Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pestering David Friedman

My comment on David Friedman's blog entry... A Scrap of Libertarian History

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Rothbard sure did commit a few errors. But he and Buchanan were some of the precious few people who truly appreciated that the fundamental problem with government is the massive scarcity of individual valuation. However, unlike Buchanan, for some reason Rothbard never publicly considered the possibility of taxpayers simply directly allocating their taxes. I know there were quite a few rather fruitless exchanges between Buchanan and Samuelson... but I haven't run across any exchanges between Buchanan and Rothbard. Did you have any exchanges with Buchanan?

Ayn Rand simply refused to examine the anarcho-capitalist position? Hah. Ain't that the worst!? I know of one awesome and prominent anarcho-capitalist, not going to mention any names (because it's a really short list), who simply refuses to allocate more than three sentences to the pragmatarian position! So I can certainly empathize. :D But to his immense credit, so far he's been super tolerant of my occasional pestering. :)

Have you seen this fundraising page on the LP website? There's a list of possible themes for the 2018 convention. Donors can "dollar vote" for their favorite themes. Now we can all see that the demand for "Taxation Is Theft" is relatively insignificant. Oh man, if only Rothbard was alive to see that! Last time I checked the most valuable theme is, "I'm That Libertarian". I had no idea what it meant. Given that it was the most valuable theme I decided to google for it. I found a Youtube video of some guy giving a pretty impassioned libertarian speech. It was a little awkward, as is usually the case with libertarians, but I gotta admit that it was somewhat inspiring.

What's super cool, and loads ironic, about the Libertarian Party's fundraising system... is that it's a pragmatarian system! Well... to give credit where it's due... it's Buchanan's system. Since donors are giving their money to the LP anyways, they have absolutely no incentive to conceal their true preference for the themes. Sure, the donations are voluntary rather than compulsory... so in this regard there is still the free-rider problem. Perhaps if all libertarians were required to make a minimum donation to their preferred theme, we'd super ironically discover that the "Taxation Is Theft" theme is far more relatively valuable. Nevertheless the LP's fundraiser quite nicely demonstrates the idea of using a payment to reveal/communicate the intensity of more specific preferences.

Last night I e-mailed Wes Benedict and asked if he was interested in being BFFs. In my e-mail I told him that it would be ultra awesome if he did the same thing with books! Which pro-market/freedom book is the most valuable?! Oh God I'd love to know! I'd love to be able to see the true value of things! Dear God in heaven please cure my blindness!!!

Oh, wow, Benedict seriously just replied to my e-mail. I'm honestly very pleasantly surprised that he did so! Hmmm... he didn't accept or reject my BFF offer. Seems like he's playing it safe. :)

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