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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 10:11 AM
Drunk with beer.
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Protection rackets also benefit small shop owners by preventing them from getting their shops burned down. As a side benefit, petty crooks tend to 'disappear' abruptly when they start to irritate the insurers.

Fundamentalist preachers also provide a service in return for you giving them your life savings. You get a really really good feeling....

OK, irony aside, anything can be beneficial if you define "benefit" widely enough. And yes, both parties in a deal see a benefit to signing the deal (even if the benefit is keeping your knees intact). But in the broader picture, you have to evaluate benefits vs damage. Market speculation, house flipping, futures trading, are nothing more than inserting yourself into the middle of a transaction and skimming a portion of the cash flow. The same could be done far more cheaply and fairly using other means, but of course that would be "socialist", and "free market capitalism" MUST be maintained, no matter how many other people suffer. The key phrase of course always being "other people".

Now, to be fair, I also believe in minimal government, but I temper the attitude with the idea that government should be big enough to do its job. Rabid right-wingers are generally nothing more than warmed-over libertarians, who advocate teeny tiny government no matter what. My response to those is and always will be: move to Darfur. It's got exactly what you want. Don't let the probability that you'll be dead within a week deter you. Follow your dream!

Coffee is your friend. Everyone else is an acquaintance.
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