Why Libertarianism Will Always Fail the Consumer

Anarchocapitalist Robert Taylor insists that capitalists can be trusted to keep our food, and I guess everything else, safe for the health and safety of consumers:

So an entrepreneur has it in his best interest to serve safe food as opposed to unsafe food, because if people find out his food is toxic, he will lose profit.

They’ve certainly been doing a crap job of it, haven’t they? Micro to macro once again. The rational actor, me, the economic man, cannot be extrapolated to the masses or to large organizations. Anyway, it is in the interest of large corporations to do a poor job of regulating the safety of their food. This is why the record of food safety is so horrible in the 3rd World. This is why the record here in the US was so terrible a century ago before we established the FDA. Business simply will not regulate itself well in the interests of this or that, in this case, serving safe food to their customers. They’d rather take chances, slack off, do crappy inspections, cross their fingers and hope everything turns out OK, and save money. Guess what? If business did such an incredible job of consumer protection, there would be no need for government regulation in the first place, now would there? But the capitalists have always fucked up and always will. I can’t foresee any possible society where the capitalists regulate themselves with consumer interest in mind. It’s simply not possible. Hence, in many places on Earth, the state has stepped in to do the job that the capitalists will never do, regulate business for the health and safety of the consumer. In many other places, notably the 3rd World (actually existing Libertarianism) there is no state regulation, and consumers are horribly abused health and safety wise by capitalists with little or no recourse. Nowhere on Earth do capitalists successfully regulate themselves in the interest of the health and safety of consumers, nor will they ever. It goes against the laws of economics, shall we say. It’s simply not profitable to do so. This Austrian shit sounds great in theory. Oh yeah! Nice corporations will get lots of business! Asshole corporations will get punished by consumers and go out of business! But it never works that way, and it never will either.

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0 thoughts on “Why Libertarianism Will Always Fail the Consumer”

  1. Yes, a lot of the things Libertarians propose getting rid of are just the government acting as a union of all citizens. Suppose we were to get rid of the interstate highway system. It would be replaced by a corporation in which everyone would buy shares allowing us to use the roadways. So Libertarians could cheer the philosophical point that individuals aren’t being forced with guns to support it, but the practical effect would be nil.
    Same with the FDA, national parks, social security, environmental protection and most other things. If we’d do it anyway, government is the MOST efficient way to get everyone involved.

  2. Robert, you’ve been opening my eyes. You should check out Walter Block, he is a Jew libertarian who argues for anarcho-capitalsim, and the complete privatization of ALL roads in the US, LOL

  3. The assumption that autonomous economic gain
    is a functional goal longterm is a stupid assumption. The latter quickly devolves into short-term for its own sake gain.
    Why? No Transcendence, whether national cultural,spiritual-racial, etc.

  4. Ok here’s a question for you Robert:
    If your charges against the “greedy” Capitalists are true, and they can so easily exploit labor and consumers–what is stopping some greedier Capitalist from coming and paying more money to the labor force to take away the profits from the current Capitalist in power?

    1. No need to put it in quotes my friend. After all, it is your raison de etre, non, ami?
      The thing is that any capitalist who tries to do the right thing is going to be driven out of business by the less ethical types. In capitalism, the worst people win and the best people lose. Scum rises to the top of a pond, and nice guys always lose.
      If I try to pay my workers a good wage, I will not be able to compete with Joe Scumbag down the street who is hiring illegals of paying minimum wage. He will drive me out of business by charging lower prices.
      I am surprised that you even asked that question!

      1. Robert, you’re talking about evil people here. You say that if they have their way, they would lower wages to the subsistence level. Meaning that they could afford to pay higher wages, but choose not to.
        My question is: what’s stops an EVEN MORE evil capitalist from paying just a little more to take the business away from the current controlling Capitalist? If he pays just a little more, clearly the labor force will go to him, and without labor, the subsistence-level capitalist has nothing, no matter how low he can drive prices.

      1. Yeah, I laughed at that too. Thing is he was debacled in the Walter Block threads, but he keeps coming back for more.

  5. “Anarchocapitalist Robert Taylor insists that capitalists can be trusted to keep our food, and I guess everything else, safe for the health and safety of consumers.”-
    Well we can go back to the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s to see that the vicious unregulated capitalists often processed foods full of rat parts, rodent feces, insect parts, etc., and they commonly did such things as add sawdust to bread dough as an extender/ money maker. Worse yet many people ended up poisoned by unregulated food processing.
    These horrible offenses are often not as well known as the child labor, slave labor, and extremely unsafe working conditions of that unregulated era, but it was the way business was done. Trusting capitalists to self regulate will make us all worse off!

  6. Watch some youtube videos of Vandana Shiva.
    She’s taking on Monsanto in India.
    We need someone like her here in the States!

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