-4 votes

A Contract Between Americans

As Lysander Spooner details in his essay, "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority", contracts reached between individuals have no legitimate authority over other individuals. The practical conundrum this presents libertarians is rarely dealt with head-on.

Newt Gingrich's evocatively titled "Contract With America" struck a seductive chord with conservatives precisely because it seemed to present a proposal for a contract between Americans -- between individuals called "Americans" -- thereby establishing its legitimacy.

A far more powerful political force can sweep libertarians to victory if only they would ask themselves the following question:

"What would a natural individually sovereign American, in debt-free possession of his house, tools, land and weapons sufficient to defend and support his wife and raise his children to maturity, agree to if approached with 'a contract between Americans'?"

Answer that question honestly and libertarians will be on the road to victory. One thing is for certain: It is dishonest to claim that an individual sovereign, in a state of nature, would agree to respect the property rights agreed to by others if he, himself, were deprived of any land with which to support a wife and have a family. Yet that seems to be the contract offered by many so-called "libertarians" to the general public and the general public rightly rejects the transparently illegitimate proposal as placing the sanctity of property above the sanctity of life. Not only is this a loser's political strategy -- it is in naked violation of natural law. To win, libertarians must be more honest with themselves and others as to the natural interests of individual sovereigns.

I propose the following Contract Between Americans as the political platform that can, particularly in the present circumstances, sweep deep libertarian principles to political victory in the near term:

* Treat pollution as a criminal assault on the nation.

Pollution harms the national territory. Individuals that harm private property may be held criminally liable under some circumstances but if there is no intent to harm, it is usually up to civil courts to award monetary damages. Individuals that harm the national territory, however, must be held to a higher standard of discipline due to the greater harm. Mere tort law is insufficient as a remedy when what is at stake is the national ecology. If the choice is made to reduce regulation of private behavior because such regulations, although they prevent damage and are therefore quite economical, impinge on freedom, then those enjoying said freedom must, when abusing that freedom, suffer consequences sufficiently severe to serve as an effective self-regulating motive.

* Household bankruptcy protection is the median price of a home plus median capitalization of a job.

The origin of bankruptcy law is the recognition that a man’s homestead is as sacrosanct as his body since it is the means by which he sustains his body. A homestead entails not only a primary residence real estate holding but also the source of his other necessities. Hence personal bankruptcy protects “home and tools of the trade” from confiscation. Only a society that accepts slavery can accept confiscation of a man’s body for the use of others.

* Anyone or anything (including the government) can place money in escrow as a bid for any property right recognized by law, thereby establishing an in-place liquidation value for that property right.

Money differs from other property rights in terms of its liquidity—that is, its availability for trade upon demand. When money is “tied up in investments” that is simply another way of saying that the owner of the property right sees more value in the property right than do others with money ready to buy that property right. The more people who perceive a particular level of value in a property right, the more force must be brought to bear to protect it from confiscation. In short, if you have a big pile of gold sitting around that a lot of people know about, you are going to have to invest more in protecting it than, say, the Wright Brothers needed to invest in protecting their bike shop from theft, even though they could see that their bike shop was worth the dreams of men over thousands of years. The man with his pile of gold might very well find several bids for it that were comparable to his own valuation of it. There is no chance that the Wright Brothers would have received a bid for their bike shop sufficiently high to motivate them to give it up during their development of the first heavier than air powered flying machine. On the off-chance that someone (say Langley's backers) wanted to suppress the Wrights by escrowing an enormous bid the Wrights could not service from immediate cash flows, the Wrights could borrow against the liquidation value of their asset.

* Cease taxing economic activity except for international trade, which is taxed in such a way as to retain sovereignty.

Economic activity is human action. There is no reasonable way to justify a use fee for a human’s own volition in a society that rejects slavery. Sovereignty, on the other hand, demands independence rather than interdependence or “entangling alliances” with other sovereigns. It is therefore essential to national sovereignty that the nation control international trade so as to avoid vital dependencies on other sovereignties.

* National revenue is instead a use fee for property rights paid at a rate equal to the liquidation value of the property right times the short term lending rate to the government—but individual exemption is equal to one half of household bankruptcy protection. The owner can liquidate his property right at any time by accepting the escrowed bid for his property.

A natural man, outside of any government, must acquire minimal territory and tools to exist—and these are represented in household bankruptcy protection. If you take a certain amount of money and lend it to the government, you are assured of interest payments at some minimal level. This sort of income is the zero risk economic value of society. No one in particular can claim responsibility for generating it hence it is inappropriate to let it fall randomly on those who happen to benefit from general economic growth—typically the wealthiest and most politically powerful. The requirement for pair bonding is a singular dependence that must be accommodated or the very life of the nation is in severe jeopardy. Unless we are going to disenfranchise females, it is necessary to divide this minimal territory in two parts so that the pair bond is encouraged within a money-based economy. Corruption of assessment takes 2 forms: 1) Underassessment by the government of favored individuals and, 2) Over assessment by the government of disfavored individuals. In underassessment, a private individual may come in and offer more than is the government thereby raising the pressure on the current owner to transfer title. In overassessment, the current owner may escape payment of exorbitant fees by accepting the exorbitant bid.

* National revenue is sent in equal amounts to all citizens as monthly deposits in their bank accounts and all able bodied men are required to arm themselves and participate in county militia training for protection of private property rights as well as defense of country.

As the national revenue derives from the risk free economic growth of the society, it is the proper source of social expenditure. As political systems are notoriously corruptible when involved in deciding social expenditure, it is prudent to remove discretion from political systems, “the political class”, in allocating social expenditure—and this includes discretion in interpretation of complex rules of allocation. It is therefore essential that money gathered by the government be immediately dispersed evenly to all citizens so their personal market decisions drive investment capital toward serving the demands of the citizenry rather than some elite. The ultimate social expenditure that cannot be left to charity is military defense of national territory and, secondarily, private property rights. The Swiss model of defense, based around mandatory military service by all able bodied men, commanded by the Cantons has proven quite effective in defending territory while also avoiding entangling military alliances that result in world wars. Individual responsibility for using the citizen’s dividend stream to self-equip according to local standards under local command minimizes the likelihood of central government corruption of the military and maintains a force at-the-ready throughout the land for defense of the nation as well as the law.

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SO you are a

BULSHAVIC.

The evil twin of Bolsheviks...

Yeah we BULSHAVIC's are against any form of taxation as well as any government that pretends to have authority over people who would never have agree to the terms of the implied contract.

I mean just think about it for one moment. Who would be against income taxation, capital gains taxation, value added taxation, sales taxation, inheritance taxation, etc. but someone with a deeply evil hidden agenda like we BULSHAVIC's?

BULSHAVIC's are the evil twins of the wonderful, good hearted Bolsheviks. So you have the number of we evil BULSHAVIC's!

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Very nice!

I am delighted that your post is not at all what I expected, and even further delighted to see the positive reception.
If I may: Why are you attempting to make un-enforcable contracts at all? It is the same stunt the tyrants pull. If my neighbor is polluting, it is my responsibility to work with them to satisfactory compromise. If all my neighbors agree with me, we "run 'em outta town" if they don't comply. If they agree with the other guy, I shut up or move. No contracts needed, just people looking out for their own self interest. Most folks will do that, although the hypnosheep need to relearn self-love. (Not evil, not "selfish" - just the place where all love must originate.)
Think "squirrel." If I am your neighbor, and I am not a human but a really clever squirrel, what would you expect of me? Because that is what I am. :) So sorry, these paws don't sign things... (Careful where this leads... squirrels find the whole notion of "nations" amusing...)

This is the article that got my posting privileges revoked:
http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2013/05/12/18212165-dr-stan-...

What's unenforcable?

Everyone is self-armed and organized with others party to the contract, and all parties to the contract share an incentive to enforce the contract.

It is enforced.

Squirrels may do as they like and armed men may like squirrels or kill them.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Because if all parties are not informed...

Then they can't agree to the contract.

Also, if its a contract arbitrarily imposing rule by force over others how is it anything but a fraudulent contract.

You can't arbitrarily force everyone into a contract. Isn't that totaltarianism?

There is a MUCH BETTER way to settling contract disputes, between private parties as was standard.

What do you think of the US Constitution?

You say "Also, if its a contract arbitrarily imposing rule by force over others how is it anything but a fraudulent contract... You can't arbitrarily force everyone into a contract. Isn't that totaltarianism?"

But that is the entire point of Lysander Spooner's essay, "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority". You missed (or ignored because it disturbs your world-view), the first sentence of my proposal.

Spooner argues, quite successfully, that the US Constitution is just such a fraudulent and even totalitarian contract.

The differences between what I am proposing and the US Constitution are:

1) I am not hiding the implied contractual agreement.
2) I propose a contractual agreement that independent sovereigns, not under any duress, would prefer to the contract implied by the US Constitution especially given the absence of plentiful unsettled territories.

This doesn't imply that I disagree with you -- merely that I think there are some steps that we need to take on the way to the ideal of totally private contracts, voluntarily entered into as individuals.

1) The Laboratory of the States Platform to take Congress.
2) Restoration of Constitutional government (as fraudulent and tyrannical, by your own standards, as it is).
3) Rehabilitation of territorial secession as the foundation of all other human rights.
4) At least one State (perhaps no longer under the Federal Government) adopting the Contract Between Americans to test out its premises.
5) Reestablishment of the Federation on the basis of dividend-supported market allocation of territory to sovereign individuals who choose to live in the same territory, under the Contract Between Americans entered into by mutual consent.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

You just said we wouldn't use the Constitution as a guide...

Isn't that the definition of Bolshevikism? Are you proposing a totaltarian state that does NOT abide by the constitution?

You just said we wouldn't use the Constitution as a guide...

I am using the Constitution as a guide in step 2 above, and I've offered a practical political platform to do so, one that can win in the next election cycle, if adopted by serious Constitutionalists.

It is you who are totally hostile toward the Constitution when you say:

if all parties are not informed Then they can't agree to the contract.

Also, if its a contract arbitrarily imposing rule by force over others how is it anything but a fraudulent contract.

How many people who are under the enforced laws of the United States of America -- even one which abides by the Constitution -- have put their John Hancock to the Constitution after having read and understood it?

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

The Constitution and Bill of Rights are NOT total contracts.

They are "guidelines" our country was founded by.

Our consent came in the original founders signing the documents, with their john hancocks thank you very much.

Very different case!
At the time, none of us were born. There were very few of them. On behalf of all our rights, they signed the contracts lawfully. That is not a statist contract.

How do you propose to get all parties to agree to the contract lawfully, by giving their consent?

What type of contract proposed?

Four Words: Law of Monopoly Contracts

Observe the below...

"Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute has proposed a citizen's dividend of about $1000/month as a way of placing social goods "In Our Hands" despite his preference for totally private distribution of social goods. Of the practicality of his citizen's dividend proposal, he writes: "The projected costs of the current system and of the Plan cross in 2011. By 2020, the Plan would cost $549 billion less than a continuation of the current system—again, projecting no increase whatsoever in the percentage of people making $50,000 or more. This statement does not take transition costs into account—but, on the other hand, a system that promises to cost half a trillion dollars less than the current system per year by 2020 leaves a lot of wiggle room for dealing with transition costs."

Indeed, he argues for not only the political practicality of a proposal such as his, but for its 10-year inevitability given the current trends of the welfare state."

I don't agree with this - AT ALL - and I think most would believe a LARGER welfare/war state would only make our problems much much worse.

Secondly, there is one pressing hurdle to making any of this work.

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/property00/jurisdiction/conflic...

The "Law" of Abridged contracts states that no man shall be forced into a contract he/she did not consent to or acknowledge.

It is quite explicit that the Federal Government wishes to either scam us, force us, or deceive us into an unwitting contract with a foreign corporation where we never signed over our consent.

This of course would be the Federal Reserve.

In addition to the taxation-based force system of the Federal Reserve, it presumes we want to:

"Pay" out half our wealth and wages to take care of ailing welfare recipients to the point of $1000 a month.....including all of their Medicaid insurance costs and expenses.

"Are obliged" to pay for completely useless, non-sensical Federal Government agencies like the EPA, FDA and AMA that tell us like children what to do with our own bodies.

Are "forced" to pay for the construction of Roads, Cities, Bridges, and huge pork-barrel projects by the Federal Government....when we could do away with all of this in one pen-stroke, by giving the state councils the authority to decide their OWN budgets & pay for their own toll/bus and policing services!!!

Have a "gun" pointed to our head in order to pay for the social education/indoctrination of the Public School system.....Which itself is a fraud apparently, that extorts willing "students" for billions of dollars in de-facto brainwashing classes....with the promise of a better job as a willing "corporate slave" from which they can extort the rest of their interest backed school loans like a dictator would!

On top of this, the "School Loans" program is far from optional!! It is discriminatory, authoritative and downright Nazi in how it forces conformity.

I don't wish to conform to a fraud. The US Government and Department of Education appear to be flat-faced, bold & willing frauds. Those who wish to buy into these frauds can go do so.

The rest of us should be free of the corrupt, non-sensical contracts of the Department of Education, Department of Agriculture and Troopers association....as well as the alphabet agencies.

They should have no jurisdiction in our cities, nor towns. They should all be forced out, the EPA downsized in power, and extreme criminal penalties put on corporations which hire illegal aliens & force pollution on the rest of us.

I'll tell you where pollution comes from: The Military Complex racket. 80% of pollution it seems, comes from coal industries...mining and the offices of Lockheed Martin in Pennsylvania. In PA alone, nearly 50% of everyone's savings is dumped into the Military Defense industry. Anyone who thinks this is sustainable is at a folly!

Shutting this racket down, would mean criminal penalties across the board for these people. Including criminal penalties for the EPA as far as I'm concerned by a Grand Jury. This is a complete and total joke.

For people to agree to a "contract", citizens have to agree to have a contract between each other. No one enters a legally binding contract unless they assign a statement of fact + evidence, appear in person and sign their signature. So far our entire legal system has been going the opposite way.

There is no "contract" needed if people respect each other's land, property and/or but out of their lives. Therefore why is the author advocating for a contract that would rule over others? Who wants to rule over others? We need less government, not more of it.

Is the author in favor of totaltarianism? To have contracts which you and everyone else must abide by, that is the definition of totaltarianism. How about we just have "private contracts" between "private parties" and leave the government out of it. Those who break the law as in British Petroleum, will be ruthlessly hunted & prosecuted by the courts. Not some fake mafia President.

Those who violate the law and rights of others, will face severe penalties. Police departments will cede their authority to a "natural" contract given to a free man if we actually follow the code here. There will be no unlawful, unrecognized contracts in our very city schools which are chartered by military doctrines. The Federal Reserve would have its charter revoked over every city municipality, in order for any sort of agreement to work.

http://teamlaw.net Indeed, there is no such thing as a "MUTUALLY AGREED TO" contract. By definition all parties must be informed, and the US citizens have been asleep. They were not informed. The contract is thereby revoked. It can NOT work to want to take care of every person or business & subsidize them under a "Liberty" banner. Libertarians who evoke this are no longer in line with freedom. We can not police what everyone does. If they want to "take" care of each other via private contracts, that is the role of Cities and Churches or non-profits. I don't agree with all their points: My point is, who decided that the Federal Government gets to weigh in on all contracts made in the USA? Who?

One additional thought

The right to life is different than the right to property. It may be a category error to claim that one takes precedence over the other, or to compare them in that way. Some view the right to life, as the right not to be killed, not the right to survival, which has an aspect of personal behavior associated with it.

From a practical point of view, subsidizing those unable or unwilling to survive makes sense. the story of a staving man stealing bread is common.

But shouldn't a market set the minimum amount someone receives for survival ? Whatever the population is willing to give either out of practical or moral duty, and no more.

Right to NOT contract

Property is founded on life because contracts are founded on life. Let's be plain here:

The category of "rights" as defined in contracts is predicated on consent. If there is no consent, there is no contract. That much should be clear.

All I'm saying is that if you are trying to maintain a civilization based on law, you had better be very very VERY careful about what you're saying your citizens have "consented" to lest Robespierre start sharpening his blade.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Unlawful contracts are NULL and void

And Newt's "Contract" is the worst example of all.....his is an unlawful contract....is NULL and VOID

We don't need "MORE" contracts, we need more sovereigns who only do PRIVATE CONTRACTS between each other when they are obliged to do so.

The idea of forced contracts is a neo-liberal statist fraud

The idea of forced contracts is a neo-liberal statist fraud of an idea.

It assumes that in order to "protect" everybody from say....criminals; we need to enforce a "contract" that everyone has to "comply with" and willingly "sign" even if they are unaware of its contents.

Why can't we just let the states decide? Not go back to 1865, but flat let the States handle state matters.

Why can't we allow States to decide how they allocate their own resources? What's the downside?

Why can't we allow people to decide, one to another, their own private contracts and settle with each other in their own "private" way that does not impose force on everyone else. The system still works.

The Free Market balances out a lot of improper competition. Courts do their job. People get out and prosecute corruption, the economy recovers.

I don't see any issue here, since there has not been any "free market" practiced in the United States. Might as well open up competition....instead of obligating a force on everyone by contract

Please Read Lysander Spooner

Your denial that the US Constitution is a forced contract is at the foundation of your misunderstanding of my proposal.

Please read Lysander Spooner's "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority" before responding further.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Fine...

If you read or listened to the audio of any of his work

He is an intellectual on the highest order ,I was amazed and the level of understanding in so many areas. Law and the constitution ,contract ,slavery, civics
AMAZING

Interesting thoughts

And I think I would agree to much of it.

I see problems with a workable definition of an individual's "sufficient" property.

Further, How does a sovereign country account for population growth, which would stress the available resources or an economic failure, which would decrease the amount of resources available to provide the sufficient property.

This question of sufficient property is also an important one with regards to changes in the productivity of individuals that occur in old age. One of the benefits of hoarding property is as a hedge against old age or disability. In you're arrangement the cost of independence at an advanced age is much higher. Of course you have your necessities but this may not be sufficient for someone who was highly productive through there life.

In a nut shell, isn't the cost of insurance too high (in an economic sense) in this scheme ?

Last, won't things like marginal utility be a hindrance to deciding the value of property. Escrow bids seem to me to likely be very fluid, and unpredictable.

Marginal utility of capital

ironman77: "Last, won't things like marginal utility be a hindrance to deciding the value of property. Escrow bids seem to me to likely be very fluid, and unpredictable.

Since we are talking about escrowed money in the context of marginal utility, I have to assume you mean the marginal utility of capital that frequently finds greater utility in uses other than property assessing escrow accounts which return only the long term average of the short term Treasury rate (modern portfolio theory's "risk free interest rate").

To that I have two perspectives that mitigate the problem of marginal utility:

1) Due to the subsistence exemption, the ownership of these escrow accounts will tend to take the place of savings accounts -- the very liquidity of which is a desirable feature.

2) Since government can place bids -- disciplined by the market -- this ultimately determines the very creation of money: Monetary policy itself. Here, again, liquidity is the sine qua non hence a desirable feature.

Does this address the issue you were raising or did I misunderstand you?

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Yes

Thanks

Generational conflict

ironman77: One of the benefits of hoarding property is as a hedge against old age or disability.

You will notice that the relationship between the boomers and their parents is characterized not only by the so-called "generation gap" during the boomer youth (that youth culture being praised as "progressive" while their parents were "stuck in the past with all its social pathologies") -- but also by a reversal with the decades in which the so-called "Greatest Generation" is contrasted with the "spoiled boomers" -- a reversal that further pitted those generations against one another.

The end game of that generational conflict is now playing out with the deaths of the "Greatest Generation" -- frequently owning properties that the boomers can never hope to acquire. I won't go into all of the myths currently surrounding the "spoiled boomers" and their dying "Great" parents. But suffice it to say that when you have a demographic collapse (discounted for immigration -- essentially the government "electing a new people") of the kind seen during the years of boomer fertility, while their parents enjoyed an "empty nest" per-capita square footage of house vastly in excess of any myths about "McMansions" -- there is something deeply wrong with the popular diagnosis.

What happened is that local relationships were disintermediated by incorporations such as governments and globalized businesses. In nature title to property is transferred to the posterity prior to death as part of an intergenerational "contract" built into our very biology. The obscene image of retired couples riding around in $100,000 recreational vehicles sporting bumper stickers "Die Broke" leaving behind 2,500ft^2 of empty housing while their grandchildren are being left to the tender mercies of day care and public schools, not to mentions mind-damaging "higher education" and incorporation into group entities that treat them as segments, is something we need to terminate.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

While I share your low regard

For the crass materialism exhibited by some wealthy retirees, the classic inter-generational relationships are not necessarily a panecea. They seem to work well in agricultural settings, from what I've seen with the Amish, but in more urban setting they can be problematic, since social and economic change occurs too quickly for for the retirees property to be much good, outside of its monetary value - Dad's high end slide rule is cool, but useless. Further, when social and technological change is fast, the skills knowledge, etc of retirees become less valuable in child rearing. I guess you might argue that this is because of how industry compartmentalizes technical skills, and treats skilled workers as disposable, but that's another argument entirely.

the other thing not mentioned here is the significant expense of health care for the elderly. The cost of the necessities for survival go up as we age, if we include things like medicine and health care.

So yes, If we were to all live like the Amish, this would work. But there are many downsides with Amish style living that I won't go into here.

Urbanization vs Humans

To relegate the environment of evolutionary adaptation to some small group with strange beliefs is to discount human nature.

Urbanization is a very recent phenomenon, and although it has driven most of recent human genetic evolution, it is hardly fair to call this "human nature" just yet.

Indeed, recall that my premise of "natural law" had a nuclear family with a head of household living as an individual sovereign on his own land with his own tools/weapons. "A man's home is his castle." "Every man a king." These are not just sales pitches if we take individual sovereignty and human nature seriously. Think about the population structure of the people founding the US.

The clear outcome of this contract between Americans would be a massive exodus from the cities back to "God, country and the good life" -- as a lifestyle preference, not a professional preference. As to advanced medical care, death is not a "disease" that can be "cured". It is build into our very nature as a sexually reproducing species. What we can expect to happen is that by getting the government out of anything to do with medical care, there would be a wide variety of choices available at much lower cost.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Carrying capacity

ironman77: Further, How does a sovereign country account for population growth

This is really the same thing as asking for the definition of "sufficient" property: What is the carrying capacity of the national territory vs its population?

It is axiomatic in all currently "respectable" conceptions of political economy, that voluntary family planning is adequate to avoid a Malthusian crisis given technological civilization's creation of the so-called "demographic transition". This contract shares that axiom. It may be a false axiom, but if so, there simply is no possible political platform that is both practical and "respectable". Argue with others, not me. I have offered up another contract that does not rely on this axiom, but it is no more "respectable" than is state intervention in reproduction -- although it is my ultimate preference for a contract between sovereign individuals.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Excellent questions.

I hope that jabowery will return to answer these.
In the meantime, let me give you my personal shoot from the hip.

"Sufficient property" is one of those "Devil in the details" items that could and should be amenable to redefinition.

In reality, there IS a level of "sufficient property" whether we can define it adequately or not. But we need to understand that this is a concept inextricably bound to survival; survival in a Darwinian/sociobiological sense.

Do population growth and economic disasters (famine, hurricanes, malinvestment, etc.)put a strain on a nation's resources? Of course they do.

And if the strain is great enough, people die of starvation. With lesser strains, people fail to reproduce (as the cost of supporting a family becomes prohibitive).

Historically, whenever the percentage of the population threatened by these alternatives becomes high enough, a revolution occurs and a new government (i.e. wealth re-distribution scheme) is established.

The more visible and unequal the distribution of wealth, the sooner the citizens revolt.

Any definition of natural law and natural rights which ignores their roots in survival/reproduction is inadequate at best.

THIS is the Achilles heel of any free society.
Idealists who glibly place property rights ahead of survival (and reproduction!)of the citizenry are dooming their society to failure.

In your example of the elder approaching "retirement"; there is no easy solution. Our instincts allow us to respect and value them in general. In the past they were a scarce resource of knowledge and accumulated wisdom.
But what of a society in which the infirm elderly are legion, outnumbering the productive and reproductive segments of the population?

This isn't just a problem for jabowery's society.
It is a universal problem for any civilization whose medical technologies have allowed population increases (by increasing lifespans, decreasing infant and maternal mortality, etc.) beyond the productive capacity of their human and natural resources.

******************************
The Virtual Conspiracy

This will never be a "popular" thread...

... for the same reason that I do not believe that this could be a platform that would "sweep libertarians to victory".

The whole concept is too difficult for most people to understand. The learning curve is too steep.

But this could be a HISTORIC thread if people with intelligence and intellectual integrity took the time and effort to understand just what jabowery is proposing. His sometimes obscure and convoluted descriptions are actually an admirable attempt to reconcile libertarian principles with the dangerous servant that is government.

For example, the fact that his system of taxation focuses on WEALTH as opposed to INCOME, is critical.

This eliminates the most egregious aspects of the "Income Tax"; the fact that it punishes productivity/investment while encouraging hoarding or rent seeking behaviors.

It also links that most legitimate function of government, the protection of property rights, with an equitable way of paying for that service. (i.e., He who has the most to protect, pays the most to protect it.)

The fact that he also has designed an equitable way for defining a homestead exemption recognizes the fact that no just system of taxation can take from a man that minimum necessary for his survival (equally apportioned or not).

The fact that he expresses it in terms that are difficult to comprehend on first reading does NOT render them any less valid or valuable to the cause of freedom.

******************************
The Virtual Conspiracy

Political practicality

spacehabitats: "I do not believe that this could be a platform that would "sweep libertarians to victory"."

I agree that it is a platform that would, in the present circumstances, be less practical than The Laboratory of the States platform that I have proposed as a "next election" potential for victory. However, if by "near term" one means the next decade, we have to consider the changes likely to occur over those years.

Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute has proposed a citizen's dividend of about $1000/month as a way of placing social goods "In Our Hands" despite his preference for totally private distribution of social goods. Of the practicality of his citizen's dividend proposal, he writes: "The projected costs of the current system and of the Plan cross in 2011. By 2020, the Plan would cost $549 billion less than a continuation of the current system—again, projecting no increase whatsoever in the percentage of people making $50,000 or more. This statement does not take transition costs into account—but, on the other hand, a system that promises to cost half a trillion dollars less than the current system per year by 2020 leaves a lot of wiggle room for dealing with transition costs."

Indeed, he argues for not only the political practicality of a proposal such as his, but for its 10-year inevitability given the current trends of the welfare state.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Social fabric will tear apart due to special interests.

An interesting excerpt from Parapundit:

I find the bigger context of sustained economic stagnation very important. Tyler Cowen argues that America needs continuing economic growth in order to buy off interest groups. Take away that economic growth and the social fabric will tear apart. Just what will that look like?

Japanese politics is less competitive and Japanese rent-seeking is less competitive than in the United States. Sustained near-zero growth in the United States would mean that interest groups tear apart the social fabric and grab too lustily at the social surplus. Whether we like it or not, we are "built to grow" and we use the fruits of that growth to buy off interest groups as we go along. Japan in contrast has greater capacity to stifle these grabs for new redistributions because their politics is more of an insider's game.

Suppose economic stagnation continues. The US is already in the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Buy off interest groups? Revenue collapses at local governments are so severe that many cities are in the process of un-buying off interest groups. These revenue collapses mean most of the big state spending cuts still lie in the future. After pretending to produce a balanced budget the California legislature just passed a budget with a 11% deficit. Lots of states are at risk of default with California and Illinois the biggest fiscal basket cases. With huge unfunded retirement liabilities their problems are going to grow much larger even if the economy eventually recovers for a few years.

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans

Sorry , totally bogus

theory..Your own concept kills itself..

Please do elaborate...

In what way does this contract kill itself? Because it merely approximates true legitimacy? Does it matter that the "approximation" not only is more legitimate than anything ever proposed by von Mises or Thomas Jefferson, but is guaranteed political victory precisely because it is more directly founded on natural law?

If you read nothing else, read this: A Contract Between Americans