The Trumperium 2: Caesar by the Pussy

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Jon, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    The main problem with this line of thinking, in my slightly more mainstream social libertarian viewpoint, is that it's pretty damn expensive when you sit down and crunch the numbers. The most famous example in the US is of course that in Utah it costs the taxpayers an average of $30,000 to have a homeless person on the streets, and the same person would cost the taxpayers about $10,000 if the government provided housing. This prompted a well-intentioned (if poorly structured, with potential issues with contractors:https://www.sltrib.com/news/politic...-have-a-question-did-we-get-what-we-paid-for/) attempt to give a subset of the homeless people houses. That said, there are other programs in the US, like Maine's (link- https://www.pressherald.com/2017/05...-streets-as-portland-opens-30-new-apartments/), that seem to be a lot more successful, perhaps because the scale isn't as large.

    So it's really not a question of not being guaranteed a good life (which I think is the what you're trying to get at), or morality/ethics, it's that the cheaper option in the long run also has the greatest chance of allowing homeless people to work their way out of dependence. I don't see it as a matter of charity either, since it's more an investment than a gift. Same with all forms of public safety nets, really.
     
  2. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    Which is why social welfare systems are generally a good idea, but that's at best ancilliary to my point.

    My point is that you're not entitled to anything simply because you exist, and just being born does not, in any way, guarantee you of anything. If someone is willing to give it to you, then great, they're a noble soul, but it shouldn't be an expected matter of course people plan for, because you aren't special and you aren't owed shit.
     
  3. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Obviously. I think most people who fall into the "left wing libertarian" crowd agree with you.

    However, nobility is hardly the only reason to want "minimum standards of living," since high average (and more importantly, mode) standards of living are directly correlated with reasonably stable countries. Also, people with low standards of living by and large pay less in taxes than people with high standards of living, while contributing less to shared society. Yes, some bleeding hearts get all moral about it, but the policy is effective.

    Or more accurately, you aren't owed shit any more or less than anyone else, because no-one is special.
     
  4. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    On the contrary, the state might not owe you a home and an income, but it does owe you some fundamental things, first and foremost safety and security. You have a right to be a homeless vagabond and still expect the state to keep you from being mugged, abused, or murdered.
     
  5. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    You have a right to expect that as part of the social contract, which you buy into by paying taxes. Not because you exist.

    Pretty much all modern states have decided that said protection extends to everyone regardless, for a variety of reasons, most of which I rather strongly agree with, but for those not participating in the social contract (read: paying taxes and/or contributing to the wider society), that protection is, again, charity, delivered by the goodwill of those who do participate in it. Not because those other people are owed it.

    It's a subtle distinction, but an important one.

    To be clear, I'm not trying to say that such systems or decisions are inherently bad (to the contrary, most are intrinsically highly noble and laudable). But there's no obligation, duty, or requirement for a group to offer such things. If they do, great, but if they do not, then they are not doing anything wrong. To put it another way, there is no sin in refusing to share freely, even if those that choose to do so have commendable spirit and compassion.
     
  6. VanRopen

    VanRopen Auror

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    So put another way...there are no such thing as inalienable rights?


    Edit: If we're saying that by not engaging in the social contract (defined here by taxes) someone has no expectation to rights - they have instead privileges granted from those who do pay taxes (which implies they can be taken away or not granted) - then doesn't that render the rights themselves not inalienable?
     
  7. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    As I said earlier, the only thing you have an intrinsic right to, purely for the accident of being born, is to make choices and reap the consequences of those choices, nothing more or less. Everything else you either earn for yourself or are given by someone else, and the latter can always be taken away should that charity reach its limits.
     
  8. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Yes. There are no such thing as inalienable rights. There are just rights that have more negative consequences (for everyone involved) than others for alienating. The laws of physics aren't stopping people from violating "inalienable" rights, just an incentive structure.

    That's misrepresentation of @Agayek's point. Taxes are just one way of engaging in a social contract. One of the others is simply agreeing to stick by the guidelines everyone else is following.
     
  9. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Wrong. The social contract is between the State and the polity, not the State and taxpayers. You get protection of the State, simply because you exist. You don't even need to be a citizen. You get it because you're here. It's not charity, it's what's owed to you.
     
  10. VanRopen

    VanRopen Auror

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    I mean, yeah. Rights are by definition legal/social/ethical constructs. The laws of physics aren't stopping people from violating them, but the laws of physics don't inform most of society. Hell, what is civilization but our communal continued effort to tell nature to go fuck itself?

    I just don't get the point. What's the value in the distinction between "the rights owed to something sapient because it is sapient" and "the rights owed to something sapient because society is founded on the idea that everything sapient has those rights"?
     
  11. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    Because the State, at the behest of the polity, has decided it be that way. There's a number of reasons for that, most of them very good, but the key point I'm making is that "because they are entitled to it" is not one of them, no matter how much certain people try to delude themselves otherwise.

    The distinction is that one is inherent to existing and the other is granted to a person by a third party, and by extension is dependent on the continued good will of said third party.
     
  12. VanRopen

    VanRopen Auror

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    And outside conversations about moral nihilism, what's the point? Yes, society first decided that "everything sapient has these rights". But how does that make it invalid to cite society?

    Like, you claimed at the onset that there is a right to "make your own choices and reap the rewards, both positive and negative, of such"...but that doesn't exist outside of society either. That's also just something society has tried to enforce.
     
  13. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That's a tautology. The very existence of the State is built on the monopoly on violence. The State is obliged to monopolize violence or it has no legitimacy. Security isn't a privilege.
     
  14. Solfege

    Solfege High Inquisitor DLP Supporter

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    This is a very point that shows how deep we are into the tradition of liberalism, such that we can purport to take this paradigm of "individualist choice-making" for granted. Versus the continental conservatives and their historical leanings towards church and state.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  15. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    Ehhh. From a practical standpoint, that is true, and one of the aforementioned many reasons why States will engage in such universal protections. Philosophically, however, the authority and legitimacy of the State is derived from the consent and will of the populace, who empower it to act as both a reflector and inhibitor of the public consensus.

    Though it should be noted that "the State does it to secure its own position" is a vastly different claim than "the State does it because everyone is entitled to it", and I've never argued against the former.
     
  16. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Because that's the not the distinction. It's "Rights owed to a sentient, sane citizen of polity X" vs "Incentive Structure followed by sentient, sane citizens of polity X." The point of this discussion is that things like the Patriot Act or Asset Forfeiture wouldn't be possible with actually inalienable rights.

    Are you unfamiliar with the concept of state-sponsored violence?
     
  17. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    State-sponsored violence isn't inconsistent with the concept of the monopoly on violence, although it is of course inconsistent with the concept of liberal governance. Security in either sense is paramount; the difference is that in a despotic regime, the state is more concerned with securing and perpetuating itself than in protecting its citizens. I'll concede that point.

    Given the context of the social contract and in a stable system, though, I would contend that the concept of the violence monopoly necessarily manifests as a security mandate for the wider populace.
     
  18. Agayek

    Agayek The Chosen One

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    I suppose you can view it that way. But really, the one thing it's physically impossible for someone take from you is choice. They can limit your options, and it's certainly very possible for there to be no desirable or even palatable options, but you always, always have the ability to choose your own actions, for better or worse. There's no social construct to that.

    Though there is most certainly a social construct in liberal societies towards maximizing options and making those options as palatable as possible. That's very true, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist outside those social structures.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  19. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    There are, of course, other forms of security than freedom from violence- security of property. A good example of a violation of property rights in the US would be Civil Asset Forfeiture, which allows for some pretty heinous abuse of the system by regional and state legislatures. Asset Forfeiture legislation got strengthened during the War on Drugs, as a way to deny alleged drug dealers "critical infrastructure." Fortunately, this circles us around to Sessions' Campaign on Cannabis, which Vermont did finally get a chance to thumb their nose at with this: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/10/vermont-marijuana-bill/1021775001/

    It isn't much, but it's nice to see my state legislature getting treatment for their cranio-rectal inversion.
     
  20. Arthellion

    Arthellion High Inquisitor

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    How would you respond to determinism then? The concept that because you had no choice in your environment you were born into you had no choice in all of the factors that influence all of your later decisions.