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El_Diablo
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#31

Posted 05 June 2012 - 04:40 AM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Monday, Jun 4 2012, 18:06)
I'm simply trying to discuss alternative philosophical and moral viewpoints, no need to get so hostile.

I didn't feel hostile while I was typing it.
I felt like I was challenging you; isn't this what you asked for?

I'd be happy to consider alternatives if alternatives had been presented.
but so far the only alternatives that have been discussed are those that came before the State and failed. a civil society made up entirely of volunteer public services could never meet the needs of a modern / massive metropolitan area; let alone an entire country. private corporations might be an alternative if they hadn't already proven themselves to be incapable of cutting corners in the name of profits. government certainly isn't free of corruption by any means, but at least it has other incentives than the bottom-line dollar. the private sector has shown that it is only concerned with profits upon profits. a corporation will sacrifice it's own long-term interests in the name of short-term profits for the men at the top. at least government is still somewhat beholden to the people that would elect them.

I've yet to see a sound argument for why taxation is immoral or little more than petty theft.
I've yet to see alternatives that don't sound like nothing more than socialist fantasies.

if you want, we can sit around and agree with each other about how nice it would be for someone to finally create a peaceful communist state.
no more dogma, no more entrenched bureaucracy, just people living for today...

but this gets us nowhere.
if you want us to talk about principles in IN THEORY then I'd be obliged to ignore the conversation completely.
I got bored of that in graduate school.

I want to talk about principles IN PRACTICE.
we have to consider the implications of our CURRENT reality or we will forever be stuck in meaningless clouds of intellectual superiority.

sivispacem
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#32

Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:36 AM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Tuesday, Jun 5 2012, 00:04)
QUOTE
This argument boils down to whether taxation is forced or not, though. I don't think that citizens are forced kicking and screaming into paying their taxes (well, for the most part anyway), more grudgingly accepted by the vast majority. The fact that the majority pay their taxes willingly, for whatever reason, is a demonstration that as a principle taxation is not forced.

It's true that most people pay taxes without serious resistance (unless tax evasion counts as resistance), but I don't believe that changes whether it's forced or not. The state rarely uses actual, physical force in order to collect taxes, but it uses the threat of physical force to make you more compliant.

That's very true, but every social interaction is contributed to by the veiled threat of violence. The two basic branches of any social interaction are coercion and compromise. At the most fundamental level, if any individual wants a better deal from another they are probably going to use coercion of some kind, including the threat of violence, to achieve it. In this, the actions of the state are just an extension of the actions of the person.

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#33

Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:22 PM

I would relate taxation with paying for housing. People accept the charge of living in this country, so they pay taxes. People accept living in a hotel/apartment so they pay rent. Money gathered from taxes should be generally used to supply public services and improve the country. Money gathered from billing residents should be generally used supply services and improve housing. If you don't agree with the amount you are taxed or how it's used, you can voice that opinion. If you don't agree with the charges that the hotel/apartment is requesting or how it's used, you can voice that opinion. If you don't want to be charged for living in a place that provides services and improves your living conditions, you can leave. Though this would only work if the country leaders are ingenuous. Though this would only work if the hotel/apartment owners are ingenuous. Since I'm guessing most of you live in ingenuous countries with ingenuous property owners, I don't think taxation/charges is considered theft in your areas.

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#34

Posted 13 June 2012 - 11:35 PM Edited by Chunkyman, 14 June 2012 - 01:26 AM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Tuesday, Jun 5 2012, 07:36)

That's very true, but every social interaction is contributed to by the veiled threat of violence. The two basic branches of any social interaction are coercion and compromise. At the most fundamental level, if any individual wants a better deal from another they are probably going to use coercion of some kind, including the threat of violence, to achieve it. In this, the actions of the state are just an extension of the actions of the person.

I don't agree with that at all. When you go to the grocery store, do you threaten them with punishment if they don't give you food, or do you find a way to have a mutually beneficial and voluntary exchange of money for food? Personal relationships are (hopefully) avoid of coercion as well. You don't hit or threaten to hit your girlfriend if she doesn't do as you ask, you find a voluntary means to achieve a solution. At least in my life, none of my day-to-day social interactions involve coercion of any kind. I suppose you might consider social pressure to be coercive, but I wouldn't consider that to be a form of coercion. If your social interactions are involving coercion, there is something wrong.

In our personal lives we reject violence, coercion and the instigation of force because they are morally wrong, but accept and even ask for it on a societal level. I believe that the instigation of force, violence, and coercion are universally immoral, and so I reject the view that taxation is a morally acceptable practice.

QUOTE
I would relate taxation with paying for housing. People accept the charge of living in this country, so they pay taxes. People accept living in a hotel/apartment so they pay rent. Money gathered from taxes should be generally used to supply public services and improve the country. Money gathered from billing residents should be generally used supply services and improve housing. If you don't agree with the amount you are taxed or how it's used, you can voice that opinion. If you don't agree with the charges that the hotel/apartment is requesting or how it's used, you can voice that opinion. If you don't want to be charged for living in a place that provides services and improves your living conditions, you can leave. Though this would only work if the country leaders are ingenuous. Though this would only work if the hotel/apartment owners are ingenuous. Since I'm guessing most of you live in ingenuous countries with ingenuous property owners, I don't think taxation/charges is considered theft in your areas.


Paying for housing and taxation are totally different. For starters, you aren't thrown into a little cage for ten years if you don't pay your rent. Also, the act of buying a house or renting an apartment is a voluntarily agreed upon arrangement by two consenting adults. The landlord cannot force you to rent his apartment, nor can he arbitrarily raise the rent as much as he wants (unless that was specifically stipulated in the contract, but you would have to be a retard to sign that). The only way the landlord can take your money is if you voluntarily agree to all the terms presented in the contract. The state does not use voluntary methods (like a landlord does) to acquire your money, it uses coercion. It operates like the mafia, give me your money or something bad will happen to you.
The fact you may get goodies in return doesn't justify the immoral nature of coercion and theft.

QUOTE
but so far the only alternatives that have been discussed are those that came before the State and failed. a civil society made up entirely of volunteer public services could never meet the needs of a modern / massive metropolitan area; let alone an entire country. private corporations might be an alternative if they hadn't already proven themselves to be incapable of cutting corners in the name of profits. government certainly isn't free of corruption by any means, but at least it has other incentives than the bottom-line dollar. the private sector has shown that it is only concerned with profits upon profits. a corporation will sacrifice it's own long-term interests in the name of short-term profits for the men at the top. at least government is still somewhat beholden to the people that would elect them.


I would argue for free-market capitalism, but this thread was more geared towards the morality side of things as opposed to "How would X function?". Just a little side note, but the problems with corporations right now is a direct result of limited liability (a government granted status). It amazes me how problems directly caused by the state are used as an attack of free markets.

QUOTE
Chunkyman, you brought this discussion up, there have been a lot of valid points and arguments against your statement(s) and I do understand being too busy with finals, I have been there before. What I want to see are ideas from you since you keep brining up these "what if" statements. For my money and how I make my living, you can't just bring those what if ideas, you have to bring solutions and answers or at least ideas that might work.


I hate to be that guy who links you to something as opposed to writing everything myself, but the amount of writing required to answer that question in great detail might kill me. Here is a free book about practical ways to solve things (like roads) without the use of a violent monopoly and taxation.

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#35

Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:26 PM

QUOTE
QUOTE
Chunkyman, you brought this discussion up, there have been a lot of valid points and arguments against your statement(s) and I do understand being too busy with finals, I have been there before. What I want to see are ideas from you since you keep brining up these "what if" statements. For my money and how I make my living, you can't just bring those what if ideas, you have to bring solutions and answers or at least ideas that might work.


I hate to be that guy who links you to something as opposed to writing everything myself, but the amount of writing required to answer that question in great detail might kill me. Here is a free book about practical ways to solve things (like roads) without the use of a violent monopoly and taxation.


I don't mind links, but I still don't understand how this is going provide the needed services that the government provides. There just isn't a way around taxes at the moment, they are necessary to maintain our, yours included, way of life and standard of living. Anarchy certainly isn't the answer, tho it may look good on paper, we are not perfect and never will be; therefore, anarchy is not a viable option. If we aren't perfect then we require laws to govern our behavior.

I do see where your going with the articles you posted, and your ideas about volunteer fire departments ect; however, when implemented in reality these either don't work or do not work for the vast majority of communities.

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#36

Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:11 PM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 00:35)
I hate to be that guy who links you to something as opposed to writing everything myself, but the amount of writing required to answer that question in great detail might kill me. Here is a free book about practical ways to solve things (like roads) without the use of a violent monopoly and taxation.

I will respond to your comments in more depth, but I dipped into that thesis (sorry, its not a book), most accurately page 38 when it discusses the idea of anarchist self-defence, and immediately burst out laughing. When an author or authors go to such astonishing lengths to reduce organised society, state-centric politics and democracy to demeaning, clunky and childish characterised such as those presented in this work, I will struggle to take anything else they may say seriously. They may well have a great idea for how public services can be provided in a stateless society (it doesn't actually explain how roads can be effective funded in a society with no overriding hierarchical organisation which can commit to decisions on a financial level- assuming that concepts such as "business", "ownership" and "finance" are not eradicated entirely which would lead to over fundamental questions, nor whom would actually be involved in the building (anarchist models tend to focus on many small societal groups rather than a few large ones, and without the expertise required for technically challenging projects to take place on those small levels and no real incentive for mutual cooperation as "mutually beneficial" is a very objective statement and recompense deals must use some kind of tangible profit in order to have any worth) but even if they did (which they don't) I would struggle to take them seriously.

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#37

Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE (Leftcoast @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 17:26)

I do see where your going with the articles you posted, and your ideas about volunteer fire departments ect; however, when implemented in reality these either don't work or do not work for the vast majority of communities.

It's totally fine that you want a government run fire department. It's your belief, and you have a right to act on that belief. I would never dream of using force or advocating the use of force against you if you wanted to give your money to fund the fire department. It's your money, you can give it to whomever you want. You giving your money to the state does not harm me, so it would be wrong of me to try and stop you. I never would send people in blue costumes with guns to prevent you from acting on your beliefs. Would you give my beliefs the same respect I give yours, or would you advocate force being used against me?

El_Diablo
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#38

Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:48 PM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 14:35)
Would you give my beliefs the same respect I give yours, or would you advocate force being used against me?

because you don't want to pay taxes?

I could only respect that belief if you did not live in the same society as myself and my family.
if you want to live in the same society that we live in, then you're going to have to pay your taxes.

if you want to live in the same society that we live in but not pay taxes, then I have no respect for your belief.

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#39

Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:24 PM

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 16:48)
QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 14:35)
Would you give my beliefs the same respect I give yours, or would you advocate force being used against me?

because you don't want to pay taxes?

I could only respect that belief if you did not live in the same society as myself and my family.
if you want to live in the same society that we live in, then you're going to have to pay your taxes.

if you want to live in the same society that we live in but not pay taxes, then I have no respect for your belief.

Agreed. Please construct your own roads to get around, buy your own firetruck, etc.

Does it matter that what you're calling for is what existed before the 19th century (no police forces really existed before then for example) and what we have today is a result of the evolution of the very things you want?

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#40

Posted 14 June 2012 - 11:33 PM Edited by Chunkyman, 14 June 2012 - 11:36 PM.

So you two (and likely everyone else here) advocate violence and/or the threat of violence against me if I don't give you my money to fund your vision for society. It's easy to advocate for the instigation of force when it's spoken in terms of things like "The government should make you pay taxes", but would you personally be willing to force me to give you money in order to fund your ideals? If I we were standing face to face, would you be willing to point a gun at me in order to get my money? Would you be willing to lock me in a little cage for a decade if I refused? What if I refused to be in the cage, would you then be willing to pull the trigger? Since you advocate people in blue costumes either threatening me with guns to get my money, locking me in a cage if I don't surrender my property, and killing me if I refuse to be in the cage, surely you would be willing to do this yourselves.

El_Diablo
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#41

Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:41 AM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 16:33)
So you two (and likely everyone else here) advocate violence and/or the threat of violence against me if I don't give you my money to fund your vision for society.

well I don't remember saying anything about violence.
but I would certainly have no qualms with putting you in jail for failure to adhere to the social contract of our state. the contract that everyone else adheres to without incident.

QUOTE
would you personally be willing to force me to give you money in order to fund your ideals? If I we were standing face to face, would you be willing to point a gun at me in order to get my money? Would you be willing to lock me in a little cage for a decade if I refused? What if I refused to be in the cage, would you then be willing to pull the trigger?


I don't know why it has to be me personally.
I'm not a police officer or IRS agent.

those who have volunteered to uphold the law would force you to pay. not me.
and I'd have no problem with that. I wouldn't advocate violence but I wouldn't lose any sleep over knowing that you were in jail. and if you tried to refuse your sentence, escaped, and got yourself shot that would be your problem; unfortunate as it may be. but again it wouldn't cause me too much stress.

QUOTE
surely you would be willing to do this yourselves.


I don't see why this matters.
I'm not the one who is rebelling against a system that the majority of people happily comply with.

as such, I don't see why my principles would be compromised just because I'm not willing to haul you to jail with my own 2 hands.
plenty of other people (who also abide by the system) have already volunteered to do this kind of work and I support them.

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#42

Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:15 AM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 18:33)
So you two (and likely everyone else here) advocate violence and/or the threat of violence against me  if I don't give you my money to fund your vision for society. It's easy to advocate for the instigation of force when it's spoken in terms of things like "The government should make you pay taxes", but would you personally be willing to force me to give you money in order to fund your ideals? If I we were standing face to face, would you be willing to point a gun at me in order to get my money? Would you be willing to lock me in a little cage for a decade if I refused? What if I refused to be in the cage, would you then be willing to pull the trigger? Since you advocate people in blue costumes either threatening me with guns to get my money, locking me in a cage if I don't surrender my property, and killing me if I refuse to be in the cage, surely you would be willing to do this yourselves.

Yup. You're damn right I would be happy to lock you up for it, or you could opt for voluntary deportation. This is the system we have here, as it is in pretty much every single developed (and even the underdeveloped) country in the world. You're welcome to leave and move somewhere you don't want to pay taxes to "fund my vision for society" but you can't do that here. You just cannot refuse to contribute to the society you live in and the services it provides everyone. It's really that simple. I don't care how much of a hermit you live as, you are somehow benefited by taxpayers whether you're a working poor person with SSI and other welfare or if you're an elderly person on Medicare or if you're a 30 year old guy living in the woods (in the last example, you're protected because of the taxes that go to national defense at the most bare and basic level). It's that simple. I'll say it again - a society without government doesn't work and it will never work. Refer to the Madison quote. You're a history major, you should know this.

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#43

Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:17 AM

QUOTE
well I don't remember saying anything about violence.
but I would certainly have no qualms with putting you in jail for failure to adhere to the social contract of our state. the contract that everyone else adheres to without incident.


There is no "social contract", just a declaration by the state of what happens to you if you don't do A, B, and C. A contract is something two consenting adults voluntarily enter. Being born in a geographical region controlled by the US government does not constitute me (or anyone) consenting to be lorded over by a group of individuals known as the state. The idea that the collective somehow magically has the moral authority to use the initiation of force (including imprisonment or being shot) against individuals who don't obey their every whim is sickening.

QUOTE
I don't see why my principles would be compromised just because I'm not willing to haul you to jail with my own 2 hands.


Putting someone in prison (and shooting them if they resist being put in a cage) is extremely serious. I would never advocate something that drastic unless I was personally willing to do it myself. I would gladly be willing to threaten, shoot and/or imprison a rapist or murderer myself, because my moral code would allow me to take such drastic actions for the protection of others. I would not hold a gun to someone's head to get them to fund a library or fire department.



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#44

Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:24 AM

QUOTE

Being born in a geographical region controlled by the US government does not constitute me (or anyone) consenting to be lorded over by a group of individuals known as the state

Sure it does. You're a US citizen and therefore you're responsible to contribute to this society. I have to say it over and over and it doesn't get through to you. I know you are not actually this extreme and in some cases you're just playing devil's advocate, but the fact is, if you or someone actually thinks that way, then YOU ARE WELCOME TO LEAVE! You can go live somewhere else. It's that simple!

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#45

Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:35 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 03:24)

Sure it does. You're a US citizen and therefore you're responsible to contribute to this society. I have to say it over and over and it doesn't get through to you. I know you are not actually this extreme and in some cases you're just playing devil's advocate, but the fact is, if you or someone actually thinks that way, then YOU ARE WELCOME TO LEAVE! You can go live somewhere else. It's that simple!

Devil's advocate is quite a fun debating style, I must say (although I do actually want some things like the post office de-monopolized and privatized). I hope you guys don't think I'm actually forming a resistance movement or something lol.

I still think the force theory is a more accurate descriptor of society than the social contract theory, although I accept the reality of a statist society.

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#46

Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:05 AM Edited by Leftcoast, 15 June 2012 - 05:16 AM.

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 21:35)
QUOTE (Leftcoast @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 17:26)

I do see where your going with the articles you posted, and your ideas about volunteer fire departments ect; however, when implemented in reality these either don't work or do not work for the vast majority of communities.

It's totally fine that you want a government run fire department. It's your belief, and you have a right to act on that belief. I would never dream of using force or advocating the use of force against you if you wanted to give your money to fund the fire department. It's your money, you can give it to whomever you want. You giving your money to the state does not harm me, so it would be wrong of me to try and stop you. I never would send people in blue costumes with guns to prevent you from acting on your beliefs. Would you give my beliefs the same respect I give yours, or would you advocate force being used against me?

I certainly do not advocate violence. Let's say in this instance that the law does not require you to pay taxes; however, if you opt out of taxes you cannot reap any benefits of government or society. In this example, I don't have to commit violence (which I would not any way shape or form unless necessary to defend myself). Since you opt out of tax, some one else may commit the violence and there isn't anyone to help you, lets say a police officer sees a criminal beating and mugging Chunkyman, he by law must allow the criminal activity since Chunkyman opted out of paying taxes.

QUOTE
Devil's advocate is quite a fun debating style, I must say (although I do actually want some things like the post office de-monopolized and privatized). I hope you guys don't think I'm actually forming a resistance movement or something lol.

I still think the force theory is a more accurate descriptor of society than the social contract theory, although I accept the reality of a statist society.


I don't think any one here feels your starting some resistant group, and it is good you come and debate. Tho, if you want to start a resistance group I have some tin foil you can make a hat out of... Just joking, that wasn't meant as a jab against you, just at people too radical to have a rational discussion.

Edit: An afterthought about humanity, rules and being governed.

I have been training/mentoring several new engineers at work. One of the better ones was put on a project I was given. She works really well and does an awesome job, since I trust her, we are basically are co-leading the project (I think this will be good experience having her take the responsibility) and we made an agreement to just keep each other in loop about decisions made. I have not apposed this co-lead situation, however, I did realize that since I have almost 10 years experience I still have to take a leadership (government roll) from time to time. For the better good of our work group I can't relieve all control. I have to be a leader at times and I cannot share all responsibility. There needs to be an authority, structure and "government" if you will. Of course there need to be limits on authority, in this example and any other, authority needs to be limited and checked.

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#47

Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:13 AM

QUOTE (Leftcoast @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 05:05)

I certainly do not advocate violence. Let's say in this instance that the law does not require you to pay taxes; however, if you opt out of taxes you cannot reap any benefits of government or society. In this example, I don't have to commit violence (which I would not any way shape or form unless necessary to defend myself). Since you opt out of tax, some one else may commit the violence and there isn't anyone to help you, lets say a police officer sees a criminal beating and mugging Chunkyman, he by law must allow the criminal activity since Chunkyman opted out of paying taxes.


Good, I appreciate not having violence advocated against me. colgate.gif

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#48

Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:22 AM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 05:13)
QUOTE (Leftcoast @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 05:05)

I certainly do not advocate violence.  Let's say in this instance that the law does not require you to pay taxes; however, if you opt out of taxes you cannot reap any benefits of government or society.  In this example, I don't have to commit violence (which I would not any way shape or form unless necessary to defend myself).  Since you opt out of tax, some one else may commit the violence and there isn't anyone to help you, lets say a police officer sees a criminal beating and mugging Chunkyman, he by law must allow the criminal activity since Chunkyman opted out of paying taxes.


Good, I appreciate not having violence advocated against me. colgate.gif

Last (semi-drunk) post of the night, it's passed my bedtime (coffee fixes that in the AM, hehe).

I am pretty sure all the regular posters here wish no violence, just a good argument or debate, which as we know requires 2 sides min. I also feel like they don't hold grudges over old arguments that you may not have agreed on.

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#49

Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:27 AM Edited by El_Diablo, 15 June 2012 - 05:35 AM.

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Thursday, Jun 14 2012, 20:17)
There is no "social contract", just a declaration by the state of what happens to you if you don't do A, B, and C.

there absolutely IS a social contract.
and you explained it in your following sentence.

QUOTE
A contract is something two consenting adults voluntarily enter.

exactly.

and the day you turned 18 you became a consenting adult. prior to that time, you were not consenting. but you were in the legal custody of your parents who obviously did consent. and long before you turned 18, you were well aware of the laws and responsibilities that adulthood in this country would bring. so technically you had the opportunity to opt out of this contract by moving away to a country with (perhaps) a different contract.

but you didn't move.
upon turning 18 and choosing to stay in this country to live and to work, you have consented to the social contract of taxation.

QUOTE
The idea that the collective somehow magically has the moral authority to use the initiation of force (including imprisonment or being shot) against individuals who don't obey their every whim is sickening.


ok I'm tired of you using this bullsh*t angle of attack.
I'm sorry but it's little more than bullsh*t.

now regarding the notion that "majority does not define morality;" I wholeheartedly agree with you.
in fact it's hard to dispute that point in any sense. as a matter of principle you're right: majority does not make moral authority.

but here's where it turns to bullsh*t.
when you try to use the principle to call a public service such as taxation "sickening," that's utter bullsh*t.

forfeiting a fraction of your paycheck to ensure that your neighborhood and family are protected with the same basic securities as any other member of the community is not sickening. it's smart, it's efficient, it's economical, and it's perfectly in accordance with the Golden Rule; treat others as you would hope to be treated and do good for the sake of doing good. you don't have to agree with EVERY action taken by your government in order to realize that the foundation of taxation is an indispensable good.

I didn't agree with our invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan.
but I didn't stop paying taxes because of it. we still need to fix potholes, pay teachers, and ensure that fires don't spread across cities.

to say that taxation is "sickening" because it (might) technically violate the principle of moral majority is a high school argument at best.
like I've mentioned before in other debates; I got tired of arguing theory a long time ago in the early days of grad school.

we can sit here ALL DAY and AGREE with each other about moral principles inside the vacuum of absolute relativity... if that's what you wanna' do.
but if you actually want to progress the discussion from useless supposition to functional plausibility then you're gonna' have to meet me halfway.

I don't care about your principles.
I care about reality and how principles merge with practice. you don't seem to be interested in that, but that's the only way an issue like this is ever going to see any traction.

QUOTE
Putting someone in prison (and shooting them if they resist being put in a cage) is extremely serious.


sure, I agree.
see how boring that is?

QUOTE
I would never advocate something that drastic unless I was personally willing to do it myself.


that's fine... in principle.

but that doesn't make any sense... in reality.

I think you see where this is going.
by which I mean nowhere fast.

most agree that murder and theft and rape are wrong.
but are most people going to personally get involved in a rape/theft/murder attack - in order to stop the transgression from happening - JUST to prove that they believe in their morals??

no.
and they shouldn't have to. that's absurd. that's what civil society is for. that's what taxes are for. for the people who volunteered to uphold the contract, to get involved in these situations in order to maintain safety at large.

QUOTE
I would not hold a gun to someone's head to get them to fund a library or fire department.


I wouldn't either.
I'd quietly rat them out to the IRS and watch them be taken away to prison by someone who is paid to do that sort of thing.

you know, like any good citizen would do.

Tom Toole
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#50

Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:17 PM

There is a famous phrase that is a lot like the "taxation is theft". It is "Property is theft" and Proudhon was the one who said it. There is a strong link between communism and anarchism - both defend a utopic/ideal society.

The Chunkyman linked to a fellow's book/thesis and he had this to say about communism
QUOTE
If we look at something like communism, we can see that it represented a radical reversal of what actually works in our own personal lives. We retain and trade property constantly in our own lives. Stripping us of the right to own and trade property is an entirely artificial “oppositional solution,” which is why it had to be imposed through endless violence, murder and imprisonment.


See, there's this problem - those who should in theory, as defensors of utopian societies, of equality, liberty, and so on, end up as enemies. The way I see it. The problem with believing the government can't take your money is that you do not exist as an individual, you only exist as part of a society. And as to the objection of mr. capitalist anarchist that I quoted - capitalism is also imposed through endless violence, murder and imprisonment.

In capitalist countries the state often takes the position of taking money from the waged and not from the capitalists (those who do not work but live through their ownership of stock). When this happens I would agree with Chunkyman's basic argument that it is "sickening". I think in the US for example there is a movement towards the taxing of capital gains, which I believe is a step in a good direction. Unfortunately capitalists are some of the people who have the least need to pay taxes, thanks to tax-heavens and so on. So the argument that has been often been lofted at Chunkyman - that he should move to a different country - would make sense if he were a rich person and could move to a tax-haven - but would not make sense if he is a salaried worker who sees a lot of his tax-money going towards imperialist wars and bailouts for capitalists.

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#51

Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE
So the argument that has been often been lofted at Chunkyman - that he should move to a different country - would make sense if he were a rich person and could move to a tax-haven - but would not make sense if he is a salaried worker who sees a lot of his tax-money going towards imperialist wars and bailouts for capitalists.


I'm a college student currently who will likely be working at Little Caesar's soon enough due to the severe lack of job opportunities in my city, so I'm not what you would call a "capitalist".

QUOTE
There is a strong link between communism and anarchism - both defend a utopic/ideal society.


Errr... Well my libertarianism is about as far away from Communism as you can get, I believe in property rights quite strongly. I don't believe in utopia either, perfection is not goal, morality is.

QUOTE
The way I see it. The problem with believing the government can't take your money is that you do not exist as an individual, you only exist as part of a society. And as to the objection of mr. capitalist anarchist that I quoted - capitalism is also imposed through endless violence, murder and imprisonment.


Capitalism is simply the voluntary exchange of goods and services coupled with a healthy respect for property rights. If I traded my corn for your cheese, that would be an example of a capitalist-style transaction. There is no murder, violence, or imprisonment involved, just two people exchanging goods voluntarily because they both get what they desire in return. The beauty of free market capitalism is that the exchange of goods are on a voluntary basis, meaning both sides must feel they will benefit for them to agree to the trade. Involuntary exchanges of goods and services (like your tax money in exchange for unwanted government program X) is both immoral and often results in negative economic impact as well. Take the Drug War as an example, the state forces you to give your money to them in exchange for a service that I'm guessing most of you don't want (y'all are a bunch of pot heads).

Also, we already have a capital gains tax...

Tom Toole
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#52

Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:54 PM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 22:50)
Also, we already have a capital gains tax...

yes... sorry... you do... but it is grossly inferior to the tax on salary. I guess I confused a bit the matter.

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#53

Posted 15 June 2012 - 11:24 PM

QUOTE (Tom Toole @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 23:54)
QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 22:50)
Also, we already have a capital gains tax...

yes... sorry... you do... but it is grossly inferior to the tax on salary. I guess I confused a bit the matter.

In a society where capital gains is the primary form of taxation, then what is the impetus for innovation or hard work? As the current tax systems in many countries stand, they already tread a fine line between providing for necessary services and penalising success. Also, capital gains systems rarely account for material profits accrued through inflation, fluctuations in market value and the suchlike. If you bought a house in 1982 for £80,000, it may well be worth £500,000 in the current market and due to a myriad of factors, there's probably a degree of similarity between comparative prices. Why is it fair that the sale of that house be subject to a tax when in real monetary terms the value has not actually increased, but has only done so in literal terms. Also, I inherently oppose any system which shifts the burden of taxation onto businesses (such as a higher corporation tax)- not because I don't feel it is fair but principally because the requirement for "one-size-fits-all" legislation means that such regimes always hit small and medium enterprise the hardest.

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#54

Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:02 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 18:24)
QUOTE (Tom Toole @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 23:54)
QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 22:50)
Also, we already have a capital gains tax...

yes... sorry... you do... but it is grossly inferior to the tax on salary. I guess I confused a bit the matter.

In a society where capital gains is the primary form of taxation, then what is the impetus for innovation or hard work? As the current tax systems in many countries stand, they already tread a fine line between providing for necessary services and penalising success. Also, capital gains systems rarely account for material profits accrued through inflation, fluctuations in market value and the suchlike. If you bought a house in 1982 for £80,000, it may well be worth £500,000 in the current market and due to a myriad of factors, there's probably a degree of similarity between comparative prices. Why is it fair that the sale of that house be subject to a tax when in real monetary terms the value has not actually increased, but has only done so in literal terms. Also, I inherently oppose any system which shifts the burden of taxation onto businesses (such as a higher corporation tax)- not because I don't feel it is fair but principally because the requirement for "one-size-fits-all" legislation means that such regimes always hit small and medium enterprise the hardest.

So you're against the capital gains tax? I couldn't get that from your post. And why shouldn't corporations pay any taxes? In the US at least they already pay a little less than 10% (the number in the high 30s is not what they actually pay) unless you mean that the small and medium sized ones without the massive legal teams end up paying the high rate while the big ones get away with lowering it from deductions. If you mean that then I agree.

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#55

Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:54 AM Edited by Tom Toole, 16 June 2012 - 01:51 AM.

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 22:50)
QUOTE
There is a strong link between communism and anarchism - both defend a utopic/ideal society.


Errr... Well my libertarianism is about as far away from Communism as you can get, I believe in property rights quite strongly. I don't believe in utopia either, perfection is not goal, morality is.
[...] There is no murder, violence, or imprisonment involved,[...] The beauty of free market capitalism is that the exchange of goods are on a voluntary basis, [....]Take the Drug War as an example, the state forces you to give your money to them in exchange for a service that I'm guessing most of you don't want (y'all are a bunch of pot heads).

Hehehe... Chomsky calls his belief Anarchism but it is not your type of anarcho-capitalism. I believe he states that no market society has existed without being imposed. Not only that but pretty much every industry was impulsed by the government, both by protectionism and by plain incentives. I'd like to quote Chomsky ... let's see...

there's this from http://www.democracy...ulos_media.htm:
QUOTE ("Chomsky quoted by Fotopoulos")
The capitalistic ethic leans toward the extreme of selfishness (fierce individualism) rather than toward altruism. There is little room for collective decision making in an ethic that argues that every individual should go his or her own way. As we have seen, the idea that capitalism protects ‘individual rights’ would have been rejected during the early Middle Ages. ‘Individual rights’ were set in advance by the structure of feudalism, governed by the pull of tradition and the push of authority. Economics was based upon mutual needs and obligations

Chunkyman speaks of morality but the morality he understands is purely the capitalist ethic that Chomsky explains here.

I haven't found the quote from Chomsky himself speaking I believe of how there were some "free market" systems in Africa, but they weren't free at all, because to exist they were imposed by force by colonizers - I believe there were other pieces of information too...

I think similarly Naomi Klein speaks of how capitalist systems, the so called free market is in fact perhaps only possible with violence, through violence in "The Shock Doctrine" youtube link.

--edit--
from http://propertyisthe...rket-isnt-free/ :
QUOTE (Property is theft blog)
Capitalism, as a system, descends directly from feudalism. We can see the transition from the time of lords and kings to employers and landlords in the mercantilist system that kept the British Empire going through the eighteenth and nineteenth century, and its offshoots in the corporatist economics of Fascism and the state-capitalism, i.e. the state as employer and proprietor, of “communist” countries. It is a system of hierarchy and domination which makes a mockery of Rothbard’s conception of “voluntary agreement” for the “exchange” of “economic goods.

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#56

Posted 16 June 2012 - 02:50 AM

It seems that taxation is mandatory if you want to live in a society that provides you convenient services. It can be likened to theft if you live out in the boonies but most people know to keep their mouth shut and not complain. There are just some things you can't get around, some things that are inevitable, certain and obvious. I think there are two of them actually.

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#57

Posted 16 June 2012 - 04:58 AM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 15:50)
perfection is not goal, morality is.

and so I say again: you have yet to show that taxation is immoral.

you think theft is immoral.
we get it. we agree.

but I dare say you have done little if anything to convince anyone that basic taxation equates to theft.

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#58

Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:52 AM

The way the government acquires taxes is force. Demanding payment with the threat of force is extortion. By definition. That most people aren't bothered by it doesn't diminish that reality. There is a slight difference with this and theft, though. Theft generally means a lack of permission or even a lack of knowledge. Theft might not even require force. If I pluck your wallet and you didn't feel it... then I didn't exactly use force did I? Taxation, and extortion are very open about it. Pay or don't play. In both cases you either participate (pay), are removed (killed or imprisoned), or leave (run away where it's not a problem).

So I'll say that Taxation might not be theft, but it's likely some form of extortion, and extortion is, I believe, immoral.

Not that society is without immorality. We in the modern audience just don't like to see it so close and familiar.

Rown rampage_ani.gif

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#59

Posted 16 June 2012 - 06:40 AM Edited by Leftcoast, 16 June 2012 - 01:24 PM.

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 22:50)
Capitalism is simply the voluntary exchange of goods and services coupled with a healthy respect for property rights. If I traded my corn for your cheese, that would be an example of a capitalist-style transaction. There is no murder, violence, or imprisonment involved, just two people exchanging goods voluntarily because they both get what they desire in return. The beauty of free market capitalism is that the exchange of goods are on a voluntary basis, meaning both sides must feel they will benefit for them to agree to the trade. Involuntary exchanges of goods and services (like your tax money in exchange for unwanted government program X) is both immoral and often results in negative economic impact as well. Take the Drug War as an example, the state forces you to give your money to them in exchange for a service that I'm guessing most of you don't want (y'all are a bunch of pot heads). 

Also, we already have a capital gains tax...

I do agree with this; however, I want to point out that even capitalism needs to be governed to some degree, I believe it was Jim Cramer that said, "rampant capitalism eats itself' if not him he quoted it from some one else.

We need rules, without them we descend into chaos.


In the case of capital gains taxes vs income tax in the US I am OK with the current rate of tax... however, I believe that should only apply to the lower end. I do believe if you make a certain amount, say above 25K+/year that you should pay a higher amount similar to income tax. My reasoning for this is simple; this would allow and encourage your average investor, plus 401K and roth IRA investors, to save for their own retirement. The point being, that if you do well enough, than yes, you should pay higher taxes because at that point your investment income is more like a job. I'm not trying to screw investors with this plan, just trying to help the honest woking man save for retirement, but not allow people who invest for a living to get by on a lower tax rate than hard working Americans. And yes, we NEED taxes to pay for public services, these taxes should not be unfairly burdened upon the lower and middle class.


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#60

Posted 16 June 2012 - 06:40 AM

QUOTE (Rown @ Friday, Jun 15 2012, 22:52)
Demanding payment with the threat of force is extortion.

taxation is not extortion.

taxation provides an array of reliable protections and services to anyone who is paying in regardless of any personal circumstances. the fire department doesn't let your house burn to the ground just because you were late on your last utility bill. it's a form of public insurance.

extortion is a criminal tool; it doesn't actually provide protection or public services or anything for that matter.
it is merely the threat of violence for not paying tribute to a gang. and if you don't pay, they might burn your house to the ground on purpose.

taxation could not be LESS comparable with extortion.




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