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Right-Wing "Libertarianism"

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Irviding
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#31

Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:06 AM Edited by Irviding, 09 January 2013 - 05:08 AM.

What's this crap about personal/private property? It really sickens me - so taxes should be voluntary? After all - it's your personal property!


QUOTE

I also eventually studied the philosophical and moral underpinnings of libertarianism, which I think is the most powerful argument for it.

Sure it's a powerful argument, but in practice it's just as stupid as pure communism - it doesn't work.

QUOTE

As for your various social banking models or whatever, I don't oppose them as long as I'm not forced to participate. If you want to start some community co-op bank, I think you should be able to without the government coming in and saying "no, you must use the Fed system!1" In fact, I'd like to see more voluntary social/crowd funding options to help decentralize control from both big business and government. If they work better and provide value, I might even *gasp* choose to use them. Competition is competition after all.

Is that not basically a credit union?

QUOTE

I hate this term. It is a contradiction. Wages are a function of voluntarism, which is to say two people agreeing upon something. Slavery is forcibly taking someone's labor through force or the threat of force.

It's not a contradiction - if you are a steelworker and there is only one steel factory in town and the owner decides to pay poor wages, then that is coercion and wage slavery. What else are you supposed to do? Quit your job in protest and have your family starve?

Slavery is not that at all - why did freedmen after the civil war end up staying on their former plantations as sharecroppers? Because they had nothing - they were stuck there - in what we can define as wage slavery.

Iminicus
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#32

Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:38 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Tuesday, Jan 8 2013, 21:06)
What's this crap about personal/private property? It really sickens me - so taxes should be voluntary? After all - it's your personal property!


QUOTE

I also eventually studied the philosophical and moral underpinnings of libertarianism, which I think is the most powerful argument for it.

Sure it's a powerful argument, but in practice it's just as stupid as pure communism - it doesn't work.

QUOTE

As for your various social banking models or whatever, I don't oppose them as long as I'm not forced to participate. If you want to start some community co-op bank, I think you should be able to without the government coming in and saying "no, you must use the Fed system!1" In fact, I'd like to see more voluntary social/crowd funding options to help decentralize control from both big business and government. If they work better and provide value, I might even *gasp* choose to use them. Competition is competition after all.

Is that not basically a credit union?

QUOTE

I hate this term. It is a contradiction. Wages are a function of voluntarism, which is to say two people agreeing upon something. Slavery is forcibly taking someone's labor through force or the threat of force.

It's not a contradiction - if you are a steelworker and there is only one steel factory in town and the owner decides to pay poor wages, then that is coercion and wage slavery. What else are you supposed to do? Quit your job in protest and have your family starve?

Slavery is not that at all - why did freedmen after the civil war end up staying on their former plantations as sharecroppers? Because they had nothing - they were stuck there - in what we can define as wage slavery.

Yeah, taxes should be voluntary. Your statism sickens me.

illspirit
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#33

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:33 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 01:06)
It's not a contradiction - if you are a steelworker and there is only one steel factory in town and the owner decides to pay poor wages, then that is coercion and wage slavery. What else are you supposed to do? Quit your job in protest and have your family starve?

Slavery is not that at all - why did freedmen after the civil war end up staying on their former plantations as sharecroppers? Because they had nothing - they were stuck there - in what we can define as wage slavery.

But, err, nobody forced him to become a steelworker in the first place. That he pigeonholed himself into a dying industry in a town with no rival options without a plan b is nobody's fault but his own. If he was a buggy whip maker in the early 1900s, should the factory he worked at be forced to stay open and pay him despite being utterly obsolete? Would I be expected to subsidize the whip plant because he doesn't want to get a new job? And why quit in protest and starve? Why not, oh, I don't know, look for another before quitting. Maybe get some training on the side for a different type of job?

If he expects the world owes him the exact job he wants, in a one industry, for a set amount of pay regardless of any external factors affecting demand for his position (eg, automation, more reliance on plastics and aluminum than steel, global competition), why, that sounds kind of... greedy. moto_whistle.gif

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 01:06)
QUOTE

As for your various social banking models or whatever, I don't oppose them as long as I'm not forced to participate. If you want to start some community co-op bank, I think you should be able to without the government coming in and saying "no, you must use the Fed system!1" In fact, I'd like to see more voluntary social/crowd funding options to help decentralize control from both big business and government. If they work better and provide value, I might even *gasp* choose to use them. Competition is competition after all.

Is that not basically a credit union?

Sounds like it to me. Though the specific variety of what Melchior is talking about probably has a fancier name. I would imagine that things like Kickstarter would count even though not exactly a credit union. Ask him.

sivispacem
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#34

Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

QUOTE (illspirit @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 08:33)
But, err, nobody forced him to become a steelworker in the first place. That he pigeonholed himself into a dying industry in a town with no rival options without a plan b is nobody's fault but his own. If he was a buggy whip maker in the early 1900s, should the factory he worked at be forced to stay open and pay him despite being utterly obsolete? Would I be expected to subsidize the whip plant because he doesn't want to get a new job? And why quit in protest and starve? Why not, oh, I don't know, look for another before quitting. Maybe get some training on the side for a different type of job?

Doesn't this rather ignore the fact that the training and education system in all it's forms is far less agile to respond to the needs of the market than is required? An industry can literally go out of fashion overnight, so are you saying that the individual is solely to blame for picking an industry which all evidence indicated was steadfast and long-lasting but due to completely unforeseen consequences ceases to have relevance? For mid-high skilled work you can expect a reasonable training period of anywhere between 1 and 3 years, so coming from a technically skilled role like metalworking to a different technically skilled role is a long and costly process. Personally, I think it's extremely misleading to blame the individual for failing to assess circumstances that were not only beyond their control, but beyond their reasonable foresight and vision.

Also, it rather misses the issue in regard to improper and unethical business behaviour. There's enough cartel economics being done by large firms under the current, regulated economic system, and it links directly to organisational profiteering at the expense of both the workforce and the consumer. I cannot fathom any realistic reason why this would become anything other than completely endemic under a completely deregulated economy, and without sufficient centralised checks and balances and under the protection of personal and business privacy it might remain largely unseen. So in essence it could be perfectly possible for large groups of interlinked organisations to fix the market in their favour and consign their staff to effective wage-slavery by drastically cutting the amount of pay they receive in order to both decrease the net cost of their product and increase their profit margin. The effect of this would be twofold- it would economically disadvantage and potentially impoverish the workforce and also effectively prevent them from "jumping ship" because due to the likely increased consumer spending caused by effectively undercutting rival products, the competition would either have to wage-match downwards or be forced out of the market. And under the guise of defending business strategy and intellectual property, the entire thing could be effectively and largely hidden from the majority of the population because applying the concepts of personal and private property to business effectively eliminates the requirement for transparency between the provider and the consumer.

Melchior
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#35

Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 05:48)
"Deprived". Unless this potential employer has actively gone out to destroy any other opportunities, he has not deprived you of anything.

But society has. Or are you denying that society can engage in agency, at least in the observation of result? In simpler terms, if something happens to a group or individual due to the collective actions of their society, then has society not had a hand in that individual's circumstance, namely by awarding you the privilege which you used to monopolise the means of production, but not doing the same for others? Yet you argue that despite that, the responsibility to change the situation lies squarely with the individual.

QUOTE
Coercion is when individuals actively threaten others with violence if they don't give in to demands. [...] Coercion is either physically forcing someone to do something or threatening force against them.

That is not what coercion means at all; this is a blatant distortion of the term.

Coercion - the act of compelling by force of authority.

In this hypothetical instance, you are using your authority, namely, the societal advantage that got you to your position, and legal and/or moral recognition of that position by other parties, to force agency from others in the form of employment. Coercion is not a one dimensional concept relating only to the implied threat of violence. Coercion takes many subtle complex forms. Why is your ideology concerned with only one form of coercion, and why does it ignore other forms of coercion, letting one "right" to be free from coercion run roughshot over all similar rights?

QUOTE
1. If you buy the land, then the former owners felt it was in their interest to sell the land to you.

What's under inspection here is not how the land was obtained. Further, there are multiple agents involved in your acquisitions of the land, rather than just you and the person you buy it from, namely society granting you privilege. See above.

QUOTE
2. "So nobody can leave". You have a right to keep people out of your property, you do not have a right to keep them detained.

I haven't made reference to forcibly detaining anyone, simply to buying and dismantling transportation infrastructural so it's impractical to leave.

QUOTE
I am not preventing them from getting together and making their own business, I am not preventing them from finding work elsewhere, I am not preventing them from moving to somewhere with better opportunities, I am not preventing them from homesteading their own land and doing something with it, I am not preventing them from accepting charity, etc.

Society is. And in handing them disadvantage it hands you advantage, so you are doing all of that by indirect agency.

QUOTE
You keep making these moral arguments that are functions of your views of Marxist economics, not on base principles. It's essentially not a moral argument at all, but pragmatism with emotionally charged wording.

If we are concerned with maximising desirable economic result for all participants, then morality and practicality cease to be distinct concepts, do they not? It's only when the individual is prioritised that there is a distinction between the practical thing to do (ie, beneficial) and the moral (right) thing to do, this should be a red flag.

QUOTE
For the second question, I believe you are conflating responsibility with moral obligation (that is, conflating what people "should" do with what they "have" to do). People absolutely should help the disadvantaged. But to say that an individual has to is to advocate violence against them if they don't act charitably (at that point it no longer is charity, but slavery in the guise of "the greater good').

Furthermore, there is no "collective responsibility". People are not ants, they are separate individuals who are not morally beholden to some collective will.

So you want a society that hands privilege to certain groups through various mechanisms, but makes no attempt to correct for them?A society that hurts but won't help, so to speak. Or do you simply view various individuals, collectively, as being incapable of engaging in any kind of agency? That would have to be the crux of your argument and is a profoundly stupid view. If something happens because of external forces, that external force (whether it's an individual or a pragmatically defined "collective") that external force is an agent, end of discussion. Why should an agent be freed from responsibility for its own actions simply to preserve some utopian concept of ideal "rights" and perfect fairness?

QUOTE (illspirit @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 09:09)
Is it objectionable that I would ask a friend if I wanted to borrow money (or the equipment itself, as assets can be considered capital) in order to start a business? Shouldn't I have to convince him that it's a good idea, rather than seizing the means from him? If this isn't bad, why shouldn't I have to convince a stranger or group of strangers that it would be a mutually beneficial for them to give me same?

Even if there was some communal banking co-op, would I not still have to convince the community that my business would provide a return on investment; even if only they would get back the loaned sum with no profit?
[...]
The idea that one would no longer be reliant on "private capital" with them, however, I feel is a distinction in name only, as you would still have to convince whoever runs it (your neighbors) that your loan request isn't stupid.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 06:13)
How is, for instance, socially-involved crowd funding or businesses and ideas any different from conventional provision of capital, but just appropriated amongst a much larger base of individuals? Socialist ideologies encourage private investment as part of a collective, or at least in the illusion of a collective- but in principle, if not in reality, they amount to exactly the same as Capitalist ideas. You still have a group of individuals who are willing to place an investment in a concept, idea or product, in return for a gain.

(I'm addressing you both here)

The distinction lies in the methods of funding prospective firms producing different results, not some objection I have to having to convince a second party to provide you with capital (obviously that's a given in all walks of economics). Essentially a mutual bank means firms don't have to compete for investors who favour short-term gain, which encourages a narrow focus leading to bad business models, and the elimination of the financial class (commonly called the 1% in modern dialogue). It also facilitates worker-owned firms which serve the purpose of abolishing corporate hierarchy, which lead to inappropriate allocation of profit and underpayment, as well as the gross inefficiency associated with bloated management.

QUOTE
If they weren't psychologically conditioned (as you put it in next bit of post) to think the market is "safe," you wouldn't have scores of billion dollar hedge funds acting as a choke point for so much capital. Likewise, if there was more tangible risk involved, fewer people would use banks which use their money play in the stock and securities casino.

But why would these risks even become apparent? Further, the risks are only for the other sides of the firm (workers and consumers) while the investor is (if the firm is large enough) still guaranteed short-term profit. Your contention relies too much on a well-informed and financially responsible public, where as in reality people tend to act in their own immediate self-interest without considering long-term externalities.

QUOTE
Would you be at my mercy? Or would you laugh at me like I was crazy and take the other guy's investment?

I fail to see why a barter system would produce different results to artificially valued paper? Whether or not value is "real" or artificial, it's still valuable.

QUOTE
3) participants in the market continue to do stupid sh*t, and it breaks from time to time. With us hopefully learning from mistakes when we restart, but at the very least shedding broken business models and large companies which can't adapt. [...] Part of fixing this, as above, is removing the moral hazard created by implicit government guarantees of safety

But why would we "learn our lesson" if bad business models are still consistently rewarded, as they always will be in capitalism because competing for investors is necessary for firm survival?

QUOTE
4) as an inverse, to the second, if the class system becomes rigid and oppressive, angry mobs burn down their mansions and try something different.

But why would they be inclined to if they aren't living in abject poverty and they are conditioned by media and general attitudes to view society as a meritocracy? I'm not saying it will be a carnival of horrors, just that there are better models that don't present the same problems.

QUOTE
Besides, none of these bugs are unique to markets. Does not the well-informed (or not..) public variable apply equally to people voting for public officials and policy? And what's to stop an ostensible worker's revolution from evolving into an oppressive caste system like, say, the old Soviet Union?

That's why I'm opposed to states as well as capitalism. wink.gif

QUOTE
As for your various social banking models or whatever, I don't oppose them as long as I'm not forced to participate. If you want to start some community co-op bank, I think you should be able to without the government coming in and saying "no, you must use the Fed system!1" In fact, I'd like to see more voluntary social/crowd funding options to help decentralize control from both big business and government. If they work better and provide value, I might even *gasp* choose to use them. Competition is competition after all.

Of course, the only firms in this economy would be worker-owned and ran. What are your thoughts on this?

illspirit
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#36

Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:24 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 04:09)
Doesn't this rather ignore the fact that the training and education system in all it's forms is far less agile to respond to the needs of the market than is required? An industry can literally go out of fashion overnight, so are you saying that the individual is solely to blame for picking an industry which all evidence indicated was steadfast and long-lasting but due to completely unforeseen consequences ceases to have relevance? For mid-high skilled work you can expect a reasonable training period of anywhere between 1 and 3 years, so coming from a technically skilled role like metalworking to a different technically skilled role is a long and costly process. Personally, I think it's extremely misleading to blame the individual for failing to assess circumstances that were not only beyond their control, but beyond their reasonable foresight and vision.

I guess I should have modified a verb there with "inadvertently" or some such. That one happens to choose wrong does not change the fact it was a choice. Choices have consequences. This includes the unintended ones.

With regards to training, yes, it could take a while to train for another job of equal skill. But he would still be getting paid from his current job if he was taking classes at night or online, no? Even if the steel mill pay is "bad," that's still better than the zero pay if he quits or the "wage slaves" demand too much and put the mill out of business (see also: Hostess). Or, he could take a job which requires lesser skill. Maybe even run for Congress, which doesn't even seem to require a functional brain stem, let alone skill, and become a millionaire.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 04:09)
Also, it rather misses the issue in regard to improper and unethical business behaviour. There's enough cartel economics being done by large firms under the current, regulated economic system, and it links directly to organisational profiteering at the expense of both the workforce and the consumer. I cannot fathom any realistic reason why this would become anything other than completely endemic under a completely deregulated economy, and without sufficient centralised checks and balances and under the protection of personal and business privacy it might remain largely unseen. So in essence it could be perfectly possible for large groups of interlinked organisations to fix the market in their favour and consign their staff to effective wage-slavery by drastically cutting the amount of pay they receive in order to both decrease the net cost of their product and increase their profit margin. The effect of this would be twofold- it would economically disadvantage and potentially impoverish the workforce and also effectively prevent them from "jumping ship" because due to the likely increased consumer spending caused by effectively undercutting rival products, the competition would either have to wage-match downwards or be forced out of the market. And under the guise of defending business strategy and intellectual property, the entire thing could be effectively and largely hidden from the majority of the population because applying the concepts of personal and private property to business effectively eliminates the requirement for transparency between the provider and the consumer.

But how much of the current cartel environment exists due to government protection of them? If I wanted to start a company to build cars or (random example off the top of my head) even help people pick curtain colors in some States, I have to jump through licensing and regulatory hoops which favor established players. Which in turns, limits the potential for competition. So which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

As for downward pressure on wages by cartels in the absence of regulation, yes, this is a possibility. As it stands, however, wages in most of the cartels here (from automakers to fast food to whatever) are already above-- often well above --the legally defined minimum wage. Even (before one of our World Workers chime in..) in States and industries with little union influence. One could argue these wages are as high as they are because the legal minimum wage is but a floor above which skilled wages must only float marginally above.

If the legal floor were removed, and wages were marched downward, consumer spending would go down, not up as you suggest, because the workers, in aggregate, would have less to spend. Or if you mean consumer spending in relation to just the one entity with the lowest cost/price, wouldn't this just expose them to more competition for labor? If the wage is driven low enough that one can earn essentially the same amount flipping burgers as from building cars, then why take the harder job? Even if wages in skilled trades remain higher, the risk from worker poaching would increase as there are generally still job specific training costs involved.

If you're suggesting cartels would expand their influence by taking over unskilled industries which compete for labor to drive their wages down in tandem, well, then we get back to overall decline in consumer spending I mention above when all the workers have less to spend. Less spending means less aggregate demand. Which means less incentive for anyone, cartel or not, to produce. Pretty sure even Keynes said something along these lines. If production incentives decrease in general, it would stand to reason there would likewise be less incentive to exert the thought and effort required to maintain a cartel.

Speaking of, and unlike Keynes, however, I see no real point in artificially stimulating aggregate demand to support some arbitrary price/wage target. You might view this as a "race to the bottom." I see it as equilibrium. If you're earning $10 an hour and paying $1 for a Coke, or making $1 and paying $0.10 for same, is the difference anything other than nominal? Oh, sure, it might "feel" better to get the larger paycheck, and the relative price stability might be nice, but is it really worth the use of lethal state violence against those who only wish to participate in voluntary exchanges?

It's funny. People accuse us of caring more about money than people, while at the same time threatening to kill others-- either themselves in some workers' uprising, or by proxy via the state --in order to maintain their own wages..


@Melchior- Running low on time here after, so I apologize for not taking time to reply point by point. What I said above has as much to do with the financial class as it does informing the public. Part of, perhaps even the largest part of psychological conditioning that the markets are "safe" comes from government tax "subsidies"/preferential treatment given to IRAs/401ks/etc.. and the encouragement to use them. Were it not for this, there would be less money in the hands of brokers and hedge fund managers to play with. Yes, reversing this now would require the public becoming informed to an extent (though many would likely switch to simply saving if not for the tax breaks), but had the state not gone down this path to begin with, the monster wouldn't be so large, would it? As with the FDIC, along with the public being informed (or not, maybe, as you contend), the bankers themselves would have to guarantee the deposits. Right now, if they lose too much gambling with other people's money, they feel the gov will be there to cover the deposits until they (hopefully) make it back on the next coin toss. Might not they act differently if their own ass was on the line?

You speak of private investors chasing short terms as inherent to and entirely comprising markets when, to me, it seems as if they tend to grow in number the more government gets involved. It used to be normal for people to go to a local or regional bank to take out a loan when they wanted to start a business, rather than playing cat and mouse with Wall Street firms. Or, well, it's actually still quite normal, as most businesses don't have much to do with investment markets until they're well established and push an IPO when they seek to expand nationally or globally.

It also used to be common for banks to favor loaning money to those with long-term abilities to pay them back with interest and stuff. But then the state came along and said that was just unfair to the poor/workers/random-class-identity and convinced them (by law) to take the risky bets (or else) with short-term high interest rates as a consolation prize should the customer default.

And, in contrast with the rather modern inventions of 401ks and such, stocks used to be mostly something played with by stodgy old rich guys, who, being stodgy and old and all, tended to favor safer, long investments like Standard Oil or railroads or whatever. Other than maybe getting a few stocks when you got a job at a big company (why, it's almost like they were worker owned..), it seems most people didn't bother. But then the state comes along and says it's unfair that not everyone gets to play, so the market gets more money to throw around. More money to throw around means more to spend on stupid things. This is true whether we're talking investors saying "f*ck it" and buying short term risk or a consumer with a ton of disposable income buying a $1000 designer shirt made to look like sh*t you can get at a thrift store.

Might all this still happen absent regulation and state intervention, without anybody involved learning from their mistakes? Sure. But couldn't the same be said of any economic model that desires growth to make its participants better off? Even if you got your workers paradise, and if it worked as advertised, what's to stop the happy complacent workers of the future from setting up worker owned business which fail? Oh, sure, you've got a social safety net there, but it can only hold so much before breaking, and it runs the same risk of creating a moral hazard.

(and that went longer than planned, doubleplus sorry for the singularity)

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#37

Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

QUOTE (Iminicus @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 05:38)
Yeah, taxes should be voluntary. Your statism sickens me.

Could you, or someone else elaborate on this point? I hear it a lot but will anyone actually pay the tax?

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#38

Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:22 AM

QUOTE (Belaphron @ Saturday, Jan 26 2013, 23:32)
QUOTE (Iminicus @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 05:38)
Yeah, taxes should be voluntary. Your statism sickens me.

Could you, or someone else elaborate on this point? I hear it a lot but will anyone actually pay the tax?

If taxes become voluntary, I don't consider them taxes. Taxation is distinguished from regular (voluntary) exchanges of money for services because it relies on coercion.

If they were voluntarized, they would be indistinguishable from regular economic transactions (like between you and a pizza shop). That is, the people selling you the healthcare/roads/defense/whatever would have to persuade you to give them your money in exchange for whatever they offer in return.

That's how I view it, anyway.

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#39

Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:31 AM Edited by LeVelocar, 20 March 2013 - 11:34 AM.

QUOTE (Iminicus @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 05:38)
Yeah, taxes should be voluntary. Your statism sickens me.

If you would like to cease paying the taxes relevant to your wealth level, cease using things funded by them.

I hope you enjoy living miles away from water, roads, healthcare, mains electricity, or law enforcement.

Of course you could go for the comedy ~free market~ ~privately owned~ hypothetical versions of those, but then you'd literally be living in a country where the government happened to be listed on a stock exchange.

Your ideology is trash that exists only to fool the poor into thinking their suffering is somehow just, and the rich into thinking their selfishness the same. The fact Libertarian queen Rand spent her days collecting welfare cheques speaks volumes.

sivispacem
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#40

Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

QUOTE (LeVelocar @ Wednesday, Mar 20 2013, 12:31)
QUOTE (Iminicus @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 05:38)
Yeah, taxes should be voluntary. Your statism sickens me.

If you would like to cease paying the taxes relevant to your wealth level, cease using things funded by them.

I hope you enjoy living miles away from water, roads, healthcare, mains electricity, or law enforcement.

Of course you could go for the comedy ~free market~ ~privately owned~ hypothetical versions of those, but then you'd literally be living in a country where the government happened to be listed on a stock exchange.

Your ideology is trash that exists only to fool the poor into thinking their suffering is somehow just, and the rich into thinking their selfishness the same. The fact Libertarian queen Rand spent her days collecting welfare cheques speaks volumes.

If your going to engage in a long-ended discussion, at least do so by actually addressing the reasonable points that have been made instead of dismissing people's views without even explaining why. I mean, there are legitimate theoretical ways in which a decentralised society could fund and develop public infrastructure without the requirement for enforced taxation; I question whether any of them would work in reality, but they exist. Why don't you start there, seen as you seem so keen to dive right in.

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#41

Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:21 PM

Sivis - with all due respect, what "reasonable points that have been made" are you even talking about?

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#42

Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:59 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Thursday, Mar 21 2013, 04:57)
QUOTE (LeVelocar @ Wednesday, Mar 20 2013, 12:31)
QUOTE (Iminicus @ Wednesday, Jan 9 2013, 05:38)
Yeah, taxes should be voluntary. Your statism sickens me.

If you would like to cease paying the taxes relevant to your wealth level, cease using things funded by them.

I hope you enjoy living miles away from water, roads, healthcare, mains electricity, or law enforcement.

Of course you could go for the comedy ~free market~ ~privately owned~ hypothetical versions of those, but then you'd literally be living in a country where the government happened to be listed on a stock exchange.

Your ideology is trash that exists only to fool the poor into thinking their suffering is somehow just, and the rich into thinking their selfishness the same. The fact Libertarian queen Rand spent her days collecting welfare cheques speaks volumes.

If your going to engage in a long-ended discussion, at least do so by actually addressing the reasonable points that have been made instead of dismissing people's views without even explaining why. I mean, there are legitimate theoretical ways in which a decentralised society could fund and develop public infrastructure without the requirement for enforced taxation; I question whether any of them would work in reality, but they exist. Why don't you start there, seen as you seem so keen to dive right in.

I think his objection is more to do with how voluntary taxation fits into the overall Libertarian script: as in, people are encouraged to act in their own self interest and accumulate wealth, without even having to contribute to the public infrastructure that supports them, where as the working and middle classes probably would.


sivispacem
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#43

Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:47 AM

QUOTE (Melchior @ Thursday, Mar 21 2013, 05:59)
I think his objection is more to do with how voluntary taxation fits into the overall Libertarian script: as in, people are encouraged to act in their own self interest and accumulate wealth, without even having to contribute to the public infrastructure that supports them, where as the working and middle classes probably would.

Which is why I question whether it would work in reality. LeVelocar didn't actually vocalise that complaint or any other; he just dismissed the whole thing as "trash" which isn't conducive to a decent debate.

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#44

Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:53 AM

Why debate libertarians? They're all nuts. The entire ideology is taken from a woman who fetishised serial killers.

sivispacem
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#45

Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:23 PM

QUOTE (LeVelocar @ Thursday, Mar 21 2013, 11:53)
Why debate libertarians? They're all nuts. The entire ideology is taken from a woman who fetishised serial killers.

If you have no interest in debating, I have no interest in having you in this subforum.

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#46

Posted 22 March 2013 - 04:42 PM

Shame for your interests then.

I will never use the framing of a topic chosen by an opponent. To do so gives their massively wrong opinions a level of credibility which they don't deserve. If someone comes up to you in the street and insists the sky smells like cake mix, you don't try and correct their understanding of ozone.

sivispacem
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#47

Posted 22 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

QUOTE (LeVelocar @ Friday, Mar 22 2013, 17:42)
Shame for your interests then.

If you disagree with my moderating, kindly take it up with another member of staff or just sod off somewhere else. I and other members have no interest in hearing your bitch and whine.

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#48

Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Friday, Mar 22 2013, 18:08)
QUOTE (LeVelocar @ Friday, Mar 22 2013, 17:42)
Shame for your interests then.

If you disagree with my moderating, kindly take it up with another member of staff or just sod off somewhere else. I and other members have no interest in hearing your bitch and whine.

You're the only one doing any whining though?

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#49

Posted 23 March 2013 - 11:53 PM

You're not the brightest. (read: sivis has no time for this sh*t)

OT: But as to R-WL selfishness... I think a lot of it can be cleared up when you divide the argument into two sides. Will people donate to the public good among strangers? Will people donate to the public good among peers? The argument that voluntary taxation would fail to take care of public needs such as infrastructure is probably true if you're asking someone to pay for a road on the other side of the country. But if you were asking me to fund the street in front of my house or help my neighbor or my cousin across town I think an arrangement could be made without society breaking down.

An important factor in the success of system is scale. If you want people to contribute to things they have no tangible benefit from or interest in then you need a system of mandatory taxation. But most of the things we pay taxes for are very tangible or at the very least a segment of the population will have interest. National defense? I would pay money to support the electromagnetic railgun. Would the peacenik? No. But they'd probably pay money to support humanitarian relief. I believe it would balance out. And since I don't think we've seen a proper test of it all I have to go on is my belief.

Admittedly it's probably not advisable to jump straight from one pool to the other. The shock might do us in. But slowly incorporating less-strict taxation measures I believe would reduce societal stresses (from the people who don't want to be forced to pay) and realize roughly the same result.

I typed this up on the fly. Guess I'll find out how many holes in logic I just left upon my return.

Rown rampage_ani.gif

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#50

Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:24 PM

If the premise here is that the populace needs to contribute funds toward public programs like roads and humanitarian relief...NEEDS TO...which I think is true and everyone agrees on, why would you make that optional? Because maybe people would find it in their social ethics conscience to contribute? I can't imagine that happening.

You're right, it is about scale. And allowing each individual citizen to decide what each individual contributed dollar goes towards is absolutely too small of a scale. The way it was set up here, is we all contribute dollars, then we gather around every couple years and vote on who gets to decide on how it's spent. People who (in an ideal world) are well versed in the
give and take of public policy and economics. People who (in an ideal world) can make much more educated decisions about the dispersement of funds than your average villager.

This system has worked for almost 250 years (or leading directly up to Citizens United). I can't understand why people think we can up and deregulate society just because things have been going well. It's like taking seat belts out of cars because less people are dying in accidents.

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#51

Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:59 AM

America has a unique relationship with capitalism which has sort of festered into the society, making any opposition rather impossible to imagine. Not much you can do but laugh hysterically.

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#52

Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:19 PM

QUOTE (Ilikehotcrossbuns @ Sunday, Aug 25 2013, 03:59)
America has a unique relationship with capitalism which has sort of festered into the society, making any opposition rather impossible to imagine. Not much you can do but laugh hysterically.

So Capitalism is a bad thing, yeah?

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#53

Posted 25 August 2013 - 08:04 PM

QUOTE (rudy. @ Sunday, Aug 25 2013, 15:19)
QUOTE (Ilikehotcrossbuns @ Sunday, Aug 25 2013, 03:59)
America has a unique relationship with capitalism which has sort of festered into the society, making any opposition rather impossible to imagine. Not much you can do but laugh hysterically.

So Capitalism is a bad thing, yeah?

Economic systems are not 'bad' or 'good'. But if you're asking whether it's a system designed for the purpose of creating a society in which the aim is to benefit humanity then I would have to say that I decline that notion good sir!

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#54

Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:29 AM

QUOTE (rudy. @ Monday, Aug 26 2013, 01:19)
QUOTE (Ilikehotcrossbuns @ Sunday, Aug 25 2013, 03:59)
America has a unique relationship with capitalism which has sort of festered into the society, making any opposition rather impossible to imagine. Not much you can do but laugh hysterically.

So Capitalism is a bad thing, yeah?

I suppose you could call an economic system objectively "bad" if it was unethical and inefficient? Well capitalism is both of those things so yeah, it's a bad thing.

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#55

Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

A fundamental problem with right wing libertarianism is that it grossly underestimates just how massively the world has changed. Their professed dream of a 'night watchmen state', with state provision covering only the basic necessities of defence, policing, etc. and ignoring other responsibilities such as healthcare, education, and necessary regulation, frequently works from the assumption that 18th century ideals about the state and what it should be involved in, are 100% transferable today.

 

I agree completely that the state should refrain from moral or social policing, that regulation of some areas can lend itself to bureaucracy; but the cry that providing healthcare, or regulating so that workers are not exploited, is somehow not the job of government, I find infantile. If the highest authority cannot keep workers free from exploitation, nor can it provide healthcare, an essential service, to those who cannot pay then they propose that profit making companies should take up the slack. Purely out of the kindness of their hearts.

 

Early Victorian Britain is an example of how before stringent regulations were introduced, industrialists found little kindness to block children from working in factories or mills, under exhaustive and sometimes even deadly conditions. As I said, regulation can be obstructive to business, but in the same sense total lack of regulation leads to barbarity. I find a lot of right wing libertarians also have an unyielding love for the free market, as if it were an anthropomorphic God visiting upon them the twin gifts of liberty and prosperity. A market is simply a mechanism for people to exchange goods and services. It is indeed one that should indeed be left to work efficiently, unopposed, where it can. But when a market, or rather when the agents in that market, driven by desire and greed, drive a market to, for example, exploit workers, then regulation is required to ensure basic human dignity.

 

The free market is not a temple, a market serves the people's interests, we do not sacrifice and serve a market. Hence, I would say arguments against minimum wage, and the underlying assumption therein that employers will always be fair in brokering wages with workers, pays far more attention to preserving a working and efficient market, than in understanding the entire point of freedom. Freedom to conduct your business how you want, I would say, is inferior to freedom from exploitation. And frequently, libertarians argue that this bare minimum of regulation to stop exploitation, and free workers (or shall I say, units of labour?) is some sort of statist plot. I'm sorry but in the modern day I just cannot take such arguments very seriously.





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