Saturday, August 2, 2014

No Choice But To Do The Right Thing

Context: Progress Depends on Freedom

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Are we really arguing that government institutions that retain their monopoly of power and which use any funding they receive to enact coercion on those who refuse to fund them as "Pareto optimal"? It isn't "more valuable" because the coerced are suffering a loss of value. - Jon Irenicus

It's optimal if the value gained by the consenting coerced is greater than the value lost by the unconsenting coerced.

Imagine if everybody but one person derives value from being coerced into contributing to the common good. In other words, everybody but one person voluntary gives their tax dollars to congress and the IRS. We can imagine that we'd suffer a major net loss of value if we eliminated congress and the IRS. One person would gain but 299,999,999 people would lose. Unless of course his gain would be greater than the total of their loss.

Pareto isn't about the morality of an endeavor...it's simply about maximizing value created. You didn't explain why pragmatarianism wouldn't result in the Pareto optimum.

Now, ordinarily someone who is robbed etc. has the option to seek restitution and defend themselves against the perpetrator. I guess if you're willing to acknowledge that this could well happen with a pragmatarian government, we're on the same page, but anarcho-capitalism certainly isn't depriving anyone of a "valuable" option who isn't themselves doing the same to others; it is depriving those individuals, the coercers, of that option... or at least removing the pretence that they are anything but criminals, who are to be dealt with in the usual manner. - Jon Irenicus

If I rob you, then I get to choose how I spend your money. If I don't get to choose how I spend your money...then why would I bother robbing you?

In a pragmatarian system...am I robbing you if I reach into my own pocket to pay for a 25% tax rate? Well...maybe? But wouldn't I also be robbing myself? I'm not paying coercers so that you have to contribute to the common good...I'm paying them so that WE have to contribute to the common good. What kind of robber has one gun pointed at you and one gun pointed at himself? "Let's give up 25% of our money...or else!!!"

Imagine that you really don't want to eat an entire bag of chips. But you lack the self control to stop eating the chips. So you tell your friend to take the bag of chips away from you after you've eaten 15 chips. Is he robbing you if he takes the bag away from you?

If I pay congress and the IRS...am I trying to rob you or am I trying to ensure that we both contribute?

You have to get inside the mentality of somebody who would willingly pay coercers...

"Given the choice, I'd choose to eat the entire bag of chips even though I really shouldn't. Maybe this is true of other people as well. Maybe they also lack the self control to give up momentary pleasure for future benefit. I think it's entirely possible so I will pay somebody to take the bag of chips away from US".

"Given the choice, I wouldn't contribute to the common good. Maybe this is true of other people as well. Maybe they also lack the self control to give up monetary pleasure for future benefit. I think it's entirely possible so I will pay somebody to force US to contribute to the common good."

In essence, the mentality is, "Let's have no choice but to do the right thing".

You might disagree with the mentality...but it's not unreasonable to want to avoid situations in which you might make the wrong choice. If you think that you might drink and drive...you give your keys to the host. That way if you do drink, then you won't have the choice to drive.

How many people are willing to pay congress and the IRS in order to avoid a situation in which they might not choose to contribute to collective goods? I don't know. But I'd really like to find out. Wouldn't you?

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It kinda feels like there's a linvoid here...

Linvoid = choosing to avoid a situation in which you might make the wrong choice

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