The only example these type of neo-distributists ever give — and good grief, they refer to it ad nauseam – is the Mondragon Corporation, a Spanish worker cooperative federation. The problem with using the Mondragon Corporation as a model of distributism is that it does not fit the basic definition of a distributist firm.

For starters, it’s hard to see how such as globalist company fits the ideal of “localism.” Mondragon has over 70,000 employees in 257 companies and annual revenues of more than 13 billion. The idea that individual workers are “owners” is a myth that even their employees don’t consider real. A third of the company’s employees are not even members of the collective. And surveys have shown that relatively few workers in Mondragon firms consider themselves to be “owners” of the company. Most seem to agree with one worker who said, “I am the owner of my job. The only property I have is my job.” If the only “property” you own is your job, then you do not own property. You don’t even own your job as much as your job owns you.

Multi-billion dollar globalist collectives owned by two-thirds of the employees is not a practical model for changing America’s economic system. What is needed is more small-scale practical changes — and any of the more realistic of the neo-distributists have begun to recognize this reality. In a recent debate sponsored by Acton, distributist Joseph Pearce said,

[I]n practical terms, every policy or every practice that leads to a reuniting of man with the land and capital on which he depends for his sustenance is a step in the right direction. Every policy or practice that puts him more at the mercy of those who control the land and the capital on which he depends, and therefore who controls his labor also, is a step in the wrong direction. Practical politics is about moving in the right direction, however slowly.

Over the past few years there has been two economic shifts toward practices that reunite “man with the land and capital on which he depends for his sustenance.” They are the “gig economy” and the “sharing economy.”

Gene Callahan recognizes this shift in a smart essay in The American Conservative titled “Distributism is the Future.” After explaining the basic theory and history of distributism, Callahan says, “Let us examine some existing instances of economic activities that are more or less distributist in character.”

His first example (of course) is Mondragon (it might now be a requirement for distributist to mention that company in every essay), though Callahan points out some of the many reasons it might not be the best model. His second example — open-source software projects — is interesting, but as he admits, suffers from the fact that most of the “workers” don’t actually make any money.

His third example is the most intriguing of all:

The communications revolution has made distributism more feasible in other ways as well. What is called the “sharing economy” has been a hot subject in the news, and in city councils, as companies like Airbnb and Uber have cut into the business of traditional hotels and taxi services, respectively. Both companies can be characterized, to some extent, as distributist enterprises.

Airbnb, by allowing homeowners to treat their property as small hotels, turns ordinary homes into capital goods, something of which Chesterton and Belloc would have approved. Uber does the same with people’s automobiles.

I can picture the Wendell Berry-type distributists spewing their locally-grown coffee all over their computer screens after reading Uber and Airbnb are models of distributism. But I think Callahan is mostly correct. The sharing economy is likely to be the most realistic form of distributism we will see in our lifetimes.

And that’s bad news for distributism.

G.K. Chesterton, one of the founding fathers of distributism, quipped that, “The problem with capitalism is not too many capitalists, but not enough capitalists.” If that is a problem for capitalism, it is the fatal blow to distributism. The single biggest reason why distributism has not yet, nor ever will, become a mainstream “third way” is because relatively few people want to rely on their own private property to provide their income. Few people have the capacity, much less the willingness, to be self-sufficient capitalists in the mode that true distributism requires.

Yesterday, the Boston Globe Magazine ran an article with a headline that summarizes the problem: “The gig economy is coming. You probably won’t like it.

According to a 2014 study commissioned by the Freelancers Union, 53 million Americans are independent workers, about 34 percent of the total workforce. A study from Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40 percent of US workers will fall into this category.

While there is considerable disagreement over this projection, what is clear is that “more and more jobs are being moved to independent contractor status,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University. Pfeffer cites a recent paper that found that “the percentage of workers engaged in alternative work arrangements rose from 10.1 percent in February 2005 to 15.8 percent in late 2015.” This rise accounts for over 9 million people — more than all of the net employment growth in the US economy over that decade.

I’m one of those 9 million. For the past five years, I’ve been an independent laborer who works from home. All of the products and services I provide (blog posts, editing, etc.) are produced with material goods that I own (a laptop, etc.). I’ve been living the distributist dream. I can also attest that this distributist ideal is is hard. Very, very hard.

I don’t have employee benefits (I pay for health insurance out of my own pocket) or take vacations (my last vacation was in 2008) and I have to pay all of my own payroll taxes (if you work for someone else take what your payroll taxes and double them — that’s what I pay). I also work many more hours than would a person who has a nine-to-five corporate job.

And yet . . . I wouldn’t change a thing. For me, this type of situation is the best option available. But it’s not for everyone. Indeed, it’s not for most people.

Most workers want security. They want limited responsibility. They want to sell their labor on the open market and collect a paycheck. They don’t want the extra layer of having to combine their labor with some tangible “capital goods” in order to make a living. They want to work for someone else, have someone else give them pay and benefits, and leave the worries to someone else.

Like the distributists, I wish the world were full of entrepreneurs who were more willing and able to make a living solely through their own capital and labor. Unfortunately, we don’t live in such a world. And if this is the vision distributist’s vision for the future, it’s a vision of a future that most people don’t want.

Beyond Distributism

Beyond Distributism

Distributism, a program that traces its popularity to Catholic writers Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton, promotes the widespread ownership of property by tempering the market with guilds or similar associations. By its nature, distributism must invoke the power of the state, a dangerous move that ultimately undermines its own objectives. Economic freedom in a market system, Thomas Woods advises, is a context more conducive to justice and human flourishing.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

Comments

  • jessej

    Never understood the canard ‘distributisim requires government control’. It simply requires a people who are in control of their own common sense.

    A tiny government with a population of mercantile nabobs will stink. Conversely huge governments would have their powers limited by a population set on a simplicity of family and economy.

  • Steve Vinzinski

    Joe I like the comment most workers like security just collect a pay check.I see the numbers are rising for self employed.I wonder what percentage will be self employed in 2050.I see in 2020 maybe 40%.Is working for a massive company security no way.Unions are slowly disappearing in this country.It is better to have thirty or forty every day clients than work for some one else.Sure you will be responsible for all your expenses I mean double contribution to social security and all of your medicare and have to pay your own disability.The only entity that will terminate you is your health.If you develop multiple disabilities at a fast pace and a young age then your occupation will disappear.A lawyer will be placed on the disabled list by the courts,a Medical Surgeon who looses ability to operate is done and ordered by his medical association to cease practice.There are good points to being self employed and bad points the same applies to the person working for a big company.

  • “But it’s not for everyone. Indeed, it’s not for most people.”

    Exactly! The heart of the problem with distributism is the same its contempt for the entrepreneur that it inherited from Marxism. Distributists think that you can give a monkey two bananas and teach him to manage a business. Mainstream macroeconomists think the same thing. They have so much contempt for business that they refuse to even study it. But anyone who knows business at all knows that it’s very hard. Only 10% of businesses in any industry succeed in the sense that they will continue operations if the owner suddenly died. Even fewer succeed in achieving $1 million net worth.

    Everyone but Austrian economists love to hate CEOs and gripe about their pay, but knowledge and skill like the top CEOs have is as rare as those of professional athletes. BTW, the boards don’t pay them for how hard they work, but for what they know.

  • Joe Carter

    ***I get tired of hearing that non-violent, non-authoritarian political ideologies that seek to more equitably distribute entitlements, are utopian and ultimately unrealistic, especially when these complaints are coming from Christians.***

    Let me clarify my position to address your concern. Let A stand for “non-violent, non-authoritarian political ideologies that seek to more equitably distribute entitlements” and B stand for “utopian and ultimately unrealistic.” I am not claiming that All A are B. My point is that some A are B, specially distributism.

    Just because distributism is utopian and ultimately unrealistic does not mean that every non-violent, non-authoritarian political ideologies that seek to more equitably distribute entitlements is utopian and unrealistic.

    ***My understanding of Scripture tells me that doing the right thing, more often than not, requires a willingness to suspend disbelief, to act boldly, from a position of faith, to dwell in possibility, not shrink back in doubt or fear of difficulty.***

    I completely agree. That is why I don’t think distributism is even remotely realistic. Notice that most of the people you find arguing for distributism are academics (i.e., professors). Now imagine that you told them that they’d be given a parcel of productive land and some tools and that they must act boldly, from a position of faith, and they shouldn’t shrink back from doubt or fear of difficulty in implementing their distributist ideas. What do you think would happen?

    I suspect that most would complain that they weren’t able to fulfill their vocations by working the land. And they’d be right! What they are arguing for is an economic system that would not fit their own wants and needs but for which they seem to think would be a better fit for other people.

    *** There must be balance of power (or, as your blog’s namesake implies, there will be corruption). The people will demand it, and if Christians continue to dismiss solutions like distributism that might have the potential to empower more people, more equitably, they are only leaving more room for fascists or populist riots and revolution. (Though it’s probably already to late for that.)***

    You bring up an interesting point: If there ultimately not balancing of power, the people will demand it. And yet people not only do not demand distributism, they are mostly horrified at the idea that the economy may be moving in that direction. That is one of the reasons I say that distributism is unrealistic. People simply don’t want it — and distributists are not (to their credit) claiming that it should be forced on them. So what good does it do to keep dreaming about a system that the vast majority of people (even distributist themselves!) would reject?

    *** This possibility alone should give all those at Acton, at least those that care more about morality than their pet economic philosophy, a good enough reason to agree with the idealists among us. ***

    There are two broad categories of idealists: realistic idealists and utopian idealists.

    The utopian types (like socialists and distributists) want the world to be a better place and aren’t that concerned about the way the world is or even how it can really be in the future. The result is that the only way they can truly enact their vision is to force it upon people (which distributists won’t do, but socialists are all too happy to do).

    The other type — and I would lump us Actonites in this category — are realistic idealists. We want the world to be a better place which **requires** us to pay special heed to the way the world is and how it can be in the future. If the majority of the world has not, does not know, and will not in the future desire to labor using only capital goods that they own, then it would be rather silly to not take that reality into account. Instead, we must start where mankind is (in our fallen state), consider what works under God’s providential system of economic and political order, and then move incrementally in a way that maximizes the human flourishing of all people.

    *** There is strength in numbers, . . . ***

    I agree. That is why I continually invite the distributists to join us in adopting realistic idealism.

    • Thanks, I really do appreciate the detailed response, Joe. In all honesty I am still having difficulty though (morally, not intellectually) wrapping my mind around Acton’s ideology. I have considered some of the points that you have made, and here is my response:

      I can accept your concept of “realistic” idealism. That makes some sense, and, as a Christian I don’t believe that utopia is possible of course. The problem is, I don’t see Acton’s ideology, as I understand it, to be realistic.

      It may in fact be more realistic than distributism, as your article claims, though it is clearly not as idealistic (a problem for most Christians), mainly because of its gross neglect of social justice.

      Acton’s ideology assumes that the profit motive is sufficient to meet all of society’s needs, including the needs of the sick, the disabled, the mentally ill, the mentally handicapped, the elderly etc.), as long as (“free”) moral choices are consistently made by the profit-driven entity.

      Fair wages, and just practices within that entity (privatized schools, prisons, corporations etc.), however, are only possible if these entities freely and willingly “share their power” with laborers once they grow into powerful entities, without any necessity for collective bargaining power on the part of those laborers. In the case of public services that are “privatized”, it assumes that they are sufficiently motivated to “do the right thing” simply because the invisible hand of the market is somehow in place to provide just the right checks and balances.

      Now, I am not saying that I don’t believe in private property, but in the system we have, it’s just not that black and white, especially when you are dealing with the kind of power and entitlements that these entities are capable of accumulating. In the real world, these entities typically (and quickly) turn into exploiters—because they can.

      To make matters worse, the people who are capable of accumulating such power, more often than not, seem to like power very much, and truth be told, are often bullies by nature.

      The point I am making is this:

      Acton’s ideology is very unrealistic if it believes that it can simply “exhort” the profit-driven entity to “play fair”, and “be nice”. Free will is great, don’t get me wrong, for individuals certainly, but not when it comes to power struggles within a society.

      Though it is somewhat idealistic to try and exhort the bully and the exploiter and spur them on to better behavior through institutions like Acton, the cold hard fact is that power concedes nothing without a struggle.

      Also, I feel that you misuse the word “force” when you imply that it is derogatory. Force need not be violent, or authoritarian, to work. Force can take the form of collective bargaining, for example, or political activism in support of democratic reforms, which help the less powerful.

      If a man breaks in your house to steal from you or threaten you, and you restrain him are you a “bully” simply because you curtailed some of his “freedom”, and forced him to stop.

      While there may indeed be some cases where kind and resourceful individuals who just want to produce quality products that benefit society, should be encouraged and supported, this is so often not the case. More often than not, the free market produces bullies and exploiters (its human nature). How can tax breaks, loopholes and havens for these make any practical sense, or be considered moral in any way?

      I simply cannot understand why any Christian would want to support bullies and exploiters in favor of supporting the weak and less powerful among us. They need the church’s help, and not just through charity, but through political channels as well–through any lawful means. that is not only realistic, it is also idealistic.

      • Joe Carter

        ***Acton’s ideology assumes that the profit motive is sufficient to meet all of society’s needs, . . . ***

        Woah, no. No, no. That’s not the assumption of our view at all. Our mission is to promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles. The profit motive certainly can play a role in that mission, but none of us here would say it is sufficient to meet society’s needs.

        ***Without any necessity for collective bargaining power on the part of those laborers. ***

        We’re not against collective bargaining, assuming it is done voluntarily and not required as a state-mandated condition of employment.

        ***it assumes that they are sufficiently motivated to “do the right thing” simply because the invisible hand of the market is somehow in place to provide just the right checks and balances.***

        Not really. It assumes that *if* people are free *and* virtuous then the checks and balances will be in place. Without virtuous people, the market can sometimes still “do the right thing” but not consistently, and certainly not enough.

        ***To make matters worse, the people who are capable of accumulating such power, more often than not, seem to like power very much, and truth be told, are often bullies by nature.***

        Yeah, I completely agree.

        ***Acton’s ideology is very unrealistic if it believes that it can simply “exhort” the profit-driven entity to “play fair”, and “be nice”.***

        Yes, I agree that would indeed be unrealistic.

        ***Force need not be violent, or authoritarian, to work. ***

        If it’s not violent or authoritarian, I’m not sure it can truly be categorized as force. (Not all force is bad, of course, since force is necessary for government and governments are instituted by God.)

        ***More often than not, the free market produces bullies and exploiters (its human nature). ***

        Actually, the free market rarely produces “bullies and exploiters.” Bullies and exploiters tend to require the help of government, which is why we are constantly decrying crony capitalism.

        ***How can tax breaks, loopholes and havens for these make any practical sense, or be considered moral in any way?***

        Well, they could be moral if we assume that people — and not the government — own the fruits of their labor. But tax breaks, loopholes, and havens are all created by cronyism, not free markets.

        ***I simply cannot understand why any Christian would want to support bullies and exploiters in favor of supporting the weak and less powerful among us.***

        Me neither. Which is why I can’t understand why people so often want to use the government to bully people into letting the exploiters take from the weak(er) among us.

        • So please allow me to get this straight.

          You want “smaller government” in order to prevent crony capitalism.

          So you support politicians who promise to enact “small government” policies, who also happen to get the vast majority of their funding from crony capitalists.

          And this seems realistic to you?

          I think what concerns me the most, is not the ideology itself, but the results of it—what it looks like in practice and feels like to a person such as myself (and those I love and care about).

          What I mean is, this ideology might start out looking one way in the ivory tower of Acton, and maybe even to those who are fortunate enough to have been blessed with a certain level of privilege, or been endowed with a certain desirable skill or ability, or have been able to somehow achieve financial stability, by the grace of God—those who are essentially sheltered from the harsher aspects of a cruel and corrupt system. But it ends up looking like something entirely different to a single income household, for example, or an inner city youth, or to someone struggling with a mental or emotional disability, and to all those standing outside the shining “free market” window looking in.

          For people like me, it looks like unions with no real power that are simply an arm of the management in “right-to-abuse-workers” states like mine.

          It also looks like an enormously bloated military industrial complex (because war is big business for the crony capitalist).

          But the really ugly part, the least “ideal” part for me is this: It looks like austerity. It looks like a system that chooses to “balance” the budget on the backs of the working class, on the backs of the elderly, and the sick, and on all of society’s most vulnerable citizens.

          This is moral to you?

          It must be, because the only alternative is to accept that the state is here to stay, and that it can be made (forced?) to work for all of us, not just the crony capitalist, who I believe will always exist, and who cannot be stopped simply by “smaller government”. The only thing smaller government can do is eliminate the social safety net.

          • Forgive me for butting in, but you ought to become familiar with the public choice school of political economy rediscovered by James Buchanan. Traditional political economy that has dominated universities for decades, teaches that when normal, sinful people become politicians they turn into angels who care about nothing but improving other people’s lives. Buchanan demonstrated that politicians are not angels, but sinners who care most about promoting their careers and getting rich, all in the name of promoting the greater good. It’s not ideology; it’s fact.

            Buchanan showed that large corporations capture control of regulatory agencies by bribing the politicians who control nominations to those agencies. That’s why large corporations have so much power. The more power you give politicians over the economy the more they will have to sell to the highest bidding corporation. No one can reform this system. The only was to destroy corporate power is to take power over the economy away from politicians.

            What do corporations fear the most? It’s competition. They get regulations passed that protect the largest corporations from competition from smaller ones, of course, all in the name of health and safety. 90% of business regulations have nothing to do with health and safety and everything to do with killing competition.

            If you want to destroy corporate power, shrink regulation so that more businesses compete with them. But the only way to do that is to take power away from the politicians who are selling it to corporations.

          • Roger, first let me say that my reference to the “ivory tower at Acton” was not intended to discredit it or malign it in any way, or those here at Acton. There is a real need for academic research and the analysis of ideas etc. I don’t have a problem with Acton in that regard. I appreciate that the people here have expertise and knowledge in the field of economics. I am also not discounting the role that math and science play in the formation of the particular economic theory they espouse.

            The point I am trying to make is that, even the most scientifically based economic theory has real world implications that I feel must be addressed if it is to be fully embraced and endorsed by Christians.

            And so that is why I am asking the questions I am asking.

            (I see them as valid from a purely academic perspective as well)

            I also acknowledge the facts you mention regarding the nature of politicians and how corporations interact with them, and with regulatory agencies. (the tragedy in Flint, MI is a perfect example of that)

            Though, I would not entirely discount character and integrity as factors in choosing to support one politician over another. Ideally, all things must be considered.

            My questions still stand, unanswered. Perhaps Joe will address them.

          • I thought Joe had answered your questions. Which ones do you think he missed?

            Meanwhile, let me address this:

            “the most scientifically based economic theory has real world implications that I feel must be addressed if it is to be fully embraced and endorsed by Christians.”

            Exactly! That’s why economics is so important. The real world consequences of sound economics are the greatest flourishing of the most with the least inequality. That has been proven by 300 years of various nations practicing different economic models.

            “So you support politicians who promise to enact “small government” policies, who also happen to get the vast majority of their funding from crony capitalists.”

            You’re right. Most of them are hypocrites of enormous proportions. But few honest politicians get elected. Only a couple out of all of Congress really care about reducing government.

            “it ends up looking like something entirely different to a single income household, for example, or an inner city youth, or to someone struggling with a mental or emotional disability, and to all those standing outside the shining “free market” window looking in.”

            So you know of a system that will completely eliminate all of those? Please enlighten us! Every known system of economics has been tried and all but free markets have made the problems you mention far, far worse. In China alone, freer markets have lifted over 500 million from the worst poverty on the planet in less than a generation. What chance do you think a single mom has in Cuba?

            “It looks like a system that chooses to “balance” the budget on the backs of the working class, on the backs of the elderly, and the sick, and on all of society’s most vulnerable citizens.”

            You seem to be under the same delusion that all Marxists and most Americans live under that the only way to help the poor is to tax the rich. In their minds the politician who takes from the rich and gives to the poor is a moral genius, while the entrepreneur who creates the wealth is nothing but a greedy oppressor. But capitalism has lifted far more people out of poverty in the past 300 years than all of the charity given in the history of mankind and even more than all of the taxes that redistribute wealth. The poor in the US are almost middle class compared to Europeans. The poorest people in the world are in those nations that redistribute income the most. That’s not theory or ideology. It’s a fact that anyone can learn from real world data.

            “The only thing smaller government can do is eliminate the social safety net.”

            Again, you seriously need to learn from Buchanan’s Public Choice economics. Politicians exist for no reason but to sell their power to the highest bidder. The larger the state and the more powerful it is, the more power politicians sell to large corporations. You think corporations are evil, but you want to give them even more power by enlarging the state. Yes, the large corporations will allow politicians to throw a few crumbs at the poor to keep them quiet. But at the same time they use the regulatory agencies of the state to destroy competition and jobs and raise prices.

            What you don’t seem to get is that the large, evil corporations you hate so much are in bed with the politicians. They’re one and the same. Larger, more powerful government makes the large corporations more powerful. There is no way to fix that system. The only way to reduce corporate power is to reduce the size and power of the state and force corporations to compete, the thing they hate the most. Without regulations protecting them from competition, corporations are forced to compete with each other and smaller companies to please consumers, which they hate. And that, in turn, forces them to compete for workers by paying higher wages, which they hate.

            So which do you think the poor single mom would prefer, a well paying job that would support her family with dignity, or to forever be a slave to the state and its meager handouts.

          • Let me briefly respond to the last point you make:

            Canada, Germany and Switzerland have shown that socialist policies can exist alongside capitalism. The people pay higher taxes, but social issues are also addressed. They are more educated and civilized societies overall. I have several friends and acquaintances from these countries. They truly feel sorry for us and cannot understand the right wing, Ayn Rand utopia thing. They see this purist vision of unlimited, unchecked pursuit of wealth as insane and dangerous. They also cannot understand why Americans are being told lies about their countries.

            I believe that if we gave up this perverse obsession with personal, unlimited wealth accumulation, we could achieve similarly civilized societies, much more quickly than the free market method you speak of. This would also eliminate the other serious side-effect of your vision– the needless suffering of all those whose social safety net will be mercilessly ripped out from under them, while you pursue your “happiness”.

          • Your friends are very ignorant of Europe and the US. The differences between the US and Canada and Germany are minor. Switzerland is not socialist. Perhaps you meant Sweden. All of Europe strives to send their students to US colleges because they are recognized as the best in the entire world. There is no way any European nation is better educated than the US. The US tries to put every student through college whether they have the ability or not. All of Europe limits college attendance to about the top 5%. Yes, college education is free, but only for the 5% who can pass the very difficult entrance exams. I don’t know what you mean by civilized, but let’s say it refers to crime. Violent crime is twice as high in all of Europe as in the US. The main difference between Europeans and US is that Europeans habitually refuse to criticize their home countries while US citizens make it a sport.

            As I wrote above, the poor in the US are equal in living standards to the middle class in most European countries. The US doesn’t compare as well to Switzerland because the Swiss are freer and more capitalist than the US.

          • Yes, I did mean Sweden. I was writing it quickly. My friends are from Canada. Canada and Germany both have successfully combined the best aspects of socialism and capitalism, to their benefit. I don’t know where your getting your information. And I’m not sure I would trust it if I did.

            The point is that the model already exists for a better system.

            I know that doesn’t fit into your particular view, so (as I pointed out in a previous post) you just dismiss it.

            The libertarian utopia you want has no model in any major country on earth.

            I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that it’s right to perform some kind of libertarian experiment here in the US at the expense of millions of human lives.

          • I’m getting my information from statistics produced by the governments as well as history. And no, it’s not a better system. It’s the same system with some minor differences. And they have combined the worst of both, not the best.

            Did you honestly think that I would throw over 300 years of economic research, history and evidence because you told me that you had friends who like Europe better than the US?

            And libertarians don’t want to experiment with anything. As I wrote, every system imaginable has been tried. All libertarians want is to return to the freedom and growth in prosperity that the US enjoyed before FDR.

            I haven’t dismissed your “better” system because it doesn’t fit my view, but based on 300 years of economics. On the other hand, your absolutely refuse under any circumstances to even consider economics. You pretend that there is nothing in the field worth considering. You reject economics because it threatens your view of reality.