Friday, February 17, 2012

Taxpayers With Scalpels

Here's my comment on Kevin Vallier's entry on contractualism...

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Nice write-up.  It's still not 100% clear to me but I'm getting there.  My favorite part of your post was the part about everybody and their moms.  My vote is for more informality in these blog entries...which is probably self evident from my own lack of formality.

Ok...so "justification".  Anybody ever watch the UK Office episode where David Brent is made redundant?  It's pretty awesome...which is why it really really sucks that there's no video clip to link to.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term...over there they say "you've been made redundant" instead of "you're fired".  In other words...there's no longer any justification for your employment with that firm.  Ah crap.

Justification goes along with the idea of "necessity".  In this discussion thread...good_in_theory brought up the pituitary gland and Gordon Sollars brought up how Washington's physicians bled him to death.  Is the pituitary gland necessary?  I'm pretty sure it is.  Is blood necessary?  Yeah...you gotta have enough blood.  Does it help for surgeons to know exactly which organs are necessary?  Yup

Unlike surgeons, congresspeople are not even required to have a high school diploma...though they all do.  Yet, just like surgeons...they are responsible for understanding the functions of every single part of the state.  Is congress itself truly necessary though?

What about the entire state?  Is it necessary?  In other words...is the state justified?  Well...Rothbard was certain that it wasn't.  In fact, if there was a button that would instantly abolish the state then he would have pushed that button until his thumb blistered.  Would you push that button?  Perhaps shemsky and 3cantuna would.  

The state, like the human body, consists of multiple components that each serve a specific purpose.  This is the division of labor concept.  Unlike with the human body though...one person cannot truly comprehend the necessity of every single component of the state.  This is because what might be unnecessary for me might be necessary for you.

So the question is...why not just give each and every taxpayer their own scalpel?  Why not give them a button that they can push to deprive redundant government organizations of their own individual taxes?  Can you imagine 150 million taxpayers going after the state with scalpels?  For more info on this theory check out the Wikipedia entry on tax choice.

1 comment:

  1. The State is unnecessary.

    Rothbard arrived at this conclusion - not by merely expressing an opinion - but by rationally arguing the lack for any reason for the existence of the State writ large.

    Further, he also stated that merely because it is unnecessary does not equally mean it cannot exist - and observation demonstrates that self-evidently!

    But its existence does not mean it is REQUIRED, which is Rothbard's point.

    "Why not give them a button that they can push to deprive redundant government organizations of their own individual taxes?"

    This is the reason Pragmatarianism cannot exist - the basis of its reasoning AUTOMATICALLY leads to the dissolution of the State, should such a system be implemented.

    There is no difference between withholding tax dollars and not paying taxes.

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