Notes Book

Value of the State

Statists believe the state is justified in using force to enforce laws.

Libertarians believe force should be used only ­in self defense.

Most live by some kind of mixture of the two philosophies.

Those who work directly for the State would seem likely to be the the purest statists and those who avoid the State as much as possible would then be the purest libertarians.

Is a statist more likely to use force or fraud to achieve personal goals than a libertarian?

A statist believes authority is determined by the State.

Libertarians believe authority is earned. People who succeed more often in helping others solve their problems have more authority. Members of the community are more likely to ask people who have helped them before help them again.

Statist commonly perform what would be criminal acts for common people and use the proceeds to purchase authority. Statists believe that authority can be stolen, or extorted.

But the people from whom the statist has extorted taxes have a negative balance with the statists. The statist would like people to assume that tax extortion is justified by the good that is done with the authority purchased by the statist. Libertarians are skeptical of that view.

Statism then must use an arbitrary value approach to economics. That is to say each good or service has an absolute value that can be determined by some objective mechanism controlled by the State.

Then there is the transactional valuation approach favored by Austrian economists. The value of a good or service can only be established by a voluntary transaction. Transactional valuation is directly contradictory to statism. There are very few people who would voluntarily pay taxes to the State. If the value of the services a State performs were to be established by transactional valuation, it would be much lower than the value which the State arbitrarily sets on its own services. The State must suffer from economic delusions of grandeur in order to function.

Taxation makes enemies, causes conflict, and fosters economic delusions.

Fair and free trade brings peace and prosperity.