9 votes

At what point should a new law be made?

According to the media this year is the worst year we ever had in congress because they passed the least amount of laws ever, or something like that.

Tell a democrat that obomacare is bad and he will tell you the republicans didnt pass a law and obomacare is better than nothing.

Philosophically the left thinks new laws are always good things, but as we know law always demands the use of force, so at what point is it okay for the government to use force? Who am I kidding often the left and right think the new laws are almost always good.

when should a new law be passed? What is your answer to this? in all honesty I am asking this question because at this point the answer is deeper than I can go, and I would imagine any insight would improve the answer. And I see a need to answer this question cause it seems to me its the unasked question in politics right now.

please dont riddle this thread with comments about how we need to get rid of a bunch of laws, I agree, at this point I think it should be easier to repeal laws than make them but that is not the question.

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Laws are not created, they are discovered.

Laws should never be created, they already exist and are simply put onto a piece of paper. Start with the most basic law, life. We all have the right to our life, thus a law simply makes it official. Society has determined that killing or restricting another's life is not acceptable and thus a law has been put in place simply to make it official. A law that protects a person's life is a just law, it doesn't infringe on anyone elses rights; that is why we have a judicial system, to insure that laws are just. OBAMACARE, NDAA, Patriot Act, and millions of other laws are not just laws because they infringe on the rights of others.

This is an interesting chart...

I think I maybe agree with you

but I don't perceive sentences or punctuation or paragraphs or such. I'm not sure what you are saying.

Laws are just a product

They should be passed when someone is willing to pay to enforce them. They should be 'repealed' when no one is willing to pay anymore.

The problem we have is that we can socialize the cost of all our big ideas onto our fellow men.

This would not happen in a free society.

IE if people had to pay to ban pot or prostitution or gay sex themselves, or run around enforcing it themselves as a DIY project, it won't happen, period.

Laws in an area could be anything, but in practice, since the only common ground is the NAP, laws that support the NAP will tend to be the ones everyone is willing to band together to pay for.

Just like with the healthcare market, or education, or banking, or real estate, the problem is government intervention leading to more intervention.

Very much in common with health care is people do not directly perceive the costs. Since people don't directly pay for healthcare they will get any silly needless procedure. Since people don't directly pay for all the silly ideas they want men with guns to enforce, they want to enforce any stupid bullhsit they dream up.

In a purely free market legal system

a private judge would make a ruling that would become a precedent for future judgments. The rulings would be for contract disputes and torts.

The question may not be "did I break a law?" Rather, the question may be "did I violate a contract condition?" or "Am I guilty of a tort against someone?"

What other laws do you need?

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Laws are redundant.

Lets start repealing and reforming laws. Rand Paul 2016 slogan: "Read my lips. No. New. Laws!"

That's the same argument

That's the same argument people socialists make about communism.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

far less frequently

It used to be that democrats were for more laws, bigger government, flexible interpretations of the constitution. And it used to be that republicans wanted small government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, free markets, and strict controls on the federal government.

With those two parties controlling everything, it was harder to pass bad legislation. The other party would always call it what it was. Gridlock was good thing.

Then the two parties both lost all their principles and decided to act just like each other, and just like big special interests want. This means there is no force in congress to prevent most bad laws.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

"Gridlock was a good thing"

Yup, it's funny how politicians do their best work when they can't get anything done and spend most of the time cutting each others throats.


PJ O'Rourke wrote about this in Parliament of Whores - how the fact that one party wouldn't agree witht he other was actually a good thing and the way the founding fathers wanted it.

Now with the one party system, we don't even have that...

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

deacon's picture

When they can say

how or why they think they are LAWMAKERS

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

If ...

I was a statist of the minarchist variety I might argue:

Premise: A function of law is revenge.
Premise: Two wrongs do not make a right.
Premise: Revenge is not grace, mercy, or love.
Premise: Revenge is evil.
Premise: A function of law is uniformity.
Premise: Enforcing law is to trespass against an alleged wrong doer without regard to their consent.
Premise: Application of law is a trespass.

If I was going to start off with premises like that I might shoot to build an argument whereas the conclusion leads to something like:

Trespassing can never be just so let trespasses of law be constrained to causes arising from a victim. Revenge ought to be reserved for cases where there is an actual harm, injury, or property damage (some might also advocate including a real threat of harm, injury, or property damage which is the slippery slope of pre-crime especially if the penalties of pre-crime are the same as a crime). Law ought to codify the who, what, how, where, and why of known harms, injuries, or property damages.

In an effort to provide an answer to your question from a statist perspective I would say a new law ought to be considered when a form of harm, injury, or property damage becomes known. Is this new known form of harm, injury, or property damage already adequately addressed by existing law? Should it be itemized as a subset of an existing harm, injury, or property damage with its own codified penalties or is it a new category?

However I am not a big fan of the term law because based on what most people believe it generally implies law is good when the reality is law is a trespass or act of revenge which has nothing to do with grace, mercy, or love. I am not a fan of cloaking what essentially constitutes a trespass as a great good by simply calling it law.

It seems to me a so called Christian society or one founded on Judeo-Christian values ought to frown upon people using law to obtain revenge. It seems to me the Christian is commanded to forgive, love thy enemy, etc. Perhaps there is a whole lot more Judeo in law than Christian.

I think you posed a question worth considering and decided to weigh in and write whatever came to mind whether it is silly or not to help kick start a conversation.

Edit and FYI:

PHREEDOM made a nice comment in another thread about principals versus agents and how there can be no liable principles in a secret ballot system which is well worth considering if we are talking about so called laws without victims, harm, injuries, or property damage which are essentially revenue offenses for not being a good enough citizen slave with tributes.


statism and minarchism are not synonymous or equivalent

A minarcist is a libertarian. As both, I can say I disagree with your attempt to equate minarchism with statism. Libertarians and minarchists are by definition persons that fear and distrust the state, and that is why they want it limited.

As to your list of premises - it is hard to respond to as it is unclear which ones you are claiming that statists believe in, and you state some in the positive and some in the negative, and at least two are hopelessly vague. But here goes:

Premise: A function of law is revenge. (It is not)
Premise: Two wrongs do not make a right. (I think what you meant to say is that statists feel two wrongs do make a right, which a minarchist would disagree with).
Premise: Revenge is not grace, mercy, or love. (I'm not sure anyone would say that it is, except maybe Dick Cheney or McCain).
Premise: Revenge is evil. (Again, are you saying statists believe this? Because I don't think they do as an absolute. But a minarchist would believe this as a generality).
Premise: A function of law is uniformity. (I'm not sure all statists would think this, but only the socialistic ones if any).
Premise: Enforcing law is to trespass against an alleged wrong doer without regard to their consent. (Only an anarchist would believe this, and even then that depends on who is doing the enforcing, so it is difficult to comment on this point as it is unclear).
Premise: Application of law is a trespass. (frankly, gibberish, and still unclear. What law, what application, by whom?).

"there can be no liable principles in a secret ballot system."
What are you talking about? ARe you trying to say that elections shouldn't have secret ballots? Ok, that has some validity, maybe, on some grounds and that is why the caucus votes are public during the primaries.

Or are you trying to say that jury verdicts are somehow the same things as secret ballots and therefore defiicent somehow?

Please clarify your position so that it makes sense.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

I am not sure

how you can argue minarchism is not a subset of statism. Are there any minarchists who advocate for a limited form of government that is not a state? If so what limited form of governance are they advocating for? Is a constitutional republic comprised of states?

"Premise: A function of law is revenge. (It is not)"

Let us start here ... you simply state "it is not" without any rationale. I was going to cite a definition of revenge, etc. and see if we agree on terms but then I realized just because we might agree on terms that does not mean those terms generate the same images in our minds.

This is not a medium where I can conveniently illustrate and I really do not feel like going back and forth debating the definitions of words. I have already engaged in some of those debates and perhaps my mood is simply sour because I have a funeral to attend tomorrow. Looking at your reply overall I feel like what I would be trying to communicate and what you would be attempting to communicate are vastly different necessitating several images to see if we agree on anything the terms we are using represent.

For example:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

However the line does not entirely represent what law is as that would require more pictures if law means something like a system of rules which are enforced by social institutions. Nor is point c illustrated so is there even agreement on what point c is, etc.

I find it ironic as hell I am writing this comment after figuratively brow beating another poster recently for an unwillingness to debate when their ideas are questioned. But I have also been thinking alot today about another post I made earlier about providing valuable content for free. I am just kind of in a mood right now where I am like ... meh ... why don't I just write a book or start a site where I can write about whatever I want. Again, perhaps it is a close death on my mind and I am just out of character at the moment. Perhaps I will respond, perhaps I won't.

some interesting definitions there

I have never heard of anyone defining a minarchist as anything but a libertarian.

If you do, that is a first.

I've also never heard of anyone defining either a libertarian or a minarchist as a statist.

If you do, that is a first.

But even taking such a broad and in my experience, unprecedented definition of statism - there are still no minarchists who would espouse the predatory big government beliefs that you seem to be listing. Not in my experience at least.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

RE: "broad and in my experience, unprecedented definition of


I am pretty sure the definition of state regurgitated by libertarians is an entity with a monopoly of force over a given geographical territory.

If you are claiming minarchists are not advocating for entities with a monopoly of force over given geographical territories that would be a first. To claim that narrow, precise definition is unprecedented or broad would be a first.

To suggest from a statist point of view a new law should be considered when a harm becomes known is hardly predatory big government beliefs for a viewpoint that advocates protecting liberty and property is the proper role of government.

ChristianAnarchist's picture

Can we pass a law that makes

Can we pass a law that makes all laws null and void??

Beware the cult of "government"...



The creation, production and fair exchange of values is the business of evolving consciousness, love and life.--Craig Johnson

When it is necessary...

When it is necessary for the protection of the person, property or liberties of the people.

The best example of a good law is the first one God gave to man.

This is from my church's website:

Genesis 2:15 says, "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." There's the purpose for Adam being in the garden. But purpose and law are not the same. Here's the first law God gave to man:
Gen 2:16-17 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Here is the first law mentioned in the Bible. Laws are not needed in an environment where people can do whatever they want and all they want to do is right. It is only when there are people who want to do wrong that laws become necessary.

Some things you need to know about laws:

They must be needed to protect something, either your life, your property, your liberty, or a God-given right.
They must be good. Bad laws have no right to exist.
They must be right. Wrong and law just don't mix.
They must have a consequence. If there is no consequence there is no deterrent to those who would in any way do you harm.
They must be enforceable. What good is a law that is not enforceable?

Notice that these characteristics are all found in the first law God gave to Adam in the garden.

The law was given to protect man from knowing good and evil, so he could remain innocent.
It was a good law. Just notice how everyone loves the innocence of a little baby. It's good to not know evil in a perfect world.
It was a right law. Man had no need to know such things in paradise, so it was right to have a law that would help keep it that way.
The consequence was death.
It was enforceable. God has power to judge; to give life and to take it.

The reason God gave the law beside to protect them was to test them. God needed to test their willingness to obey Him out of gratitude for His many blessings and for continued fellowship. This only makes sense in light of the fact that when man makes a product, he puts it through vigorous tests, especially if he is going to sell the product for use.


Direct link:


Scroll down to the heading "God Gave Man a Law".

I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said,

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."

There are not many wiser, succinct statements regarding law making than this.

Wow! Just think, only one law!!! (Proof that God is good!)

Adam was the freest man who ever lived!

...until he was corrupted.

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

fireant's picture

When it passes constitutional muster.

Don't skim over that thought. The constitution, when applied correctly, establishes a very high bar for enacting legislation. Most of what is on the books now would never be passed.
Bottom line is they will never apply constitutional constraints unless we make them.

Undo what Wilson did

I have an answer to that one my friend

Will Rogers once said, "we should not start a new war until the last war is paid for"
I would paraphrase that and say, "we should not enact a new law until the ones we have work" and "we should not enact a new entitlement program until the ones we have are paid for"

IMHO every law and government department we have should have a sunset clause. Let congress vote on it and if it does not pass, allow it to expire. Too many of these were well intended and were a good idea at the time, but turned out to have negative unintended consequences.