[ExI] The Circle of Coercion

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri May 8 07:10:53 UTC 2009

2009/5/7  <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:

> I don't think so.  Prisoner's Dilemma's result from the inability of participants to signal each other and to depend on anything more than each participant trying to maximize some specific reward.  In the real world, people can signal each other and they have different notions of what constitutes a reward.  On the latter, for example, some of us want to live in a world with lower coercion and will forego at least some potential near term rewards from coercion for this -- and even suffer some specific punishments for it.

The Prisoner's Dilemma is relevant to taxation. It is possible that
there is some project, costing money, which would give everyone
utility greater than the amount they paid. However, each person would
be even better off if they didn't contribute, since the project is of
a type which benefits the cheats as well as well as the contributors.
But if everyone cheated, the project would not go ahead, and hence
everyone would lose. So, when it comes to the vote, everyone would
vote to be forced to contribute - since that would mean everyone else
would also be forced to contribute (a better outcome still would be
that everyone except me is forced to contribute, but that vote
obviously isn't going to pass). This is what a tax is.

Stathis Papaioannou

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