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Re: Vengeance Libertarianism

At 11:36 AM -0800 12/7/98, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>Many libertarians would not object if local state law punished rapists or
>burglars by sending them to prison with labor requirements.
>So if it is an acceptable punishment in principle, the question then
>becomes who should qualify.
>The problem with Tim's analysis is that if we extend the punishment to
>anyone who's benefited from government tax-n-spending that libertarians
>oppose, it's hard to find anyone *not* to put in the workcamp. Anyone who
>takes advantage of public transportation (like the Metro here in DC), or
>federally-funded interstates, etc. could conceivably qualify. And what
>about all those folks with unconstitutional federal student loans?

Recall that I said I expected them to pay back what they took, with
compounded interest. Only if they could not arrange a payback plan would
their labor then be used.

And surely credit would be given for what was taken out in other forms.
Their indebtedness would be their benefits minus what they paid in.

Thus, while I may be benefitting to the tune of, say, $2000 a year in the
minimal services I ever use, the filling of potholes, etc., I am paying
upwards of <many times this> in federal, state, local, property, energy,
sales, and other taxes. (I won't say what my taxes are, especially as they
fluctuate wildly depending on financial transactions I've made, but they
are vastly, vastly greater than any minimal benefits I get from government
at any level.)

This calculus applies at all levels.

My point is not so much to propose that such a scheme actually be deployed,
but to explain how some of us don't buy the "let's let bygones be bygones"
approach. And why some of us will cheer when millions of ghetto maggots die
in the firestorms of social chaos we expect.

>And fundamental fairness principles suggest that punishment should not be
>limited to welfare for individuals. Why shouldn't corporate welfare qualify?
>Tim owns substantial shares of Intel Corp. stock, and Intel is a prime
>beneficiary of corporate welfare. Check out last month's Time magazine
>cover story at: http://www.time.com/magazine
>Should just the directors of Intel, or also the shareholder owners be

This is disingenuous nonsense, Declan! While there is little doubt that
Intel, like all other large corporations, finds itself backed into these
kinds of kickbacks (tax rebates, special education bonds, worker training
reimbursements, etc.), these programs are unavoidable. And Intel most
definitely pays more into the government than it ever gets out.

So the city of Rio Rancho, NM, for example, offers to cut taxes for Intel
for X years if Intel expands a plant. And so on. Is the promise to reduce
robbery a benefit?

(Especially considering what Intel is shelling out in taxes, employee
salaries which are taxed at 39%, Social Security payroll taxes, etc.)

And so on. No one could make an argument that when a Grand Accounting is
done, that Intel has taken in more money from the government than it has
paid into the government.

(I could go on about Intel, and how it repeatedly turned down government
contracts, and how it refused to participate for the longest time in
government-sponsored research...until eventually the beancounters said that
the company was being taxed to death and might as well get _some_ of its
money back....)

>A more moderate approach that seems more logically consistent might be to
>limit punishment to state actors and agents (assuming you agree with this
>concept of vengeance to begin with). There's a big difference between an
>FBI agent engaging in what he might occasionally suspect to be
>unconstitutional searches and busts and someone who picks up an occasional
>unemployment check.

Amount received from government - amount paid to government = Indebtedness

(All calculated with normal accounting procedures, including the
appropriate time value of money, interest rates, etc.)

For most of us, Indebtedness = a negative number. We have paid in more than
we have gotten back, by essentially any accounting of values.

For those who have been collecting food stamps, welfare, AFDC, WICC,
disability, etc. their entire lives, indebtedness = $1.3 million, or

Better get to moppin' dem floors, Levonda!

And if they won't work to pay off their debts, let them begin starving

--Tim May

"I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, just the way the President did."
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   831-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
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Licensed Ontologist         | black markets, collapse of governments.