My aim in pointing the economic arguments out is this: Usually there is a time period where, when you meet a statist nut, you are unsure of whether they respect logic, or not.
My father is exactly the type of communist/socialist that you describe. Neverending 'buts' to every line of logic I can provide.
My rule is to try once (per person), and when they show me they have no grounding in logic (and thus reality), I fall back to your method.
You can't have a rational conversation with a lunatic. (Well, actually I've had better conversations with actual 'lunatics' than with the average utopian socialista.
But I do also recognize that there are many people who are 'socialist' or 'communist' that have simply listened to whatever seems to them to be most likely, or whatever they have been lobbied with by their peers. They are not readers of Marx, or possibly not readers of much in the way of books. They simply are swayed by the emotional arguments, rather than hearing both sides. These people have the potential to listen to our views, and perhaps be swayed to our way of thinking.
My dad? Not likely. Waste of time.
I met a girl at a party once, who was in the middle of explaining to everybody that 'the world is overpopulated, so we need to make a law that stops people having so many children!'.
People were standing around, nodding to everything she said.
I replied, "But are you aware that research has shown that there is plenty of available land and resources for a much larger population, even now? And that the free market price mechanism, that makes prices go higher when something is rare, and lower when something is abundant, ensures that we will never really run out of anything, unless a government or some other entity makes it artificially cheap by way of force?"
Her reply: "Well, I still think there's too many people."
The good thing is: the other people in that group spent the next four hours asking me questions and thanking me for showing them a different, less depressing perspective on the issue of population and economics. And they stopped listening to her. That's worth bothering for.
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry
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