i don’t call the cops.
there’s nothing they can do for me that i can’t do for myself.
There are alternatives to calling the cops. For example you can file an notarized affidavit with any court that does the exact same thing as filing a police report. Well it does everything except get the cops to investigate. I might file a police report and an affidavit if a firearm or my truck was stolen. These things usually have ways to prove they are mine built right into them. But if someone stole my goddamn crescent wrench it’s almost impossible to prove which wrench is mine . The cops wont put the effort into finding a $100 wrench that they would a registered firearm or automobile.
No matter what is stolen the affidavit is probably more powerful in the event of a problem than the police report. The police report doesn’t get filed into the public record until charges are laid with the court. Police have been known to “forget” to do their job and it’s not a stretch to say the report never got transferred from the cop’s notebook to their recording system. But when you file an affidavit it becomes public record. For the courts or police to lose or improperly file an affidavit is a very serious problem as compared to losing or improperly handling a police report. The police lose or refuse to file reports all the time.
The affidavit is more powerful for many reasons. The most important is that the police rarely have the time to follow up on these things. They need to fill their ticket and arrest quota. Chasing down a wrench that can’t be effectively proven to be the one in question isn’t a priority.
Another benefit is that an affidavit keeps the injury private. When you have a cop file a police report the injury is transferred to the government. It’s now their injury and you willingly surrendered all of your rights to it. For example did you ever notice that all charges laid in court have a monetary value attached to them? The charges might be “petty theft of a wrench valued at $100” and the value of the charges could be set to $500. What’s that $500 about? If the thief is convicted do you ever see the money? Not if you called the cops. You surrendered that right when you brought the cops about it. The crime went from a private injuryto a public one. So not only will the thief be sentenced to way too much time in prison for theft but you don’t get your rightful compensation for the injury. Now the judge gets your compensation added to his retirement fund or something. Is it any wonder why Judges are so rich and that they get considerably richer as they move up the judicial ladder?
Another thing a police report does is subjects a petty thief to inhumane punishment. Why should they go to prison over your stolen wrench when they could just pay you the $500 and return the wrench? What benefit is there to society to subject another human being to those monsters in the “justice” system? Don’t you really just want your wrench back and compensation for the time and money the theft caused you? Is a wrench really worth all that inhumane treatment? Geez man if I get my wrench back and compensation for having to go buy a new wrench in the mean time what more can I really ask for? Is it worth risking the thief being brutalized in prison over?
The police, judges and lawyers all conspire to keep this from you. Either they aren’t allowed to tell you or they hide it because they all aspire to move up in this scam. So by safeguarding the scam for those higher on the ladder they are safeguarding their future as well. If this information was more widely known the whole balance of power could shift. These guys won’t give you the information that could render them obsolete.
Expand your thinking.
When I am discussing the State with my colleagues at Duke, it’s not long before I realize that, for them, almost without exception, the State is a unicorn. I come from the Public Choice tradition, which tends to emphasize consequentialist arguments more than natural rights, and so the distinction is particularly important for me. My friends generally dislike politicians, find democracy messy and distasteful, and object to the brutality and coercive excesses of foreign wars, the war on drugs, and the spying of the NSA.
But their solution is, without exception, to expand the power of “the State.” That seems literally insane to me—a non sequitur of such monstrous proportions that I had trouble taking it seriously.
Then I realized that they want a kind of unicorn, a State that has the properties, motivations, knowledge, and abilities that they can imagine for it. When I finally realized that we were talking past each other, I felt kind of dumb. Because essentially this very realization—that people who favor expansion of government imagine a State different from the one possible in the physical world—has been a core part of the argument made by classical liberals for at least 300 years. …
In debates, I have found that it is useful to describe this problem as the “unicorn problem,” precisely because it exposes a fatal weakness in the argument for statism. If you want to advocate the use of unicorns as motors for public transit, it is important that unicorns actually exist, rather than only existing in your imagination. People immediately understand why relying on imaginary creatures would be a problem in practical mass transit.
But they may not immediately see why “the State” that they can imagine is a unicorn. So, to help them, I propose what I (immodestly) call “the Munger test.”
- Go ahead, make your argument for what you want the State to do, and what you want the State to be in charge of.
- Then, go back and look at your statement. Everywhere you said “the State,” delete that phrase and replace it with “politicians I actually know, running in electoral systems with voters and interest groups that actually exist.”
- If you still believe your statement, then we have something to talk about.
This leads to loads of fun, believe me. When someone says, “The State should be in charge of hundreds of thousands of heavily armed troops, with the authority to use that coercive power,” ask them to take out the unicorn (“the State”) and replace it with “George W. Bush.” How do you like it now?
If someone says, “The State should be able to choose subsidies and taxes to change the incentives people face in deciding what energy sources to use,” ask them to remove “the State” and replace it with “senators from states that rely on coal, oil, or corn ethanol for income.” Still sound like a good idea?
How about, “The State should make rules for regulating sales of high performance electric cars.” Now, the switch: “Representatives from Michigan and other states that produce parts for internal combustion engines should be in charge of regulating Tesla Motors.” Gosh, maybe not …
In my experience, we spend too much time fighting with our opponents about their unicorns. That is, we claim that the unicorn/State itself is evil, and cannot be tamed in a way that’s consistent with liberty. The very mental existence of the unicorn is the target of our arguments.
The problem, of course, is that the unicorn they imagine is wise, benevolent, and omnipotent. To tell them that their imaginations are wrong is useless. So long as we insist that our opponents are mistaken about the properties of “the State”—which doesn’t exist in the first place, at least not in the way that statists imagine—then we will lose the attention of many sympathetic people who are primarily interested in consequences.
To paraphrase Hayek, then, the curious task of the liberty movement is to persuade citizens that our opponents are the idealistic ones, because they believe in unicorns. They understand very little about the State that they imagine they can design.
In terms of whether parental aggression (spanking) decreases aggression in the child, the answer is no. In fact, spanking tends to increase child aggression. “Spanking predicted increases in children’s aggression over and above initial levels [of aggressive behavior]” and “in none of these longitudinal studies did spanking predict reductions in children’s aggression over time” (p. 134). Instead, spanking predicted increases in children’s aggression.
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