Friday, July 25, 2003

More on telemarketing

Tyler Cowen has posted a followup to his telemarketing post, the core of which is this:

I still think many people on the list are afraid they will get calls, respond, and buy something. Frankly I am not convinced by all of you who say "I don't want this stuff." Sure, you don't, but what about the market as a whole?

Well, what about it? The fact that the market as a whole "wants" to receive unsolicited calls doesn't mean that any individual who is part of that market wants to receive them. To think otherwise is to commit the fallacy of division. There's also an inconsistency with the usual Libertarian argument against taxation (in which individuals cannot morally be forced to pay taxes even if society as a whole wants to), but given that most Libertarians are only interested in drugs, guns and taxes, that's hardly surprising.