Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Criminal Justice in a Stateless Society

Bronya Ferns: Wouldn't putting someone in jail because they have murdered or raped people be infringing upon their individual rights in favour of the collective? How do you feel about jails? Is there a line that can be drawn between scenarios which justify infringing individual rights and scenarios which don't?

Just asking out of interest. I don't know where I stand on this, it's complicated.


Fair question. I would not say that jailing people for murder, rape, assault, fraud, or theft is a violation of their rights because they forfeit the right not to be put in jail because they threaten the other individuals. (jailing them for "victimless" crimes like drug use is a rights violation.)

The problem is, because we live in a state society, no one consented to the laws. In an emergent order, to be a part of a community; or get a house; or buy a car; or get a job; or to collectively buy into garbage collection and other amenities; you would have to agree to conditions first, and those would certainly include not doing The Big Five. Some housing associations might not want people owning firearms, having drugs, or what have you, so everyone would have options as to what the rules are in their area, even non-libertarians. 

It may be that these contract states specific consequences for crimes, eg. "If you are found guilty of stealing, you will be evicted without notice" or "murderers are subject to the death sentence"; or it may be that you agree to submit to a certain arbitration procedures and these would be optimised by free competition on the market to be simple and effective and not unnecessarily bureaucratic unlike state courts, regulations and laws. However it is handled, no one could say their rights were being violated, if they were jailed or fined lets say, after having agreed by contract multiple times to by being subject to these consequences if they took a stated action. 

I personally don't believe in the current penal system because it's inhumane, irrational and not based on evidence, and it does nothing to help or make whole victims. We are just interested in punishing criminals - not helping victims.

So I would say ideally if someone commits a crime they have to pay off the victim according to a reputed authority, and they are allowed to go to any "jail" that is willing to have them. If they are well behaved they can go to a very nice "jail" with lots of great, high-paying jobs to do and pay off the victim quickly. If they are badly behaved nice jails won't have them. If they are disturbed they will go to jails funded by charities, churches, insurance companies, courts and what have you to receive rehabilitation+counselling. These associations will have a huge incentive to implement the best and most effective methods and copy one another's innovations because they don't have a blank cheque from the tax payer, they need to figure out how to use their funds efficiently and stay abreast of innovations.

Those who don't respond to rehabilitation are probs psychopaths and a very small minority of people. They might end up being sent to farms to be with their own kind and have their own "lord of the flies" society, because otherwise they will just be parasitic upon everyone else.

Monday, 26 July 2021

Human Irrationality is an Argument For – Not Against – Free Markets

If everyone was irrational all of the time we would be in big trouble. You’d never know when someone was suddenly going to swerve off the road for no apparent reason and drive into a building, or start babbling to you in tongues over the phone when all you wanted to do was order a pizza.[1]

That being said – people are irrational enough of the time, that behavioral economists are never done telling us that they are not suitable for a market economy and need regulations to “nudge” them in the right direction. They illustrate the point with examples such as the fact that if you want to motivate someone to run you are better giving them $105 dollars a week then fining them $15 a day every day they don’t run, than rewarding them with $15 a day every day they do run ~ even though these things essentially amount to the same thing. So, naturally, we need policymakers to save us from ourselves and make us do the right thing. The irony of this position is that it presupposes that people are rational enough to respond to the incentives the behavioral economists want to mete out to them. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs have been doing more to devise apps that interphase with human psychology and help them adopt better habits than governments ever have! After all, it was the market that gave us Fitbit, mindfulness apps, nicotine gum, calendar apps with build in alarms to make sure we don’t forget appointments; the list goes on and is ever increasing.

For the main part, the market is what defends us against the consequences of the irrationality of others. I will define, for our purposes, rational as: having and acting upon beliefs that are in accordance with reality.[2]

If someone was irrational at all times in all respects, they could not meet the demands of life or sustain themselves, therefore they would either be dead, under the care of others, in a mental institution, or in prison. So, while no one is rational all the time, most people are at least rational enough of the time to exist within a society.

The great thing about the market is, as far as we are concerned, others only need to be rational upon the basis we deal with them. My mechanic might be a raving lunatic who drives his wife up the wall (no pun intended) with his crazy theories about the flat earth and interdimensional big foot people when he is at home, but so long as he is rational when it comes to the operations of fixing my car, it need not be any concern of mine. The pizza delivery guy could have views on race that most people find abhorrent, and I would never even know so long as he delivered it on time! The architect hired to design a bridge for a new highway might be a fanatical communist who thinks all property should be publicly owned, but as long as he is rational enough to follow the laws of physics when it comes to the blueprints, the bridge won’t be built upside down and will not collapse under the weight of the vehicles crossing over it. No one is remunerated on the market for doing irrational things, for example, bringing Squid Waffles to market. No one is interested in buying or eating Squid Waffles. Therefore, they don’t exist.

Now, need I point out, that none of this is the case when it comes to the alternative to the market, which is the political process. All of a sudden everyone’s crazy, irrational views that were none of my business become very real problems to me, because they are going to entre the voting booth and try and model a society that is fashioned based upon them. Someone might even lobby for a government subsidy to open up the first ever Squid Waffles diner! Sound crazy? Well how come the government both subsidizes and taxes tobacco at the same time? This is seemingly “irrational” but it makes sense when you understand that one lobbying block wants tobacco farmers to remain in business, and another wants people to smoke less.

While people’s performance on the market is tied to their rationality, ie., the fact that their views conform to reality and therefore they can deliver the desired results, there is no such failsafe at the ballot box. In fact, as the public choice theorists have been pointing out to us, it’s rational for voters to be ignorant about abstract topics like economics, political science, sociology, statecraft and basically anything necessary to cast a good vote, because learning the facts is time consuming and costly with very few payoffs.[3]

Typically, when you go into the world with irrational views that affect your day-to-day life you will be met with negative consequences. If you have irrational views about eating, you will get sick; if you have irrational views about how to treat your spouse, you will have unpleasant arguments or even a divorce; if you have irrational views about how to run a business, you will soon go bankrupt. In other words – reality provides a corrective against irrational views, or at least tries to!

The dirty secret about government is that replacing the market with its “democratic” control – be it public institutions or regulations – ends up removing this corrective mechanism and encouraging irrational behavior. No one wants to suffer the negative consequences of their own irrational behavior, whether it be an illness resulting from not having taken care of their health, or having a child they can’t support, or setting up a business to sell a line of products for which there is no demand. But democracy is inherently a system where people can make bad decisions and then vote to expropriate the consequences of those decisions to everyone else via the tax system. Those people who conform to reality by building products and providing services that meet the real needs of other people will essentially be punished for good behavior when the tax man comes around to expropriate their gains to pay for rent seekers and vagrants. This creates a tendency towards more costly, irrational behavior and less beneficial, rational behavior in society relative to what there would be on a free market. Over the long term, everyone will be disadvantaged on the whole, including those who seemingly profit from exporting the negative economic consequences of their actions to the body politic because the society they live in will be far less prosperous.

[1] I note that some economists, following Ludwig von Mises, take the position that people are always rational. What they mean by that is that all human behavior is goal-directed behavior and that when someone makes a choice they are choosing what they think will make them achieve that goal. (Mises: “A historian can say... In invading Poland Hitler and the Nazis made a mistake... All that another man can say about it is: I would have made a different choice.” – Theory and History) In my view that is a very specialized usage of the world rational, so I am going with the more commonly used understanding of the term.

[2] Please spare me debates about what reality is or how we know we can know it, Mr. Descartes.

[3] See, for example, Caplan, B. (2007) “The Myth of the Rational Voter.”

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Is Wholefoods "Conscious Capitalism" Effective Altruism?

Wholefoods, one of the most consciously ethical companies in the world, was picketed by animal rights activists in 2003. At first, CEO John Mackey was incensed. After all, Wholefoods are the good guys! Couldn't these would-be revolutionaries take their complaints to McDonalds or Walmart?

After some reflection Mackey, the libertarian author of Conscious Capitalism (2013), decided that it might not be a bad idea to sit down with the activists and hear what they had to say. Asking them, “Why did you attack us?” he received the rather touching response: “Because we thought you would listen. Nobody else will.” 

As a consequence, Wholefoods made the decision to undertake a long and wide-ranging ethical review of how they sourced their meat. In meetings spanning months, they consulted experts in farming, sustainability, animal welfare, economics and lord knows who else. They brought ranchers together with animal rights activists and scientists and worked collectively on establishing objective standards to measure animal welfare. Ultimately, they were able to significantly improve the living standards of the animals they sell. Mackay himself was motivated by what he learned to go vegan.


Mackey is extremely keen to rehabilitate the image that capitalism has, especially among young people who tend to perceive the market economy as cutthroat, exploitative and alienating. He believes the perception that businesses as driven entirely by the “selfish” profit motive is partly responsible for capitalism’s poor standing. He is eager to help people understand that business enriches lives, and fears that unless we rehabilitate the image of capitalism, we may soon slay the goose that lays the golden eggs. After all, free markets have created unprecedented leaps in living standards since the industrial revolution.

I agree with Mackie that business is about creating value for others rather than cutthroat competition. I think most people go into business because they have an idea for a product or service which they think is cool and that people would benefit from, and fantasize about making large sums of money helping people rather than exploiting them. 

Mackey’s vision, and the story of Wholefood's ethical reforms is awe-inspiring in a way, and certainly demonstrates what big business can achieve in serving a higher purpose that speaks to the values of consumers. After all, a man does not live by organic, wholegrain, einkorn bread alone! 

However, in the interests of rigor, I would like to open a discussion about whether this kind of “ethical” or “conscious” capitalism is really the most effective way for companies to “do good” in the world.

I confess I have not been able to reach an answer yet. 


On one hand, the standards that Wholefoods have created for measuring the welfare standards of animal rearing will help all consumers and businesses who want to make ethical choices and minimize the suffering of the animals which they buy and sell.

On the other hand, everything comes at an opportunity cost.

The book Doing Good Better (2015) demonstrates that if you want to donate money to charity then making a choice based upon the best data will make a tremendous difference, because the best charities are literally thousands of times more efficient at allocating resources than the least efficient ones. (Happily, the entire audiobook is available free of charge on YouTube.)

The book was written by William MacAskill, professor at The University of Oxford. MacAskill is one of the pioneers of Effective Altruism, a philosophical movement seeking to bring empirical evidence to people on how to best have a positive impact in the world, be it by their choice of where to donate and spend their money, what career to pick, or where to volunteer their spare time.

Some of the fascinating conclusions MacAskill’s book presents are counterintuitive, and may even infuriate many a would-be conscious-consumer, for example:

1) If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, a donation of $110 a year to the most efficient carbon-offsetting company will help more than giving up your car, turning off all your lights, and taking a train instead of a plane. In fact, it will make you carbon negative, which not even giving up electricity in your house will do!

2) If you want to reduce the suffering of animals you better achieve that by donating to an efficient pressure group than by going vegetarian. (MacAskill is nonetheless a vegetarian.)

3) If you want to help the world's most impoverished people, buying fair trade products is not the way to do it. If you take the difference between the cost of the cheaper non-fair-trade product and the fair-trade product and donate it to one of the most effective poverty charities, your money will do hundreds or even thousands of times as much good per penny.


To summarize the key insight here: most well-intentioned people will assume that the best way to make a positive impact in the world is to make better consumption choices, but usually, donating a relatively small amount of money to an organization that knows how to spend it efficiently will often have a far greater impact then buying a product with ethical credentials or abstaining from the luxuries of civilization.

This is similar to how critics of capitalism tend to think that taxing the rich and giving it to the poor is the best way to alleviate poverty, when actually this creates a trade off in capital investment, which drives all the technology and innovations that increase living standards.

It is well known that our brains wired to respond to stories rather than statistics. For example, people are more likely to donate to a cause advertised by the moving story of one little girl and her tragic disaster than the details of thousands in dire straits, even if the second cause is more urgent and would allow fewer resources to go farther.

If the defence of capitalism is what we seek, then perhaps it will prove to be more important that businesses are seen to be doing good than the measure of how much good they are actually doing. It certainly seems to be important enough for many consumers to pay more for products or round up the cost of their purchases to donate to whatever inefficient charity has been selected by the owner of the kiosk they are shopping at.


As we know, shopping at Wholefoods is expensive. The question for the conscious consumer is whether they are doing better for the world by shopping there to support their policy of ethical meat sourcing, or if they’d have more impact by grabbing cheap animal products in a budget store and donating the difference to the right cause. (My writing on this matter, may strike some as somewhat ironic, as I, mystelf, am known by some in the libertarian community for being an ethical vegetarian.)

A more profound query still might be to ask whether Wholefoods would have reduced more animal suffering by investing in the best evidence-based causes than holding expensive consultations with environmentalists and agriculturalists.

The Whole Planet Foundation, which has alleviated poverty by issuing microcredit loans, is a credit to the world. The question is whether this is a case where the conspicuous benefit is seen, while what is unseen is that the same amount of resources allocated to the most efficient already existing organizations would have done far more good.

I don’t know how we would get the evidence to answer these questions, but there is someone out there who does. (Perhaps we could consult William MacAskill.)


I do not mean to be cynical. This is not an attempt to condemn Wholefoods, or the great John Mackey for their attempts to do good by consumers, animals, and the capitalist system. What Wholefoods have done is revolutionary, and I am happy that there is somewhere where people know for certain that they can get meat that is reared humanely.

But for us nit-pickers – obsessed with hard facts, efficiency and clear answers – the question will remain, what is the ideal libertarian strategy for is doing good in the world?

It is not a trivial question either. The welfare – and even lives – of real people depend upon the answer.

Friday, 19 February 2021

If you don't like it, you *can't* just leave.

I can't actually think of a single other way the "powers that be" could get people, en masse, to literally cheer for having their basic human freedoms (that people fought for centuries and worked their bloody arses off) to be taken away, But not only that, to actually virulently and viciously attack anyone who dares to say "maybe all this has gone a bit too far, eh?" like the person had suggested it should be legal to molest children in public,

Offcom have literally banned anyone going on air who would say that the WHO or CDC are mistaken or question their position, even though these organisations have contradicted themselves multiple times and proven themselves wrong. Even for those in favour of the lockdown, it should be a complete affront to them that in what is called a liberal democracy, we are allowed no public debate on the media about the government policy. In fact Boris and Nicola (two cheeks of the same arse) have each been given the "emergency powers" to pass policies that affect everyone in the country unilaterally, without so much as a discussion in parliament which itself is dictatorial.

We read 1984 and in history we are told how in communist and fascist dictatorships there was censorship and only one opinion was allowed to represented on the media. They literally will not have ANY experts on who will present data against the government's position on television and have not since the beginning of the lockdowns. No one seems to notice, no one seems to care, no one seems to criticise except a few of us.

Finally, I hope you realise, they have literally BANNED you from leaving the country, right? This is critical here. They have banned you from leaving the country. Constantly we have heard the chorus from statists, over and over again, telling us, singing from the same hymn sheet over and over again like they were programmed to do so, (they were by the way,) "Well, if you don't like it, you can just leave." That's what they always say.

Well guess what? 

If you don't like it, you can't just leave.

Live your life to the fullest you can under these conditions. Spend time with your loved ones, skype your granny, post letters to people who would never expect to get them for you. Read amazing novels, listen to insightful podcasts, watch those movies everyone says are fantastic but you just never got around to. Take exercise! Pursue your spiritual practices, pray to whatever deity you believe in, practice yoga, lean to meditate - I know you've been putting it off! But while you do that, oppose this flagrant regression to rule by barbarism with love in your heart.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Capitalism is for The People

There has never been a true free market but there have been degrees and we can measure the success in degrees. Chile is the most free market country in south america and the most prosperous (including for the poor). Estonia is the most free market of the post-eastern block countries and the most prosperous. Hong Kong and Singapore used to be as poor as Africa but became two of the richest countries in the world in 30-40 years because they became MORE free market that Europe and america. The African countries which have come up THE MOST have been those who have adopted free market policies, Ghana, Ethiopia (which had famines constantly under socialism), Rwanda, Tanzania, Botswana, etc. I only despair because I don't know how much evidence we need of the poverty-destroying effects of adopting free markets to change peoples opinion when the ideology is so fixed in their heads that socialism is "for the people" while capitalism is "for the rich." It's not true, capitalism FORCES the rich to SERVE the poor by delivering them those goods and services which THEY choose to patronize. If they don't serve the masses they don't earn a profit. If they don't improve their living standards by lowering the price of products and improving the quality of the products, someone else will come in and do it and outcompete them. Capitalism is for the people.

Usual Caveats Apply: Under the current system of capitalism we have corporations use the government to gain special privileges and bias the market, and this IS NOT for the people, etc. etc. etc. 

Friday, 5 February 2021

The Viewers Don't Want to See how Filthy their own Faces Are

There's a reason why they don't show slaughter houses on tv. There's a reason why they don't discuss spanking in any great depth with inference to evidence, routine infant circumcision, how to resolve interpersonal conflicts, or even how to reason. It's because there is a big taboo on television. And it's not on discussing the bankers, or 'exposing the people who are really pulling the strings.' The biggest taboo on television is not the corruption of politicians, bankers, or corporations. They are fair game. Broadcasting them is unlikely to inspire much change. That's all still divide and conquer - us vs them....... The biggest taboo on television is you. Anything that might question or challenge your personal habits or ethics and make you have to make changes in your own life. That's taboo. That's not allowed. People will complain.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Horizontal vs. Top-down Control

When I was growing up I got really into the "grand" global conspiracy. I went to see David Icke speak with my brother in a relatively small room in Stoke on Trent around 2002. There were only maybe a couple hundred people in the audience.

Later on, around 2007, I got really into economics and libertarianism. I began to think a less about the "global" conspiracy. Suddenly most of what I saw going on in society could be explained by economic incentives. 

For one thing, people like free stuff, of course they are going to vote it for themselves whenever they can. They don't typically see this as looting the commonweal, living at the expense of their neighbour, but "fair" in light of the challenges they face in life. Society has never told public sector workers, for example, that this is shameful, all is fair under democracy. A vote is a vote and a policy is a policy.

As a corollary, those individuals that make up government want power - even if it is power to "do good" according to their own values. One way the government can get power, while garnering the support of the populace, is to bribe people with handouts. People who receive benefits are from the state are likely to be supporters of the state. All the public servants, school teachers, university professors, campaign contributors, not to mention the politicians themselves, are basically bought off with public funds to be tacit allies of government. In addition to this, they keep an underclass on welfare, who can always be relied upon to support the institution of government out of fear of starvation. 

When our societies were not very affluent, only a small percentage of people's income could be appropriated in taxes because, say, a "0% reduction in the average person's living standards would have  been huge. As we have grown richer, the total tax many people pay is far in excess of half of their income. This allows the government to have a far greater number of people than ever before on its payrolls to protest tax increases, however, it does not cause the tax-payer themselves to starve. In addition to this, they believe they are at least in receipt of some services that have come to be seen as impossible to provide without government by the great majority of people, including roads, hospitals and schools. By this final act, the support of even the net tax-contributors are won over to the idea of government, and all of this is explainable merely by the incentives of the system itself. This is what you could more or less expect to happen in an affluent democracy. 

It's power being solidified, it's not difficult for the corporations, who deal with huge sums of money, to buy the government. In fact they are incentivised to do so. As soon as a corporation gains a greater return on their investment by lobbying the government than they do from serving their customer, that is what they are going to do. This completes the circle. 

Organisations like WHO, IMF, World Bank and CDC work in the interests of the corporations, but people think they are "government" agencies; which they take to mean working in the public interest.  

Now, this doesn't mean I don't believe individual conspiracies take place. For example, murder of Jeffrey Epstein. Other conspiracies such as The Lavon Affair or Operation Gladio are even freely admitted to have occurred. It just means that I don't necessarily think these need to be centrally orchestrated in smoky rooms by the same cabal of powermongers. 

The term conspiracy theory, itself, is simply used to dismiss claims out of hand and relieve people of the need for further investigation. The term "conspiracy theorist" is synonymous with "nut," and it is popular to psychologize people who believe in conspiracies as having some strange motive to find patterns where there are none. However, someone can have psychological tendencies which drive them towards a position - and that position can still be true! One of the appeals of the "conspiracy theorists" in the pre-YouTube world was exactly that they would bring context to a media landscape devoid of it, where the media would portray complex events as a snapshot in time. For example, propagandizing the populace with the claim that, "Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds," without showing either of the videos of Donald Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, meeting with Hussein in the 80s to sell him weapons.

Like many, recent events regarding the Global Pandemic (or "Globalist Plandemic" to conspiracy theorists), like many, have really made me think again of the global conspiracy again.

A global conspiracy, of course, could exist, and by its very nature of being secret and covert we would not even know about it.

My question though, remains, what is actually the scarier thought?

If there are just a handful of evil men who are orchestrating world event, up to no good, then it is relatively easy to depose them.

If it is not a centrally planned conspiracy then the world becomes far harder to fix. You have a nice neighbour, but he doesn't believe you should be able to operate a hair salon without a licence. Your drinking buddies want to take your guns. Your churchmates don't think gays should be allowed to get married. Another friend says Soviet Russia wasn't real communism and real communism has never been tried. All the people at your local theatre group support you being taxed to pay for allopathic medical treatments that you disagree with, taking money from you to pay big pharma. Atheists want Christians to pay for abortions. Meat eaters want vegans to pay for subsidies to dairy farmers. 

In other words - control is not exerted upon you vertically, from above, but horizontally, by the very people around you, whom you love.


Monday, 4 January 2021

Charity or Investment?

There is general bias towards the belief that if rich people give away their money (or are taxed is more) then that will be more beneficial to humanity as a whole than if they reinvesting their fortune in the stock-market. When people hear that such-and-such is a billionaire, they tend to think Mr. Billionaire is 'hoarding the money' and he 'doesn't need it because he is rich enough' as though the money is sitting under his bed. But it's not, it's invested in businesses that often end up doing a great deal of good, not for Mr. Billionaire, but for the average person. To illustrate, imagine:

Option A. Mr. Billionaire gives away 1.2 billion to Africans, might be a drop in the ocean. This amounts to around $1 per person. Very soon the money is spent, nothing systematic has changed, and things revert to more or less the way they were before. 

Option B. Mr. Billionaire invests 1.2 billion in an engineering company that invents an innovation in communications technology for people’s phones. This is driven by consumer demand, but it ends up making it significantly cheaper to build infrastructure in Africa. This sets aspects of the process of development forwards by a decade. It actively takes people out of poverty is a durable way.

The advantage investment has is it’s actually responsive to public preferences. I.e. If people don’t buy the products that Mr Billionaire invests in it will get re-diverted into things that people do want to buy. There is a feedback mechanism to prevent it from being wasted, as the rich guy does not want to lose his investment. 

Giving is more guess work. 

This process does not depend on the magnanimity of the investor either. He can invest out of pure self-interest and still benefit society as a whole. If the first millionaires gave away their money rather than reinvesting them in other businesses thinking that was the best way to do good it may have set back technological progress by decades we might not have computers yet.

These things are more complex than people intuit. If world poverty was as easily solved as some think it could be we would have done it already.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Corona Virus Lockdown Truth Bombs

1) The simple fact is that if you want stuff - i.e. wealth rather than poverty... people have to actually Make the stuff. It doesn’t come out of thin air. 

2) It’s nice to think that with a magic wand all we have to do is appropriate the wealth of "the greedy rich" and redistribute it, but the fact is almost all the money they have is invested in the machines and factories that make a modern standard of living possible, and the technology that promises to improve it in the future. Moving it from capital investment to consumption will make everyone poor not rich. They will go out to the shops and spend it, the price of goods and services will shoot through the roof, and we will be worse off. 

3) Spending does not create wealth saving does.

4) If you stop people working for the best part of a year don’t be surprised when everyone is poor in the future. It’s going to take years for people to recover from the poverty, possibly decades.

5) If people blame the on eeeevil capitalism they will end up killing the goose that laid the golden eggs that bought all the privileges they are lamenting having lost from shutting the economy down. 

6) It may be nice to fantasize that some benign gods will come along to take over and run everything in the interests of "the people" (whatever that means) - but we are infinitely more likely to end up looking like Venezuela or Cuba. 

7) If you're not scared of this outcome you should be. 

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Governments Are Not Incentivized to Solve Problems

States arose with agriculture, around the same time as slavery. When states were monarchies, it was relatively obvious that the institution existed - like slavery - to separate people into two classes. One that produced, and another one that consumed. 

This fact became intolerable, and people demanded to have a say in how the state was run. They did not imagine that states, as such, were the problem, but simply that they were run by monarchs. They could no longer imagine forms of organisation that did not involve state, but really states are the anomaly. Throughout most of history there were none. They are a logical error predicated on misunderstanding of economics. 

Economics demonstrates that people and institutions tend to act as they are incentivized to behave.

Companies gain wealth from providing goods and services for money, the consumer is king and puts them out of business if they don't deliver the goods. Charities have limited resources and must allocate them effectively if they are to do well in league tables. Even then there is still corruption.

The government is simply not incentivized  to solve problems. First, they get paid whether they do a good job or not. Second, they monopolize services so they can't compare their performance to other strategies and adopt other people's innovations. 

Damningly, the government derives its power from people being poor because the pretext for every government program is "how will the poor get xyz if the government does not provide it". 

If poor people become rich they will just do what middle class people do which is take their kids of out public schools and put them in better private schools, take out health insurance so they don’t need to rely on poorer nhs hospitals, there will be less crime so less need for police, and no poor people to go in the army and fight endless wars in the Middle East. With the diminishing need for social programs because people are rich enough to solve their own local issues, there will be less need for social workers and other social services. Millions of government bureaucrats will no longer be necessary. How can the government even make them redundant given that A) they represent a huge voting block? and B) they are heavily unionized. 

Solving problems reduces the need for government and no one puts themselves out of a need for a job unless they are forced to. The incentive structures are such that government are doomed to fail and basically everything that economic theory predicts you will find from government is exactly what you see the results to be. More and more dependence, less self-sufficiency, people bribed with public funds to support this or that policy, and driven to hatred of one another.