no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Comments on Comments #14

April 28th, 2008

Olly wants some clarification from my response to his comment in Comments #13,:

David — just to be clear, I wasn’t espousing liberalism, or saying that Seattle should live up to “liberalism”…

Liberal, Conservative, it’s all the same results.

Duly noted—and I whole heartedly agree with you. Perhaps offsetting the term in quotes was misleading. The term liberal/liberalism has been co-opted by the Statist Left. I try to use it in the old tradition.


Stephan left a comment on How is a Government Established?

Nice point with the fact that birth cannot be consent to government rules.

I like to bring up the “accident of birth” argument from time to time. Typically in the past I have used it in the context of immigration laws. Some people argue that the illegals from e.g., Mexico, are committing a crime. I say that the law preventing free migration of people is the crime. These people say things like, “I’m not against immigration, just illegal immigration.” When the root reason these actions are deemed criminal is the migrant’s misfortune to have been born outside of the United States, the act in itself is not wrong, but is deemed to be wrong because of circumstances over which the migrant had no opportunity to control. In a free market, there is no such thing as “illegal immigration.”

The “accident of birth” helps demonstrate the illegitimacy of governments: Even if we imagine a government that was unanimously and voluntarily entered into by the whole of the populace thereby governed, it would likely claim dominion over any child born to its citizens. Thus the accident of birth has caused that child to be under that government’s control. Unless this government acknowledges the right to secession, and hence renounces its territorial monopoly of power (in which case it ceases to be a government), the moment the first new citizen becomes involuntarily (that is to say: he had no choice in the matter) a citizen, it ceases also to be the model government by consent.


John says “Democracy disgraces itself every day by giving us governance that is neither free nor voluntary.”

That’s the only sort of government that Democracy can offer! Only anarchy can give us a social order that is both free and voluntary. :)


I saw a show about the Border Patrol in Arizona.

Eight men working full time, four ATVs, two jeeps and a helicopter were used to prevent three poor and thirsty Mexicans from finding work, and lifting their families out of abject poverty. I have no idea what a CBP agent earns, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that the money spent on preventing these people from entering the country is probably in excess of what they would’ve earned in a year’s time. If the government wields this amount of resources against people who are about to die of thirst, there is no reason to believe that they’ll bring anything less against you.

Peter Boettke inquires

So who is afraid of Ayn Rand? Only those who don’t have the intellectual skill or gumption to meet the challenge of her claims on their world view. And if that is the case, we don’t want them teaching our college students anyway.

He also gives a great deconstruction of the failures of higher education


Speaking of higher education, David Rockefeller recently granted $100 Million to Harvard. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in the world, endows one of the wealthiest schools in the country. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?


The Detroit News mentions that Churches start drive to cover uninsured. I have to admit, I thought this was going to be an article talking about how churches were acting like the fraternal orders and friendly societies of years past. Unfortunately, I read all about how people are using the church to fight for universal coverage laws:

“I refuse to go to the hospital because I cannot afford it,” said [one uninsured] resident.

That’s why [she] signed a petition Sunday at her church, Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, to push an initiative onto the November ballot that would require Michigan lawmakers to come up with a plan for universal health care.

She refused to go to the hospital because she couldn’t afford her medical care. Admirable, I suppose. But then she turns around and signs a petition that asks for universal coverage. Deplorable!

She refuses to use one system that is financed by everyone else (i.e., a hospital can’t refuse you for emergency services) but favors some other system that forces everyone else to pay for any conceivable medical need! I didn’t read any further.


This article on says that if you’re helping your family members financially, you’re probably breaking a bunch of tax laws. If you let your octogenarian mother live in your basement apartment without paying rent, you’re actually giving her a “gift” to which the IRS will attribute a monetary value. If the sum of such “gifts” exceeds statutory limits, there are tax implications and penalties.

Innocuous as this may seem, being generous can also subject you to gift tax. While helping a family member often occurs under the radar, if the gift exceeds a certain value and the I.R.S. catches it, you could be forced to pay the tax as well as interest.

…If you lend money to family members — say, to buy a house or a car, start a business or pay off an unfavorable bank loan — you must charge a minimum rate of interest set each month by the Treasury, called the applicable federal rate.

Sometimes I argue that Government destroys community and charity. Case. In. Point.


This article on wants to examine the differences between Obama’s health plan and Clinton’s proposal. One is a mandate for children, the other is a mandate for everyone. The article questions whether either proposal is Constitutional. Since the Constitution is of no authority, I think it’s a moot point. Sometimes its fun to pretend that the Constitution does have authority. The State pretends this from time to time. And even though you can’t beat them in a game where they write and re-write and interpret the rules, it’s fun to play along.

This part of the article caught my attention:

The federal government does not ordinarily require Americans to purchase particular goods or services from private parties. The closest we come is when government imposes a condition on the grant of a discretionary benefit or permit. For instance, in most states, you must have auto insurance to drive a car or you are required to install fire sprinklers when building a new house. But in such cases, the mandate is discretionary – you don’t have to drive a car or build a house. Nor do you have a constitutional right to do so.

Really? Actually, you do.

Remember that part about “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” ? What about the 9th Amendment? Of course, in practice the exercise of non-enumerated rights is void, but just because the government has usurped these rights doesn’t mean that they’re not allegedly enshrined in the Constitution.


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no third solution

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