Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Man is Presumed

"If you were sick and needed a kidney transplant, you would soon find out that there is a waiting line--and that there are 70,000 people ahead of you, 4,000 of whom will die within a year. But this exchange of value for value is precisely what today's law forbids. ... But if our politicians' goal is to eliminate the irrational policies leading to innocent people's deaths, they should legalize not only 'paired' exchanges but all voluntary trades in organs. ... Those who would object to a free market in organs would deny this father the right to act on his judgment. Poor people, they imply, are incapable of making rational choices and must be protected from themselves. The fact is, however, that human beings (poor or rich) have the capacity to reason, and should be free to exercise it", David Holchberg at http://www.aynrand.org/, 12 January 2008.

Waiting line? Invoking Milton Friedman's spirit, that means a price is suppressed! Ignore the rhetoric and look at the consequences. Congress prefers 4,000 people a year die to parties willingly exchanging money for goods. You may object that "Congress prefers". It is a legal principle that "A man is presumed to intend that natural and probable consequences of his acts". I read an 1896 Supreme Court case to this effect. No, Congress, I do not let you off my hook. I find you guilty of second degree murder by showing "depraved indifference to human life". We run a drug war that costs about $80 billion a year, instead of legalizing drugs and imposing an excise tax on their sale. See also my 13 November 2007 post.

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