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By that logic cars shouldn't have to abide by crash safety regulations. If you want a safe car, buy a Volvo. Everyone else can drive deathtraps that burst into flames if they're so much as dented.



Safety is important. Forcing a design of a product to your objectively high standards is not.


Saying safety is important or repairablity is important are both subjective value judgements. I see zero reason why your estimation of the value of a safe car should force me to subsidize that safety when I buy a car, any more than me valuing a repairable design should force you to subsidize the extra documentation.


Your selected example has a negative externality of being deadly to bystanders if driven on a public roadway, and a more measured man might make some stipulation about such a vehicle only being driven on private land, but this is fundamentally how I feel. If I want to die in a flaming wreck, or if I want to accept a chance of dying in a flaming wreck in exchange for a discount on material goods, I don't want well-meaning bureaucrats to gavel about telling me I can't do it because they know what's best for me. We all make tradeoffs and take chances in life, and you wouldn't like me telling you which tradeoffs and chances to take, so why should you get to tell me which tradeoffs and chances to take? An appeal to numbers (democracy -- that thing that got Hitler elected) won't get very far at changing my mind, nor will an appeal to the ideal social contract conceived of by an entity whose intelligence approaches the hypothetical limit (for more than one reason, but most simply because I generally accept the orthogonality thesis).


> Your selected example has a negative externality

So does planned obsolescence.

> If I want to die in a flaming wreck, or if I want to accept a chance of dying in a flaming wreck in exchange for a discount on material goods, I don't want well-meaning bureaucrats to gavel about telling me I can't do it because they know what's best for me.

The well-meaning bureaucrats aren't out there to take away your freedom. They're there for all the other people - people who aren't anywhere close to being perfectly rational market players engaging in fully voluntary exchange of goods. History teaches us that if the market can get away with unsafe goods, not only it will, but those goods will become the only thing available to people without lots of discretionary income (i.e. most of the population). The only way to prevent this is by not allowing the market to even go there.

> We all make tradeoffs and take chances in life, and you wouldn't like me telling you which tradeoffs and chances to take, so why should you get to tell me which tradeoffs and chances to take?

Again, you're technically in control of which side of a tradeoff you pick, but you aren't in control of how the sides balance out. It's easy for the market to price the tradeoff in such a way that most people are forced to take the option that's harmful to them, or society at large. I might not like you telling me which tradeoffs to take, but I would appreciate if you were able to take some of the things forced on me and turn them around, or at least back into real tradeoffs.


>The well-meaning bureaucrats aren't out there to take away your freedom. They're there for all the other people - people who aren't anywhere close to being perfectly rational market players engaging in fully voluntary exchange of goods.

I never claimed to be a perfectly rational market player engaging in a fully voluntary exchange of goods. Any human claiming to be fully rational lacks a healthy amount of introspection, and we're almost all faced with the prospect of starving if we don't partake in the exchange of goods. I want choice despite these shortcomings, and I don't have any desire to deprive others of choice if they're less rational or more desperate during their decision making processes.

>History teaches us that if the market can get away with unsafe goods, not only it will, but those goods will become the only thing available to people without lots of discretionary income (i.e. most of the population).

If those goods are banned, the alternatives will cost more. Who am I to tell somebody who can't afford a car with airbags that they shouldn't have the option to buy a car without airbags? You rightly point out the wretched state of the world with dispossessed masses of people, but then you deny those dispossessed masses the ability to make their own decisions about what to do with those few possessions they do have.

Edit:

> I might not like you telling me which tradeoffs to take, but I would appreciate if you were able to take some of the things forced on me and turn them around, or at least back into real tradeoffs.

Cost saving quality cuts are a real tradeoff -- they make goods and services available to those who would otherwise not be able to afford them.


> If those goods are banned, the alternatives will cost more.

That does not necessarily follow. They may very well cost the same or slightly more. Even in competitive markets, the assumption that price of a product is very close to the minimum possible costs of manufacturing does not hold. Real markets are nowhere near that efficient. There's lots of wiggle room in prices.

My overall point here is that removing some options isn't about taking away people's freedom to choose; it's about preventing the market from offering a rigged choice in the first place.


Isn't not being able to replace / recycle the batteries in products a negative externality?


Without mounting an argument that others have to buy such products due to market forces, no, because the issue only affects the consumer and not those around them. A lack of security updates and no way to roll your own is more in the ballpark, since your IoT-whatever could be borged into a botnet and used to cause further damage, but even that seems like a reach compared to the danger of an exploding automobile.




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