Saturday, January 03, 2009

Arguments You Can't Disagree With

As it is the X-Mas season, like everyone else on the planet I was returning unwanted presents to Wal-Mart. I was parked in the very back, close to the ramp that gets you back onto the road, unloading my kids when two cars gently collide at the intersection behind me. It's hard to visualize this because this intersection from the ramp to the parking lot is very bizarre at the Bloomington Wal-Mart, and can't really be described (Google Earth has not been updated since the W's construction, or else I would just put up satellite photos).

Based on the argument that followed, my impression was that the two cars reached a stopsign at the sametime and both tried to go. Anyway, the drivers of the two cars get out, and this is what I hear:

Driver A: "What'do think yer doin'? Yur supposeda yield to the right!"
Driver B: "No I didn't, I ran right into you!"
Driver A: "T'swhat I'm saying!"

This was made more amusng by the fact that it was Driver B who was to A's right, not the other way around.

His counterargument also reminded me of a lesson from Professor Sobel, who when introducing property rights to our graduate Public Choice class pointed out that "you have the right to life up until someone kills you, then you don't have it anymore." Granted, Dr. Sobel was making a much more sophisticated point about what constitutes property rights.

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