Free State Project Forum

FSP Community => Porcupine Festival => Topic started by: JFrancisNelson on June 09, 2014, 07:15:01 pm

Title: Return Stolen Money
Post by: JFrancisNelson on June 09, 2014, 07:15:01 pm
I am a first time procfester, so my question is about how to effectively meet the below intent at the event.

I was in the military and I wish to return my salary to those who wish to not to pay for a military.  Not all of my salary!  The fraction of my pay that is rightfully theirs.  Factions of a penny to each person.  I will not return money to people who support the military or people who support the governments right to formulate a military.  The idea is to retroactively turn my military "service", into a voluntary exchange between all residents of the geographical region commonly referred to as the United States. Returning a penny may sound futile but the effort is to show that we do not need approval from others to live a voluntary life style. I cannot force other government employees to return money to voluntaryist, but I can attempt to show them that they should.  It is a matter of justice.

Should I set up a table?  Should I walk around handing out pennies?  Should I do the redistribution in bitcoin to avoid fiat currency and also more accurately match the value?  Any thoughts can help.  Also, feel free to question my philosophy on making amends for my actions.
Title: Re: Return Stolen Money
Post by: JasonPSorens on June 10, 2014, 07:33:41 am
I don't think you are morally obliged to do this. You didn't steal the money or make the decision to steal the money. You may have benefited from theft, but if so, the benefit did not amount to your entire salary, but to the difference between your net salary and your opportunity cost of working in the military.

Of course, if you want to do this anyway to make a statement, I don't see anything wrong with that. But in that case, you should simply arrange it in a way that is most convenient for you.
Title: Re: Return Stolen Money
Post by: lildog on June 10, 2014, 12:55:53 pm
You raise an interesting concept.  Let's look at it a slightly different way.

Let's say you were a contractor.

Mr. X hires you to do work on the roof of his house.  You charge a given amount for your service.  You do the work and he pays you for the work you did.

Some time there after you find out that Mr X was a bank robber.

Should you be expected to give back the money for the job you did on his roof?

I don't think so because you were hired for a job and paid for that job.  The fact he used stolen money is on him, not you.  He's the one who should be expected to pay back those he stole the money from.

Expecting you to give it back would equate to money being stolen from you because you did a job for which you were paid for.
Title: Re: Return Stolen Money
Post by: JFrancisNelson on June 10, 2014, 05:31:14 pm
Thanks for the responses.

The analogy about doing a bank robbers roof may not be valid.  Did the bank robber have any other sources of income than stolen money?  How would I know what money I was paid with.  Would it be possible to find out the account holders of the banks he stole from?  How would I know who to return it to.

I think a better analogy would be as follow:
You buy a piece of one of a kind art from an art dealer.  You later find out that that that art was stolen and from whom it was stolen.   Do you return the piece of art?  I would return it on the principle of not doing the necessary background check on the art and the art dealer.  I would however also attempt to gain a refund from the dealer.

I wish to return the my stolen salary on the principle that I did not do the proper research to know what government is before signing a contract.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to be refunded my services or my time spent in the military.  But that is my fault not the unwilling taxpayers fault.

If you think that the art analogy is invalid because in this example I am paying someone money instead of being paid money, than we will have to have a conversation about what money is and what value is.