A place for Libertarians

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A place for Libertarians

Look!  A new experiment.  When you are feeling really bad about taxes and regulations, there is a place for you in the sun.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/silicon-valley-billionaire-funding-creation-artificial-libertarian-islands-140840896.html

Quote:

Silicon Valley billionaire funding creation of artificial libertarian islands

Pay Pal founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel has given $1.25 million to an initiative to create floating libertarian countries in international waters, according to a profile of the billionaire in Details magazine.

Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach of law-of-the-sea treaties. The idea is for these countries to start from scratch--free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place. Details says the experiment would be "a kind of floating petri dish for implementing policies that libertarians, stymied by indifference at the voting booths, have been unable to advance: no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."

"There are quite a lot of people who think it's not possible," Thiel said at a Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009, according to Details. (His first donation was in 2008, for $500,000.) "That's a good thing. We don't need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don't think it's possible they won't take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it's too late."

The Seasteading Institute's Patri Friedman says the group plans to launch an office park off the San Francisco coast next year, with the first full-time settlements following seven years later.

Thiel made news earlier this year for putting a portion of his $1.5 billion fortune into an initiative to encourage entrepreneurs to skip college.

Another Silicon Valley titan, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, announced in June that he would be funding the "Clock of the Long Now." The clock is designed to keep ticking for 10,000 years, and will be built in a mountain in west Texas.

 

 

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I want in! Not for any

I want in! Not for any reason really, it just seems like an awesome idea even if it is doomed to lead to abject failure and death. It is still something I want to join in on.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Love it

 

 

But what's with the looser gun laws? 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Tempting. If I decide to

 Tempting. If I decide to go Galt. But my main hangup is that I am not fond of the ocean, not sure I would want to live surrounded by it. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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I think it's a waste of

I think it's a waste of money, but it'll be less money than the government wastes.


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Atheistextremist wrote:
Love it

 

But what's with the looser gun laws?

 

That is a libertarian thing. I don't know if you can get them to admit the matter as a platform issue but when they have large gatherings, there are so many guns that police don't even try to enforce the law. That being said, I really would not recommend attempting to commit crimes when you are surrounded by thousands of people in open carry/condition one.

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 I'm concerned about the

 I'm concerned about the "no minimum wage" thing.  How does that work?  


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The no minimum wage thing is actually quite simple.

 

The island is going to need service workers and they will get paid enough to be worth moving to the island or they will not go there. If the only restaurants on the island serve exclusively USD $100 a plate meals, then they will have to make at least enough to eat and pay rent. If you want them to buy stuff while they are there, you will have to pay them that much more.

 

You see, minimum wage has never met what it was set out to do. If it had originally been pegged to the rate of inflation, you would not be able to get someone to sweep the hallways for less than USD $25/hour today.

 

Since that was not done originally, it takes an act of congress to raise it and that rarely happens. But that actually works out to everyone's benefit. If the guy who washes the dishes in tour favorite burger joint had to be paid three times what business owner can get away with now, how much do you think that burger would cost?

 

Speaking of restaurants, there is another point I can make. Today, there is a much lower minimum wage for waiter/waitress. The assumption being that tips make up for the difference. The problem being that there is a hidden assumption that people will actually tip. That does not always happen and even when it does, many restaurants have a tip sharing scheme where the tips are collected by the owner and he divides them up by whatever rule he feels like. If he want to share them with the dish washer (who has the regular minimum wage) he can do that.

 

However, if people are paid a livable wage, then even the lowest people on the totem pole will get enough money to get by. Sure, you will not get rich by being a low level service worker but the lack of a law that says that business owners can get away with paying shit wages could (at least potentially) mean that the low level people actually make more. Well, they will certainly make enough to be worth living on the island.

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Beyond Saving wrote:

 Tempting. If I decide to go Galt. But my main hangup is that I am not fond of the ocean, not sure I would want to live surrounded by it. 

The name Bond, James Bond.........Oh shit, he's government funded.

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However, if people are paid a livable wage, then even the lowest people on the totem pole will get enough money to get by. Sure, you will not get rich by being a low level service worker but the lack of a law that says that business owners can get away with paying shit wages could (at least potentially) mean that the low level people actually make more. Well, they will certainly make enough to be worth living on the island.

 

 

Hmm...  I feel skeptical that business owners would pay any more than what they're required by law to pay their employees, whether it's livable or not, but if they have a system that works then I wish they'd implement it here...


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OK Brian, I am really not surprised that you don't know who John Galt is. You should learn about him.

 

He is actually a character from an old book about a dystopian future where the government is totally out of control. To the point that all the people who really work to keep society running pull up stakes and leave the U.S.

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Gallowsbait wrote:Answers in

Gallowsbait wrote:

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

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However, if people are paid a livable wage, then even the lowest people on the totem pole will get enough money to get by. Sure, you will not get rich by being a low level service worker but the lack of a law that says that business owners can get away with paying shit wages could (at least potentially) mean that the low level people actually make more. Well, they will certainly make enough to be worth living on the island.

 

 

Hmm...  I feel skeptical that business owners would pay any more than what they're required by law to pay their employees, whether it's livable or not, but if they have a system that works then I wish they'd implement it here...

 

Then why do the vast majority of jobs pay more than the minimum wage? Only 4.9% of jobs in the US currently pay minimum wage and the majority of those are servers in the food industry. Around here, even fast food joints pay more than minimum wage, you simply can't find people who are willing to work for less. Ultimately, employers have to compete for workers and we like to compete for good workers. Shopping for labor isn't much different than any other major purchase you make. When you go to the store you balance the price with your desired level of quality in the product. You don't always automatically go for the cheapest unless the cheapest is good enough to suit your needs.

 

Right now the minimum wage is so far below market value of labor that I doubt anyone would notice if it was repealed. So it isn't really causing any damage. However, if you raised it to say $15/hour, it would cause businesses that hire employees who make $8-$10/hour to choose between raising prices or firing employees. (Believe it or not, employers do not have unlimited funds)  So from that respect, the minimum wage can harm the employees it is supposed to help when it is high enough to actually have an effect on the labor market. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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OK Brian, I am really not surprised that you don't know who John Galt is. You should learn about him.

 

He is actually a character from an old book about a dystopian future where the government is totally out of control. To the point that all the people who really work to keep society running pull up stakes and leave the U.S.

 

No, if people leave this country it will be the insane ones who cause the sane ones to leave.  The ones who stay will be masturbating over the slave wages India and China have.

I agree that our government is out of control, but not because of the middle class and poor. It is because the top percent has successfully used blackmail to maintain their profits.

 

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 The plus side of this

 The plus side of this whole idea is that you don't necessarily have to have a libertarian government. After reading the story, it sounds like they are planning on building and selling many of these "city states" that will be autonomous. You could have a commie one if you wanted or you could build Bamaland. No doubt, the evil businessmen who are trying to build these things will sell to anyone for the right price.

 

It is interesting to contemplate how other world powers might approach these entities. The obvious problem is defense from other nations. If China or Iran simply decide to take one over, how does it protect itself? If you have many of these things floating around, trading etc. they will inevitably come into conflict with each other or nations. As we know from history, human conflict has a nasty tendency to get violent and I can see these city states being forced to alliances for the same reason the United States were. It isn't difficult to imagine that such alliances will lead back to the very same political situations the city states are being built to avoid. 

 

It will probably be the same cycle over again. People get in large groups for protection--- political framework designed for practical protection is taken over by people who like power---- people who like power use it to create laws that control other people---- libertarian utopia destroyed. Anarchy would be so wonderful if everyone was as lazy as I am. 

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

Gallowsbait wrote:

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } 

However, if people are paid a livable wage, then even the lowest people on the totem pole will get enough money to get by. Sure, you will not get rich by being a low level service worker but the lack of a law that says that business owners can get away with paying shit wages could (at least potentially) mean that the low level people actually make more. Well, they will certainly make enough to be worth living on the island.

 

 

Hmm...  I feel skeptical that business owners would pay any more than what they're required by law to pay their employees, whether it's livable or not, but if they have a system that works then I wish they'd implement it here...

 

Then why do the vast majority of jobs pay more than the minimum wage? Only 4.9% of jobs in the US currently pay minimum wage and the majority of those are servers in the food industry. Around here, even fast food joints pay more than minimum wage, you simply can't find people who are willing to work for less. Ultimately, employers have to compete for workers and we like to compete for good workers. Shopping for labor isn't much different than any other major purchase you make. When you go to the store you balance the price with your desired level of quality in the product. You don't always automatically go for the cheapest unless the cheapest is good enough to suit your needs.

 

Right now the minimum wage is so far below market value of labor that I doubt anyone would notice if it was repealed. So it isn't really causing any damage. However, if you raised it to say $15/hour, it would cause businesses that hire employees who make $8-$10/hour to choose between raising prices or firing employees. (Believe it or not, employers do not have unlimited funds)  So from that respect, the minimum wage can harm the employees it is supposed to help when it is high enough to actually have an effect on the labor market. 

 

Shut up, all three of you... minimum wage isn't made an agenda because it's what most people earn. It isn't set to keep up with the cost of living (directly.) It's set so unions have higher (reachable) targets for collective bargaining, and so leftist parties like Democrats and Labor can claim to have done something for the poor sods that vote for those assholes. It probably helps that businesses (might) have to reach a little higher to get employees for jobs for which the most recent minimum wage hike might have applied, but this isn't an intended consequence.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Beyond Saving wrote:It is

Beyond Saving wrote:
It is interesting to contemplate how other world powers might approach these entities. The obvious problem is defense from other nations. If China or Iran simply decide to take one over, how does it protect itself? If you have many of these things floating around, trading etc. they will inevitably come into conflict with each other or nations. As we know from history, human conflict has a nasty tendency to get violent and I can see these city states being forced to alliances for the same reason the United States were. It isn't difficult to imagine that such alliances will lead back to the very same political situations the city states are being built to avoid. 

 

It will probably be the same cycle over again. People get in large groups for protection--- political framework designed for practical protection is taken over by people who like power---- people who like power use it to create laws that control other people---- libertarian utopia destroyed. Anarchy would be so wonderful if everyone was as lazy as I am.

Finally, a salient point. Although for anarchy to ever work, you'd have to go beyond making people "lazy" like yourself. You'd have to weed out criminals (vandals and thieves) of opportunity, which brings up an interesting, if unrelated point. Most ideologies dealing with no government whatsoever assume that everyone is redeemable into some sort of enlightened bastion of virtuous purity, and often leads to what Brian37 rightfully calls "utopia-" or "script-thinking".

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Gallowsbait wrote:

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
However, if people are paid a livable wage, then even the lowest people on the totem pole will get enough money to get by. Sure, you will not get rich by being a low level service worker but the lack of a law that says that business owners can get away with paying shit wages could (at least potentially) mean that the low level people actually make more. Well, they will certainly make enough to be worth living on the island.

 

Hmm...  I feel skeptical that business owners would pay any more than what they're required by law to pay their employees, whether it's livable or not, but if they have a system that works then I wish they'd implement it here...

 

OK, that was the situation before there was a minimum wage. When we finally passed the law, the minimum wage was set at a level that would put companies that really paid shit wages out of business. However, in that the minimum wage does not increase with the rate of inflation, companies are back to paying roughly half of what basic work should be worth. Because they can get away with that under the law.

 

The thing being that in a large economy, a company only has to pay as much as is needed to populate the company and there are always people willing to accept shit wages. In that case, a minimum wage law sets a price below which workers are not allowed to sell their work. Fine that.

 

An island economy is a bit different. You can pay enough for people to live on the island and participate in the economy. If you want the island economy to service rich people then you must pay low skilled workers rich man wages.

 

On the other hand, you can pay to ship workers from the mainland 6x per day (remember that there are two trips for each shift). If you are going to build beyond the 200 mile limit, that is going to be quite expensive. It is also going to drain money out of the economy that would otherwise stay inside of it.

 

So if people want to pull the John Galt thing, they can do that but they will still need workers to do the things which they are not willing to do themselves. Not only the low end service sector though. They will need skilled workers from time to time.

 

A friend of mine who is a plumber has an interesting turn of words which is relevant: “If it were not for plumbers, you would not have anywhere to go”. I would imagine that a similar matter would obtain for other workers such as electricians and computer repair techs. Care to guess how much I could charge to take a boat out to an island to fix some rich dudes computer?

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Brian37 wrote:

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
OK Brian, I am really not surprised that you don't know who John Galt is. You should learn about him.

 

He is actually a character from an old book about a dystopian future where the government is totally out of control. To the point that all the people who really work to keep society running pull up stakes and leave the U.S.

 

No, if people leave this country it will be the insane ones who cause the sane ones to leave.

 

That is exactly the point behind the novel “Atlas Shrugged” The government goes insane to the point where all the people who really make stuff happen check out for greener pastures.

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This depends on the value

Gallowsbait wrote:

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; } 

However, if people are paid a livable wage, then even the lowest people on the totem pole will get enough money to get by. Sure, you will not get rich by being a low level service worker but the lack of a law that says that business owners can get away with paying shit wages could (at least potentially) mean that the low level people actually make more. Well, they will certainly make enough to be worth living on the island.

 

 

Hmm...  I feel skeptical that business owners would pay any more than what they're required by law to pay their employees, whether it's livable or not, but if they have a system that works then I wish they'd implement it here...

 

of what it is you do and the number of other people who do it. Funnily, company CEO's to some extent, balance a gigantic cheque book and get paid tens of millions. Do they contribute more value than a whole sales team? Probably not. 

As others have said upthread, the market will dictate the wages but my recommendation would be to start your own business and use fair wages and profit sharing to get excellent staff who want to stay with you. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Beyond, I agree with you on all points but with commentary.

 

First off, while it is true that there are few people making minimum wage, it is a fact that that is fairly standard for unskilled service sector workers. If I apply to some restaurant and tell the guy that I need to make 30K/year, he is well within his rights to ask if I might have a 17 year old son who is willing to work for what he feels like paying.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:
However, if you raised it to say $15/hour, it would cause businesses that hire employees who make $8-$10/hour to choose between raising prices or firing employees. (Believe it or not, employers do not have unlimited funds).

 

I find that I am skeptical about companies having surplus employees on hand. Especially with unemployment numbers like we currently have. Prices would have to go up.

 

Granted, most people are making more than minimum but still, plenty of people are at minimum.

 

Past that, if the beginning and end of the deal was what one company paid workers directly, that might not be a huge deal. Let's say just for shits and giggles that minimum is $8/hr and most jobs are $12/hr. Now double the minimum and what does that do to the cost of running a business?

 

Remember that most businesses depend on low level workers for everything that they buy. Increasing the minimum wage in any meaningful way will increase to cost of doing but the cost will be passed on down the line and prices for everything will increase.

 

Now I don't know what your business is but I am sure that at some point, you are dealing with prices based on your suppliers paying minimum wage.

 

A restaurant deals with companies that pay people to put vegetables in boxes. An accountant pay for the people who put stuff in hoppers and press six buttons in a pencil factory. If you ever do a mass mailing, you will deal with a company that pays people to stuff envelopes.

 

Whatever the specific job is, raising the minimum wage will increase the cost of business in ways which cannot be trivially calculated.

For a person making minimum wage, well, how bad is it going to suck if a hamburger cost $15? for someone making a fair wage, how much does the $15 burger suck?

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Sounds like a mobile money

Sounds like a mobile money laundering facility to me...

 


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Sounds like a mobile money laundering facility to me...

 

Ah, that is what was in the back of my mind that I couldn't dig out.  Of course.

As for service workers - they bring in their own people.  Why risk hiring people they don't know and don't trust?

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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