[ExI] Under the libertarian yoke was Re: Next Decade May See No Warming

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Wed May 21 05:29:02 UTC 2008

On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 11:07 AM, Stathis Papaioannou
<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2008/5/8 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>>  For example,
>>  >  what do you do if a minority declares that they don't recognise
>>  >  certain property rights, never agreed to be bound by any laws
>>  >  regarding these rights, and therefore start taking whatever they feel
>>  >  they need?
>>  ### If they never recognized your legitimate rights (i.e. acquired by
>>  first possession and free exchange), you can disregard any rights that
>>  they may claim to have. In other words, you may just kill them
>>  summarily if you feel like it.
> This is an important point. You take certain rights and duties as
> natural, self-evident, God-given, or whatever descriptor you fancy.
> Someone else - indeed, many people - might take other rights as
> equally valid. Marx's labour theory of value, for example, has it that
> capitalists are thieves. A Marxist might begrudgingly concede that
> capitalism sometimes works to increase the common wealth, as a liberal
> might concede that authoritarianism sometimes works to increase the
> total wealth, but without conceding that what is expedient is also
> right. There is no absolute morality.

### Of course! Please see my response to Damien Sullivan. I am not
making deontological claims in the paragraph you quote. Marxism is not
wrong because it is at odds with natural rights, but because it makes
all involved miserable in the long term (and yeah, Marxists tend to be
hateful, stupid, envious, and arrogant, but this is all just toxic
icing on a poisonous cake).

>>  >  People are free, at least in many places, to vote for tax to be
>>  >  voluntary for themselves and everyone else. Surely this is an
>>  >  attractive proposition, for the naive as well as for the sophisticated
>>  >  voter! A politician could become fabulously popular and make his
>>  >  country fabulously wealthy (according to libertarian theory) if he ran
>>  >  on a platform of reducing compulsory taxation to, say, 1% to run only
>>  >  the essential machinery of government. Why when the low taxation/small
>>  >  government zealots are in power do they balk when the spending cuts
>>  >  reach a certain low level?
>>  >
>>  ### How many people do you know who *don't* feel that everybody who
>>  has more money than they should pay taxes? "Like, man, it's his
>>  doggone duty to pay taxes".... even on this enlightened forum famous
>>  for its libertarian sentiments, the notion that taxes are illegitimate
>>  is tenaciously resisted. Most people like making others pay, and the
>>  collective effect of this mutual aggression is that taxes are quite
>>  popular with politicians.
> Selfishly, people may want others to pay tax but they don't want to
> pay tax themselves. Most voters pay much more tax than they expect to
> get back in government benefits(in fact, they probably underestimate
> their ultimate need for these services), but they still vote for a
> taxing government. In countries with non-compulsory voting those who
> are on welfare are underrepresented among the voters, but taxing
> governments still get voted into power. Now, it is certainly possible
> that people are manipulated into voting against their interests, but
> you would think that some country with a reasonable large and diverse
> economy would try universal very low taxation,  the economy would
> boom, foreign investment and immigration would boom, the voters would
> be very happy, and all the other countries in the world which are
> falling further and further behind would notice and change their
> systems to catch up.
### Success attracts parasites, and existing political systems do not
protect against them. That's why initially successful economies, (USA,
Germany, Japan) become increasingly mired in malaise and slow down in
growth, even as they become actually capable (on a strictly technical,
sub-political level) of ever faster growth due to accumulation of
capital. The reason we are not growing 10 - 20 % per year, as less
rigid economies do, is because so far all polities have very regularly
succumbed to economic parasitism.

I see this lost growth as the price we are paying for lack of segmentation.


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