Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Confusion on "Public Property" and Undocumented

Perry Mason as a follow-up to my post, Trump Signs Executive Order Going After the Undocumented,  comments and raises some questions:
This is very relevant to libertarianism. In fact it is one of the most interesting and cutting-edge debates in the libertarian intellectual space.

The answer to your last question is that "these people" have no right to enter anyone's property, without an invitation, in a private property society. So why do they get to enter "public spaces" and use public resources (welfare, roads, whatever)? I don't mean that as a rhetorical question, but a genuine one.

Much as been written on the fundamental question - how to treat public property and the exclusions of persons from it.

Great libertarians Hoppe and Block take opposite positions on this issue. So I cannot agree this has "nothing to do with libertarianism."
Perry Mason's confusion here lies relative to the nature of the current world we live in. From roads to sidewalks and public transportation, we live in a world where government is a monopolist in many areas, This monopoly situation results in no free market exchange/calculation between use and payment,

We all recognize this fact, even libertarians. There is no libertarian that I am aware of that claims that no one should use roads and sidewalks because they are public property.

It would be quite frankly absurd to take such a position.

But what if I am a plant owner and pay taxes, from real estate taxes to income taxes, on my business to support the building and maintenance of roads and sidewalks, what libertarian is bold enough to tell me how many undocumenteds I can hire, because they use roads and sidewalks, given I am paying taxes far greater than any lone individual for construction and maintenance of roads and sidewalks?

Let also imagine that I own an apartment complex where I pay real estates taxes and income taxes far exceeding the cost of my personal use for roads and sidewalks. What libertarian is bold enough to claim that I can't rent to whomever I want and grant that person permission "to use my part of taxes paid" on roads and sidewalks for my tenants?

Of course, as I have pointed out, with government in the mix it is bizarre to attempt to make exact cost/revenue-paid calculations but it is equally bizarre that a libertarian should claim that, as a landlord or business owner, that people I rent to or hire, when I have paid taxes on a property and income, should not be allowed to enter into exchanges with me.

This is not a great looming libertarian question,

The libertarian solution is a Private Property Society. The problem is that we live in a world of government and just because there is government doesn't mean individuals should be barred from hiring people because of where they were born or renting to people because of where they were born.

The solution should be less government and fewer government regulations or does a libertarian seriously want me to ask, "Papers please?"



  1. In addition, wouldn't you have to decide whether illegals would be allowed based on who contributed the most to building the infrastructure? So if rich people paid more, they get more votes. and the rich and corporations are probably more likely to allow illegals as they get cheaper labor. so then it becomes more likely that even based on this sort of libertarian approach that Woods and Rockwell et al use, that the conclusion will shift in favor of open borders?

  2. Dexter, not necessarily, no. What you mention is another open question. Is it a common ownership situation, and then you implicitly assume voting is based on contribution of taxes (and which taxes?)?

    Or is it coerced commingling? In which case, even if I only own a peppercorn of the public property value, I can take steps to defend that peppercorn. Rich people be damned.

    This isn't a simple question. RW says I am confused, but I'm really not. I'm instead pointing out that you cannot easily dismiss the Hoppean position that one can support immigration restrictions on self-defense and related grounds.

    Note that I am very sympathetic to RW's "papers please" argument, it's a very good one based on prudence and perhaps less so principle, but I don't think his comment has properly addressed the arguments raised by Hoppe et al.

    If you want to get really nerdy, you might explore how the philosophical doctrine of "double effect" plays into the morality of blocking one party's access to using immigrants, as self-defense of another party whose property is impacted in some way by those same immigrants.

    1. Perry,

      Why is this an issue about immigrants? If I pay taxes that are used to pay for construction and maintenance of roads and sidewalks, does this mean I can demand that everyone be deported that hasn't paid such taxes?

      Should we immediately deport all tourists? Invalids?

      Do you have any idea where your argument is going?

      Should you be allowed to travel outside your state or city and walk on the sidewalks in other regions of the US that you haven't paid for?

      Is this really your argument?