Monday, October 28, 2013

Two Things

For some reason I've been really bad the last year or so about forgetting to flog my op-eds at C4SS. Here are two from the last four days.

Thing one:

There are very few exceptions to these legal restrictions on what Philip Chism may do and what others may do with him. These restrictions are, their supporters claim, based on the notion that at 14, Chism is not mature or competent enough to do those things. He doesn't understand the implications and consequences. He’s a child, not an adult. He needs to be, in a word, protected.

But the instant he's accused of a crime, all that goes out the window. For the convenience of the state and the pacification of the mob, he is magically and retroactively transformed into an "adult."

There’s a word for that kind of thing, but I can't use that word in a family-friend publication (it has to do with what comes out the rear ends of male cattle).

If Philip Chism is a child when it comes to school attendance, contracts, sexual encounters, driving, voting, enlisting, drinking, etc., he's a child when he's thought to have killed someone.

If Philip Chism is not a child when he's thought to have killed someone, he's not a child with respect to any of those other matters, either.

Philip Chism is either a child, or he's not.

Read the rest of "Justice? Just Kidding!"

Thing two:

The strongest argument in favor of the fiction of "intellectual property" is consequential rather than moral: Creators of good things -- novels, songs, drugs, what have you -- we are told, will essentially go on strike if government doesn't guarantee their profits by vesting them with monopoly "rights" to ideas. Instead of writing that next blockbuster or producing a cure for cancer, they'll content themselves with flipping burgers or digging ditches for a living, and we'll all be worse off.

I’m not big on consequential arguments. Absent moral foundations, they're equivalent to noting that I can'’t make money as a bank robber unless the banks are required to leave their vaults unlocked. That may be true, but it's not a good reason to give me what I want, is it?

As it happens, though, even this "trump card" argument for "intellectual property" monopolies falls flat on its face when we stand it up against both history and current events.

Read the rest of "Market vs. Monopoly: Beating the 'Intellectual Property' Racket."

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