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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Should the federal government pay activists to attack Alberta’s oil patch?

On Tuesday, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency awarded a total of $100,000 to five applicants in support of their participation in the environmental assessment process of the proposed Joslyn North Mine oil sands project near Fort McMurray in Alberta.

Some of the funding will go to Sierra Club Canada and The Pembina Institute whose representatives will be paid by taxpayers to participate in public hearings on a proposed oil sands project by energy giant Total that could produce a 100,000 barrels per day of much needed bitumen.

By providing this money, the federal government is creating an industry of full-time, government-sponsored activist who jump from hearing to hearing seeking media attention for their anti-oil patch, anti-mining and, generally, anti-capitalist ideas.

If the Sierra Club and The Pembina Institute think this Joslyn North Mine project in remote Fort McMurray, beside all the other oil sands projects, is a threat to the environment, shouldn’t they be expected to raise money from their own supporters for their interventions?

Posted by Matthew Johnston on August 7, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink

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Comments

Of course not, but the federal government has been funding all kinds of activists and special interest groups for the last 30 to 40 years. These individuals and groups rely on government funding (our money) to attack government policy and legislation - even to providing them with additional funding to take the government to court. One could fill several pages with the names. Is this wrong and stupid? Of course, but both liberals and conservatives have continued the practice.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-08-07 11:15:36 AM


Why would these groups need funding? Oh yeah, right, because they don't work for a living. I'll bet that pro-oil sands people would - and could - pay their own way. Nice set of priorities there.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-08-07 11:22:46 AM


Matthew, yes they should. That groups, once considered radical, can get government funding, is cause for considerable concern. They have an agenda and we are paying for them to promote it? I trust greedy oil companies who are out for nothing but profit far more.

Speaking of trust, it kind of makes you wonder who you trust more, the Pembina Institute, or government.

Posted by: TM | 2008-08-07 11:33:42 AM


And I thought we elected a conservative government - NOT.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-08-07 12:24:20 PM


Faramir, we did, but conservatism does not always mean smaller government in practice. They go about the business of big government differently that's all.

Political parties can be populists or idealists but they can't be both if they want to get elected.

So until the average voter is willing to sacrifice some promised handout from governments and demand increased liberty, nothing will change, no matter which party governs.

Posted by: TM | 2008-08-07 12:33:14 PM


This is a strange situation. The government through a variety of different agencies support a range of not for profit groups and political parties. That being said this funding should be focused on organizations doing proactive and productive research such as Pembina. It should not go to fund organizations such as Green Peace who are focusing their funds at creating you-tube videos, paying for the gas (ironically) to break into private facilities or paying for climbing gear to repel from the roofs of conference centres. Serious issues need serious people and supporting them.

In regards to this issue I would suggest you check out www.canadasoilsands.ca . An interesting forum hosting environmental groups and industry debating the future of the oil sands.

Posted by: Buzz | 2008-08-07 12:34:50 PM


When it comes to lining up at the trough, Watermelons are equal opportunity parasites. The anti-industrial revolution is ultimately funded by industry directly through foundations or indirectly through government agencies.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-08-07 12:42:41 PM


This is deplorable, but not surprising. Government sponsoring non-government groups that wish to expand the power of government? Say it ain't so!

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-07 12:44:13 PM


Depends on what role you think the Government should have.

Personally I think they should enable individuals and "special interest groups" to have a voice in public hearings. A large company like Total has a huge marketing budget with which they could dominate the public discussion. By giving support to these groups the Government is "levelleing" the field a bit.

Think of this as a public defender, our tax dollars pay for public defenders too because someone somewhere though once upon a time that matters that have grave consequences should be debated / judged on an equal level.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 12:59:41 PM


Snowrunner,

I thought the importance of public defenders in the criminal law system had something to do with the idea the asymmetry of power between the state and the individual.

It's not about the asymmetry of power between different non-governmental special interest groups. When one group sues another in civil court, we don't "level" the field by hiring top notch lawyers for both sides. They're supposed to pay their own way. Why the difference?

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-07 1:04:57 PM


I thought the importance of public defenders in the criminal law system had something to do with the idea the asymmetry of power between the state and the individual.

It's not about the asymmetry of power between different non-governmental special interest groups. When one group sues another in civil court, we don't "level" the field by hiring top notch lawyers for both sides. They're supposed to pay their own way. Why the difference?

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 7-Aug-08 1:04:57 PM

Because the effects aren't just confined to the two parties in question. In the case of the oilsands or any other large project that has a severe impact on the environment and society people who aren't part to either group will still be affected.

A "level" playing field, as far as public exposure of the opinions is concerned is IMO imperative for society as a whole to chart a course that all can agree on.

Yes, I know there is a strong feeling here that only the Government needs to be watched, so I leave you with a quote:

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." Mussolini

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 1:38:11 PM


But there ARE effects from civil lawsuits. The class action lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers, negligent factories, etc are a case in point. At the same time, the effect of a single criminal's conviction might be very limited.

You might say: the oilsands are a special case, because the potential environmental impact is just so huge. That might justify the government conducting (hopefully impartial) research into the impact of the project. But why does it justify funding special interests with a clear agenda, on either side? What we want is not just debate, but well-informed debate, and maybe government has a role to play in fostering such debate by bringing new information to light. That's not the same as playing one lobby group off another, though.

About the Mussolini quote: yes, I've heard it before. Wikipedia claims no one's been able to find exactly where Mussolini said or wrote it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism

If you know, maybe you should correct the entry.

Be that as it may, corporations + government = bad news. Libertarians do not deny that, as far as I know. Indeed, that was the message I got from the film The Corporation: "Maaan, it really sucks when special interests co-opt the power of government for themselves."

But the implication of that idea seems simple to me: "Yeah, we'd better do our best to severely limit the power of government to make it harder for corporations and other organizations to use that power for their own interests." Hence, libertarianism!

Best,

Terrence

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-07 1:52:46 PM


My niece works for Total, and is involved in this project. The folks at Total aren't bothered by the usual gnats like the Sierra club. They're more concerned that a Trudeau showed up in Fort Mac, making a bunch of noise. If I'm not mistaken, he had a Suzuki in tow.

They say governments don't control the economy, but in Alberta we know better.

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-07 3:46:39 PM


Snowrunner, I hardly know what to say to than inane comment.

I did a worksheet on where our money is spent ant here are at least 12 billion that can be shaved from the federal budget. Needless spending. And that is before ending transfer payments.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-08-07 3:48:37 PM


But there ARE effects from civil lawsuits. The class action lawsuits against cigarette manufacturers, negligent factories, etc are a case in point. At the same time, the effect of a single criminal's conviction might be very limited.


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 7-Aug-08 1:52:46 PM

Sure there are effects, but usually cases are happening "after the fact" not before.

See it this way: If the project is worthwhile, then Total will be able to convince people that it is and all the money the Government has given to thse groups hasn't really achieved anything, outside of giving them a platform to provide a discurs.

If the groups can convince the majority of people to not want these things, then (from a business point of view) it is "Money well spent".

The way I see this: The Governmenet allows (through these "sponsorships") a discurs to take place, aka, it supports a form of Free Speech by enabling dialog (even though both sides are most likely going to scream from the top of their lungs).

----------------------


You might say: the oilsands are a special case, because the potential environmental impact is just so huge. That might justify the government conducting (hopefully impartial) research into the impact of the project. But why does it justify funding special interests with a clear agenda, on either side? What we want is not just debate, but well-informed debate, and maybe government has a role to play in fostering such debate by bringing new information to light. That's not the same as playing one lobby group off another, though.


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 7-Aug-08 1:52:46 PM

Good point, the problem in this case though is that Total will want to push a decision through as quickly as possible. If you have someone heavily leaning to one side of the argument then you have to counter balance it.

Besides, assume for a moment the Government would say: "Hold on, we have to take a breather here, take a closer look at the science and get back to you in five to ten years." Can you imagine what would be going on on this blog alone if that would have been the Federal or Provincial response? DP's comment below yours is already a pretty good indication what the thinking on this would be.

--------------------

About the Mussolini quote: yes, I've heard it before. Wikipedia claims no one's been able to find exactly where Mussolini said or wrote it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism

If you know, maybe you should correct the entry.


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 7-Aug-08 1:52:46 PM

I'll have to look myself, quite possible I didn't get it from a primary source. Either way though, if you look at Nazi Germany or (as a hang off) Facist Italy you will realize that both Governments were walking hand in hand with big Business. In Germany the Krupp family as well as BASF and other companies are well known to have cooperated with the Nazis, so had American icons like IBM and Coca-Cola. Even if he didn't say it, there is still truth to it. Unless you have an example where a company acted in a democratic manner without being forced to do so by courts or law makers (and touch enforcement).

---------------------------

Be that as it may, corporations + government = bad news. Libertarians do not deny that, as far as I know. Indeed, that was the message I got from the film The Corporation: "Maaan, it really sucks when special interests co-opt the power of government for themselves."

But the implication of that idea seems simple to me: "Yeah, we'd better do our best to severely limit the power of government to make it harder for corporations and other organizations to use that power for their own interests." Hence, libertarianism!

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 7-Aug-08 1:52:46 PM

This is were we disagree. If you have a huge power (e.g. a Corporation) and an opposing big power (a Government for the People, not what we have right now) and you cut the "checking force" down, all you get is the first power filling the vacuum. It's like Einsteins formular: You cannot destroy Energy (Power), only transform it. If you create a vaccum in one place it WILL be filled by whoever / whatever can get there first.

So no, I am not for small Government, I am for an effective Government BY the people FOR the people, not special interest. If we want to have freedom, and by that I don't mean the freedom to consume, but REAL freedom, then this is what we need.

BTW, for all the small Government types, with 29 States in the US right now teethering on the brink of bankrupcy and California already cutting it's payroll (surely with more to follow) you may soon get your wish. Let me know how you like the outcome.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 3:58:37 PM


Snowrunner, I hardly know what to say to than inane comment.

I did a worksheet on where our money is spent ant here are at least 12 billion that can be shaved from the federal budget. Needless spending. And that is before ending transfer payments.

Posted by: Faramir | 7-Aug-08 3:48:37 PM

Now about you try to be a bit more precise in what regard my comment is "inane"?

And what does that have to do with the budget? And why don't you just share your calculation with the public on what you would like to get rid of? Maybe use it as your electon platform in the next Provincial or Federal election? If you're so deeply involved with the countries finances you shouldn't hold back but instead get elected and serve your country.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 4:06:04 PM


This is were we disagree. If you have a huge power (e.g. a Corporation) and an opposing big power (a Government for the People, not what we have right now) and you cut the "checking force" down, all you get is the first power filling the vacuum. It's like Einsteins formular: You cannot destroy Energy (Power), only transform it. If you create a vaccum in one place it WILL be filled by whoever / whatever can get there first.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 7-Aug-08 3:58:37 PM

Snowrunner, government is not a "checking force" as you say. I imagine good checking evil when you say that. Maybe the government is good and checks the evil corporations. Or maybe you mean the left checks the right, in which case it maeks the government out to be more benign than in reality.

I wonder if the reason for this funding is simple so that they appear to be environmentally friendly, while really doing nothing. I would prefer they do nothing AND appear to do nothing. It would be cheaper.

Posted by: TM | 2008-08-07 4:31:47 PM


Snowrunner, government is not a "checking force" as you say. I imagine good checking evil when you say that. Maybe the government is good and checks the evil corporations. Or maybe you mean the left checks the right, in which case it maeks the government out to be more benign than in reality.

Posted by: TM | 7-Aug-08 4:31:47 PM

It's a bit more complex than that.

A Government OR a Corporation in and on itself is not an evil construct.

Corporations exist soley to make money, the "good or evil" aspect really doesn't factor into it. They are single minded entities.

Governments are similar beasts, the difference is that in a democracy the people OWN the Government, and note, when I say Democracy I don't mean what we have right now, we have become too comfortable with the idea that we live in a Democracy that very few people actually truly participate in it.

In an "ideal world" you have limited Government and limited Corporations. In our world though that isn't the case.

We cannot "take on" Corporations as individuals, Unions are pretty useless, mainly because they only represent a tiny fraction of the population. This leaves Government. That means essentially we (as people) have to take it back and use it to make sure that the interests of the majority are being acted on, not the interests of special interests on either side of the debate.

Until then though: I like the idea that the Government funds the opposition a little bit, it will at least act as a slight speedbump to the Corporate Special interest that are now in all levels of Government.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 4:45:55 PM


If we do not want business in bed with the government, then get the government out of the bed and out of the bedroom. The moment government gets involved in regulating and interfering in business and the economy, then we have to expect business to lobby government for favours. Such favours include using government to eliminate competitors.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-08-07 4:48:07 PM


Posted by: Alain | 7-Aug-08 4:48:07 PM

Of course the other possiblity would be to keep the Corporations out of the Bedroom. Prohibit Lobbying while at the same time make every elected official 100% transparent to his electorate, this includes the bank accounts for all of his immideate family and continues for 20 years past them holding their office.

I find the Friedman mindset rather fascinating actually, the mantra that Corporations need to be left alone so that a society can prosper strikes me as utterly lunatic.

When most people talk about the "Good old days" they tend to talk about the period between 1950 and the mid 1970s, ironically enough that was the time frame where corporations were severely limited by Governments (e.g. The New Deal).

Pretty much everywhere were the Chicago School has been employed the result was a massive shift in prosperity from the majority to a minority. I am sure the justification in this part of the Intarweb is going to be that if the rest would just have worked as hard they'd had it to, and I doubt any fact or argument could pierce that veil.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 5:15:34 PM


Snowy made me laugh out loud

"In an "ideal world" you have limited Government and limited Corporations. In our world though that isn't the case.

We cannot "take on" Corporations as individuals, Unions are pretty useless, mainly because they only represent a tiny fraction of the population. This leaves Government."

And since government is bigger than any individual corporation, where do we turn? The United Federation of Planets?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-08-07 6:06:04 PM


Red or Blue, we're gonna get screwed!
Have a great day. :)
Oh, and don't forget to pay your taxes.

Posted by: JC | 2008-08-07 6:40:04 PM


Poor snowy is so infected with liberal mental disorder, he cannot grasp lack of government involvement and interference nor that business, especially BIG business, is not evil.

If we actually had a true free market economy, consumer choice would "regulate" business much more effectively than all the statists alive.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-08-07 6:44:53 PM


I am going to paint graffiti all over these enviro groups offices. I am going to trespass on their property and plug their sinks and toilets with crazy glue. I am going to picket their front door and yell obscenities at them.

Now, where can I get a grant for this?

Epsi

Posted by: epsilon | 2008-08-07 8:15:20 PM


Just send me your bank account details, Epsi.

Just kidding. :-)

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-08-07 9:12:57 PM


There was a time when these groups did a great service to society, but not so much any more. When I first started work in the oilpatch, the environment was not given much thought. It was pretty messy in those days.

Just like unions, the watchdog groups don't have much to do any more, except manufacture problems that didn't exist until they dreamed them up.

Posted by: dp | 2008-08-07 9:36:05 PM


Faramir: Don't say that Harper isn't a conservative. His worshippers see a flawless God.

Posted by: Opinion | 2008-08-07 9:43:29 PM


And since government is bigger than any individual corporation, where do we turn? The United Federation of Planets?

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 7-Aug-08 6:06:04 PM

How about getting involved in your Government instead of sitting on your computer and hacking away at the keyboard claiming that the Government just sucks?

Ah, of course not. Complaining is so much easier, dreaming about the "ultimate solution" so much more rewarding than putting yourself out there and trying to affect a change.

No wonder we are where we are.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 11:11:38 PM


Poor snowy is so infected with liberal mental disorder, he cannot grasp lack of government involvement and interference nor that business, especially BIG business, is not evil.

If we actually had a true free market economy, consumer choice would "regulate" business much more effectively than all the statists alive.

Posted by: Alain | 7-Aug-08 6:44:53 PM

Riiight. My "liberal" mindset.

BTw, where did I say Corporations are evil?

And again, tell me exactly where the competition is in todays markets?

The biggest prosperity for the majority of people happened before we dismantled regulations and "let the market decide".

The Financial market in the US and UK has been extremely deregulated, the end result? Well, take a closer look at what is going on at the banks and fincanial institutions right now and tell me again how the "free market works".

Let me say it once more for the dense one on here (which seems to be the majority of posters): Corporations aren't evil. Corporations are single minded organizations whose goal is it to make profit any way they CAN.

If you define this as evil then this is your own opinion, not mine.

I asked this before, I'll ask it again (and I bet I once again won't get an answer): How would your perfect world look like? Come on, in broad strokes.

Here, I give you some pointers what I would like to hear:

- What is the role of the Government in your world?
- How would the Government Finance it?
- Would we still have elections? Or would be bypass this to "vote with our wallets" as the Government really is only an administration?
- How would we deal when businesses do something that causes damage / death etc. to the population?
- Woudl we still have a Canada? Or would we live in the "Exxon Zone"?
- How about services like Police & Firedepartment? Would we still finance them through taxes or would we invoke a "usage fee"?

Come on, as you are so "Free Market minded" spill your beans. Don't hold back.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 11:18:06 PM


There was a time when these groups did a great service to society, but not so much any more. When I first started work in the oilpatch, the environment was not given much thought. It was pretty messy in those days.

Just like unions, the watchdog groups don't have much to do any more, except manufacture problems that didn't exist until they dreamed them up.

Posted by: dp | 7-Aug-08 9:36:05 PM

Just curious. If nobody is going to keep watching, why would the companies spent all the money to keep it all clean? It doesn't really make any business sense, does it?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-07 11:19:43 PM


Snowy

The free markets works by imposing a tax on stupidity and greed. Just like the stupid people flocking to Casinos and trying to beat very poor odds, people who mortgaged homes with nothing down and knowing that the payments would increase over time but betting on rising prices again with very poor odds. And then the Banks like CIBC buying bundled debt instruments containing these ridiculous debts were stupid. Unfortunately government bailouts will soften their stupidity tax that should be paid by their shareholders and hopefully with pink slips to the responsible managers.

Here endeth the first lesson

Back to your original comment, the E-NGOs that you referred to as equalizers are not equalizers but anti-industrial activists. The project proponents are seeking permits from the owners of the resources, the Provincial Crown. To do so they must satisfy all Federal and Provincial regulations and processes, eg Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The public, as theoretical owners are represented by Government. The Government is at least theoretically accountable to the public through elected offices. The E-NGOs are accountable to no one but their own management, certainly not the public nor shareholders. They are referred to as stakeholders which is bureacratese for interest group. They should not be assisted by taxpayers for their opposition to the project any more than an interest group in favour of the project.

Corporations are accountable to their shareholders and are scared shitless of adverse publicity which may affect shareholder value which is why they all have communications departments filled with people just like you (moral relativists) advising them on PR.

Here endeth the second lesson.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-08-08 10:56:52 AM


Johnny Boy,

The free markets works by imposing a tax on stupidity and greed. Just like the stupid people flocking to Casinos and trying to beat very poor odds, people who mortgaged homes with nothing down and knowing that the payments would increase over time but betting on rising prices again with very poor odds. And then the Banks like CIBC buying bundled debt instruments containing these ridiculous debts were stupid. Unfortunately government bailouts will soften their stupidity tax that should be paid by their shareholders and hopefully with pink slips to the responsible managers.

Here endeth the first lesson

--------------

There is no "pay day" for the ones who pulled this. And blaming the people who jumped into these mortgages (and it goes far beyond just the individual home owner) is missing the mark a bit.

If you look closely at what happens in the UK and in the US it isn't only housing that is getting hammered, there is ZERO fiscal restraint by either companies or individuals. Negative savings rate etc. The US (and in part the UK) have mooched off of the rest of the world to sustain the lifestyle.

If the Free markets are essentially robber barons, then tell me again how this would work if everybody would follow the same philosophy / methodology?

-----------------------------

Corporations are accountable to their shareholders and are scared shitless of adverse publicity which may affect shareholder value which is why they all have communications departments filled with people just like you (moral relativists) advising them on PR.

Here endeth the second lesson.

I like the fact that you referred to the Government as "theoretical accountable", because it pretty much sinks your entire argument right there.

As for the Corporations being "accountable" to their shareholders: Considering that the majority of shareholders seems to have the memory capacity of a fly as far as long term profit forecasting etc. goes I doubt very much they are scared of negative publicity, much less so when it comes to a "product" that is so ingrained into our economies and lifes that they could probably start eating babies and the general public would still buy it. If you'd ask someone at the gas pump why they aren't boycotting the company, the answer will most likely be along the lines of: "well, I know they are bad, but what can I do? I need to drive."

So no, as much as you consider them "special interest" and "not worth Government money", as long as the public does not have control over it's elected officials (because it doesn't care enough) there IS a need for a dissending voice, even if that voice is very narrow minded and "anti capitalistic".

BTW, if Free Trade and the Chicago school is the ultimate in solving all of the worlds problems, why is it that it always only gets implemented unter a dictatorship that has the tendency to stomp out any kind of dissending opinion? Should't the BEST solution win by default and be embraced by the masses? Or could it be that in order for Friedman's ideas to actually work you need to get rid of individual freedoms and dissenting opinion?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-08 11:42:10 AM


As a general note to the small Government(TM) crowd here.

Answer me (or at least yourself this):

If you keep the Government small enough that it can't interfere with Corporations, what or who do you think the Government will turn to?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-08 11:45:55 AM


Oh Geez, snowy, if you have to ask that question you must be hopeless. If government is small it doesn't have the resources to DO anything. That's the point. It is not even about stopping it from interfering with corporations but just keeping it out of the lives of individuals. IE. We don't want or need a nanny state.

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-08-08 2:01:33 PM


Snowrunner: Turn to for what? Stolen money?

Posted by: Sarcasm | 2008-08-08 2:14:55 PM


Snowrunner: "If you keep the Government small enough that it can't interfere with Corporations, what or who do you think the Government will turn to?"

I'm not clear on your question, Snowrunner. Who will they turn to for what?

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-08-08 2:23:56 PM


Oh Geez, snowy, if you have to ask that question you must be hopeless. If government is small it doesn't have the resources to DO anything. That's the point. It is not even about stopping it from interfering with corporations but just keeping it out of the lives of individuals. IE. We don't want or need a nanny state.

Posted by: Faramir | 8-Aug-08 2:01:33 PM

Okay, so why don't you campaign for a break up of Canada? If we don't need a Government, we sure as hell don't need a State (or Nation) either. Instead of paying taxes, having a passport etc. everything and everyone can flow freely.

In order to "keep it clean" we can sell off Land and assetts and pay off the debt, any excess money that remains at the end will be doled out to the people who were former citizens of Canada.

Afterwards, no more Government, and Friedmann's Free Markets can rain and we all live in Nirvana, how does that sound?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-08 4:23:19 PM


I'm not clear on your question, Snowrunner. Who will they turn to for what?

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 8-Aug-08 2:23:56 PM

Okay, that was badly phrased, I shouldn't post before I had my first litre of coffee in the morning. Let's try this again.

What is the role of the Government if it has no juristidiction over any public works?

Or rather: In the current scenario, where in the name of "Free Trade" we have pulled the teeth out of the Government as far as companies / businesses / corporations go, where do you think the Governments attention will be focused now?

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-08-08 4:24:57 PM


A good question, Snowrunner and the answer is easy to a libertarian. The government gets a monopoly on force. ie or eg (They never did sort it out in Reservoire Dogs) but,

the gov't operates army and police. That's a little too far if you ask me, but I'm OK with it...for now.

Posted by: Sarcasm | 2008-08-08 4:29:43 PM



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