The Tragedy of the Google

In 1833 the Victorian economist William Forster Lloyd published Two Lectures on the Checks to Population, which introduced an idea we later understood as the Tragedy of the Commons. The example used was of a common grazing area and how the interests of the people using this “free” public land would inevitably work at odds with one another in maintaining the public land. Everyone had an incentive to take as much as they could, as quickly as they could, but no one had an incentive to put back.

Today this is best understood in the management of fisheries. You can’t own parcels of the ocean and even if you can assign areas to particular fishermen, the fish don’t pay attention to these boundaries. The fisherman has no incentive to limit his cod harvest because the fish he does not catch will simply swim over to the next guy, who will catch them. In order to maintain the fishery, the state comes in and puts limits on the overall catch and what each fisherman can catch each season.

This fairly well known example is used by certain ideologues to demand socialization of all private property. Environmentalists will claim that the three-toed elephant slug is a common resource so it must be protected by the state. Therefore, anything that impacts the slug, requires permission from the state. That means if you want to mow your lawn or put up a tool shed, you have to file an environmental impact study and spend a bazillion dollars bribing environmental groups. It’s why we can’t build anything of consequence anymore.

Even though the idea has been abused, it is a useful concept when thinking about something like this story in Breitbart. Musicians are quickly seeing their revenue from music sales disappear. Newspapers all over America are near collapse because their content is distributed free on-line. Those that try to charge a fee just see the news given away by someone else, so their efforts to create property lines on-line always fail. Even the pornography industry is being gutted by a flood of free porn.

Now, the music industry has adapted to the fact Google is essentially an open air contraband market. Big shot musicians have teams of lawyers to police this stuff. The small musicians make their money from live shows and selling their music at their events. But, others don’t have this avenue. Photographers, graphic artists and writers just accept that they no longer have property rights to their work. I often see my work posted on other sites and no one from those sites asks my permission. I always give it when asked, but few bother asking.

The big internet operators and their government ignore all of this because they have grown stupendously rich off this racket. Google is essentially operating an open air contraband market with YouTube. Try running a heroin market on your property and see what happens. But, you’re not a billionaire and you can’t afford to buy a government of your own so the rules apply to you. Even banks find they have to report large movements of cash in order to help the government catch drug dealers. Ross Ulbricht is doing life in prison for being the Google of illicit drugs.

When the robot historians look back at the collapse of the West, they may point to the Internet as an institution analogous to slavery in the Roman Republic. Some argue that the flood of slaves in Rome after the victories over Corinth and Carthage altered the economic balance of Roman society. Large farmers could afford to buy up lots of slaves, thus collapsing the market for labor. This also allowed them to crush their smaller competition. The result was the rise of a landed oligarchy at the expense of the small land owners.

The Internet has brought back something that we thought was dead and that is rentier capitalism. This is the economic practice of monopolizing access to any kind of property, and gaining significant amounts of profit without contribution to society. Cable operators are a good example. In my youth, TV was free. It made it’s money from commercials. Today, you pay the monopolist a fee to get access to TV shows, that still run ads. In fact, they run even more ads than when I was a kid. In the case of kid’s shows, the programs are just ads to sell toys.

The other institution is cost shifting. The paint company that dumps its old paint into the river because it is a cheap way to get rid of the waste is shifting some of its costs to the public. Passing laws to prevent it or taxes on the paint maker to pay for the cleanup, is an effort to end the practice of cost shifting. Even today, the smallest mechanical shop complies with environmental rules because the punishments are draconian. These costs show up in the invoice to the customer. When I get my oil changed, I see an entry for oil disposal on the invoice.

The modern Internet giants shift huge chunks of their business cost to the public via all sorts of schemes. The most obvious being the internet providers. In most of the country, technology and/or the law prevents the internet provider from implementing metered service. Everyone pays the same for their internet regardless of usage. That means the guy with three teenagers that spend all day watching YouTube pays the same as the local feminist, who only goes on-line to post pictures of her cats to Facebook.

If the guy with the three kids had to pay for his usage, his bill would be five times that of the local feminist. He would also sharply limit his usage. Google and the other video providers would see their customer base shrink to the point where it may no longer make sense to exist in some cases. My first broadband bill was $12.95 per month. The cheapest in my area is now $69.95 plus a long list of fees and taxes. The service is marginally better, but not five times better. The additional cost is about me subsidizing my neighbors for the profit of the Internet companies.

Similarly, if the suppliers were charged for use of the public roadways, like we tax motorists and trucking companies, they would have to charge vastly more for their product. Instead, those costs end up in your tax bill, because, the government gives tax breaks to the internet providers. If Facebook had to build out a network to supply you their product, the cost would be prohibitive. Instead those costs end up in your cable bill, even if you have no use for Facebook. The internet economy is all about socializing the costs and privatizing the profits.

I’m going long here so let me wrap it up by summarizing a bit. We have created this virtual commons, but we have not come up with a way to manage it like a park or fishery. Further, we have permitted the development of rentiers, who skim from the public good, but contribute very little to it. Worse yet, we have massive cost shifting with the profits going to expand and perpetuate a system that works against the interests of the people. When a firm that made its money from cat videos can dictate terms to the US government, we’re well past the tragedy of the commons and into techno-feudalism.

51 thoughts on “The Tragedy of the Google

  1. Interesting article about the financial power of ISPs and Google and how the FB not paying nearly it’s fair share commensurate with its use of the ‘commons.’ You made me think about the digital entities in such a different way. It is complicated, though, and hard to keep my grip on the concept.

    Another concept that haunts me is that of consolidated access through these ISP and search engines.

    I got my library degree back at the dawn of the Internet. It was quite an exciting thing, the black screen with the blinking curser and the live links, all in text at that time. Yea, very thrilling. When I look back, though, at what we may have lost, I have to shudder. I refer to the print reference volumes that are most likely all online now.

    We had an enormous and highly varied collection of research materials to learn back in the stacks behind the scenes in the gorgeous library at the University of Washington. An old lady now, I can’t recall all of them, but these were annually updated, print reference materials on every possible subject. Looking back it seems so freewheeling and decentralized, like the Wild West of information access. Probably, it was more tightly and centrally controlled than I recall. But there was no portal or search engine to rely upon. And given the demonstrated leftist bent to Google, I worry for their control over the stream of research. If Google conveniently doesn’t find a bit of information, heck, it don’t exist.

  2. Pingback: The Tragedy of the Google | DAMN STUFF HAS GREAT STUFF!

  3. Then there are those of us who could not get broadcast before and can’t get it now without either cable or satellite dish. Not to mention all the channels not on broadcast.

  4. The Google email sounds more like a sales pitch to me. Do we have reason to think Google had an active interest in Syria policy, as opposed to shoehorn its way into an operation that the state initiated?

    • Google surely indexes all the mail, and everything else they can gather on you, into their database, and then use it to advertise to you. They know every video you watched on YouTube. They know everywhere your phone has been to within 10′. They have your pictures, and they’re linked with your family’s pictures. They know everything you searched for in the past years. I joke that it is all stored on a govt. sponsored data farm in Draper, UT.
      It’s rather difficult to be private. In the extreme you’d have to use a USB bootable TAILS laptop constantly moving among WiFi hotspots. And even then, your browser fingerprint is trackable, see
      But you can still deprive them and fight back a bit. Don’t use password managers. Erase all cookies regularly. Use an ad blocker, a flash video blocker, and a tracking blocker like uBlock in your browsers. Use multiple browsers. Deprive them of revenue where possible. If you use Google Shopping, once you’ve found your product go to the seller’s site directly in a new tab and don’t give Google a cut of the action.
      And therein in the last bit is the tragedy of the commons. Most people will not take these extra steps even when aware of them. Principles are inconvenient, so the few who might resist and try to save their privacy, will be overwhelmed by the many who cannot be bothered much to care.

  5. Artists not getting requests from those using their pictures online?

    I have drawn a few things, posted them online, and then come across someone who used one my drawings as their avatar. So it isn’t appearing once; my work has become their identity. As you may expect, I didn’t draw with them in mind — probably as I had no idea they existed.

    Should I object? Possibly, but life’s too short. Anyway, I console myself it wasn’t much of a drawing.

  6. First it was a much, much better search algorithm/engine. Now, with the untold wealth the owners have accumulated, they have turned to the dark side using their power for crony capitalism and insinuating themselves in every nook & cranny of our society. Whether it is mindscaping, using tax payer money to buy land for green energy investments or doing back door development of security systems for personal, commercial and government sectors, they are putting their stamp on everything.

    And where in all this are the “regulators” when we really need them? I’m not usually a proponent of regulation but when it comes to all the “sensitive” stuff these guys get into, well, it is downright disconcerting. Kind of makes George Soros and Facebook Boy look like a couple of pikers by comparison. Admittedly it is a brave new world with the kinds of technologies that are being developed but this is also the kind of stuff that a few individuals, who with malevolent motives could do one world of hurt to untold numbers of people. I am not talking about the fees for downloading content or the rights of content owners, I am talking about knowing everything about everyone and everything. Power and the ultimate corruption of everything.

    Why is no one watching these guys and calling them on the carpet for all the crap they are doing?

    • If you don’t like Google, you can always try Duckduckgo or some other search engine.

      • As I mentioned, it goes much deeper than just the search engine and all that implies. Just look at the market share of G**gle vs. Edge or whatever MSWin10 is calling it these days or any other search engine. Everything else is very lacking although I do find IxQuick to be pretty good. However, it does depend on or integrate G**gle’s engine to some degree or other but is “supposed” to be more private. So their basic tech is fantastic. I even went back to GMail after looking for alternatives. Seems like others won’t/can’t make the effort to create something with similar functionality packaged in a different design to make it distinctive. Nothing seems to be as “complete.”

        It is their ventures beyond basic search that concern me.

      • Agreed. DuckDuckGo is perfectly adequate for most tinterwebz tasks, and (they say) doesn’t track you like Gurgle.

  7. It’s wild how time can twist language. Google used to mean “infinite number”. Now it means “Evil Corporation”. Yes, Google is corrupt and I, personally, have documented proof of them ripping off one of my businesses via Google Ad-words to the tune of 5 figures. I became aware of the problem during the first quarter of 2005, but I never pursued it because, like Hillary, I figured they are too big to jail. Then, over a year later, I read the following in the online edition of the New York Post regarding their Larceny:

    “July 27, 2006 — Google wants to come clean on click fraud….” “Google hopes the disclosure will ease advertisers’ concerns and blunt critics who say the company isn’t doing enough to address the problem. Advertisers have sued the company, which is awaiting approval for a $90 million click-fraud settlement that opponents say lets the company off too easy.”

    Regardless, in reading the Z-man’s piece above, I find myself conflicted. On the one hand I know Google is evil. On the other hand, I too consider myself to be an earlier pioneer of the interwebs and am not quite willing to let go of its “wild west” appeal just yet. I suppose this makes me corrupt too.

    Unless, Google would choose to reach an agreeable settlement with the music industry and provide compensation from their ad revenues?

    Don’t hold your breath.

  8. Todays Second Machine Age* is actually what’s moving us out of our modern feudal system just as the first industrial age took us out of an agrarian age which was limited by horse and oxen power. And thank goodness! Where a single monarch once controlled the gold and the law, now corporations control the gold and government controls the laws. But the techo-robot future is going to change both of these two organizations in ways they can’t possibly understand. Even today, look around at the technically ignorant people in charge who can barely operate a Blackberry or manage an email account. The millennials may get a lot of grief (which every generation has in some form or another) but leave it to them to change things for the better.

    There are two things government and corporations really don’t like us plebs doing; the first is any form of barter for services where they can’t tax or regulate it and the other is when we do things for each other for free. The internet has provided more free stuff whether it’smusic, entertainment, on-line books or blogs like this one. As people have more and more free time, they will contribute their ideas freely via the internet. And not just porn or cat pictures, but engineering and technology ideas, new ways to do things, new inventions and new ideas. Just look at how many online courses you can get that were impossible to obtain in the past. I’m not saying everything in here is all that great, and it’s not all free either, but just think about the ability we have today to freely exchange ideas that never existed 20-years ago.

    Of course we will have to pay for online access just like we do phone service. In a way, it’s really no different than public transportation or roads. They’re not free either, they just seem so because you don’t get a bill in the mail every month. But with more and more things becoming connected online, I can foresee a time where internet access becomes just another monthly utility bill like electricity and water.

    Today’s techy-kids are smarter and know more about this stuff than us old folks since they grew up with it. Look around, tablets and smart phones are as much a part of their culture as pet rocks and disco were in ours. And they’re not going to disconnect from it anytime soon.

    * The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

    • I wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve said here. But there is one big thing that worries me.

      Yes, people can share their ideas freely (and they do). But they no longer have incentive if it’s free, except for altruism. By relying on altruism, you restrict a great deal of the talent market. Take, for example, Elon Musk. He didn’t share his Tesla designs for free. He doesn’t crowdsource rocket designs. He did share his massive government spending proposal for high speed tube transport for free, mostly as a publicity stunt because he knew he would never profit from it.

      Other than some very curious (and brilliant) people, most societal/technological advances have not been made in the name of altruism. I’m concerned about cultural/technological stagnation. That seems to be a prerequisite for dark ages.

      • Elon Musk is an industrialist, pure and simple. So of course he’s in it for the money – I don’t have a problem with what he does or how he is able to use tax money to further science or engineering. The money is better spent attempting something that can contribute to many, rather than perpetually funding people who contribute nothing. But look at what a private person, and some highly motivated people did that NASA couldn’t. The SpaceX program is one the best example of how private companies, not government, can accomplish great things using science and technology. Of course there must be a level of capitalism, and return on investment. But money is not the incentive for pure creativity or passion. That comes from within.

    • The geezers are the ones that created this stuff. And I’ve talked to folks that gave their kids computers in the early days. They learned to program, because that’s how you got it to do what you wanted. Yes young people program but it’s built on the work before. Too many young people just know how to play games.

      • Of course everything we know today was built on things we learned in the past. That’s how we got from the iron age to space travel. Sure, many kids play games. But don’t over look the thousands who are developing programs beyond entertainment. What do you think runs your microwave, your refrigerator, car, CD player, coffee maker and your digital camera? It’s all hardware controlled by software. And it’s not old geezers who are writing the programs that run them. And then think about heavy industry – power plants, manufacturing plants, waste water plants – more and more programming – and not by a bunch of old geezers either.

        Consider that today, kids under 15-years are “playing” with Lego mechatronics and 3D printers which they are learning to program. These are relatively cheap when you compare them to what an Apple II cost in 1982 – ($1298). And they’re making and sharing programs with other kids to make all kinds of things. When we were young, we were happy running train sets in circles. Todays kids are developing programming skills for fun and can actually make things. So from that perspective, the future looks pretty bright.

        • Yeah, computers that run things. We have a pickup. It has a computer that regulates the gas flow. Despite putting out about $900 to get it to start when we turn the key, it still chokes off the gas flow. I have to use starting fluid every time we go anywhere. In the old days, even with beat up old pickups, they started without all this fuss and expense.I hate microwaves. I’ve spent at least 10 years of my life without electricity, although I am probably it’s biggest fan.

          Here: I don’t know how many times I’ve posted a link to this article. What fascinates me is how the Amish consider the effects of technology on their families. If it disturbs family life, they don’t allow it. When you consider that we have people that go to a restaurant and look at their cell phones the entire meal, it’s obvious that some technologies are very disruptive.

          • @ notsothoreau – I agree. Some technology hasn’t been all that beneficial. Nuclear energy is the first one that comes to mind. But it’s a bit silly to blame smart phones for poor table manners, irresponsible parenting skills and socially unacceptable behavior. There are any number of things I would prefer were still analog too, but that’s not the future. As romantic as it may be the Amish lifestyle isn’t the future.

          • No of course we are not going to turn Amish! I do think there is something to be said about evaluating technology. I have talked to people that decided they did not need a computer or the Internet. I know folks that don’t want a smart phone. I would certainly prefer a vehicle without a computer. Technology becomes obsolete in a short time frame. Nuclear energy powers submarines, so I’d say that it has its place. Are we really supposed to believe that Pokeman Go is the height of human creativity? /sarc

  9. Internet access isn’t one way. Facebook does have to build out a network, and they pay for their internet access, as well. Plus the costs of their CDN’s and what not.

    When you download/view an image on facebook, from their perspective, that’s an upload that they have to pay for.

  10. I don’t think the so-called Tragedy of the Commons works very well as an analytical tool for understanding the distribution of “intellectual” property like musical performances or news stories (or, in my case, books I’ve written) over the internet in violation of copyright. The whole point of the ‘commons’ is that these are independently existing natural entities that nobody owns. Therefore, it’s in nobody’s personal interest to maintain the entity and it gets ruined through overharvesting, with everybody trying to get something out of the ‘common’ before it’s all used up.

    That’s not at all the same phenomenon as taking an item that exists solely thought the intellectual activity of its creator and that the creator wishes to grant to the ‘consumer’ only in return for a fee. If anything, it’s the exact opposite of a ‘common’ good, since my book doesn’t exist if I don’t create it first. Now, one can argue about the validity of long-term copyright ownership (like the way Disney keeps messing with Mickey so that he never goes into the ‘common’ of the public domain many decades after his creation and Walt’s demise), but surely nobody would argue that it’s right for some punk to take the book that I wrote and that got published a few days ago (as in fact just happened) and then turn it into a PDF and upload it to some rip-off site so that I get cheated out of any royalties (and the publisher gets cheated out of any return on the investment that it took to edit and publish the work). Surely, that’s no different from going into a car dealership and just driving off with a car without paying for it. (Though not being a Libertarian, I can’t speak for their sometimes peculiar notions of morality and legality.)

    With your blog posts, since you don’t charge for them and simply post them for all to see on the internet, there’s no monetary harm in other people posting them on their own site, though of course doing so without attribution of the source is poor form (and no doubt galling). But somebody else’s making use of your words as if those words were their own would be dishonest (which is known technically as plagiarism).

    • Here’s the other consideration: Music is usually owned by the song publisher, not the artist. If you pay them for rights to use a song, then you have the right to use it. We have all these leftie musicians that bitch every time a Repub uses their song, even though they were compensated for it. No one is stupid enough to think that using a song means that artist endorses that person or group. I lose a lot of sympathy for these musicians.

    • OT, Sauron, but I’m making my way through your Malleus Malificarum now. That must’ve been a blast to translate, though I can’t imagine the work involved in running down the references….

        • Dirty work is right! I would’ve trained as an Early Modernist, but don’t have the IQ points to master all the languages (not to mention palaeography)….. I just wanted to give you an attaboy — nice work!

    • Well, I agree. If I had to do it all over again, I’d take this post a different direction, but I was running short of time and I wanted to jam as many big ideas in as possible. Plus, I liked the title. Maybe I’ll do a follow up tomorrow, but my focus is on the intersection between the problems of public goods, tax farming, monopolistic behavior, cost shifting and third-party payments. In all of these cases we get a disruption of market signals, deliberate and unanticipated. Of course, there’s also my general theme that commerce is not an unalloyed good. It brings trade-offs like all other human activity.

      • Yes, I understand the time pressure. I must say, I’ve remarked to myself recently how much good stuff you put out on such a regular basis! Even Homer nods occasionally, as they say. (Wouldn’t want to come off like a carping jerk, but I thought the analogy a bit off. And it hits close to home when people steal my work!)

        • Usually, I work on a post in the evening for an hour or so and then in the morning over coffee. I don’t put that much time into these things, but sometimes I just crank out something in one shot. This morning I had an appointment so this was a 20-minute special.

          I’ve always found that the more I do anything the easier it gets so that’s why I make sure to do a post a day. Even if it means a few clunkers each week, I maintain a good sweat, as the boxers say.

  11. What’s so bad about techno-feudalism? Seriously; I’m not trolling (I hope I’ve commented here enough to avoid a troll ban). I find myself thinking about that kind of thing a lot these days. Ditto “perpetuate a system that works against the interests of the people.” What if these simply ARE the interests of “the people?” I try to remind myself of Karl Marx, who really thought the proles wanted to work in the factory in the morning, grow crops in the afternoon, and write poetry at night, and only the Iron Law of Wages was stopping them. I tend to think that way, too, because I really can’t conceive of wanting to watch cat videos on YouTube eight hours a day… but lots of people do, and if YouTube went away and we threw Faceberg in a dungeon as the despicable traitor he is, then what? Offer unlimited Soma and a guardian robot to everyone who wants one, and watch how many take it up without a second thought. Adios, democracy, but there you have it. Or am I missing something?

    • The worry I have with techno feudalism, is that unlike its rustic predecessor, its peasants have no value. The villeins had a value to their lords. They produced staple crops that fed the manor house and maybe could be sold to the town for a little profit.

      Techno peasants are surplus population. How will a materialistic elite deal with them? When the ruling class already considers themselves well along the road to transhumanity, probably not well.

    • Think about why feudalism evolved and why it collapsed. As a common defense strategy, it makes a lot of sense. As an economic model, it was just as vulnerable to exogenous threats as the palace system. Techno feudalism has none of the good features of the old feudalism. We have barbarians running loose in our cities now. I don’t think the math on the economic side is any better.

      • That makes sense, but I’m among those who think the barbarians could easily be made techno-peasants if we put our minds to it. The “Game” sites talk about sexbots a lot, for example, as the terminus of the post-Western mating market — beta males checking out permanently with their animatronic waifus. Maybe (probably) so, but I see that as the end of Sudden Jihad Syndrome, too, as their “ideology,” like Progressivism, is a justification for being a sexually repressed perma-loser. I agree that techno-feudalism as Brave New World is horrifying for anyone who values the human spirit, but that’s the thing — most humans don’t, and that’s becoming increasingly obvious.

        • Human society is a pile of sand. The grains at the top depend on the grains beneath them. Maybe the hyper elite has found a way to disconnect. Maybe the West can persist without the people who created it. I’m skeptical.

          • Then again, I’m in the “Western Civ is doomed already” camp, so I’m skeptical, too. Not to be too depressing (too late, probably), but I keep thinking America 2016 is Roman Britain, and we just got the Rescript of Honorious — you’re on your own, good luck, you’ve got maybe a few decades before the barbarians really start landing in force. We had a good run, but it’s over, and the lotus-eating is just beginning….

          • It’s not abrupt. It’s soft, it’s Gramscian. Open more family planning clinics in the ghettos and barrios. Start a “Sterilization, It’s For You” campaign. Write more articles about the burden of parenthood and wouldn’t it just be more fun to head to the gym then fire up Tinder. Cull the dull and suggestible, but keep them happy while you’re doing it. Only cull the one whom productivity advances have made excess.

    • Perhaps I misinterpret you. Democracy is what got us into this state, and good riddance to it.

    • The difference is that feudalism hired people. Techno-feudalism doesn’t and the folks with the money lead hard left.

  12. The ISP I work for did meter usage in the dial up days. You had a basic plan with 10 hours a month and an unlimited plan. (And, FYI, we still have dialup customers. Rural users don’t have a lot of options). Satellite internet is also metered.

    Would be interesting to see what happens if we went to that model. Streaming movies over the Internet is a dumb idea when you think of it. I have folks complain that they can’t do their banking when the service is down. They’ve forgotten that they can call the bank. And of course they want the cheapest possible price.

    I don’t know what the solution is but I expect it will be expensive for consumers.

  13. Off topic: On another blog i vented about Penn Jillette and Gary Johnson, where i quoted your master quote “Libertarians will never go over the top and will, once in a while, turn their weapons on their comrades. You just can’t trust them to fight.”

    To which i added: “Gary Johnson truly is friendly fire this time around.”

    So that’s the post suggestion or request: “Libertarian friendly fire”, because those wannabe intellectual libertarians are almost mirror images of enlightened liberals. And while experts can get Trump up to speed on anything in one hour, at least according to Scott Adams, i very much doubt the same is true for the Jillettes and Johnsons of the world, they are too smart for their own good. I also watched a few interview with Libertarian candidate Johnsons, and would have placed him firmly in the Democratic corner, if i didn’t know any better. The irony of a of debt ridden libertarian candidate talking about fiscal order seems to be lost as well:

    Gary Johnson’s ACTUAL Fiscal Record
    Gary Johnson’s Massive Campaign Debt

    Karl Denninger even made a video about it:
    Doesn’t fiscal responsibility start with your campaign?

    But at least the “feel the johnson slogan” is correct!

    • I’m working on a post about libertarians. I want to be fair so I’m actually doing some research on it.

      • I have strong libertarian sympathies in some regards. But they are as religious as any ideology in the US about their core beliefs. There seems to be a great struggle between conserva-tarians and liberal-tarians about the open borders debate. The liberal-tarians seem to be in the majority there.

        This is something I’ve done a few times and I heard a radio host do it today as well: take a libertarian and when they acknowledge they want open borders, but that it’s impossible with a large welfare state, ask them how they’re going to cut back on the welfare state after letting in millions of indigent aliens who are going to be allowed to vote. The resulting cognitive dissonance is deafening.

        • That one is easy as well. Libertarians support open borders, but also hate the welfare state. The one disposes of the other. They get open borders and it will destroy the welfare state. We know that would mean the complete collapse of our entire economic system, but their dirty little secret, and why they get so flustered when discussing this issue, is that most of them have come to view that chaos as acceptable collateral damage.

      • Libertarians are easy. They have no concept of culture and the role it plays, so they pretend it doesn’t exist.

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