What are the responsibilities of an Objectivist government?

Posted by rlewellen 7 years, 2 months ago to Government
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I have listened to everything thing from businesses should pay no taxes to America is not a sovereign country and there should be no regulations on anything. Certainly the government has some responsibilities.


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  • Posted by $ joy-123 7 years, 2 months ago
    Because people are individuals they will not always agree. As we see, even Objectivists disagree, but if we strive for less government and more personal freedom, we will at least be on the right track.
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  • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
    Police, courts and the military. All taxes should be voluntary and all budgets should be open to the public. Zero regulation on any individual or business.
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    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
      There's no such concept as a "voluntary tax." Taxes, by their very structure, are involuntary.

      Now, you might want a system of voluntary contributions, but they couldn't be considered taxes.

      I think something more along the lines of voluntary contributions for services, such as fire departments, would be appropriate. You can either pay voluntarily, based on the value of what is at risk of fire (and if you had fire control risk reductions, you would get a reduced rate), or you can pay the actual costs after the fact, or you can totally reject all service in which if you had a fire, the fire dept would only protect surrounding "clients" and let yours burn.

      Similarly for the courts, loser pays would support those costs.
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    • Posted by $ joy-123 7 years, 2 months ago
      If all taxes are voluntary, how do you pay for police, courts and the military if too few people decide to pay?
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      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
        The quick answer is that you don't. If the government asks for the money and not enough individuals feel the need to invest then the government has to cut back its budget. However it's worth noting that such a situation may be avoidable through

        1. People not paying enough, things get underfunded, shit hits the fan, and people decide to pay a little more.
        Repeat until balance occurs.

        2. The government can issue certificates of contribution, or a receipt, for donations. This creates a larger incentive for big business to contribute, as they can use it as a marketing strategy. They do the same thing with charities.

        3. The richest people have the most to lose and will be the first to need a police system and military. This creates an actual incentive for them to pay more instead of having any loop holes.

        4. The government can publish what the money is going to be used for so that anyone willing to contribute can see where their money is going. You can even have a private business dedicated to scrutinizing the budget and making it's own recommendations.

        There may be more answers, but I think the current answer, force them to pay at gun point, is the worst answer you could think of to pay for something.
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    • Posted by teri-amborn 7 years, 2 months ago
      Defense, infrastructure and the courts in order to insure that citizens live according to objective law.
      On a tiny scale, government of a city, town or village would provide police, firefighting and water, sewer, etc.
      On a personal level, defense and infrastructure would consist of loss prevention and growth....which are the building blocks of a moral, rational and free life and hence, nation.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      Would there be elected officials?
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      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
        Good question. I'm personally opposed to democracy so I haven't thought much about it. I suppose you would still have elected officials to legislate what punishment should be imposed on people who violate the law. They would also be elected to represent the people's views on things like going to war. And also what budget will be needed to sustain the courts military and police.
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        • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
          How is it possible for elected officials to legislate what punishment should be imposed on people who violate the law if there is zero regulation on any individual or business? Aren't "law" and "regulation" simply two different words for the same thing – that is, a rule established by the government specifying a particular action which may not be preformed?
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          • Posted by CWhitneyR 7 years, 2 months ago
            A law is created by elected representatives of the people, and thus is theoretically created by and for the people. A regulation is created by unelected representatives of the executive (bureaucrats). The result is the same.
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
              Actually, laws are typically enforced by the police, whereas regulations are often enforced by the internal gestapo of the regulating agency. That's why all these alphabet soup agencies are outfitting themselves with guns and ammo.
              Heck, the DNR has more authority than your local sheriff - they can confiscate your weapons, vehicle, etc. without any legal finding of breaking a law, merely on the word of the official.
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          • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
            Good point. I'm not sure if I know the difference between a law and a regulation, but I would venture that there is one. I can say that when I used the term "regulation" I was speaking in terms of what you are allowed to do and not do with your property, and when I was speaking of law it was in the sense of what you can and can't do with other people's property.
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            • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
              So if I understand you correctly, you're defining the words like this?

              Regulation: Government rules which control how you use your own property.
              Law: Government rules which control how you use other people's property.

              I guess those are pretty good definitions, but what about the word "legislation"? How do you define that?
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              • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                Correct.

                Well, can a peace of legislation differ from a government mandate? I think they're the same.
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                • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                  Law, mandate, regulation, legislation...

                  Geez, we've sure got a lot of different words that all mean "rule" don't we? But yeah, I don't really know what the difference is between a government mandate and a piece of legislation, either. While we're at it, we may as well throw in the words decree, guideline, ruling, statute, and act. I think there may be a few other such words, too...

                  Personally, I don't really think the definitions matter so much as their impact on society. That is, regardless of what kind of label or word we use to describe a rule established by government, what matters is that we ensure such rules are beneficial to both society and individuals rather than harmful and destructive. That's the important part.
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          • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
            Laws are approved by elected officials. Regulations are written by employees in government departments.
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            • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
              What's the difference between an elected official and an employee in a government department? Simply whether they are elected or appointed?

              Also, is the person who writes the rule really the only thing that matters?
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              • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                There are legislative, judicial, and executive which are branches of government whose powers are limited by the constitution. The people that write regulations are employees who are nearly impossible to fire, so there is little consequence for corruption and abuses. The regulations are more detailed and can be used or written to target specific groups,industries or companies with little oversight.
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                • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                  Okay, so the difference is simply whether or not bad rules can be easily rescinded (or prevented in the first place), while ensuring that politicians and bureaucrats don't give out special government favors to their friends. That seems like an admirable goal.
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      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
        Somehow somebody needs to make decisions. How would it be done without some elected officials?
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        • Posted by $ winterwind 7 years, 2 months ago
          Huzzah for putting the question so simply!

          Now, let's examine your premise. "Somebody needs to make decisions" about WHAT? [gee, I'd like to have an underline function; that's not yelling, it's emphasis.]
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            Well, smarty pants, how about the use of the military, or the functioning of the courts?

            Unless you advocate total anarchy, then there must be some communal resources that are to be managed. I say that true democracy is unwieldy and leads to the tyranny of the majority. Thus, representatives are required. And I would propose that having those reps elected by the people at large, is the logical method to do so.
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            • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
              point for calling winter a smartypants.
              I'm good with a republic and electoral college. you have to have procedural appointed jusdicial, you have to have a procedural legislature, basic infrastructure, limited law enforcement, military-big warning about standing. That's it. everything is capped by violation of natural rights. If it violates, it can't be instituted-but at great cost, must be protected.
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        • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
          Personally, I would recommend a free market approach. People who own the property can decide what to do with it, and can hire others to help them carry out their decisions.
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          • Posted by preimert1 7 years, 2 months ago
            Rozar, would that mean I could build smelly fertilizer plant or something equally intrusive next to your home? I think even an objectivist government should have a means of establishing some form of zoning. Or I suppose you could buy me out--assuming I would sell.
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            • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
              Maybe you could set up a home owners association with your neighbors, setting ground rules like "no building smelly fertilizer plants or selling your land to people who are going to build smelly fertilizer plants." Or if the smell is bad enough it could warrant an assault on my land value, giving me warrant to take you to court for ruining my property.

              I think in most cases manufacturing companies tend to aggregate in one area any way because it's beneficial to them. No one wants to try shipping their materials and products through a residential neighborhood, as well as the people in said neighborhood constantly throwing a "bitch fit" in the form of boycotts, protests and threats from law suits.

              An objectivist government would allow you to do what you want with your property as long as you weren't infringing on someone else's property against there will.
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              • Posted by spark- 7 years, 2 months ago
                Where excessive smell, other pollution, or any other infringement to your property can be quantified, the property owners have the courts at their disposal when they are unable to come to terms privately. The use of excessive laws and regulations usually devolves into a tool of the progressive to control other's propery at their whim.

                A perfect example is the proliferation of the demonization of smokers. In some municipalities, if I own a public esablishment, the laws restrict smoking in the building. In this case, an offended person likely wouldn't win a law suit because there is no scientific evidence to show that second hand smoke is harmful. That same person can lobby the legislators to force people to behave a certain way, just because they want to.

                Laws and regs beyond what is absolutely neccessary is a slippery slope. Althought the initial intentions may be pure, the end result is often more onerous than the initial "problem".
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                So, you do believe in government, as that's all a HOA is on a very local level.
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                • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                  I'm against implicit contracts and the initiation of force.
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Isn't the whole foundation of Objectivism an implicit contract?
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                    • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                      I thought the foundation was A is A. Could you elaborate on what you mean?
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                      • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                        As I understand the basis of Objectivist morality (and I'm not one, so don't claim to be an authority) it is that the rationality for not harming another is that I don't expect them to harm me. That is an implicit contract.
                        I don't buy into that, by the way. Given an environment where there is no expectation of ultimate accounting for ones action (religion) or explicit accounting according to a man-made law, I see no logical rationale where the "baddest ass on the block" would not be the ultimate result. It seems to be the typical human situation.
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          • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
            Who makes the decisions regarding the military?
            And unless you advocate anarchy, then there are some aggregate resources that need to be managed.
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            • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
              Sorry I forgot to say that any military action decisions would be made by the commanding officers of that region. As for who gets to be the commanding officer I would assume we choose the same way we do now.
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              • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                So you're willing to invest power in a number of mini-Hitlers?
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                • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                  I want to be clear that I'm defining an objectivist government not my own propositions.

                  I don't know much about the military or the inner workings of how our current system places people in charge. But it wouldn't be much different from how or current system works.

                  The one thing that would be different is if our Government actually declared war it would be at the sole discretion of the leader of the military how to win that war. After all, if you hire someone to do a job you don't stand over their shoulder and tell them how to do something you have no idea how to do yourself.
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                  • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Really? I'm a consultant and I often have the client (who hired me because they don't know how to do what needs to be done) standing over my shoulder telling me what they think needs to be done.

                    Let's see, the current system has a "professional" military that carries out the policy of the political leadership. That's not what you described before, with a number of independent military leaders, each of whom had autonomous authority over their specific region.
                    I do have previous military experience (I'm a West Point grad and served for over 5 years), so I'm not entirely ignorant of the issues.
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            • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
              I do advocate anarchy. And I don't really see much use for a standing military. But that's getting off subject.
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              • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                The purpose of a standing military is to guard against the potential invasion of foreign nations.
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                • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                  How many constitutes an invasion? Do they come in one by one or by the thousands?
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                  • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                    Numbers are irrelevant. What matters is whether they come in peace or in violence.
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                    • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                      You obviously know that even if they have full intentions of trying to bring benefits to us and be "nice" that if we told them no and they did it anyway it would be wrong.
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                    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Mexico China Iran Russia just walk in nceiy we won't do anything?
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                      • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                        There are already Mexicans, Chinese, Iranians, and Russians here as immigrants. They don't seem to be doing any harm.

                        In fact, I can think of one Russian immigrant in particular who did something very good from which the rest of us have all benefited. What was her name again? I seem to have forgotten...
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                    • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                      I don't care whether peaceful or violent. Illegal is illegal.
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                      • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                        But WHY is immigration considered illegal? The only logical answer is the welfare state. A nation which tries to guarantee a certain level of income for all its citizens must have a vested interest in ensuring the entire world does not try to become its citizens, as that would diminish the collective pot and worsen living conditions for everyone.

                        But if there is no government welfare, and no guarantee of any income whatsoever, then it no longer matters whether the whole world comes or in or not because they'd all have to fend for themselves and produce their own livelihood anyway if they did come.
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                        • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                          Because we (the nation) gets to determine who can immigrate. Regardless of the welfare state. We get to decide that we don't want convicted criminals, we don't want people who carry communicable diseases, we don't want the perpetually destitute, etc. There are more issues than merely living off of the rest of us.
                          Heck, I don't care if they are going to be productive contributing members of society. The process is that they apply, are evaluated, and a certain number per year are granted entry legally. They also need to identify themselves and their living location so that if in the future, for any of a number of reasons, we choose not to accept them as an immigrant any more, they can be located and deported.
                          Your reasons are very simplistic.
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                          • Posted by $ winterwind 7 years, 2 months ago
                            I will start by saying that I've stayed out of this thread, but points are being made that I cannot allow to be unchallenged.
                            "He who keeps silent, consents." So......
                            Robbie, I think your position on immigration is one of the LEAST Objectivist ones I've ever read.
                            It comes right out of the Conservative playbook.

                            You honestly don't care if an immigrant is going to be a productive contributing member of society, as long as he has followed your set of rules to live here? How will you know if he'll be a producer or not?
                            And then there's the practical. How do you structure the organization which sets the quotas, approves applications, and keeps track of them for the rest of their lives? How will you fund it? and those are just some of the other pesky organizational questions. I, for one, wouldn't voluntarily give you the money for this scheme; in fact, I'd do everything I could to bollix it up.
                            ---------
                            Real freedom means that people have the ability to do things you don't like, as long as they're not hurting anyone. Yes, I know the "hurting anyone" is a bone of contention in Objectivist/Libertarian circles. It still stands.
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                            • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                              A nation has borders and even Ayn Rand recognized that borders should be protected. They are not Robbie's set of rules they are rules that were set in place by a government individuals elected to ensure to protect the individual rights of the citizens. Every immigrant inhibits my right to pursuit of life liberty and happiness.Objectivism ends in a zero gain for the people that do not have a business. The rights of every individual should be respected, not by appeasng a foreign nation that impedes the individual rights of it's citizens. This should be done by allowing the foreign nation to work out it's problems with the individuals already there, so they too can buy our products. What is productive about lowering wages to the point that people can't even purchase food clothing and shelter? Starvation will become the gun that prevents people from negotiating. When we get to the point that we can't afford to make purchases from businesses we will make our own products and barter with each other or we will become a slave of the wealthy. People will be hurt.
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                            • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                              1. I'm not an Objectivist.
                              2. How do you determine whether the potential immigrant is going to be productive or not? If productivity is your standard, I challenge you to determine such a priori.
                              3. I do not presume to be able to predict whether an immigrant is going to be productive or not during the immigration process, although I would expect that some criteria would exist to attempt to discern same. BUT, if they are not productive after being allowed to immigrate, then I would deport them.
                              4. Your proposition that all should be able to cross borders at their whim is farcical. You want to allow Polio and Tuberculosis carriers to enter the country? How about mass murderers? Truly foolish.
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                              • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                                How do you determine whether the potential immigrant is going to be productive or not? Simple. Human beings have a natural desire to survive, and they will take any action necessary to achieve that end. In the absence of a government welfare system, the only way for them to provide for their own well-being and ensure their own survival is by either getting a job or starting a business, both of which are productive endeavors.

                                So, to answer your question, we can know they will be productive when productivity is the only method of survival, which it would be without government welfare.
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                              • Posted by khalling 7 years, 2 months ago
                                The government's intrusion on deciding whether or not one is diseased which will determine whether they can cross a border is farcical when you apply it to your own citizinry-so why not other citizens of another country. You'd be appalled as a US citizen crossing into any country and having to submit to a TB test before entering the country. I am not saying there is not risk-but the greater price is the limiting a man from owning themselves. TB as a threat in a 1st world country is on the rise due to naturalists who oppose vaccines. TB was all but eradicated in the US-is on the rise again due to dumb bunnies who won't vaccinate their children children. Polio is around the corner.
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                                • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
                                  kh; Resistant TB has been on the rise in this country since at least the 90's and polio is back, though not quite so virulent as in the 40 and 50's. I encountered both conditions with people around 96, which really amazed me. I'm not comfortable with mandatory vaccination, but as always I stand behind education and probably free vaccinations.

                                  I agree with your general principle of the right of people to travel freely. But to make it workable, we'd have to eliminate our world wide policing and incessant warring to eliminate the hate we've engendered throughout the world, as well as eliminate welfare. I'd favor a reporting requirement at least annually demonstrating work or schooling or self support. If not showing the ability to support themselves, then deport back to home nation. The right to vote to require naturalization, demonstrating knowledge of basic US history, civics, and English reading and speaking.

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                                • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
                                  I'm not sure that I'm understanding your comments here.
                                  I will say that when I moved to Mexico, I had to submit medical records showing innoculations for several communicable diseases. So, at least for Mexico, that was a condition of legal residence.
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                                  • khalling replied 7 years, 2 months ago
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                          • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                            Refusing entry to violent criminals seems fine, since there's a rational reason for that, but what do you mean by "perpetually destitute"? That seems like an incredibly vague term...

                            As for people with diseases, I'd let them in, but make a hospital their first stop. Unless of course the disease is something highly contagious, in which case I'd keep them quarantined in a hospital close to the border.

                            And yes, my approach to immigration is incredibly simple. That's the beauty of it.

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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      What would be the purpose of the military?
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      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
        To protect American citizens from foreign threats against there individual rights.
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        • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
          A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)

          The concept of a “right” pertains only to action—specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men. Let's come back to this later.
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          • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
            I fully agree with you except I would say the only right that exists is the right to property. My body and mind and anything they create are my property and any individual forcefully severing me from my property is violating my rights. Or "right" as it were.
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          • Posted by Boborobdos 7 years, 2 months ago
            What about social contracts where I won't kill you or your kin if you don't kill me or mine?

            Folks really shouldn't be free to kill others just because they have "freedom" to do so.

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        • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
          To protect the citizenry against the taking of their liberty, would be a better description.
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          • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
            No it wouldn't because the military shouldn't be used against common domestic criminals who would "take their liberty".
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
              foreign
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              • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                Clearly we need to see what Ayn said on this. Statism—in fact and in principle—is nothing more than gang rule. A dictatorship is a gang devoted to looting the effort of the productive citizens of its own country. When a statist ruler exhausts his own country’s economy, he attacks his neighbors. It is his only means of postponing internal collapse and prolonging his rule. A country that violates the rights of its own citizens, will not respect the rights of its neighbors. Those who do not recognize individual rights, will not recognize the rights of nations: a nation is only a number of individuals.
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                • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                  He could also see the error of his ways and stop being a statist ruler. The individuals of said nation could also revolt. I only bring it up because I don't want Rand's statement to be used as a justification for policing the world.
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                  • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                    I don't want to police the world. I am trying to nail down what an Objectivist government looks like. Since she is the leading objecitvist I looked at those two items. What would be some of the determining factors?
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                    • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                      On the military? If the government was objectivist the military would respond to legitimate threats and actions against any American land using whatever force the commanding officer of the region deemed necessary.

                      I am a little confused on exactly what you're asking regarding the Determining factors.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      Should a company be free to dump dangerous chemical into waterways thereby killing thousands?
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      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
        Just as free as an individual is to murder someone today. If a company did do something like that then the people responsible would be fined, imprisoned etc just as an individual would. Dumping chemicals into other people's property is a forceful violation of their property rights.
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        • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
          It would also require personal liability and no corporate shield. That is one of the biggest problems today - sr execs know they will not pay a personal price, so they make bad decisions. If they knew that their own liberty were on the line for their actions, they would make better decisions.
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          • Posted by teri-amborn 7 years, 2 months ago
            Speaking from experience, our "government" (particularly the EPA) has gotten out-of-control.
            The EPA was begun to target hazardous regions for cleanup SO THAT the taxpayers and citizens would enjoy a healthy environment.
            It should have been pared down to an educational/helper role after their "dirty work" was finished.
            Instead, it has grown into a monster that creates problems that don't exist so that it can solve those "problems" through massive and expensive "clean-up efforts" which in turn fine individuals and industries into bankruptcy.
            This is what happens when government forgets that it is established to help citizens ... not to harm them.
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          • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
            I disagree. The actions that a company or corporation takes should be considered separate from the actions of individuals.
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            • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
              So no equal justice under the law? If you own a company you should be fined or imprisoned longer because you made enough money to buy a company.
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              • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                There are other ways to become owner of a company besides buying one. For example, you could start a new one from scratch.

                But regardless, I don't see how imposing harsher legal punishments on those with more money is considered equal justice under the law. That seems incredibly unequal to me. The severity of one's punishment for committing a crime should not be dependent the amount of money one happens to posses.
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          • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
            Agreed. Although I don't know much about the corporate shield, I've heard your thoughts on it expressed before and it seems like a logical concern
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            • Posted by Robbie53024 7 years, 2 months ago
              Corporate shield. People acting in the interests of their corporation are not liable personally for their actions, rather the corporation for which they are acting is responsible.
              This is different in Europe (at least France) where the plant manager is personally liable for defects in products, and for actions taken by individuals working for the company if directed by leadership to perform actions (not for independent actions of each individual, just for what they are told to do).
              Thus, the plant manager who dumped toxic chemicals into a stream without a corporate shield would be individually liable for that action, whereas under a corporate shield, only the company is responsible.
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              • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                That makes sense. I initially was going to say that everyone who had a part in the action should be held somewhat liable. In fact I'm still kind of leaning that way. But either way thanks for the info. It's kind of appalling that this shield even exists. I dislike the "I was only following orders" defense.
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        • Posted by Boborobdos 7 years, 2 months ago
          What about community property like military implements, roads... Who would make sure there is no damage or staling inflicted there?
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          • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
            Roads are a simple matter of ownership. Whoever owns the roads takes care of them. If you own property that makes use of a road you can sign a contract guaranteeing you'll have access to the roads and they'll remain in good condition.
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        • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
          Maybe they didn't know the item was dangerous or imposed a threat. Who would decide that? Edit1 How would the public know if an item imposed a threat?
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          • Posted by Boborobdos 7 years, 2 months ago
            Pollution is a threat. How would you address that?
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            • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
              I would test for leeching in water, check for pollutants in air. Do you know that a tree is counted as part of the carbon foot print? It is nuts. I could get into all kinds of chemistry here but it would take too long. I will create a separate post later. The whole thing is madness.
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              • Posted by Boborobdos 7 years, 2 months ago
                In the context of this thread would you delegate it to the private sector or admit that only a group decision, society, can decide how to deal with such things?
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          • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
            People are responsible for their actions, not being aware that you're killing someone makes you no less guilty. The punishment may be less severe, but you can't reward ignorance with leniency. If I owned a company and ordered chemicals dumped in the towns water supply, it's my responsibility to make sure those chemicals are safe.
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            • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
              Individual companies have no interest in determining chemical hazzards because there would be less liability. This would create a market for a company whose only business is determining chemical hazzards. I worked for a large company that went to the EPA to have certain chemicals deemed hazardous so they could be the first one to put "BPA Free type lables " on a new product line and be the first to market with it.
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              • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                I don't follow. It would be extremely risky to just dump random chemicals in the water not knowing if you are going to be sued later.

                Edit: not to mention the extreme amount of negative public relations this would have on your company.
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                • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                  If I found a cheap hazardous chemical that could save my company millions, as long as I don't test the hazards I am not going to jail but the money I save could save my company over the long term so I take the gamble. You do raise good points about their public relations, but maybe I am just taking the money and going out of business. In the long run people could go blind or infertile and men could develop boobs. I think there should be an independent company for testing safety. I am going to agree to disagree at this point. I am trying to eliminate the EPA but in a different way. I would also like to limit the ability of lawyers to bring firvolous lawsuits.
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                  • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                    That's pretty brilliant. A private company could make decent money investigating chemicals and their effects. They could sell both their research and stamps of approval to other companies who use the chemicals they've researched. They would have a lot riding on whether the public could trust their stamp or not and it would benefit such a company to be extremely accurate.

                    Also, whether you tested for hazards or not, in an objectivisy government you would be punished. Probably more so for doing something so obviously risky with complete negligence.
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                    • Posted by $ winterwind 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Your "private company" is called UL. Electrical devices with a UL label cost slightly more, but I certainly won't buy one without the label.
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                      • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
                        That's exactly the type of arrangement I was thinking of. I want to design this company, I know the kinds of things they would look for.I know where to go to find the best tests available.
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                      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                        That makes me happy :) whenever someone says the government is necessary for one thing or another I always enjoy trying to find a solution that doesn't involve force, it's nice when my solution is already there haha.
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                    • Posted by teri-amborn 7 years, 2 months ago
                      Rozar, you are correct about the punishment for negligence, HOWEVER, with AC (ambulance chasers) and DC (divorce chasers) being so abundant, lawyers are empowered so blatantly in our society so objectivism flies out the window. Unless we neuter the legal class in this country with limits on liability the courts can't function correctly.
                      These days you can be a guy who eats tofu and drinks soy milk, works in his factory and he WILL grow boobs. Present the evidence without personal diet information and the factory owner loses everything through no fault of his own.
                      Unless the guilt can be targeted, it will be a field day for the leeches and looters of law.
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                      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                        I can fully agree with that. I think a lot of that problem is because of government regulation.

                        Do you think it would be easy for a company to have a contract stating it will do it's best to provide a safe working environment, but the individual is completely responsible for his own safety? They coul make signing such a contract a mandatory requirement of employment, thus greatly reducing their liability.
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                        • Posted by teri-amborn 7 years, 2 months ago
                          I've worked in places that have mandatory safety training so that you can avoid injury and learn from another's mistakes. Yes, I think that would be a remarkable improvement as long as a person possesses common sense and isn't self-destructive your suggestion would probably work well.
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                        • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
                          That seems like a good idea, but I think that's actually pretty much how things already work.

                          Companies are responsible for providing a work environment which is as safe as possible, but employees are also considered responsible for their own safety and for following company rules. If an employee violates the company's rules about safety, then the company cannot be held responsible if that individual employee gets hurt. However, if the employee is following the rules completely, and he still gets hurt, then the company is at fault (or rather, most likely at fault).
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        • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
          What if the property in question is owned by no one?
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          • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
            The government would have to auction off any public land it owned to private companies, while anyone who had vested interests could contribute to the contract the winning company would have to sign before purchasing the land.
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            • Posted by $ Maphesdus 7 years, 2 months ago
              In what ways could anyone have a vested interest in land they do not own?
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              • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                As in the road that leads to my house or the Lake that supplies my water.
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                • Posted by $ winterwind 7 years, 2 months ago
                  what exactly do you mean by "vested interest"? Everything I've been able to find says an interest in something for personal reasons. You may have a vested interest in the Lake that supplies your water, but if you are not the owner, you have no legal position. It's a tenuous position to be in.
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                  • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                    In this context the Lake is public land being auctioned off, so with your vested interest you can lobby and vote on what requirements a private entity will have to meet to be able to make a bid on the land.
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                    • Posted by $ winterwind 7 years, 2 months ago
                      By "public land" do you mean government-owned?

                      It sounds a bit convoluted that people who do not own something get to decide requirements the potential buyer has to meet. Hmmm. More thought later, have to go.
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                      • Posted by Rozar 7 years, 2 months ago
                        I do mean government owned, and the only reason they get to contribute to the matter is because the current owner, the government, doesn't actually exist but pretends to represent the people. So in a convoluted way the people own the land and it's right for them to have a say in who the buyer is, rather than some elected official who is more susceptible to mistakes and corruption.
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  • Posted by m082844 7 years, 2 months ago
    As I understand it, according to objectivism, the purpose of a government is to secure individual rights, and its means to do so is to ban the initiation of force by making laws and enforcing them to that effect -- i.e., neutralizing initiated force and punishing those who do initiate it. The government is not to initiate any force either -- e.g., by taxing. The exact method of execution and sustainment of such a government lies in the realm of legal philosophy, which objectivism doesn't delve into -- it simply establishes the principle from which to operate.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 7 years, 2 months ago
    If all humans were rational, you'd need only two rules, as follows:
    1. M.Y.O.B. Mind Your Own Business.
    2. The right to say No to anyone for any reason.
    However, we are, as a race, regrettably, very far from that. In the meantime, mankind must have a government and a method of funding it. It can be done equitably if rationality prevails.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 7 years, 2 months ago
    "The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man's rights, which means to protect him from physical violence." -- Ayn Rand
    But maintenance of a police force and military in order to do that, doesn't come free. Therefore certain monies need to be levied from the populace based on the cost of the militia as well as courts to arbitrate disputes and determine guilt or innocence. Only laws which pertain to the above would be the only valid laws. As a race, humanity is not mature enough at present to exist without government, laws, and yes, taxes, limited as above.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      I agree there is no way that we can expect to hold a government together if we wait for people to donate.People that want control of the populace would simply let the government fall by the wayside, then take over.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
    I think we had a pretty good start with the Constitution, but we failed to include an avenue for formal citizen review and corrective action, after election and/or appointment of anyone in any level of government, including the judicial, and we should have incorporated the Declaration of Independence. Though in practice, a Grand Jury, before the state's prosecutors took it over, could and did offer some level on a criminal basis, but it's revue range should be increased to malfeasance. The concept of immunity for any government employee or authority is a gross violation of government of individual and natural liberty. And I think enforced citizen government through term limits is essential.

    There's much more to say, but that's a treatise.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      I know there is a lot to say on that. I look at the Supreme Court and I can't believe there is no way to coral or remove them when they go against the constitution. Do we have a mock court hearing and find them guilty. We can't let politics into the court but just take a look at Eric Holder. Ugh.
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      • Posted by Zenphamy 7 years, 2 months ago
        They can be impeached, but that is left up to Congress, when in my opinion it should rest in some form of citizen revue.

        Take a look at the original 13th Amendment. It offers some interesting thoughts and approaches.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 7 years, 2 months ago
    Basic capitalism succeeds by naturally (and aggressively) seeking a minimum. Government only has value when a such a local minimum is will never converge to a necessary global minimum, for example to provide national security (as is required, since there are other nasty countries). The slippery slope is defining the functions that a simple. least means algorithm (capitalism) will not naturally provide.
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  • Posted by JBW 7 years, 2 months ago
    The word "Government" pre-supposes a Governor and the Governed, a tribe of "People" seeing the need for a Government which would initially protect them from other tribes and from criminals. This meant a need for weapons, and jails, unless the enemy and criminals were simply killed and buried to keep things tidy. The folks who performed these duties were initially volunteers. Later, as the tribes grew larger and became less savage, and their activities more complex, they realized that standing armies and police and jails and courts, etc., etc. were necessary, and this brings us up through a lot of misery and confusion to today.

    So, while Objectivism is a marvelous philosophy to try to use it to provide a Government is a most complex task. This is what is needed by Ayn Rand Institute, and others, if we are to have a rational argument, one that makes sense to others in the U. S. and around the world. Otherwise, we'll simply be laughed for pedaling a fairy tail, and rightfully so.

    Gaults Gulch worked simply because it was a small tribe, each with wealth, in gold, earned and brought into the Gulch from outside. There was no need for Government because all were intelligent Objectivist. All Free Traders. No one trying to take advantage of his neighbor.

    Jim Wright
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      Top notch comment.+1 I want to look at it starting with Ayn Rand and maybe ending there. Ayn Rand knew people would try to take what she said and make it serve their purposes. I don't want people to tell me what to think I want to evaluate for myself.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
    Primary concern of government is to organize the people into an effective and homogenous group that all obeys the same laws, is subject to the same punishments, and enjoys the same freedoms and responsibilities. Mandated government services should be held to a minimum and the market should be the arbiter of services wherever possible.

    Here are a couple of my ideas:
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    • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
      Government Services. The primary responsibilities of the Federal Government shall be limited to maintaining treaties, arbitration of intra-state disputes including the Federal Court system, foreign relations, and maintaining the military necessary to securing and protecting our borders.

      Revision 1: The Federal government is NOT granted the power to regulate interstate commerce (bye-bye FDA, etc.), but is authorized to set trade policies, embargoes and establish most-favored nation status with recognized foreign countries. However, states may NOT impose tariffs or other taxes on business transactions either entering or leaving their respective states.

      The Federal government is specifically restricted from mandating participation in federal programs involving public education, the arts, the news media (bye bye NEA, PBS).

      The Federal government is directed to sell all Federally-owned public parks and use all proceeds to pay down the debt or to be placed in a rainy-day fund. (bye bye Department of the Interior, massive cuts to Department of Energy). Exceptions may include areas within Washington, D.C. and possibly Mount Rushmore.

      Abolition of the Navigable Rivers Act, essentially neutering the EPA. Also, a prohibition on regulation of any naturally occurring atmospheric gases.
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    • Posted by $ blarman 7 years, 2 months ago
      Government. Constitution set things up pretty well, IMO, with all checks and balances. I would add two further amendments, however.

      1) No bill shall be passed by Congress and Ratified by the president that gives preferential treatment to any one segment of the population over another (including Congress).

      This would effectively mandate flat tax rates on everyone and prohibit Congress from passing sweetheart deals favoring political cronies. You could get rid of a LOT of waste with that simple principle.

      2) Expenditures for any given year may not exceed income. (Mandatory balanced budget). No other business can or may be conducted by Congress except the declaration of War until the budget has been passed.

      3) All laws authorizing the expenditures of public funds expire no later than the end of the term of the body proposing such.

      Since all revenue laws must originate in the House, that means that all bills that spend money must get re-authorized every two years. This makes heavy-handed bills like the ACA an improbability and provides a way for disastrous bills like this to die on their own.
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  • Posted by illucio 7 years, 2 months ago
    I believe the problem with taxes is ho they´re used, which nowadays is completely unfair. If I were king, taxes would be reinvested directly on those who paid them, so that farmers would have their roads and communications optimized, industrialists their energy demands met promptly and transportation optimized, citizens have all their needs met for residential areas, public transportation improved, alternative energy projects, education, security, etc. It would only be a matter of reorganizing the beurocracy at hand and being all the more transparent about the uses of these "conglomorated contributions". For some reason, this should always have been like this yet it never has been.
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  • Posted by carlpete 7 years, 2 months ago
    We outsource the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and literally everything in our material world. Most of gov't can be outsourced. If voters of a community, a county or a State decides it wants or needs something, they should outsource the need and accept the tax they must pay to have it. Until a better idea comes along, Gov't should provide the facility to resolve disputes and provide for the national defense. People should be free to do whatever they wish as long as it does not cause a liability, pain or suffering to a 3rd party.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      A better idea would be to keep the government tied to these shores where we can see some of how money is spent What is next,are we gonna outsource the courts? At least if the jobs are kept here tax money goes to fund this government and not someone elses. Then there are less unemployed.
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 7 years, 2 months ago
    A government exists to manage force. And in particular, a government exists to manage force-in-retaliation. Force-in-defense is the responsibility of an individual either under direct threat or choosing to intervene on behalf of another. (As I once did, nearly thirty years ago.)

    The classic Objectivist model is the one Rand laid out: police, military, and law courts. She proposed they might rely in a lottery or other voluntary contribution or fee-for-service scheme for their funding.

    Here's another model: the Committee of Safety. This Committee consists of the heaviest stakeholders in the community--that is, the ones having the most to lose in the event of a complete social breakdown--and/or their proxies. Each contributes what he's capable of, in money, in kind, or both. That would be consistent with how Galt's Gulch ran: Midas Mulligan owned most of the land and sold or rented it out to everyone else. Obviously he would have a stake in securing it. He, therefore, hired John Galt to provide the high-altitude mirage screen. Francisco no doubt assisted in cutting off land access. Ragnar provided the offensive strength of the valley: his ship. So John Galt, acting as proxy for Midas, and Francisco and Ragnar, each sitting in his own behalf, would form the Committee of Safety. I would imagine that Henry Rearden and Dagny Taggart would each join when they joined the strike.
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  • Posted by barwick11 7 years, 2 months ago
    We should follow the Constitution, duh...
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      I didn't ask what we should follow.
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      • Posted by barwick11 7 years, 2 months ago
        Why would you ask the question? The Constitution answers your question already.
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        • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
          That is the best question on this page. I think the constitution already provides the framework I like looking at things from other perspectives, and I could read 1000 essays and 15-20 books but I don't think I would come to the same conclusions. This way I can pin point some of the ideas and go from there. I am not finished with this page. Some of the ideas on this page don't sound like the constitution to me. I will take those up one at a time.
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  • Posted by squareone 7 years, 2 months ago
    Just read the Constitution. We need some agencies consisting of experts to judge the safety (not efficiency or efficacy) of some products. This comes under the heading of protecting "Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness. Also, Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, allows women to achieve athletic excellence with its corresponding economic value.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 2 months ago
      >We need some agencies consisting of experts to judge the safety (not efficiency or efficacy) of some products. No we don't need it from the government which prone to political corruption and employs people that are not accountable to produce correct results. The free market can take care of checking the safety of products just fine. The consitutions says nothing about lfe liberty and the pursuit if hapiness. I think you'll find that in the declaration of independence. .
      Allow women? Allow as if they had a right to prevent me in the first place? The Constitution was written to limit the power of government not you and I.
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