Tag Archive: monopoly


Anarchy Class the Third

Is taxation theft? Why or why not?

Response Paper 3

Is taxation theft? Well, first, we must look at the word theft. I would define theft as taking the property of another as your own, or depriving the owner of that property full use of that property without his or her consent. The consent part is important. If I have a pen, and I let a friend borrow it, I cannot still use my pen. However, I do not believe that the pen was stolen, because I willingly let my friend borrow it, and am expecting to receive it back at a certain place and time. Well, if theft involves property, well what is property? Property is a “thing” that belongs to “you” exclusively. A “thing” could be anything, from a plant to a crayon to a house to a farm. You is not intended to be necessarily one “you”. I believe that there can feasibly be communal property. Say, for instance, someone wants to buy a house, but the person just does not have the money for whatever reason. I see no problem with the person pooling their money together with a friend or two, and them writing up a contract saying that they each own whatever percentage of the house/property and that if one person wants out, either he gets to “sell” his section of the property, or the other owners buy him out. However, I agree with the Tannehills on their idea about making sure that your property is properly marked, or that you in some feasible way make your claim known. Perhaps registering with an insurance company would seal the claim, however, I feel as though requiring insurance for possession to be a bit unfair, and almost like a tax.  However, if you own a large or strangely shaped piece of land, it could be quite difficult indeed to fence your claim. This is a problem I do not yet have an answer for, and am still thinking on. Now we finally come to, what is a tax? A tax is a mandatory fee charged by the government, supposedly for “services” that the government “provides”. Even if you don’t use said services, such as you don’t have a child, or that child goes to private school, or you don’t plan on cashing in on “social security” because you’ve got an amazing retirement plan, or you don’t approve of the police’s actions and want to hire a different one, you still have to pay the same full amount. In fact, some of the people who use the services most get a tax credit because of it, an example of which is that parents get tax credits for their children, yet their children could quite feasibly be using government funds for their public schooling. Therefore, yes, I think that a forced fee, on threat of violence, for services you may or may not receive, is theft.

Let us just pretend, for a moment, that you did, in fact, willingly hand over your hard-earned money to the government for the “services” they “give” to you. What happens if you are unsatisfied? Does the government give you a refund, say sorry, and see you on your way? No. The government keeps the money, tells you to fill out a complaint form (that may or may not be read, and, if it is read, it probably will not cause them to change anything because, due to their monopoly status, this is your only choice!), and you still will not ever see a cent of your money back. In a free market, I would avoid a company that provided such horrible service, and would make sure that a company I used, especially for things that are so important, offered a money-back guarantee.

I don’t think I got feedback on this one yet. And I’m dropping the class and just paying back my boyfriend the $25 he spent on it. I learned what I wanted to learn from it, and I just don’t have the time nor the energy for the response papers, never mind the huge paper I was going to have to write soon.

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Hi! Too lazy to go find the feedback, but here’s the assignment!

Response Paper 2

Webster defines monopoly as “exclusive control of a commodity or service in a given market, or control that makes possible the fixing of prices and the virtual elimination of free competition.” I believe that, if you use this definition, that the government is a monopoly.
One of the problems with monopolies (coercive ones, at least) is that they are wasteful. If all the business for a particular item or service were guaranteed to you, why would you bother trying to cut costs when you can just do whatever you want and get a boatload of money regardless? For an example of this in the government, I look to the police force, however cliché that may seem. In my small town, there is a very low crime rate. Even as a small, petite, unarmed female, I feel completely safe walking around alone in the middle of the night. However, recently in the newspaper, my friends and I noticed that the town police station is actually being given more money to hire more police. If you assume that the police stop crime or lower crime (which is debatable), then would it not be more efficient for that money be given to a police station in an area where the crime rate is higher? However, since the government has a monopoly on police forces, they can afford to waste money however they see fit, because people cannot take their money away from the government police force and pay a more efficient one, or, even, indeed, pay for another one even without drawing their money away from the police, because the government would not allow it. Even if the police spent the entire day harassing innocent people (which some people would argue they do), it’s impossible to remove your support from them, because the government takes taxes away from you, under threat of violence, to pay the police officers, and doesn’t allow you a choice in the matter. In a free market, rendering such horrible service would obviously drive customers away, to police companies that were both more efficient and gave better service.
Another example of this is the postal service. For quite some time now, the postal service has been hemorrhaging money, and trying to make up for it by raising the price of stamps, and, now, contemplating eliminating Saturday delivery. Yet the United States government prohibits creating a competing postal service. If the postal service is hemorrhaging money as badly as they are, one assumes they must be inefficient. Either they pay their workers too much, or give them too many benefits, or the mail carriers take unnecessarily long routes to deliver the mail, or any other number of such inefficiencies. If the government had not created a coercive monopoly, if the postal service was being inefficient, a competing, more efficient postal service could pop up as a competitor, and, by being more efficient, could offer lower prices to the customer. This is helpful to both parties, because the customer gets a lower price, and the shop owner gets more business from people wishing to save money. Either the government postal service would have to become more efficient to be able to compete, or their competitors would force them out of business.

Pretty much the feedback was all like “Good job..here’s a few points I want to share about monopolies too!” So, yeah.

Enjoy!

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