Responses to critics of my call for interplanetary welfare: sharing moons

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Previously, I published this article in which I revealed a New Source of Inequality: the fact that some planets have more moons than others. I labelled this as patently unfair, and called for government action to rectify the situation.

As a result, I received a spate of highly critical e mail reactions, strenuously rejecting to my discovery, and my public policy recommendations made on the basis of it.

Ordinarily, I would not share these responses and my reactions to them, but I am making an exception in this case. Why? Because they are so powerful and important in our thick libertarian attempt to promote social justice in the solar system (only pikers confine their efforts in this regard to mother Earth). So, here is a sampling of the best reactions to my initial interplanetary foray, and also my reactions to them.

Letter I

From: Darien Sumner [mailto:darien@perfectlydarien.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 3:38 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Planetary inequality

Dr. Block,

I am writing to inform you that I am shocked — shocked! — to hear a man of your stature describe some planets as “major” and others as “dwarf.” That such an educated man could display such a planetist attitude in public in the twenty-first century makes me embarrassed to be a thick libertarian (or “thickie,” for short). And am I to think it’s just a coincidence that the planet you so happen to live on qualifies as “major?” Check your planet privilege, Dr. Block!

In the future, I urge you to describe all planets using more egalitarian language. Instead of the coarse “dwarf,” Pluto could be more sensitively described as “size disadvantaged through no fault of its own.” Or better still: “smallness-positive.”

With your help, Dr. Block, we thickies can free all the oppressed, disadvantaged planets from the shackles of truth and reality, using the rhetorical techniques taught to us by the great pioneer of thick libertarianism, the sainted Karl Marx.

Or you can persist in your prejudiced language and be forever denounced by the New York Times. The choice is yours.

Dear Mr. Sumner:

Thanks for your correction of my infelicitous statements.

I pride myself on my political correctness. I strive mightily not to offend anyone. I am bereft that I erred in this regard. I apologize. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. As a self-imposed penalty, I shall enroll in a course in feminist studies given at my university. You are quite right. I never in a million years should have made invidious comparisons between planets as to their size. That amounts to “size-ism” and I greatly regret my deviations from political correctness. Also, I hereby renounce that chapter in my book Defending II, where I defended the dwarf thrower. I am a horrible person, and I must do more penance. If in future, I am absolutely forced to comment on size differences, I will refer to those of lesser (a thousand pardons for using the “L” word) stature as “differently sized.”

Thanks for your comment.

Walter E. Block

Letter II
From: Ari Allyn-Feuer [mailto:ari.allynfeuer@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 12:49 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Behold, I am the mighty Gini
Prof. Block,
I took the liberty of calculating the gini coefficient of the moon counts of the planets, based on the data in your most recent column on LRC. As you anticipated, it’s very high, some .685 if I’ve done my math correctly. Amusingly, this is very close to the Gini coefficient of the world’s most income-unequal country, South Africa, as well as very close to the global income Gini coefficient. So, as you point out, it’s a pressing problem.
Or, as the Occupy folks might put it, 15% of the planets have 70% of the moons. Why, when we put it that way, isn’t that, essentially, Pareto’s 80/20 rule? My goodness, there do seem to be some deep parallels here.
I know you’ll want to publish these results, but I don’t require coauthor status, just an acknowledgement. Might I suggest the Journal of Economic Inequality?
Stay thick,

Ari Allyn-Feuer.
Dear Mr. Allyn-Feuer:

I knew it. I just KNEW it. That Gini coefficient you have calculated is horrendous. And to think of it! The planetary imbalance of moons is as bad as the income inequality of South Africa. Oh, the shame of it. I can no longer hold up my head high as a member of our solar system. However, once Obama gets going with this new program (Motto: if you like your moons, you can keep them), this problem will be solved. So far Paul Krugman has not yet publicly supported this new initiative, but I expect his backing any day now.

Thanks for your comment.

Walter E. Block

Letter III

From: Donald Siemers [mailto:d.siemers@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 5:53 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Lunar Justice Now!!!!!

Walter,

The day started off so well. The unjust number of moons per planet wasn’t even on the justice now radar. After reading your article regarding the unequal distribution of moons it is obvious that something needs to be done.

Can we send the military? You could be our own intergalactic war correspondent on Fox News. 

Thanks for so much great sarcasm!!

Don Siemers
Dubuque, IA

Dear Mr. Siemers:

Yes! How could I have ignored this point? It is not only “progressives” like Obama and Krugman on the left who can help us, but also conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the entire Fox News people who can also aid us in righting this wrong. Let us by all means declare war on Jupiter and Saturn. Imagine the nerve of these planets. Nor can it be denied that the U.S. has a vital interest in that part of the solar system. We must bring democracy to those moons. Failure to take military action against these rogue planets will show that we do not believe in a strong defense. Ron Paul and his pacifist ilk will whine about blowback. Hah. We’ll bomb Jupiter and Saturn. I can think of no one better to be put in charge of this initiative than John McCain. He ‘da man!

Thanks for your comment.

Walter E. Block

Letter IV.

From: Mike Fogarty [mailto:mfogarty@farnerbarley.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 9:28 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Block Discovers New Source of Inequality

Doc Block,

While your approach to a fair and equitable redistribution of moons is laudable, you have completely overlooked the issue of SIZE of moons. Some small planets, such as our own, possess moons of enormous size while some large planets have tiny moons. Those planets with unfairly large moons should have them broken up and shared with others less fortunate.

Mike

Michael T. Fogarty
Network Systems Administrator
Farner, Barley and Associates
4450 N.E. 83rd Rd.
Wildwood FL 34785
352-748-3126

Dear Mr. Fogarty:

Who could disagree with this magnificent proposal of yours? Again I have been found wanting. I completely ignored the size of moons. Yes, we’ve got to break up large moons into small bits, so that they are all equal. And, while we’re at it, all planets should be of an equal size, I’m sure you’ll agree. Is it fair that some planets are big and others are small? To ask this is to answer it: of course not. I’m now recommending a progressive income tax for planets. The bigger ones have to pay more. Fair is fair! Then, well redistribute planetary size to those in greatest need. Won’t that be cool?

Some say that the larger planets will emigrate to other solar systems as a result of this new “fair tax” policy. To hell with them, the ungrateful heavenly bodies. Let them just try. We’ll shoot them out of the sky! Also, we’ll strike a deal with other solar systems so that our runaway gusano planets will not be welcome elsewhere (gusanos, worms, are what Cubans who emigrated from that socialist haven were called by the commies). That should settle the hash of those ingrates. After all we’ve done for them!!

Thanks for your comment.

Walter E. Block

9:43 pm on June 3, 2014
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