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Old Posted Jun 15, 2008, 9:16 PM
bvpcvm bvpcvm is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Portland
Posts: 2,705
Originally Posted by westsider View Post
The sarcasm is unnecessary. To respond to your post:

-A standing army is something all working citizens pay for, because it affects all equally.
-Same with police and fire service.
-If I broke my leg, I would pay for it out of pocket. Hospital emergency centers are departments of a for-profit or non-profit corperation. They may not demand payment up front before setting your bones, but you better believe you are getting a bill.
-Except for charitable donations, maybe libraries should be self-supporting.
-I wont get into the parks, no need to go even further off topic.

My opinion is that there is a moral hazard in paying for %20 of a service and putting the rest of the burden on your fellow citizens. Call me a non enlightened libertarian, but I deeply resent paying for non essential services I do not and never will use. There were profitable local bus and rail services all over the country before, and theres no reason that someone using the service and reaping the full benifit couldn't pay their own way.
Well, I'm sorry, but I think the sarcasm is entirely appropriate; unless you're new to the internet, you'll have seen these arguments go around and around for years on end with no resolution whatsoever.

And what do you mean, you don't want to get into the issue of parks? It seems to me that that extending the libertarian argument to parks in fact does a wonderful job of exposing its absurdity.

Regarding your opinion, there are two ways to look at it: as you appear to, that a given person pays just a little bit of their own way and pawns the rest off on society, i.e., "actively" undermining society by not doing his/her share. The other way of looking at the problem is that society is the one playing the active part and specifically choosing to subsidize certain activities as a way to achieve ends considered valuable to everyone. You may not want to pay for someone else's service that "you'll never use" but you do profit from it, however indirectly, by means of less traffic to share the road with on your commute, less pollution for you and your children to breathe, a more democratic, egalitarian, less-stratified society which is fairer to everyone. The libertarian "alternative" reeks, to me, of feudal aristocracy and even a hidden, arrogant agenda of eugenics.

That said, all of these arguments, yours and mine, have been repeated ad nauseum since the first days of usenet. If you, through, some miracle, can finally break through all the noise and show me the light, let's hear it. But until you do, I consider it a philosophy for over-eager adolescents. No offense to any teenagers here on the forum.
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