Is Minarchism On A Slippery Slope?

Principled Minarchism

Some minarchists hold that people should not be allowed to free-ride on the contributions of others toward guaranteed access to a system for protecting life, liberty, and property, but rather must help finance them through a uniform system of marginal taxation on resource use, negative externalities, and land value, as decided under the rule of law by a maximally-decentralized democratic federal constitutional republic.

It's a fallacy of the excluded middle to claim that imperfect justice is perfect injustice. I define "justice for all" as minimizing the net incidence of aggression, using a (metaphorical) aggression-weighting function that recognizes the vast difference between 1) a marginal tax on many people's land value instituted under the rule of law by a maximally-decentralized democratic federal constitutional republic, and 2) the weakest falling victim to the murderous predation of the strongest whenever there is a gap in the charity or fortitude of everybody else. I wouldn't agree that "justice" can only mean the miraculous absence of all aggression, and that the first scintilla of aggression invokes some kind of moral equivalence with absolute absence of justice.

A Taxonomy of Market Interventions

In Libertarian Taxation Theory I describe a hierarchy of principled distinctions among forms of taxation. This hierarchy allows a minarchist to say some kinds of taxes are less bad than others, without conceding that the existence of any one kind of tax can justify every other possible kind of tax. An expanded and more-loosely-ordered hierarchy that considers other forms of state interventions in markets might include the following.

Fines on Negative Externalities

Resource Consumption Fees

Enclosure Fees

Public Good: Defense Against Injustice

Network Natural Monopolies

Public Good: Preventing Damage Due To Holdouts

Public Good: Preventing Deaths Due To Misfortune

Public Good: Providing Positive Externalities

Setting Defaults To Counter Irrationality

"Libertarian Paternalism"

  • Set defaults regarding insurance, retirement savings, etc. but allow opting out

Setting Defaults To Counter Free-Riding

  • Set default contributions to non-ground-rent-increasing public goods, but allow public opt-out

Public Good: Preventing Misery

Regulating Economic Risk-Taking

Regulating Land Use

Socializing Network Services

  • Transit services over roads and rails
  • Selling electricity, water, gas via pipes and wires
  • Route-based services like garbage collection, mail delivery

Regulating Unequal Economic Association

Socializing Education

Socializing Agriculture

Socializing Retirement Savings

Socializing Health Insurance

Regulating Health-Related Risk-Taking

Socializing Health Care

Socializing Management of the Workplace

Socializing Ownership of Land

Socializing Ownership of Capital

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