• Grant Gould

    How about “automatic” for the Authorized-Until-Revised spending? That’s really the distinction — that the AUR stuff sticks around even with no action taken, whereas the AA stuff would go away.

  • Um, Will, how is this not preemptive redistribution? I elaborate here.

  • How about “legislatively privileged” vs. “normal” spending programs?

    The “legislatively privileged” programs have been shielded from the normal and fair democratic process; probably because of the undue influence of nasty special interests.

  • Brian Macker

    “So forcing people to transfer their own money to their future selves prevents them from later forcing others to transfer them money when old.”

    Well, that’s a good beginning on you path away from libertarian thinking on certain issues. Although I agree with quite a bit of libertarian thinking I think they have big holes in certain areas.

    So how can one “force” others to transfer weath to you? It doesn’t alway require physical violence. Libertarians recognize fraud as another means. That however is not exaustive.

    For english speakers and in english speaking societies there is an understanding that fraud not a form of force. I think the distinction is important but that there are similarities. There are different forms of force, like stealing and robbery. With stealing you do not get the other person to transfer his wealth, you do it yourself. With robbery you take advantage of human nature, a persons fear of physical harm, to get them to transfer the wealth to you. Let’s call this “forced voluntary”.

    Fraud utilzes “human nature” to cause an individual to “forced voluntarily” transfer weath. In this case instead of using human attribute fear to cause an transfer of wealth the human attribute of fallibility is used instead. People don’t know everything and therefore can be lied to and will believe these lies. It’s this feature that is used to force the victim to turn over resources he wouldn’t if he were not fallible.

    Is there any other mechanism we know of where one can get another to transfer weath “forced voluntary”? Well in robbery the robber need not threaten the person himself, he can threaten others, perhaps a loved one. What if the threatend person was the very person that was trying to obtain the wealth transfer?

    Now I understand that if you kid comes up to you and says “I realllllly neeeeed an X-Box” that you are going to laugh. Suppose however that he says “I’m going to kill myself if I don’t get an X-Box” and suppose the threat is credible because he’s seriously attempted suicide before. Well then you are forced to take some action and he is the person initiating that force. Your “human nature” requires that you help him, but perhaps in this case not the way he intended as he might be put in a padded room.

    Suppose however that he said “I realllllly neeeed foood”. You are not going to laugh if he’s starving. Being the parent you are going to be motivated to fed him. You are being forced to act to avoid the consequence in this case. “Feed me or I starve”. This isn’t a case of a fat kid saying “Feed me ice cream” after snacking all day. The compelling nature of your own starving child will not only cause you to feed them but may even cause you to steal to do so.

    Now suppose we replace your child with a random stranger. Suppose now that that stranger has tricked you into believing he was starving when he wasn’t and you “transferred wealth”. Surely that is “forced voluntary” and we don’t like that.

    Now suppose he was truly starving, or truly about to bleed to death, etc. Most people would feel compelled to transfer at least enough wealth at the moment to prevent him from dying. They can’t help it, and in that sense it is “forced voluntary”. Sure they hand over the money “of their own free will” but that was only because of the choices presented and those choices were due to the beggars actions an not their own.

    Is this an argument to criminalize begging. No, because some cases of begging are not forseeable by a reasonable person. Some cases are however and not saving for your old age is one of them.

    So the sentence “So forcing people to transfer their own money to their future selves prevents them from later forcing others to transfer them money when old.” has a double meaning if you consider “forced volutary” to be a subset of force.

    In other words if we force people to save for their old age we won’t be forced to help them later on. People benefit from a kind of involuntary insurance plan by their mere existence within a society due to human nature. This gives a hook for others to control their behavior. Too bad if it violates orthodoxy libertarian philosophy.

  • Larry

    If seniors will consume approximately the same amount of goods and services whether they are spending money we forced them to save or spending money that is taken from the next generation of earners, how much does the financing really matter? We aren’t stuffing medicine under our mattresses for when we’re old and can’t afford it.

    Isn’t the primary concern about incentives? I.e. that workers today will somehow mess up the economy by spending too much/investing too little? Or that workers tomorrow will not work hard because their taxes are too high? Or that seniors tomorrow will waste resources that they don’t have to pay for directly?

  • A_Dane

    “forcing people to transfer their own money to their future selves prevents them from later forcing others to transfer them money when old.”

    No it doesn’t. What it does is to make it politically less likely that the future elderly will succeed in forcing others to transfer them money, but in no way does it ‘prevent’ them from doing anything.

  • Mudley

    How about Fiat Spending? I think this term is both accurate and non-judgmental.

  • RobB

    Annually appropriated = A law must be enacted to spend the money.

    Mandatory = A law must be enacted to stop spending the money.

  • RobB

    Annually appropriated = A law must be enacted to spend the money.

    Mandatory = A law must be enacted to stop spending the money.