[ExI] The Circle of Coercion/was Re: Friedman and negative income tax

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Tue May 5 15:12:54 UTC 2009

--- On Tue, 5/5/09, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/5/5 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:
>> Might or might not.  There's no a priori reason to
>> expect that to happen -- and there seems a large amount of
>> data on people who will stayed unemployed for a lifetime
>> provided they have enough financial support to do so.  And
>> I don't mean people who get grants and write operas or have
>> a go at deciphering the Indus Valley symbols.  (I've lived
>> in neighborhoods full of able-bodied pre-retired people who
>> just collected check.)
> I suppose it depends on your definitions. If people retire
> at 65 and
> collect a government pension, even though they are still
> able-bodied,
> is that wrong?

Oh no, my experience was not of people that old.  I was talking about people who were well under 65, able-bodied, and not working at all.  That's why I added in "pre-retired."

>> Of course, you were talking about people with a
>> specific problem who get support as part of the package to
>> help with that, correct?  That might be far from the
>> general case.
> Yes, I was referring to those on a disability pension.
> There are also
> payments for the aged and the unemployed. It's difficult to
> fake being
> old but it probably isn't too hard to fake being
> unemployed: welfare
> recipients may work covertly or they may present themselves
> in job
> interviews (they have to show evidence of looking for work)
> in such a way as to ensure that they won't be hired.

It's also not hard to fake certain types of disability -- or to play them up.  (I speak from experience here, so don't interpret this the wrong way.)

>> (It's also true that in a free society, such people
>> could be taken care of through private charity rather
>> than coerced support.)
> I would feel very bad accepting private charity, but I
> would feel
> quite comfortable accepting government welfare if I were
> eligible.

This actually tells us why private charity would be better: it's inherently much more self-limiting.  Those who really need it -- and, to be honest, I've relied on it in my life (and I've also helped others) -- will accept it, while those who don't (and this is subjective, of course) will be less likely to accept it.

> Government welfare is like collecting the insurance if my
> house burns
> down: I pay the premiums and if I need it, that's part of
> the deal.
> The deal with government welfare is that if I work, I pay
> taxes. I'm
> forced to pay my taxes, but I'm also forced to pay
> professional
> indemnity insurance by my employer.

The key point is: it's forced.  The whole system is based on coercion and on perpetuating coercion: you were robbed, so you're entitled.  Where does your entitlement come from?  Well, from robbing others to keep the system going.  From an Extropian perspective, is this the kind of thinking and system we want to perpetuate?

> If I don't want to pay either I
> don't have to work.

That's sort of like saying, "If I don't want to pay the local crime syndicate, I can just avoid having a business in town."




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