Bullying by statists will continue
(My Clovis News Journal column for May 8, 2015)
If, like me, you are unconvinced that coercion, theft, and aggression are proper behaviors to organize a society around (assuming societies can be organized at all) there are a few automatic responses you will repeatedly encounter as people attempt to belittle your position. Besides the standard quip "If you don't like it, move to Somalia!" there is also "If you think taxation is wrong, stop driving on roads!"
If only it were that simple.
It isn't only about roads, though. There are a great many services provided by this enforced monopoly I am forced to pay for against my will. Services I may not want, and may never use. For the services which are wanted, in many cases, if you try to offer people a free market alternative, you will be ordered to cease and desist; facing arrest if you don't comply. Breaking the monopoly is said to be "illegal". Even in cases where free market solutions are allowed, you are forced to continue paying for the theft-funded service, too-- government schools, for example.
I believe if you pay for something-- even if forced to do so-- you have every right to use it. How can anyone believe otherwise? Since you pay for "government" roads, even if you would prefer not to do so, you have as much right to use them as the most enthusiastic fan of government coercion.
I would prefer being able to voluntarily pay the road provider I choose, instead of the one which is imposed upon me. Obviously, I would avoid roads provided by those who think it's a good idea to fill their roads with armed pirates with flashing lights, hired to accost travelers; extorting property from them by using the excuse that some arbitrary rule was violated-- but you might not. As long as you and I are given no choice in the matter, no one will know which way works better.
No one should ever be forced to pay for something they don't want and would rather not use. Nothing is so important that people should be forced to finance it, and if people do have to be forced, it's probably an inferior service anyway.
The other side of the coin is those who use a service or product should be willing to pay for doing so, or expect to be shut out.
This isn't good enough for pro-government extremists, who want to ensure there is no real choice offered. Once again liberty lovers are told by statists "If you don't like being bullied, we'll just have to agree to disagree." By which they mean the bullying will continue and intensify.
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