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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Was Rick Barber A Successful Candidate?

Rick Barber was running for Congress in Alabama. He ran controversial ads that practically called for open rebellion against the IRS. Rick Barber lost his primary runoff election.

The mainstream media says "Hahaha! Rick Barber lost the primary! That proves he's a fruitcake! That proves his ideas are wrong!" My reaction was "40% of the vote! That's pretty impressive!"

Just because a specific person loses an election, doesn't mean his anti-IRS message is wrong. The truth is not determined by a majority vote.

It's practically impossible to reduce the size of government by voting. More than half the people work for the government, directly or indirectly. Writing financial software, I'm effectively an indirect State employee. (My software has no economic value, so I only feel slightly guilty.)

When most of the people are direct or indirect State employees, it's impossible to achieve reform by voting. Such a scam is sustainable because not all workers are equally productive. For example, suppose the top 10% of the workers are 10x more productive than everyone else. In a democracy, they'll never get a fair deal. The majority will vote to steal from them via taxes. However, if those top 10% start working off-the-books and withdraw taxation support for the State, then the entire scam collapses.

10x more productive isn't that farfetched. For software engineering, 10x or even 100x productivity differences occur. Productive workers don't get paid much more, due to the State extortion racket. One problem is that a State parasite cannot tell the difference between a genuinely skilled worker, and a skilled parasite. With a monopoly/oligopoly, this inefficiency doesn't matter. In effect, the parasites collude to cheat skilled workers. Via the State, it's hard for skilled workers to start a parasite-free business.

Efficiency differences are noticeable in other areas. Here's an interesting exercise. Whenever you go into a store, ask yourself "Who's the most skilled worker?"

One commenter pointed out:

Barber on agricultural subsidies: "Because I believe that our food supply is directly connected to national defense, I will fight in Washington for productive farmers' protections against market forces."
That's the problem with representative democracy. Every politician has some desirable viewpoints and some desirable ones. Even if he did get elected, Rick Barber might have been just another statist Congressman.

Ron Paul criticizes the excessive Federal budget, but he still gets earmarks for his district. Rick Barber isn't a full anarchist, but it's a step in the right direction. I'm still very offended by statists and pro-State trolls. However, it's still nice to highlight people who are thinking in the right direction.

I saw an interesting analogy. A representative is *NOT* contractually obligated to keep campaign promises. You can't make a deal with your Congressman saying "I agree to vote for you. In exchange, you agree to never vote for tax increases." If your Congressman breaks a campaign promise, your only recourse is to wait until the next election and vote for a different scumbag. If none of the State-approved candidates promise what you want, you're SOL. The representative is not the direct employee of voters. Via secret ballots, how can your Congressman know if you actually voted for him or not?

It's promising that Rick Barber got 40% of the vote. He was able to express strong anti-IRS sentiment without being thrown in jail. It's a step in the right direction. I'm not holding my breath waiting for honest Congressmen to get elected.


dionysusal said...


Question: Can you give to someone else a right that you don't have?

Here are your two possible answers:

YES, I can delegate to others a right that I do not have. That would mean that even though it is IMMORAL for me to do certain things (committing theft, assault, murder, whatever), I can nonetheless bestow moral PERMISSION on someone else, giving them the RIGHT to do such things.

Again, I hope I don't have to go to great lengths to explain why
such a notion is utterly insane. If you don't understand it, don't worry; I'll just bestow upon someone else the right to bludgeon you with a club until you understand it.

(There is a slight variation, which is equally insane, which is the idea that ONE person cannot delegate a right he doesn't have, but that MULTIPLE people can delegate a right which NONE of those people possess. This is about as rational as saying, "No, I can't give you an apple, because I don't have one, but if I get together with some of my friends, NONE of whom has an apple, together we CAN give you an apple." Right.)

So that answer stinks. But here's the only other option:

NO, I cannot delegate to others a right that I do not have. As patently obvious as that is, consider what the logically implies:

The people called "Congress" have NO rights that I don't have. Who
could have GIVEN them such rights, if no one can delegate a right
he himself doesn't possess? If I have no right to "tax" my neighbor, and you have no such right, who could possibly have given the people called "Congress" such a right? In short, NO ONE. You
and I have no right to enact and enforce arbitrary "laws" on our
neighbors. And neither do the people called "Congress," because no one had the power to delegate to them such a right. You and I have no right to rob people, assault people, threaten people, etc. (We can only rightfully use force to DEFEND against an aggressor.) Ergo, the people called "Congress" have no such right to rob, assault, or threaten either, even if they call it "taxation," or "law," or anything else.

justino said...

Yea, I do not see how people expect to reduce government power by voting. That escapes me.

To the larger point, I still would not consider Barber as success, at least no more successful than a thief who nearly got away with his heist.

Scott said...

OK, thanks, I watched that dudes videos. I admire that he is not afraid to speak his mind. Pretty cool he got 40% of the vote.

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