Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Comment on a Libertarian Against Tourists Using Hospital Emergency Rooms in the U.S.

Perry Mason writes at the post, Trump Initiates New Extreme Vetting for Millions of Tourists:
Very good post, good analysis, but the snipe at the end is again misplaced. I take from your comments that you will be personally funding all tourists who end up in American hospitals where taxpayers would be on the hook for the bill.

In a PPS, every road would have bonding and exclusion policies. Why is it when the government takes the road or the land, then builds the road, the only "libertarian" position is that anyone can get on the road?

Suppose the government takes my home, but does let me continue to use it. By the same logic, the home would be "abandoned property" (per Walter Block), and the only libertarian position is that it would be unethical for me, the former owner, to prevent anyone and everyone from coming into my house and pretty much doing whatever they want.

I am open to changing my mind on this issue. But I struggle to see past these sorts of Hoppean hypos to allow for "open" borders.

Disclaimer: I never supported Trump and don't accept the 'libertarian fanboy strawman'. I do otherwise enjoy and value your blog and analysis; but I differ strongly on this issue.
I am not sure why Perry is telling us here how things would be in a PPS. We don't live in a PPS.

The real world that we live in is an environment where there are governments and taxes. For the libertarian, under these conditions, what we should be doing is calling for the advancement of steps towards liberty. If a tourist wants to visit the United States and has purchased a plane ticket and has a hotel room or a relative's house to stay at, why shouldn't libertarians be in favor of this?

The notion that taxpayer abuse would occur is simply a faulty framework.

The ass-backward approach "to advancing freedom" by banning such tourists because they may use taxpayer dollars to use the roads ignores the fact that hotels pay property taxes, corporate taxes and likely special hotel taxes. Staying at a relative's house would generally be a case where the relative is paying income tax and property taxes directly or indirectly.

Perry ignores all this. He correctly recognizes funds used to support roads and hospital emergency rooms are often supplied by taxpayers after being taken by the government but does not recognize that hotels and relatives of tourists are taxpayers also. He has set up a faulty framework when dealing with a fungible item such as cash and ignored the taxes paid especially by hotels!.

And he goes way off track by bringing Walter Block's government home taking into the debate, where it is clear what the asset taken is and how it can be returned. (BTW I do not agree with Walter's abandonment theory.)

The fact of the matter is if we were able to square accounts of stolen funds (taxes), it is very possible that tourists staying at hotels would have more of a justified demand on roads and hotel services given the taxes hotels pay.

So the question to Perry is: If it was determined that hotels paid more in taxes for roads and emergency room services would he be in favor of tourists going in front of him in emergency rooms and having a special fast speed highway lane for hotel tourists and if not why not?

To state once more, I am not for "open borders," which seems to be a slick way of mixing foreign welfare parasites with all other kinds of travelers to the U.S. including tourists and workers.

It is ass-backward libertarianism to "fight for freedom" by limiting freedom.  If there is a problem with welfare parasite then the libertarian should advocate for the elimination of the welfare, not the blocking of the freedom of decent travelers and workers under the sneaky term "open borders."



  1. Let's not forget that tourists coming here also pay taxes to various levels of governments in the US: airline ticket taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, sales taxes on food and other purchases, rental car taxes, fuel taxes, etc.

    In any event, focusing one's ire on tourists is totally misplaced. The whole system is distorted by government robbery and mandates. Tourists can't compel anyone to provide them with a good or service, they can only request the same. Only the state can compel.

  2. Tourists are guests. They are given permission to visit and usually carry travellers insurance. Same for tourists from these uSA.
    Cannot say the same for those others who do not enter through our front gate.

    1. "Our gate."

      A collectivist argument. How quaint.

      There's no "our gate".

      The ONLY fundamental difference befween a tourist and a so-called 'illegal immigrant' is that a tourist is issued the government-approved travel papers, wbich he can show the goons upon barking their 'Papieren, bitte!' order. Other than that, any difference you want to point out is meaningless, borne from your own prenudices rather than reason.

    2. It is a fact today, everywhere. Go ahead and enter someone's house, ininvited, through the back gate.
      Oh, wait. Your family is one of them.

  3. --- It is ass-backward libertarianism to "fight for freedom" by limiting freedom. ---

    You seem to confuse those Trumpistas with 'libertarians' but they were never libertarian to begin with. A libertarian flows the NAP, with all its implications. A curmudgeon who wants to be left alone can be a libertarian as long as he or she acts according to the NAP, but a person who tacitly or openly accepts the existence of the State as a necessary tool to keep people from engaging in voluntary association or commerce is NO libertarian, not even a half-assed one.

  4. --- "Why is it when the government takes the road or the land, then builds the road, the only "libertarian" position is that anyone can get on the road?" ---

    Because, otherwise, you don't maximize your chances to make trades.

    Even a private road owner would not share your xenophobia if he or she is looking at maximizing his or her profits. I bet if all roads were private, you would be even LESS happy, with all those greedy road owners letting all those icky immigrants use their roads.

    I realized some time ago that anti-immigrant ideologues happen to be anti-market ideologues as well. Tucker Carlson's weird discussion with CATO's Alex Nowrasteh served to confirm my suspicion. I learned to question the sincerity of their defence of liberty.

  5. Fransisco. The man who violates NAP to save NAP.
    Fake libertarian