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Social Contraction August 30, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.

Was wondering when people would start complaining about how the Social Contract has been broken by mayors and DAs around the country. The Social Contract, you may recall, answers the question: “Why do free people agree to be governed and taxed?”

As Hobbes and Locke pointed out in the 1600s, they agree to give up some of their freedom and money in exchange for features such as security and infrastructure.

But when governments violate their side of the contract, it’s inevitable that people will start asking if the price they paid is worth the benefits they receive. Enter the businessmen of San Francisco:

Businesses in one of the trendiest sections of San Francisco are threatening to withhold tax payments unless the city takes action in removing homeless people from the area, claiming that their presence has hurt their bottom line.

Yes, when you fail to protect the people who serve as the foundation of the system, the people who play by the rules and fund the system, you can expect that prioritizing the welfare of criminals and problem citizens is not going to be popular. And when it reaches a breaking point, you can expect that those people will stop supporting the governing body and its authority, and will start fending for themselves.

That way lies vigilantism, gang violence, and anarchy.


1. vaitguy - August 30, 2022

The Social Contract. It’s amazing what one forgets all adulting and earring a living… I wonder if the San Fran businesses withholding their tax payments would be a lead balloon thing. Certainly seems like it, fighting city hall etcetera.

2. lumps - August 31, 2022

It will be a waste of time. Municipal commies’ antipathy to small businesses is boundless. They will absolutely allow them to go out of business and then happily declare that neighborhood “underserved.”

Remember, people offering goods and services (which they acquired or provided by their own skins) for private profit are evil. People from the government typically inefficiently and incompetently offering goods and services YOU provided with your taxes, while they also personally get paid with your taxes, is called “public service” and they get their asses kissed for being so selfless.

3. geoff - August 31, 2022

I’m glad to see that we share the same level of cynicism and bitterness. I agree – I don’t think this particular instance will go anywhere. But the fact that it happened, and that it happened in one of the bluest cities in America, means, I think (hope), that the winds are shifting.

4. Jimbro - September 4, 2022

They are at the Notice Of Intent phase. This involved suffering enough to organize a group of merchants to discuss options including withholding tax remittances. I agree that they probably won’t go through with it but they’ve put the city on notice at a minimum. What’s more likely to happen is a gradual exodus of businesses that are no longer making a profit and increasing crime at the remaining victims. At some point either the merchants or the city will blink and the cycle will continue. The city can give lip service to greater law enforcement while making no changes at all and then claim the merchants are cray cray and probably racist too.

5. Jimbro - September 4, 2022

In a similar situation there are citizens in European cities threatening to withhold utility payments because of exorbitant fees. I’ve seen a few articles about this and only read the headlines. I’m not sure how this will end but I don’t think they can conjure cheaper energy up before winter arrives.

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