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221  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 17, 2012, 02:56:32 AM
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But less than that I have fenced in, and in a different manner. Suffice it to say I consider a boundary marking of some sort sufficient effort put into land, in itself sufficient alteration of the land thus enclosed, to claim it.
So, it has to be a certain level of alteration?  And a certain type?  What level, what type?

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Well, if you staked out land at random, and it happened to have some value to someone, you got lucky, just as if you had registered sex.com in the very early days of the internet. By the same logic, you could ask how a single $22 share of Apple in 1980 entitles you to almost $3900 of Apple stocks today. It's called wise (or lucky) investment.
Saying that I got lucky doesn't answer the question of what value I provided.  You're right, domain name grabbing is the same, it produces no value.  Investing in a company is different, because you provided $22 of value when you bought that share, and in doing so helped build the company.

What good have I done you by grabbing land or a domain name you want before you have a chance?  If I hadn't done that, and no one else did, you would get those things for free, so by doing them I didn't help you in any way.  Why should you have to pay me when all I did was inconvenience you?
222  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 17, 2012, 01:53:18 AM
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But you are directly altering that plot of land that is fenced in. Just ask FirstAscent, by separating it from the rest of the land around it, you are changing (even if subtly) it's nature.
By that logic, you've also altered the land on the other side of the fence, too.  Aside from that, I don't know where to start with all the further questions that statement raises.

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I would not necessarily be better off without you, for presumably you have determined why I should value that land over someone else's, yes? If not, then I can just as well go and stake my own claim elsewhere, or go to someone who has evaluated their land's value.
How is that necessarily the case?  I could have just staked out land at random.  You could have determined the value yourself.  In fact, it might have been you who made it valuable in the first place, by developing the surrounding area.  It could be the only land available that fits your needs, so you can't go elsewhere.

As to the issue of security firms, my challenge stands, and there's no point in saying anything else.
223  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 17, 2012, 01:06:52 AM
Ok, I read that chapter.  The wikipedia quote was not misleadingly taken out of context.  The writers of that book do not defend the "mixing labor with land" idea.  Instead, they advocate the idea that people can claim land just by marking the boundaries.  I wonder if you may have misunderstood one or the other if you say they're the same.

I contend that boundary marking is sufficient labor to claim the land.
It's not just "cultivating" land that makes it yours, it's putting some labor into it. That labor could be as simple as fencing it, or putting up some signs and breaking a trail through it. You can certainly own a hunting preserve or a campground.

I would suggest reading the rest of the book, not just that chapter. I also suggest, to address our other discussion, The production of security, by Gustave de Molinari.
Earlier I asked you how much land a given act of labor entitles you to.  You answered, "as much as you alter with that work,".  Marking boundaries does not alter the entire area enclosed by those boundaries, just the boundaries themselves.  So, if building a fence entitles you to the entire area enclosed by that fence, then some acts of labor entitle you to more land than you directly alter.  Which acts, how much, who decides?

Even if you can come up with a consistent policy, it's still rather arbitrary to determine ownership this way.  If I mark some land as my own you have to pay me to use it, why?  What value did I provide to you in exchange for the payment you give me to buy "my" land?  You would be better off if I didn't exist, and yet you're paying me.

Thanks for the recommendation, I may check it out sometime.  I didn't think there was another discussion.  I thought I laid out my terms simply enough:  Start your security company, show that you can protect your clients from governmental violence, and I may consider switching from my current provider.  I have a few complaints about my current service plan, but they have an exemplary record in one area which I prioritize highly: that of existence.
224  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 16, 2012, 09:55:51 PM
Ok, I read that chapter.  The wikipedia quote was not misleadingly taken out of context.  The writers of that book do not defend the "mixing labor with land" idea.  Instead, they advocate the idea that people can claim land just by marking the boundaries.  I wonder if you may have misunderstood one or the other if you say they're the same.

I find their system almost as arbitrary.  Here's two other quotes from them:
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And if a large chunk of land is acquired by a man who is too lazy or stupid to make a productive use of it, other men, operating within the framework of the free market, will eventually be able to bid it away from him and put it to work producing wealth.
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An environment of justice is based on the moral principle of "value for value"--that no man may justifiably expect to receive value from others without giving values in exchange...
So, the lazy man has a right to sell and receive payment for the land, just because he staked it out.  What value did he give for the value of land ownership?  What service did he provide to his buyers?  He got to the land before they could, but what good does that do them?  Why should they pay him for it?
225  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 16, 2012, 07:23:58 PM
That first step is going to be the hardest part.  Tongue
226  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 16, 2012, 05:34:49 PM
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I think you just have a poor understanding of homesteading theory. It's not just "cultivating" land that makes it yours, it's putting some labor into it. That labor could be as simple as fencing it, or putting up some signs and breaking a trail through it. You can certainly own a hunting preserve or a campground.
I'll freely admit that I don't know much about homesteading theory.  What acts constitute putting labor into land?  How much land does a given act of labor entitle you to?  Who decides?
Well, the simple answers are: "any sort of work," "as much as you alter with that work," and "nobody, unless there's a dispute." For a more detailed explanation, here's a good start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_principle
You contradict yourself.  First you said that putting up signs or fencing some land makes it yours, but under the principle of "as much as you alter with that work", you would only be able to claim the holes into which you shoved the sign and fence posts.

Incidentally, I have read the wikipedia article, and it did not answer any of my questions.  In fact, this quote raises some of the very same questions.
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    An old and much respected theory holds that for a man to come into possession of a previously unowned value it is necessary for him to "mix his labor with the land" to make it his own. But this theory runs into difficulties when one attempts to explain what is meant by "mixing labor with land." Just how much labor is required, and of what sort? If a man digs a large hole in his land and then fills it up again, can he be said to have mixed his labor with the land? Or is it necessary to effect a somewhat permanent change in the land? If so, how permanent?...Or is it necessary to effect some improvement in the economic value of the land? If so, how much and how soon?...Would a man lose title to his land if he had to wait ten months for a railroad line to be built before he could improve the land?...And what of the naturalist who wanted to keep his land exactly as it was in its wild state to study its ecology?...[M]ixing one's labor with the land is too ill-defined a concept and too arbitrary a requirement to serve as a criterion of ownership.

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The existence of other violent gangs does not necessitate kowtowing to a violent gang yourself. Security can be provided on the market, like any other service.
Again, prove that it's possible by doing it.
Working on it.
Great, let me know when you're finished.  In the meantime, let's just agree that while functioning, enduring anCap would be great, if we have to have a state land tax is one of the better ways to fund it.
227  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 16, 2012, 05:02:16 AM
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I think you just have a poor understanding of homesteading theory. It's not just "cultivating" land that makes it yours, it's putting some labor into it. That labor could be as simple as fencing it, or putting up some signs and breaking a trail through it. You can certainly own a hunting preserve or a campground.
I'll freely admit that I don't know much about homesteading theory.  What acts constitute putting labor into land?  How much land does a given act of labor entitle you to?  Who decides?

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The existence of other violent gangs does not necessitate kowtowing to a violent gang yourself. Security can be provided on the market, like any other service.
Again, prove that it's possible by doing it.
228  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Fair Tax and black markets on: October 16, 2012, 03:11:13 AM
If not the government, who says your land is yours?  I really don't see how any individual can claim land ownership by natural right.  

Some people say your right to land comes from cultivating it.  Does that mean you can't own a hunting preserve or a campground?  Can I stop the construction of a hospital by throwing seeds on the planned site?

I've heard other people say you "create" land with your labor of discovering it.  However, land has changed hands by coercive force many times through history.  Who can prove, if challenged, that the land in their possession has been transferred to them from its original discoverer by an unbroken chain of voluntary transactions, no duress involved in any of them?  If coercion was involved at any stage, then the land is stolen property.  By what right, then, do you continue to possess it?  It may be too late to return it to its original owners, but how does that make it yours?

I consider land ownership to be a concept that does not exist in nature.  It is a convention that societies create and follow.  If you can show me how it can exist without anyone to decree it, I invite you to.

I think a much more logical and practical position is to say that while individuals have an inalienable right to own themselves and their labor, natural things rightfully belong to the commons.  Whenever something is taken from the commons for private use, compensation is owed to the commons.  That, I think, is the moral basis behind the land tax.

As to the issue of how land value is calculated, that's a source of doubt in this idea for me as well.  I'm reading Progress and Poverty now, so I'm hoping to see what Henry George proposed.  However, if all else fails, even if it was a flat rate per square meter regardless of location I think that wouldn't be too bad.  It would lose some of the advantages, but it would be better than sales or income tax.

The reason I don't like sales tax much better than income tax is that it implies a similar level of oversight and control.  In order to enforce it, the government has to know where the shops are, which means we need business registration.  The government needs to know the price of everything in the official currency (let's say USD), so you have to do all your accounting in USD.  The government needs to know you aren't cheating, so they need to be able to look at your records whenever they want to.  Garage sales and lemonade stands become technically illegal.

On the other hand, with a land tax, the only thing the government needs to know is what land you claim ownership over.  Land owners can keep a supply of USD for paying taxes, while society does business with bitcoin or whatever else they want.  There's no need to register businesses.  If you want to sell something or provide a service for money, you just do it.  There's no easy way to cheat, so there's no need for a huge bureaucracy to oversee everything.

One last thought: If you don't need the government to protect your land, prove it by protecting it from the governments of the world.  Then you won't have to pay any taxes.

@Littleshop - A tax that won't "discourage good activities or alter behavior that is not negative"? And what tax is that?
229  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Gary Johnson Debates Obama and Romney Live on: October 15, 2012, 10:12:34 PM
That's what I've read.  It certainly reduces the spoiler effect, greatly, but since one candidate can knock another one to a lower level, there's still the potential for similar candidates to inadvertently sabotage each other.

I don't have a full understanding of the math involved, but that's what I read.  One of these days I need to run some simulations of my own.

You know, I wonder what effect approval voting would have on parties.  One of the functions of parties in the current system, the primaries, would be rendered unnecessary.

I'm sure it would mean that campaigns were more positive than negative since it would be more advantageous to make sure your own views and opinions got out there than to spend time and money tearing down a dozen other candidates.

approval voting woudln't help that
Why wouldn't it?

On the matter of parties, what I was wondering is whether or not primary voting would still be necessary.  There would be no disadvantage to one party running multiple candidates.  There could be both party-wide campaigning (vote for a member of our party) and individual campaigning (vote for me specifically).  Then again, I suppose they would still need to come to some agreement about which group of candidates they endorse.
230  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Gary Johnson Debates Obama and Romney Live on: October 15, 2012, 04:04:32 AM
That's what I've read.  It certainly reduces the spoiler effect, greatly, but since one candidate can knock another one to a lower level, there's still the potential for similar candidates to inadvertently sabotage each other.

I don't have a full understanding of the math involved, but that's what I read.  One of these days I need to run some simulations of my own.

You know, I wonder what effect approval voting would have on parties.  One of the functions of parties in the current system, the primaries, would be rendered unnecessary.
231  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin Wallet Poll on: October 12, 2012, 06:43:23 PM
I use My Wallet (Blockchain.info) to keep track of my brain wallet, but I don't store the keys there.

Right now, when I want to spend, I import the key, then delete it when I'm done.  I need to find a way to spend that doesn't expose me to the possibility that the key will be stolen by someone hacking blockchain and poisoning the javascript.
232  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Gary Johnson Debates Obama and Romney Live on: October 12, 2012, 06:08:10 PM
You know, after doing some research on the various systems, I think I've been convinced to support approval voting.

I've seen that instant run-off doesn't eliminate the spoiler effect, and approval voting is easier to understand and closer to what we have now.
233  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin framing on: October 11, 2012, 04:02:29 AM
On a somewhat related note, I wonder if it would be possible to peg bitcoin against gold rather than USD.  Rather than saying "I'll pay you $50 worth of bitcoin", you can say, "I'll pay you 0.03 oz of gold worth of bitcoin."
www.coinabul?
It's a start, but you'd need charts and such.  An api that allows third party websites to gain real time data on the exchange rate.  Also a flat bitcoin per ounce rate would be nice.
234  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Bitcoin framing on: October 10, 2012, 07:30:58 PM
On a somewhat related note, I wonder if it would be possible to peg bitcoin against gold rather than USD.  Rather than saying "I'll pay you $50 worth of bitcoin", you can say, "I'll pay you 0.03 oz of gold worth of bitcoin."
235  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Gary Johnson Debates Obama and Romney Live on: October 10, 2012, 06:47:30 PM
I really ought to decide which voting scheme I'm most in favor of, but really almost all of them would be better than the current system.

I don't think it's out of the question that at least a few states may adopt a different scheme.
236  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Women and free market on: October 10, 2012, 05:17:57 PM
I do hope you realize that women are perfectly capable of breaking familial commitments as well.

Not during pregnancy. About (late) abortion, even libertarians are divided.

I was objecting to your statement that "There is no guarantee that a guy would stay and form a family, especially in these modern times."  I wasn't sure if you were implying the idea that all women and only women are good parents, which is a sexist and harmful stereotype.  Libertarians and society may be divided about abortion, but there are still women who will pursue the option when its available.  Most divorces are initiated by women.

Speaking of abortion and relative advantage, what do you think of the fact that under our current code of law, women are given all the power in this decision?  If a woman decides to have an abortion, the father can't do anything about it.  If a woman decides to keep the child, the father can't do anything and may have to pay child support.  Is this the kind of solution to the problem that you would support?

I reject the premise that childbearing is a service to "society".  It is a service to the biological parents, because it fulfills a biological urge, and to the child's family, because it provides a possible continuance of their culture and values.  I have no vested interest in the children of people who are unrelated to me biologically and culturally.  They might grow up to contribute to society in the form of labor, but if there's a labor shortage more can always be imported.
237  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Women and free market on: October 10, 2012, 07:30:59 AM
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There is no guarantee that a guy would stay and form a family, especially in these modern times.

Look, the more primitive a civilization is, the more patriarchal it tends to be. And this is exactly what "progressives" want to get away from.
There could be a contract.  Ideally, one drawn up by the individuals involved in the compact, not one handed down by the state.  I think the current deal offered by the state has serious shortcomings, but that's another tangent.

I do hope you realize that women are perfectly capable of breaking familial commitments as well.

If they want to get away from the time-proven solutions, that's fine, but they have to come up with an alternative on their own.  Passing the cost onto society should not be among the options to consider.
238  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Gary Johnson Debates Obama and Romney Live on: October 10, 2012, 06:01:21 AM
What we need is not to tout one person to get in there but to tout a fudnamental change to the system

such as iniatiate alternative voting, watch this fantastic video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3jE3B8HsE
Wow, that's an awesome explanation.  I've been saying for years that we need instant run-off voting.  I even wrote to my state representatives about it, but I got no response.

yeah i better start calling it instant runoff voting Smiley keep my names correct

a similar video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqblOq8BmgM
Aren't they both correct terms?  Personally, I prefer instant runoff because it's more obvious what it means from the name.

That video's not bad, but I liked the jungle animals even better. Smiley
239  Economy / Scam Accusations / Re: How can a place sell bitcoin for so cheap? on: October 10, 2012, 01:41:37 AM
And they're buying bitcoin for $7.7 each.  You could make unlimited money buying and selling to them.  Wink

Yeah, I would stay far away if I was you.  Also if I was me, which I am, which is why I won't be buying from them.
240  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Gary Johnson Debates Obama and Romney Live on: October 10, 2012, 12:39:57 AM
What we need is not to tout one person to get in there but to tout a fudnamental change to the system

such as iniatiate alternative voting, watch this fantastic video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3jE3B8HsE
Wow, that's an awesome explanation.  I've been saying for years that we need instant run-off voting.  I even wrote to my state representatives about it, but I got no response.
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