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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5047/efficiency-demands-that-you-be-spied-on/

Efficiency demands that you be spied on

May 15, 2006 by

Here is Richard Posner on why we need domestic spying. Chicago strikes again.

{ 4 comments }

Bill May 15, 2006 at 5:12 pm

I am mostly sure that the author knows the US is not Britian. I am not so sure that the author understands that the US fought the revolution and in that process tarred and feathered British loyalists they caught spying.

In fact the US has always handcuffed the spy agencies, that pesky document, the Constitution, kept getting in the way.

But now, we do not have to worry about this, if your a spy agency because the terrorists are out there. We have Bush and his, if the law doesn’t fit, then I ignore IT, cabal who are firing up the intelligence services to employ their craft against US citizens acting lawfully, except in the areas of smoking, tax return filing, skipping school, having toilets and shower heads that use too much water, talking on cell phones too loudly, looking at smut on the internet, saying threatening things about the president, etc.

I wonder if Bush and Blair know that there are a lot more terrorists outside of their countries than inside. Hell it doesn’t matter anyway.

Mark D. Fulwiler May 16, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Ah, the utilitarian argument. Posner needs to tell me exactly how the government calculates the greatest good for the greatest number. What magic formula do they use?

I’m wondering why Posner would be against, say, 10 men gang raping a women. After all, wouldn’t the pleasure 10 people experience outweigh the pain of one person? Or perhaps we could kill a person to provide lifesaving organ donations for 4 other people (2 kidneys, one liver, one heart).

TGGP May 17, 2006 at 12:24 pm

Mark, it seems to me that you are assuming one gang rape causes just as much disutility to its victim as a lone rape. Even if that were not the case, the disutility of rape could feasibly be so high that if everyone on the planet gained the rapist’s utility it would still weigh less than the victim’s disutility.

quasibill May 17, 2006 at 2:04 pm

How in the world would one go about measuring the utility or disutility of a rape?

If the disutility could “feasibly be so high”, that acknowledges that it might not be, and in fact, probably isn’t, right?

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