Babby’s First Incentive Problem: NPR Discovers That Soft Jazz and Rainbows Don’t Cure Heroin Addiction

The other day I was listening to my favorite center-leftist radio station on NPR (Conservatards don’t actually have a monopoly on asinine political commentary on the radio – the leftist version just gets gubmint money fo’ dem programs and is on FM). Having developed a rather thick skin from a misspent youth talking to horrible people of various stripes online, I usually quite enjoy all the exasperated guises of neutrality, the roundabout demographic pandering, and the generous use of the word “problematic” that NPR has to offer. Sometimes though it gets better than that, and I endanger myself and other motorists by succumbing to the urge to furiously tip my fedora out of the sheer euphoria that overcomes me when I hear some of the shit they say on there completely blind to the implications. The other day I mentioned was one such episode. The program begins with a female Hispanic journalist talking about noticing a lot of homeless people in the Back Of the Yards neighborhood where she works, a renowned shithole in my very own native Chiraq. Her journalistic curiosity taking over, she began asking them where they were coming from (maybe to plug the hole; it gets awful drafty in the Windy City). The nature of their answers though, is where this gets interesting. Almost all of the people she talked to told her stories with a few common themes:

  1. They were from Puerto Rico
    2. They were addicted to hard drugs of some kind
    3. They were promised by someone in Puerto Rico (Usually a government healthcare worker) that there were miracle rehab facilities in America that could help them
    4. Someone in Puerto Rico (Usually a government official) paid for their plane ticket to Chicago
    5. Someone in Puerto Rico (Often the cops) drove them to the airport
    6. There were not miracle rehab facilities in America that could help them Continue reading
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Walter Block and Daniel Webster: Could a Free Society Be a (Voluntary) Slave Society?

It has now been over a decade since libertarian Santa Claus, Walter Block, published the essay, “Toward A Libertarian Theory Of Inalienability: A Critique of Rothbard, Barnett, Smith, Gordon, Kinsella, and Epstein”. In this work, he critiqued standard Lockean notions of inalienable rights such that the Founding Fathers of our glorious American empire only paid lip service to in adopting the Constitution; a document giving them the authority to alienate the hell out of those rights. Unlike Locke and Rothbard (may peace be upon him), the good professor Block believes that the right to the self is, in fact, alienable, in the sense that ownership of the self can be voluntarily traded away. This is said to carry the very controversial implication of permissiveness toward what has been called “voluntary slavery”. 

The idea of voluntary slavery is not novel; in fact, it’s a crucial part of much of leftist folklore- the indefinite subjugation of an individual based on the exchange of his body (and soul, maaaaan!) to a mustache-twirling capitalist for the sale of some necessary good. This being the case, the enemies of property are utterly delighted by the indignation they can treat themselves and their comrades to, in reading this essay. Left-libertarians in particular use this debate to feed their outrage about how propertarians stole their label from some anti-Semites who didn’t like paying rent  Like anything else, this issue can also be combined with certain libertarian stances on the rights of children, invariably producing a Dickensian carnival of horrors in the minds of communists everywhere.

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