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November 6, 2011
War Against Freeloaders
I stood in the grocery store checkout line and tried to make sense of the formality of paying. My lifestyle is simple and my finances run a responsible surplus every month. Why were dozens of us stuck having to pay so much time standing in lines?
Then it struck me that payment is verification that one is not a freeloader on society. If we had a responsible society where everyone created value, every transaction would require minimal verification that one is not a burden, tending toward hippie looseness if everyone could be trusted. As freeloaders increase, systems require more policing, a cost imposition that gets shifted to consumers and results in lines because your time is of no value.
We could have many very different social structures, but once you stop having standards and allow everyone to participate, you have to cover the costs of dealing with unknown people and verifying that they can equitably complete a basic transaction. This takes every interaction to the lowest common denominator, requiring more manpower, time, expense, and barriers, for the dogma of having a society of random people without shared values together in a common space.
Until you shake up assumptions, you are stuck defending them and working around their hobbled results.
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