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Old Aug 23, 2013, 11:04 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by NewishMacGuy View Post
1. When you pay for a service you enter into a bilateral voluntary contract with the service provider where the terms of the service are specified and the payment is specified. You can also choose to terminate that service and payment. I would be happy to make similar arrangements for all the "services" I receive from the government, but I cannot, because it's not a service provider/consumer relationship. Rather it is like the relationship between the "Mob" and the residents in its territory whom it charges for it's "protection" services.
Why do you think the government is the big bad boogey man? The government is simply the organization of the people created to provide basic services to the people.

Like Blue Velvet said, you're going to fund the FAA based on a "voluntary" system. The NTSB? The FDA? The interstate highway system? Fire department? Police and EMS? The DOD? Fund all this voluntarily? That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard. All you'll have is a bunch of people who don't want to pay then start crying when they need the service but it's not there for them.

Like Ben Franklin said, there's only two certainties in life: death and taxes.

2. Actually, you're not free to move to a different country at any time and discontinue paying for "the service." The US taxes your global income whether or not you live/work here and use "the services." Again, this is because your relationship with the government is not one of service provider/consumer. You are the subject (and property) of the government, and as such serve as collateral for it's debt. And like any property owner, the government can't have its property running off and discontinuing to provide it with productivity for continued government consumption.
Renounce your citizenship and move.

Really, which ones? Certainly not the EU (even the core), nor the UK. I suppose the case could be made for Norway (oil wealth), and possibly Denmark, Finland, and Sweeden (whose combined populations are about the size of the NYC metro area and as homogenous as the Upper East Side in the 80s between Fifth and Park).
Canada seems to be doing well. So do many European countries. Of course, they would be doing better if the US economy wasn't in the *******. Our garbage economy brings the whole world down.

Why? Government is extremely inefficient at providing services. Society is much better able to provide services for itself via the voluntary interactions of all its members. The point of the government is to force people to do things that they would not choose to do voluntarily - usually to pay for things that they don't value enough to pay for without being forced to. That doesn't benefit society, rather it makes us all poorer on aggregate.
This isn't true at all. You have an extremely misguided view of the point of government and how it works.

Tell me how "society" can regulate air travel better than the FAA "via voluntary interactions of it's members." You can't.

Well, that was the original intent, but I think if the guys who wrote that saw what our government has become they would be horrified and immediately retract the "general welfare" loophole/clause.
Doubtful. They might make some smaller changes (like disbanding the NSA), but the general welfare clause is necessary to a functioning society. Your libertarian utopia is a fantasy world that will never work in real life.

Why? I suppose if you believe that some people are better able to make decisions for other people than those other people can make for themselves then you could make a rational argument that placing decision-making power in the hands of an elite few will make for a more efficient economy and society. I happen to believe in the fundamental equality of being of all humans, therefore I would never suggest that organizing society by means of the use of authoritarian force and the threat of violence will result in a better outcome.
This isn't your Wednesday afternoon book club with 10 members. We have 320+ million citizens. It's impossible for them all to have a say in everyday government decisions. That's why we have a government that's a representative democracy. Every single citizen has the right to vote. That's your voice. We elect representatives to do most of the governing for us because it would be absolutely impossible for the government to run if there were 300+ million people trying to get their voice in every decision. It's just not realistic.

Our state and local governments also have procedures in place for the members of the public to create and sponsor ballet initiatives, so if you can garner enough support (signatures), you can get your issue on the ballet in November and everyone in the jurisdiction can vote on whether to make/change that law.

And yeah, there are some people who are better qualified at making decisions than others.

Yes, it does require that all people be on the same footing of being able to make free choices about what is best for them and form voluntary interactions with others making free choices. What it does not require is that all people have equal means or equal outcomes - and they shouldn't. Different people make different choices and have different outcomes - that is part of the beauty of life.
And this is precisely why we need the government (of the people, by the people, and for the people) to provide basic services for this country. For example, how the hell are you supposed to run the entire air travel industry if people are only going to voluntarily pay for it when they have a trip coming up? How are we going to build and maintain airports? Pay for air traffic control? Manage safety regulations? Train and license pilots? This is a completely unrealistic fantasy world.

Cost savings are generated by the profit motive in a free and competitive market. The government is never the lowest cost or highest quality provider of anything precisely because they don't have a profit motive and they can force people to pay for things that they don't find valuable. Businesses with a profit motive and without the means to force you to pay for things that you don't find of value have to find way to provide you a service which you value at a cost low enough such that you choose to purchase it voluntarily. This is basic economics.
Not true. This isn't "basic economics" at all. It's libertarian fantasy ******** that doesn't work in real life. At all. If it did, someone would have tried it by now.

You're seriously trying to say that a fire department would function better if it was a private entity that made profit and was paid for "voluntarily"? I want some of what you're smoking. But seriously, that's just ridiculous.

Perhaps the emergency rooms shouldn't provide free treatment unless they are willing to do it at their own expense (like lawyers do pro-bono work).
Yeah, they should just let people bleed to death on their sidewalk.

Agreed, however, the best way to do this is most certainly not by expanding the role of government.
The government isn't the big bad boogey man. Put away the tin foil hat. It's simply an organization of every day citizens like us who work to provide many of the basic services a modern society needs to function.

You should go move to a third world country for a year. Spend a year in Haiti, or the Sierra Leone, or Zimbabwe. Something tells me you'll be crying for a country with a government like the US (Or Canada, Australia, UK, etc) pretty quickly. Our system isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than they have in many other places.

Last edited by zioxide; Aug 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM.
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Old Aug 23, 2013, 12:50 PM   #177
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One of the other funny things about the libertarian fantasy is that at least in the UK there are residential private roads. Even though the council doesn't do a great job of maintaining the roads the only private roads to the same standard are the ones which only have very large multi-million pound houses on them. Many other private roads aren't even tarmaced.
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