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Entries from June 2011

Time, Love, and Taxes

June 29th, 2011 · 18 Comments

Notwithstanding the stereotype that libertarians care about little other than low taxes, I don’t write much about tax policy. But I was reflecting today on Nozick’s coyly Marx-inflected comparison of taxation to compulsory or stolen labor—which however overblown as rhetoric got me thinking about how different types of people might respond to the same tax […]

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Tags: Economics

What’s Really Wrong with the Wilt Chamberlain Argument?

June 28th, 2011 · 15 Comments

Since writing about the Wilt Chamberlain example last week, I’ve been revisiting Anarchy, State, and Utopia and thinking about what legitimate criticisms can be leveled against this particular step in Nozick’s argument.  I still think Stephen Metcalf’s complaints are basically frivolous, and his recent response to his critics does little to change my view.  On […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Libertarian Theory

A Postscript on Nozick

June 22nd, 2011 · 13 Comments

Responding to yesteday’s post, Matt Yglesias argues that Stephen Metcalf is still kinda on point because, even if Nozick remained a libertarian on some grounds—maybe pragmatic or consequentialist ones—he nevertheless abandoned the deeper philosophical opposition to redistributive taxation that characterizes Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Matt does, however, back off when I point him to pages […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Libertarian Theory

Nozick, Libertarianism, and Thought Experiments

June 21st, 2011 · 34 Comments

In a piece over at Slate, Stephen Metcalf seems determined to prove that there’s nothing too fundamentally confused to be published on the site as long as it gets in a few good jabs at libertarians. My Cato colleagues Jason Kuznicki and David Boaz have already chimed in on the topic, but I wanted to […]

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Tags: General Philosophy

All Work and No Play?

June 15th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Yesterday over at Cato, I poked some fun at an ill-conceived boycott of the Huffington Post, which has committed the sin of (a) making money and (b) inviting an assortment of people to voluntarily contribute unpaid blog posts. Matt Yglesisas wrote a rather less snarky post similarly defending the practice, prompting a response from Erik […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

A Couple Thoughts on Weiner

June 8th, 2011 · 15 Comments

I’m inclined to agree with Amanda Marcotte that the media feeding frenzy over Anthony Weiner’s extramarital sexting and online flirtation is unsettling insofar as it seems to abandon any pretense that some public nexus—lawbreaking, misuse of public authority, or at the very least a clear conflict with an official’s avowed political positions—is necessary to make […]

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Tags: Sexual Politics