Friday, June 20, 2014

Is EPJ Breaking The Law?

By Victor J. Ward

A couple of days ago, Chris Rossini wrote an excellent post about internships, and it made me think about some of the articles that I have written and that EPJ has posted.

Some of my articles have generated positive comments. Some commenters have even asked to read more of my writing.

Personally, that has been very encouraging. I am glad that something that I wrote made a positive contribution in someone's life. It has also been encouraging because my wife reads all of my posts and all of the comments. (In fact, she may be more interested by the comments than by the article. After all, she knows what I am going to say; she's does not know how it will be received.)

My wife has responded to the calls for more writing by, in effect, telling me: "Get after it and answer the call!"

I don't get paid by EPJ. I have never asked to get paid, and I will never ask EPJ to pay me. I am honored that I get to express my thoughts and that my thoughts get distributed to many people. As I said above, I am honored that some of you have found my writing enjoyable.

What if EPJ had to pay for everything that I submitted? What if EPJ had to choose between Thomas Sowell, Walt Williams, or Victor J. Ward? I am pretty sure that that would be the order: Sowell, Williams, then Ward. Sowell and Williams are both tried and true. You know what you are going to get: Great analysis and great writing.

With me, who knows? It's a little bit of catch-as-catch-can.

But, because Robert/EPJ did not have to pay me, they were free to take a small gamble. And now, a new profession -- one in which I have always wanted to explore -- is a little closer to becoming a reality.

Forcing employers to have to pay for interns and preventing employers from accepting volunteers and enjoining employers from paying people below a certain amount hurts the employer. But, it also hurts the intern/volunteer employee.

Because I have been able to write for EPJ, I have been able to see the public manifestation of my thoughts. When you get a chance to see your ideas/thoughts turned into something more tangible, you learn from the entire process. In my case, I have learned something about the way I think. I have learned about the way I write. I have learned about the way I read and proof-read. I have learned about how I take a compliment and how I take criticism.

I have learned more than just the practice and skill of writing. I have learned about myself.

Have I been paid for my articles and posts? Yes, in ways that are more valuable than money.

So, when the state prevents people from interning or volunteering and when the state prevents people from working below a certain wage, they are doing damage far beyond just that of the economic and the financial.

Victor J. Ward  first came across libertarianism by reading Murray Rothbard's Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy and Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable. He holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an MBA from Santa Clara University.


  1. "Have I been paid for my articles and posts? Yes, in ways that are more valuable than money."

    You have hit upon the issue that internships cause for the state - there is no taxable transaction. You have been a tax-free form. What good are you for if not for milking?

    The state does not care about a growing economy, only a growing accessible economy - accessible to the tax man.

    1. Bingo! And Victor, I would strongly encourage you not to quit writing.

  2. Bingo bionic! And Victor, I would strongly encourage you not to quit writing. As a matter of fact, I would encourage you to write more.

  3. Bionic hits it- you are cattle, and worthless to them if they can't steal your milk.

    Victor, I can honestly say that you (and BioMosq) are two of the most unique and insightful new authors RW has introduced to the Rothbardian readership. We are enriched as a whole by having access to your thoughts.

    Your wife is a wise woman!

  4. I am not an attorney, and cannot comment on the written law. But, I can tell you the "spirit" of the law is that the State wants a piece of any transaction where something of value is exchanged. This means that even conversations, blog posts, comments on blog posts, etc. are taxable as they are of value (some more than others!).

  5. Victor understands one of the main lessons taught in "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. The Rich are willing to work for free. I highly recommend that book. In it Robert K tells of how, when he was a child, he asked his best friend's dad to teach him about money. His friend's dad agrees, but only if Robert was willing to work for free. I must admit, when I first read it, it made me bristle. I kept thinking, "That is child slave labor." Of course I was wrong. Robert K is a rich man today.

  6. I agree with your wife. Keep up the great work!