You Can’t Legislate Value

I’ve run an email discussion list for many years for people and businesses within the industry I work, which is the voluntary and mutual settlement of unsecured debts in hardship situations (think of it as a bankruptcy alternative).

What follows is a post from this morning, and my response.

…wouldn’t it be nice if we could get a law on the books where:

…If a creditor has a client in a particular state, then that creditor is FORCED to deal with the debt settlement company on behalf of the customer.   i.e., Citibank, MBNA, Bank of America would be forced to deal with us if the client so chooses.  I believe this is the level of law that we should be trying to push.

Be careful what you ask for.

I know it’s tempting to use the omnipotent power of the state to “FORCE” creditors to deal with you, but I’d never support such an immoral abrogation of the freedom of association (and, I, unlike the “Supreme” Court, don’t make meaningless, logically untenable distinctions between the rights of individuals and the rights of individuals organized into entities like proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations).

Moreover, I believe it’s an impractical measure that’s more likely to cause resentment than anything else. While the state can make Citibank give you the time of day, it can’t make them respect you or find any value in what you do. It’s up to you to produce that value.

See, the state can destroy any life or property it wishes, with or without reason, but it’s wholly incapable of producing, creating a single genuine value in the world. It can only take (steal) the values produced by individuals and businesses, transfer them to someone else, and fake as though they are producing values. In reality, they are parasites: top-to-bottom and wall-to-wall.

So, ultimately, there’s no getting around persuading creditors that settlement is in their best interest.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Richard Nikoley on July 23, 2005 at 11:19


    You assert:

    "On the other hand, if it is in the public's interest that someone be relieved of debt, then the whole public rather than just the creditor should share the burden."

    First off, I don't really know what "the public's interest" is. I know what mine, qua individual, are. I have some reasonalbe idea as to what the interests of my wife and close relatives and friends might be, but uncertainty in that matter would certainly preculde me from unilaterally deciding, making decisions and taking actions to affect their interests that I've magically divined–especially when they are all quite competent to determine what their own interests are and take action accordingly.

    "Public interest," if it even exists, can be nothing more than the combined interests of all individuals, many in conflict with one-another in the face of any sort of uniform public policy (some win, some lose).

    How you, or anyone else can claim to have any idea what "the public interest" really is is beyond me.

    I certainly have nothing to do with it, collective public policy being as far away from _my_ interests as it's possible to be, so "public interest" most certainly does not mean anything close to perfect fulfillment of every individual's interest, which, therefore, means that the interests of some are being granted at the expense of others. That's just another form of theft.

  2. Walter E. Wallis on July 23, 2005 at 08:25

    On the other hand, if it is in the public's interest that someone be relieved of debt, then the whole public rather than just the creditor should share the burden. Also, unearned money such as payment for goods or services not delivered should not be considered an asset. They should be returned to the payer.

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