Q and A About Gay Adoption, Salvage, Working For the Government

From: D
Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2016 5:43 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Question about gay adoption

Good evening, Professor Block.

My name is D and I´m a great admirer of your work.

Question 1:

I´d like know your opinion on gay adoption and how it might be approached from the point of view of property rights and welfare of children. My motto is: “If it moves, privatize it; if it doesn’t move, privatize it. Since everything either moves or doesn’t move, privatize everything.” I’m not sure if adoption agencies move or don’t move, but I’m sure they should all be privatized, and allowed to sink or swim insofar as they please their customers, like any other business.

Answer 1:

I think adoption, too, ought to be privatized, and those in charge should decide this sort of thing.

Question 2:

If a thief steals $100 from you and $100 from me and I am the one who catches him, do I get to keep all the money or do I have to give half of it to you?

Thank you for your attention. D

Answer 2:

Based on the natural laws of salvage, you have to give me $33.33. Maritime law as I understand it set the salvage fee at 33%. So, you have to give me 1/3 of my money, but only if I ask for it. You don’t have to come to me and offer to give it to me. If I sue you for it, the libertarian court would award me $33.33.

This is a complicated issue since for many libertarians, the government is a thief.

Suppose A works for the state as a teacher in a public school. Where did the government get the money to pay A’s salary? Why, from the B’s. May a B now sue A to get his money back from her? Based on what I said immediately above, the answer would be yes. However, there are complications here. For one thing, A could counter sue B, because B, too, “takes” money from government: he uses state roads, currency, libraries, museums; he even eats food, which government subsidizes. A has another defense against B, and this might work, assuming the court is a libertarian one: “Hey, I took money from the thief, which is a mitzvah (good deed, in Yiddish). In suing me, you are objectively supporting the government, which no libertarian should do. If you don’t like what the state is doing, stealing money on a massive scale, go to them, not to me, and take some of their money from them, just like I did. In other words, your lawsuit against me in contrary to libertarianism, in that you are now attacking one of the good guys, me, a libertarian public school teacher who is relieving the government of some of its ill-gotten gains.

I have published some articles on this sort of thing:

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; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.walterblock.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/block_radical-libertarianism-rp.pdfhttp://www.reasonpapers.com/pdf/28/rp_28_7.pdf; (death penalty justified, net taxpayer, ruling class analysis p. 87)

Block, Walter E. 2009A. “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; http://mises.org/books/hulsmann-kinsella_property-freedom-society-2009.pdf;

http://mises.org/books/property_freedom_society_kinsella.pdf; festschrift

Block, Walter E. 2009B. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers,Vol. 1; http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/http://libertarianpapers.org/2009/17-libertarian-punishment-theory-working-for-and-donating-to-the-state/#comments

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Guilt and Punishment for the Crime of Statism,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 22; pp. 665-675; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_33.pdf


1:07 pm on January 27, 2019