Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Sumoking's Libertarian Corner (It's totally gonna be a thing)

From the beautiful game Bioshock

Soooooooo, pretty.... and wet, granted, quite wet

Andrew Ryan: I am Andrew Ryan, and I'm here to ask you a question. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

'No!' says the man in Washington, 'It belongs to the poor.'

'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'It belongs to God.'

'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'It belongs to everyone.'

I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture, a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, Where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well.

'No!' says the man in London 'It belongs to the Landowner (Banks)" ?


Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm going to stop referring to it as "rent" and am going to refer to is as "ransom payment" instead.

SumoKing said...

I was thinking about maybe "exclusion premium" ?

Mark Wadsworth said...

SK, no it's ransom pure and simple.

You want to sail up the Suez Canal, the Egyptians charge you $300,000 and call it a "toll". That's all respectable and above board, apparently, because the canal "belongs" to Egypt (despite the English and French paid for construction).

If those pesky Somali pirates demand $300,000 before they let you sail up to the Canal, well that's a crime and international navies will arrest or sink them.

But who's to say that that part of the Indian Ocean doesn't "belong" to the Somali pirates and that paying a "toll" to cross it is above board and legit? If land can "belong" to a nation then why not the ocean?

In economic terms, there is absolutely no difference between rent and tolls and ransom and extortion (except the Egyptians are a bit more trustworthy).