RE: Property [was Re: The Education Function]
Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:28:23 -0700

Steven writes:
>I understand that you feel this way. There definitely does seem to be
>something wrong with forcing people to pay for things they don't need or

Then I don't understand how you can live with the knowledge that you're working for the organization that perpetrates it (and I don't mean the particular agency you're in).

>I agree that market outcomes are most efficient, but I'm not totally
>convinced that these outcomes are most fair.

What could be fairer than a voluntary, mutually beneficial transaction? How could introducing intimidation and coercion - the only alternative to mutual consent - possibly make anything "fairer"? I can't fathom it. Help me out here.

>Understood. What I really want to avoid is the sort of stereotyping of
>other guys" that makes people like Timmy McViegh feel justified in killing
>government employees.

McVeigh has little in common with libertarians. Obviously he doesn't stand for nonaggression! But let's face it, the number of people killed by sickos like McVeigh is utterly insignificant compared to the death toll boasted by the "governments" of the world, including "ours".

>>I'm not the tax man or a DEA agent. I build computer
>>systems for an agency that produces information used primarily by
>>businesses. I understand that you're not happy with way the funds for my
>>paycheck are coerced from you, and I'm unhappy that you're unhappy.

That's okay, you'll get over it. ;-)

>I'll go along with
>eliminating the IRS as long as I can be assured that I'll still be safe
>foreign enemies, still be able to travel rapidly from place to place, etc.

Didn't you admit above that a free market provides things most efficiently?

>OK the mugger case is a bit extreme. But I'm not simply robbed by the
>government, I get stuff from them. I have no doubt that a lot of this
>could be provided cheaper by private concerns, but the status quo seems
>enough to me such that I don't feel pressured to commit myself to
>transforming the system.

You seem to be saying that a regime of coercion is "good enough" for you, because you personally don't feel coerced? It's acceptable that someone is being robbed as long as it isn't you?

>I don't think they'd shoot you unless you were pulling a gun on them or

Oh? You've missed some news about the IRS.

>I understand that you feel violated, and hope that we can find a
>way to rectify this.

Voting for Harry Browne in 2000 would be a start.

>To me it is a great comfort to
>know that no one, not a mugger and not the government, can make me do
>anything I don't want to do. Well, maybe under extreme torture, but you
>the point.

No I don't. What kind of comfort can it give you to know that you can freely choose between "your money or your life"? You have a strange outlook, my friend.

>I'd be more than happy to refund the money you paid for me. I don't want
>your money if you don't want me to have it.

Thanks, but I'd rather the $.000002 you personally got from me went toward a good book for your enlightenment, like _For A New Liberty_. Now if you could refund me _all_ the money the IRS has stolen from me over the years, I'd gratefully give you half.

>>>>Sure, governments do bad things, but so do businesses.

>>That's like saying, sure, Hitler did some bad things, but look at
>>- why their product rots our teeth! There's a little matter of scale,
>>you think?

>Mostly I'm thinking of modern republican governments such as we have here
>the U.S. To me Uncle Sam bears little resemblance to Hitler or Stalin.
>It's a little matter of scale, you see.

Obviously I was drawing an extreme comparison. Okay, to put it into proportion, I think the "bad things" done by businesses stand in roughly the same proportion to the daily predations of the Federal "government" as the IRS's misdeeds vis-a-vis Hitler's. Except, of course, that businesses don't generally engage in armed aggression, which is what Uncle Sam and Hitler have in common.

>I'm not pretending, I'm honestly expressing my views. There are
>some trends in government that concern me, but certain business trends
>me more.

What business trends could possibly worry you more than, say, the "war on drugs" or massive intrusion into our daily lives?