[ExI] Social right to have a living

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Jun 26 20:54:13 UTC 2011

>... On Behalf Of Damien Sullivan
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 12:21 PM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: Re: [ExI] Social right to have a living

On Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 10:54:49AM -0700, spike wrote:
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Social right to have a living
> On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM, Damien Sullivan
<phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:
> >...
> >> So a fair society would give an equal bloc of land to everyone...

>> ... but in the industrial age, litigation has replaced agriculture as a
leading accumulator of wealth...

>"litigation is the leading accumulator of wealth"?  You exaggerrate for
bizarre humor, surely...

No bizarre humor, no exaggeration.  I wish.  My folks bought a farm in 2004.
They were immediately sued for adverse possession of a water pipe two
neighboring farms had been illegally using for several years.  My folks won
that, so the litigants sued on other grounds.  They won that too, so the
plaintiffs sued to have her water rights removed.  Litigation continued for
six years, delaying development of the farm.  Three other litigants became
involved.  My folks won every battle but lost the war.  During all this,
they grew too old to continue the farm plans.  They are now in the process
of rolling up the carpet and moving back to Florida.  Of the five opposing
litigants, one eventually paid his share of my mother's legal bills,
withdrew from all further litigation and has started acting like a decent
human being.  One paid his share, sold everything and left the area, one is
in bankruptcy and two are facing felony charges for perjury and conspiracy
to commit extortion.  The latter three haven't paid.  The legal costs alone
easily exceed the total gross value of the crops produced by all five farms
combined during the six years of litigation.  The uncompensated legal costs
my mother, the eventual "winner," were appalling.  The bastards who sued her
may never recover.  The lawyers who tried these cases made more money in a
few hours in their air conditioned offices than the five farmers could
scratch out of the soil in a decade.  

Welcome to modern farming.  

>> ...  Today land ownership is mostly a  liability.  Liabilities must be
insured.  Most people couldn't buy the insurance...

>What insurance does the ownership of a plot of land compel you to buy? ...
-xx- Damien X-)

Given a plot of land, perhaps someone will decide to trade a few veggies for
cash, so she bangs together a produce stand with a few baskets of freshly
picked produce.  Within minutes, the first customers show up, a couple of
guys in a new BMW.  One gets out, walks around to his trunk, pulls out a
wheelchair, unfolds it, sits down, rolls over towards her vegetable stand
and says loudly, this is a business and I can't access this, I can't access
that, you don't have a wheelchair ramp, you don't have a yakkity yak or a
bla bla.  The second guy is standing there with a video camera running.  The
first guy rolls back, folds his wheelchair, gets in his Beemer while the
camera guy hands the farmer a card saying he is a high powered handicap law
attorney from Dewey, Cheetum and Howe.  He is willing to defend her for
$50k.  Otherwise she can settle with the oddly healthy looking wheelchair
jockey for $10k now, or hand over the freshly minted deed to her
government-issue farm.

A colleague bought a warehouse in Los Angeles that had been rented and used
as an art studio for years.  Since the renter occasionally sold his art
there, the aging facility was a defacto art store.  It had no handicap
access.  The next day after the sale closed, she was attacked by the
wheelchair Gestapo, who settled out of court for $25k.  She had no
insurance, so it all came out of her pocket.

In our modern world, how would a poor person afford liability insurance that
goes with any land ownership, or defend herself against the tsunami of
lawsuits that eagerly and hungrily await every new business?  In some ways,
the least complicated way to live is to own nothing anyone is interested in
suing you for.  Do you propose taking that simplifying poverty away from the


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