Re: The Libertarian action?

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sat Nov 04 2000 - 11:48:39 MST

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> Even if someone is significantly
> increasing the amount of nearby noise, and thereby actually decreasing
> property values, the property owners have no "shared infrastructure" argument
> unless the noise goes above the legal limits for commercially zoned property -
> it was a risk that should have been factored into the initial buying decision.

In fact, let me amplify on that last part. Buying property is not a risk-free
activity. Bars open and bars close. Famous theaters move away and famous
theaters move in. Bus routes change and train stations open. It's only
natural that property owners should wish to control events - help bars close,
stop bars from opening, complain when bus routes change (the more so as it's a
public, governmental function), even sign petitions to stop theaters from
moving away. Maybe they'll open up a plague house next door that'll cut
property prices in half, and maybe the new megamall will open three doors away
and your prices will shoot up by a factor of ten. The Libertarian credo is
that, even though it may be to the benefit of individuals to try and exert
control in specific cases, in the end everyone loses once the government gets
involved. Looking over the interaction of people building and owning
buildings, what I see is a free economy that should be protected from
government interference, even if some people lose on individual transactions.
That's why I have a strong a priori prejudice towards choice A in situations
like these - though the real answer depends on who owns the noise spectrum.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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