Why So Negative (Rights)?


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Despite the optimism on these forums, now, and during the build up to the 2012 election, for a liberty friendly president, the overwhelming attitude on the Internet and from pretty much everyone I talk to in real life (Toronto, Canada) is that fiscally conservative politicians have no common sense, and are either crazy, evil, or both. This clip of Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders was circulating some time ago, but it, and the reactions it got, demonstrate exactly what I want to talk about:

To most people, Bernie sounds like the much more reasonable person in this exchange. Good people can watch that and think, "Wow, that Rand Paul guy is a nut."

A truly free-market health care system sounds scary to a lot of people, they think of the horror stories of people who found out they had cancer and had to sell their house. The horror story that Rand tries to use... that of a doctor operating with a gun to his head... nobody can relate to that. Not even the people who agree with Rand. Not even Rand himself can honestly say he thinks that would ever happen. And Bernie capitalized on that silliness.

Why not give people something they can #1 understand, and #2 get on board with? Is free healthcare really free? Of course not. Everyone knows they'll be paying more taxes with socialized medicine. But they think it will work out better than the system already in place. They think it will be cheaper, and the wealthy will bear more of the load. That sounds good to most people. That sounds like it works out in their best interest.

What's the other option, though? Instead of free health care, what about cheap health care? It's impossible to say exactly how a free-market system would create more value for the average person, but it certainly is possible to point out how an over regulated system fails the average person and where the extra costs are coming from.

Socialist politics are usually argued for by describing the desired outcome, and bringing up real life examples of problems with the alternatives. The principles argued for by conservatives and libertarians are usually done in a way resembling Rand Paul's rambling in the video: the speaker doesn't seem to have any objective by speaking--Does he want to persuade anyone who doesn't already hold his views?

To the extent that people on the left extrapolate the moral and psychological depravity of those on the right, people on the right take the difference in point-of-view that they have with those on the left to signify obtuseness, and in turn they end up arguing their points like they're talking to a five year old, using absurd analogies and fables instead of pointing to things in the person's life experience that perhaps lacked context.

The title is about how when people explain negative rights, it doesn't give people the positive feeling that positive rights do. As most people here probably believe, negative rights would have a positive effect on society, so why doesn't it sound that way whenever someone explains the concept?

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"The horror story that Rand tries to use... that of a doctor operating with a gun to his head... nobody can relate to that. Not even the people who agree with Rand. Not even Rand himself can honestly say he thinks that would ever happen. And Bernie capitalized on that silliness."

The doctors who are retiring from private practice and medicine completely rather than join a medical group can relate to it. People believe in fairy tales and free stuff. If they can feel like children with a mommy and daddy taking care of them their whole lives...why not? Sounds great to me. Other peoples money and other people being forced to comply, you get all the gravy (free stuff, no worries). The fact that it's impossible? That doesn't sound good, don't bother me with that negativism.

Do you really think a doctor who violated these new laws and made money doing it wouldn't end up with armed government agents at his door pointing guns at him? What do you think government coercion is? Just a suggestion?

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You're not thinking Calvin. Think about it. You explain to me what I mean. Define slavery. What does working on a plantation vs working your own farm mean to you? If someone took your farm by force and incorporated it into a plantation controlled by someone else and paid you what they wanted to pay you and not what you asked for, would you "retire"?

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You're not thinking Calvin. Think about it. You explain to me what I mean. Define slavery. What does working on a plantation vs working your own farm mean to you? If someone took your farm by force and incorporated it into a plantation controlled by someone else and paid you what they wanted to pay you and not what you asked for, would you "retire"?

Working on the plantation means someone else telling you what to do and beating/killing you if you disobey. Working on your own farm means you can work how you want, will not get beaten, can leave and do something else at any time, and hopefully earn some money... So what part of this is supposed to make me think doctors in Canada are slaves?

Your doing it again. You're trying to make me "think" in a way that denies all common sense. You're telling me, "Just forget that doctors in Canada and slaves are light years from being the same for a second, and just focus on these abstract qualities they share."

I already believe in the principles of the free market, but before someone who doesn't will be comfortable considering them at all, you have to appeal to their actual life experience. Again, no doctor is going to say he/she feels like they are on the level of a slave.

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You're not thinking Calvin. Think about it. You explain to me what I mean. Define slavery. What does working on a plantation vs working your own farm mean to you? If someone took your farm by force and incorporated it into a plantation controlled by someone else and paid you what they wanted to pay you and not what you asked for, would you "retire"?

. So what part of this is supposed to make me think doctors in Canada are slaves?

Your doing it again. You're trying to make me "think" in a way that denies all common sense. You're telling me, "Just forget that doctors in Canada and slaves are light years from being the same for a second, and just focus on these abstract qualities they share."

Comparing an indentured "slave" to a medical professional "slave"? I think you have to focus on "the abstract qualities they share", and remove the concretes. The commitment and dedication a doctor has had to bring to bear through his training, then into years of a career with patients, is a difference of degree but not of kind, from "slavery" - when it's his independent judgment that is being constantly compromised. A slave is forced into bodily servitude - the medic, of his mind. A slave is commanded by one owner, under National Health the doctor is dictated to by a commitee and bureaucracy, which means everybody.

A friend of mine (a doctor) told me earlier this year of his wife's sister who's been a Canadian citizen for a good while (in Toronto, I think), and diagnosed with a cancer, she'd received treatment for a while. Came a point, she was told that the operation necessary to her was refused by NH because of her age (65+/-), it was an expensive procedure limited to selected, younger sufferers, and she should basically "go home and put her affairs in order". She's since visited South Africa which for now still has some private healthcare and clinics, with a high quality of oncologists (for now) and had the op here. Last I heard she is recovering well.

Triage looks to be part of 'the deal' when healthcare is socialised.

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You're not thinking Calvin. Think about it. You explain to me what I mean. Define slavery. What does working on a plantation vs working your own farm mean to you? If someone took your farm by force and incorporated it into a plantation controlled by someone else and paid you what they wanted to pay you and not what you asked for, would you "retire"?

Working on the plantation means someone else telling you what to do and beating/killing you if you disobey. Working on your own farm means you can work how you want, will not get beaten, can leave and do something else at any time, and hopefully earn some money... So what part of this is supposed to make me think doctors in Canada are slaves?

Your doing it again. You're trying to make me "think" in a way that denies all common sense. You're telling me, "Just forget that doctors in Canada and slaves are light years from being the same for a second, and just focus on these abstract qualities they share."

I already believe in the principles of the free market, but before someone who doesn't will be comfortable considering them at all, you have to appeal to their actual life experience. Again, no doctor is going to say he/she feels like they are on the level of a slave.

Calvin,

I really don't mean this as an insult. You can't help where you're at, I think you're a product of an educational system that required zero critical thinking and you haven't taken the trouble or done the hard work that thinking for yourself requires. You have little understanding of free markets, you are unable to make a connection by analogy, you try to persuade people to feel the way you do, not to think. You engage without the slightest intention of trying to correct errors in your own thinking because you don't believe they exist. I don't know what you see in Ayn Rand's writings or what this free market is that you claim to believe in. It has all gone completely over your head. Thinking is hard, but the more you exercise a muscle the stronger it gets. (Oops, another analogy).

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I tried to think what negative rights might be and I think I have two examples. Isn’t the Objectivist position that the unborn has a *negative right* to life because it requires the support of the mother to live? An Objectivist might even object to the idea that the fetus is thinking. It's world is blackness, there is nothing for it to be conscious of -- not until it is born and has contact with the *external world*. Therefore, no consciousness exists; so no person exists.

I would disagree and say there is sensory perception in unborn children. Thinking and dreaming does go on in the unborn child. Reality does not conform to someone's philosophical ideas or theories. Rather it is necessary for philosophical ideas to conform to the facts of reality. How can an Objectivist not be objective?

O’ists cannot get past the idea that a person's body (say, the mother’s) entails their primary right to existence, therefore no other person can possibly exist who might infringe on this right in the pre-existing (the mother’s) person. Yet, after delivery, the child still needs to have those "negative rights" fulfilled. Its location does not change an entity’s identity.

A further thought. A 28 week old in the womb is identical to a prematurely born 28 week old, yet Objectivists ignore this fact. *Evade* might be a better word because Objectivists think the consequences of acknowledging that a Conscious Being has rights would mean they have to do something about it, and they cannot challenge orthodoxy. Therefore it is better to kill the baby than to acknowledge its identity and existence. This is a type of classic and very weird evasion in my book. The strong should not use force against the weak. The Conscious baby exists. Once its consciousness begins it does not end until its death. There is a continuity to a person. It is the same person throughout its conscious life. A is A. A is not sometimes A.

Some other ideas that might be considered negative rights are the right to a *Fair Price,* and the *public good.* I found those ideas expressed in two old letters I found in my attic, FROM world wide author Ghs and the owner of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales.
Peter


From: Jimmy Wales
To: atlantis@wetheliving.com
Subject: ATL: Public goods
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 11:23:33 -0700

I'd like to motivate this discussion by pointing out that if there are real economic phenomena that are ignored or evaded by political theorists, then those theorists will come to invalid conclusions. Anti-capitalist theorists who ignore or evade the role of the price system in the distribution of information will fail to understand much about markets, and will come to invalid conclusions. They will find themselves unable to make valid predictions of the future.

Similarly, pro-capitalists theorists who ignore or evade particular issues in economics (perhaps out of a fear that if they looked too closely, they'd have to give up some other cherished notions – but the motive isn't important, the results are) -- these theorists will fail to understand markets, and will end up coming to invalid conclusions, too.

Additionally, a failure to grasp some important issue will mean that when the pro-capitalist theorist is arguing with people who are middle-of-the-road or anti-capitalist, the argument will fail to be persuasive. If you don't understand the public goods problem, and if you go around telling people that it doesn't exist, or that it's a statist hoax, then people who *do* understand the public goods problem will not change their minds about politics -- they will decide that you don't know what you're talking about.

So, today, I want people to read and concentrate and understand two things -- public goods, and the public goods problem.

I. What is a public good?

A public good is a good which is nonexcludable and has nonrivalrous consumption. If a public good is produced, then the producer can't control who gets it. Anyone who wants it, gets it, and there's nothing the producer can do about it.

When we talking about public "goods", who gets to decide if it's really a good? This is important. It will not do for an economist to go around deciding what is really good, and then criticizing the people in an economy for not valuing the right things. No, a valid concept of any "goods" *has to be from the perspective of agents acting in the economy*.

A classic example of a public good is a traditional radio broadcast. When the good is produced it is nonexcludable -- anyone can receive the broadcast, and there's nothing that the broadcaster can do about it. And it is also nonrivalrous in consumption -- my listening to the radio doesn't diminish anyone else's ability to listen to the radio.

II. What is a public goods _problem_?

The problem of a public good is a problem _from the perspective of the people participating in the economy_. No other conception of the problem is valid. The problem is that unless some solution is found to the problem, the public good will not be produced. Traditionally, this is the point where statists jump in with their solution -- force everyone to pay for the public good, and have the state (or connected people) produce it. But this is hardly the only solution to a public goods problem, as the radio example shows. Radio broadcasts are produced, and paid for with advertising.

The problem here is that producers can't charge consumers for listening to the radio. So some other means of financing must be found. Advertising is one solution, applicable in the case of radio, but not applicable in other cases.

Notice, too, that another solution has become possible with radio in very recent years. There is a new type of radio (XM radio, broadcast by satellite, and paid for by consumers) which is not tied to the advertising model. This has become possible because of technological innovations which make it cheap for the satellite radio stations to encrypt their signal, so that only people who pay for the decryption codes can listen. This type of radio is not a public good.

-------------

I'll stop here to let objections flow. If any seem compelling, I'll post a corrected version of this.

But after that I'd like to get into the meat of this. What are some important public goods problems related to the provision of justice services, and why do they impact negatively on traditional arguments for anarcho-capitalism?

That's what we were talking about a few months ago when George stunned me by completely denying the existence of public goods problems.
--Jimbo

From: "George H. Smith"
Reply-To: "George H. Smith"
To: "*Atlantis"
Subject: ATL: Re: Public goods
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 16:28:59 -0500

Jimmy Wales wrote:
"I'd like to motivate this discussion by pointing out that if there are real economic phenomena that are ignored or evaded by political theorists, then those theorists will come to invalid conclusions.

"...Similarly, pro-capitalists theorists who ignore or evade particular issues in economics (perhaps out of a fear that if they looked too closely, they'd have to give up some other cherished notions -- but the motive isn't important, the results are) -- these theorists will fail to understand markets, and will end up coming to invalid conclusions, too."

I am not ignoring or evading anything. I suggest that Jimmy dispense with further excursions into hokey psychoanalysis if he wants to get this discussion off on the right foot and avoid the kind of personal recriminations that he professes to abhor. He has started the ball rolling here, but I will ignore his irrelevant and inaccurate speculations in an effort to focus on the issues. Suppose I did have the motive that Jimmy suggests, suppose that I did criticize the public goods problem because I didn't want to surrender some "cherished notions" -- what difference would that make? The validity or invalidity of my objections would not be affected thereby. (True, Jimmy doesn't refer to me specifically, but I don't think it's too much of a stretch
to assume that he was writing with me in mind.)

Jimmy wrote:
"I. What is a public good?

"A public good is a good which is nonexcludable and has nonrivalrous consumption. If a public good is produced, then the producer can't control who gets it. Anyone who wants it, gets it, and there's nothing the producer can do about it."

I have no problem with this.

Jimmy wrote:
"When we talking about public "goods", who gets to decide if it's really a good? This is important. It will not do for an economist to go around deciding what is really good, and then criticizing the people in an economy for not valuing the right things. No, a valid concept of any "goods" *has to be from the perspective of agents
acting in the economy*.

I agree entirely. So how can an economist determine what people "value" in an *economic* sense apart from what they are willing to pay for in a free market?

People may claim they would like to see a Disneyland in every town, but if they aren't willing to pay for them this "value" has no *economic* significance. Moreover, it would be very misleading to speak of an economic "Disneyland Problem" owing to the fact that the demand is insufficient to pay for a Disneyland in every town.

Jimmy wrote:
"II. What is a public goods _problem_? "The problem of a public good is a problem _from the perspective of the people participating in the economy_. No other conception of the problem is valid. "The problem is that unless some solution is found to the problem, the public good will not be produced."

What "problem"? If enough people are willing to pay the market price for a good, it will produced in the market. If not, it will not be produced. So where is the "problem."?

Jimmy proceeds to present an example (radio) of the "public goods problem." But he has not specified exactly what the economic PROBLEM is supposed to be. I might like to see more philosophy books published in the market. Does this mean there exists an economic "philosophy books problem" if the market doesn't respond to my desires? People desire all kinds of things that the market doesn't produce, but we don't normally call these economic "problems." The market may be unable to eliminate all poverty. Does this mean we have a "poverty problem" vis-a-vis the market? Not unless we import a value judgment from outside the realm of economics, according to which all poverty *should* be eliminated for moral or political reasons. The same reasoning applies to the so-called "public goods problem."

Jimmy concluded:
"That's what we were talking about a few months ago when George stunned me by completely denying the existence of public goods problems."

I denied that there exists a public goods "problem" from the standpoint of ECONOMICS. A problem is generated only when a non-economic value judgment is applied to economics, a judgment which says that something *should* be produced apart from what the free market probably *will* produce. This "problem" is generated by a value judgment that is not part of economic analysis per se, a judgment about what *should* be the case, as determined by the value premises of the person rendering the judgment. Hence there might be no "problem" at all for another person who works from different value premises, even though both people might entirely agree in their value-free economic analysis of how the market is likely to behave. This was my basic point.

This objection has nothing whatever to do with the traditional tie between publics goods and government intervention. It is a very straightforward theoretical objection to the smuggling of an unacknowledged value judgment into an analysis that falsely represents itself as value-free. The traditional concept of a "public good" can be defined without reference to a value judgment. The traditional concept of a public goods PROBLEM cannot.
Ghs

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A friend of mine (a doctor) told me earlier this year of his wife's sister who's been a Canadian citizen for a good while (in Toronto, I think), and diagnosed with a cancer, she'd received treatment for a while. Came a point, she was told that the operation necessary to her was refused by NH because of her age (65+/-), it was an expensive procedure limited to selected, younger sufferers, and she should basically "go home and put her affairs in order". She's since visited South Africa which for now still has some private healthcare and clinics, with a high quality of oncologists (for now) and had the op here. Last I heard she is recovering well.

This is all you should have posted. The first paragraph was your own philosophy from your point-of-view. This second paragraph does not discriminate. Anyone can read or hear that and actually take something away from it--you haven't forced your conclusion on anyone here (which people do not like, and that is exactly what "principles" are: abstract conclusions about reality, something people do not get to before experiencing the reality part).

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You're not thinking Calvin. Think about it. You explain to me what I mean. Define slavery. What does working on a plantation vs working your own farm mean to you? If someone took your farm by force and incorporated it into a plantation controlled by someone else and paid you what they wanted to pay you and not what you asked for, would you "retire"?

Working on the plantation means someone else telling you what to do and beating/killing you if you disobey. Working on your own farm means you can work how you want, will not get beaten, can leave and do something else at any time, and hopefully earn some money... So what part of this is supposed to make me think doctors in Canada are slaves?

Your doing it again. You're trying to make me "think" in a way that denies all common sense. You're telling me, "Just forget that doctors in Canada and slaves are light years from being the same for a second, and just focus on these abstract qualities they share."

I already believe in the principles of the free market, but before someone who doesn't will be comfortable considering them at all, you have to appeal to their actual life experience. Again, no doctor is going to say he/she feels like they are on the level of a slave.

Calvin,

I really don't mean this as an insult. You can't help where you're at, I think you're a product of an educational system that required zero critical thinking and you haven't taken the trouble or done the hard work that thinking for yourself requires. You have little understanding of free markets, you are unable to make a connection by analogy, you try to persuade people to feel the way you do, not to think. You engage without the slightest intention of trying to correct errors in your own thinking because you don't believe they exist. I don't know what you see in Ayn Rand's writings or what this free market is that you claim to believe in. It has all gone completely over your head. Thinking is hard, but the more you exercise a muscle the stronger it gets. (Oops, another analogy).

Well, thank goodness you're not a politician! I'll say it one more time: you can ask a doctor in Canada whether they feel like a slave and they will all tell you 'no': that trumps your philosophical babble and nobody is going to give what you said a second thought... so maybe go back to the drawing board? This thread was about the problems people like you have communicating. You've proven my point.

Your philosophy was not easy for you to learn, so how do expect to share it easily with someone who has not experienced what you have, or has not interpreted their experiences as you have? Give them something they can actually integrate into their mind instead of something they will reject immediately as incompatible.

Rand Paul started talking about slavery almost immediately. That's so far from anyone's actual life experience that of course people are going to turn off right away. He can't just tell people to "think about it," he's got to lead them there... and he didn't do that. It's like finding the exit to a hedge maze and just yelling to people, "It's over here!"

The reason I'm talking about this is that there is clearly a problem in the US where the only figureheads taken seriously by the public are those espousing collectivist ideology.

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A friend of mine (a doctor) told me earlier this year of his wife's sister who's been a Canadian citizen for a good while (in Toronto, I think), and diagnosed with a cancer, she'd received treatment for a while. Came a point, she was told that the operation necessary to her was refused by NH because of her age (65+/-), it was an expensive procedure limited to selected, younger sufferers, and she should basically "go home and put her affairs in order". She's since visited South Africa which for now still has some private healthcare and clinics, with a high quality of oncologists (for now) and had the op here. Last I heard she is recovering well.

This is all you should have posted. The first paragraph was your own philosophy from your point-of-view. This second paragraph does not discriminate. Anyone can read or hear that and actually take something away from it--you haven't forced your conclusion on anyone here (which people do not like, and that is exactly what "principles" are: abstract conclusions about reality, something people do not get to before experiencing the reality part).

All I should have posted - for whom? You? If you don't make the connection between individualism and individual choice, the freedom to choose and capitalism - the State's restriction of choice and servitude - it's hardly my responsibility.

("Give them something they can integrate..."; ...those espousing a collectivist ideology...") The second are often the non-abstracting former. They have all heard enough real-life experiences, but would rather avoid the inconvenient realities of what they MEAN.

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Calvin,

Can you even imagine what slavery is? What it entails? Imagine being a slave holder, what are your requirements as a successful slave owner? Do you beat your slaves all the time and work them to death? Or do you try to keep them happy and healthy and well rested and not complaining? Are they no less slaves because they have intelligent self interested owners who practice good animal husbandry? What do you think of people who are satisfied with the life of a slave, no worries, someone else taking care of thinking about everything and making all of your decisions for them?

You say slavery is so far from anyone's life experience that it turns people off when it is mentioned. I say it's like a fish in water not seeing the water. Canada is worse than the United States in many ways. There is not a single decision I make in my life, work, home, thinking about retirement, where every single detail isn't proscribed in some way by some government bureaucrat regulation. We break the law daily, knowingly or unknowingly, because a law has been written governing every aspect of our lives. We mostly don't see it or bother with it because frankly government people are fairly stupid, they imagine they are like God and see every turn of every sparrows wing, but mostly they see little. Unless...unless you are like the tall bamboo and you stick up taller than your fellows. Or rock the boat or complain or criticize too loudly [heard of Mark Steyn?]. Then these laws and regulations have teeth and can get you put in prison. You're not a slave? You don't want to talk about slavery? Think again.

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From: Jimmy Wales

To: atlantis@wetheliving.com

Subject: ATL: Public goods

Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 11:23:33 -0700

...Additionally, a failure to grasp some important issue will mean that when the pro-capitalist theorist is arguing with people who are middle-of-the-road or anti-capitalist, the argument will fail to be persuasive. If you don't understand the public goods problem, and if you go around telling people that it doesn't exist, or that it's a statist hoax, then people who *do* understand the public goods problem will not change their minds about politics -- they will decide that you don't know what you're talking about.

A lot of your post was off topic, Peter, aside from this paragraph, really. Though I did appreciate their discussion.

The difference between negative and positive rights, in terms of how they are expressed as concepts to the public, is that negative rights are based on a principle inferred from a myriad of experiences and information of human actions and interactions, while positive rights are much more emotionally accessible (they make people feel something right away=interest=attention).

If you say, "Everyone has the right to food and shelter," that resonates with most people. There is a shared ideal there that every sane person has. You cannot say that you don't want everyone to have food and shelter and not come off like an asshole/lunatic.

If you say, "Nobody has the right to use someone else's property without their permission," it does not point to the shared ideal. But that doesn't mean there isn't a better way to express this type of right. Why not try to point to that shared ideal? What if this were put in positive terms?

What if the concept of property could be expressed as a positive right? "Everyone has the right to use unused materials and create something of value." That sounds a little better... obviously there is more left to be interpreted here, but that's the same with food and shelter.

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Boulder_co_Plaza.jpg


Boulder has the best of everything that government has to offer: garbage recycling, decorative streetlamps, educational excellence for toddlers, paramedics, firemen, police, hospitals, prisons, and courts. Like most overfed bureaucracies, Boulder has a wait problem. Their grand jury investigated the Jon-Benet Ramsay murder for more than year, without indicting anyone, and Boulder police spent $1 million collecting evidence, without arresting anyone. Boulderism is 100 percent representative of the American Dream, in its full-blown, Politically Correct version. A newspaper columnist recently described Boulder as "utopia" compared to an African village. Boulderism is the political creed of suburbanites who elected Bill and Hillary and Chelsea, the smiling folks next door. Weighed in the context of the lives and fortunes of the Six Billion, it's obvious to Boulderites (a majority of U.S. voters) that we already live in a free society. The American people owe nothing to the Libertarian Party, and constitutional institutions are too important to tinker with. The common law definition of crime was settled long before Rand or Rothbard started yapping about non-initiation of force, and we don't need free market libertarian consequentialists to help us "get" free in the distant future. So say we all, Republican and Democrat and Boy Scout and Soccer Mom, one nation under God. [Eggshell ms., p.88]

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All I should have posted - for whom? You? If you don't make the connection between individualism and individual choice, the freedom to choose and capitalism - the State's restriction of choice and servitude - it's hardly my responsibility.

It's not your responsibility. But would it not be your objective if you were a politician or other public figure? That's what I'm talking about. I'm tired of people just taking for granted that libertarians are crazy and conservatives are evil, and it's getting worse while communication becomes more of a problem.

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Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. Barry Switzer.

Dglgmut wrote: Again, no doctor is going to say he/she feels like they are on the level of a slave.
THE END

When Obama Care was first introduced a few Progressives were oohing and aahing because Obama cares. And then they felt so good about their own innate decency they began Obama-scares. The idea was that privileged doctors would be required to get in a van and go to underprivileged neighborhoods to heal the sick in clinics. That idea died on the totalitarian vine only because a lot of doctors refused to be slaves. Even today, I have a dermatologist who refuses to deal with Medicare and many walk-in emergency care clinics refuse to accept anything but cash or a credit card. The leftists are willing to enslave everyone – just not all at once.
Peter

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There is no such thing as an "emergency care clinic" I'm aware of. Those are urgent care. A hospital emergency room can't turn away anyone out of inability to pay. There is an partial walk around for them by doing what has to be done then telling the patient to go see his doctor or a specialist. Call yourself "emergency" anything and demand upfront payment your business will be in a world of legal shit. The reason is simple--time is important and you've wasted the patient's time. All he saw was "EMERGENCY." A true emergency clinic would cost a fortune to run and would lose money hand over fist. The 24/7 staffing requirement alone is staggering.

--Brant

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Dg wrote: A lot of your post was off topic . . . .

I know. I am one of those mavericks (or contrarians) who looks for inspiration in sunsets. As Leonard Cohen said, “There is a crack in everything; that is how the light gets in.” Just kidding.

It’s not like I have attention deficit or anything, I just enjoy going off topic. I know the author’s of various threads just want to discuss that one topic but go to any thread, like Trumps, and you will see a lot of people veering off. In some ways an open OL thread is brainstorming to many of us. Occasionally I have deleted what I wrote upon protests from the thread starter, but the people who clicked on your topic probably also clicked on being instantly notified so they have already read my off topic, op-ed.
Peter

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Calvin,

Can you even imagine what slavery is? What it entails? Imagine being a slave holder, what are your requirements as a successful slave owner? Do you beat your slaves all the time and work them to death? Or do you try to keep them happy and healthy and well rested and not complaining? Are they no less slaves because they have intelligent self interested owners who practice good animal husbandry? What do you think of people who are satisfied with the life of a slave, no worries, someone else taking care of thinking about everything and making all of your decisions for them?

You say slavery is so far from anyone's life experience that it turns people off when it is mentioned. I say it's like a fish in water not seeing the water. Canada is worse than the United States in many ways. There is not a single decision I make in my life, work, home, thinking about retirement, where every single detail isn't proscribed in some way by some government bureaucrat regulation. We break the law daily, knowingly or unknowingly, because a law has been written governing every aspect of our lives. We mostly don't see it or bother with it because frankly government people are fairly stupid, they imagine they are like God and see every turn of every sparrows wing, but mostly they see little. Unless...unless you are like the tall bamboo and you stick up taller than your fellows. Or rock the boat or complain or criticize too loudly [heard of Mark Steyn?]. Then these laws and regulations have teeth and can get you put in prison. You're not a slave? You don't want to talk about slavery? Think again.

Mikee, I fully understand what you are saying. The public, however, is not going to be moved by this kind of talk. You blame it on them for not understanding how relevant what you say is?

Instead of comparing what we have now, or could have soon, to slavery, why not compare what we have now (while using examples to illuminate the depravities of today, literally and without analogy or interpretation) to what could be? Forcing your conclusions on people doesn't work.

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Dg wrote: If you say, "Everyone has the right to food and shelter," that resonates with most people . . . . If you say, "Nobody has the right to use someone else's property without their permission," it does not point to the shared ideal. But that doesn't mean there isn't a better way to express this type of right. Why not try to point to that shared ideal? What if this were put in positive terms?
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Well said. I am an honorable person. If I saw someone in trouble I would help. But at the same time I do not think anyone has a right to anyone else’s life or even their time. That is why I like to put your paradigm of the *shared ideal* into the benevolence category, rather than into the category of what is required to be moral. You would be a better person if you did X but you should not be legally required to do X. I think the easiest concrete example to grasp is a Good Samaritan Law. You are required to help a person in a life threatening situation if you are not greatly putting your own life in danger, and the person being helped cannot sue you for any damage you do to them while helping. You should throw the person who fell overboard a life preserver but you are under no legal obligation to jump in after them.

Dg wrote: What if the concept of property could be expressed as a positive right? "Everyone has the right to use unused materials and create something of value." That sounds a little better... obviously there is more left to be interpreted here, but that's the same with food and shelter.
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The key word is unused. And the idea of guaranteed food and shelter is under the heading of emergency situations. That brings to mind a non emergency case that was just settled in California. A person bought a home with a beautiful view. Later someone else built a home next to them and then planted trees that eventually blocked the beautiful view. The ones who came first sued. The first court sided with the people who got there first but the appeals court decided that the second family had a right to plant trees even if it blocked their neighbors' view. Does a view have value? Of course. Is it a commodity or part of someone’s property rights like water rights or the right to unspoiled air? I think it is, within reason. The concept of coming to the nuisance is relevant. Whoever got their first should be legally entitled to keep their view, but again, within reason. Their sunlight should not be blocked. You should not be allowed to hold lewd or nude parties on your property. You should not be allowed to blare loud music across your property lines. This goes against the idea that you should be allowed to do as you see fit with your property. There is a huge gray area that may not technically entail infringing on someone else’s property rights but still entails being a nuisance.
Peter Taylor.

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What would tip the balance of popular opinion, is doctors and the medical profession being 'allowed' the space to create a model of free market health care. I've no doubt, that with the hi-tech and advanced training at their disposal now, doctors would be able to work much more efficiently and economically than in the past - which means, cheaper, faster, and competitively. But Govts and Statism have very neatly and cynically cut off any possibility or avenue for a Capitalist "model", for the public to experience first hand. Much better to have a populace dependent on their 'beneficence' and under their bloated power..

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I've no doubt, that with the hi-tech and advanced training at their disposal now, doctors would be able to work much more efficiently and economically than in the past - which means, cheaper, faster, and competitively. But Govts and Statism have very neatly and cynically cut off any possibility or avenue for a Capitalist "model"

This part of what you said is what people would find interesting, I think. The first sentence is about what people are missing out on... great, that evokes emotion. The second sentence tells them what's happening right now that's hurting them... great, that tells them where to place blame (people love blame).

Of course you would have to provide examples and make it easier for people to see what you're saying as truth.

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