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Old 05-08-2009, 11:25 AM   #601
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
THEFT IS NOT VOLUNTARY
This does not exempt the thief from compliance with the property owner's terms of voluntary exchange. The seller does not lose the right to name HIS terms in the exchange (whatever they may be) just because the thief wants the item for free.

Lol.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:30 AM   #602
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

He stole it
He explicitly REFUSED to accept the terms of sale
There's no voluntary exchange here
The fact of theft does not grant the victim unlimited access to the thief's property
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:54 AM   #603
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

strawn ive been reading your posts quite fairly up 'til now, but any rebuttal to the statement 'theft is not voluntary' is crazy. you can't possibly rationalize stealing as concurrent with terms of agreement between two marketing parties.

honestly.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:59 AM   #604
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
He stole it
He explicitly REFUSED to accept the terms of sale
There's no voluntary exchange here
The fact of theft does not grant the victim unlimited access to the thief's property
Correct, but the theft as such is a separate issue.

The act of voluntarily taking someone's property makes the taker liable under the owner's preexisting terms of transfer (whatever they may be), and no third party has the right to override them in ACland.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:00 PM   #605
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Quote:
The act of voluntarily taking someone's property makes the taker liable for the owner's preexisting terms of transfer (whatever they may be, and no third party has the right to override them in ACland).
And here is your straw man, yet again.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:13 PM   #606
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by Strawn View Post
Correct, but the theft as such is a separate issue.

The act of voluntarily taking someone's property makes the taker liable under the owner's preexisting terms of transfer (whatever they may be), and no third party has the right to override them in ACland.
I seriously doubt the security agencies representing either side would give such an argument any thought. When the thief is apprehended he'll be subject to the appropriate fee (after an agreed-upon court).

ACists correct me if I'm wrong there
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:20 PM   #607
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by bonsaltron View Post
I seriously doubt the security agencies representing either side would give such an argument any thought. When the thief is apprehended he'll be subject to the appropriate fee (after an agreed-upon court).

ACists correct me if I'm wrong there
The seller (plaintiff) isn't charging the thief (defendant) with any crime. The plaintiff just wants the defendant to pay the terms under which he (the plaintiff) gave public notice of willingness to transfer his property, which the defendant voluntarily took.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #608
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

jesus christ
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:42 PM   #609
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by Strawn View Post
The seller (plaintiff) isn't charging the thief (defendant) with any crime. The plaintiff just wants the defendant to pay the terms under which he (the plaintiff) gave public notice of willingness to transfer his property, which the defendant voluntarily took.
I would imagine the thief would not get off the hook scott-free / breakeven

Fees and premiums in addition to stolen $ value
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:04 PM   #610
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

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Originally Posted by Borodog View Post
Your carricature of "ACland" is farcical and delusional. A transparent and clumsy strawman that has absolutely nothing to do with how social norms regarding restitution for property theft would evolve under the absence of a judicial monopoly.

But enjoy your handwaving and irrelevant ruminations.
An inspired composition. The same to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poker879 View Post
you're wrong. if it were truly a contract (which it wasn't, but you are pretending it was) then in state land the "thief/contract violator" owes the full amount stipulated in the contract. The issue is, it clearly was not a contract. Look up sale contract remedies on google.

The rest of what you said after this is nonsense. Please look to the above and you will see your answer. If it were a REAL contract then he owes the money, there is no implied contract here.
Forget the "contract" approach. And no one is pressing criminal charges.

What created liability here was the voluntary taking of property under the owner's publicly disclosed conditions of transfer, which are entirely up to the property owner in the absence of regulation.

If a prospective taker considers the terms extreme, he can walk away, but there is nothing he can do to make himself exempt from them in the event he chooses to take.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:40 PM   #611
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

This has to be one of the stupidest things I have seen anyone argue for on this forum ever. In Strawn's fantasyland all someone would have to do is slap one of these on anything he owns and I guess they would then be right to kill or imprison for life anyone who stole from them.



It sucks that this forum seems to have no moderation or rule about staying on topic. Hopefully we can go back to talking about the book now.

--

Chapter 10 - Wealth Begets Wealth

THOSE WHO EARN WEALTH by producing goods and services that others choose to purchase have freed multitudes from the miseries that nature would have otherwise bestowed upon them. To earn wealth, one must offer goods and services that others consider more valuable than the price at which those goods and services are being offered. One who produces and sells a million widgets to a million different people at a one dollar profit per widget becomes a millionaire. But each of the million people who buys that product gains—through the purchase of a widget—something greater than its cost. Why? Well, if the value of the widget were not considered greater than what was paid for it, then the buyer would not have purchased the widget. The amount of gain is individually subjective, but if each purchaser perceives the added benefit of the purchase to be at least one dollar, all purchasers, as a group, would have gained at least $1 million in wealth.

Because the earning of wealth in free markets is dependent upon those who perceive value in the earner’s goods and services the greater the wealth earned by one necessitates the greater the perceived wealth (well-being) gained by another. This necessary bilateral gain in wealth also applies to the exchange of labor and wages. The value of one’s labor is worth less than the wages to the employee, and more than the wages to the employer. Thus, both the employee and employer are wealthier with the exchange than without the exchange.

Of course, values at the time of an exchange may not always turn out to be as originally perceived. Buying a car that turns out to be a “lemon,” regretting the purchase of that last drink, buying a stock that later plummets, or taking a job that is less rewarding than originally thought are a few examples. Nevertheless, at the time
of a voluntary exchange, each party perceives the exchange as a gain in well-being.

When we visualize money flowing from one person to another,we tend to focus on the gain of the seller, not the gain of the buyer. Even governments seem to focus on the gain of the seller by reporting a negative balance of trade for the country that buys goods from a foreign country and a positive balance of trade when it sells goods to them. Yet, when we personally buy something—a new car, computer, suit, or dress—we are more excited about the purchase we have made than we are about the money we used to make that purchase. The very word “trade” implies a voluntary exchange, and therefore, a resulting “positive” for each side of the transaction.

Reported U.S. trade imbalances of deficits and surpluses are fictitious, since no trade would have occurred if either party saw that trade as a deficit. Only by failing to account for all transfers of money for services and investments among trading entities can one fabricate an imbalance of trade. If I buy a loaf of bread from the grocer across the street, we would not call it an imbalance of trade, that is, a positive for the grocer and a negative for me. However, if the street were the border between the U.S. and Canada, my purchase would be considered a deficit for the U.S.and a surplus for Canada in a balance of trade calculation.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:50 PM   #612
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Ignoring Strawn, I am interested in what others would say in the following:

1. if a contract was signed for $1M and then he reneged. Should he just return the chair or a full $1M
2. If there was an oral contract, where he said, yeah I'll pay you and then just took it.
3. If he signed but with no intention of ever paying and was simply fraud and his attempt to steal it.
4. He just stole it.

Interesting that in following standard contract law of the day, the least harsh penalty would be #4. And in #2 and #3, you would have the criminal trying to convince the judge that he was in fact a criminal who only had intentions to steal, because the penalty for theft would be much much less.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:53 PM   #613
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

A separate note, I don't know where the 2 tooths for a tooth came from. It seems rather arbitrary and can often lead to too little of a punishment. Why a factor of 2 and not 3 or 1.5? I could simply commit fraud all day, and if my chances of getting caught were less than 50%, I would be making a +ev decision. The 2 other factors are terror premium and cost to catch. Well I commit fraud and I don't scare him at all, so that should be zero, and the moment it looks like I may get caught, I immediately turn myself in and admit guilt to keep the cost of catching me low.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:43 PM   #614
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poker879 View Post
Ignoring Strawn, I am interested in what others would say in the following:

1. if a contract was signed for $1M and then he reneged. Should he just return the chair or a full $1M
2. If there was an oral contract, where he said, yeah I'll pay you and then just took it.
3. If he signed but with no intention of ever paying and was simply fraud and his attempt to steal it.
4. He just stole it.

Interesting that in following standard contract law of the day, the least harsh penalty would be #4. And in #2 and #3, you would have the criminal trying to convince the judge that he was in fact a criminal who only had intentions to steal, because the penalty for theft would be much much less.
I think for 1-3 it comes down to providing satisfactory evidence of the agreement. If there is a contract to have me deliver milk to you for $5, that agreement signifies the exchange whether it has been fulfilled yet or not. If you fail to deliver the milk, it violates the exchange and it may then be the victims option to get the milk or his $5 back. I think this actually sort of relates to chapter 10.

These examples are all pretty extreme compared to typical real world examples too. If I were a judge in the case with the victim having witnesses that the guy who walked off with the lawn chair said, "Yeah sure buddy I will pay you a million dollars.", I think I might be swayed to the criminal's case that he was just trying to steal the chair. I suspect that libertarian courts would also not shy away from using polygraph tests and similar things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poker879 View Post
A separate note, I don't know where the 2 tooths for a tooth came from. It seems rather arbitrary and can often lead to too little of a punishment. Why a factor of 2 and not 3 or 1.5? I could simply commit fraud all day, and if my chances of getting caught were less than 50%, I would be making a +ev decision. The 2 other factors are terror premium and cost to catch. Well I commit fraud and I don't scare him at all, so that should be zero, and the moment it looks like I may get caught, I immediately turn myself in and admit guilt to keep the cost of catching me low.
I can dig out the link, but I think I quoted one paper by Walter Block earlier that gives this footnote:

Quote:
It should be clear why the libertarian punishment theory calls for exactly two teeth, not 1.9 nor 2.1. The first one comes from returning stolen property, the second from doing to the thief what he tried to do to the victim.
Block also explains that even if the victim was not home and the criminal unarmed, he would still be up for a 1/1000 (1 bullet to 1000 chambers) or whatever terror premium. Maybe not everyone has experienced something like walking up to their car and realizing their window was smashed in and your CDs stolen. The criminal is obviously long gone, but it still scares you a bit. His argument is that you don't know what the criminal is capable of.

Bernie Madoff certainly did a lot of harm, silently and remotely. I can't see how he would be exempt from paying a terror premium at all. Maybe bilking Bill Gates for "just" a million dollars won't make him sleep uneasily, but taking away multiple people's whole retirement funds seems to qualify as causing fear. Even if you minimize the -EV by admitting guilt, you can't guarantee that the costs of investigating your fraud will have been minimal. You will have to have twice what you are getting caught for stealing + whatever fees on hand or you wouldn't be getting much utility out of the money you stole.

Finally, there seems to be reason to consider the criminal background of the thief in each case. Maybe the thief was unarmed and you weren't home, or you were home but he didn't touch you since you just let him cart off your TV. Say though he has in the past choked several people who tried to defend their property half to death. Maybe the TP will be adjudicated as 4-5 bullets in the revolver. We can't say how the market for justice will exactly determine any one crime. There may also emerge a market for third parties who get victims to refuse to barter away this chance of death into money from the criminal, in return for seeking the maximum penalty for repeat offenders.
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:14 PM   #615
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

I guess we still have government because so many people squabble over little petty bull ****.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #616
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

I think it is more because people believe the bull**** spewing from government official's mouths.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:29 PM   #617
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Re: Inclined to Liberty

Chapter 11: Money -- What Is It?

SINCE ALL OF THE propositions at that eventful dinner relate to money, let’s look at what money really is. Today, governments monopolize money, but this was not always the case. Money emerged as a medium of exchange to facilitate the trading of goods when the division of labor replaced self-sufficiency and bartering became impractical because of the increasing variety of available goods and services. Various forms of money evolved that sellers were willing to accept in lieu of someone else’s goods or services. Some of those early forms of money were seashells, tobacco, salt, spices, and metals.

In a society without money, each producer would have to find a complementary producer with whom to exchange goods and services directly. With money as an intermediary, a producer needs only to find someone who wants his goods or services. The time devoted to searching for a person with a coincidence of wants in a barter market can now, with money, be devoted instead to the production of more goods and services.

To illustrate the utility of money, let’s say John produces eggs,and Bob produces wheat. If John wants wheat from Bob, but Bob doesn’t want John’s eggs, John could give Bob a facilitator—for instance, nails—for his wheat. Bob, in turn, could trade the nails for milk if the dairyman doesn’t want his wheat. The dairyman could then use nails to obtain eggs from John. The ability to trade indirectly using money provides each person the opportunity to get his preferred choice. In this case, John gets his wheat, Bob gets his milk, and the dairyman gets his eggs.

In a volitional exchange, each party values what is received more than what is given up. In other words, when Bob accepts nails for his wheat, he is valuing that quantity of nails greater than the quantity of wheat that he gives John. Conversely, John places greater value on the quantity of wheat than on the quantity of nails.

In a similar scenario, John could give Bob an IOU for a specific quantity of eggs instead of giving Bob nails. As before, Bob doesn’t want eggs, but he accepts John’s IOU in exchange for the wheat because he knows that the quantity of eggs the IOU represents has value to others. Bob then uses John’s IOU in exchange for milk from the dairyman. The IOU can continue to be used in further exchanges until someone redeems it, simply by going to John and getting the eggs, at which time the IOU is voided.

The willingness to accept John’s IOU depends on John’s reputation. The more reputable John is, the more readily his IOUs will be accepted. If John defaults on his IOU, his reputation will suffer, and, as a result, he may be relegated to trading his eggs only by direct barter with someone who can actually use the eggs. Let’s say John always honors his IOUs, so that everyone who requests redemption gets a full quantity of eggs. In time, John’s IOUs become so popular that only a few ever cash them in for actual eggs. At this point, John may be tempted to write more IOUs than the quantity of eggs he is capable of producing to meet all the out-standing IOUs. John does so, and finds that he can write about four times as many IOUs as he possesses in eggs at any given time.

The system appears to work well, since everyone who wants to redeem IOUs gets eggs. John is living a more prosperous lifestyle—actually a lifestyle about four times better than before, since he has garnered four times the goods from others than he was able to get before. Since John is enjoying life to a greater extent than his productive contribution to the community warrants, the rest of the community must, by deduction, be enjoying life to a lesser extent than the sum of their productive contributions.

As John’s IOUs become more popular as a medium of exchange, fewer people find the need to redeem them. So John increases the ratio of IOUs to his production of eggs until there are literally one-hundred IOUs for every dozen eggs. John is now living a great life of splendor, yet contributes little to the community. The community is not wealthier with all those unredeemed IOUs circulating about, since no one is eating the eggs represented by those IOUs. Even when the members of the community realize that John can’t possibly honor all his IOUs, they continue accepting them in trade for their goods, believing the next person in line will accept them, as well.

Eventually, John drops the use of the word “eggs” on his IOUs to prevent even those few who may want to redeem them for actual eggs from doing so, or to thwart a possible “egg run.” Like other goods, as the number of IOUs in the community increases, their exchange value decreases. Whereas at one time an IOU for a dozen eggs could attain a gallon of milk, now it will only attain a fraction of a cup of that same milk.

Well, by now you may be thinking, “John behaves just like the government.” Not quite. Only if John were to prevent others in the community from competing with him and forcibly require everyone in the community to accept his IOUs in payment of all debts would his actions be equivalent to those of government. In a free market, money like John’s IOUs would encounter more and more competition long before it would reach the inflationary level described above. As confidence in the issuer of an IOU fades, competitors seize upon the opportunity. All the new competitors try to reassure those who accept their IOUs that theirs, unlike John’s, are backed by something real and redeemable.

No government today issues money that is redeemable for anything of value. U.S. dollars were, at one time, IOUs redeemable for gold. But when more and more money was printed with no commensurate addition to the supply of gold, the government was compelled to prevent redemption to avoid a “run” on its gold supply. In 1933, the U.S. government simply declared the ownership of gold by U.S. citizens illegal, in effect, reneging on its earlier promise of redemption. Then, in 1971, the government had to renege on the redemption in gold for the dollars held by foreign entities, as well. Since then, there has been nothing redeemable for a U.S. dollar; it is deemed money by edict, and must be accepted to satisfy any debt.

As we’ve seen, one who issues an IOU without the ability to meet its full redemption enjoys the fruits of the labor of others without working and contributing to the welfare of the community. In the above example, John, the issuer of unbacked IOUs, is a free rider, getting a benefit without a cost. Governments are no different. Their issuance of money by edict (fiat) is simply another form of taking, akin to taxes and tariffs.

As governments issue greater quantities of fiat money, the unit value of that money continually falls, harming primarily those with savings and, in particular, the elderly, who have saved their earnings for retirement. The money that they have worked most of their lives to save has depreciated to such an extent that many cannot afford to retire.

Due to inflation’s devastating effect on the elderly, the process of increasing the fiat money supply is the most insidious form of taxation. Absent any inflation of currency, goods in general would fall in price because of new technology and competition, thereby giving one’s savings more purchasing power and making one’s plans for retirement more feasible.

Chapter 12: Money Is Not Prosperity

WHILE MONEY INCREASES THE efficiency of trading goods and services, money in itself does not create prosperity. Prosperity is created by producing goods and services that people value. If the U.S. government printed and distributed $1 million to every household in the country (approximately $100 trillion), would we all live better lives? If the answer is “yes,” why not do even better by hav-ing the government print and hand out $1 billion per household? You probably sense something is wrong with that suggestion, but what is it?

Let’s examine the assumption that money equals prosperity by viewing a society of five people. In this society, there is production, trading, and money. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say each member produces 20 units of a different good during a given period and each member’s unit of goods has a similar subjective value to each of the other members. As it stands, the society’s prosperity(wealth) is then 100 (5 x 20) units of goods. Let’s say we give each member $1,000. Irrespective of the additional money, the total quantity of the community’s wealth remains at 100 units of goods, with each member contributing 20 units to that overall level of wealth. Even if we were to give each member $1 million there would still only exist 100 units produced—in other words, no increase in prosperity. In the first example, each unit of goods might equate to, say, $50; however, in the second example, each unit of goods could equate to $50,000.

During Germany’s hyperinflation in the 1920s, a millionaire was actually a pauper. Government printing presses were working at full capacity, twenty-four hours a day. The famous caricature of a person hauling his money in a wheelbarrow exemplified the worthlessness of the German mark in 1923. In 1914, the mark was backed by gold and had a value equal to one quarter of a U.S. dollar. By 1923, the mark’s value was one trillionth that of a U.S. dollar. Since governments are tempted to create fiat money at their whim to acquire goods at no cost, some economists advocate that money should always be backed by gold or something else of real value to prevent such skullduggery. With a required backing to money, governments would then have to limit their takings to taxes and tariffs.

Even using gold as money won’t bring us a free lunch. Irrespective of the form or amount of money, one’s wealth is still limited to what one produces, and the prosperity of a community is limited to the sum of each member’s production. If Earth were to be hit (very softly!) by a huge meteorite of pure gold, and we each received an equal share, after putting the artistic and electronic benefits of gold aside, we would not be better off. With our new-found gold as money, it might now take a kilogram (32.15 troy ounces) of gold to buy a suit, whereas pre-meteorite that same suit could have been purchased for the equivalent of one ounce. Financial wealth is measured by what one can acquire with money, not by the quantity of money itself.
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