Goddard swallows Huben's line

Anton Sherwood (dasher@netcom.com)
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 18:35:39 -0700 (PDT)

Ian Goddard writes
: The federal government is the landlord of the
: property known as the United States. The rules
: of the landlord must be followed or penalty
: is effected. It is not coercion so long as
: you are free to leave the U.S. property if
: you have a problem with the contract.
: As we can see, the U.S. property arrangement
: is not different than the "private property,"
: for we are free to leave the U.S., therefore
: the application of U.S. law is not coercion.
: You do not have to sign the contact to be
: compelled to abide by it. When I walk into
: a store, I still have to abide by their rules
: even if I did not sign a contact. Entry =>
: agreement with the terms of the property.
: Thus to enter a preexisting claim is to
: agree to the rules therein, or not, in
: which case the landlord can use force
: according to libertarian moral theory.

You've forgotten one thing. The Washington regime did not get here
first. It was created, by people and states with pre-existing land
claims, and exists by virtue of a contract -- which it has broken.
If the government doesn't like the contract which allows it to exist,
rather than amending it by unilateral fiat (i.e. appointing judges to
interpret that the contract couldn't possibly mean what it says), it
should leave our land.

A better analogy is between the government and a carpenter
hired to repair a stairway, who once inside the house pulls a gun
and says "This house is mine now, and if you don't like it you
can leave."

: What makes the market work is the ease with
: which customers can exit a given establishment.
: What makes government not work is the difficulty
: with which customers can exit the country. [...]

Agreed. As Coase said, low transaction costs can make
the initial assignment of rights irrelevant.


Kristen Brennan (codewarrior princess) writes
: I believe US Court precident is that if party A has
: enjoyed the benefits of a contract for several years
: without contesting it, then party B may hold them to
: the contract's constraints, even if they haven't signed it.
: I'm not sure how I feel about this, but couldn't the US
: make the case that American Libertarians have used government-built
: highways, and enjoyed the protection of fire dept., police, etc.,
: even if they haven't taken advantage of them?

But where's the contract that purports to supersede
the Constitution as ratified? What are its provisions?
Who are its parties?

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\* DASher@netcom.com