Obama's creepy "Call to Service"

Before the election, I wrote elsewhere about Obama's creepy "call to service".

Public schools will have their funding cut unless they force their students to perform 50 hours of service a year. Since for most people, public school is the only choice they've got, this amounts to a mandatory service program for every child in a public school in the country.

Well, it appears that this wasn't just standard electioneering pablum, because Obama's new website expounds on his plan "to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year." This program is disturbing, representing a new government intrusion into private life cloaked in the patriotic rhetoric of "serving America," and a crowding out of private enterprise by government-created programs using forced labor. So it would seem that the nation's first black president wants us to work for free.

EDIT: I note with interest that the wording of the website has been changed, no doubt because of the spate of blogs talking about it. (Change...our position on the issues!) The original full text will be posted below. Nevertheless, the amendment is still troubling.

Grants contingent on community service, while still a matter of government taking money from taxpayers to entice others to do things, is an easier sell. But as I argued before, this program will offer $40/hour wages, enticing students away from good resume-building activities to government make-work jobs, and the proposal may well lead to tuition inflation based on simple supply and demand. (Note that in this case the rich will be better able to afford lower-paying but better resume-building internships - a way for Democrats to play to their Upper West Side faction.)

And for secondary school the ploy will be even more coercive. He talks about "setting a goal" to force kids to volunteer. But how will that be accomplished? By the only means that the federal government has - public schools will have their funding cut unless they force their students to perform 50 hours of service a year.

APPENDIX: The original note was changed to its current stage without fanfare, retraction, or acknowledgment. Now politicians do this all the time, so it's not much of a criticism of the Obama administration to point this out. It is, however, a small rebuke to those who believed that his election would somehow lead to a quantum leap in political transparency and integrity. The original Obama blurb, before they were called on it and cloaked it in nicer sounding language:

"The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year."

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Everybody's gone Serfin'... Serfin' USA.

With regards to the issue at hand, some frequent bloggers here joined the fray on slashdot earlier.

I am most certainly disgusted at the stiff defense of involuntary servitude that the Obama supporters bring to bear against those who would question Lord Vader, err Obama.

It is hard to not finish every comment with, Get a rope!

and a crowding out of

and a crowding out of private enterprise by government-created programs using forced labor

Bad economics, bad argument. Free labor is only bad for the person coerced, it's good for everyone else.

The Only Bad Economics Here is Obama's

"Bad economics, bad argument. Free labor is only bad for the person coerced, it's good for everyone else."

Absolutely wrong. To coerce or to entice one needs resources. Those resources must come from somewhere. If this isn't straight out slavery then those resources must come from "everyone else". If it is slavery then "everyone else" must spend resources to prevent themselves from becoming the slaves. So it's lose/lose.

Forcing an individual to work for "free" interferes with the natural right of Freedom of Association. It may seem that in only effects that one person but in actuallity it effects everyone else too. Not only does that person not have a right to freely associate with others but no one else is allowed to freely associate with him.

Meanwhile the person being forced into "free labor" does not have the opportunity for growing his skills into ones that are compatible with everyone elses needs. That's because the the function of the market is to entice people to meat the needs of others in a very efficient manner. This diversion others as well as hurting him.

As with slavery there is an incentive for the person being force to do what he doesn't want to do to slack off. Why should he do what you want. So, over time, these types of programs lead to substandard products, and unneeded products. Precisely the kinds of things that harm others.

Besides this is a universal program for all US citizens. So there are no "others" unless you mean foreigners and illegal immigrants.

This is very bad. Does anyone recall Obama actually promoting this idea in his political campaign ads. Talk about bait and switch.

Absolutely wrong. To coerce

Absolutely wrong. To coerce or to entice one needs resources. Those resources must come from somewhere.

A bit like saying crime doesn't pay because you need to buy burglar tools. I am merely criticizing the crowding out of the private sector argument.

Crime doesn't pay for everyone

You were making a universal claim. It's quite a different thing to say that slavery benefits the slaver and to claim it benefits everyone else. Likewise burglary.

We're not talking a one off here. We're not talking about one society enslaving another. We're talking about a society enslaving it's own citizens, and doing so consistently.

I am rebutting a specific

I am rebutting a specific claim

"youngsters doing community service crowd out private initiative (therefore it's somehow bad for the economy)"

by saying that generally, free labor is good for the economy when you're not the free laborer, even if the free labor is not targeted to you. Labor is a bad, not a good.

Forced labor, not free labor

Why do you keep insisting on calling this "free labor". The original quote you were criticizing used the correct terminology:

"and a crowding out of private enterprise by government-created programs using forced labor"

Forced labor does not neccesarily bring all the benefits you seem to think it does. You should read some Thomas Sowell, forced labor on the whole is bad. There is a tendency for forced laborers to sabatoge the attempts to steal their labor. Meanwhile the people who are forcing them are also effectively withdrawn from the market because they are tied up policing the laborers.

Now you could pay them $40 an hour but that has to come from the people you claim are benefiting. Do you really think that the government taking money from you to have some kids work at $40 an hour at some make-work project is going to on the whole benefit you?

I called it free labor

I called it free labor because this is implicitly the aspect that was criticized in this specific argument.

If the forced laborer impose costs on the people coercing them, those people can let them free if the cost becomes prohibitive.

However, you are correct in pointing out that this labor is taken out of the market where it may or may not be more productive (a free person may chose to rest more for example). In this case, we are talking about kids which would probably not be working during these 50 hours of community service.

Just because you agree with conclusion X doesn't mean you have to support every fallacious argument supporting X.

Free labor is only bad for

Free labor is only bad for the person coerced, it's good for everyone else.

It seems likely that this same argument was made my Southern planters in the 1850's.

The Master will still live in a big white house. The only difference will be that the Overseers will be bureaucrats from the Department of Education, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.

It seems likely that this

It seems likely that this same argument was made my Southern planters in the 1850's.

And they were right. The idea that free labor is bad because it lowers wages is an economic fallacy. Slavery is immoral, but it is profitable for the non-slaves, including those who do not own slaves as they enjoy cheaper goods.

The very fact that

The very fact that government programs can recruit free labor means that they can outcompete businesses in the same sector. So what if it takes fifty high-schoolers two weeks to put up a home, if they'd do it for free? Efficient construction companies will still be forced out of a (admittedly small) portion of the market.

In the case of free labor you're right; consumers will enjoy the benefits of cheap housing. But the college-student version, in which students are paid far above market wage, will make society as a whole worse off, since labor is not appropriated but paid, with wages taken from taxpayers at large. This allows government-sponsored projects, like Chinese state-owned enterprises, to pad the bottom line, crowd out competitors, and produce an inferior product at higher total cost. Of course in either case society as a whole loses, since the students' appropriated labor counts in the total utility calculation.

Maybe now people will question

Maybe now people will question the FEMA work camps and the REX 84 initiative.

They wont, and you know it.

Why would they do that if they have never heard about it? The media controls the minds of the bulk of the populace. Without comparative resources, the individual cannot compete directly for the hearts and minds of the people.

Our only hope is to present a diffuse threat.

School isn't free

It has a cost. The community service is a way of repaying that cost by reducing costs elsewhere. Having high schoolers "pay" for their schooling with some hours of menial work elsewhere sounds equitable to me.

You think school - a service with costs - should be free to everyone? Sounds like a socialist in libertarian clothing to me.

Equitable?

So you believe a libertarian would buy this? That the solution to one layer of socialism is adding an additional layer of forced child labor in the attempt to make socialism more "equitable".

I'm not going to contradict

I'm not going to contradict the arguments against what appears to be a form of coercion, but nearly everyone here has ignored two facts in this discussion: First, that this labor comes in the context of a service provided to the students (by taxpayer dollars, of course). Second, there will be no jack-booted thugs with guns standing over the school administrators; only bureaucrats ready to withhold these taxpayer dollars.

What would the commenters here say if people receiving unemployment benefits were required to contribute "free" service in return for their food stamps and other government subsidies?

When we argue these issues, we need to make sure all the relevant variables are in the equation.

I went to a Catholic High School

I went to a Catholic High School and in order to pass your current grade you had to do ever-increasing hours of community service per year and write a report on them. Of course, I just used the report to ridicule to the lack of value in "mandatory volunteer work" for however long the report had to be.

8 hours in 9th grade, 16 hours in 10th grade, 24 hours in 11th grade, and 32 hours in 12th grade, I believe. That adds up to more than 50, unless it was 50 hours per year.

Oh, and this was in Mississippi.

Only 50 hours?

Today's youth could use some molding and shaping. Serving your country for a mere fifty hours a year is a small, minute price to pay for the improvements it will make. If you think fifty hours a year is forced labor, you must be one of those silver spoon kids who got a freakin' allowance for washing the dishes.

News flash: Freedom is NOT free.

That's right. We have to work for it, all of us. It makes me proud that our president is concerned enough about our futures to proactively do things to help improve it.

I have a stellar community service idea, then

Orphans and the homeless need clothes, so why don't we have the students in cotton-growing areas--like Dumas, Arkansas--pick cotton as community service?

If you think fifty hours a year is forced labor

No, I think forced labor is labor that is forced. You know, not voluntary.

And you think fifty hours isn't too much? How much is too much? 100? 200? 1000? Why?

And no silver spoon was involved in my collegiate career. While my friends were off partying in Pensacola, I was delivering refrigerators, at a job of my own choosing, for a boss who chose to hire me.

Cotton Picking

My mom actually used to pick cotton, and farm produce. She started at the tender age of six. I lived on beans and rice when I was younger and actually have a slight case of rickets from the diet. I'm a little bow legged. My parents couldn't afford more at the time.

My moms dad died from a rattlesnake bite when she was just 16. My dad was a poorly paid college professor who spend much time as a volunteer managing the local Association for Retarded Children. I worked my way through college paying for it all myself.

I did however get a $2 a month allowance for doing the dishes, and even got paid a whole quarter for every A on my report card, a dime for a B, and a nickle for a C. So I guess that means I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, according to that other guy.

Why only 50 hours?

Yeah, and I think whatever group you belong to (that I don't) needs some molding and sculpting to, and not just a little. You seem to think that for what you consider to be a minute price somehow because the government is doing it the rewards will be great. I think because I'm doing the molding and sculpting the rewards will be even proportinally greater. Meet your new master.

In fact, why stop at 50 hours. Since this is better I'm going for making your group labor for me and mine for the rest of your life. Not only will the benefits be great for everybody but you'll learn a life lesson in the process.

News flash: Freedom is NOT free.

News flash: Freedom is NOT free.

Indeed freedom has a cost that must be paid. But it does not follow that the payment must be a loss of freedom.

Similarly, there is no free lunch. But this doesn't mean that lunch needs to be prepared by draftees.

A drop in the bucket of perspective

I was accepted to attend a California university. I applied for many and received minimal scholarships -- being a lower-middle class white I felt a serious disadvantage (not here to complain about that; just an observation). Applied for a DirectLoan which was essentially a differed, lower-interest credit card. Took with me years of savings and no external support (parents, family, etc..). Through government aid I qualified for a reduction in tuition expenses. I also qualified for "Work-study", a program where government subsidizes wages for qualified work.

Excited to find a local campus job to offset my education, I dove into the university-wide search for work-study jobs right away. 82 results within weeks of the start of Fall quarter. For 18,000+ undergraduates.. Rather than increasing as the quarter went on, the number steadily declined (nothing new being added). Around 8 were for janitorial work (no complaint! I sent my resume). Around 8 were for helping local middle and high school students with disabilities. A few were for helping organize/administer surveys. Less than 30 were founded on an educational basis. The pay-scale was $8-11/hr and work-study limits you to 16hr/wk. I finally secured a job redeveloping an internal research database working tightly with a group of professors -- at $8.50/hr. Privately, $30/hr work at the least.

Months before acceptance tuition was rising. During that first quarter tuition rose. Not a single neighbor above, below, to the left, or to the right, roommates inclusive, had to secure a job.

As a transfer student I had no ability to maneuver my degree. I had "signed a contract" with the university by accepting their offer and I had 2 years to leave -- no room for any changes. The school then ceases to receive funding for my presence at which point I become a significant expenditure of resources and offer them nothing since revenue is their primary and, in my opinion, increasingly solitary interest.

The government was the only reason I could attend a decent school. Throughout, the government provided less and less support for me to continue. I had to continually seek private funding (via loan) to compensate.

I wanted to work. I would have worked twice as much as I already was. Sleep isn't an issue in college! Unfortunately, when your school fills your inbox with increasingly unpayable bills on a weekly basis your mental health starts to deteriorate. When your school demands payment before you continue the next quarter, you tend to start skipping meals.

Facts presented for perspective. The system ain't pretty folks. 100hrs/yr @ $40/hr would have made continuing my education more palatable. Pile this on top of a continued work-study and an emphasis on decreasing ever escalating tuitions and, well, what a breath of fresh air that'd be. Maybe I'll be able to return to school in a couple of years.

I found my way to this page because I approve of libertarian ideals and appreciate discussion of modern application. I'm an independent and while supporting Obama I've maintained a certain degree of skepticism throughout. But to argue:

...this program will offer $40/hour wages, enticing students away from good resume-building activities to government make-work jobs, and the proposal may well lead to tuition inflation based on simple supply and demand

makes me want to laugh and cry in one fell swoop. Laugh at your total misconception for what work is available to students and at your wacky overly idealistic concern for resume-building (after all Obama spent years as a small-time community organizer himself -- what kind of a resume-builder is that? presidential.). And I want to cry over the fact that after experiencing the corporate, profit-driven nature of our public education institutions I must completely agree with your supply and demand observation.

But neither laugh nor cry do I partake much in these days. I am teh unedukated. My resume is professionally incomplete. I live in limbo.

My opinion: 18,000 students would have been better off had those in need been offered an opportunity to apply $40/hr toward their education via community service and those not in need seeing the public-facing work of those individuals and opting in themselves. If only one stops to realize for a moment that the tax dollars being funneled to the children by "supportive parents" is being spent on constant consumption and self-fulfillment in a place that revolves around education then it's easy to see the benefit for all.

Call me a socialist but the school is a sacred institution and should be given special consideration and I don't think that makes me a socialist. :)

I had to continually seek

I had to continually seek private funding (via loan) to compensate.

Why is this a problem? I don't think it's unreasonable to ask students to pay for their own educations by taking out loans. College is an investment—you put in time and money up front, and it pays off in the form of higher wages later. If someone can't make the investment pay off even with the subsidies that colleges already get, then it's a bad investment, and he should probably find a better use of his time and money.

And yeah, I'm sure most students would love to make $40/hour. Who doesn't love free money? But only a tiny minority of college students have skills worth $40/hour. Why shouldn't they just take out loans and pay them back when they've acquired marketable skills?

But why take loans when it comes free? :)

Why is this a problem? I don't think it's unreasonable to ask students to pay for their own educations by taking out loans. College is an investment—you put in time and money up front, and it pays off in the form of higher wages later.

I mostly agree. I did what I could to find alternative income sources and fell back on interest-bearing capitalization. Here's the problem. "You can get a job that pays $80k a year walking away from our beautiful campus with a diploma in hand! What's $40k worth of loans but 6 months of work?" Let me draw a recent analogy. "You can afford to buy this house for $900,000! After all, at this rate, your house will be worth $1.3 M in two years time." You want to talk about slippery slopes and free markets we have to get closer to the root of the problem. When the university strategizes and plans for the future based first on the supply and demand curve and second on the futures of their young adults you really have to wonder what's being lost in the translation from capital to the underlying dissemination of knowledge.

If someone can't make the investment pay off even with the subsidies that colleges already get, then it's a bad investment...

Conversely: If I am able to pay off the sum of all debts, does that make it a good investment?

And yeah, I'm sure most students would love to make $40/hour. Who doesn't love free money? But only a tiny minority of college students have skills worth $40/hour. Why shouldn't they just take out loans and pay them back when they've acquired marketable skills?

Yeah, yeah.. I get it. Remember, I came here with an open mind looking for a fresh perspective on all of this talk of "change". If you don't mind, what is your age? I went off to college thinking it would be a place of inspiration, raw thought, intellectual journeys, boys becoming men, the constant trade off of challenging superiors and absorbing their intellect... Turns out that there's a lot of paperwork. And it's rather expensive. And the professors are quite busy. And a lot of students start drinking Wednesday night and take a break only the following Tuesday. They have quickie marts on campus. They ticket you for "riding your bicycle" outside of marked areas even if it's just coasting with one foot on the pedal (guilty.. one of the last straws). The atmosphere is, well, kinda fucked. Everything about it screamed "we're hear to make money and you can afford to be a part of it all!" -- this became more and more obvious once you could not.

That said, very few of the people I met would deserve $40/hr in wages. Really, what kind of community service does in today's markets? However, very many of them could have benefited from lifting a finger for a neighbor. While the price tag is clearly not based off anything free market, it'll get right to the core of every budding capitalist's day-to-day. So now we have the poor and the wealthy working hand in hand for the better interest of the overall community -- kinda sounds like Obama's campaign in general. The man's got a lot to live up to. It's going to be very difficult if people don't follow our new leader. Why he won't let this become as statist as you're concerned it could become: congress can't afford it in 24 months time. Clinton made this very mistake within his first two years and with Clinton's advisors in Obama's cabinet and Obama's true appreciation and passion for understanding and synthesizing past presidents' actions he understands how left this sounds. I'm confident of that. His re-election will be grounded on transformation through reform not on steering way left and running our country straight into the hands of *gasp* Palin in 2012? That's funny. Heh. I can't believe I must use those words in triplet.

What kind of community service have you done in your time?

Conversely: If I am able to

Conversely: If I am able to pay off the sum of all debts, does that make it a good investment?

Not necessarily. Suppose you could make $60,000 per year without college, and by forgoing four years' wages and taking on $40k in debt, you can make $65k per year. With that income, you could afford to pay off the debt, but it would still be a bad investment. By "make the investment pay off," I mean that the projected net present value of the lifetime wage premium you'd get from college should be greater than the net present cost of tuition and foregone wages.

If you don't mind, what is your age?

27. I took on about $30k worth of loans for my first two years of college, after which I dropped out, got a job, and completed the last two years with tuition assistance from my employer. This was nice, but I didn't need it—my salary was more than enough to cover the tuition and pay off my existing loans.

For the record, I refused to apply to schools in my home state because I didn't want to take tuition subsidies from taxpayers. In retrospect, if I'd stopped to think about how much the government would bleed me for once I started working, I would've just gone to Berkeley.

I'm also not convinced that college helped all that much. I got a good, high-paying job without a degree, and I honestly think that completing my degree has so far done more harm than good for my career (as my performance was rather lackluster when I was simultaneously working full-time and taking 10-15 units at school). And I've learned more on the job than I ever did at school.

However, very many of them could have benefited from lifting a finger for a neighbor.

Perhaps, but I don't think it's helpful for government to indoctrinate young men and women with the idea that the best way to "serve the community" is not to work in the private sector at market wages, but rather to participate in government programs for wildly above-market wages.

school is a sacred

school is a sacred institution and should be given special consideration...

Welcome to the slippery slope of statism. Where do we draw the line for sacred and special consideration? The situation that the US of A is in right now (including schools) is a direct result of statist consideration for sacred institutions.

Keep in mind...

...that the average joe has never heard the word "statist" before and your argument will be bizarre and nonsensical to such a person.

Wait, what's a state?

Do tell how one climbs to the ranks of residency at Harvard Med while fiercely rejecting the silver platter of the state? You must have one hell of a loan outstanding, no?

It's personally quite comical that my leftist friends call me a libertarian and, well, my words thus far have you convinced I'm a blind slave to the state. I suppose there's no room for social liberty in this lifetime..

Apples and . . .

In the left cornerrr we've got the billionaire hedge fund "strategist" who both openly mocked the idiots of the nation he so leveraged for personal gain and can't make next month's payment of his yacht.

In the right corner we've got a student with $0 in his bank account.

That is, of course, if you're analogizing to the state-funded bailouts.. which I can't relate to your parenthetical "including schools." So, I hear you on the slippery slope attack but I can't quite infer your basis. Clarify a bit?

Anarchy, baby!

In the left cornerrr we've got the billionaire hedge fund "strategist" who both openly mocked the idiots of the nation he so leveraged for personal gain and can't make next month's payment of his yacht.

In the right corner we've got a student with $0 in his bank account.

Uh oh, class warfare. What is the point of that statement? Are you trying to say it is more just for one to receive government handouts than the other? Are you making a subtle hint what you perceive to be my demographic?

That is, of course, if you're analogizing to the state-funded bailouts..

Which ones? according to history, governments do that all the time. Regardless of the socio-political label applied post-mortem.

which I can't relate to your parenthetical "including schools."

I bet.

So, I hear you on the slippery slope attack...

Doubtful, considering everything you have said so far:

can't quite infer your basis. Clarify a bit?

Regardless of apples and oranges, the fruit still comes from the tree of statism. I reject government at all levels. Yeah, even the most altruistic pet project.

Government cannot exist without employing the tools of: torture, duress and coercion. Thus making it no better than the mob.

Thus my basis; Government is anathema to existence. It is the plague masquerading as the cure, in the last century alone it killed 167 million people. That is a conservative estimate.

Ahh now I see what and who I'm dealing with.

You have no interest in discussing current affairs and possible solutions to todays problems in search of a more liberating tomorrow. You're essentially living in your own little world where a bottle o' whiskey in hand, an "immense" firearm on one hip, and a bow strapped to your back is a proclamation of your freedom and independence. You hide in the dark corners of the Internet under the pseudonym Scalping_Elmo while using anonymous domain registration to secure your identity from the totalitarian fascists that will come a knocking to secure the black market goods you so proudly attribute to the agorist reclamation of your humanity.

So now that I entirely understand the basis of your parenthetical statement I am only left to question your participation in this thread at all. Barack Obama is clearly the antithesis of your entire mind, body, and soul. What's a plan for community service considering the big picture?

Hmm.... I wonder what kind of Internet would exist in your perfect society. I suppose you wouldn't need the soapbox platform in that case. You're funny. Do you expect to spread any influence through blogging or is it just to gripe?

Hoooogan!

You have no interest in discussing current affairs and possible solutions to todays problems in search of a more liberating tomorrow.

Can you back that statement up, or are you projecting what you believe to be my ideals in lieu of discovering what I really stand for?

You're essentially living in your own little world where a bottle o' whiskey in hand, an "immense" firearm on one hip, and a bow strapped to your back is a proclamation of your freedom and independence.

No, those are merely the trappings of life that I enjoy. Some prefer video games or cameras, or any other such hobby. Mine happens to be accuracy with preferred arms, and drinking.

Do you have any things you enjoy?

You hide in the dark corners of the Internet under the pseudonym Scalping_Elmo

No. That is the title of an essay, by the same author quoted in my bio. It is a bit more profound than my name, it is certainly more important.

while using anonymous domain registration to secure your identity from the totalitarian fascists that will come a knocking

They WILL? Oh dear god! LOL. I use .tk because it is free, I don't have Ted or Rupert to front me the resources I would like to have.

to secure the black market goods you so proudly attribute to the agorist reclamation of your humanity.

Wait, agorism reclaimed my humanity?

You make some serious leaps man, real serious. Secondly, I partake in the black market for fun and profit... not philosophy. It just so happens that I stumbled across a philosophy that takes my lifestyle into account as well, without informing me of my moral duty to cease in my evil practices.

Oh yeah, Dave pointed out that I have no morals to boot!

So now that I entirely understand the basis of your parenthetical statement

If you do, you certainly don't sound like it. I really doubt the validity of your statements now. Nothing you say can I take at face value after all of this chicanery.

I am only left to question your participation in this thread at all.

Apparently my previous statement hit the nail on the head.

Barack Obama clearly represents the antithesis of your political philosophy, just the same as every president before him.

Fix'd.

What's a plan for community service considering the big picture?

Yet another statist encroachment into private life.

Hmm.... I wonder what kind of Internet would exist in your perfect society.

You see, that's the statism talking. You seem to think a perfect society is possible, I consider that to be a delusion.

Do you expect to spread any influence through blogging or is it just to gripe?

Is that a False Dilemma or Hobson's Choice? Your tactics of debate are rapidly becoming dishonest and transparent.

To wit: Neither, it is just an addendum to the grassroots outreach I do in the flesh. Passing out Tri-folds, pamphlets, copies of the NLM, etc. Also, I have been known to do a little slap-tagging and stencil graffiti.

You really don't understand, I commend you for trying though. I greatly enjoyed this and would be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Can you back that statement

Can you back that statement up, or are you projecting what you believe to be my ideals in lieu of discovering what I really stand for?

Just projecting in response to being offered relatively little.

Do you have any things you enjoy?

Computer science and software engineering, specifically web architecture and mostly free and open source (FOSS) oriented. Develop in the open while providing services for profit instead of developing in private and locking users into proprietary lifestyles. Years ago I developed a site to help people in foreign countries as well as this to learn English (I see extraordinary value in tools of knowledge like these). I'm interested now more in the underlying social elements of the web and am working to allow users to privatize and secure their data independent of the oligopolies that are slowly creeping in to supervise our lives and connections. My day job involves providing local businesses with technological solutions that pulls them into this blooming "social web". They maintain full control of their data. . . Basically I'm trying my damnedest to bring freedom and anarchy back to the web.

Guns, fire, explosives, drugs, alcohol, consumer electronics, video games, ... they've all been a part of my past but I now find solace in contributing towards a more open technological landscape rather than fulfilling such selfish desires. The "perfect society" I a) realize will not exist in my lifetime and b) still strive to achieve revolves around free and open technology. Slavery of machines is the most idealistic future in my opinion. I just don't see how one can be so wrapped up in personal firearms when there's work like this out there. To each his own.

No. That is the title of an essay, by the same author quoted in my bio. It is a bit more profound than my name, it is certainly more important.

It's a hidden identity nonetheless. To say your name and thus your identity is lesser than the title of an essay that defines you undermines who you are. Why can't John Smith advocate Scalping Elmo as an inspirational piece rather than it be his defining factor. To each his own.

They WILL? Oh dear god!

dear god. they will. arm yourself. oh, right.. :)

Wait, agorism reclaimed my humanity?

You make some serious leaps man, real serious. Secondly, I partake in the black market for fun and profit... not philosophy. It just so happens that I stumbled across a philosophy that takes my lifestyle into account as well, without informing me of my moral duty to cease in my evil practices.

Hah. Yeah.. I am not opposed to black market activity, man. Go for it. It's one hell of a way to attack the establishment though. It's funny, that's all. I mean do you sell/trade/barter weapons? The guns I've come across on the streets in my life have been rather corrupted -- "gangsters" who have guns for very, very wrong reasons... To each his own.

Is that a False Dilemma or Hobson's Choice? Your tactics of debate are rapidly becoming dishonest and transparent.

My arguments are riddled with logical fallacies and my debate is ineffective. I can admit that. I'm not defending a position as fiercely as you are. That's the major difference between you and I.

You see, that's the statism talking. You seem to think a perfect society is possible, I consider that to be a delusion.

Defeatism aside, your ideal society contains no government. So does mine. I just find it petty to ignore the implications of our fully established governments in these philosophies.

You really don't understand, I commend you for trying though. I greatly enjoyed this and would be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

I had read about agorism. I have been, clearly, mislabeled a gun-totin' liberty fighter. I have read that the libertarianst ideals I cherish are not aligned with those of the "typical" (and I use this with caution) US anarchist. You have brought clarity to these issues. For that I must thank you and at the same time respectfully disagree.

Just projecting in response

Just projecting in response to being offered relatively little.

Sorry, but you really didn't ask much. You seemed happy enough with what you had already assumed about me.

I just don't see how one can be so wrapped up in personal firearms when there's work like this out there. To each his own.

I wish I was more wrapped up in arms, but I cannot afford that. Raising a daughter in this day and age is a full time jihad. I respect what you are doing in the name of information accessibility, but I do something similar except for personal profit solely. I try to make up for that with my activism though.

It's a hidden identity nonetheless. To say your name and thus your identity is lesser than the title of an essay that defines you undermines who you are. Why can't John Smith advocate Scalping Elmo as an inspirational piece rather than it be his defining factor. To each his own.

Perceptive and persistent bastard aren't you? :D

I have many online identities and I prefer to keep them segregated. Not from fear of the government, just a precaution that keeps people from seeing more personal information of mine.

dear god. they will. arm yourself. oh, right.. :)

Ah, many people mistake my "everyone should be armed" mentality as being a manifestation of my anarchist ideals and hence anti-government. Well, that is only partly true. I am more concerned about non-state actors attempting to do things to me or my own. My city has a massive metropolitan police force, but is patently incapable of doing anything more than writing parking tickets.

The guns I've come across on the streets in my life have been rather corrupted

It all depends on your contacts and their clientèle.

"gangsters" who have guns for very, very wrong reasons

I don't make that distinction. After all, the government has guns for very evil purposes, yet hardly anyone bats an eye. Moral judgment just isn't my cup of tea.

I'm not defending a position as fiercely as you are.

You aren't defending at all because I am not attacking. I am merely trying to get the truth out instead of letting you falsely dictate my position to this fine establishment and its denizens.

Defeatism aside, your ideal society contains no government. So does mine.

Is it defeatist to say perfection cannot be achieved? I would say no, for it is human to err. To create a perfect society we would have to transcend our humanity. Let others concern themselves with that.

Ideal is a much better word, one that I can agree with.

I just find it petty to ignore the implications of our fully established governments in these philosophies.

I'm not ignoring it, or else I wouldn't be here. If I was ignoring it I wouldn't be so involved in my local community. Remember, Anarchists do it voluntarily.

I had read about agorism. I have been, clearly, mislabeled a gun-totin' liberty fighter. I have read that the libertarianst ideals I cherish are not aligned with those of the "typical" (and I use this with caution) US anarchist. You have brought clarity to these issues. For that I must thank you and at the same time respectfully disagree.

Oh Christ, don't let me taint you on Agorism. I may consider myself an adherent, but I certainly have many views that not many in the movement would agree with. Most of the disagreements stem from my lack of willingness to morally judge the actions of others.

I thank you for using the typical US anarchist with caution. I am certainly not one of those either. I am also not a typical agorist.

Well, thanks for the reply. Please take some time (its short) to read the New Libertarian Manifesto, it would certainly be more informative than me on the subject of Agorism. As a matter of fact I cannot bring myself to have anything to do with the local ALL group in my city. Posers and knights of summer, the whole lot. :D

In liberty,
S.E.

Minimum wage?

Excited to find a local campus job to offset my education, I dove into the university-wide search for work-study jobs right away. 82 results within weeks of the start of Fall quarter. For 18,000+ undergraduates..

Angelo,

What was the minimum wage in CA when you were looking for these jobs? The imposed minimum wage often hurts college kids the most. Below are a few "news" examples. There are many more.

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Ohio - Hours cut for students at Marietta College

The Marcolian
Feb. 1, 2007

"Beginning with the December 30th pay period, this wage rate has increased to $6.85 for class one jobs, $7 for class two and three, and $7.15 for class four."

“One thing I didn’t consider when voting for the minimum wage increase in November was how it would effect my student workers,” said Jamie Kendrioski, Assistant Director of International Programs. “Because of the increase in wage rates, I’ve had to dramatically cut back the number of hours my students can work.”

"Student workers in the Writing Center returned to campus with their hours drastically cut as well."

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Ohio - Hours cut for students Heidelberg College

THE KILIKILIK
January 26, 2007 Volume 116 Issue 6

"Brought into effect Jan. 1, the official minimum wage saw a 33 percent increase, rising from $5.15 to $6.85 per hour."

"Student workers across campus have experienced a sudden hit to the number of available hours as a result of the recently implemented state minimum wage increase."

“In order to operate within existing budgets, the College had no option but to reduce the number of hours that students will be permitted to work in the spring semester,” said Dr. Stephen R. Storck, vice president for administration and chief financial officer at Heidelberg."

"Beeghly Library saw an immediate impact from the increase. Open hours were decreased by two hours each weekday, with the library now opening later at 8:30 a.m. and closing earlier at 10 p.m. Weekend hours were cut substantially, now with library open just three hours Saturday, from 1-4 p.m., and five hours Sunday, from 5-10 p.m."

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"Well, it appears that this

"Well, it appears that this wasn't just standard electioneering pablum, because Obama's new website expounds on his plan "to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year."

Looks like the kids are going to have to get out and do some work, doesn't it.

Free labor is only bad for

Free labor is only bad for the person coerced, it's good for everyone else.