[ExI] Private and government R&D

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Fri Jul 3 04:02:02 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 7:56 AM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/7/2 Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>:
>> On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 7:38 PM, Stathis Papaioannou<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 2009/7/2 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:
>>>> There is also the problem that under the coercive system, some people are forced to pay for others' pet projects.  Some might find no problem with this, but I think that's relevant to the discussion because coercion introduces certain features that wouldn't be found under a voluntary system.
>>> That will always be the case unless the funding is sourced from an
>>> individual or a unanimous group of individuals. There will be
>>> shareholders in a company who prefer that some of the R&D money be
>>> spent on other things, but don't feel strongly about this to sell
>>> their shares.
>> ### But you do notice that there would be no massive, hateful
>> revulsion generated under a non-coercive system? Nobody would be
>> forced at the proverbial gunpoint to pay for abortion research or for
>> Intelligent Design research, while internally seething with hatred and
>> experiencing significant disutility?
> A shareholder might indeed feel revulsion at what his company was
> doing, either due to moral considerations or due to a fear that it
> will lead to loss of profitability. The company can also "tax" the
> shareholder by selling new shares, diluting his holding unless he buys
> the shares. The shareholder can always sell, but this might be
> reluctantly, or at a loss. This is analogous to the situation of the
> citizen, who can leave, or not work if he doesn't want to pay tax.
> Admittedly it is generally harder for the citizen to take this action,
> but that's what happens when you live in a large country. And if
> enough citizens really hate the system they live under, they can
> change it or change the management, just as the shareholders can.

### "Harder for the citizen to take action" - this is the
understatement of the year, Stathis. Selling a stock takes literally
two-three mouse clicks, and you can immediately use the proceeds to
buy a stock not tainted by anything repulsive, and still make similar
or even better profit. If a shareholder does not have enough revulsion
to sell his stock, he really doesn't feel *any* revulsion at all.
Comparing that the effort, danger and expense one of us would have to
undertake to escape from being taxed for what could be seen as immoral
uses (war in Iraq, abortion, faith-based public education, stoning of
adulterous wives), is just silly. Silly.


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