[FoRK] Fwd: Vast Differences in Compensation.doc

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Mon Mar 15 06:45:19 PST 2004

Okay, I see where we disconnected. My opinion is that I am
generally for victim compensation funds as they typically are not
cash grants when set up and administered by the US government. 
I don't feel strongly about it one way or the other related to
common defense issues and federal jurisdiction murder statutes. 
I agree that handing out cash for nothing other than being in the
wrong place at the wrong time is a bizarre concept.  
That said, my understandinig is that the purpose of Victim 
compensations funds is to ensure two things: 1) equal justice 
under the law, and 2) mitigation of  the economic impact of any 
event, manmade or not.   Almost every government at all levels 
has a victim compensation fund. 
The ones that use cash grants typically are only at the county
or state level to offset the cost burden to the family for seeing
justice done.  Only the most sovereign individualist libertarians
think that the level of justice should be commeasurate with
the level of ability to support it.   For 2) I found a really good GAO
breakdown of the primary economic impacts. [1]  I think it makes
a lot of sense to restore the engine as quickly as possible due to
the butterfly effect.   
I found another good document on how the comnpensations 
are being doled.[2]  It's a hodgepodge of tax exemptions: reduced
income taxes, exclusion of death benefits, estate tax reduction,
charitable donations treated as exempt, exclusion and cancellation
of certain types of indebtness, etc.  My interpretation is that it's
removing the onerous governmental obligations that wouldn't
have been paid anyways and making sure there's no disincentive
to being a future productive citizen.  It's truly a Miltonian (Friedman)
economic concept.  
For funds like the 9-11 fireman's fund--it's a completely different
story as the contributions are voluntary as you can vote with
your feet/checkbook--yet another Milton Friedman influence on
our way of viewing economics.  
[1] http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02700r.pdf
[2] http://www.usdoj.gov/victimcompensation/law107.pdf

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: fork-bounces at xent.com on behalf of Russell Turpin 
	Sent: Sun 3/14/2004 12:40 PM 
	To: fork at xent.com 
	Subject: RE: [FoRK] Fwd: Vast Differences in Compensation.doc

	>First, where did I say compensating murder victims?
	You didn't. You said (a) that anti-terrorism belongs
	to the federal government, which is true, that
	therefore (b) the federal government should
	compensate the survivors of terrorist victims.
	I'm questioning the rationale in this. It seems to
	be something like: (1) if combatting some
	misbehavior X is the duty of the government, then
	(2) the government should compensate those
	who are killed by that misbehavior. I pointed out
	that few people hold to this rationale with regard
	to state governments and crime, since that
	questions why we should hold it with regard to
	the federal government and terrorism.
	I apologize if I incorrectly inferred your rationale.
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