Page 8 of 8 [ 126 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

visagrunt
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,118
Location: Vancouver, BC

11 Apr 2013, 12:38 pm

Dox47 wrote:
Ok. Then how do you avoid the tyranny of the majority problem?


That was precisely my question when I asked what better system is there?

Ultimately there are two controls over the weight of taxation--the marketplace and the ballot box. Political agitation is not the signal that overall levels of taxation are too onerous--that's just political manouvering and the staking out of positions. When the marketplace responds to differential tax treatment, and voters respond to tax levels, then government has overstepped in its taxing authority.

By trying to microanalyse tax policy, I think we get lost in the weeds. I suggest that tax policy needs to be built from the policy down. What are we going to tax? (Income? Capital? Real Property? Consumption?) In what proportions are we going to balance the various sources of tax revenue? How much tax revenue is going to be redistributed in transfers? What level of program activity does tax have to support?

These are the big questions. Whether consumption tax comes from a general 5% sales tax, or from vice taxes on cigarettes and booze is, I suggest, a secondary question.

visagrunt wrote:
The second reason I dislike restricted funds is that they invite abuse.


How so?[/quote]

Because they create pools of money that may go untapped. A deparment looking to fund its program may see these pools as potential sources of funds provided that the program architecture can be defined in a way that fits within the four corners of pool. This means that tax policy winds up driving program policy, rather than program policy being driven by the goals that the program is intended to accomplish.

When my Minister asks his Cabinet colleagues for $15million ongoing to support a program to accomplish some purpose, Cabinet can evaluate the proposal on the basis of the program architecture; the intended results; the accountabilities; (and, of course the communications opportunities). But when the Department starts "tweaking" the program to "fit" the criteria for a specific source of funds, then it obscures the program assessment.


_________________
--James


Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,632
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

12 Apr 2013, 12:01 am

Dox47 wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
Lots of luck finding anything better than the lesser evil in this life.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


Again, I'm not so sure we've got the lesser evil. Obama makes Nixon look like the very picture of transparency, W look soft on drugs and immigrants, Cheney look like a model of restraint when it comes to trampling civil liberties, and Clinton look like a font of truth. But he's telegenic, seems like a nice guy with a nice family, and he's got a D after his name, so the people who claim they abhor all these things keep their mouths shut or make excuses (ahem). What would a President Romney or a President McCain have done that's so much worse? Shredded due process? Furthered the executive power grab started under W? Involved us in more overseas conflicts that we didn't need to be in? Passed a giant corporate giveaway under the guise of "healthcare"? Handed sweetheart deal after sweetheart deal to their big business cronies? Oh, right, they might have said mean things about poor people, the bastards!

You do realize that Obama is a right wing president by virtually every metric, right? He may say things you want to hear, but when it comes to what he actually does...


I personally think you're overstating the argument for Obama as evil incarnate.
As for him being in reality a right wing president - the Republican party and their tea bagger auxiliary would certainly beg to differ.
Regarding civil rights - I think gay Americans and those straights supporting gay marriage would beg to differ. Are you still in Seattle? Then you should know as well as I do that the gentle push of the citizenry of Washington state in the direction of supporting gay marriage probably wouldn't have been possible without Obama and Biden.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



Magneto
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Jun 2009
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,053

12 Apr 2013, 5:37 am

Regarding civil rights - that depends on whether you believe the government should be getting itself involved in a contract between two adults. I personally don't, and wouldn't mind if they decided to drop the term marriage altogether.

Though, I'm surprised you made a homophobic comment - calling the tea partiers "teabaggers" - and then claimed you favour gay rights (unless you don't?)...

Anyway, the tea party seem to be mainly in favour of having a smaller government, which is often found on the right, though it's possible to be a right wing crony capitalist (such as Obama) in favour of bigger government (such as many Republican presidents).


_________________
...and the state must be destroyed.

http://needsmoremarshmallows.blogspot.co.uk/


Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,632
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

12 Apr 2013, 11:39 am

Magneto wrote:
Regarding civil rights - that depends on whether you believe the government should be getting itself involved in a contract between two adults. I personally don't, and wouldn't mind if they decided to drop the term marriage altogether.

Though, I'm surprised you made a homophobic comment - calling the tea partiers "teabaggers" - and then claimed you favour gay rights (unless you don't?)...

Anyway, the tea party seem to be mainly in favour of having a smaller government, which is often found on the right, though it's possible to be a right wing crony capitalist (such as Obama) in favour of bigger government (such as many Republican presidents).


Yes, yes, I am in favor of gay marriage. And since when has calling the tea party tea baggers a homophobic term? A gay friend - who was also my best man - calls them tea baggers. It's a term of disrespect directed at small minded bigots and bullies who hung tea bags off their hats. That, and when the first started years ago, one of their leaders on CMSNBC said they were going to "tea bag the White House." So yeah, tea baggers.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,671
Location: Seattle

13 Apr 2013, 2:58 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
I personally think you're overstating the argument for Obama as evil incarnate.


I didn't say he was evil incarnate, I said he was a liar and worse, and I can prove it (and have done so, repeatedly).

Kraichgauer wrote:
As for him being in reality a right wing president - the Republican party and their tea bagger auxiliary would certainly beg to differ.


So you think the Republicans are wrong about everything, except this? Ignore what the Republicans (and Democrats) say and pay attention to what they do. Are you going to tell me that Obama's foreign and domestic policies are left wing? Does the left advocate assassination without trial, giving the CIA a free hand and total secrecy in other countries, imprisoning whistleblowers, record deportations, cracking down on medical marijuana, etc?

Kraichgauer wrote:
Regarding civil rights - I think gay Americans and those straights supporting gay marriage would beg to differ.


Gay rights were going to happen with or without Obama and his vaunted "evolution; you're mistaking the weather-vane for the wind. True courage would have been to do the right thing regardless of the politics, but that's not what Obama did. Dick Cheney had the more progressive position than him until quite recently, when he could read the writing on the wall and change positions accordingly.

Kraichgauer wrote:
Are you still in Seattle? Then you should know as well as I do that the gentle push of the citizenry of Washington state in the direction of supporting gay marriage probably wouldn't have been possible without Obama and Biden.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


Explain to me again how Obama or Biden had anything to do with our ballot initiative?


_________________
Murum Aries Attigit


Dox47
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 9,671
Location: Seattle

13 Apr 2013, 3:00 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
It's a term of disrespect directed at small minded bigots and bullies...


You mean like people who make broad, unsupported statements about large groups of people who they don't know personally? Yeah, those types are real assholes.


_________________
Murum Aries Attigit


Last edited by Dox47 on 13 Apr 2013, 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,632
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

13 Apr 2013, 3:39 am

Dox47 wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
It's a term of disrespect directed at small minded bigots and bullies.../quote]

You mean like people who make broad, unsupported statements about large groups of people who they don't know personally? Yeah, those types are real assholes.


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA (breathe) HA HA HA HA HA HA.....

As for Obama doing the right thing, regardless of politics, it has to be remembered, Lincoln only turned the Civil War into an anti-slavery cause when it was sufficiently politically doable - courage had nothing to do with it.
And like the movement leading to the emancipation of the slaves, supporting gay marriage just didn't happen on it's own, but happened because the President put his support behind it. Remember, black Americans had been among the most homophobic in the nation before Obama convinced them - and plenty of whites as well - that gay marriage is a civil rights issue. And that change in public attitude in your and my home of Washington state very possibly wouldn't have happened without Obama and Biden throwing their support behind the cause. Remember, gay marriage had previously been defeated by Washington voters in previous years.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



Gromit
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 May 2006
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,296
Location: In Cognito

13 Apr 2013, 5:04 pm

Steinhauser wrote:
In order for an ethical theory to be internally consistent, it must be able to predict exactly when and how force can justifiably be used, down to the smallest possible detail. How much suffering must be prevented to make violent means acceptable? What if only slightly less suffering than that was prevented, would that violence suddenly become immoral?

According to my understanding of utilitarian ethics, yes, when you reach the point where the cost of violence is greater than its benefit. But purely utilitarian ethics sometimes prescribes actions that go against human intuition (some variants of the trolley problem). On the other hand, it often does that when intuition is not consistent. And you want consistency.

Steinhauser wrote:
And if it can't predict which actions would be moral when, to a significant degree of accuracy, how can you be sure of its ability to predict anything?

In theory, it can be perfectly accurate. In practice, you have imperfect knowledge. But I doubt it is possible to devise a moral system that guarantees right decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Steinhauser wrote:
What I was getting at is, you can't use the government's services as justification for taxes, because without the government monopoly on those services, the free market could easily provide them.

Fair enough. But could you, right now, avoid using those government services? If you do use them, don't you have some obligation to pay? Can everything governments do now be divided into neat parcels, so that you can buy from a private company without still using a government service you don't pay for? Are there some services that can be divided up well enough, and others not?

Steinhauser wrote:
For the non-utilitarian, morality is not a decision.

I don't understand what you mean by that.

Steinhauser wrote:
I've asked around on another forum, and the answer ended up being quite simple - more clearly defined, and properly protected, property rights. Externalities imposed on a person are considered trespassing if they interfere with a person on his own property. In one poster's own words:
Quote:
One person's use of his property cannot legitimately infringe on anyone else's use of his property.

If you are polluting air or water, which have a tendency to drift around onto other people's property, then you are trespassing. Polluters trespass when they fail to contain their pollutants, and they end up in my lungs, for example.
The law of nuisance can go a step further than requiring payment in restitution for trespassing. If a property owner's use his property repeatedly interfered with the property rights of others, then the offender could be shut down. It was an act of self defense -- force could be used if the interference could not be remedied by money damages and the polluter kept doing it.

That happened with some of the early industrial polluters, like coal burning factories or tanneries. They'd initially be located out of town, so as to avoid harming others, but the town would grow. The law of nuisance doesn't care who got there first. If you bought a house next door to a pre-existing tannery that stank so much it interfered with the homeowner's use of his property, then the tannery still had to either shut down or move.

I got that answer before, and it did not satisfy me. What is nuisance? You are a chicken farmer, you have roosters. They are noisy. I move out of town to set up a meditation retreat next to you. The noise of your roosters is a nuisance to me. Do I get to shut you down? Your house is uphill from mine, with a clear view over my land. The architecture of my house offends you. Do you have the right to make me rebuild? I want to plant poplars at the uphill edge of my property. In a few years they will block your view of the valley and interfere with you wind turbines. Can you make me cut them down? If I am rich enough to buy up all the roads around your land, and either refuse to let you use them or charge you such high rates that you can't pay, do you become a prisoner on your own land, or shut out from it if you are away when I raise the price? That would interfere with your enjoyment of your property.

How does the law of nuisance deal with dilution of responsibility? Do I have to prove that your actions are a nuisance to me? If you want to use CFCs in your fridge, there might not be leakage that wafts across my land when I measure, but there will be leakage. And if I can prove that stuff does drift over my land, it's pretty inert, it doesn't do much while it's down here. It does break down the ozone layer once it diffuses up high enough. Your contribution to the breakdown of the ozone layer will be too small that I could prove harm to me from you. Any individual's contribution will be too small to prove harm to any other individual. Cumulatively, there is harm. So do you go after the biggest player? The company making them denies responsibility, because whether there is harm depends on what people do with the stuff. "CFCs don't destroy the ozone layer, people destroy the ozone layer."

The libertarian who presented the property rights argument to me said protection of property rights would let him shut down any activity that produced anything that would cross his land. Because anything that goes into the atmosphere will eventually reach any place exposed to the atmosphere, that means property rights allows anyone to shut down anything. And for any activity you will find someone who objects to it.

I also think you need the same notion of property rights all across the world. Else some countries will attract companies by refusing to acknowledge property rights claims from elsewhere.

You want consistency. I am not convinced that protection of property rights gives you that.

Steinhauser wrote:
For sources/further reading, another user suggested this book:
Quote:
For more detail, Walter Block has a chapter on free market, property rights driven environmentalism in his book Building Blocks For Liberty, it's a good, rigorously thought out read (and it's free)

Thank you. I downloaded it, but it will be months before I get to it.

Steinhauser wrote:
The key difference is that governments claim legitimate use of violence.

I'll have to leave that open, because I can't justify the time to find the relevant information. The history of the labour movement, and violent responses from companies that, I think, the companies viewed as legitimate might be a counterexample. For larger scale, I would examine the history of the East India company. If you are interested in mere opinion, I think the only thing that stops companies from claiming their use of violence as legitimate is that governments don't accept it as legitimate. I don't see anything inherent in economic entities that would stop them from either being violent or from claiming their violence as legitimate. Have I missed something?

Steinhauser wrote:
notice you said "Some oil companies have been accused of financing militias."

If I named a company on a public forum, I would want to be sure that my claim stands up in court. I am not willing to put in the research I would need to be that sure, so I try to be careful with the language I use.

Steinhauser wrote:
All corporations are artificial creations of the state, bloated to a size that would be untenable in a free market.

You made a plausible case for that, but I doubt there is either enough empirical data or solid enough theory to treat that as fact. It is only a possibility. I would like a backup, in case things don't work out so well.

Steinhauser wrote:
Without the massive resources of a govt-bloated corporation, backed by an infinitely more massive taxpayer base, financing a private army is financially untenable.

Why do you not see the Democratic Republic of Congo as a counterexample? Lots of private armies there.



looniverse
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

Joined: 19 Oct 2015
Age: 41
Posts: 233
Location: Saint Paul

29 Oct 2015, 1:23 pm

Keni wrote:
Taxes are also a way of supporting people in need.
There wouldn't be much of a social safety net if it was left to voluntary donations.

You know this how?



Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,632
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

29 Oct 2015, 4:01 pm

looniverse wrote:
Keni wrote:
Taxes are also a way of supporting people in need.
There wouldn't be much of a social safety net if it was left to voluntary donations.

You know this how?


The number of people who donate are not great in number, due either to inability to donate much without impoverishing themselves, while others are just complacent or even greedy (and yes, I often find myself into both categories, so as not to be accused of pointing a finger at others). And as those contributions usually amount to anywhere from a quarter to a dollar tossed into a jar, it only goes so far.


_________________
-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


AR1500
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

Joined: 27 Oct 2015
Age: 36
Posts: 229
Location: Unknown

29 Oct 2015, 5:01 pm

Steinhauser wrote:
I define theft as the seizure of another's property using force, coercion, or fraud.

Is this definition accurate? If not, why not?


I define taxation as the seizure of a person's property by a state or collective, under threat of force.

Is this definition accurate? If not, why not?


If both definitions are accurate, how is taxation not theft?




I define theft as using something you do not own without paying for it and without the explicit permission of free usage by the rightful owners. For example, that's the definition of rent: You don't own it but you pay for the permission to use it. If you want to borrow something of mine, I have to grant you permission and I get to decide the terms of you using it. If I own an apartment building and you wish to live in one of the units you have to pay me.

Now things like infrastructure and utilities(including the actual power grid and the Internet, both of which were built using government funds) are not things that you or any individual owns. If you wish to drive on public roads and have running water in your place of residence that doesn't come from a natural source then WTF makes you think you're entitled to do so without having to pay for it?

I'm sick to death of childish libertarians whining about how "the gubbermint is stealin muh tax dollarz!" Boo f**king hoo. Grow up and pay your taxes. Otherwise move to the rural Alaskan bush. There is no free livin in the real world.



Kraichgauer
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 41,632
Location: Spokane area, Washington state.

29 Oct 2015, 5:35 pm

AR1500 wrote:
Steinhauser wrote:
I define theft as the seizure of another's property using force, coercion, or fraud.

Is this definition accurate? If not, why not?


I define taxation as the seizure of a person's property by a state or collective, under threat of force.

Is this definition accurate? If not, why not?


If both definitions are accurate, how is taxation not theft?




I define theft as using something you do not own without paying for it and without the explicit permission of free usage by the rightful owners. For example, that's the definition of rent: You don't own it but you pay for the permission to use it. If you want to borrow something of mine, I have to grant you permission and I get to decide the terms of you using it. If I own an apartment building and you wish to live in one of the units you have to pay me.

Now things like infrastructure and utilities(including the actual power grid and the Internet, both of which were built using government funds) are not things that you or any individual owns. If you wish to drive on public roads and have running water in your place of residence that doesn't come from a natural source then WTF makes you think you're entitled to do so without having to pay for it?

I'm sick to death of childish libertarians whining about how "the gubbermint is stealin muh tax dollarz!" Boo f**king hoo. Grow up and pay your taxes. Otherwise move to the rural Alaskan bush. There is no free livin in the real world.


It's always amazes me how free market conservatives/libertarians are the ones constantly telling people needing federal help that there's no "free lunch," but seem to forget that fact when it's about paying taxes.


_________________
-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


glebel
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jul 2015
Age: 58
Posts: 1,665
Location: Mountains of Southern California

30 Oct 2015, 12:23 pm

AR1500 wrote:
Steinhauser wrote:
I define theft as the seizure of another's property using force, coercion, or fraud.

Is this definition accurate? If not, why not?


I define taxation as the seizure of a person's property by a state or collective, under threat of force.

Is this definition accurate? If not, why not?


If both definitions are accurate, how is taxation not theft?




I define theft as using something you do not own without paying for it and without the explicit permission of free usage by the rightful owners. For example, that's the definition of rent: You don't own it but you pay for the permission to use it. If you want to borrow something of mine, I have to grant you permission and I get to decide the terms of you using it. If I own an apartment building and you wish to live in one of the units you have to pay me.

Now things like infrastructure and utilities(including the actual power grid and the Internet, both of which were built using government funds) are not things that you or any individual owns. If you wish to drive on public roads and have running water in your place of residence that doesn't come from a natural source then WTF makes you think you're entitled to do so without having to pay for it?

I'm sick to death of childish libertarians whining about how "the gubbermint is stealin muh tax dollarz!" Boo f**king hoo. Grow up and pay your taxes. Otherwise move to the rural Alaskan bush. There is no free livin in the real world.

There is a massive problem with unfair taxation. In the state of California, I get taxed on my total business, irregardless of the amount of profit I turn. So, for instance, when you have a couple of years like I recently have had, and your state and federal income taxes are low, you still have to pay the jerks in Sack-er-termaters. In my line of work, a significant percentage of the cost is in plant material. I only make 20% profit on anything I plant, and yet I still get taxed on the total amount of business.
And then there are the 'fees' imposed by the state. They declare certain taxes as fees to circumvent the laws. These 'fees' have the force of law behind them, but they are technically illegal. A fee is a voluntary expenditure of your money; I dare you to opt to not pay these 'fees'.
As far as 'growing up and paying taxes' go, do you pay taxes?


_________________
When everyone is losing their heads except you, maybe you don't understand the situation.


Last edited by glebel on 30 Oct 2015, 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Raptor
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Mar 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,694
Location: Southeast U.S.A.

30 Oct 2015, 12:54 pm

It's not paying taxes that I have a beef with. Afterall the country has to run off of something. I have an issue with tax revenue being pissed away the way it is with layers of bureaucratic administrative costs and general careless spending as if people's money grows on trees. There's also a matter of what programs should be funded and which should not.


_________________
“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
- William F. Buckley