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ruveyn
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07 Apr 2013, 8:43 am

dionysian wrote:
Property is theft.


Then strip off your clothes, thief!



Magneto
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07 Apr 2013, 8:56 am

You only own property insofar as it is either the fruit of your labour, or something you have legitimately traded for.

Hence why I'm something of a Georgist, because land and other natural resources are not the fruit of someone's labour. If we're going to have a government funded by taxation, given that it exists for the purpose of protecting your exclusive right to use natural property, be it the land your house is built on or the oil your company extracts, the taxation ought to be a tax on natural wealth. Say, a 2% tax on land ownership (ground rent), and a 20% tax on resources that you're mining. If we couple this with a minimalist government, then we should be fine, especially if we have a small or non-existent standing army (militias FTW!). Any budget surplus should be stored to smooth out the annual budget, or given to the people as a citizens dividend. If the people of an area think they can do a better job, let them secede (although, I'll grant this throws up problems where they're very rich in natural resources).

As far as the link between comprehensive education and literacy rates goes, I wouldn't be so quick as to assume it's a simple cause-effect link. The same circumstances which allow a country to afford free comprehensive education could quite easily be driving a higher literacy rate. If the parents are literate, then the children won't need to go to school to be literate as well. Higher levels of literacy mean the country does better economically, and the resulting higher government revenue allow them to fund education.

Personally, I think free education can be provided without needing the government. I don't think people need more than, say, 15-20 hours of week of lessons. Say we space them out from 9-12:30, two lessons a day for 6 days a week. Gives the students most of the day free, with 60-80% of the time they spend currently, though probably with much smaller class sizes. The teachers can also get another job, and donate their time to provide education. If the government gets out of the way, we should be able to bring in an almost post scarcity society, so they won't have to do much work anyway. We could probably achieve something similar with medicine...

In summary, you're looking at it all the wrong way, from the perspective of consumerism, which was a ploy brought in to rescue capitalism from people not needing to spend much money.


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08 Apr 2013, 2:28 am

1000Knives wrote:
Anyway, as far as anarchy goes, in places with weak national or state governments, control just gets taken by gangs, basically. Like Mexico for example, has gangs literally ruling entire regions of the country right now. Gangs with homemade tanks, grenades, etc. Pablo Escobar got so powerful he was elected to congress in his country. Which goes back to my first comment, about governments basically just being bigger more organized versions of street gangs/mafias. In some sense, it's not "bad" even, as a stable government that sucks is for the most part better than an unstable place like Mexico at the moment.


I wasn't really thinking anarchy, I was thinking more communism....you know the kind with a classless society....that is what I'd want in place of no government. Impossible right now, I mean just look at the world and the creatures called humans that exist in it, but perhaps there's potential.

I think taxes are nessisary if there is to be a government........I do not agree with the government abusing tax money by spending it on crap that's not needed or harmful things. But how else are the public services and such to be funded? Is there something better that could be put in place of taxation in the current system? Or is it better to maybe reduce wasteful spending of tax revenue rather than throw out the whole system?


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ruveyn
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08 Apr 2013, 3:14 am

[quote="Sweetleaf"

I wasn't really thinking anarchy, I was thinking more communism....you know the kind with a classless society...

?[/quote]

No such place. There never was such a place and there never will be. Look at "Communist" North Korea. Kim Jong Nutcake and his buddies live like kings while the people starve.

ruveyn



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08 Apr 2013, 3:33 am

ruveyn wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:

I wasn't really thinking anarchy, I was thinking more communism....you know the kind with a classless society...

?


No such place. There never was such a place and there never will be. Look at "Communist" North Korea. Kim Jong Nutcake and his buddies live like kings while the people starve.

ruveyn


North Korea is not communist, communism is not a form of government..........any government that claims to be communist is lying. Communism also isn't a place its an idea.

Explain in what way North Korea is an example of communism?


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Last edited by Sweetleaf on 08 Apr 2013, 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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08 Apr 2013, 4:13 am

ruveyn wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
But the free market can't provide those things at an affordable rate for the poorest. Just look at countries where these things aren't provided by the state, where generations of children aren't educated and live in squalor.



Don't be too sure. Suppose the wealthy and the middle class decided to finance an armed force (which they ARE doing. All the money for our military comes from somewhere). An army that can protect the property and lives of the wealthy and the middle class would in effect protect everyone. So the poor, as is often the case, get a free ride.

ruveyn


Nope, thats nonsense, and thats fact. My parents lived in South Africa before I was born, so they still have contacts. While the rich ones live in their own corners, and built their own cities so they can forbid others to walk through their neighborhood, protected by walls and securities (that are only needed because of the missing support for poor people.) the poor ones are left for dying, without no police caring for them. In their areas criminals are leading without the police caring, people get killed during day, every third little girl below 14 has already been raped, due to weird misbelievings like "Aids can be cured by having sex with a virgin!" (Yes, really.) that is caused by no propper education. They live in a gangland full of violence.

And middle class is suffering because middle class wealth isnt sufficient to live in the protected areas, so because of that you are the only one in reach to rob for the poor ones and so the undisturbed violence and the undisturbed criminal gangs are affecting you to. As rich one you live in a world with an armed bodyguard that protects you. As middle class you live in a country, that give you special laws, if you are a woman, like as example that you dont need to respect the red traffic sign at a crossing, if there is no car and noone around, because of so many assaults on woman in their cars.

You can pay money to built up a security force that is only needed because of your refusal to pay social taxes and that benefits only few one. And even then you are prisoned inside your own walls, prisoned by violence in your own home, prisoner of the system you created that forbids you to walk certain areas if you dont want to be assaulted, to leave your home at night. And you still have to pay the same costs, but except peace you get securites. That forces you to decide as a mother if you want to have a better job, to earn more money, to buy more security, or instead to guard your little daughter at the way to and from school every day, to prevent her being assaulted, enabling you to have a good full time job. To be afraid of every car accidents outside your guarding walls because it could mean that you are exposed to violence. To be afraid of everyone you dont know.

Or you can pay the complete same amount of money and build schools, affordable homes, infrastructure and a normal social system and receive in the opposite the freedom to go everywhere you like without fear, neighbors instead of securities and controls, the freedom to let your children go to school on their own without even knowing why you should be afraid and the freedom of spreading wealth because every child that gets educated, that gets the chance to learn a normal propper job, that is sufficient for living, is someone that will not cost the social system in future, but is someone that will pay the social system in future, that will be a good neighbor, that will bring you peace in your neighborhood. :) Sure, there are a few people that do violences and criminals doing out of fun. But most people simply want to be a part of our economical society and feed their families. Given the opportunity to do so by education, they grab it.

I may be naive, but I am really happy that my parents moved back to Europe because they didnt want to raise children in south africa. They earned much more money in south africa and had some wealth, so my father was driving trucks for the official television. Back in Austria my father only got a job as normal public bus driver, so he earned much less money and had to pay more taxes. So according to his loan and the number at his pay slip, we would have been poorer. But if you are rich or not is not depending on the number on your pay slip, but on your living style. So he would have earned more in south africa, but would have been forced to spend much, much more money to afford a home in a secure area, to afford good schools, to afford security... So in the end, being a public bus driver and spending much money on social taxes, gave us much more direct living standard then earning four times the amount and being forced to spend 90% for security nonsense that benefits noone, that is only needed because of refusing to pay instead 30% social taxes that benefits everyone. Instead we are given a much more precious freedom and social peace because of the social system. We dont need to be afraid of our neighbors. So I dont wanna feel safe inside my protected walls, surrounded by securities. I wanna feel safe in my country, surrounded by my neighbors. And because of our school system, even public bus drivers children have the chance to visit good schools, not because our country thinks that its so funny to spend lots of money for fun, but because they know that every child well educated and having a job will in exchange PAY that money back when it works, while every child that is failed by our school system, will cost us a life long. Be it taxes if we are willing to pay him what he needs, or be it criminality when we refuse to give him and force him to take it by violence. Both costs much more then 8 years of a good school ever will cost.

People denying it simply are bad in math. If you dont want to talk about social peace, then simply talk about economical facts and bare business without emotions. So my Serbian neighbor fled years ago because of the yugoslavian war (he didnt live in serbian areas). He has two daughters. Both were given our school system freely, that allowed them to get propper job, even when they couldnt speak german in the beginning. One is now a secretary, one is a baker. So by simple bare economical facts: Which scenario is the better one for my country? The one in which we payed these girls a good public school for 8 years, and that allowed them to have good jobs, enabling them to earn what they need for living by a normal job, benefitting and being a part of our economy with the skills they now possess and allowing them to afford a family and pay social taxes by working 50 years of their lives. Or the scenario in which they are banned to a building, that is no school, but nothing more then a place to keep them 8 hours a day, and when they are 14 there is no company wanting to give them a job, because of receiving no good education in that school?

And I definitely appreciate to live in a country, that forces me to think about the question of our south african visitor "Where can I go with my child for a walk?" until I understand it. Because the first thing that came into my mind was, that she was asking me, for propper asphalted walking ways for her baby carriage, but I didnt understand, because normally your eyes tell you if the way in front of you is ok to use it with a baby carriage or not, and if its not you go another way. I didnt understand at the beginning that she meant: "Where can I go SAFELY with my child for a walk." After visiting us for two weeks, she decided that she wants to leave south africa, and start in austria again. Because the praised armed forces of the wealthy ones only protect the wealthy ones, and even for them they are not sufficient, so they live in fear as well. And the money she would have to pay, to live in peace in south africa, is simply much, much more then a normal "expensive" social system cost her. If you dont want to support social systems, because of having no moral, its ok. But then there is still math left and math tells us without any emotional thought, that social system give us as society more advantages then personal security systems. Instead of lousy security for few ones and fear for everyone, they give us security for everyone. (And yes, sure it is necessary to have controls, that noone is abusing these systems, because the system only work as long as money isnt vanishing without social benefits.)



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08 Apr 2013, 4:54 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
To be sure, the founders were hardly perfect individuals, if not down right contemptible in certain cases. Hardly worthy of the deification right wing populists want to thrust upon them. You'd think they believe the founding fathers to be the equivalent of Old Testament Prophets, or New Testament Apostles.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You're throwing bricks from under a glass ceiling there; want me to quote you on the child killing, citizen assassinating, indefinite detaining, lying through his teeth, current occupant of the Oval Office? I believe the term you self applied was "Obamamaniac"...


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Dox47
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08 Apr 2013, 4:55 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
I thought he was just being facetious.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


Those people are never being facetious.


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Dox47
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08 Apr 2013, 5:01 am

To answer the OP's question, I would say that taxation is not legally theft, morally is sometimes a different story. The biggest problem I have is that it's so often subject to tyranny of the majority, with various groups trying to shift the burden onto someone other than them. Sin taxes are a good example of this, people who don't drink vote to tax liquor, people who don't smoke jack up the price of cigarettes, and so on and so forth. I might just call that theft; I would definitely call it douchbaggery.


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08 Apr 2013, 12:50 pm

Finally, the discussion begins to arrive at some rational basis. Thanks Dox47.

I'm not sure that I care about whether someone takes a moral view on taxation, or particular aspects of it. Your morality is not mine, and neither of our moralities are that of a third person in the room.

But you do arrive at the real crux of the decision--how much tax, and in what forms are the healthiest ways for the government to raise the money that it needs, to accomplish the things that it needs (or wants) to do, while doing the least damage to economy?

Calling taxes theft is stupid. Claiming that taxes do no damage to the economy is equally stupid.

Government is about making choices, and hopefully making intelligent, rational choices. So long as that decision making is politicized, though, it is always going to be subject to whims. But is there any other legitimate way to create a tax system?


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08 Apr 2013, 2:01 pm

visagrunt wrote:
Calling taxes theft is stupid. Claiming that taxes do no damage to the economy is equally stupid.


I think its more how the tax revenue is used/abused by the government and how they sometimes go about the taxation that damages the economy......but I don't think taxation in itself damages the economy. That wouldn't make since as tax revenue goes towards the infrastructure which when stable keeps things running more smoothly.


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ruveyn
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08 Apr 2013, 2:23 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
visagrunt wrote:
Calling taxes theft is stupid. Claiming that taxes do no damage to the economy is equally stupid.


I think its more how the tax revenue is used/abused by the government and how they sometimes go about the taxation that damages the economy....


If ill advised taxation or "bad" taxation or unjust taxation is not "taxation in itself" then what pray tell, is it?

And why do taxes that start off reasonable, -always- become onerous or unbearable in the fullness of time?

ruveyn



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08 Apr 2013, 6:27 pm

Dox47 wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
To be sure, the founders were hardly perfect individuals, if not down right contemptible in certain cases. Hardly worthy of the deification right wing populists want to thrust upon them. You'd think they believe the founding fathers to be the equivalent of Old Testament Prophets, or New Testament Apostles.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You're throwing bricks from under a glass ceiling there; want me to quote you on the child killing, citizen assassinating, indefinite detaining, lying through his teeth, current occupant of the Oval Office? I believe the term you self applied was "Obamamaniac"...


Who said I ever deified Obama? I just voted for him, and support many - but not all - of his policies. I've never seen him as a demigod as the right often sees the founders.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



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09 Apr 2013, 1:27 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
Who said I ever deified Obama? I just voted for him, and support many - but not all - of his policies. I've never seen him as a demigod as the right often sees the founders.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You systemically turn a blind eye to the man's multitude of failings and perfidies, or try to blame them on the Republicans, while holding him up a shining example of principals he doesn't actually represent; isn't that the type of thing you're complaining about? You're no better than the person worshiping the founding fathers without acknowledging their flaws, and certainly in no position to judge such a person.


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Dox47
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09 Apr 2013, 1:42 am

visagrunt wrote:
Government is about making choices, and hopefully making intelligent, rational choices. So long as that decision making is politicized, though, it is always going to be subject to whims. But is there any other legitimate way to create a tax system?


I'd be a bit happier with use taxes, and even happier still if they were legally bound to specific causes rather than flung into a general fund. Gas taxes can only be used to pay for infrastructure and road maintenance, cigarette taxes can only be used to pay for direct costs incurred to the state through smoking, etc. That would eliminate a lot of the temptation to unfairly burden a politically unpopular group to prop up unsustainable government, as we've seen in my home state where they nickle and dime smokers and drinkers and even tried to go after soda pop to plug budget holes.

I also have a bunch of bad ideas that I occasionally contemplate when this subject comes up, mostly having to do with voter qualifications and not allowing people to vote when they have a personal conflict of interest, but I know that they're bad ideas, so they don't get very far.


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09 Apr 2013, 1:48 am

Dox47 wrote:
Kraichgauer wrote:
Who said I ever deified Obama? I just voted for him, and support many - but not all - of his policies. I've never seen him as a demigod as the right often sees the founders.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


You systemically turn a blind eye to the man's multitude of failings and perfidies, or try to blame them on the Republicans, while holding him up a shining example of principals he doesn't actually represent; isn't that the type of thing you're complaining about? You're no better than the person worshiping the founding fathers without acknowledging their flaws, and certainly in no position to judge such a person.


I've defended Obama against Republican charges that everything he undertakes is somehow an attack on freedom, that he's foreign born, a socialist (which might not be a bad thing), even that he's the Antichrist. It will take the perspective of time for historians to have 20/20 hindsight of Obama's presidency.
And I should add, I was only using the right's deification of the founding fathers as an example. My point in fact had been that they had included the government's right to tax in the constitution, saying something to the extent that if you think taxes are theft, then the founders were just "thieving sons-of-bitches."
Personally, for their faults, I think the founders were among the most intelligent men of their age, and had literally created the modern free world with the American Constitution. Attacking the founders was something that got a little out of hand in the discussion.
Regardless, for the anti-tax crowd to deify the founders shows how little they actually understand those men, or the amazing document they had written.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer