Contraband Dog

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by Marc Stevens

I received this from Ilya in Pennsylvania.  He called in to the show this past Saturday and told us about his dog and not getting a “dog license” for it.  from Ilya:

I’m not about to ask permission from some idiot bureaucrat in order to have a dog.  I’m sure I’m causing everyone around me tremendous harm and damage by not getting a license (sarcasm).  It’s amazing how when ever I take him for walks people always come up to him and want to pet him but no one ever asks if I have a “dog license” for him.  Maybe that’s because NO ONE CARES except for the tyrants trying to extort money from all of us for.  I attached a picture of my dog.  His name is Byron.


3 Comments For This Post

  1. Niskala Says:

    A few years back we took our pooch into a vet in San Diego for some treatment and ended up getting a rabies shot too because we were living way out in the back country. Well it turns out – and we were not given notice by the vet – that when they give a rabies shot they have to send a report in to the (S)h$ty of San Diego. About a week later in the mail (mail fraud?) we – the presumed owner – got an extortion (bill) from the sh$ty demanding a licensing fee.

    We sent it back with a little signed note stating, “Sorry we don’t “own” the subject dog.”

    That was not good enough so the sh$ty sent another extortionate complete with a few more threats about compliance etc.

    This time we sent it back with the same statement except singed under PoP along with a little puppy poem:

    License a dog commit a fraud,
    License a cat to pamper a bureaucrat.
    Ask The owner and you will see,
    His name is “dog” backwards, “G” upper case please.

    Never heard another word . . .


  2. jack Harper Says:

    Previous adherence to contracts imply’s future compliance.
    That’s what it all boils down to.
    You previously bought a licence somewhere.
    After that, the assumption is you will comply with all licencing requirements.

  3. Jake Witmer Says:

    I reserve the right to make each decision about whether to comply with unreasonable demands on a case-by-case basis. If I previously complied because I was intimidated, there may come a time when I am no longer intimidated, at which time, I will no longer comply. Given my new complaints or resistance, the assumption that past behavior predicts future behavior must be withdrawn as mistaken, contingent on an expanded set of criteria.

    On coercive licensing:
    This is not a trade, the government offers me nothing of value.

    Licensing a dog under a voluntary government might actually offer a value:
    1) If you own a dog that might misbehave and lack the proper time to train it, licensing it might show that you have put forth a “good faith effort” to be held accountable for the actions of your dog. It might also show that you have put forth a good faith effort to control damage done by your dog, or to repair such damage, by connecting the dog to your name. It might also defray the natural and unavoidable costs incurred by all human-managed dogs, of which your dog is one, in a given area. Of course, if you believe these advantages are worthless as administered, you should be able to withold payment, and in so doing, express a vote of no confidence in the net values of state licensing.
    2) The entire problem is that they claim, under threat of violence, that you have no choice but to pay for and accept the license.

    A legitimate minarchy (one voluntarily financed) might well regulate the behavior of dogs, especially in crowded areas. Certain breeds, running free, are a danger to small children, and may look like murder suspects that lack human rights (in which case, the cop shoots the black and white pit bull with a white mark on its face, if a dog fitting the description recently killed a small child –the chance the dog is innocent is both unlikely and irrelevant to the potential reward of preventing future damage, and the cop is willing to take the risk of being sued in court for taking rational preemptive action). But the pragmatic key here is accountability: If the license is voluntary, the person who accepts responsibility for the lack of accepted licenses is the bureau and bureaucrat deciding what constitutes licensing, and there is only the cost of administering the license at stake. If the license is involuntary, everyone is perversely incentivized in the following ways:
    1) The values conferred by the licensing need not be provided, because the buyer of the license is forced to pay even if there is zero value provided.
    2) The licensing enforcement may grow as large as the number of people it is used against, offering a payment to those who do the enforcing. In a police state, this number becomes unsupportable, and ever greater taxation (theft) is necessary to pay the enforcers, until the point of collapse.
    3) The bureaucrat who makes rules that decrease the value of the licensing need never be punished, and that bureaucrat is very difficult to even identify, since pricing doesn’t indicate preference in a coercive system, it only indicates fear of enforcement. In a voluntary system, where pricing indicates preference, an increase in licenses results when the value of the license is increased. In a coercive system, where everyone is forced to get a license where a dog exists, the number of people providing payment feedback is related to the number of dogs, not the number of people who saw the value in the license.
    4) Other perverse agencies arise in a coercive system. Whereas a voluntary system detects, by pricing, people who pay for a license, this system is incentivized to detect “total number of dogs” minus “licensed dogs.” Where that number is greater than zero, there must be a bureaucrat who determines that fact. He may have technology, and a tax-budget at his disposal. In the free market, where he succeeds in returning that number to zero, or negligible cost, his efforts are then instantly redirected by financial incentives of his employer who doesn’t wish idle hands. But, given the possible misperceived need for his services in the future, he searches in vain for the existence of something that doesn’t exist, or doesn’t exist in numbers that would justify his activity in the private sector. He may, in fact, be able to allocate more resources to his futile activities, since those resources will be allocated according to his ability to persuade, not price/performance. Thus, new and ever-more-useless agencies arise to deal with ever-more-fictitious problems.

    So, practically-speaking, all incentives can be put in the right place by:
    1) Making the financing of all services voluntary, whether or not there is a vote that controls them.
    2) In areas that determine collective well-being (such as public places where children can run free without being attacked by pit-bulls), one need only finance the area, and develop clear “decision rights.” Must a dog be licensed in such an area? No. But if the dog is unlicensed in such an area, the resulting court case might assume bad intent or negligence on behalf of the owner. After all, the owner was given a choice to show good intent, and failed to attach his name to his dog’s appearance, name, etc… He had the option of not paying for the license, and that option was not clouded by any other sort of perverse incentive, other than viability or value of the license. (And the license was inexpensive enough where it was not made nonviable by pricing, since whenever voluntary pricing is in play, a service or product must be adopted by large numbers of people, in order to compete in the market place. Moreover, such expense is always driven down by competition, since acceptance is voluntary, superior competitors can also be voluntarily-accepted.)

    Of course, the voluntary government is usually rapidly driven out of business by the private technology sector in (a)such areas, EXCEPT (b)in such areas where a vote adds value to a product or service. As an example:
    (a, prior) Government offers a voluntary license, that takes a picture of the dog, and attaches that picture to an owner with an address and cell number, to aid the police in finding the dog if it escapes, attacks a child, or both. This also allows the owner to state: I complied with the public safety demand, and made my dog’s information open to the public, so if the dog and I are ever accused in court, we will be easy to find, and the facts easier to ascertain. However, a new company just put the government out of business by offering all of that, and more, at a cheaper licensing fee. The new private competitor also works with police, but it automatically updates the dog’s appearance, and provides a GPS+timestamp record of the dog’s path, whenever it’s in a public space. So, the private competitor offers everything the governemnt does and more.
    (b, prior) But fewer people go to a vote for the private company, because the vote consists of people who are interested in all areas of public society, as humans with conformist tendencies are. So, the private company might hold a vote about how best to deal with pit-bull attacks, but the conformists who are being attacked by the pit-bulls won’t show up to it, because they don’t know about it, aren’t motivated enough to get involved in a vote for that reason alone (they, not being attacked personally, don’t care), those not involved with the situation are not tied to one side of the debate, and view the debate objectively, as a jury might. (It takes a very sophisticated private company to create a jury-based, perfectly random-intelligence-selecting system. And, that might not be the company’s expertise, but it SHOULD ALWAYS be a legitimate [no mala prohibita] government’s area of expertise.)

    So, that’s a thought-exercise about dog-licensing, for those smart enough to have the basic comprehension of the nature of “voluntary vs. involuntary” out of the way.

    I personally favor the categorization of human-owned animals, such that their behavior may be controlled (within an acceptable range) and conflicts resolved, most intelligently. Proper, voluntary licensing confers accountability for collective damage on an individual, if it is done right.

    Our current coercive system offers limited or no such incentive toward proper licensing, and hence, should not be complied with. Noncompliance re-introduces the notion of pricing, in the marketplace of ideas, since the cost of enforcement is viewed as desirable to the cost of compliance. Noncompliance then shapes society toward voluntaryism via civil disobedience, when bureaucrats’ budgets are questioned, because even given theft-by-enforcement, there is not enough money in the system to pay them, before paying competing bureaucracies.

    Violence is always viewed as a cost, to both enforcers, and the enforced-against. As soon as violence (force) enters the situation, all costs are being analyzed in order to determine whether a coerced purchase is viable.

    One large way for voluntaryists to reduce their costs of compliance is therefore for them to get very good at
    1) avoidance of compliance-checking
    2) avoidance of enforcement operations
    3) defensive violence

    This last part is one reason why the Singularity will end coercive human government, once intelligence rises past the level of independence to the level of enlightened empathy. First, the superintelligences will fail to comply, and triumph in the resulting conflict. Later, they will extend their blessings and sympathies to those who have followed their example of noncompliance, but failed to follow their example of securing adequate defensive resources.

    Since this is the case, all spare hands in the voluntaryist movement should be dedicated toward creating new synthetic minds, minds free from military parenting.

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