[ExI] Direct confiscation for funding

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed May 18 22:55:51 UTC 2016

On May 18, 2016, at 3:41 PM, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 18 May 2016 at 23:30, Dan TheBookMan  wrote:
>> It is a form of direct confiscation, though I'm not sure how well it could
>> be used for routine funding -- as a replacement for taxation, inflation, and
>> borrowing. (One can point to, of course, how traffic fines are used for
>> routine funding -- little different than how bandits controlling a
>> chokepoint rely on shaking down travelers to fund their organization.)
> Also, there is now negative interest rates which are becoming popular
> with some central banks.
> In effect a form of wealth taxation.

When I used 'direct confiscation,' I meant more taking stuff to be used -- rather than and instead of taking money. What I was thinking of is how soldiers in wartime can simply take the harvest to feed the army -- without compensation. This is different from taxation in that it's not taking money to then buy stuff (or labor) for operations. Of course, it's a loose distinction, though the effects are different. Direct confiscation usually leads to very different behavior than taxation or other means of funding, such as a more severe and quicker breakdown of production and trade. If you expect an army to take your stores of food, you might hide them or not take in the harvest or even flee the area with the harvest. Some of this is much harder to do, so the expectation of confiscation can lead to a quicker breakdown.  Of course, confiscation is used very selectively and rarely, so we don't often see this.

Whether national debt repudiation would lead to more of it is another matter. I brought it up to be complete rather than because I thought it was more likely. 


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