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  • 12
    Posted by salta 5 years, 7 months ago
    Why would you look for a non-government military? Protecting its citizens from aggression is the proper function of government.
    After government is restructured to remove today's corruption, its proper military function would be paid for by owners of property who would want protection from invasion. Rand envisaged a voluntary funding system in place of taxation. She obviously did not use this phrase, but today you can imagine a type of "crowd-funding" for defense. Wealthy people automatically pay more because they have more to protect, a bit like buying insurance (wealthy people voluntarily have a larger insurance bills).
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    • Posted by davidmcnab 5 years, 7 months ago
      Interesting idea, but it makes me worry that the level of protection one receives for one's property would be based on how much one has paid for that protection. Struggling on a small income and can't afford higher "police premiums?" Then don't expect police to attend when you ring them because someone is stealing your car.

      The question is - do we wish to voluntarily embrace a society like apartheid-era South Africa, or Rhodesia? Where you and your family struggle out your lives in wretched poverty, or you are constantly having to carry firearms and maintain advanced security systems to protect your family and property?

      I recall Ayn Rand arguing in Atlas Shrugged that police, military and the courts are the barest minimum of government. The taxes required to fund these basics would be a fraction of what people pay now, and are a small price for security of property rights, and prevention of massive problems.
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      • Posted by salta 5 years, 7 months ago
        David, I agree, the basics would be a small fraction of todays tax levels.
        Police function is slightly more complex than border defense. Compare mall cops (privately funded, and exist solely to protect the public/customers) with regular state-funded police. The regular cops also protect the public, but they do spend a good deal of time in actions which view ALL PUBLIC (customers?) as potential criminals and try to catch some of them in the act (eg. speeding)
        Not sure why your comparison with autocratic African governments is relevant.
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        • Posted by davidmcnab 5 years, 7 months ago
          I wasn't thinking about the autocracy of African governments, but was drawing an analogy with the extreme social stratification between privileged white minority and the poverty stricken, mostly lawless, black majority.

          If someone can steal with impunity, due to the victim failing to keep their policing premiums up-to-date, then the thief has no real incentive to obey law and respect property rights -- only to cope with possible direct retribution from the victim and those willing to support the victim. Such lawlessness is a powerful inhibitor to economic growth, and will further serve to keep the lower classes in poverty and violence.
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          • Posted by $ Radio_Randy 5 years, 7 months ago
            Criminals can already steal with impunity.
            If two thugs came to my rural home and started wheeling my ATV, out of my garage, today's laws say that I'm helpless.
            1. I can't stop them, physically.
            2. I can't shoot them (unless they threaten me).
            3. They would be gone, long before law enforcement arrived.
            My only real option would be to stand in front of them (with my shotgun). If they tried to get past me, I could claim self defense.
            I make these statements to show that, even with paid law enforcement, private (armed) protection is likely necessary, regardless of your social status. Then, it's up to government to back off and let law abiding citizens exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.
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            • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
              "2. I can't shoot them (unless they threaten me)."

              Or if you lived in Texas, where people get shot for breaking into a car to steal bits of change and goods in it, get shot, and nobody bats an eyelash except to say "Good" - even a lot of the liberals here react that way. ;)
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              • Posted by strugatsky 5 years, 7 months ago
                Well, not everywhere in TX, unfortunately. But in the part of TX where I lived and where this was kind of true, the amazing thing is that no one really quite knew if this was in fact true. The reason - no one ever broke into anyone's car. Amazing, ain't it?
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              • Posted by $ Radio_Randy 5 years, 7 months ago
                Problem is...it's often expensive stereos and laptops that are the victim of such break-ins. Also, thieves often do expensive damage to cars in their haste to steal the best items.

                To claim that "insurance will replace it" is simply stating that we ALL are going to pay for it. Why is this acceptable, yet putting a worthless thug out of commission, isn't (and not necessarily by killing him)?
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          • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
            "If someone can steal with impunity, due to the victim failing to keep their policing premiums up-to-date, then the thief has no real incentive to obey law and respect property rights -- only to cope with possible direct retribution from the victim and those willing to support the victim. Such lawlessness is a powerful inhibitor to economic growth, and will further serve to keep the lower classes in poverty and violence."

            So .... Detroit? East Cleveland?
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      • Posted by strugatsky 5 years, 7 months ago
        Nothing is perfect, but we need to compare one real system to another. In the scenario that you are afraid of (privately funded police), you are concerned that the police will mostly protect higher paying customers, as opposed to publicly funded police (what we have now) who, in times of riots and major disturbances when the mob sets buildings and businesses indiscriminately on fire, loots them and intentionally destroys everything in its path, that same publicly funded police, fearlessly and with total dedication to their oaths, always protects the mayor's office, the City Hall and the police HQ. And let the rest burn. So, I should ask you - are you still thinking that publicly funded police will protect you better?
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    • Posted by $ jdg 5 years, 7 months ago
      Agreed 90%. Certainly private police should always be allowed as long as they accept a common set of laws and court system -- and even those can be somewhat decentralized if people who want to are allowed to self-segregate politically, as we should be. (That way it would be possible to create a successful Gulch without first persuading millions of unbelievers to want to live in one.)
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    • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
      Why not simply private insurance to fund military? Even poor people would want to defend against a hitler even if they didnt have assets to protect. Who would want to lose their freedom??
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      • Posted by salta 5 years, 7 months ago
        term2, the insurance model is not appropriate because it implies there will be some people uninsured, which makes no sense for national defense. Those who do not have enough to be able to contribute towards military protection (do not own property to be protected), would be free riders. In the defense context, free riders would not be a problem as in other areas like healthcare.
        Do not think of defending the more abstract concept "freedom", which is just a rallying cry for massively overfunding a military and a justification for aggressive action outside the nation's defense borders. Instead, think of defense as protection for the sum total of a nation's PROPERTY, allowing its citizens the freedom (right) to own that property.

        Another idea just occured to me. In this crowd-funding-style military, any foreign owners of property would be equally motivated to contribute to funding, in their own interests. Kind of turns on its head the idea of wealthy people moving to tax havens while still owning property within the borders.
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        • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
          Something about people choosing to fund the military based on what they think the military should be doing appeals to me. Even if some people just didnt support it all just to be cheap bastards. It doesnt cost significantly more to protect a country like the USA even if some dont contribute.
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  • 10
    Posted by Mamaemma 5 years, 7 months ago
    I am far from an expert, and better minds will answer your question, but I do know that a purely Objectivist society would have limited government.
    Did you know that in very early days in America, a person purchased fire protection if they wanted it. If their house caught fire, the company would come to put the fire out. It was a private enterprise.
    Remember that education was never meant to be publicly funded in the US.
    Just a couple of examples.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 7 months ago
      That makes sense for education and fire but police and military must retain the potential for use of force, even deadly force if they are to be effective against a determined enemy. Short of hiring mercenaries how is this done? For example, if the Gulch was invaded by a hostile force intent on destroying the colony what wold be an appropriate response and how would the costs be borne?
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      • Posted by ohiocrossroads 5 years, 7 months ago
        Who was it that rescued Galt from the State Science Institute in Atlas Shrugged? A citizen's militia from The Gulch.
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        • Posted by 1musictime 5 years, 7 months ago
          Though the main theme may be government and ways to protect, "militia" may be one rendering. It's possible to describe the group one of individuals.One may note they add to John Galt rescuing.He may be successful with his own rescuing. It may appear he turns off the machine.It may resemble telepathy or what's advance a physicist with John Galt's proficiency or management can muster and most cannot comprehend.The machine of the villains and enemies is mediocre from a mediocre scientist.It's like with a making to fail, like they and their villainy.It's discontinuation abets his getting out,free, and away.More than a militia is to note the names of the individuals there.
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      • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
        I think when the threat is readily observable, there will be no lack of response. I wouldnt want to be a russian soldier walking up my street aiming to take over the neighborhood. THATS why we have the second amendment. Most of the people on my street would rise up and just kill the invaders.

        Just look at the riots over the police killing an infinitesimal number of black people.

        But, if the government wanted to invade Iraq- good luck. Not a lot of support for that, and there shouldnt be either.
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  • Posted by $ Snezzy 5 years, 7 months ago
    This question is usually posed by anti-Objectivist persons in order to demonstrate that the Objectivist philosophy is incomplete, self-contradictory, or useless. It is related to the attempt to refute Objectivist ethics by posing numerous "lifeboat" emergency situations and demanding an answer to how the Objectivist spokesman (the victim of the conversation) would handle the situation. "Whom should we sacrifice to this emergency?"

    Rand's own answer, if I remember correctly, was that life does not consist of emergencies.

    Be prepared for emergencies, but do not allow them to get in the way of rational and productive behavior.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 7 months ago
      Unfortunately, objectivism is not likely to eliminate crime or despotic regimes bent on domination of other cultures. Because a society based on the objectivist paradigm is likely to be highly successful it will be a target for collectivist domination by force or by penetration and subversion. It is costly to provide a defense against such an adversary but if such a society is to survive it must do so. All successful organisms have an immune system, this includes social structures. How is the immune system for an objectivist society supported?
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      • Posted by salta 5 years, 7 months ago
        Objectivism (or anything else) is not an attempt to "eliminate crime". Objectivism is a rational definition of what is a crime, and therefore what to protect against.
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        • Posted by $ Snezzy 5 years, 7 months ago
          This is correct. There is little likelihood of imposing an Objectivist structure from above. Rand always said it was far too early. We should fight for tolerance of rational thought, for admiration of rational thought, for enshrinement of rationality as a virtue.

          There is little need for me to elaborate on this topic. Someone else has done it already, at great length, indeed at such length that few have read it all, and fewer understood.
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    • Posted by 1musictime 5 years, 7 months ago
      Is what's definite disagreeable and disagreeing?




      Is what's definite disagreeable with its own entity and disagreeing?One may note it a continuation before who makes words to describe conveniently toward the species of one and more. The harmony may look to imitate what's definite.What's there continues.What may be there is because it's not here. What's here may be here because it's not there.
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  • Posted by jsw225 5 years, 7 months ago
    Involuntary Taxes (at least for Police and Military, not so much for firefighters). Ultimately there is no other way.

    All taxation is backed by the threat of Lethal Force. Is it OK to threaten someone's life and take their money to protect the country as a whole? Yes, but barely. The consequences of letting anyone and everyone opt out of this specific case far outweigh the consequences of bringing lethal force against various individuals for the protection of everyone.

    Is it OK to threaten someone's life and take their money to mandate that firefighters will protect their house? No, not even close.
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    • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
      We already have private police that are paid for by the people who want to be protected. Public police are overpaid, overworked, and over regulated so they cant do what they are paid for. Too much bureaucracy.
      Not much difference between what we have now and the mafia. Both take money from you and deal with you as THEY see fit for the most part.
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      • Posted by jsw225 5 years, 7 months ago
        There's your first mistake. The police are not there for your protection.

        They are there to catch criminals. It's up to you, or someone you directly pay to prevent crime in the United States society.
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        • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
          If I protect myself, I dont need criminals to be caught. They would never get away with anything.
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          • Posted by 1musictime 5 years, 7 months ago
            One may agree police and military are part of government to protect and are there to protect people. One may agree it's the highest. Maybe words and materializations in certain areas and more words in separate areas.The greatest may be both.
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            • Posted by 1musictime 5 years, 7 months ago
              A part of protection is to prevent people against ethics and ethical laws from interfering with the ethical and creative. John Galt notes distinctions between people with civilization and savages.One may agree mind giants may devise own protections and greater than it.Authorities may protect savage types against ethics from people with ethics able to dispatch savage types without ethics. It's a way to stablize harmony and allow people with civilization to invent and create what successfully and upgrade the world and nation of innocent people and maintain good civilization and not engage in professional authority activity..
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          • Posted by jsw225 5 years, 7 months ago
            The mere act of assaulting your person is a crime. Even if you prevent a criminal from taking something, chances are you haven't killed him, thus need police to capture and punish him.

            And that's assuming that you are there, at all. How can you prevent a crime if you're in a different place entirely?
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            • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
              Maybe the punishment should be the denial of some or all of the criminals rights. I could hire someone to capture or kill him. You still need courts. It's complicated for sure but I think private solutions could be found
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        • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
          "The police are not there for your protection." I seem to recall the SCOTUS has explicitly stated that, along with public schools not being there to actually educate.
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          • Posted by jsw225 5 years, 7 months ago
            Correct. Rulings include Castle Rock vs. Gonzalez, Warren vs. District of Columbia, and Balestrera vs. Pacifica Police Department.

            Basically, the police are not responsible for your safety. They are only there investigate crimes, track criminals, and bring them in for a trial.
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  • Posted by $ Thoritsu 5 years, 7 months ago
    These are two separate questions. The first is "What are the essential services to be provided by government". The second is "How would Objectivists fund them?".

    As to the first, my view is the military is a proper function of government, as is police. That said, it does not necessarily follow that these functions be carried out by the government via government employees. They could be performed by private contractors. I would argue that many military functions can not be properly carried out by private contractors, but this is arguable. I would argue that most police functions could readily be carried out by private contractors. This would do much for reducing police misconduct and brutality since private persons are just persons in a job, not "special people" in a police role.
    The military I refereed to are line officers and enlisted people, not legions of civil servants in risk-adverse, job-for-life positions driving cost into everything, self funding and instituting the communism they are supposed to be protecting us from with ridiculous data rights to "protect the taxpayer". It would be fantastic to see some of these people competing for their jobs.
    My fundamental measure of the role of government in anything is: Would the efficient, monotonically optimizing capitalistic market provide the best answer or not. Local minima will occur in a monotonic search algorithm, like capitalism. For us, they occur until technology kills the buggy whip and an obviously better answer is shown. I think the interstate highway system would've happened a long time from now, had Eisenhauer not set it up. I am glad it exists today, although one could argue air travel may have superseded it otherwise. Interesting discussion. If a "thing" is needed and we can all see we are stuck in a local minima too big for a company to overcome via investments limited naturally, then the government should involve itself. This could and should be to decide we want something, and hire companies to provide it.

    The second part, how to fund such items, should follow a fair and reasonable contract to the best extent possible. Those benefiting should pay the most. Who benefits from the military? The people and companies keep their freedom and stuff. Income tax is probably unfair. Property tax is probably better, since that is the "stuff". This is how an insurance policy would be priced. This is how a security service would price service, although scope of your holdings would be another question. Does the military protect international holdings? They probably should. Then they should be included. If we chose not to protect international holdings, then they should not be included. If someone paid for 20 years, and the government decides not to protect something in an "allies" country, then the government has compelled that person to servitude for a greater good, and all taxation for that property must be returned, or its value reimbursed. This should hold for all property, physical and intellectual.
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
      The notion that the interstate system being possibly superseded by air travel absent Eisenhower's efforts is an intriguing one! I must think on this one some more.

      I dare say that idea might even be reasonably described as "juicy". :)
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  • Posted by 5 years, 7 months ago
    I want to add a question to this thread. Who should be responsible for providing monetary currency? The government, private banks or something else. Even a system based on precious metals needs an exchange system. Is something like Bitcoin a viable option?
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    • Posted by salta 5 years, 7 months ago
      The natural free market money would likely be some form of commodity based money. That is much easier to implement in todays electronic world, you don`t even need the physical commodity in your pocket, you can just have debit cards which transact in milligrams of gold/silver/whatever. "Free market money" implies no entity (bank or gov) has been granted sole responsibility for creating money. Bitcoin is not really viable in the very long term, but there is no reason is should not compete, if money was a free market. Personally, I think the only reason Bitcoin has been so successful today is because of the intrinsic worthlessness of fiat currencies.
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  • Posted by $ CBJ 5 years, 7 months ago
    Ayn Rand listed police, courts and the military as the essential government services. At the federal level, a consumption or sales tax might be the fairest way to fund it’s essential services (military and courts). Police would be a state or local government service.

    The latest federal budget earmarks $829 billion for military spending and $53 billion for general government, including courts and executive functions, for a total of $882 billion. These budgets are extremely bloated (like the rest of the federal government) and would probably be no more than one-fourth of their present amounts in an Objectivist society. Say $220 billion. That would be the total federal budget.

    Annual personal income is $16 trillion and annual personal consumption is $12.7 trillion. So essential federal services could be funded with a federal income tax rate of 1.4% or a consumption tax rate of 1.7%.

    Problem solved, until or unless we find a way to fund the federal government on a totally voluntary basis.
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  • Posted by $ Susanne 5 years, 7 months ago
    Plowing snow off roads is generally provided by the gub'mint, but It is also provided by private individuals to those who are willing to pay for it. Sure, the gub'mint sends out plow trucks and they show up sometimes, and do what they do (sometimes half-assedly), if you want better, you pay for it.

    Same with policing and security - the Gub'mint provides a base level of security and police protection - if you want more, there are plenty of private options for those willing to pay for it.

    On our street - we pay to maintain and service said road. If we want to not pay, then our road turns to crud. If we want it taken care of - then we pull together, and deal with it.

    If you don't like the level of service you get from the services provided by your tax dollars, you are ALWAYS free to supplement it if needed...
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  • Posted by teri-amborn 5 years, 7 months ago
    The purpose of a government is basically two-fold:
    1) Defense (not offense) and:
    2) Infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.)
    - NOT mini-malls, education, "scientific studies" and various and sundry alphabet soup departments.

    In many interesting comparative ways, proper government is simply an abstraction of what an average homeowner would do to keep his/her property.
    Loss prevention is: Insurance, smoke detectors, security systems, fences, etc. .
    That is "defense".
    Growth is: Saving, upgrading, mowing lawn and trimming trees, keeping up the paint and siding, cleaning, etc. .
    That is "infrastructure".
    Paying taxes and purchasing insurance are simply using your saved time to allow another entity to engage in "defense" and "infrastructure".

    I can engage in actively attending to my property and the rest I have to entrust to entities who I have hired to be an umbrella plan for larger issues.

    If there was a "Gulch" in reality I am sure that there would be no taxes nor insurance because everyone would be able and ready to prevent loss and promote growth of everyone.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 7 months ago
    Agreed. In order for government to exist and function, it has to have some basis of revenue. While the "voluntary" basis sounds nice, in practicality what it turns into is the classic "not in my backyard" argument: everyone wants the benefits but doesn't want to pay for them.

    Take fire suppression for example. What about if a fire starts in one area which isn't covered? Are you going to refuse to fight it until it has crossed over and started harming an area which is covered? By that time it can be out of control!

    Police action (I don't use protection as that is nonsense: police don't "protect", they only act responsively) is part of the executive power vested in the State during its creation. Simply agreeing to be part of a civilization both entitles you to call on the police in the event of an infringement of rights, but also burdens you with the financial obligation to provide for the funding of the police.

    Military. The police are for maintaining internal order. The military is strictly for defense against external enemies, but is also a contractual provision within belonging to a civil government.

    Utilities (water, sewer, power, etc.). There is no governmental mandate to provide for these services, but there is a case for efficiency and consolidation in monopolistic service due to infrastructure needs. Because of the physical size of the facilities and service needs (pipes, etc.), it makes practical sense to have a single entity responsible for servicing a given area. But because of the inherent dangers in monopolistic endeavors this is dangerous all the way around. If it is run purely by corporate entity, there is nothing to stop them from charging rates that would drive out many potential customers. If it is run by the government, there is the real challenge of innovation. Personally, I think the public utility model has been working very well and is probably the best option.

    Data/Communications. This one is is a mix of a utility model and a conventional business enterprise. Again, there is the aspect of the physical infrastructure (and don't get into the wired vs wireless with me - either one is still taking up valuable real estate) to take into account. The investment needed to bury cable is significant and requires very real coordination and government planning to effect. But the actual provisions of the communications service are significantly more fungible. For this one, a base of a public utilities model for the infrastructure appears to work well with the access to that infrastructure being sold at the same base rate to any potential corporate competitors so they can turn around with service offerings.

    I know that Objectivists like the minimal government approach, but sometimes I think they can get carried away with it...
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 5 years, 7 months ago
    While I am all for a VERY Limited Government, I firmly believe that some essential services should be provided by the Government. The ones listed above are a good start with a few limited others as well, the highway system and roads for example.

    Some might reasonably argue that the highway system could be privatized and while this is true the highway system is a Critical system in a defense scenario so I will continue to argue that it should be handled at a Governmental level..

    So that leaves the question as to how these things are funded. The obvious answer is by taxation. Local things such as Fire and Police should be funded by local taxes based on property ownership. Where as National level things such as the Military and the Highway system should be National level taxation.

    Ideally the taxes required by ALL entities combined should be 10% or less. If 10% is good enough for God it should be good enough for the Government.
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
      It should be noted that the tithe actually included what was at the time "government".
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      • Posted by Eyecu2 5 years, 7 months ago
        Yes it was but honestly if we paid 10% to each for a total of 20% we would still have to pay quite a bit less than we do now.
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        • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
          I suspect if we had a "regressive" tax structure with no exceptions we'd have less appetite for spending.

          "So, Mr. Senator, you really think this proposal to spend another 15Bn on something in your state is worth taking more money from poor people?"

          "yes" -> pilloried in the press as being against the poor
          "no" -> "Ok, so we don't do it; next."
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    • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
      I think that small local governments are most responsive to the local people. When you get to Obama's level, they just spend money on nonsense like air force one and state dinners and foreign aid to countries that hate us (Pakistan for example).
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      • Posted by Eyecu2 5 years, 7 months ago
        I completely agree with you. However I do not see a reasonable way for the military or the highway system to be adequately handled locally.
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        • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
          This would need to be analyzed a bit. A country like ours is pretty well SET to resist invasion, given the two oceans. I might not take that much to defend it. We certainly dont need a huge invasion force and backup supply lines to invade other countries. A good STAR WARS defense plus a credible missile offense system should go a long way.

          Defense in a country like Ukraine is a different story, tho.
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          • Posted by Eyecu2 5 years, 7 months ago
            As a vet I think that you greatly underestimate the requirements of a defense of a nation of the size and richness that America represents. At this time we are under a nearly full scale invasion from the South as people come across our boarder unchecked. This is straining all of our Social services and placing an undo burden on our economy.

            Yes I will agree immediately that ALL of our Social services should be ended but at this time they are still there. And as long as they remain the people from the South will keep flooding in. Additionally there are those of even worse intent mixed in with them.
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            • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
              I would suggest the removal of social services for illegal immigrants AND the elimination of minimum wages for people without work permits. Suddenly illegal immigration would stop I think
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              • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
                Honestly it would only go down by a small amount in a small number of locations. In truth the southern swell is not just because of benefits. From everything I've seen, life among the non-elite is rather abysmal in much of Mexico, and frankly I can't say I wouldn't take the chance myself.

                However, even among the illegal immigration from Mexico there are basically two groups, culteryslly speaking and these groups are region based. Interestingly one group goes predominantly to CA and the other to TX.

                Any student or culture or rational thinker would see the difference it makes. It to takes an interest in getting to first principles, as it were, so media pundits (talking heads) and politicians (bobble heads) won't do it.
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                • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
                  They come for opportunities and we throw them freebie welfare. Doesn't take long before they become welfare babies. It's OUR fault this happens
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                  • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
                    Oh absolutely the latter happen, but even as you just stated "they come here for opportunities". Thus, logically, an absence of the freebies wouldn't have prevented them from coming here. It would, however, be an incentive to stay productive.

                    There is actual research which backs this, too. We all know the tale of the first-gem immigrant and how they know how important work is. The research backs this up, but then goes on to show that this is muted a it in the second generation, and by the third the "memory" of what life is like when things aren't handed to you is gone and the work ethic tanks. Interestingly, along with this goes previous national identity. The first generation identifies and {old country}-american, but by the third generation it becomes just "american" - leaving the old country behind.

                    So if we removed the "safety net", I think it reasonable to expect that the work ethic would persevere. Interestingly, the first generation immigrant is often quite anti-illegal immigration. I think this, too, is reasonable. After all, they went through the "tough process", and these others are avoiding it. Despite the press' hysterics over whites, I've found personally that the animosity level among first-generation legal immigrants is often much higher.
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                    • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
                      In 1990, I started a medical device company actually MAKING product in the USA. I can tell you that we hired "illegal aliens" whenever possible to keep our production high. White people were too entitled, and blacks were ridiculously entitled. Call it racism if you want. It wasnt- it was profiling based on a need to find good workers quickly and without making too many mistakes. Anyway, at one point the state starting cracking down on illegals, and were raiding plants like ours. So we began looking for green carded hispanic workers. Those tended to be 2nd generation hispanics. Our production fell so much that we moved the plant to Mexico, where wages were 80% less (at the time), but production came back up. We sold that operation after a few years, and started up another smaller one back in the USA, using substantially more automation. We still hire illegal aliens whenever possible (fresh off the boat, as it were). They appreciate having a job. I definitely "profile" to this day (who doesnt in so many ways nowadays- and mostly NOT on the basis of race by the way.
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                      • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
                        Yeah that isn't racial profiling, but recognizing cultural advantages and using them. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred what many on either "side" chalk up to race is actually culture.
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                        • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
                          Exactly. I think the word racism is used far too much today, mostly for PC reasons. Anyway, look at all the interbreeding thats going on. What race IS a person anyway? How much percentage would be required to discrimminate on the basis of actual race?? Its crazy.
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        • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
          Have the federal government bill each state for its portion of the expenditures - apportioned by population. Then let the states figure out how to pay for it as they see fit.

          Edit: Incidentally the states could arguably do this by county or whatever they call their equivalents.
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 5 years, 7 months ago
    This question conflates two kinds of service. Two of the services the question named, are proper core government functions anyway. I refer here to the police and the military. Concerning taxation, Rand said people would pay for these in the same manner in which they bought insurance. The heaviest stakeholders would pay the most. And a property owner or tenant would receive credit for defending himself and his property--hence "militia."

    (The anarchist solution is, of course, more extreme. Some anarchists refuse to believe a society has any enemies beyond what one makes. Laying aside this Pollyanna-ish version of irenology--the study of peace--most anarchists who really think about the subject, suggest forming Committees of Safety, consisting of the major stakeholders. John Galt, Francisco d'Anconia, and Ragnar Danneskjöld functioned as just such a Committee of Safety. John acted as the proxy for Midas Mulligan; Francisco and Ragnar acted each in his own behalf.)

    She also suggested simply using the lottery to pay for these things.

    Fire protection is another matter altogether. I'm sure people would buy fire insurance, and the insurance companies would hire (or form) the fire brigades to put out fires whenever they started. It might even behoove the fire company to put out a fire even in an "uninsured" dwelling--so the fire would not spread to other dwellings. Then they would lay an assessment against the owner of that dwelling. The legal theory of the "injury in fact" would be this: the householder let a fire start in his house, and never let an insurer inspect it for fire risk and so on. As such he posed a danger to paying policyholders. The fire brigade had to act. Now someone has to pay for the fire brigade's extra work.

    Schools should never be a government service.

    "Utilities" should never be public, either. Let every householder choose whether he wants to connect to, say, a gas pipeline, or order in a tank to hook up in his back yard. Let them decide whether to draw their water from a well or connect to a pipe. For the electrical grid you have the added complication--which a private grid could handle--of people generating some or all of their own electricity. This applies equally to industrial cogeneration as to a householder installing a solar battery or a wind turbine on his dwelling or curtilage. ("Curtilage" is legalese for "yard.")
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 5 years, 7 months ago
    I know that I would voluntarily pay for police, fire and military. If I didn't like the job they did, I'd stop paying.

    I recently heard that it took 30 years of legal wrangling in order for Americans to be allowed to start homeschooling their own children. Frankly...that fact scares the hell out of me...
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    • Posted by term2 5 years, 7 months ago
      Dept of education is run by Nazis. The whole idea of forcing kids to go to government indoctrination centers is very scary. I hated public school myself. It took my time and they made me learn stuff that I never use.
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  • Posted by lrshultis 5 years, 7 months ago
    There cannot be a so called objectivist society unless you mean a small enclave of Objectivism believers. Even closely nit societies do not have all true believers in the religion or philosophy believed to nit the society together. The literary image of a future Gulch of those allowed to join by promising through an oath to be true to some ideas, will end in some kind of voluntary servitude to those who, in the background, run the society just as voluntary and involuntary taxpayers do today.
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  • Posted by TheRealBill 5 years, 7 months ago
    There should be some contextual scope assigned here. Are we talking a single nation-state government (such as say Mexico), or a federated government (such as the U.S.)? The answers would be different.

    Common assumptions based on "objectivist society":

    95-100% of the social programs of the current fad are gone
    Military is needed for defense only, not ".. and national interests"
    No foreign intervention
    No land wars in Asia. ;)


    For a federated nation, let us compare and contrast to the U.S.

    Versus current expenditures, the elimination of social programs alone would cut the federal budget[1] by around 75%. This can not be emphasized enough. Just look at the 2015 numbers.

    1) Total revenue: 3.2T
    2) Total Expenditure: 3.7T

    if we take the 75% reduction above apply it we could guesstimate the budget, assuming no military reductions, at around 925B. I believe with a non-campaigning military (Navy+Air Force - no standing army), you could shrink the military portion by at least 25% which would drop us to around 775B. If we did a straight per-capita we're around $1800/person per year (including children) to come up with somehow - assuming no further reductions. According to the data I have in 2012 the federal government collected ~$7600 per capita.

    For a federated nation, I'd recommend apportioning that to the states based on population. If a given state has 10% of the population, the state government is charged 77.5B. But if we look at not doing that keep in mind that around 230Bn/year is collected in non-income and non-payroll (excise, estate, etc.). Im not sure at the moment how much of that is estate, which I assume we'd want to get rid of, but let us call it 30Bn so this non-income tax revenue is 200B. This leaves around 575Bn to come up with.

    Income tax revenue is ~47%, or about 1.5T. You could eliminate the payroll and corporate taxes, and cut the income tax by close to 2/3rds and be pretty damned close. I'd wager that between their payroll taxes being gone (thus "getting a raise"), the room for employers to pay more due to lack of corporate income taxes likely leading to better pay - most working people would balk much less when paying about 23 cents on the dollar of what they pay now (per-capita).

    I'd still prefer to farm that choice to the individual states. So a state like California would get a bill for around $70Bn and they can figure out if they want to go on income or some other options (such as repeating the price by county).

    There are much deeper questions on the subject of a federated state - such as are we talking about an objectivist federal only, or does it include the individual states as well? Note that I also did not take into account the ~250Bn or so in annual debt payments by the fedgov. So, if we were to assume the state was not in debt so heavily, that would be ~33% reduction.

    From a nation-state perspective it becomes a bit more hypothetical because we would have to look at nation-states that are so fundamentally different that the numbers would be hard to come by. But I have the data for TX handy - a state w/o income tax. Next year's budget is 209Bn.

    Drop 58Bn for public schools, 77Bn for HHS, 20Bn for universities, and you're left with about 54Bn. I think that would leave plenty of room for increasing defense spending. Currently TX spends a bit under 1Bn on border security. It could throw in 50Bn a year on building a defensive military (small and focused navy and air force, some long reach deterrence missiles, etc.) and still come out pretty well - and still without an income tax. Now, I'm not making an argument here for secession but to continue the comparison but if you consider that in 2012 the IRS collected nearly 220 Bn in income tax from Texas citizens, I'd say that from that perspective it would be a serious boon, all else equal, to Texans if they kept that 220Bn on top of the reduction in state aid payments. After all, they send to D.C. more than there state government spends. And they do not have an income tax.

    Sure they don't have a big military and would need to ramp up some spending on that. But if we consider current US percentage of ~16%, drop maybe 6% for not needing a global reach, then there is plenty of funding available in the current state welfare program to provide a similar ratio for the nation-state of Texas. With the elimination of 220Bn going to the fed, you could even simply raise expenditures by 25% and come out ahead - and still have no income tax.

    All in all, I think to really understand the question you simply have to look at the reduction of cost in a government that doesn't spend so much in aid payments - a government restricted to the minimum essentials. Once you begin to realize how comparatively little the government would need to collect, the question almost becomes moot in my mind.


    1. I dislike using the "federal budget" because a) as anyone wth a checking account knows: what really matters is expenditures and b) what budget?
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  • Posted by KRUEG 5 years, 7 months ago
    The responsibility of the the Government is limited by out Constitution. In order for it to continue there will need to be a way to finance it. The way it is now, we are taxed with no real assurance that we will be protected. If paying taxes keeps me and my family safe here and abroad that is great. But now that money is being wasted on all kinds of made up xxxx.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 7 months ago
    Without being too specific, there are many ways to fund services depending upon the set-up of the state, and where and how it gets its funds. In a free society, the only obligations of the state is to protect its citizens, and to provide courts, In my not-so-humble opinion, there also should be an adherence to Herbie's Law which states: 1. You have the right to say No. 2. MYOB Mind your own business.
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  • Posted by $ Stormi 5 years, 7 months ago
    FEMA would not be involved! This morning on cable TV, a scrolling message said FEMA would test the system on Wed. at 1 a.m.! Then instead of the usual cities or counties listed, they listed endless STATES, like Ohio. Penna. W. Va., and on and on! When public services and telecommunications are intruded on by FEMA, only bad can come from it. Remember, even if you think O will not shut down the Inerenet Sept. 30, this is pretty weird and disturbing. Anyone heard anything on this messing with public services involving FEMA?
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 5 years, 7 months ago
    Even in a purely objectivist society, I would not have worked for the Alabama Department of Corrections if I had not been paid enough to raise a family.
    I'm absolutely certain I would not have stayed in that crappy work environment for 21 years if I wasn't enticed by a retirement package.
    Someone gotta pay if you want well-trained mercenaries to protect you in various capacities.
    Me dino now boasts doing his part in the public protection aspect.. Have two framed commendations (we called "attaboy letters") proving I stopped two escape attempts that added up to three inmates who did not threaten the public for being at large.
    Me no businessman but me good dino.
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    • Posted by $ Susanne 5 years, 7 months ago
      Yepper-double-dee-diddilydoo, here too... While my fun and entertaining 30 year stint with the State of Califlower, we, Coldanfunny, er, the left coast, has benefitted me in ways immeasurable, ways I likely would not have gotten in the way my life was headed in Private Industry, it was the promise of exchanging x years of my life for a pension past that. They don't realize I have gotten more than a fair trade for a number of those years, and have personally gained (much to the horror of the socialists who run this califunny farm) from my employment here.

      Would I parley that to something gainful and worthwhile outside of this asaylum? You bet your buttinski I will, again, even tho their people say "thou shalt not do other than pillory yourself upon the great and nasty spindle of state for the greater good, and not thyself"...

      What they did was expand my MIND and my thoughts and my dreams... let those bastards try to take that away from me... So... I win. Bwa ha ha ha...
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 7 months ago
    "Public" in this sense means "non-excludable", meaning you cannot provide them to some and not others. Police and military are non-excludable, but fire is excludable.

    People will have different ideas how the level of policing and military they want. But once we deploy a police force in an area, everyone in that area gets the benefit whether they want to pay for it or not.

    The fire department and private fire fighting services, if they existed, could easily provide their service only to paying subscribers.

    So in my view an objectivist society would have no fire department. Policing would partly provided by people protecting their own homes and their neighbors', if they're so inclined. They would still need police and legal machinery to catch and prosecute criminals. Military would partly provided by militia, but they would still need some kind of a minimal standing army. I'm intrigued by ideas of how to fund these non-excludable services without taxes, but I do not know how that would work.
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