The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

You know it’s fall when…

| November 9, 2015

Actual conversation in my house:

Hey, can you hold off going to the range? I need you to watch the boys while I help my dad follow a blood trail.

Slightly better from Facebook

| November 9, 2015

So, in that same Facebook thread, someone challenged me saying that it’s easy to blame government without offering a solution, all solutions will infringe on the freedoms of the welfare recipients, and that taxes have been collected since biblical times. Also, that arguing on Facebook is pointless. To which I replied:

Breaking it down:

You are correct in that it is wrong to blame government unless it can be shown that poverty is either caused by or made worse by government intervention. This is logical, yes? Okay, I’m not going to say government caused poverty. However, prior to the government’s “war on poverty”, poverty was declining at a very steady rate. The government starts a war on poverty, and the trend levels off. Further, despite increased spending on welfare and other such programs designed to ameliorate poverty, the trend remains largely constant. At best, the money is wasted. Assuming the axiom of “If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less of something, tax it.” holds true, then, at worst, the government is subsidizing poverty which will result in more of it. One can speculate as to why this is beneficial cough permanent voting base which will always vote to increase government spending and therefore government power cough cough.

Source: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/09/the-war-on-poverty-after-50-years

Now, on the “infringes on personal freedom” front. Yes, drug testing welfare recipients definitely infringes on their freedom. However, isn’t the core of freedom self-ownership? And, isn’t a large part of self-ownership the ownership of the fruits of one’s labor? Therefore, how can we complain about the personal freedom of welfare recipients being infringed while ignoring the de-facto slavery that is compulsory taxation?

Regarding “since biblical times”. This may be true, but is not really a salient point. Essentially, you’re saying that “because something has been this way, it always will be this way”. It’s akin to saying “Government has always been the divine right of kings. A form of government which allows the governed to have a vote will never happen.” Yet, history has proven you wrong. Things do not exist, and then they do. It is what we call progress. A government founded on principles of voluntary, non-coercive taxation could definitely exist – we just need to actually make it happen.

For the record, I am not against taking care of the elderly and the poor – I am against stick up men stealing from the citizenry and pretending it’s charity, whilst diverting a hefty percentage of it for themselves.

Regarding discussing things on Facebook: I don’t just discuss things here. In fact, I rarely discuss things like this here because the general level of discourse is so poor (see the “Your[sic] a jerk” reply elsewhere in this thread. However, paraphrasing an ancient Chinese axiom “The changing of a society begins with changing a single mind”. In the past couple of years, I’ve seriously influenced, if not outright converted, at least half a dozen people to think about and work towards a more peaceful and voluntarist society. I hope that, in some small way, my writings may spark similar interest in those that read them.

A good jumping off point for further reading, for those who are interested, is Adam Kokesh’s book Freedom!. It is free and available here: http://thefreedomline.com/freedom/

If anyone wishes to discuss these concepts in a more private setting, feel free to reach out.

Ah, the level of discourse on Facebook…

| November 6, 2015

So, I made the mistake of arguing on Facebook again. There was discussion of the federal welfare system, how to reform it, etc. I was making the argument that the whole system is evil, because it’s based on coercive taxation. I made the following argument:

Initiation of force is wrong. Stealing is use of force to transfer property, and is therefore wrong. Taxation is use of force to transfer property and is therefore stealing and therefore wrong. It doesn’t matter what the money is used for, it is immoral. People’s situation doesn’t matter. It’s sad that people are poor, but having government thugs steal from me and my children to give to someone else doesn’t make it right, or just, or even charity. It makes everyone who voted for such a program accessory to grand larceny.

I’d like to think that this is a cogent, logical, argument. The reply was:

Your[sic] a jerk!!!!!

Brilliant!