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January 23, 2016

The measure of a state is its ability to deny benefits to outsiders

Filed under: philosophy, sovereignty games — Benjamin Vulpes @ 12:00 a.m.
The measure of a state is its ability to deny benefits to outsiders

her: it would appear the police aren't allowed to enforce street camping laws: https://archive.is/DwqIP

me: 2016! feefees always trump everything. especially such mundane concerns of the privileged as public health and safety. this is classic 'who could have known' overnice horseshit. raaa

her: The 3rd comment down1 is a good question though: where are they supposed to go?

me: i can't even see the comments. historically, 'elsewhere'. recently, 'projects'.

her: Sigh.

me: most recently, 'anywhere man muh riiiights'.

her: We don't have enough projects2.

me: the universe does not provide an answer to every problem.

her: There is a serious lack of beds in Portland.

me: yeah i mean supply is down and demand is up. most people can only think 'better get the government involved'.

her: Who else is going to provide need based housing?

me: the universe does not guarantee a solution to things that humans perceive as problems.

her: Who said anything about the universe? There are government agencies staffed with human beings who are tasked with coming up with solutions to these problems as they arise. Those people are failing. The universe doesn't have anything to do with it.

me: your side of this argument is predicated on the notion that there is a solution to the problem of people who cannot afford a roof over their heads. i am gently suggesting that perhaps there is no solution. put another way, there will always be more organisms than can survive off of the free energy in a system.

her: but you are wrong about that. Other cities elsewhere have been able to put roofs over homeless people's heads.

me: is it a sustainable3 practice over 100 years? 200? do not confuse a point in time for a steady-state.

her: We do have a bussing problem. Maybe it's something as harsh as asking these people if there if they were put on a bus in Boise or Spokane, and if they say yes buying them a ticket back there4. Utah implemented housing first, treatment second, and they don't have street fires

me: roadies also don't particularly want to live in utah for obvious reasons. roadies want to live in portland, for obvious reasons.

her: If Portland were dealing only with Portland's homeless, the infrastructure would probably be adequate.

me: there is no such thing as 'only Portland's homeless'. for as long as people can get here by greyhound or train and for as long as our voters continue to increase the budget for housing them, they will continue to arrive.

her: Wtf you don't know anything about how people become homeless do you? There is totally such a thing.

me: how are you to keep the others out, though?

her: That is a very good question

me: this is the classic problem of identifying 'the deserving poor'. dates back to like the 1700s with absolutely no solution, and leads in fact to criteria like 'deserving poor don't do drugs' which leads to fascist control of state charity distributions.

her: It probably has a really harsh answer. Like in order to qualify for benefits you have to show that you received mail here sometime in the past 5 years or something.

me: right? ultimately it comes down to a thing you and i have spoken of before, the problem of 'unlimited downside'. which is to say that i am happy to support my ski-bum kid, but not yours. because if yours, then hers, and then infinity. this is the road to socialism, and why it is such a very miserable curse upon the world.

her: And I want to help homeless people who are from Portland or have established themselves as part of the community, but I don't want to do that job for Boise or Spokane

me: right?

her: Or Redlands. Or Reno.

me: i actually came up with a nifty formalism for this

her: Ja?

me: 'the measure of a state's sovereignty and quality of life therein is the degree to which it can deny benefits to outsiders'

her: Oof

me: 'harsh answer', as you said. but imho, you came to the right conclusion on your own. which, relatedly, why benlandia does not even recognize outsiders as citizens.

So: if you live a place, and its governers routinely fall all over themselves to give your money away to randos passing through, you live in a socialist hellhole like me. If you live in a place, and the first reaction to randos driving through and attempting to contribute is "nope, and do it correctly if you try again", you live in The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin, just like me.

The models are mutually exclusive. Pick a side before it's picked for you.

Footnotes:

1

I agree with you… However, since there isn't enough shelter place for the homeless population, where are they supposed to go? Just wondering.

2

I couldn't agree more. It's trivial to short-circuit the liberal desire to improve the world: "Look, let's just build a bunch of concrete towers with tiny rooms, and pipe water, soylent and internet to them. Perhaps even give them Netflix accounts for entertainment: Netflix can write the accounts off as charitable donations, it's not like providing entertainment costs anything these days."

3

huaehaue

4

Actually, you just put them on the bus will they or nil they. Perhaps a gasenbusen?

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