If you can’t understand the difference between pointing a gun at me and ordering me to donate to…
Fred
11

You literally just said that property rights are determined by most of the citizens defining them the same way. However they make their opinion known, “Because it helps people” is not the same thing.

Wow, I thought I made myself as clear as possible, but I guess not. My goal is to help people as much as possible by maximizing their happiness and well-being. The system that I believe is most likely to achieve that goal (and the system I support) is unrestricted representative government. That’s because, as I’ve explained, a representative government gives a person influence proportionate to their level of concern. It’s as if everyone received 1000 votes, and they can spend those votes on whichever issue that they want to. Because of that (and other reasons), even if 51% want to take the paycheck of the other 49%, it’s unlikely that they’ll be successful in a representative system.

In contrast, libertarianism has nothing to do with maximizing happiness and well-being. Its dogmatic rules have no underlying philosophical or other justification; they are simply simplistic formulations designed to protect the privileged. As I’ve shown, societies that adopted these principles, like the US in the Gilded Age, hurt the poor immensely, while those who reject it, like the Nordics, have immense and widely shared prosperity. They have the happiest (and longest living) societies in the world, which is all that I care about.

Your rules also have nothing to do with “ telling me to buzz off,” as you said. As I’ve pointed out in Lie #4, it’s the IRS who is simply telling you to “buzz off.” Just because you decided that you’re entitled to a piece of property, that doesn’t mean that you can justifiably initiate aggression against anyone who peacefully takes it.

As for your distortions on the history of regulations, I’m not going to spend too much ink on it, but it’s obvious that measuring pages and employees is not an effective way to measure severity. For now, I’ll leave you with this chart.

And sure, if everyone followed libertarian property rules, some bad things might not have happened, just as some additional terrible things would have happened. Similarly, if everyone were completely altruistic, then the world would be as awesome as possible. That doesn’t make the rules any less bizarre, ridiculous, ineffective, and cruel.

Like what you read? Give I. Kahan a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.