RE: Property [was Re: The Education Function]

Webb_S (
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 08:22:51 -0500 wrote:

>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 don't mind paying for my agency, and neither do a significant number of other people. While I understand you would like to see this agency eliminated, you'll have to handle that yourself. Such as by voting for politicians who want to dismantle it.

>>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.

Unfortunately we have two concurrent message threads. See my example in the other thread.

>>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?

That's not the same thing. If we're going to do away with the federal gov't I'd like a smooth transition. In other words, I'd like to see the private entities in place, tested and ready to deliver service before switching over.

>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?

That's not quite it. I understand there is some growing minority that sees no difference between the government and a mugger. The best way to handle this still seems to be through the normal electoral process. Elect some libertarian leaders who will do away with the government.

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

Perhaps. Do you have a news story about the IRS blowing someone away?

>Voting for Harry Browne in 2000 would be a start.

I'll consider your suggestion.

>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.

Perhaps, but it's an outlook that provides great power. Most people don't seem to understand the difference between having no choice and having choices they don't like. Of course, this doesn't mean that we should be content with the currently available choices.

>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 don't agree with your ranking of business versus gov't misdeeds. There's not much point in arguing this particular point further because we're talking about purely subjective judgements. At the high end of the spectrum, *if* we consider wars to be misdeeds then the top 10 list of misdeeds would probably all be government misdeeds. That's a pretty big if, however.

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

There's one category of things I worry about because they affect society, but the probability that they'll affect me as an individual is very low. The war on drugs falls in this category. Then there's another category of things very likely to affect me as an individual. On the employment front for example there are industry trends toward longer work hours, use of DNA tests to deny insurance or exclude me from certain jobs, tracking of Internet use and e-mail, outsourcing/reliance on temp workers, and the H1B issue (which although implemented by government is purely industry-driven). While these things may not measure up to certain government transgressions, their risk and impact to me are much greater.