Quarantine is the most challenging, as the collection and distribution of ground rent offers no solution; money will not make freedom of association disappear. Instead, we must toss our left-wing and right-wing blinders and look at both objective and subjective rights.
The natural rights to life and property, also called objective rights, are well known to libertarians and others on the right. People on the left have no real concept of objective rights. Conversely, the right to be free from fear and unpleasantness, also called subjective rights, are well known to leftists, but mocked by the right.
To gain a better appreciation for these two classes of rights, consider this table from the AFFEERCE V5.0 specification.
Objective and Subjective Rights
Of particular interest to this discussion is the third entry. The objective right to be in any public place at any time and the subjective right to mitigate disease fears with a quarantine.
Objective and subjective rights are almost always in conflict. How does a just society decide between the two? The answer is simple and can be considered an objective right in and of itself. First of all, with nothing stating otherwise, the objective right is always superior to the subjective right. How can a subjective right be elevated over an objective right? ONLY by a super-plurality (2/3) of the people in a dominion. Thereafter, the objective right regains its superiority when a simple majority so decides.
A subjective right cannot be elevated over an objective right by a court. A subjective right cannot be elevated over an objective right by the cellular council (or any representative body). A subjective right cannot even be elevated over an objective right by a simple majority of the dominion.
It is obvious that some subjective rights, like the right to live in a neighborhood free from the potential for nuclear holocaust will be ratified by 2/3 at the highest level of dominion. Others, like the right to be free of potential harm, accidentally or maliciously, from people carrying firearms, will be ratified by only a few local dominions.
A quarantine then is no threat to civil liberties. As soon as 2/3 no longer support it, it will end. But what if the quarantine is cramping your style? Here is where the collection and distribution of ground rents figures in. Rents are distributed equally to every person. Not only are there distributions for food, housing, and health care, but there are also per capita distributions for education, police and fire protection, transportation and sanitation, infrastructure and government. Wherever you go, all of your distributions follow. You are welcomed by communities due to the public services you bring along, and by families and collectives due to the food and housing you bring. With land in the commons, and the cost of structures a fraction of today’s housing costs, populations will be significantly more mobile. If a quarantine cramps your style and you prefer to live free or die, it is easy to pick up stakes and move to a community of people who share your point of view.
Health care, on the other hand, is funded by the ground rents. But it isn’t so simple. Current costs are astronomical. To be effectively funded by the ground rents, quality healthcare should cost a fraction of what it costs today. It must be both competitive and not restricting of choice. Basic services must be free.
Quantitative changes that are the product of a just society are not insignificant. Legalized drugs will have a profound impact on certain costs. The vast majority of psychiatric visits are motivated by the desire for psychoactive drugs. A significant portion of ER visitors are seeking pain pills.
Rent distributions for food and housing will end hospitalizations where the hidden goal is nutritious food with warm and safe shelter.
Just as the collection of ground rent renders location monopoly harmless, the distribution of ground rent renders the intellectual property monopoly harmless. Royalty payment for patents are based on product distribution, not price. Although the details are outside the scope of this essay (See the AFFEERCE.org website and/or AFFEERCE Volume I – The Vision for more details), suffice it to say that the costs of equipment and tests drop dramatically and drugs under patent are cheaper than generics.
Other quantitative changes that bring down health care costs are discussed in Volume I and include trebling of inpatient facilities on the hospital campus, the wellness annuity and transfer of the food distribution.
However, the real drop in health care costs comes from deregulation and the structure of the health care system. Testing and treatment are deregulated, while diagnosis and prognosis are not. Every person joins a self-insured HMO hospital that will receive about $100/month of their medical distribution (in today’s dollars). This HMO acts as either an insurance company, a hospital/medical provider or both on a per incident basis. In all cases, diagnosis and prognosis will be done at the HMO. The HMO will maintain a charge list for all tests and treatments. If the patient chooses to be tested/treated at their own HMO, no financial transaction takes place. If the patient chooses to be tested/treated at a more expensive facility, their HMO will pay 95% of the cost, and the patient and/or private insurance is liable for the rest. However, if the patient chooses to forego treatment or be treated at a cheaper or even high-risk provider, the HMO will pay the other provider and rebate directly to the patient 50% of the savings from 95% of the charge list price.
This is called Sun Yat-Sen or Goldilocks pricing. If the charge list price is too high, few procedures will be performed in house as members will go elsewhere for cheaper procedures and the rebate. If the charge list price is too low, people from all over will overcrowd the HMO hospital for cheaper procedures and the rebate from their HMO.
High risk providers are protected from liability by what is called a “Violation of Standards document” or VOS. The details of the VOS and “Voluntary Standards Groups” (VSGs) are outside the scope of this essay and can be found in the references above.
Significant for a widespread pandemic is that $20 per capita of the medical distribution goes to the Federation provider which supports CDC and NIH type agencies and maintains emergency stockpiles. The Federation provider also covers 50% of the cost of diagnosis and prognosis, travel differentials, and HMO bankruptcy.
How is disaster relief handled in a just society? Taxes are violations of natural rights, which makes it hard for cellular councils to receive any funds outside of the ground rent distributions, and these are all earmarked for such things as police and fire protection, transportation, etc.
Nevertheless, a dominion should have the subjective right to raise revenue. The constitution must reclassify certain taxes that meet strict parameters as subjective rights, allowing them to be approved by 2/3 of the dominion.
One such tax I expect will be popular is the discretionary tax. This is a consumption tax, perhaps 2%, that the individual paying the tax can direct anywhere they want, except back to themselves or their family or business either directly or indirectly through cycles. There are defaults at each level of federation if a person does not wish to actively participate in distributing the funds. Consider it forced crowdfunding. Your 2% can be distributed any way you want to people or causes or business you deem worthy. Allocations can be changed as frequently as you wish. When natural disaster strikes people will voluntarily move their distributions from their favorite park, beach, animal shelter, local hero, etc. to the rescue agencies.
We see that quarantines, free health care and disaster funding, contrary to common thinking, are much more effective in a free and just society than they are in today’s world. If you are interested in building such a world, consider joining our AFFEERCE group on Facebook.
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Jeff Graubart is a software engineer and one of the earliest fighters (1970s) for marriage equality. He organized the first conference in 1973 for an LGBT March on Washington. He has spent a lifetime applying principles of logic to ideologies on the left and right. AFFEERCE Georgism is the outcome of that lifetime endeavor. Currently he is working on what he hopes to be the next viral app called NowSeeHere.tv. He plans on using the revenue from NowSeeHere to fund the land trust that will give birth to AFFEERCE Georgism. More information is available at