Comments on: Wilkinson on libertarian principles and welfare policy http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/ Free Markets and Social Justice Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:21:00 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 By: Educated Liberty http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66771 Tue, 12 Apr 2016 02:33:54 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66771 […] start liking it.” So says Will Wilkinson on the Niskanen Center blog, found via some wonks at another blog. I’ll have to dive into both of those more, but it made me think of an idea that I have […]

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By: Ryan P. Long http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66380 Tue, 05 Apr 2016 14:16:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66380 Elsewhere, I have seen other Niskanen affiliates make similar claims about similar, nameless libertarian critics. How many times must this point be made before it starts to take on the appearance of a straw man?

The Niskanen Center seems dedicated to the promotion of things that stand athwart of traditional libertarianism and Wilkinson & Taylor have admitted as much. If their task is to solicit buy-in from the more reasonable subset of libertarians, then maybe it’s time to stop addressing the unreasonable ones and causing this same point of contention that keeps coming up again and again. Don’t you think?

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By: MARK_D_FRIEDMAN http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66287 Mon, 04 Apr 2016 04:29:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66287 Philosophers need a SHARP pencil.

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By: Reasonable Extremist http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66285 Mon, 04 Apr 2016 03:27:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66285 Right. I found it very interesting. I suppose the challenge is what constitutes a rational state of mind. One might think that people who mutilate themselves are irrational for example. As with many other things, there’s a line drawing problem.

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By: MARK_D_FRIEDMAN http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66284 Mon, 04 Apr 2016 02:44:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66284 I read the linked paper quickly, and I am in agreement with his or her argument (I couldn’t find the author’s name). The conclusion is this:

This argument does not imply absolute anti-paternalism. An action with either of the following properties may be paternalistically regulated given that it is known that the action would not be made in a rational state of mind:

• The intent of the action is to achieve death or severe irreversible brain damage

• The action, regardless of intent, entails death or severe irreversible brain damage.

His/her point is that making bad decisions is part of our growth process, and should not be inhibited. That seems right to me. Note the exceptions are for decisions NOT made in a rational state of mind, i.e. not autonomous.

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By: Reasonable Extremist http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66281 Sun, 03 Apr 2016 21:18:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66281 Interesting answer. In your view, are there any circumstances in which paternalism is acceptable apart from those involving minors? This paper raises an interesting challenge in my view http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/linguistics-and-philosophy/24-235j-philosophy-of-law-spring-2012/assignments/MIT24_235JS12_Paternalism.pdf

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By: MARK_D_FRIEDMAN http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66272 Sun, 03 Apr 2016 02:49:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66272 Interesting question. I think it depends on the effect the drug has. If, for example, it makes you the robotic slave of the first person who talks to you, turning the user into a useful hit man or terrorist, I believe society could be justified in prohibiting use (assuming of course that this ban would generally be effective). Here, your right to take the drug is overridden by the dangers to innocent others.

On the other hand, if the drug just plugs you into your own fantasy land (see Nozick’s “experience machine” thought experiment), then I can’t see a good argument for forcing you not to surrender your autonomy. Society might be justified in imposing conditions to assure that you are really making an autonomous choice, but otherwise this case seems indistinguishable from the right to commit suicide.

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By: Reasonable Extremist http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66266 Sat, 02 Apr 2016 19:05:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66266 Hi Mark,

As somebody who got into libertarian thought from the left, the issues that initially brought me in were things like the drug war so I’m very sympathetic to what you say but I wonder how you respond to the idea that certain substances ought to be banned because they are fundamentally antithetical to the maintenance of the critical faculties that make autonomy possible. I’m thinking here of the people who claim that certain drugs are so addictive that the autonomy argument simply cannot be made. I’m quite skeptical of these claims but on empirical grounds (work by scholars like Carl Hart have shown that few, if any drugs, really have this sort of hold on people). I do wonder, though, if there were drugs that really did have these effects on users if we could argue against bans on deontological autonomy/ agency grounds rather than consequentialist ones.

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By: Swami http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66264 Sat, 02 Apr 2016 17:19:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66264 A thousand apologies. Sincerely. My bad.

My point, and mine alone, is that it is true that all successful societies have an element of coercion and coercive redistribution. It is also true that coercion, bureaucracy, rules, rent seeking and redistribution tend to grow over time, usually (possible even always) eventually to the point of weakening society. It therefore implies we should actively favor and experiment with institutions which try to slow or counter this process.* One such idealistic extreme is to build a society bottoms up without any coercive redistribution at all.

I seriously doubt that this ideal will work, but I am certainly open minded and hopeful. Society is too complex to be master planned off self consistent axioms.

* there is another implication too — if we are selfish we should capitalize on the trend by seeking to join government or become a rent seeker or privileged position. I reject this course on moral grounds, but I think the majority of people would not.

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By: Aeon Skoble http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/03/wilkinson-on-libertarian-principles-and-welfare-policy/#comment-66263 Sat, 02 Apr 2016 16:52:00 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10556#comment-66263 No, that’s exactly what I _wasn’t_ doing. My point was in the real world, the one we actually live in, there are zero examples of state power not growing, or bureaucracies not expanding, of political actors pursuing agendas other than their nominal charge. I reread my post, and I can’t see how you could possibly infer from it what you’re accusing me of. I was noting that, in the real world, things don’t work out as neatly as idealists think they will. So that makes _me_ idealistic?

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