Turned up to eleven: Fair and Balanced

Friday, December 21, 2001

On another note, Fred Norman has gone off the deep end. I think living in the socialist paradise of Norway has gone to his head. The discussion has been so bad that it has killed his server, so you can't go and read it for yourself, but I will summarize by saying that he equates welfare with terrorism (taking Kaus's notion to the extreme), and then goes off into a diatribe about how government forces you to pay taxes. Of particular interest to me was his derisive description of the "fiction" of the social contract, in particular the idea that you can't opt out. Excuse me Fred, but you can opt out of the social contract (I wrote a long comment on his site, but his server killed it, so I will recap it). All you have to do is use that world wide web I have heard so much about to find a place where there is no taxation, no oppressive government to keep you down, and move there. What a utopia!! Of course, you will probably spend most of your time grubbing for food, or stalking wildlife, when you are not toiling to build a structure to protect you from the elements, but what a small price to pay for freedom, right? No police beating down your door, no tax man taking your hard earned money, no money for that matter, no roads, no buildings, no education (no books), no functional mechanical devices (I'm sure you will want to give up all your western, government research derived goods). It will be lonely, but you will be free.
Maybe some other people will come along, and want to join you in your utopia. If you don't kill each other trying to protect what is yours, you might decide that some cooperative effort can aid all of you (this is called "non-zero sum"). In order to do that, you will have to inevitably pool some resources. When the projects get complex enough, you will want to have someone devote themselves to taking care of this stuff. Here's an idea, lets call him "Mayor" of Utopiaville. He will probably want to be paid, so maybe everyone can take turns giving him some food every week (we can call it "Salary," especially if its a salad). That food donation will start seeming a lot like a tax, especially when you get tired of giving it to him, so he gets some of the other people of the town to come over and take it from you, plus a penalty for being late. Its almost like this system, that exists THE WORLD OVER, makes sense.