Kiwi Polemicist

January 13, 2010

• Bar owner’s property rights wrecked by human rights

In my earlier post titled There is no such thing as “human rights”: a classical liberal perspective on the Electoral Finance Act (you have to love a snappy title like that) I said

I am a classical liberalist and you’re probably thinking that I’m strong on human rights, but that is not true: I believe that there is no such thing as “human rights”.
[...]
The present definition of “human rights” is subjective and invites such evils as the EFA, the anti-smacking law and hate-speech laws. Only when “human rights” are redefined as property rights and personal rights in accordance with the non-aggression axiom can we have a consistent, logical and objective set of rights.

Let’s have a look at another injustice inflicted in the name of human rights:

The Human Rights Commission has warned a newly-opened Kapiti Coast bar over its ban on admitting under 20-year-olds, after young drinkers ruined the drinking establishment’s opening night with bad behaviour.

The commission told Jamie Williams, owner of the $2 million Monteith’s Brewery Bar’ at Paraparaumu, he could not discriminate against which customers he chose to let into his bar based on their age, the Dominion Post reported.

“While bars have the right to refuse entry they should be careful not to do so on the grounds of age, sex or ethnicity,” commission spokesman Gilbert Wong said. (source)

Can you see what is happening here? That bar is private property, but the state is forcing the owner to allow people aged under 20 to enter, even if he doesn’t want them on his property.

The Human Rights Commission website has a prominent piece of fiction:

The Commission works for a fair, safe and just society, where diversity is valued and human rights are respected.

What is ‘fair’ and ‘just’ about using legislation to take away this bar owner’s property rights? Diversity is valued by the state, but only that diversity which is considered acceptable by the state: banning bar patrons under 20 is a form of diversity, but it is not considered acceptable by the state and therefore it is illegal. How is society ‘safe’ when bar owners are forced to admit people that they know are likely to turn violent?

In my earlier post titled I am Pakeha and I am oppressed I said

Socialism/Marxism creates two groups in society: the victims, who are “oppressed”, [in this case, people under 20] and the “oppressors” [the bar owner]. The Socialists then set about righting these (usually imaginary) wrongs by oppressing the “oppressors”, thereby doing just what they accused the “oppressors” of doing [the bar owner is being oppressed by the socialist state].

Laws prohibiting sexual and racial discrimination, as well as other types of discrimination, are nonsensical because everyone discriminates. No one objects if a black American man is a looking for a black wife, but he is discriminating against white women*. He wants a female partner, so he is discriminating against men. He wants a good looking wife, so he is discriminating against people who aren’t good looking. He wants a young woman, so he is discriminating against older people. He wants a wife who can bear children, so he is discriminating against infertile women: the list goes on and on.

Homosexual men discriminate against women by wanting only male sexual partners. Lesbians discriminate against men by only wanting female sexual partners. All heterosexuals discriminate against half of the population, the half that shares their gender.

Section 21 of the Human Rights Act forbids discrimination against sexual orientation, and if this is taken to its logical conclusion homosexuality and heterosexuality are illegal; only bisexual people are in compliance with the law, so bisexuality should be made compulsory. Either that or we can get rid of ridiculous laws which deny the reality of the fact that everyone discriminates.

If you take away the politically correct terminology, “discrimination” is in fact “choice”.

My position is simple: that bar is private property and, as part of his property rights, the owner should be free to make a choice about who can and cannot enter his property. The route to a fair and just society is not a complicated one: just restore everyone’s freedom to do whatever they want, and punish them if they violate the personal and property rights of others.

What do you think about the bar owner being forced to allow people under 20 into his bar?

Related post:

Property rights are a part of human nature

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January 9, 2010

• The myth of public property

Is it “your” rail network? The Auckland rail tracks and stations are being upgraded at present and, due to disruptions, a special timetable has been issued. On the front of this is written “Buses replacing trains while we improve your rail network”. That’s the socialist lie, here comes the libertarian truth…

If a piece of land belongs to you then you should be able to do whatever you like on that land, if that activity does not violate the personal and/or property rights of another person (that’s the ideal, but we live in a socialist state so your property rights are annihilated by the government). If the rail network – the tracks and the associated land – was “your[s]” then you would be free to walk over it, just as you are free to walk over land that you own. But you are not free to walk over the rail network, and if you do you will be fined up to $10,000 plus any amount of compensation that the judge decides you should pay [1]. This shows that it is not “your” rail network, for no sane person would fine you for walking across land that is yours.

If the rail network is not yours then who does it belong to? It belongs to the state, which controls every detail of what happens on that land. Section 50 of the Railways Act proves my point: it says that the Minister responsible may

(a) set out standards and requirements relating to the behaviour of individuals on railways or railway premises, including, without limitation, standards and requirements concerning the conduct of rail personnel, passengers, or other individuals working on or using railways or railway premises:

(b) regulate all traffic and all classes of traffic, and prohibit traffic or a class of traffic, either absolutely or conditionally, on railways:

(c) set out standards and requirements concerning the use of safety equipment by rail personnel, passengers, or other individuals working on or using railways or railway premises. [emphasis added]

This law means that the Minister may, without consulting anyone else, make a rule requiring you to hop on one foot and wear a pink gorilla suit when in a train station or riding in a train. “Your” rail network? I think not. The state has all the powers that only a landowner should have [2], therefore I conclude that the state is the de facto owner.

Here’s another example: in Australia the state requires people to pay for a permit if they’re going to take photographs in a National Park and may use those photographs commercially [3]. Do you still think that National Parks are public property, owned by all?

What’s the agenda behind this?

The agenda is the Socialist/Communist desire to disempower you by taking away your property/property rights. In the Communist Manifest Marx and Engels laid out ten steps for the transition from communism to socialism. Here’s four of those steps:

1) Abolition of property in land [outlawing private ownership of land] and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

3) Abolition of all rights of inheritance [when you die your property is stolen by the state: death taxes are a partial step towards this].

4) Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels [presumably this blog makes me a rebel in the eyes of the state, and you're reading it so you're a rebel by association].

6) Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

The Communist Manifest is alive and well today, and it’s policies are enacted all around us.

What’s a better way?

Don’t allow the state to own anything. Make the government your servant, not your master. Only then will you be free, and only then will the state stop lying about it being “your” rail network.

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1. Railways Act S73 & S92

2. If I visit your house you are perfectly entitled to set down conditions of entry, including a requirement that I wear a pink gorilla suit and hop on one foot. That’s part of your property rights; it’s also a great way to avoid having unwelcome guests. Every landowner has conditions of entry: do you willingly let gun-toting burglars enter your home?

3. Source

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August 31, 2009

• Property rights are a part of human nature

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

Yesterday I witnessed an 18 month old child squawk when her big brother tried to take a piece of her food. Clearly she has a basic understanding of property rights, i.e. “That food is mine”. You don’t have to teach children the concept of property rights, and from this I conclude that property rights are a part of human nature, i.e. it’s a “built in feature” added by our designer.

The bedrock of libertarianism is property rights¹, and I believe that libertarianism is consistent with human nature. This belief is supported by the fact that sociopolitical systems that try to remove all personal property rights do not flourish and last, whether they be involuntary (e.g. Socialism/Communism/Marxism), or voluntary (e.g. hippie-type communes). These systems fail because they are contrary to and hostile to the way we are made.

The girl that I witnessed defending her property rights is living in a Socialist country and as soon as she starts earning money the state will begin to violate those property rights on a daily basis². The sad thing is that so many adults accept this situation without so much as a squawk, despite the fact that even a toddler recognises theft when she sees it.

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Related posts:

There is no such thing as “human rights”: a classical liberal perspective on the Electoral Finance Act

What is a “social contract”?

1. Property rights are summed up by the non-aggression axiom, which says “It is illicit to initiate or threaten invasive violence against a man or his legitimately owned property”.

2. The only things certain in life are death and taxes, but at least death doesn’t get any worse :)

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August 28, 2009

• Doctor-Bullies Flourish In Public/State Hospitals

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

A friend was telling me about being bullied by a hospital midwife, and this reminded me of the times that I have been bullied by hospital doctors. I believe that bullies flourish in public/state health care. Why so? Before I get to the answer allow me to explain the New Zealand situation.

The health care situation in New Zealand

Basically the state has a near-monopoly on health care. Private hospitals only provide elective and sub-acute procedures, so anything complex or acute (e.g. car crash injuries or a heart attack) goes to a public hospital. I met a guy who had a knee replacement (elective surgery) done in a private hospital, then experienced a pulmonary embolism (an acute, complex, life-threatening condition where there is a blood clot in a lung) as a complication of surgery so was transferred to a public hospital because private hospitals in New Zealand cannot manage this problem. There’s really no escape from the state health care system (chaos?) in New Zealand.

Why do bullies flourish in public/state health care?

Because the staff in a public hospital are effectively in no way accountable to you, the patient.

When you are paying a medical person for their services you are purchasing a portion of their time and that person is beholden to you, just as an employee is beholden to his employer during his hours of employment. When a doctor is paid by the state, using money taken from taxpayers at gun point, that doctor is beholden to whom? Yep, the state.

Allow me to explain. When you – let’s call you Lee – go to a private doctor or other medical professional there is a contract (exchange of promises) between you: you are saying “I will pay you $X if you provide the medical services that I require”. In return the doctor says “I will provide you the medical services that you require if you pay me $X”. Both parties know that the other party can walk away if the promises are broken (breach of contract), and because you are a party to the contract the doctor knows that he must provide what you want in order to receive his profit.

Compare this with a public health care system where the state says to a doctor “I will pay you $X if you provide medical services to Lee”, and the doctor says “I will provide medical services to Lee if you pay me $X”. You the patient, the slab of meat in the bed, are merely incidental to this contract and have no control over it or the parties to it. The doctor knows that he must provide what the state wants – not what you want – in order to receive his profit. If, as is often the case, the medical services that you want or need are different to what the state is willing to provide that’s just too bad.

Why do bullies flourish in public/state hospitals? Because the patients have no effective control over them: in other words, when you go into a public hospital you are the mercy of the staff. Bullies are attracted to situations that give them power: being a doctor or other medical professional gives power, and being a doctor or other medical professional in a public/state hospital gives more power. The bullies know that you are disempowered as a result of being removed from the contractual process by the state’s overwhelming power. They also know that they can get away with bullying, because history shows that “little or nothing” is the usual result when patients complain about state employees.

Josef Mengele is a good example of a state-protected doctor-bully – he’s the Nazi well known for experimenting on humans at Auschwitz-Birkenau. “That can’t happen in New Zealand”, you say. Wrong: what Mengele did is, in my opinion, only a step or two away from what Herb Green did when he experimented on women without their consent or knowledge and killed some of them. I am referring to the “Unfortunate Experiment” at National Women’s Hospital, in which Green did not treat a condition widely believed to lead to fatal cervical cancer in order to see if that was what really happened (details here and here). If Green did what he did with malice aforethought (intent to kill) he would be as much a murderer as Mengele is, but Green most probably had good intentions. Despite this, you can make a good case for saying that Green has blood on his hands.

Do bullies flourish when there is a free choice of health care providers?

Let me speak from personal experience. A few years ago I went to a dentist that was recommended to me and found that he was an unpleasant individual with an arrogant manner. Because the state in no way controls which dentist I go to I never went back to him and he suffered financial loss as a result. That’s how capitalism works: those who don’t provide the best service lose money if the state does not interfere with the free market (I have met many doctors and other medical professionals in public hospitals who are far, far more unpleasant and arrogant than this dentist but, sadly, I have never had the option of voting with my wallet and going to another hospital because the state has interfered with the free market, i.e. taken away my freedom to choose. State institutions are refuges for various forms of life that cannot survive in the real world).

Compare this with my optometrist, who is is very nice, very competent, and has always provided good service. I have a free choice of optometrists, so I keep going back to him because he provides what I want. That’s how capitalism works: those who provide the best service are rewarded with more money (profit). The profit motive is often maligned, but it is a good thing because it results in you and I getting what we want.

In my experience doctors and other medical professionals almost always have a better attitude when they know that I have freely chosen to consult them and bring profit to them. Those who know that I have no choice about who I consult because the state has taken it from me are far more likely to be uncaring, rude, off-hand, bullying, and the like. That’s human nature, i.e. very few people are willing to make an effort and provide good care when they can make little effort and be paid the same amount. Less work, same money – that’s the situation in a state-protected monopoly and it’s a no-brainer for the staff. That’s why going to the DMV, state hospital, city council, etc. is normally so painful.

Do bullies flourish when there is a free choice of health care providers? Common sense and my experience indicates that they do not, because capitalism is a form of natural selection.

In summary
  1. Bullies, be they doctors or other medical professionals, flourish in state/public hospitals because the state has made them effectively unaccountable to their patients and protects them when they do bully.
  2. State disempowerment of individuals leads to gross injustices in medical situations, ranging from bullying to killing.
  3. The profit motive and contracts freely entered into give us protection against doctor-bullies.
  4. Bullies do not flourish when individuals can freely choose their medical provider.
  5. Free choice leads to lots of :) .

Finally, I’d like to say that I have met a few public hospital doctors who are superb clinicians and a pleasure to talk to.

What do you think about that points that I have raised here?

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Related articles:

Why does Obama want to eliminate private health insurance via Single Payer/Universal Health Care?

Everything You Love You Owe to Capitalism

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August 7, 2009

• Economic Nonsense From the Kiwi Party

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

Larry Baldock of the Kiwi Party

Larry Baldock, leader of the Kiwi Party

The Kiwi Party has issued a press release which is full of economic fallacies and is quoted here in blue and in full:

The anti-smacking TV One Colmar Brunton poll released today shows opposition to the law remains strong and consistent at 83% opposed to the criminalisation of good parents who occasionally smack.

Referendum Petition organiser Larry Baldock said the other result from the poll was that 3 out 4 New Zealanders felt the cost of the referendum was a waste of money, and that is not surprising.

“However, since the referendum requires the cost of at least two letters being posted to 3 million registered voters, and the return of the voting papers by prepaid return, NZ Post will be receiving a Government investment of at least $3-4 million,” said Mr Baldock.

It’s not a “government investment” in NZ Post. NZ Post is a SOE (State Owned Enterprise), so the government has taken $9 million from taxpayers at gunpoint for the referendum and given $3-4 million of that to one of its organs. It’s not a “government investment” in NZ Post, it’s a reshuffling of stolen money that the government possesses (I am reminded of those people who rearranged deck chairs on the Titanic).

“This cost could definitely have been avoided if the referendum had been held at the election last year when voters were going to the polls anyway.

Baldock twice describes the referendum as a “cost”, yet he also twice uses the word “investment”. There is an internal contradiction here, because a cost is money down the toilet (not necessarily wasteful, but definitely a reduction in wealth), whereas spending is only an investment if you have a reasonable expectation of receiving back more than you spent (a profit/increase in wealth) in the future.

Also, the cost would not have been “avoided” if the referendum had been held at the election last year, only reduced. The cost of the referendum could only have been avoided if Sue Bradford, Helen Clark, et al had listened to the people instead of imposing their will upon them.

“Given that most of the estimated $9 million cost of the referendum will be spent on postage, printing, advertising and employing staff for counting etc, it cannot be considered a waste. For a start the Government will get some of the money back from its SOEs like NZ Post and TV One, as well as the GST from money spent elsewhere in the economy.

How can the government get money “back” from SOEs, which are part of itself? You don’t put your money on your foot, then pick it up and say “I’ve got my money back”. As for the GST, that’s just government money travelling in circles at great cost to the taxpayers. Baldock is correct in describing the referendum as a “cost”: it’s a cost that taxpayers like yourself have paid at gunpoint.

“If Government spending in infrastructure is an investment in the economy and the future of our country then so is the referendum”.

This sentence and the paragraph before reek of Keynsian socialism, i.e. that government spending on the economy is a good thing. Ludwig von Mises refutes the beliefs of Baldock and Keynes very well:

At the bottom of the interventionist argument there is always the idea that the government or the state is an entity outside and above the social process of production, that it owns something which is not derived from taxing its subjects, and that it can spend this mythical something for definite purposes. This is the Santa Claus fable raised by Lord Keynes to the dignity of an economic doctrine and enthusiastically endorsed by all those who expect personal advantage from government spending. As against these popular fallacies there is need to emphasize the truism that a government can spend or invest only what it takes away from its citizens and that its additional spending and investment curtails the citizens’ spending and investment to the full extent of its quantity. [emphasis added]

Back to Baldock…

In my opinion, the cost benefit ratio of reversing this ill-conceived socially destructive law will far outweigh a similar amount spent on a road.”

I agree with this, but of course the cost should never have arisen in the first place.

“As I have been saying in my radio ads, there are now only two people who can waste this money, the voter who does not vote, and John key if he refuses to listen.”

That’s a nice sound bite, but I believe that the money spent on the referendum was in effect wasted by those who passed a law which was clearly opposed by at least 83% of the population. However, since we are forced to spend the money it is lamentable to avoid voting. Also, if John Key ignores the referendum result he will be endorsing the wastage bought about by those who passed the law.

Keynsian policies are responsible for much of the destruction of private wealth wrought by governments today. I support the Kiwi Party’s opposition to the anti-smacking law, but when it comes to economics the party is somewhere between woeful and pestilential, as shown by the economic nonsense in this press release.

John Key is also a Keynsian socialist and follows the same fallacies.

What do you think about the quote from Mises (in green) and the points that I have made?

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Hat tip: Family Integrity

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Related posts:

Arrant arrogance (read this first)

John Key shows his arrogance (he is the paternalistic enemy now)

If you want to be free to parent then put your money where your mouth is

The anti-smacking law will cause the death of children

Sue Bradford’s arrogance regarding the anti-smacking bill

If you want to read more use the category selector on the right.

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