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Refund for surplus rights

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(+5, -6)
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Freedom is very important, of course - everyone agrees. But sometimes I feel some of my historically hard-won freedoms are not quite as valuable as all that. For example, if I do not smoke I could easily relinquish my right to buy tobacco. Then that's one less burden on the administration to keep that option open for me. And in return I could get tokens, or something.
lubbit, Mar 25 2001

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       I think we should be able to redeem these hard-won but no longer desired (by us) rights for other rights. I'm not a firearm owner, so maybe I could cash that in for the right to homestead on unused urban land, or the right to go naked in public on hot days (plus some change of course --- some rights are worth more than others). Or I could use it to bolster, say, my freedom to assemble peacably, which seems to have become pretty shaky recently.
wiml, Mar 26 2001

       [admin: moved to the legal system, which isn't quite right, either, but better than Halfbakery: Other.]
[lubbit], thanks for making me laugh out loud.
jutta, Mar 26 2001

       Lubbit: but what if, after giving up your right to buy tobacco, you find yourself seduced by cigarette advertising and the delicate aroma of second-hand smoke. Sure you know the risks but think of the pleasure to be gained. Millions of people smoke knowing it could kill them, suffering cancer and emphysema and chronic respiratory discomfort just for that sweet taste of burning tobacco. Mmmmm...tarry.

Government would need to spend even more money keeping track of those people who have given up rights and making sure they didn't exercise the rights they don't have anymore. If they do the things that they don't have a right to do the tokens are worthless.
sirrobin, Mar 26 2001

       How many tokens would you get for giving up your right to receive tokens?
Aristotle, Mar 26 2001

       The very concept of an "unalienable right" is something which can't be taken away -- you can't trade it away for something else. Anything which can be licensed and traded isn't a right, it's a privilege. So the concept is definitionally invalid.   

       Your example is flawed; I wouldn't classify the ability to buy tobacco as a "right", nor is it a "burden on the administration" to "keep that option open for you". If anything, enforcing the lack of that option would be a burden (see also: War on Drugs). The only burden I can think of is the public health cost.   


       But, perhaps you mean something different by "right" (and it's probably a less well-defined concept than I'm making it out to be). If we delete that word, then we can talk about trading random legal abilities. They would clearly be exchanged for money, and then we have a situation where you pay money to gain some legal ability. That's a form of licensing which is 100% baked, from FCC spectrum licenses which cost billions to hunting licenses which cost $10.   

       Either way, there isn't much here. What am I missing?
egnor, Mar 26 2001

       This sounds very similar to another halfbaked idea of giving up the use of public services like highways and fire departments in return for some tax dollars.
centauri, Mar 26 2001

       PeterSealy - OK, let's take the right to vote. Instead of "No taxation without representation" you could go for "No representation but 20% off your taxation!". Given that 40 - 50% of Americans eligible to vote in the last Presidential election didn't bother, and turnout figures for the UK* habitually hover somewhere around about 70% there are obviously a large number of people who already give up their right to vote and get nothing in return.   

       I realise that some of these are going to be one offs with people who didn't want to vote in that particular election, or who simply couldn't, but there are people who just aren't interested.   

       Now, given an offer of, say, two free rentals from Blockbusters, or a half price subscription to "Readers' Digest", or even ~some money~ those people could take themselves off the electoral register thus saving the tax payer some money, turnout rates would go up, and those people that maintain the right to vote, but still don't would be sending a loud and clear "I think you, specifically, aren't worth voting for" message to the politicians rather than an "I am totally apathetic about this whole politics thing" one, which is what is assumed at the moment (whether or not that's what's meant is another question).   

       I think I should probably say that I don't actually support this idea as something that nations should actually do because disenfranchising people is bad. However, it seems an interesting response to Peter's question...   


       *sirrobin appeasing note - Countries other than the UK and the USA do exist. And are jolly important, too. I just don't have figures for them. Please feel free to add some.
mark_t, Mar 26 2001

       That high pitched whine you may now be hearing is the sound of the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves.
centauri, Mar 26 2001

       Good GOD!
JohnAdams, Mar 26 2001

       And if you do save up enough to get the right to shoot people, can you aquire their rights after you've killed them?
LittleBitONothing, Mar 26 2001

       At least it's not the hard drive.
centauri, Mar 26 2001

       How are you citizens? All your rights are belong to us.
absterge, Mar 27 2001

       (I'm sorry. I truly, truly am. And appropriately ashamed, iuvare. Woe to me, regardless of how funny it was. That is the first and last AYBABTU allusion that you will hear from me on this site.)
absterge, Mar 27 2001

       absterge, you ought to be ashamed of yourself...all willy-nilly...
iuvare, Mar 27 2001

       Voters should receive some form of a tax credit as a reward. "Check Box 68A...Attach Form 2004V...". An open mix of Commerce and State would bloat pork-barrel politics, as the politicians would have a loophole. The best bang for the US buck is to 1099, not 1040 on your taxes. There is no such thing as freedom.
thumbwax, Mar 28 2001

       thumbwax - I know brevity is prized here in the Half Bakery, but what on earth are you on about? I've got the first and last sentences, but as for the rest you might as well have been going "blubbleblubbleblubbleblubble". Probably just me being dense. Any chance of a translation? Or an "Idiots' guide to thumbwax's last posting", perhaps?
mark_t, Mar 28 2001

       Freedom cannot be bought, just the action or non-action; and that is largely baked.
loonquawl, Sep 10 2009

       I can see a market springing up in token trading; from weekend swap meets all the way to a global bourse full of derivatives and futures.   

       "I'll trade you two right-to-bear-arms for a right to bare arms", said the attractive young Saudi woman.   

       I would happily swap you a RTBA token for a right to *not* vote for a party I dislike.   

       Tokens should be colour coded, and worn on a natty sash or bandolier.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 27 2009


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