Friday, 30 September 2011

Paraphrasing Robert Frank

Will Wilkinson points to the latest from Robert Frank. I'm going to change a couple words in the quote here; you tell me if it still makes sense. If it doesn't, why does it make sense if we switch it back to talking about forced income redistribution rather than forced kidney redistribution?
Each year as the April 15 health filing deadline draws near, healthy older libertarians mount the stump in high dudgeon to denounce the government for seizing kidneys that are rightfully theirs. They might do well to reflect briefly on the fact that no matter how much they've exercised, they wouldn't have had any kidneys to seize in the first place if they'd grown up in a country like Nepal or Somalia; they're already older than the average life expectancy in those countries. The infrastructure that made their health possible was built by those who today need kidneys. Much of that health is thus an unearned return on investments made by others.
Once we start viewing income in excess of that possible in the state of nature as a rent available for redistribution, I don't know what particularly stops the argument's extension over to forced kidney redistribution from those older than the typical life expectancy in the state of nature.


  1. On the coercive taking of organs following the acceptance of redistribution of income, see, e.g.,

  2. Wow. I'm guessing that's not satire either.