Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Libertarianism, a sneak peek

So imagine this.  Your favorite "just distribution" scheme has been totally implemented.  You choose which one, but the net result is that everyone has the amount that they need, no one has an excess because that is unjust.  The details don't matter, just that you have been able to implement it.

Wilt Chamberlain, the star of the Los Angeles Lakers, announces that he will completely forgo his salary.  Instead there will be donation buckets at the arena whenever the Lakers play.  Each fan can drop any portion of the ticket price into the donation buckets.  If a ticket costs $20, the fan gets to drop any portion of that twenty into the bucket and pay the rest to the ticket seller to get into the game.

Wilt Chamberlain, for those of you who either don't follow basketball or are too young to remember, was one of the great players in the history of the game.  From his Wikipedia entry:
He is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50points in a season. He also won seven scoring, nine field goal percentage, and eleven rebounding titles, and once even led the league in assists.[3] Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, a feat he accomplished nine times. He is also the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career.

Predictably he will soon be making a lot of money.  People will want to see him play and they will give a greater percentage to his donation buckets because he is the reason that they are going to the games.  He will become fabulously wealthy.

So how can the system that you chose really provide equality if people can destroy that equality, that justice through their voluntary actions?  No one coerced the fans into putting money in the buckets, they chose to do so.  The "just distribution" system that was implemented has been destroyed by the voluntary transactions of the members of that system.  The new system must be just because it was completely voluntary.  A truly just system, then, might be one that depends on voluntary transactions, completely free of coercion, as in any other system it requires the intervention of government to prevent you from making those voluntary transactions.

Just a thought.

For more read Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozik, available from Amazon.

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