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Thread: Is anyone here receiving a govt. pension, social security or support payments from govt?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2young2vote View Post
    I took a student loan from the state for $3750. I'm not even sure why I took it. I have the cash to pay for it this very instant if I need to. I am very fortunate that that is the only debt I currently have until i buy a house.
    Don't do it! Mobile home (manufactured home) all the way! You do not need to go into debt for housing.
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  3. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumba of Liberty View Post
    You're not.

    The public-works fallacy is the same as the broken-window fallacy. Just because the State is providing you services does not mean you are benefiting from these services. If you compare the costs (the unseen) to the benefits (the seen) of public works you realize that the State is a net burden on your existence and the only way to liberate yourself from the State is to reclaim your rightful property in anyway you can.
    Thats true, there are many "services" that you or I are not benefiting from but there certainly are services we are. We "get" something from the taxes we pay. Even if its less effective and more costly then it could be provided otherwise. Heck we even get things from the taxes we don't pay. We all are indebt to our foreign borrowers. At some point those debts become real. Now whether we choose to pay for them is another thread.

  4. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbc58 View Post
    If so... would you mind telling us what it is (pension, benefits, SS, Medicaid/care, or whatever) - and how do you feel about receiving these benefits in light of the current economic situation (govt. is broke).
    Like the Child Tax Credit, or mortgage interest deduction? I get neither, thanks.

  5. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    Don't do it! Mobile home (manufactured home) all the way! You do not need to go into debt for housing.
    You don't need housing either. You could sleep on a bench somewhere. Debt for housing is probably one of the more justifyible debt one could take on.

  6. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by klamath View Post
    That is a falacy of thought. The state CAN create wealth, whether it should is a different argument. If the state takes a million tax payers dollars and builds a road giving business a road to transport goods and the saving from that transport is over a million dollars it is wealth created. If the state builds a hydro electric dam for fifty million dollars and it produces a hundred million in electric power it has created wealth. A state can create wealth however not necessary efficiently. There is vertually nobody not receiving benefits from governemenst in this country. But at the same time there is vertually nobody not receiving hinderance from government as well.
    Wealth is created when capital is concentrated to create something of worth to a society. This worth is judged by the society by if they buy the product. While you have the state concentrating capital and producing something, you do not have society ever actually placing a value on it through the marketplace. A like example that comes to mind is if the government builds a factory that produces widgets but no one wants to buy them. There is no wealth creation by the state because it cannot sense or respond to what the society deems valuable.

  7. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrock View Post
    Wealth is created when capital is concentrated to create something of worth to a society. This worth is judged by the society by if they buy the product. While you have the state concentrating capital and producing something, you do not have society ever actually placing a value on it through the marketplace. A like example that comes to mind is if the government builds a factory that produces widgets but no one wants to buy them. There is no wealth creation by the state because it cannot sense or respond to what the society deems valuable.
    There's all kinds of value in things "created" by the state. They just don't come to market in the normal sense as a widget. But communites and buinsess do place "values" on things not brought to the market by the private sector all the time.

  8. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    Couldn't the same be said for every single transaction that has ever occured in human history? I'm not advocating for more government by a long shot but no one does something for nothing. Even a trade of even value between you and me creates value above and beyond the initial trade.
    Two people having an informed and free interaction is superior. Both individuals are going the naturally act in their own self interest. It is this self interest that increases efficiency, sets the potential for wealth to be created, and puts a value on the item or service being traded. This value is key on determining if wealth is created.

    Even the most honest and competent bureaucrat will always lack the element of self interest in a transaction. This is why government is always inefficient at best and cannot create wealth.

  9. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    There's all kinds of value in things "created" by the state. They just don't come to market in the normal sense as a widget. But communites and buinsess do place "values" on things not brought to the market by the private sector all the time.
    How are they placing value outside of the marketplace? How is the value measured? How do you know wealth is created and it is not just a distortion of the wealth originally extracted to begin with?
    Last edited by Adrock; 01-04-2013 at 10:14 AM.

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    To me, it isn't really a moral failing to accept aid from the government, given that the whole idea around the welfare system (and even student loans to some extent) is to break both your legs in the form of taxes, inflation, etc. and then hand you crutches. I think the only caveat is that you have an understanding of your plight and work to change it. I myself receive some federal student loans, and my mom is currently receiving unemployment. I don't see any point in starving yourself just to live by principle. There are so many things that contribute to our poverty today that are really out of our control as of now.
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  11. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    Thats true, there are many "services" that you or I are not benefiting from but there certainly are services we are. We "get" something from the taxes we pay. Even if its less effective and more costly then it could be provided otherwise. Heck we even get things from the taxes we don't pay. We all are indebt to our foreign borrowers. At some point those debts become real. Now whether we choose to pay for them is another thread.
    The "something" we get in return is the wealth originally taken from the population in another form.

  12. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    Originally Posted by jbauer
    Public good or not. Everyone benefits in some form or fashion from our government existing even if those "dollars" could be better allocated or used by an individual. Every dollar you pay into taxes doesn't just poof into nothing (although most do).
    /facepalm SMH... You have some reading to do. Pages 3-32 here:http://mises.org/books/economicsethics.pdf " ("Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security", Hoppe.)
    Actually, jbauer is absolutely right, HB. The state does do things which benefit us. I benefit from the state's fascist electricity production and distribution system. You almost certainly do too. Electricity is a good, beneficial thing. The state happens to provide it.

    jbauer is not drawing any pro-state conclusion from this, and neither am I. We are just stating what is clearly true. It is relevant to this discussion because we are thinking about whether it is OK for libertarians to accept state money handouts, use state services, and receive other benefits from the state. If we are going to seriously ask ourselves this question, we should take into consideration the extreme pervasiveness of state benefits, in all corners of life, and thus the fact that refusing to accept any almost amounts to a mandate for suicide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    Saying that "everyone gets something from the State" (as if you've identified some significant, profound or insightful truth) completely ignores a critical fact, and amounts to a useless half-truth (at best). The critical fact is that the State has NOTHING to GIVE TO "everyone" unless & until it first TAKES what it gives FROM "everyone".
    • It is a truth
    • It is not useless
    • It is not a half-truth

    If we are discussing whether it is morally reprehensible to get something from the state (and we are), then it is relevant that, in fact, everyone is doing this morally reprehensible thing. It is highly significant/insightful/useful to note the universality of the act, and go from there. Let me note it again:

    We cannot avoid accepting benefits from the state. Or at minimum it would be very difficult and impractical. The state has wrapped its tangly tentacles into all kinds of basic and indispensable functions of modern life. Water, electricity, food -- these are fundamental goods which one cannot obtain in any reasonably convenient fashion if one is keeping to a principled stand of not accepting state benefits.

    If we were discussing whether the state is terrific or not, sure, then it would be important to note that obviously the state smashes stuff and destroys our lives about a quadrillion times more than it benefits us. Very true. But that's not what this thread was discussing.

    Would anyone here say that walking on the state-funded sidewalk is immoral? If so, why? If not, and if you simultaneously think that receiving welfare payments from the state is immoral, what is the philosophical difference in the two acts which makes one moral and the other immoral?

    Did anyone read Walter Block's thoughts on the matter? I find them clear and logical.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block175.html
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  13. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    You don't need housing either. You could sleep on a bench somewhere. Debt for housing is probably one of the more justifyible debt one could take on.
    I have nothing against housing. But stick-built site-built houses are tremendously overpriced. If you can get the same benefits, for ten times less, why not?

    But, I'm glad you and so many others equate mobile home living to sleeping on a bench somewhere. If you ever stopped, the prices would go up from their current ridiculously low levels. But that will never happen, and we merry few -- the lucky, the clear-thinking, the trailer trash -- will continue to get a much, much better deal than you.
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  14. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrock View Post
    Two people having an informed and free interaction is superior. Both individuals are going the naturally act in their own self interest. It is this self interest that increases efficiency, sets the potential for wealth to be created, and puts a value on the item or service being traded. This value is key on determining if wealth is created.

    Even the most honest and competent bureaucrat will always lack the element of self interest in a transaction. This is why government is always inefficient at best and cannot create wealth.
    Efficiency/cost effectiveness has nothing to do with the conversation. I've already admitted and I'm sure most would that the government does a crappy job on that front. The argument was made that government doesn't provide value.

  15. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrock View Post
    The "something" we get in return is the wealth originally taken from the population in another form.
    No doubt. But the thread is about whether it is moral to accept payments/services from the state. Not whether its moral for the state to take it in the first place. My argument is that we all in one from or fasion utilize things provided with our tax dollars to the population.

  16. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    I have nothing against housing. But stick-built site-built houses are tremendously overpriced. If you can get the same benefits, for ten times less, why not?

    But, I'm glad you and so many others equate mobile home living to sleeping on a bench somewhere. If you ever stopped, the prices would go up from their current ridiculously low levels. But that will never happen, and we merry few -- the lucky, the clear-thinking, the trailer trash -- will continue to get a much, much better deal than you.
    One of my ex-employees worked for clayton homes. She sold prefab houses. She was always talking in the $55/sqft range plus site prep. Atleast around here you're probably looking at the very low 100s for stick built (site prep included). Insurance is harder to get on prefab, they don't retain value like stick built (alteast here) and its much much much harder to get a loan (atleast here) because the banks look at it as a riskier loan. Pick your poison I guess.

  17. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    Efficiency/cost effectiveness has nothing to do with the conversation. I've already admitted and I'm sure most would that the government does a crappy job on that front. The argument was made that government doesn't provide value.
    I used efficiency and tied it to acting in one's self interest to relate it to something you understood already. The same lack of self interest that does not allow the government to act efficiently is the same self interest that a society possesses in order to put worth onto a product. If the government cannot sense this, it cannot possibly create wealth (or add value). The only value provided is from the wealth it originally took from the population.

  18. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    No doubt. But the thread is about whether it is moral to accept payments/services from the state. Not whether its moral for the state to take it in the first place. My argument is that we all in one from or fasion utilize things provided with our tax dollars to the population.
    I agree that we all use the public services the government provides. My argument is that it is moral since everything the government provides originates from us anyways.

  19. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by klamath View Post
    So what exactly are you sugesting people that are now too old to return to the workforce do? You seem to be passing a lot of judgement?
    Unfortunatey, I've noticed a lot of that over the years on these forums and it pisses me off. Some people are under the misguided impression that ALL seniors like my parents (who were blue collar workers) are wealthy and playing golf all day in Palm Beach.

    The truth is, my parents are on a fixed income. They worked hard all of their lives and put into S.S. At one point my father worked 2 jobs to support his family. Maybe if there wasn't a tax on personal income, we wouldn't need S.S. because people would have been able to kept more of the fruit of their labor. So please, let's drop the judgemental attitudes. Thanks....
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  20. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    She was always talking in the $55/sqft range plus site prep. Atleast around here you're probably looking at the very low 100s for stick built (site prep included).
    That's for new.

    they don't retain value like stick built
    Exactly. That's precisely the advantage to them. They get very cheap, very fast. The 1,000 sq. ft. site-built home from the 1970s will have appreciated to $200,000, whereas the 1,000 sq. ft. mobile home from the 1970s with better build quality will have gone down to $2,000.

    its much much much harder to get a loan (atleast here) because the banks look at it as a riskier loan.
    Again, precisely my point! Why get a loan for $2,000?
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  21. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrock View Post
    I agree that we all use the public services the government provides. My argument is that it is moral since everything the government provides originates from us anyways.
    More precisely, it is moral because the wealth originated from someone, from whom it was stolen. It doesn't have to have come from us or you. The mere fact that it was stolen, that the state is a thief, writes the moral equation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by klamath View Post
    So what exactly are you sugesting people that are now too old to return to the workforce do? You seem to be passing a lot of judgement?
    Of course they should do whatever they wish. But the state should not be sending them checks. That is evil, wrong, destructive, and reprehensible, and must end immediately.

    Our nationalist socialist pension system is evil. It is a black stain on our national character. As slavery, it must be abolished. Now.
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  23. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by libertygrl View Post
    Maybe if there wasn't a tax on personal income, we wouldn't need S.S. because people would have been able to kept more of the fruit of their labor.
    We do not need the SS for the same reason we do not need an archipelago of concentration camps gassing unpopular people to death. We don't need it because it is evil.
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  24. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrock View Post
    I agree that we all use the public services the government provides. My argument is that it is moral since everything the government provides originates from us anyways.
    We're agreeing on the same things. I think it is moral as well. My comments started in this thread when a bunch of liberitarians started saying they didn't take anythign from the government. My initial point was that everyone gets something from the government.

  25. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    That's for new.

    Exactly. That's precisely the advantage to them. They get very cheap, very fast. The 1,000 sq. ft. site-built home from the 1970s will have appreciated to $200,000, whereas the 1,000 sq. ft. mobile home from the 1970s with better build quality will have gone down to $2,000.

    Again, precisely my point! Why get a loan for $2,000?
    There's a reason moblie homes deperciate where as stick built home appreciate. You get what you pay for I guess. If you're comfortable in a 1970s trailer by all means its a quite cheap way to live.

  26. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by klamath View Post
    That is a falacy of thought. The state CAN create wealth, whether it should is a different argument. If the state takes a million tax payers dollars and builds a road giving business a road to transport goods and the saving from that transport is over a million dollars it is wealth created. If the state builds a hydro electric dam for fifty million dollars and it produces a hundred million in electric power it has created wealth. A state can create wealth however not necessary efficiently. There is vertually nobody not receiving benefits from governemenst in this country. But at the same time there is vertually nobody not receiving hinderance from government as well.
    It is not fallacious. The State CANNOT create wealth. Period. It can make things, certainly (or dictate that things be made). But those things come at the expense of the genuinely wealth-producing "win-win" voluntary exchanges that would have been made if State had not interfered. In your hydro-electric dam example, you ignore the fact that the alleged "profit" from the dam (the difference between the cost of its construction and the value of the electricity it produces) necessarily comes at the expense of the "win-win" exchanges that would have occurred if the fifty-milllion dollars in value required for the State to build the dam had been left in the hands of that money's various producers.

    All State transactions are "win-loss" in nature. But only "win-win" transactions can create wealth. Therefore, the State cannot create wealth. At best, it is a matter of "one step forward, two steps back".

    (See post #116 below for further elaboration.)
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 01-04-2013 at 02:30 PM.
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      - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

  27. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    Couldn't the same be said for every single transaction that has ever occured in human history? I'm not advocating for more government by a long shot but no one does something for nothing. Even a trade of even value between you and me creates value above and beyond the initial trade.
    No, the same thing could NOT be said. Wealth-producing transactions are ALWAYS "win-win" scenarios - otherwise, they would NOT be wealth-producing. When I buy a loaf of bread from a grocer for a dollar*, I "win" because I wanted that loaf of bread more than I wanted that dollar. I am wealthier after the transaction than I was before it. The grocer ALSO "wins" because he wanted that dollar more than he wanted that loaf of bread. The grocer is wealthier after the transaction than he was before it. We both end up wealthier after the exhange. (* For stricter technical accuracy, the "dollars" I refer to here should not be thought of as modern Federal Reserve notes, but should be understood to be backed by some commodity - such as gold).

    This is NOT the case in State-forced transactions - such as the building, maintenance and operation of "public" roads or hydro-electric dams or what-have-you. State-forced transactions are "win-loss." Some of the parties to such transactions may indeed end up wealthier (such as politically well-connected contractors & engineering firms, lobbyists, etc.), but some of the parties (such as taxpayers) are going to end up poorer - regardless of the fact that they are going end up "getting something out of it" (such as electricity). The "something" that they end up getting (whatever it may be) is not worth as much as what they would otherwise have gotten had they not been forced to participate in the transaction. It is NOT something they regard as being more valuable or desirable than what they were forced to give up in "exchange" for it (as evidenced by the fact that they had to be coercively taxed, for example).

    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    Thats true, there are many "services" that you or I are not benefiting from but there certainly are services we are. We "get" something from the taxes we pay. Even if its less effective and more costly then it could be provided otherwise. Heck we even get things from the taxes we don't pay. We all are indebt to our foreign borrowers. At some point those debts become real. Now whether we choose to pay for them is another thread.
    See above. The things that we get from the taxes that we pay are - by our own judgements - not worth as much as what we are forced to pay for them (else we would not have "needed" to have been forced). Such things are not the product of "win-win" exchanges, and thus do not constitute a creation of wealth - even if we regard what we end up getting as being desirable or valuable to some degree,

    Quote Originally Posted by jbauer View Post
    There's all kinds of value in things "created" by the state. They just don't come to market in the normal sense as a widget. But communites and buinsess do place "values" on things not brought to the market by the private sector all the time.
    But you are only looking at GROSS physical outcomes. The problem is that - on NET - more wealth has to be destroyed than is "created" in order for the State to provide you with those things.

    As I noted in my previous post, it is at best matter of "one step forward, two steps back".
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 01-04-2013 at 02:34 PM.
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      - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

  28. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    Actually, jbauer is absolutely right, HB. The state does do things which benefit us. I benefit from the state's fascist electricity production and distribution system. You almost certainly do too. Electricity is a good, beneficial thing. The state happens to provide it.
    If the government breaks your legs and then gives you a pair of crutches, it has indeed provided you with something (crutches ...or electricity, or whatever).

    But it has NOT benefitted you. You may have a nice pair of crutches, sure - but you are still worse off than you would have been if you had just been left alone to begin with.

    You have gained something (crutches). You have lost something (the effective use of your legs). And wealth has been destroyed - NOT created.

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    jbauer is not drawing any pro-state conclusion from this, and neither am I. We are just stating what is clearly true.
    I have not accused him of doing so, nor do I think that that is his motive (or yours - I already know better ).

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    It is relevant to this discussion because we are thinking about whether it is OK for libertarians to accept state money handouts, use state services, and receive other benefits from the state. If we are going to seriously ask ourselves this question, we should take into consideration the extreme pervasiveness of state benefits, in all corners of life, and thus the fact that refusing to accept any almost amounts to a mandate for suicide.

    • It is a truth
    • It is not useless
    • It is not a half-truth

    If we are discussing whether it is morally reprehensible to get something from the state (and we are), then it is relevant that, in fact, everyone is doing this morally reprehensible thing. It is highly significant/insightful/useful to note the universality of the act, and go from there.
    I have said absolutely nothing about the morality of accepting government "benefits" (whether they be in the form of services, physical goods or money transfers). The State has gotten its hooks so deeply into every aspect of society (and most notably when it comes to the economy) that it is simply impossible to avoid entangling oneself with such things to a very large degree. I therefore offer no normative judgements on such matters. By all means, walk on the sidewalks. Drive on the roads. Use the electricity. Etc., etc. That's fine. We unfortunately do not live under circumstances that allow us any choice in these matters.

    But to say that the State "creates" IS a half-truth, and it IS useless. To arrive at the full and useful truth, one MUST acknowledge the fact that the State's so-called "creations" are made possible *only* by its (even greater) *destructions*.
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 01-04-2013 at 02:50 PM.
    tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito ˇ fiat justitia, ruat caelum ˇ sic semper tyrannis
    The Bastiat Collection - FREE PDF

    Frédéric Bastiat
    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      - The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      - Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      - Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      - Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

  29. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    If the government breaks your legs and then gives you a pair of crutches, it has indeed provided you with something (crutches ...or electricity, or whatever).

    But it has NOT benefitted you. You may have a nice pair of crutches, sure - but you are still worse off than you would have been if it had just left you alone to begin with.
    I look at it as a binary act, which can be separated into two separate actions. Action 1, breaking my legs, does not benefit me (unless I had wanted my legs broken). Action 2 does benefit me (assuming I wanted crutches).

    You have gained something (crutches). You have lost something (the effective use of your legs). Wealth has been destroyed - NOT created.
    Right. The state supposedly creating wealth was not the true statement I was defending. The true statement was "everyone gets something from the State". Even that may not be completely true. There may be people somewhere who have avoided any contact with any state, or who have managed to only be abused and never helped in any way. But I think it is basically true.

    I have said absolutely nothing about the morality of accepting government "benefits" (whether they be in the form of services, physical goods or money transfers). The State has gotten its hooks so deeply into every aspect of society (and most notably when it comes to the economy) that it is simply impossible to avoid entangling oneself with such things to a very large degree. I therefore offer no normative judgements on such matters. By all means, walk on the sidewalks. Drive on the roads. Use the electricity. Etc., etc. That's fine. We unfortunately do not live under circumstances that allow us any choice in these matters.
    Well, we do have a choice as to whether or not we apply for and accept AFDC, food stamps, veterans benefits, the SS blood money, etc. So should we take that choice and receive the money?

    I am with Walter Block that it is not only "fine" under libertarian theory to accept these, but positively good. It is "a mitzvah" as he puts it. By doing so, you are relieving thieves of some of their wealth and putting it back into the voluntary market. You are a one-man privatization crew, removing stuff from the "public" (yuck) sector and putting it back into the private sector.

    I am in the strange position, however, of thinking it a good thing to actively accept gov't handouts, and not doing so myself, because it is not worth dealing with these people and becoming part of the system and the bureaucracy and the paperwork, etc. Handouts often come with strings attached. TANSTAAFL. If I have to look at these bureau-pathic freaks' faces, much less speak to them, that is a price too high.
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  30. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    I look at it as a binary act, which can be separated into two separate actions. Action 1, breaking my legs, does not benefit me (unless I had wanted my legs broken). Action 2 does benefit me (assuming I wanted crutches).
    They are indeed two separate acts. But both of them actually occur, and Action 1 (the destructive act - leg-breaking, taxation, etc.) more than negates Action 2 (the benefit - crutches, electricity, roads, etc.). So you always end up with a net loss.

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    Right. The state supposedly creating wealth was not the true statement I was defending. The true statement was "everyone gets something from the State". Even that may not be completely true. There may be people somewhere who have avoided any contact with any state, or who have managed to only be abused and never helped in any way. But I think it is basically true.
    In that case, we are in complete agreement. The "useless half-truth" that I was referring to was the notion that the State creates wealth (i.e., produces an increase in prosperity).

    I have no problem at all with the statement "everyone gets something from the State" (as long as you don't try to use this as a basis for claiming that the State is a wealth-creator).

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    Well, we do have a choice as to whether or not we apply for and accept AFDC, food stamps, veterans benefits, the SS blood money, etc.
    Even in those matters, our range of choices can be proscribed or delimited as a consequence of government interference in things.

    How many people living on or availing themselves of food stamps, Social Security, etc. find themselves in that position because the State has taxed & regulated them into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    So should we take that choice and receive the money?
    This is an entirely subjective matter, to be answered by each on the basis of current circumstances, personal taste & temperament, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    I am with Walter Block that it is not only "fine" under libertarian theory to accept these, but positively good. It is "a mitzvah" as he puts it. By doing so, you are relieving thieves of some of their wealth and putting it back into the voluntary market. You are a one-man privatization crew, removing stuff from the "public" (yuck) sector and putting it back into the private sector.

    I am in the strange position, however, of thinking it a good thing to actively accept gov't handouts, and not doing so myself, because it is not worth dealing with these people and becoming part of the system and the bureaucracy and the paperwork, etc. Handouts often come with strings attached. TANSTAAFL. If I have to look at these bureau-pathic freaks' faces, much less speak to them, that is a price too high.
    Same here. I could easily qualify for unemployment benefits (as I am currently jobless & living on savings). Food stamps, too, probably. I have not availed myself of either (for the same reasons you mentioned). But I've got no particular problem with those who have.

    The State has made our bed. Some will choose to lie in it, some will choose to sit on the edge of it, and some will try to remain as far away from it as possible. But the State is to blame for it all.

    To be a "receiver of stolen goods" is made possible only by the fact that there is a stealer of those goods in the first place. Even if the former is a sin, it is a far less heinous one than the latter.

    Given this, I make no condemnations of anyone involved - except the State itself (& its cronies/lackeys, who are responsible for creating & perpetuating these situations).
    Last edited by Occam's Banana; 01-04-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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  31. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by helmuth_hubener View Post
    I look at it as a binary act, which can be separated into two separate actions. Action 1, breaking my legs, does not benefit me (unless I had wanted my legs broken). Action 2 does benefit me (assuming I wanted crutches).
    The two actions could be considered as credits and debits, with a net loss for some and a net gain for others. So it's more like the state breaks my legs, then adds insult to injury when it steals five pair of crutches from me to give to you, me, and three others who might want a pair.

    I am with Walter Block that it is not only "fine" under libertarian theory to accept these, but positively good. It is "a mitzvah" as he puts it. By doing so, you are relieving thieves of some of their wealth and putting it back into the voluntary market. You are a one-man privatization crew, removing stuff from the "public" (yuck) sector and putting it back into the private sector.
    From that standpoint there really is no such thing as a "public sector" when you think about it. It's all private when it boils right down to it, with everyone made a private thief, wittingly or unwittingly, by extension. As for "positively good", it depends on how you define that, but it's an oxymoron nonetheless, as those are mutually exclusive terms ("good" is absolutely and strictly normative, not positive).

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