Is It Ok To Accept Government Subsidies?

Letter 1

From: Gabriel Philbois

Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2020 1:27 PM

To: Walter Block <>

Subject: Liberating property from the state

Dear Walter,

I hope you are well.

I have been thinking about your position that liberating property from the state is not immoral. I agreed, something did not seem right about it,

Now I’ve come up with a more intricate approach, that is built on yours.

If you steal less than the amount the government took from you, that is repossession of your property/ just compensation.

If you steal more, you could be stealing from other people.


Part 1

A thief steals your wallet, as well as another man’s wallet.

Later, you find the thief, and overpower him (he is not very strong). Can you take both wallets?

Yes, you can. Because you know the second wallet is not his.

However, there is a catch.

Part 2:

The second wallet is not yours either. So if you take it, you must attempt, to your best ability, to return it to the owner.

It is analogous to finding a lost wallet on the street.

So if you repossess more property from the government than what you are owed, you must return it to other victims.

The explanation you present in your classes is part 1. I added part 2. Do you agree?

If you disagree, please prove me wrong so I can learn something.

Best regards,


Letter 2

On Wed, Dec 9, 2020 at 4:32 PM Walter Block <> wrote:

Dear Gabe:

I’ll answer your question on one condition: first you tell me what you’ve been up to: job, location, schooling, etc.

Best regards,


Letter 3

From: Gabriel Philbois

Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2020 5:49 PM

To: Walter Block <>

Subject: Re: Liberating property from the state


I’m still working with Chris Wood, writing about economics and finance. Thanks again for recommending me, it is a great job.

Since the work is remote, I decided to spend 2020 travelling around Asia. My plans were partially frustrated by the lockdowns imposed all around the globe. So, instead, I ended up spending most of the year in Malaysia.

Malaysia is a fascinating country. They are trying to recreate the success of Singapore(which used to be part of Malaysia), by embracing free markets. They have lower taxes, banks are allowed to open accounts in foreign currency. Their capital markets are excellent.

The country still has plenty of problems. Regulations are very strict, and arbitrary. Still, it seems to be heading in a good direction.

I left Malaysia 3 weeks ago and came back to Brazil, where I intend to stay for a few months. I plan to spend three months (the maximum for my visa) in New Orleans in the first half of 2021.

I think that is all for me. How have you been, Professor?

Letter 4

Dear Gabe:

One further requirement: when you’re in NO, let’s get together for a meal!

My response to your queries:

Block, 1972, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009A, 2009B, 2010, 2011A, 2011B, 2011C, 2011D, 2012, 2016; Block and Arakaky, 2008, Block and Barnett, 2008, D’Amico and Block, 2007

Block, Walter E. 1972. “The Polish Ham Question.” The Libertarian Forum. June-July, Vol. 4, No. 6-7, p. 5;

Block, Walter E. 2002. “Accepting Government Subsidies,” Fraser Forum, February, p. 27;

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part I” Reason Papers, Vol. 27, Fall, pp. 117-133;

Block, Walter E. 2006. “Radical Libertarianism: Applying Libertarian Principles to Dealing with the Unjust Government, Part II” Reason Papers, Vol. 28, Spring, pp. 85-109;; (death penalty justified, net taxpayer, ruling class analysis p. 87)

Block, Walter E. 2007. “Ron Paul and Matching Funds,” October 1;

Block, Walter E. 2008. “Replies to readers” September 23; (libertarians hypocrites for using public school?)

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 1;

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism” in Hulsmann, Jorg Guido and Stephan Kinsella, eds., Property, Freedom and Society: Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp. 137-148;

Block, Walter E. 2010. “You are a rotten kid (rent control and libertarianism),” February 27;

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “It’s Ayn Rand Bashing Time, Once Again.” February 18;

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “May a Libertarian Take Money From the Government?” March 11;

Block, Walter E. 2011C. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 665-675;

Block, Walter E. 2011D. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623;

Block, Walter E. 2012. Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty. Ishi Press;;;;;;;;;;

Block, Walter E. 2016. “Is It Compatible With Libertarianism to be a Banker? Yes!” September 29;

Block, Walter E. and Chris Arakaky. 2008. “Taking Government Money for Grad School?” May 23;

Block, Walter E. and William Barnett II. 2008. “Continuums” Journal Etica e Politica / Ethics & Politics, Vol. 1, pp. 151-166 June;

D’Amico, Dan and Walter E. Block. 2007. “A Legal and Economic Analysis of Graffiti” Humanomics Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 29-38;


2:52 am on April 20, 2021

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