[EM] decision process design: wealth tax

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Wed Apr 12 20:39:48 PDT 2006

At 05:09 AM 4/12/2006, James Green-Armytage wrote:
>         I'd like to note that while FA/DP's might be nice things in general,
>there is a difference between having a lot of FA/DP's around, and actually
>having governments that are FA/DP's.

James isn't a whistlin' Dixie! There is not only a difference, it may 
be *impossible* to have an FA government. Governments have 
sovereignty, which boils down to the legitimacy of coercion. FAs 
never coerce their members. Period.

I do not and did not propose FA/DP for government. However, something 
crucial has either been overlooked or it has not been said enough.

We have come to accept the value of various freedoms, and they have 
been generally enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Take this freedom 
seriously, and you have the possibility of total freedom, not in 
government, but in associations. FA is what works when what is 
involved is not property, but communication and voluntary cooperation.

And this is the core of politics. Money is really secondary, as are 
legal structures, voting methods, and all the rest.

>  The DP idea for governments is
>something that we've already discussed, of course, and I'd say that the
>only way I can imagine the FA component working so far is by means of
>secession rights plus a system that endows each nation with natural
>resources in proportion to their population.

The very concept of national resources is coercive. It may be more or 
less *fair*, but it is an allegedly fair distribution *enforced.* 
Property and freedom are probably mutually exclusive.

Does this mean that I'm against the concept of property? No. It is 
probably a necessary invention. But there is nothing "natural" about 
it, beyond raw force. My house is my property, not that of the mice, 
because I'm bigger than they are and I have the power to trap them or 
poison them or eject them or perhaps to prevent them from coming in 
-- by far the best solution -- not because of any inalienable right

I mentioned FA/DP in this thread because it is a possible way of 
actually implementing non-coercive means of funding projects. The 
parallel is between taxes on citizens and dues or unappropriated 
accumulation of property by an NGO, where the individual members have 
lost control over the funds. Both involve expenditures by decision of 
a central authority, and both involve some kind of decision-making process.

It's ironic that this nation was founded party with the slogan of "No 
taxation without representation," yet the concept of "representation" 
was never examined too closely. I'm not represented in the 
decision-making process, both that levies taxes and that appropriates 
them. I have more representation in a share corporation, though, for 
reasons that may have become obsolete in our time, there is still an 
elected layer in the latter, and my freedom in a corporation is thus 
to walk with my investment and put it elsewhere, not to be actually 
represented in detailed decision-making.

Generally, the problem of government is really the general problem of 
human organization, which I think we have largely neglected. If we 
can't solve the problems of government in NGOs, where there is much 
more freedom of action and much less risk, we have little hope of 
solving them in government.

On the original topic, one idea that I had with regard to a wealth 
tax was to allow -- not require -- citizens to declare their 
property. If they declare it, the state protects it, assuming that 
the possession of the property is lawful, and charges for the 
service. If they do not declare it, the state does not protect it 
and, indeed, it becomes like any unowned natural resource.... Finders Keepers.

Want the protection of the state? Fine. Tell the state what you want 
protected. Property Law is essentially the power of the state applied 
to the protection of property....

Oh, and yes. If it isn't your property, you have no right to defend 
it by force....

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