In a webbed essay Matt Zwolinski, a philosopher who identifies as a bleeding heart libertarian, offered several possible arguments in favor of a guaranteed basic income or something similar. While the position is not one popular with libertarians — the only other example that occurs to me of a libertarian defending it is
On a slightly more important issue, if Donald Trump did not have the foresight and courage to pardon those like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, his message of draining the swamp is as empty as most of his rhetoric. I ask, how can anyone take him seriously? Does he have some secret plan he cannot divulge for fear of being discovered? Lol
I've never understood an argument against tariffs that doesn't seem to me applicable to sales taxes. Particularly in jurisdictions where sales of certain things are exempt from the tax: Bibles but not biographies, prescription medication but not OTC palliatives, fresh produce but not canned. I'm also accustomed to jurisdictions that stack taxes on atop another, the gasoline itself taxed per gallon AND the externalities of emissions from the pumps subject to municipal Pigouvian taxes nominally applied to reducing smog, imposed on a per-pump basis. Any of these distort the market and afflict customer choices and fair competition. Why pick on tariffs? There's a famous economist who has argued " in favor of cutting taxes at any time, in any way, in any form. " Yeah, agreed. But I wonder if, offered the opportunity to reduce either tariff rates or to reduce, to the same net effect, the rate of some other widely-imposed tax or some combination of such taxes (hotel taxes on domestic travelers, a "garage" tax on private vehicles, (until recently) taxes on long distance telephone calls priced by distance and time...) would a tax on imported goods really be the first tax to be cut? Why are tariffs singled out?
There is only one way to stop the fascism that has been going on for centuries. I believe fascism is best explained as the merger of State and corporate powers. We don't think about that first contract signed by our government in it's early history, to supply some sort of goods or service, yet today no one knows exactly how many contracts, grants, or types of corporate subsidies, that are influenced by the campaign contribution system. We found one company, who only does consulting, with over 4,500 existing government contracts and many more in the pipeline. How deep does the swamp really go? Do your really think it's coincidental that General Dynamics has the government contract to supply and operate the VAERS system or that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has paid out over $5 billion in vaccine injury claims (before the plandemic) and there is not a peep out of the MSM and/or the politicos as they help to steal the wealth of the majority.
They have been stealing from the taxpayers for literally millennia's, under the guise of the general welfare, with fascists like John D. Rockefeller at the ripe old age of 23, selling goods to the Federal Government to supply the Union Army during the American Civil War. Slavery? Yea right? The Romans and British did the same thing, as did all the major authoritarian powers throughout history, that have been raping and pillaging the majority.
They have been committing crimes against humanity and only those that try to stop them are prosecuted; a very long list. It is time to return the favor and end this bloodletting forever.
It is the moral responsibly of every single Citizen between the ages of 17 and 45, as automatic members of the militia, noted in the 2nd Amendment, with the assistance of all other adults to use our rights to citizen's arrest and the adoption of military tribunals operated by our various State and local militias. Look up 10 U.S. Code § 246 - Militia: composition and classes, if you think I wrong. And the 14th gives us the authority to stop any ongoing insurrections, treasons and plots. If you don't think these folks are breaching such things as their oaths of office and committing other crimes against humanity, God bless your ignorant soul. They are but a few in the whole system within our States and Federal Govs., that are actually trying to protect and/or defend the "intent" of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Counter Insurgency Studies and Observations Group (COINSOG) have been in existence for over 30 years and no one believed them. How much longer are you folks going to continue to let the Fasci continuously steal the wealth of the majority? We the People have the ethical right to seize that which has been stolen from we the people under their various lies and propaganda, when those who we have given the authority to do it, will not. $Trillions have been stolen from the majority and it is time to take it back and end the tyranny and bloodletting that has occurred over the millenniuns under their fascist controls. It is time for we the people to call forth the 2nd amendment Militia and all the able-bodied men and women to help arrest and prosecute the Fasci. We know who they are and I bet most of you have a long list.
"A small violation of rights is more than outweighed, in my moral calculus, by an enormous benefit in consequences."
Where do we stop once we're in the business of moral calculus?
If my fifth yacht is standing unused, is it not equally justifiable to expropriate it to feed thousands of starving children in the third world?
The argument against absolute property seems clear and persuasive, but has a flaw.
Where does the absoluteness reside? Consent. But in this critique this is interpreted to mean explicit prior consent. Absolute property means that the owner can consent or not to all uses. But in practical terms, as opposed to abstractions, this does not mean that the libertarian god will read the owners' minds and prevent any violation. It means that the owner has a choice of what to consent to explicitly, what to tolerate (consent implicitly), and what to turn into a dispute before an arbitrator.
Most people will not bother to take the flashlight beamer to court. If some do, the arbitrator will either toss it out, or assess damages appropriate to the tort - which is to say, nothing. It is up to reasonable participants to decide what amounts to a violation that is significant enough to dispute. Unreasonable ones will be disappointed with the result.
Does this just throw in the towel, and change the terminology without answering the substance of the criticisms of absolute property? I don’t think so. Common law precedent and common sense give us a pretty good basis for guessing what property owners will consent to implicitly and what they won’t. While it is not restricted to the cost of repairing damage or reducing usefulness, that has a lot to do with it. Instead of having economists and legislators trying to count utility, it just allows the participants to work things out. There is an important difference between letting an arbitrator or jury decide what is a proportionate penalty and giving bureaucrats an unlimited easement on all property.
Perhaps one could argue there is a gray area in between the obvious de minimus violations and the obvious real violations, an area not yet proved by the common law. I doubt its relevance.
Absolute property requires that people make judgements about what de minimus violations the owner will tolerate, but this is not the game stopper depicted in the argument. If it is happening to everyone all the time, common law says we can assume the owner consents, and find out later whether we were wrong. If penalties for violations are proportionate and reasonable, what is the problem?
What is actually at stake here? The thing that comes to my mind is that absolute property implies that takings should always be compensated, or at least grounds for a dispute that could result in compensation. But again, if juries and arbitrators don’t go crazy, this is what we want. Perhaps it will fail, when the chain of cause and effect between a tortfeasor and victim is obscure. Will “public servants” be better able to discover it?
Libertarians: born on third, think they hit a triple, mocks others for being worse hitters; the "crazy" ones think maybe others should be allowed to bat.
Here's my libertarianish defence of income redistribution: By choosing to live under a particular sovereign, one consents to paying the taxes that this entails. The sovereign is then free to use the tax income as he pleases, at it is rightly his money.
As usual, I feel slightly more educated after reading one of your posts.
I also feel negatively towards Rawls, but that is because he thinks that people can find truth by trying to forget everything that they have ever learned, starting from a blank slate, which is impossible to do. And a terrible idea.
Note: I have been trying to read your economics book. I did finish the PJ O'Rourke one, but was primarily left with some interesting stories of how other countries work, as opposed to learning much about economics. I learned a little more from your book, but maybe I should stick to stuff I'm good at.