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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5713/richard-epstein-on-the-structural-unity-of-real-and-intellectual-property/

Richard Epstein on “The Structural Unity of Real and Intellectual Property”

October 4, 2006 by

New from Law professor Richard Epstein: The Structural Unity of Real and Intellectual Property (video). Epstein argues that there are many similarities between physical property and “non-physical” property (i.e, intellectual property). Epstein identifies four principles that create a basic framework for understanding physical property law. He concluded in his speech that all four can be applied to intellectual property with the main difference being transfer of such property is only absolute in the case of physical property.

I think Epstein confuses positive law with justification. Of course IP “can” be enforced. But recognzing crucial role of scarcity in specifying property rights makes it clear that any enforcement of IP is always done in the physical realm–enFORCEment, get it? Enforcing IP in the physical realm in effect means a claim to IP is a claim to physical property. Property that is already owned. Property whose ownership is justified–in libertarian terms–by the first possession of that piece of property by the owner or an ancestor in title–the homesteader or someone who contracts with him. Granting a right to control that resource to an IP creator simply means transferring rights in an already-owned thing to a non-homesteader, non-contractor. We libertarians call this theft, trespass, confiscation, socialism, or redistribution of wealth. Showing that modern positivistic legal systems can “deal with” IP does not show it is justified.

{ 270 comments }

Stephan Kinsella October 12, 2006 at 8:02 am

Sasha: I’m reaching the point of boredom/exasperation having to explain this to you. You need not agree with me and Rothbard, but our position is really not that hard to understand. Give it a try.

Only alienable property is subject to a title transfer in a contract. This means homesteaded objects; and it does not mean your labor. The consequence is that if Mr. Potatoe agrees to give Mr. Wheat his potatoes when they come in, and Mr. Wheat agrees to give Mr. Potatoe his potatoes when the crop comes in, they *are exchanging titles to property*. When the potatoes are available, they become Mr. Wheat’s potatoes automatically. It does not matter if Mr. Potatoe is in a coma or not on tht day: some of his potatoes *become owned by* Mr. Wheat. The coma is irrelevant in this case. If Mr. Potatoe is awake and refuses to let Mr. Wheat take the potatoes that are now his, that would be an act of trespass. BUt he is not doing this, even if he is in a coma. Being in a coma is not active; is it not “refusing” to do anything.

On the other hand, suppose Mr. Wheaat has already paid his wheatto Mr. Potatoe; and later one, for some resaon, Mr. Potatoe’s crop is destroyed. He has no potatoes on the due date. In this case, Mr. Potatoe is not refusing to pay–he has nothing to pay with. He is not stealing anything–there are no potatoes to steal. He is not stealing the wheat that was previously given to him and already consumed. He is not stealing it becuase there is no stealing-action. Failing-to-have-potateos is not an action, it is a condition or state or status, not an action. Moreoever, the act of theft purportely happens on the due date for the potatoes: on that day, there are no potatoes, and no wheat left–so it is not even conceivable to say he stolet he potatoes which never came into existence; northt he stole wheat which no longer exists.

To say he stole something, you have to say that he stole the wheat back on the day he received it. But on the day he received it, Mr.Wheat gave it to him free and clear. Property always has to have title. You cannot wait for a year and then decide whether the transfer was theft or nto–that would mean the proprty has no clear owner for the interim. This is ridiculous. (Hoppe goes into this in some of his writing, why proprty always has to have an owner.)

The point is, title to things is alienable; once you transfer it, you cannot change your mind, since it’s already been done. but if the thing to be transfered does not exist on the due date, there is not theft, since there is noting to steal.

But in a contract where you pay someone for a service the money to be paid is alienable and title to it transfers when the labor-condition is satisfied. There is no title to the labor since it is inalienable (according to Rothbard). If you are in a coma on the day of promised service, having already been paid, you would hav to say not-performing is an act of theft (of the money previously paid?)–but not-performing is not an act, so it cannot be theft; and anywya you can’ steal something in the past–actions are always future-oriented.

If you can try to understand the basic implicataions of my, Rothbard’s, and Evers title transfer theory of contract, I think you’ll have a better appreciation of what I’m saying. But please make a sincere effort since I am gettint weary of explaining things that are realy not that high-level difficult.

Peter October 12, 2006 at 9:50 am
Sasha Radeta October 12, 2006 at 12:26 pm

The fact that Stephan thinks he made a good argument is really troubling.

I’ll try to explain my position one more time, using SAT type analogy.

—————————————————————————————–

In a MARKET EXCHANGE:
Labor to a worker is like wheat to a wheat-farmer.

—————————————————————————————–

- A worker exchanges his labor for someone else’s property (money) – JUST LIKE a farmer exchanges his wheat for someone’s money

- In case that the worker refuses to deliver his labor that someone already paid for, he is committing a theft – JUST LIKE the wheat farmer is committing a theft if he refuses to deliver wheat that someone paid for.

- If the worker fails to fulfill a work contract by spending his labor somewhere else, he owes damages to his employer – JUST LIKE the farmer who decides to sell or spend his wheat elsewhere in spite of the contract, owes to his purchaser. (Note that worker and wheat-farmer will not be forced to produce their additional labor or additional wheat, since this would constitute enslavement)

- If the worker’s energy (ability to work) get’s impaired by an outside force, he is not committing a theft – just like a wheat farmer is not committing a theft if his wheat gets destroyed by an outside force.

CONCLUSION:

All of Stephan’s attempts didn’t produce anything but some ugly and childish noise. In spite of the fact that goods and services are different in their physical properties, in market exchange context – exchanges of the ownership titles – they are fundamentally treated in same manner. You own your labor – simply because you own your entire inseparable physical body (both matter and its energy).

PS

To go back to Stephan’s example about fence-painting (this is from “business law I”):
- Imagine that a painter makes a mistake and instead of your neighbor’s house comes to you and start painting your fence. You see him before he start his work, but you decide that your fence needs painting too – so you allow him complete the work.

Will you owe him compensation IN SPITE of the fact that you did not have any “conditional” contract with him? Absolutely! The fact that you decided to consume his labor makes you his debtor and you owe him compensation in order to complete this market exchange of PROPERTY.

quasibill October 12, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Sasha,

You make some decent points, but you need to be more careful in your vituperative statements. Your painting scenario is WRONG, by business law I standards. There is no LEGAL remedy there – there is an equitable remedy, which permits the court to “even out” the scenario by rewarding the painter any “unjust enrichment” given to the fence owner. However, that value awarded (if any) is based upon the value bestowed upon the fence owner, NOT the value of the painter’s labor to the painter. Hence, it is highly unlikely the painter will get compensated according to his wage rate.

And note, that it is absolutely necessary in your scenario that the fence owner be aware of the mistake – if he isn’t aware of the painter’s actions until after the painter is finished, there will generally be no “unjust enrichment” and the painter gets no compensation for his labor. This all severely weakens the contention that “theft” is involved in the scenario at all.

Second,

You need to go back and re-visit business law I and re-learn the concept of “efficient breach”. It totally negates most of your bulleted points. Also of interest will be the nexus between “theft by fraud” and “contractual breach”. These are different concepts that have traditionally been kept scrupulously distinct (although crusading prosecutors have recently been blurring the lines with their partners on the bench). The timing of the intent to not perform is of utmost importance in determining whether a theft has occurred.

These are all very fundamental concepts developed through the common law (the closest thing we have to a free-market legal code). It is extremely important to have a clear distinction between failure to perform and theft – they are not, and should not be, treated the same way.

Sasha Radeta October 12, 2006 at 1:06 pm

Quasibill,

WHO SAID THAT THERE IS A LEGAL REMEDY IN MY PAINTING SCENARIO? There is no contract, but that is not my point.

Of course that there will be equitable remedy to EVEN OUT the exchange in this market transaction.

Second,

My bullet points are based on Rothbard’s and Stephan’s arguments. I am not talking about current legal parctices – but ethical issues.

Neither you, nor Stephan, were able to prove that in market exchanges labor is treated any differently than regular merchandise.

Sasha Radeta October 12, 2006 at 1:15 pm

I revisited my bullet points and I will be happy to discuss them, quoting Stephan and Rothbard. It will be good to see if the sale of labor implies anything different than sale of ordinary merchandise (in cases that purchased good or service is not delivered, in case it is prevented by an outside force – or if the seller decides to back-out of a contract).

Name at least one example, which would illustrate this alleged difference. Please use the following analogy: “In terms of market exchange of end-products: Labor to a worker is like wheat to a wheat-farmer” – and illustrate your points.

Stephan Kinsella October 12, 2006 at 1:26 pm

Sasha:

In a MARKET EXCHANGE:
Labor to a worker is like wheat to a wheat-farmer.

—————————————————————————————–

- A worker exchanges his labor for someone else’s property (money) – JUST LIKE a farmer exchanges his wheat for someone’s money

Yeah, they are similar, except the farmer has title to, and owns, his wheat, while the worker does not have title to his labor.

- In case that the worker refuses to deliver his labor that someone already paid for, he is committing a theft – JUST LIKE the wheat farmer is committing a theft if he refuses to deliver wheat that someone paid for.

No, you continue to misunderstand. If a worker is paid ahead of time and then refuses to work, he is not committing theft. There is nothing to steal. NOw I grant you that most such agreements would provide for subsidiary title transfers–that IF you get paid ahead of time and do not do the work, THEN you owe money back to me. If that happened, and the lazy worker refused to hand over money that is owned by the emploeyr ,then he is a thief. Sure. A thief of the employe’s money.

If the wheat farmer is paid ahead of time then the buyer now owns the wheat he produces. When it is produced the buyer owns it. The wheat producer cannot refuse to hadn it over. HE does not owe merely monetary damages: he ows the wheat.

Sasha you also fail to understand the more normal case where the farmer, and laborer, is NOT paid ahead of time. Rather, the understanding is that when you provide the wheat, or when you perform the service, then you are paid. In this case, if you refuse to perform you have not committed any theft at all. However, the wheat seller MUST turn over the wheat (and take money in payment) when he produces it. THe difference here is becuase the wheat seller has title to wheat and therefore can transfer it–and when this happens, the new owner can insist on his property. BUt you do not own your labor, and therefore, the “buyer” can’t insist you perform it.

You own your labor – simply because you own your entire inseparable physical body (both matter and its energy).

Like, hey, wow, man, do you, like, own your “aura” too?

Sasha: why don’t you explain what you think it means to “own” your labor? What does this claim mean over and above the proposition that one owns one’s body?

quasibill October 12, 2006 at 1:59 pm

“WHO SAID THAT THERE IS A LEGAL REMEDY IN MY PAINTING SCENARIO?”

Well, for starters :

Sasha: “In case that the worker refuses to deliver his labor that someone already paid for, he is committing a theft”

Wrong. Theft, as noted, requires more facts than what you have laid out. What you have laid out is nothing more than a contractual breach, which allows for compensation to the extent of expectations, or, to the extent allowed by the contract.

Sasha: “Will you owe him compensation IN SPITE of the fact that you did not have any “conditional” contract with him? Absolutely! ”

Wrong. The correct answer is – possibly! You might, under the specific scenario you point out (foreknowledge on the part of the owner), but the compensation is NOT based upon the value of the painter’s labor! It is entirely based upon the value of the “unjust enrichment” accruing to the owner. There is no theft of the painter’s labor. Hence, at best, your argument is irrelevant to the question of whether a person owns his labor.

Sasha: “The fact that you decided to consume his labor makes you his debtor and you owe him compensation in order to complete this market exchange”

Wrong. That fact that you unjustly allowed him to enrich you MAY (depending on circumstances such as his own negligence in painting the wrong fence) entitle him to some damages from you. But again, it is not based upon his labor, it is based upon the fact that you gained a benefit you do not deserve. Again, the fact that you don’t owe anything if you’re unaware of the painter’s actions cuts deeply into your contention that the proper paradigm is theft of labor.

“I am not talking about current legal parctices – but ethical issues.”

Then perhaps leaving out the snarky comments about Business Law I would be a good path to clarifying for others what you are talking about.

And, as I noted, there is a certain presumption that attaches to common law precepts – they arose from a nearly free market process. And the distinctions made in the common law are very precise, and foundationally sound. You’ve been very sloppy with the concept of theft, and have ignored the substantial difference between the concept of theft and the concept of breach of contract.

All of this detracts mightily from whatever point(s) it is that you are trying to make with Stephan. I might actually agree with some of them, but as I’ve noted, your snarkiness has only demonstrated the sloppiness of some of your thinking.

As far as how labor is treated differently from other property in market exchanges, it’s pretty clear, at least in American law, that you can’t get specific performance in a labor contract. In other words, if you promise to sing at my concert hall, then back out that morning, I can’t go to court to get an order that requires you to sing. On the other hand, if I contract with you to build a custom jet, and you build it but at the last second decide to renege on our deal, I CAN go to a court to get an order requiring that you give me that jet. In this instance, labor is treated VERY differently from any other form of marketable property.

Stephan:

“NOw I grant you that most such agreements would provide for subsidiary title transfers–that IF you get paid ahead of time and do not do the work, THEN you owe money back to me. If that happened, and the lazy worker refused to hand over money that is owned by the emploeyr ,then he is a thief. Sure. A thief of the employe’s money. ”

Wouldn’t that require the contract to have as a duty for the employee to hold the pre-paid wages in trust for the employer? Merely pre-paying the wages, without more, generally means the employer assumes the risk of loss due to non-performance.

Again, it is important to differentiate between a party that, at the time of contracting, does not intend to perform, and a party that, while intending to perform at the time of contracting, later changes his mind. One is a thief, who may be liable (under Rothbard) for essentially punitive damages, while the other is merely in breach of contract, and only is liable to the extent of the contract.

Sione Vatu October 12, 2006 at 3:03 pm

TGGP

There’s a little history here. In large part Person’s anger stems from a previous occasion where based on evidence I concluded he was a liar. He’d been caught dead-to-rights claiming he’d already answered questions he hadn’t addressed at all. Anyway he’s quite unpleasant, the sort of person who needs to be taken outside to the car-park to receive the right good hiding his mother should have given him some years ago.

With regards to Person this time around, its a case of “the lady doth protest too much”. He needs to calm down and take his own advice. That is, he should try to avoid being the perfect hypocrite.

Here is what I posted:

*

Gentlemen and Lady
Given the positive contention is that IP is property, then the burden for proving it falls directly upon those who assert that approach.

What is the proof?

On this string there have been ideas presented such as:

-value scarcity (which means what precisely & how does that justify a partial ownership of my resources, time, values and property?)

-there are no “things” without “thoughts” (how can that be? There can be no “thoughts” without a brain to think with and that brain is a “thing” which belongs to somebody; another “thing”.)

-ideas are scarce (needs to be proved, more likely to be false; being in the business of commercialising research and development I have to admit that ideas are common, even the “good ideas”, hear about them all day every working day- as is said “talk is cheap”)

-analogy of “homesteading” applied to ideas (how can someone own the content of another individual’s mind without enslaving that individual?)

And so on…

All of which require proof of their own and none of which makes a case for IP.

What is necessary is to demonstrate a proof for the contention that IP is property. Then it is necessary to show how that property is to be allocated (complete with justification for that particular method of allocation).

Stephan Kinsella indicates that the case for IP is arbitrary and unjustified. Over many months (years?) he’s supplied formidable evidence for his position. Further he’s gone ahead and presented some proofs for that position. He is not required to do this. BUT WE ARE. If any of us accept the notion that IP is property, then it the burden of proof is upon us since we are asserting the positive.

Despite having worked with patents for years, I have not discovered a justification for them. They do not consistently encourage useful innovation, so I can’t use that justification. They absolutely require the imposition of an arbitrary and frequently unjust govt operated system of priveledge. That does not bode well. So the pro-IP position argument appears weak.

Can anyone on this thread provide a proof?

*

That’s self-explanatory, surely. It wasn’t an attack on Person. I was seeking a pro-IP validation should there be one available and provable. Perhaps if he’d wiped the spit from his chin and read some (probably needed to put his finger on the words and sound them out one at a time) he’d not have been so quick to respond thus:

*

-value scarcity (which means what precisely & how does that justify a partial ownership of my resources, time, values and property?)

Wow, Sione, you’ve outdone even yourself. Given that I’ve answered each more than twice in this thread, I’ll leave you to find the answers to those questions.

Stephan Kinsella indicates that the case for IP is arbitrary and unjustified. Over many months (years?) he’s supplied formidable evidence for his position. Further he’s gone ahead and presented some proofs for that position.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! You’re kidding, right? Stephan’s tactic is to pic on the worst arguments he can find, and anytime anyone presents anything coherent, he parses it down into meaninglessness and mocks it, like he’s done to me many, many times. He won’t even answer the challenge I’ve given him REPEATEDLY since April or March (about the relevance of idea non-scarcity), without changing the topic.

Please, cure your naivete, and stay out of topics you don’t understand.

*

What was asked for was not what he presented. Is there a validation? It has not been provided. Certainly not by him.

Regarding Stephan Kinsella’s arguments, those are discoverable from an extensive web site, some papers, contributions to the VMI site etc. It’s solid stuff and readable. Person is being quite dishonest. BTW regarding how he evaded answering questions I addressed to him on a previous thread- interesting how he applies one standard to himself and another to other people.

So what was requested was not what he presented. Why do you suppose that might have been? Was it because he does not read what is provided to him? Or does he not understand? Or is it because his position relies on pro-IP premise and in the end he can’t defend it adequately?

Given the context, his response and the material he’s posted on previous threads the understanding is that his is a pro-IP position. Fair enough. But it is insufficient to defend that position by playing around at the edges of Stephan Kinsella’s critique or by evading what was asked. It certainly is not sufficient to dish out abuse. A proof of the positive is what was (and still is) required and that is what was requested. What did person produce?

-ad hominem

-abuse

-argument by insistence

-argument by personal incredulity

-bad manners

He evaded the point (and not for the first time). And how he responded demonstrates what sort of a person he is! His behaviour isn’t helpful and goes some way to explaining why he’s so frustrated. Such thunderous emotion. Irrational.

What could he have done? He could have directly addressed the question. He could have admitted he was unable to produce proof but was sympathetic to the IP cause, stating reasons. He could have said he did not support it and state reasons for that. He could have explained why his concepts were valid and useful in dealing with the question at issue, justifying them with the formal proofs as necessary to make a case. He could even have attempted the equivocation or tried to support a notion that IP was not property but it justified a property ownership restriction. He’d still need to demonstrate formal proofs for that though. He didn’t do those things. He dished out abuse. What a dud. The conclusion is that he won’t respond sensibly since he realises his premise and conclusions regarding IP are likely untenable. Notice how he avoids dealing with the substantive altogether; provision of proof or even an indication of where it is to be found. He is unable to perform. And that’s what happened last time he was challenged. Could not provide specific performance.

Concluding: The core problem for the pro-IP position is the validation or proof. It is insufficient to rely on attempts to undermine critiques of IP. What’s required is direct validation. Is it available?

Sione

Sasha Radeta October 12, 2006 at 9:31 pm

STEPHAN SAID: “No, you continue to misunderstand. If a worker is paid ahead of time and then refuses to work, he is not committing theft. There is nothing to steal.”

ROTHBARD SAID: “Smith has the absolute right to change his mind, but he no longer has the right to keep the $1,000,000. If he does so, he is a thief of the Jones Corporation’s property; he must, therefore, be forced to return the $1,000,000 plus interest.”

———————————–

According to Rothbard, I am correct. If you take your client’s money, but you don’t deliver your service – you are a thief. You stole his/her money. I really don’t see why Stephan is insisting on such silly replies.

.
.
.

STEPHAN SAID: “If the wheat farmer is paid ahead of time then the buyer now owns the wheat he produces. When it is produced the buyer owns it. The wheat producer cannot refuse to hadn it over. HE does not owe merely monetary damages: he ows the wheat.”

Nonsense. If that wheat farmer spends his wheat somewhere else and he no longer has it – he will not be forced to go out on a field and start producing it – because that would be an enslavement. He may buy wheat somewhere else or pay damages in a monetary equivalent – but he will not be forced into slavery. Likewise, an actor who doesn’t show up in studio for a movie that he already got paid for will not be forced to act – but he will have to provide either his service or monetary damages. No difference.

.
.
.

By the way, energy has real physical property that builds our physical body. When we apply it to an unclaimed property, we transform it and we are able to claim that product of our energy (that belongs to us) is now our property. Essentially, that is completely in accord with Locke when he says that by mixing OUR labor with an unclaimed property – it becomes our property.

Stephan Kinsella October 12, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Sasha:

STEPHAN SAID: “No, you continue to misunderstand. If a worker is paid ahead of time and then refuses to work, he is not committing theft. There is nothing to steal.”

ROTHBARD SAID: “Smith has the absolute right to change his mind, but he no longer has the right to keep the $1,000,000. If he does so, he is a thief of the Jones Corporation’s property; he must, therefore, be forced to return the $1,000,000 plus interest.”

———————————–

According to Rothbard, I am correct. If you take your client’s money, but you don’t deliver your service – you are a thief. You stole his/her money. I really don’t see why Stephan is insisting on such silly replies.

Yes. I have explained in detail in my lengthy contract piece why Rothbard is confused and incorrect here (in the section Theft and Debtors’ Prison starting on p. 32 of this article. If you had taken the time to familiarize yourself with the literature instead of trying to reinvent the wheel like all too many newbies do, you would realize this.

STEPHAN SAID: “If the wheat farmer is paid ahead of time then the buyer now owns the wheat he produces. When it is produced the buyer owns it. The wheat producer cannot refuse to hadn it over. HE does not owe merely monetary damages: he ows the wheat.”

Nonsense. If that wheat farmer spends his wheat somewhere else and he no longer has it – he will not be forced to go out on a field and start producing it – because that would be an enslavement.

I believe your reply is dishonest and disingenuous. I have given this example several times and each time you dodge the issue and change the hypothetical so you do not have to face up to this issue. I am not talking about where the wheat is already spent. I am talking about when he still has the wheat, but refuses to turn it over. In that case, it is theft. You don’t want to admit this, because it shows the clear difference between labor, which there is no ownership of, and homesteaded things, which there is.

Let me give a clearer example that you cannot worm out of. We agree that I will buy your hunk of cheese for a dollar. The agreement is that if and when I tender my dollar, the cheese becomes mine. Now, I lay down my dollar. According to your theory, you can at this point change your mind, keep your cheese, and tell me to take my dollar back. According to Rothbard and me, the cheese is now mine, wehther you like it or not. Title to it has already shifted to me. So if you refuse to hand it over, you are now in possession of my property without my consent–that’s trespass.

You don’t like this example becuase it shows there is no analogue for labor–because labor is not owned.

By the way, energy has real physical property that builds our physical body.

Oh for God’s sake here we go with the pseudo-science again.

Sasha Radeta October 12, 2006 at 10:04 pm

quasibill, point by point

SASHA: “In case that the worker refuses to deliver his labor that someone already paid for, he is committing a theft”

QUASIBILL: “Wrong. Theft, as noted, requires more facts than what you have laid out. What you have laid out is nothing more than a contractual breach, which allows for compensation to the extent of expectations, or, to the extent allowed by the contract.”

ROTHBARD: “Suppose that Smith, when making his agreement for lifelong voluntary obedience to the Jones Corporation, receives in exchange $1,000,000 in payment for these expected future services. Clearly, then, the Jones Corporation had transferred title to the $1,000,000 not absolutely, but conditionally on his performance of lifelong service. Smith has the absolute right to change his mind, but he no longer has the right to keep the $1,000,000. If he does so, he is a THIEF of the Jones Corporation’s property; he must, therefore, be forced to return the $1,000,000 plus interest. For, of course, the title to the money was, and remains, alienable.”

S:

With all due respect, I agree with Rothbard and I think he makes a lot more sense than you do.

————————————————–

Sasha: “Will you owe him compensation IN SPITE of the fact that you did not have any “conditional” contract with him? Absolutely! ”

QUASIBILL: Wrong. The correct answer is – possibly! You might, under the specific scenario you point out (foreknowledge on the part of the owner), but the compensation is NOT based upon the value of the painter’s labor! It is entirely based upon the value of the “unjust enrichment” accruing to the owner. There is no theft of the painter’s labor. Hence, at best, your argument is irrelevant to the question of whether a person owns his labor.”

S:

At best, your response is irrelevant. First of all, if your fence was in a good shape prior to painting you were only marginally enriched. But that does not mean that you will pay couple of bucks to a painter. If you are “unjustly enriched” by service of painting – you were served with someone’s labor and material. You don’t just own for the paint that is now on your fence – you own more. The fact that you didn’t ordered that service may give you a discount – but you will still have to pay an equitable remedy TO BALANCE out the market exchange. You consumed someone’s labor (property of a body) and you will have to pay some of your property (money).

————————————————-

QUASIBILL: “Then perhaps leaving out the snarky comments about Business Law I would be a good path to clarifying for others what you are talking about.”

I am talking about real example from a Business Law I class. That is not a snarky comment.

————————————————-

QUASIBILL: You’ve been very sloppy with the concept of theft, and have ignored the substantial difference between the concept of theft and the concept of breach of contract.

S:

I was not sloppy. For heaven sake, I was just paraphrasing Rothbard. He said that a worker who take his owner’s money – but refuses to deliver his/her services – is a thief. That’s all. Rothbard said it.

————————————————-

QUASIBILL: “if you promise to sing at my concert hall, then back out that morning, I can’t go to court to get an order that requires you to sing. On the other hand, if I contract with you to build a custom jet, and you build it but at the last second decide to renege on our deal, I CAN go to a court to get an order requiring that you give me that jet.”

Well, court cannot do anything before the breach/injury happens. If I spend my labor somewhere else – I cannot be enslaved and forced to deliver it on another day. Likewise, if I gave that jet to someone else – I cannot be enslaved to construct another one, if I don’t want to be in jet business anymore.

————————————————–

QUASIBILL: “Again, it is important to differentiate between a party that, at the time of contracting, does not intend to perform, and a party that, while intending to perform at the time of contracting, later changes his mind. One is a thief, who may be liable (under Rothbard) for essentially punitive damages, while the other is merely in breach of contract, and only is liable to the extent of the contract.”

S:

Incorrect. Rothbard states that even if you change your mind later – but you keep the money – You are a thief. That is explicitly stated by Rothbard. Stephan is looking for a way out of that one, but he can’t do anything about it.

Sasha Radeta October 12, 2006 at 10:19 pm

STEPHAN: “Yes. I have explained in detail in my lengthy contract piece why Rothbard is confused and incorrect here.”

I think you are confused and incorrect. Rothbard was only being consistent with his correct attitude that you own your own labor.

————————————————–

STEPHAN: “. I am not talking about where the wheat is already spent. I am talking about when he still has the wheat, but refuses to turn it over. In that case, it is theft.”

I AM TALKING ABOUT WHEAT THAT IS ALREADY SPENT – just because you talk about my labor that was spent elsewhere when the breach of contract occurs. You refuse to respect a correct analogy.

————————————————–

STEPHAN “Let me give a clearer example that you cannot worm out of. We agree that I will buy your hunk of cheese for a dollar. The agreement is that if and when I tender my dollar, the cheese becomes mine. Now, I lay down my dollar. According to your theory, you can at this point change your mind, keep your cheese, and tell me to take my dollar back. According to Rothbard and me, the cheese is now mine, whether you like it or not. Title to it has already shifted to me. So if you refuse to hand it over, you are now in possession of my property without my consent–that’s trespass.”

See how silly you are. Even though I may disagree with the abovementioned – I will say that I agree with you and Rothbard on this one – just to show you how inferior your arguments are.

So you put your dollar on the table, but I decide not to take it. Instead I decide to eat that cheat. Yes, I am trespassing. Yes, I will be ordered to compensate you. BUT I WILL NOT BE FORCED INTO MILKING COWS AND MAKING MORE CHEESE. Just like an actor that backs-out of a contract and decides to spend his energy elsewhere will not be enslaved and forced to act. So what’s the difference?

Person October 13, 2006 at 12:01 am

SIONE VATU: I’m waiting for your profuse apology.

Stephan: do you now finally concede the point I’ve been arguing all along: that non-scarcity of ideas does not support your case against IP? You’ve all but admitted it at this point.

Stephan Kinsella October 13, 2006 at 1:28 am

Sasha:

STEPHAN: “Yes. I have explained in detail in my lengthy contract piece why Rothbard is confused and incorrect here.”

I think you are confused and incorrect. Rothbard was only being consistent with his correct attitude that you own your own labor.

Okay then! That’s settled!

STEPHAN: “. I am not talking about where the wheat is already spent. I am talking about when he still has the wheat, but refuses to turn it over. In that case, it is theft.”

I AM TALKING ABOUT WHEAT THAT IS ALREADY SPENT – just because you talk about my labor that was spent elsewhere when the breach of contract occurs. You refuse to respect a correct analogy.

And, everyone knows, one “must” “respect” a “correct analogy.”

So you put your dollar on the table, but I decide not to take it. Instead I decide to eat that cheat. Yes, I am trespassing. Yes, I will be ordered to compensate you. BUT I WILL NOT BE FORCED INTO MILKING COWS AND MAKING MORE CHEESE.

Tell us more about your cheese-eating views, Sasha. More.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 1:34 am

Person, grow-up…

————————————————–

Just to preempt some possible responses:

quasibill,

Imagine that you have a brand-new green fence. Getting a wrong address, a painter shows-up at your place with some blue paint. You say to yourself: “hmmm, this would look nicer” and you just let the guy complete his job.
- Now, your fence was new and painting did not enrich you in terms of improvement in its value. Do you owe anything to a painter? Of course you do – and don’t say “yes” because you won’t help Stephan by killing your integrity. You were served by someone’s labor and you owe the money.

Stephan,

Notice that when we make the analogies between undelivered labor and undelivered merchandise, labor is always spent – because our physical body with its matter and energy/work is tied to a time component. You can’t go back in time and deliver your service to a yesterday’s show. That’s why the only fair comparison is one in which merchandise is also spent and no longer available. Yes, the difference between labor and other goods is that you can preserve undelivered merchandise and give it back – while your body’s energy/work is spent every second. Duh… But that has nothing to do with the ownership title issue.

You can’t say that the merchandise that is not durable is not a property – just because you can’t preserve it and deliver it by the time you get a court order. Instead of cheese example, why didn’t use a warm hamburger? By the time you get a court order to deliver that particular hamburger – it is already spoiled. Would the court order you to deliver a spoiled hamburger, expecting that you didn’t eat it? Of course not… But I wouldn’t be obligated to make you another one if I no longer make them. Forcing me to work would represent enslavement, according to you and Rothbard.

So what’s the difference? I am still waiting to hear. Don’t rush…. take your time.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 1:56 am

I’ll help you. The difference is in durability – between stable forms of energy (matter) and less stable ones. But it still does not affect the property issue od physical body in its entirety.

Stephan, it is a good thing that you gave up a career in engineering and that you write pseudo-law jokes instead. What a great move.

banker October 13, 2006 at 5:38 am

For those wondering what would happen if patents and intellectual property were to disappear, look no further.

http://www.ft.com/markets/wizardry
(articles are free to read)

The finance industry enjoys no such patent protection aparatus. Yet that hasn’t stopped banks from devising ever more sophisticated products. I think this casts doubt on the notion that patents encourage innovation.

quasibill October 13, 2006 at 7:58 am

Sasha-

You’ll have to point to explict references, because while Rothbard may have at certain times referred sloppily to someone as a “thief”, I think when he actually discussed remedies and such, he was fairly accurate and consistent. I’ll admit that I may be missing something, so I’ll give a mea culpa if you can show me where, when he talks about remedies, he confuses contractual breaches with theft.

My understanding is such:

Theft was an unjustified aggressive taking of another’s property (aggressive including truly fraudulent action). Thieves were subject to not only repaying the value of the property taken, but actually 2x that as a form of punitive property.

In contrast, a mere contract breacher is liable only pursuant to the contract. Punitive damages, as such, are not available against a contract breacher.

Therefore, it is extremely important to distinguish between the two categories of transgressors.

As for particulars:

“First of all, if your fence was in a good shape prior to painting you were only marginally enriched. But that does not mean that you will pay couple of bucks to a painter”

Actually, under the common law as it developed and mostly exists, in fact that IS all you will pay the painter. You in fact have NO contract with him, so his only hope is to prove you have unjustly benefitted from his efforts. YOU DO NOT OWE HIM HIS LABOR WAGE THAT HE WAS CHARGING YOUR NEIGHBOR. You never contracted for that. And, as I noted, it is in fact entirely possible that the equity judge will decide it’s the painter’s own fault for making the mistake and award him nothing! That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between equity and law.

“I am talking about real example from a Business Law I class. That is not a snarky comment.”

I thought you just claimed that you weren’t talking about law, but ethics? Oh that’s right, that’s exactly what you said. So which is it? And again, if you came to the conclusion you did from something taught to you in business law, you need to get a refund, because your conclusion was dead wrong on the law.

“Well, court cannot do anything before the breach/injury happens. If I spend my labor somewhere else – I cannot be enslaved and forced to deliver it on another day. Likewise, if I gave that jet to someone else – I cannot be enslaved to construct another one, if I don’t want to be in jet business anymore”

Exactly. Your labor is not a piece of property. It is a derivative right flowing from the ownership of your own body. This example shows how granting property rights in your labor actually negates property rights in your own body. This is related to a point Stephan repeatedly makes that granting property rights in non-rivalrous goods by necessity means taking already existing property rights in rivalrous goods.

TGGP October 13, 2006 at 7:58 am

Sione Vatu: Person may be as bad as you claim. In his free time he might rape puppies, steal candy from babies and force-feed it to diabetics. I don’t know and right now I don’t care. What he most certainly has NOT done anywhere I’ve read is advocate I.P. What he has done before and continues to do is argue about scarcity. I think he’s wrong about it. If you do as well, then start attacking his arguments on scarcity rather than insist he prove a case he has never advocated.

Sasha Radeta: Your argument about the painted fence is ridiculous. There was never any agreement or contract between us. If I only valued having a painted fence about half a cent, that’s going to be less than labor and materials cost which is why I hadn’t hired the painter in the first place. It’s the painter’s own fault he painted the wrong fence and it’s not my responsibility to stop him from screwing up. Just like how I don’t have to pay one of those squeegee people on the street that work on your car without being asked and then demand money.

Person October 13, 2006 at 8:40 am

Sione:

In large part Person’s anger stems from a previous occasion where based on evidence I concluded he was a liar. He’d been caught dead-to-rights claiming he’d already answered questions he hadn’t addressed at all.

You never did such a thing. On the thread you’re referring to, I did the same thing I did here: I state a proposition I was trying to prove, and I proved it. I answered every clarifying question you asked about it. What I did not do was answer questions about matters unrelated to my post and which I never asserted an opinion on. What I did not do was dig up extensive research for you, when my opponent in that debate (Stephan) already accepted the essential parts.

Here, the exact same thing has happened again! Sione again and again asked me to prove things I never tried to, and again and again asked me to explain things that I already explained. This time I even posted a history of WHERE I explained all those things, which he clearly had not read (else he would already know the answer), even though he lied and claimed he had.

Sione: do you understand what I’m trying to demonstrate here? Do you understand what arguments I have advanced to that end? If not, state specifically what you missed. At this point, I will probably only need to give you the time and date of the post for you to find it, but of course, even then you’ll probably ignore it.

Your posts on this thread and the other have been little more than ignorance disguised as indignation. Cut it out, and read my posts before responding.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 10:13 am

quasibill,

You may say that under common law you are not going to pay anything to a painter that painted your brand-new fence and changed its color (didn’t improve its value) – but that’s a nonsense. Like I said, you don’t help Stephan like that.

I said its an example from Business law I, but implications don’t have to be reflected in current law practices. There are ethical issues (I am not referring to your dishonesty here) – again, even if you say that courts will decide that you don’t owe anything to painter – it is evident that such nonsense is unjust.

When it comes to the treatment of labor in cases in which we don’t fulfill our contract – you didn’t prove that labor is not treated just like any other property.

You can’t say that the merchandise that is not durable is not a property – just because you can’t preserve it and deliver it by the time you get a court order. Instead of airplane example, why didn’t use a warm hamburger? By the time you get a court order to deliver that particular hamburger – it is already spoiled. Would the court order you to deliver a spoiled hamburger, expecting that you didn’t eat it? Of course not… But I wouldn’t be obligated to make you another one if I no longer make them. Forcing me to work would represent enslavement.

When it comes to cases in which you don’t deliver your labor for the money – Rothbard explicitly said it is a theft. I gave you the quote from him. What else do you need?

Stephan Kinsella October 13, 2006 at 10:20 am

Person: Are you dodging Sione’s questions.

Person: “Stephan: do you now finally concede the point I’ve been arguing all along: that non-scarcity of ideas does not support your case against IP? You’ve all but admitted it at this point.”

Okay. I “concede” it. Now what?

Sasha:

STEPHAN “Let me give a clearer example that you cannot worm out of. We agree that I will buy your hunk of cheese for a dollar. The agreement is that if and when I tender my dollar, the cheese becomes mine. Now, I lay down my dollar. According to your theory, you can at this point change your mind, keep your cheese, and tell me to take my dollar back. According to Rothbard and me, the cheese is now mine, whether you like it or not. Title to it has already shifted to me. So if you refuse to hand it over, you are now in possession of my property without my consent–that’s trespass.”

See how silly you are. Even though I may disagree with the abovementioned – I will say that I agree with you and Rothbard on this one – just to show you how inferior your arguments are.

You agree with it even though you disagree with it? I am not sure what you are saying.

But if you agree here, you have switched ground, because earlier you said that in such a case, you could refuse to hand over the cheese and just pay money damages instead. I guess you are trying to figure out just what your position is here.

So you put your dollar on the table, but I decide not to take it. Instead I decide to eat that cheat. Yes, I am trespassing. Yes, I will be ordered to compensate you. BUT I WILL NOT BE FORCED INTO MILKING COWS AND MAKING MORE CHEESE.

Actually, in the example you just gave, you are literally stealing my cheese. This is an act of theft. In libertarian theory, theft may be punished. Don’t you agree? It’s legitimate to jail, punish, etc, aggressors. One thing you could do is force the prisoner to milk cows and make cheese. Why not?

I think you are confused and incorrect. Rothbard was only being consistent with his correct attitude that you own your own labor. Okay then! That’s settled!

No, I’m a frayed knot. He was actually not being consistent. He totally drops the confused notion that you own your labor, when it comes to talking about real contracts. Each time he gives an example where someone pays money for another to provide a service, the only title he speaks of is title to the payment transferring.

Notice that when we make the analogies between undelivered labor and undelivered merchandise, labor is always spent – because our physical body with its matter and energy/work is tied to a time component. You can’t go back in time and deliver your service to a yesterday’s show.

Labor is not “spent”. It is in the past. It is an event, a happening, a “thing you do” with your body–it is just an action. Actions are not ownable. Processes, happenings are not ownable. They are what-happens-to-things.

You can’t say that the merchandise that is not durable is not a property – just because you can’t preserve it and deliver it by the time you get a court order. Instead of cheese example, why didn’t use a warm hamburger? By the time you get a court order to deliver that particular hamburger – it is already spoiled. Would the court order you to deliver a spoiled hamburger, expecting that you didn’t eat it? Of course not… But I wouldn’t be obligated to make you another one if I no longer make them. Forcing me to work would represent enslavement, according to you and Rothbard.

In such cases the other party would not want the spoiled hamburger anyway; he would in that case *ask* for monetary damages. But in the case where you contract to sell a car, you have to give up the car when the buyer pays for it. You have no choice. Why? Because cars are alienable objects that the seller owns. Title to such acquired scarce resources can be transferred to someone else based on conditions.

I’ll help you. The difference is in durability – between stable forms of energy (matter) and less stable ones.

So now you are saying a body is made of matter, which is a stable form of energy? But I thought before you said a body was made of energy AND matter? Which is it? And what does this have to do with “mental energy”?

Person October 13, 2006 at 10:34 am

ATTENTION ALL READERS OF THIS BLOG. Stephan Kinsella has just conceded the point I have been arguing since April, and which he has fighting tooth and nail since then by changing the topic, parsing my posts into meaninglessness, and generally being condescending. See the quotation of his post below:

Person: “Stephan: do you now finally concede the point I’ve been arguing all along: that non-scarcity of ideas does not support your case against IP? You’ve all but admitted it at this point.”

Okay. I “concede” it. Now what?

Now what? Here’s what: You agree that the arguments you present on pp. 22-31 of your seminal work are in error. The arguments you make there do not help your case at all. The argument there, that non-scarcity of ideas proves the invalidity of IP, you now concede to be in error. This doensn’t by itself refute your conclusion, but it means that from this point forward, any time you try to use idea non-scarcity to attack IP, you are making a willful deception of others through an irrelevant argument. You can no longer in good faith invoke idea non-scarcity to support your position, and you should correct anyone else who tries to do so.

That is “what”.

Person: Are you dodging Sione’s questions.

No. I’ve answered every question he’s asked, or explained why it’s irrelevant. I even quoted the posts where those answers were given mutliple times, proving that he lied when claiming he read my posts.

Stephan Kinsella October 13, 2006 at 10:42 am

Person: just kidding. I don’t really concede it. I just wanted to see you get all giddy.

Person October 13, 2006 at 10:50 am

Stephan: then reply to my arguments above that establish its irrelevance to your case, without changing the topic, please. Concede or refute, your choice.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 10:50 am

TGGP, please search in google for “unjust enrichment” and learn what it is. Even though you get a discount for the fact that you didn’t have a contract and you didn’t request the service (so that answers the quasibill’s quasi-argument) – you still allowed someone to enrich you with their service. You will pay – even if your fence was new and its value did not improve at all.

————————————————–

Stephan, grow-up.

I repeat again – nondurable merchandise is still a property. Go back to my fresh hamburger example and you will see that there is no difference in treatment of undelivered labor (service) and undelivered hamburger (nondurable good) under the same legal circumstances. In both cases, THE DAMAGED SIDE WILL SEEK MONETARY COMPENSATION – BECAUSE YOU CANNOT FORCE SOMEONE TO WORK OR MAKE HAMBURGERS. That would constitute enslavement – and this is why Rothbard is consistent when it comes to his definition of theft (in which he included the undelivered labor). There is no difference in that sense – between nondurable property (that spoil in time) and your work (which is tied to a time component).

————————————————-

Btw. quasibill,

You own your labor/work because it is derived from ownership over your physical body (energy patterns). If you say you own your body – based on physics – you basically say that you own your energy and work. If you deny scientific facts in economic theory, your theory is invalid.

quasibill October 13, 2006 at 10:56 am

“There are ethical issues (I am not referring to your dishonesty here) – again, even if you say that courts will decide that you don’t owe anything to painter – it is evident that such nonsense is unjust. ”

Well, not referring to your dishonesty here, but stating that something is evidently unjust is not proof that it is. It isn’t nonsense, it is a logically thought through application of principles of justice – Judeo-Christian justice, at that.

It is not evidently unjust at all. In fact, as I’ve repeatedly noted, the question decided by a court is exactly the “justice” of the “enrichment”.

You have failed to refute any aspect of the argument.

“When it comes to the treatment of labor in cases in which we don’t fulfill our contract – you didn’t prove that labor is not treated just like any other property.”

Um, yes. I pointed to how I can’t force you to labor. You conceded that I can’t, and that it would be unjust if I could. You then said that I would be unlikely to ask for a cold hamburger – but once again, your sloppiness shows through – I COULD ask for a court order for it and get it. That I choose some other form of remuneration is irrelevant – I do have a legal (and under our paradigm) “just” right to that specific hamburger, should I so choose it.

Now, foreseeing your next step, I’ll admit that if you in fact destroy the hamburger by ingesting it, I have no right to it, because “it” doesn’t exist anymore. I can only get some form of compensation for your destruction of the property.

This does not apply to your labor – I can never force you to labor – I can only ask for compensation.

So yes, I have demonstrated, and you have conceded, that labor IS treated differently from other goods traded in the market:

“But I wouldn’t be obligated to make you another one if I no longer make them. Forcing me to work would represent enslavement.”

Actually the court wouldn’t order you to make me one even if you still made them. It would only order compensation equivalent, which you would probably trade for a hamburger IF I ACCEPTED THE SUBSTITUTE. And, as you concede in the last sentence – granting property rights in labor would represent a negation in your property rights in your body – i.e. “enslavement”.

greg October 13, 2006 at 11:02 am

NSK> Labor is not “spent“.

Well maybe so. But opportunity cost makes it sound that way.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 11:04 am

One more time:

http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/voice1.htm

The same goes for the physical object we call brain, which creates and contains ideas. But brain is not formed only of matter:

http://www.fi.edu/brain/carbs.htm

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 11:18 am

Quasibill,

like I said, if someone paints your brand-new fence – it doesn’t improve its market value – but you still owe the compensation to the painter.

The only thing you proved is that labor is tied to a time component. It is not identical to a warm hamburger that spoils in time – but the analogy is still close enough to realize that you are completely wrong.

Go back to our undelivered labor and hamburger example. In both cases THE DAMAGED SIDE WILL SEEK MONETARY COMPENSATION – BECAUSE YOU CANNOT FORCE SOMEONE TO WORK OR MAKE HAMBURGERS. You may be an idiot that seeks a spoiled hamburger – but likewise, you may me an idiot that seeks an apology (another form of labor).

It still does not prove your point and your attempts seem more and more absurd.

Labor is “spent”, because you can’t go back in time and use it for your next best alternative. Greg – right on the money!

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 11:38 am

If you are intelligent enough to understand my point – instead of undelivered hamburger – you may think of even a closer analogy to undelivered labor. Imagine that I am an insect seller. In spite of our contract – I refuse to hand you an insect called lania americana the shortest lived among the Ephemeroptera with females typically living for less than five minutes.

Even if you are stupid enough to seek a dead fly – and courts are stupid to hear your case – by the time you get the court order the insect will completely dissolve.

So how can I deliver you the nonexistent merchandise? I didn’t destroy it, but that’s irrelevant. The merchandise is not there – just like my past labor is not there anymore. You can’t force me to go to nature and get you another one (enslavement issue). So how is that different from undelivered labor (property) for which you cannot seek compensation in the same type of labor?

————————————————–

“Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.”

George Orwell

quasibill October 13, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Sasha:

“like I said, if someone paints your brand-new fence – it doesn’t improve its market value – but you still owe the compensation to the painter.”

Me:

Yes, you said it, but it’s wrong, ethically AND legally. You seem to think assumption and assertion is the same thing as proof. They’re not.

You actually do NOT owe compensation to the painter, under the law, and since you’re stipulating no enrichment, not even under equity! Otherwise, as TGGP pointed out, those beggars on the street would be making a killing in equity court by washing your windows. If the painter can prove that it is, in fact, unjust that you retain some benefit (note that this benefit IS required for the remedy), then you owe him some form of compensation. But as I have repeatedly pointed out, and you have dodged, it is NOT based upon how much labor he put into it. It could be 1 hour or 500 – his compensation will be entirely based upon how much you were “enriched” – which is most often going to be determined by change in market value of the fence (or perhaps in the attached realty in some cases). The remedy has NOTHING to do with compensating the painter for his labor, and everything to do with encouraging you to act reasonably and inform the painter of his mistake when you recognize it.

It’s really quite a simple concept.

“The only thing you proved is that labor is tied to a time component. It is not identical to a warm hamburger that spoils in time – but the analogy is still close enough to realize that you are completely wrong.”

No, it is so different as to show that it has no relevance. Find another analogy – after all, it was your challenge to find how labor is treated differently. I showed you how it was – I have distinguished every example you have given. LABOR IS TREATED DIFFERENTLY. The onus is now on you to find another good that is treated like labor. But note that even if you do, at this point, I have shown that it is treated differently than the vast majority of goods.

And again (and again, and again) – you have not addressed your own concession that granting property rights in labor by necessity requires granting others property rights in your body.

“You may be an idiot that seeks a spoiled hamburger – but likewise, you may me an idiot that seeks an apology (another form of labor).”

But I can’t get a court order requiring an apology, while I can get one requiring the hamburger. Try again.

“Even if you are stupid enough to seek a dead fly – and courts are stupid to hear your case – by the time you get the court order the insect will completely dissolve.”

The point is not that you did or didn’t destroy it. The point is that it doesn’t exist, and therefore no property rights can in fact exist with respect to it.

And here you get to the crux of your flawed argument:

“just like my past labor is not there anymore”

Your past labor no longer exists – therefore no property right. Your future labor does not yet exist, therefore, no property right. So by your admission here, there are no property rights in labor.

Now, if you want to parse all the way down, I’ll grant you that in every instant, it is plausible (though flawed for other reasons) to argue that you “own” property rights in your current labor. But that property right is so fleeting as to be essentially meaningless.

Let me quote you as a response:

“It still does not prove your point and your attempts seem more and more absurd.”

That sentence is a fair assessment of yourself. And the Orwell quote applies pretty well too, except 180 degrees from the way you meant it. Once again, your snarkiness scores you no points, and in most cases, does nothing more than indicate your sloppy thinking.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 1:22 pm

quasiball,

You do owe compensation if you allow a person to paint your fence. Bums who wash your windshields can never “make a killing”- because they do not have a significant claim to get the court to hear their case – but the painter does have it. If someone delivers tobacco products to you by mistake and you consume them – you can’t say they didn’t enrich you if they hypothetically caused you an illness and healthcare costs. You didn’t benefit from tobacco in monetary terms, but it did enrich you by providing you the pleasure of consumption at the seller’s cost – just like a change in fence enriched you at the painter’s cost.

YOU SIAD – “Your past labor no longer exists – therefore no property right.”

A DISSOLVED/DECOMPOSED INSECT DOES NOT EXIST ANY MORE (some maybe valuable if they are rare)- BUT THERE IS A PROPERTY RIGHT. The fact that it doesn’t exist anymore, does not change the fact that you did not deliver what was mine based on the contract (property title exchange). Otherwise – if you own such non-durable fauna, you could just grab someone’s money, run, and than wait for nature to kill and decompose the merchandise you owe. That is nonsense and you know it.

You are trying to help Stephan at all costs, but you are sinking lower and lower.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 1:39 pm

QUASIBILL SAID: “Now, if you want to parse all the way down, I’ll grant you that in every instant, it is plausible (though flawed for other reasons) to argue that you “own” property rights in your current labor.”

Of course that you have to grant it – because you understand that I am correct. The fact that work/labor is property of our physical body’s energy (instead of stable matter, which is also a manifestation of energy) – makes it tied to time component. We irreversibly spend our labor every second and we cannot go back in time to spend our labor on our next-best alternative. We may find a close analogy in labor in extreme examples of nondurable property (just because courts are too slow to react to theft of the short-living insect that I mentioned). But just like you can own a rare short-living insect – you own your body’s energy/work.

PS
No, you cannot steal someone’s lania americana and wait for nature to dissolve it, without providing a compensation. You didn’t destroy the insect – but you made other side poorer by stealing it. You have to pay for it.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 1:52 pm

QUASIBILL SAID: “But I can’t get a court order requiring an apology, while I can get one requiring the hamburger. Try again.”

I’ll try again…

Even with more durable property, analogy (labor-hamburger) still works…
- If I fail to deliver you a warm hamburger, you may be insane enough to ask for a decomposed matter that used to be a hamburger after couple of months. You will get a different form of matter as compensation.
- If an actor fails to fulfill his contract, the film studio can ask for the court-ordered apology. You would get a different type of labor as compensation.

Court-ordered apologies are not any more unusual than a request for decomposed ex-hamburger.

http://www.ecoenquirer.com/eagle-apology.htm

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Quasibill knows that the courts CAN order you an apology – especially if you ask for it as the only mean of compensation – but he chooses to say an obvious lie and humiliate himself in order to help Stephan… How touching and cute.

Reports abound in the media of judges requiring defendants to apologize as a condition of receiving probation rather than incarceration.

Examples range from:
- judges ordering drunk drivers to take out newspaper ads with an apology to the community (See Daniel W. Shuman, The Role of Apology in Tort Law, 83 JUDICATURE 180, 187 (2000).),
- to requiring batterers to apologize to their spouses before women’s groups (See, e.g., Haya El Nasser, Paying for Crime with Shame: Judges Say “Scarlet Letter” Angle Works, USA TODAY, June 25, 1996, at A1; see also Thomas M. Antkowiak, Note, Truth as Right and Remedy in International Human Rights Experience, 23 MICH. J. INT’L L. 977, 1009–12 (2002) (noting several instances of judge-ordered apology in the context of a discussion of the benefits of systematically incorporating restorative principles in the U.S. criminal justice system),
-to ordering corporate polluters to write letters of apology for their environmental crimes and pay for newspaper advertisements detailing their conduct. See Kahan & Posner, supra note 29, at 367 (citing Richard Phillips, Shame as a Deterrent, CHI. TRIB., July 27, 1988, at C20).

When defendants refuse to cooperate in such coerced expressions of remorse they risk the wrath of the court. For example, a federal judge in Hawaii recently sent a former city council–member back to prison, rather than to a halfway house, after the former city council–member refused to apologize to the community for misusing taxpayer funds. See KITV News, The Hawaii Channel (ABC television broadcast May 16, 2005).

And a court in New Hampshire recently ordered a man to undergo “empathy training” after he failed to apologize as a condition of probation. Alan J. Keays, Court: Man Must Work on Empathy Issues, RUTLAND HERALD, May 17, 2005, at B1.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 2:57 pm

TGGP SAID: “Just like how I don’t have to pay one of those squeegee people on the street that work on your car without being asked and then demand money.”

——–

MY SUGGESTION: Instead of conveniently choosing an example in which service cost is so low that it cannot yield a court-hearing – try to run away from dry-cleaning or car-wash without paying – and then have a nerve to tell me that you don’t owe them their money. (No, they won’t charge you based on their costs of their machines and material – because many of them already paid those off and that is not how they form the price of their SERVICE, but you still owe them their money).

Stephan Kinsella October 13, 2006 at 3:15 pm

Sasha:

Instead of conveniently choosing an example in which service cost is so low that it cannot yield a court-hearing – try to run away from dry-cleaning or car-wash without paying – and then have a nerve to tell me that you don’t owe them their money. (No, they won’t charge you based on their costs of their machines and material – because many of them already paid those off and that is not how they form the price of their SERVICE, but you still owe them their money).

Only if the money’s title was transferred subject to a condition. That does not mean the service that is the condition is property. It’s an activity, an action, a doing. Mmmm kay?

A DISSOLVED/DECOMPOSED INSECT DOES NOT EXIST ANY MORE (some maybe valuable if they are rare)- BUT THERE IS A PROPERTY RIGHT.

What about decomposed cheese? Does it have more, or less, “energy” than edible cheese?

No, you cannot steal someone’s lania americana and wait for nature to dissolve it,

Please. This is a family forum.

Sasha: why do you refuse to answer the simple question: if you maintain that inability to repay a debt on the day due is theft, when was the theft, and what was it that was stolen? Was it a non-existent thing? Or are you time traveling?

Person: what do you think, hmm?

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 3:53 pm

STEPHAN “Only if the money’s title was transferred subject to a condition. That does not mean the service that is the condition is property. It’s an activity, an action, a doing. Mmmm kay?”

I’ll try to guess what you tried to say with this:
The bum example is not a good one, because you can run away from them even if you had a verbal contract and the courts won’t even hear such insignificant claim. On the other hand – if a car-wash takes your car by mistake and you give them keys and let them finish the job – you won’t be able to claim that your car was clean and that you don’t owe them any money. If a painter changers the color of your fence – you still owe him for that service, even if it didn’t enrich you. Likewise, if a tobacco product causes you health damages that annul the value of merchandise you received – you will still owe them the money.

Not according to quasibill – but he is dishonest person, who claimed that courts cannot order you to apologize just like they can order you to return a spoiled hamburger.

STEPHAN: “What about decomposed cheese? Does it have more, or less, “energy” than edible cheese?” That would take us away from our topic. What is significant here is the following:
- If I fail to deliver you a fresh cheese that you already purchased, you may be insane enough to ask for a decomposed matter that used to be cheese after couple of months. You will get a different form of matter as your compensation.
- If an actor fails to fulfill his contract, the film studio can ask for the court-ordered apology. You would get a different type of labor as compensation.

So what’s the difference between two cases? You cannot explain this because you are too stubborn to revisit your theory and realize what the ownership of any physical body includes.

STEPHAN: “Sasha: why do you refuse to answer the simple question: if you maintain that inability to repay a debt on the day due is theft, when was the theft, and what was it that was stolen? Was it a non-existent thing? Or are you time traveling?”

I don’t refuse to answer – I just don’t think it is appropriate to expose you to even more humiliation after so many failed attempts with your examples. But since ask for this one, mmm kay:

I said that I don’t maintain that INABILITY to repay the monetary debt is a theft – any more than I maintain that INABILITY to deliver a work is a theft.

If you refused to pay your debt on it due date – either the debt of labor or money (or merchandise) – you committed the theft on that particular day ACCORDING TO ROTHBARD.

I JUST MAINTAIN THAT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LABOR AND MERCHANDISE IN THIS ANALOGY. That is a simple point that, sadly, you still didn’t get.

Mmmm kay?

Person October 13, 2006 at 3:55 pm

Stephan: What I think, hmm, is that it’s finally dawned on you that I’m right, that the non-scarcity of ideas doesn’t help your case (and invalidates most of your posturing on this issue), but you’ve invested so much rhetorical capital here denying it all, so as much as you recognize the truth of what I’ve said, you damn well aren’t going to admit it where everyone can see, but rather, will keep your practices the same as before in hopes that people will forget about this exchange on this thread and that I won’t follow your future discussions and link to it.

Does that sound about right?

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Stephan…

Quasibill stated that a rare insect – that dies and completely decomposes before the court can order its delivery to its owner – is not a property and that the damaged owner cannot get compensated.

Quasibill basically claims that some physical bodies cannot be claimed as property – if they are not durable enough to be recovered by our “efficient” courts.

What’s your take on this? By the way, it indirectly relates to spoiled cheese’s stability of energy compared to less durable matter – and its analogy to physical work/labor.

Stephan Kinsella October 13, 2006 at 4:25 pm

STEPHAN “Only if the money’s title was transferred subject to a condition. That does not mean the service that is the condition is property. It’s an activity, an action, a doing. Mmmm kay?”

I’ll try to guess what you tried to say with this:
The bum example is not a good one, because you can run away from them even if you had a verbal contract and the courts won’t even hear such insignificant claim.

Aren’t all contracts verbal? Or do you mean oral? What’s your contract theory say about oral vs. written contracts?

On the other hand – if a car-wash takes your car by mistake and you give them keys and let them finish the job – you won’t be able to claim that your car was clean and that you don’t owe them any money. If a painter changers the color of your fence – you still owe him for that service, even if it didn’t enrich you. Likewise, if a tobacco product causes you health damages that annul the value of merchandise you received – you will still owe them the money.

Not according to quasibill – but he is dishonest person, who claimed that courts cannot order you to apologize just like they can order you to return a spoiled hamburger.

What about ordering you to apologize to a spoiled brat?

STEPHAN: “What about decomposed cheese? Does it have more, or less, “energy” than edible cheese?” That would take us away from our topic. What is significant here is the following:
- If I fail to deliver you a fresh cheese that you already purchased, you may be insane enough to ask for a decomposed matter that used to be cheese after couple of months. You will get a different form of matter as your compensation.
- If an actor fails to fulfill his contract, the film studio can ask for the court-ordered apology. You would get a different type of labor as compensation.

Interesting. Tell us more about your authoritative and coherent grand theory of contract!

So what’s the difference between two cases? You cannot explain this because you are too stubborn to revisit your theory and realize what the ownership of any physical body includes.

It includes the right to control its use, of course, silly goose! :)

STEPHAN: “Sasha: why do you refuse to answer the simple question: if you maintain that inability to repay a debt on the day due is theft, when was the theft, and what was it that was stolen? Was it a non-existent thing? Or are you time traveling?”

I don’t refuse to answer – I just don’t think it is appropriate to expose you to even more humiliation after so many failed attempts with your examples. But since ask for this one, mmm kay:

I said that I don’t maintain that INABILITY to repay the monetary debt is a theft

Oh, inteersting. You are changing your story once again. Glad you are learning. So let’s go with this, then: if A pays B $100 to paint A’s house next week, and B spends the money and is broke, and then B for some reasons refuses to paint A’s house (or: if A loans $100 to B, to be repaid with interest in one year, and B is insolvent on the due date), didn’t you maintain that you agree with Rothbard that this failure-to-pay is implicit theft?

And now, you are saying inability-to-pay is NOT theft. Why don’t you figure out what you believe, then we can argue about it? Howzat sound?

Above you said:

STEPHAN SAID: “So. If I am supposed to pay you $100 on that day, but I don’t have any money–what, exactly, have I stolen?”

YOU STOLE MY LABOR THAT WAS INVESTED IN TRANSFORMATION OF YOUR MEANS OF PRODUCTION. If you don’t have money that you owe me (and you agreed to pay it in this exchange), you should pay in something else, or go to prison – like any other thief. [...]

Stephan said: “An easy way to see this is to simply ask: when was the theft committed? ON the day the payment was given to him, or on the day he does not perform?”

On the day he does not perform, of course.

So, above you say that if the due date for a debt comes and you do not have the money, then you have committed theft–on that day–of LABOR. Now, several problems here. First, it contradicts your apparently new theory that says you do NOT commit theft by being unable to pay. Second, there is NO ACTION being done by the “thief” on the due date that can be referred to as an action of stealing–he is just existing, and in a state of poverty. How is that stealing? Third, … the labor was performed some time in the past: how can he steal something done in the past, today? Moreover, the labor was performed voluntarily, was it not? If so, how can it be said to have been stolen? How can labor done voluntarily today, be “stolen” a week later? Even if you somehow maintain labor is property, it seems the only way to steal it would be to coerce you to do it; but in this example, the impoverished debtor never coerced the service provider to do anything.

So, Sasha, how does your ever-evolving contract theory explain or handle these uncomfortable difficulties?

I said that I don’t maintain that INABILITY to repay the monetary debt is a theft – any more than I maintain that INABILITY to deliver a work is a theft.

But, er, yes you do maintain this: Remember, above I asked: “So. If I am supposed to pay you $100 on that day, but I don’t have any money–what, exactly, have I stolen?”: your reply was: YOU STOLE MY LABOR THAT WAS INVESTED IN TRANSFORMATION OF YOUR MEANS OF PRODUCTION.

Now, so you there said that being UNABLE to pay (that is what it means to not have any money), it is theft of labor. But now you say that “I don’t maintain that INABILITY to repay the monetary debt is a theft”.

You are very confused, Sasha, aren’t you? Why don’t you sort all this out, figure out what incorrect view you really have, then we can sort it out, mmm kay?

If you refused to pay your debt on it due date – either the debt of labor or money (or merchandise) – you committed the theft on that particular day ACCORDING TO ROTHBARD.If you REFUSE to pay a debt, you are indeed a thief–because refusing implies you choose not to do it, which implies you have it in your ability to do it but choose not ot. It implies you have property, title to which has transferred by virtue of a previous contract, to another person, and you refuse to turn over this property to its new rightful owner. That is a type of theft.

I JUST MAINTAIN THAT THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LABOR AND MERCHANDISE IN THIS ANALOGY. That is a simple point that, sadly, you still didn’t get.Of course there is a difference in unowned, external, scarce objects that one acquires and claims ownership of; and “things-that-one-does-using-his-body”. How can you think there is no difference between external objects, and actions we perform?

Person, help me out here, kay? Splain it to Sasha.

Person: What I think, hmm, is that it’s finally dawned on you that I’m right, that the non-scarcity of ideas doesn’t help your case (and invalidates most of your posturing on this issue), but you’ve invested so much rhetorical capital here denying it all, so as much as you recognize the truth of what I’ve said, you damn well aren’t going to admit it where everyone can see, but rather, will keep your practices the same as before in hopes that people will forget about this exchange on this thread and that I won’t follow your future discussions and link to it.

Does that sound about right? Uhh, yeah.

No, wait. Just kidding.

Person October 13, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Stephan: So what’s your story? Do you or do you not agree with my argument? (That non-scarcity of ideas is irrelevant to your case against IP.) If not, why not?

Person, help me out here, kay? Splain it to Sasha. Well, at least you recognize I understand your contract theory, but … If you think I’m going to help you out of this mess after all the stuff you’ve put me through (conveniently “forgetting” what you or I said previously, parsing my posts into meaninglessness, calling me obscene names via email, threatening to release my personal information, changing the topic whenever backed into a corner, etc etc etc), you’re gravely mistaken.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 4:43 pm

Stephan,

I hold that Rothbard was correct when he stated that if you don’t deliver your merchandise/labor to someone who already purchased it – that is a property theft.

There is no contradiction there if you understand that we own our physical body in its entirety (energy). EVEN IF YOU MAKE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN “INABILITY” AND “REFUSAL” – LABOR AND MERCHANDISE ARE TREATED IN THE SAME MANNER.

Camon, you can do it – think about it.

Even if you deny that extremely nondurable goods are not property, based on our courts’ efficiency (not so strange for a pseudo-libertarian)- you still haven’t proved that labor is treated any differently in cases where there is a wrong delivery – but there is no “enrichment” in terms of value (tobacco example vs. car-wash & painting).

I am still waiting for you to explain me the difference between labor and merchandise in a dispute about undelivered services vs. undelivered goods.

- If I fail to deliver you a fresh cheese that you already purchased, you may be insane enough to ask for a decomposed matter that used to be cheese after couple of months. You will get a different form of matter as your compensation.
- If an actor fails to fulfill his contract, the film studio can ask for the court-ordered apology. You would get a different type of labor as compensation.

So what’s the difference between two cases? TELL ME, PLEASE!

And don’t seek help from Person, that’s really low.

Sasha Radeta October 13, 2006 at 4:51 pm

Stephan…

Actually, quasibill already admitted that you can treat your current labor as your property – just like you can treat any nondurable product that will dissolve before court orders you to deliver it. Both cases are cases property exchange. He just doesn’t realize that ownership of the body’s energy (that creates matter) is present in both cases.

End of discussion.

TGGP October 14, 2006 at 12:06 am

Sasha, I’m not going to bother googling whatever you’re talking about. It’s a stupid idea and just because some people other than yourself have accepted it doesn’t make it any less stupid. A kid has been court-ordered to apologize to a tree he chained his bike to in the past.

Driving off from a car-wash is different. I deliberately went to the car-wash to get my car washed. I knew what I was doing when I handed over my keys (they usually have the price displayed). I entered into a contract then. A painter painting my fence is different. It requires action from me prevent him from painting my fence. Under libertarian theory you cannot have positive obligations unless you act to bring them upon yourself. Where do I do such a thing here? If I endeavored to make the painter think I was my neighbor that could be considered fraud. If I attempted to sue the painter for vandalizing my property the court might not take me seriously if there is evidence that I could have easily stopped him but chose not to, but I have a better case than the painter does suing me for his own screw-up.

Sasha Radeta October 14, 2006 at 1:29 am

Actually, I’ll have more fun with Stephan. Sorry – I didn’t read his response carefully. It was actually really funny. I can’t miss this opportunity…

================================================
STEPHAN: “First, it contradicts your apparently new theory that says you do NOT commit theft by being unable to pay.”
================================================

No, since I talked about parallels between labor and merchandise. There is no contradiction. Even if you call a theft “a mere breach of contract” – it EQUALLY applies to BOTH LABOR AND MERCHANDISE. So failed to prove your point.

But let’s go back to Rothbard’s definition of theft…

- If take your customer’s money, but you refuse to deliver the ordered merchandise – you committed the theft. Why? Under the contract, your merchandise legally transfers to your customer. If you unlawfully hold their merchandise, that is nothing but a theft.

Rothbard says that if you take your employer’s money for a labor contract, but you decide not to deliver the services to them – you committed the theft. You refused to deliver services that BELONG to your employer who paid for them. You would have to pay damages to your employer, but not with labor (since you can’t go back in time). Similarly, if you don’t deliver a valuable insect with an extreme short life-spam, you will have to compensate your customer with something else (since you can’t go back in time, when this merchandise still existed).

Perfect analogy that proves that labor is your property. You don’t even need physics and common sense to understand this- so there are no excuses for you Stephan.

So there is no contradiction and no rebuttal from you.

==================================================
STEPHAN: “Second, there is NO ACTION being done by the “thief” on the due date that can be referred to as an action of stealing–he is just existing, and in a state of poverty. How is that stealing?”
=================================================

The Theft Act 1968 Section1 states that a person is guilty of theft if: he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

Theft can occur when one side fails to deliver SOMEONE ELSE’S newly purchased property. Imagine this scenario: you come to a gas station and you pre-pay your gasoline at the counter. The Clerk takes your money – BUT THAN HE DOESN’ TAKE ANY ACTION. He doesn’t give you your gasoline. That is still a theft. Even if a 7 day period passes between the payment for goods&/services and the refusal of seller to deliver it – it still doesn’t change the basic definition of theft in both cases.

“Failure to fulfill conditions required by contract” – still doesn’t change the fact that in both cases one side is deprived of his/her property…

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: even your nonsense denial of theft applies to BOTH: labor and merchandise – equally. You failed to prove the difference between two cases.

==================================================
STEPHAAN: Third, … the labor was performed some time in the past: how can he steal something done in the past, today?
==================================================

- Question: How can a gas-station clerk steal your money that you handed prior to fueling?
- Answer: Easily… if he wants to be a stupid thief.

This clerk is committing a theft, because “he dishonestly appropriated property belonging to you with the intention of permanently depriving you of it”

Obviously, you didn’t learn this at the law-school. God bless America.

==================================================
STEPHAN: Moreover, the labor was performed voluntarily, was it not? If so, how can it be said to have been stolen? How can labor done voluntarily today, be “stolen” a week later?
==================================================

Well – wouldn’t you hand your money to the stealing clerk voluntarily? If so, how can you not say it has been stolen?

Of course that service or a good can be stolen if it was prepaid for a future delivery. By prepaying and stipulating the contract term, you arrange a transfer of ownership at the certain time. If at that exact moment your merchandise happens to be in someone else’s hands without your permission – that is the theft.

BUT GUESS WHAT – the same principle applies to labor. No difference whatsoever – because you own your labor, as you own your physical body with its energy. If you fail to deliver your labor, you are committing a theft. You can’t take someone’s money and run.

==================================================
STEPHAN: Even if you somehow maintain labor is property, it seems the only way to steal it would be to coerce you to do it; but in this example, the impoverished debtor never coerced the service provider to do anything.
==================================================

South Park reference:
Stephan, did you smoke maridjuana? Maridjuana is bad for you, mmm-kay?

If you don’t pay for someone’s last-week’s labor – you didn’t steal their voluntary service. You stole their money by keeping it unlawfully, mmm-kay? You mistakenly choose the example in which labor is delivered.

If you want to prove that YOUR labor is not YOUR property, you have analyze the case in which the purchased service is undelivered – and prove me that this case is legally any different than the case of undelivered nondurable merchandise.

I proved that there is no difference – by denying every possible attempt to prove the opposite – while providing scientific explanation of origin of work (from our own energy/physical body that we own).

==================================================
STEPHAN: So, Sasha, how does your ever-evolving contract theory explain or handle these uncomfortable difficulties?
==================================================

Uncomfortable difficulties?!?!?! You make me laugh!

Yes, I am an ever-evolving person, while you other hand are an example of opposite (trying not to insult you). You started by criticizing Richard Epstein, you unsuccessfully tried to criticize Rothbard (I had to show you how to criticize the maestro) – and you ended by not knowing a basic definition of theft…. (…or not knowing how to apply it to simple market exchanges, whatever may be the case.)

Bye, bye miss American pie…

Sasha Radeta October 14, 2006 at 2:09 am

TGGP,

read my last response to Steven and everything will be lot clearer to you.

By the way, your examples are wrong:

- I already explained that even if you agree to have your windshield cleaned by a bum – you can still run away from him just because his claim is not significant enough for the court hearing. But you cannot run like that from a car-wash. Therefore, you cannot use bums in “unjust enrichment” example, because they don’t prove a thing without a serious claim. Use a different example.

- Even if you didn’t order a painting service – you were aware that it was delivering, but you didn’t say a thing. I dare to say that you practically made an implicit contract with the other side (that’s different from an expressed, verbal contract, but don’t expect Stephan to know anything about it since he still struggles with the definition of theft). So you were unjustly enriched by their service – and you will have to pay for it. You will get a discount – to account for the responsibility of the painter – but you will pay.
- Even if your fence was brand new and you only wanted to change its color, that doesn’t mean you were not enriched by this service. You’re not going to get away with that, because you consumed someone’s service. NOW MY POINT: same thing applies if you get a large amount of tobacco products by mistake and you just go-ahead and consume it. You can’t claim that these products didn’t enrich you if your healthcare cost canceled the value of the merchandise that you received. You will still have to pay for the fact that you consumed merchandise at someone’s cost.

EVEN IF YOU DISSAGREE WITH COURTS AND THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF “UNJUST ENRICHMENT” – TELL ME HOW DOES THAT DISAPROVE MY ANALOGY BETWEEN TWO TYPES OF PROPERTY: LABOR (product of our energy) AND GOODS (products of stable energy patterns)? Is labor in your non-physical world treated any differently compared to merchandise, when it comes to market exchanges? How and why?

Sasha Radeta October 14, 2006 at 2:33 am

TGGP,

I only mentioned court-ordered apologies (they are mostly ordered to satisfy other people), just to prove to Quasibill that they exist. He denied that the film studio can get an apology if an actor refuses to provide his services that were assigned by the contract. He said that the courts can order the delivery of a spoiled hamburger to enforce a contract between a burger joint and a customer-)). So what’s the difference between two forms of stupidity?

On the other hand, we both agreed that courts cannot force this actor to act, just like they can’t force burger joint to make a hamburger (that would be enslavement).

Analogy between two different types of property perfectly holds. Just like past labor no longer exists when the dispute gets to court – nondurable goods can also disappear by that time (my extreme example with a rare insect). Still, property is a property.

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