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LKL
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13 Oct 2013, 10:14 pm

lost561 wrote:
LKL wrote:
Yes, and this is even worse now thanks to the very libertarian 'Citizens United' decision by SCOTUS.


I'm willing to entertain that idea. Please provide sources that can convince me, otherwise this is just another opinion.

"sources that can convince you"?
*snort*
Ad-hominem before the argument is even made. Tell me, what sources will you accept? Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, The Heritage Foundation? Anyone else?

Quote:
I never said all lobbying is done over taxation.

You said changing the tax system would end the influence of money in politics.
Quote:
But our tax code is thousands of pages long. There are too many loopholes in favor of people that have connections to people in office. Do you not agree?

I do agree with that.

Quote:
...tell me how a flat tax would hurt this country? Remember, there are tax returns. Poor people get most of their taxes back. Rich people don't.

Who gets most of their tax return back currently has nothing to do with a flat tax... unless you're implying that poor people will continue to get most of their taxes back after the imposition of a flat tax? In which case, it wouldn't be a flat tax.

Quote:
Lobbying is done for anybody who has their own agenda, whether it's good or bad is for you to be the judge. But a flat tax would not hurt this country.

yes, it would be.
A flat tax is a de facto regressive tax,
http://www.forbes.com/sites/leonardburm ... -is-a-vat/
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/ ... ss-warfare

...and de facto increases economic inequality in a country.
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top ... sive-taxes
http://www.epi.org/publication/rising-i ... ng-market/

Extreme economic inequality is causally associated with a whole host of social ills.
http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/20 ... r-society/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_inequality
http://www.economist.com/node/21564414
http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html
http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10 ... 308-115926

Therefore a flat tax, which will exacerbate the already extreme economic inequality that we have in the US, will cause social ills. Social ills hurt a country. Therefore, a flat tax will hurt this country.

Note:
A flat tax which was applied to ALL income, including bonuses, presents, corporate profits, offshore holdings, and especially capital gains, would actually be better (more progressive, if not progressive in an absolute sense) than the current income tax which is actually quite regressive. I would support such a tax program on a strictly pragmatic level, especially if it had a floor (ie, no taxation up to 3x the poverty level, for example), maintained the EIC, and allowed for basic social-good deductions like education costs.



lost561
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13 Oct 2013, 11:48 pm

LKL wrote:


"sources that can convince you"?
*snort*
Ad-hominem before the argument is even made. Tell me, what sources will you accept? Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, The Heritage Foundation? Anyone else?



You obviously have an agenda if you are trying to associate Rush Limbaugh as being a prominent representative of libertarian politics to people reading this debate. He is a terrible example of a radical conservative. He is the farthest thing from libertarian.

Tell me are news networks like CNN any better than Fox News? Somebody your age should know that all news networks have their own biases to political parties. Fox News just happens to be the only the republican one.

And by the way heritage foundation is good reading for fiscally conservative minded people. I'm just going out on a limb and guessing that you want more government control over everything from your passionate response.

LKL wrote:
You said changing the tax system would end the influence of money in politics.


Nope, thats your interpretation of what I said. Please quote those exact words ands how me where I said those exact words.

My exact words were:
Quote:
By having a flat tax, you avoid all of these sleezebag politicians doing things to buy them votes.



LKL wrote:
Who gets most of their tax return back currently has nothing to do with a flat tax... unless you're implying that poor people will continue to get most of their taxes back after the imposition of a flat tax? In which case, it wouldn't be a flat tax.


I am saying that poor people will get most of their money back from taxes.

But the tax code would still be classified as a flat tax. Not the tax brackets we have now, nor would it be a progressive tax. It would be a flat tax of 15% for everybody. (Before tax returns for the poor) but they still pay the original flat tax of 15%.

LKL wrote:

Ok.......
LKL wrote:


It doesn't matter. These poor people would get most of their money back just as they would whether they would pay a 10% tax. The only difference is that everybody In the country is paying equal dividends and there is no loopholes.

What's your proposal for tax brackets?

LKL wrote:
Extreme economic inequality is causally associated with a whole host of social ills.
http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/20 ... r-society/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_inequality
http://www.economist.com/node/21564414
http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson.html
http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10 ... 308-115926



Therefore a flat tax, which will exacerbate the already extreme economic inequality that we have in the US, will cause social ills. Social ills hurt a country. Therefore, a flat tax will hurt this country.


Again, the poor people would be getting most of their money back from taxes. So the argument that the flat tax causes income inequality only holds true if the government keeps all their money. Does it ever occur to you how many jobs would be created by a flat tax? I could post a bunch of optionated articles too, so in this case there would be less poor people and more revenue being generated by our government.

LKL wrote:
Note:
A flat tax which was applied to ALL income, including bonuses, presents, corporate profits, offshore holdings, and especially capital gains, would actually be better (more progressive, if not progressive in an absolute sense) than the current income tax which is actually quite regressive. I would support such a tax program on a strictly pragmatic level, especially if it had a floor (ie, no taxation up to 3x the poverty level, for example), maintained the EIC, and allowed for basic social-good deductions like education costs.


Yes I do agree with this statement.

The current policy for capital gains & offshore holdings in the United States is very regressive.

I'm all for growth and prosperity. Not growth of government employees.



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14 Oct 2013, 12:38 am

Magneto wrote:
You seem to be thinking of one strain of one variety of libertarianism, which hardly anyone believes in...?

The Libertarian Party has over 300,000 members, not to mention all the support Ron Paul had (he once ran for pres under the LP banner)/

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In a free market, you'd be able to drop out and homestead some unused land. Well, as long as it's a free market, not a Rothbardian system that believes living on a bit of land for a time gives you eternal ownership of it. Or you could trade for food from someone who's done that, whilst building your own house on other unused land, but then that would be a market transaction...

I have nothing against mutualism.

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But seriously, why would you be stopped from smallholding?

Property taxes certainly would. In order to pay the government every year, you have to earn money, which requires participating in the market.



LKL
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14 Oct 2013, 1:03 am

lost561 wrote:
LKL wrote:
"sources that can convince you"?
*snort*
Ad-hominem before the argument is even made. Tell me, what sources will you accept? Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, The Heritage Foundation? Anyone else?

You obviously have an agenda if you are trying to associate Rush Limbaugh as being a prominent representative of libertarian politics to people reading this debate. He is a terrible example of a radical conservative. He is the farthest thing from libertarian.

You said, 'sources I will accept,' not 'libertarian sources.' I assumed that you like Rush based on statements you've made here and elsewhere. Ok, though: Not Rush Limbaugh.
Quote:
Tell me are news networks like CNN any better than Fox News? Somebody your age should know that all news networks have their own biases to political parties. Fox News just happens to be the only the republican one.

Yes. CNN is better.
http://www.businessinsider.com/study-wa ... all-2012-5
So, by the way, is that a 'yes' or a 'no' on CNN and Fox News? And, while we're here, how about Business Insider - is that ok, or is it too liberal for you?
Quote:
And by the way heritage foundation is good reading for fiscally conservative minded people.

Oh, I agree: It does give a good view of that mindset.
http://politicalcorrection.org/blog/201104060020
http://politicalcorrection.org/blog/201105260010
http://politicalcorrection.org/blog/201105160012
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/ ... -and-wrong
http://mediamatters.org/research/2007/0 ... ted/141171
http://www.publiceye.org/welfare/Decade ... on-06.html
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/ ... oure-poor/
So, based on the tone of your responses, I'm guessing that you'll accept The Heritage Foundation and maybe Fox News (if it agrees with you) as sources. Am I correct? And is there anyone else?
Quote:
I'm just going out on a limb and guessing that you want more government control over everything from your passionate response.

"Passionate"?
In what way did I demonstrate "passion"? Or was that an attempt to gaslight me, in addition to the straw-liberal?

Quote:
LKL wrote:
You said changing the tax system would end the influence of money in politics.

Nope, thats your interpretation of what I said. Please quote those exact words ands how me where I said those exact words.
My exact words were:
Quote:
By having a flat tax, you avoid all of these sleezebag politicians doing things to buy them votes.

Eyeahhh, thanks for quoting yourself for me. Tell me, is there a way to buy a vote without money?
Quote:
LKL wrote:
Who gets most of their tax return back currently has nothing to do with a flat tax... unless you're implying that poor people will continue to get most of their taxes back after the imposition of a flat tax? In which case, it wouldn't be a flat tax.

I am saying that poor people will get most of their money back from taxes.
But the tax code would still be classified as a flat tax. Not the tax brackets we have now, nor would it be a progressive tax. It would be a flat tax of 15% for everybody. (Before tax returns for the poor) but they still pay the original flat tax of 15%.

*snort* Uh... yeah. So if the poor people ultimately pay less, and the rich people ultimately pay more, how is that a flat tax again? Other than that's what it's officially called?
Basically, you're advocating for a flat tax, and then changing the definition of "flat tax" when you're challenged on it.
Quote:
What's your proposal for tax brackets?

If I had my druthers, I'd go back to what we had in the Eisenhower Administration.
Quote:
Does it ever occur to you how many jobs would be created by a flat tax?

evidence, please?
Quote:
I could post a bunch of optionated articles too, so in this case there would be less poor people and more revenue being generated by our government.

Factual relativism, you're really going there?
Quote:
I'm all for growth and prosperity. Not growth of government employees.

Well, then, you'll be happy to know that the number of federal employees has remained relatively stable for the last several decades, despite a growing US population:
The initial run-up was WW2; subsequent spikes are from census workers hired and then fired every 10 years.
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/gr ... 9091000001
And guess who was president during that nice bulge in '85? Mr. 'The government is the problem' himself.
Beyond all that, why do you assume that 'growth and prosperity' and 'growth of government employees' are mutually exclusive?



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14 Oct 2013, 5:23 am

Geekonychus wrote:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/17/1055627/-Four-Reasons-to-Reject-Libertarianism

A great article and I agree with every point.

Don't get me wrong, I'm an unabashedly hedonistic and aknowlege that humans are selfish creatures by nature (Ayn Rand is definetly right there) so there are some aspects of the libertarian philosophy I can get behind. My main issue is that the libertarian version of freedom is vaguely sociopathic.

Not to mention, I fail to understand how Aspies could survive in a libertarian "utopia." I can't see how a society structured around Social Darwinism is going to be any better for us........ Care to enlighten me?


A lot of libertarians I debate with on the Internet express hatred for people with Aspergers/Autism and those with mental disabilities, which is just one of the reasons I despise libertarianism. The irony is many libertarians do have AS or similar traits, though I would argue that the competitiveness of libertarian ideology is at odds with what most people with AS stand for.

I also don't think libertarianism is as objective/non-emotionally based as they claim. I think it's very emotional and reactionary - they get so indignant about having their tax dollars "stolen" from them and the "welfare leeches".

On the flip-side, I do like how most libertarians oppose capital punishment and war though. Most also condemn the concept of intellectual property which is pretty cool (no sympathy for the record companies from me!)



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15 Oct 2013, 4:36 pm

donnie_darko wrote:
A lot of libertarians I debate with on the Internet express hatred for people with Aspergers/Autism and those with mental disabilities...

Would you clarify this bit of anecdotal evidence, perhaps with some examples? I can't think of a single person I've met who has expressed hatred for people who are mentally disabled. I've met plenty who have made fun of them, but not who have expressed hatred. How have you seen this hatred manifested?



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15 Oct 2013, 6:18 pm

People whose libertarianism is derived from a reading of Ayn Rand are particularly disdainful of mental and physical disabilities. They see anyone non-productive as a worthless leech on the more worthy members of society.



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15 Oct 2013, 8:52 pm

LKL wrote:
People whose libertarianism is derived from a reading of Ayn Rand are particularly disdainful of mental and physical disabilities. They see anyone non-productive as a worthless leech on the more worthy members of society.


Those who are merely "influenced by" Ayn Rand may of course mix in any contradictory notions they choose, but the actual philosophy of Objectivism contains nothing to sanction such an attitude. It's true that there are some, mostly young and lacking in life experience, who seem to think that the philosophy is a license to be a jerk, but I think that could be said of some adherents of every ideology. Every adult Objectivist I've known personally has been genuinely benevolent and kind.



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16 Oct 2013, 1:03 am

LKL wrote:
People whose libertarianism is derived from a reading of Ayn Rand are particularly disdainful of mental and physical disabilities. They see anyone non-productive as a worthless leech on the more worthy members of society.


While I'm no fan of the Randians, I don't really see them going after the disabled; when they talk about moochers and looters, they're talking about crony capitalists and corrupt politicians, not poor or disabled people. That's a common misconception about Rand and Atlas Shrugged, it wasn't about poor people dragging down her industrialists, it was about competitors using the power of the state to do what they couldn't through competition alone. I travel in libertarian circles, and I've never seen anything like what DD is describing.


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16 Oct 2013, 1:49 am

http://beforeitsnews.com/libertarian/20 ... 77798.html

Well I read this article and was quite shocked, it was a clear case of ideology being placed before people. If libertarianism is about respecting the individual as a sovereign entity, then it follows that this person is valuable. However, making a blanket statement like 'anyone but the federal government' places the ideology before the person. Surely, a rational person when approaching the subject of the truly, desperately, needy should be required to be think beyond the restrictive framework of one idea? Libertarianism is the idea that the success of people is hard earned and should be respected, that they are valuable and ought to be free. Conceptually it is hard to disagree with that view, however it does not follow that Libertarianism should be applied as a wholesale idea, only some problems in our society can be alleviated by reducing government influence. That makes it a policy suggestion and not a maxim, an option to consider but no candidate for a commandment.


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16 Oct 2013, 3:48 am

91 wrote:
http://beforeitsnews.com/libertarian/2013/01/who-should-support-the-disabled-2477798.html

Well I read this article and was quite shocked, it was a clear case of ideology being placed before people. If libertarianism is about respecting the individual as a sovereign entity, then it follows that this person is valuable. However, making a blanket statement like 'anyone but the federal government' places the ideology before the person. Surely, a rational person when approaching the subject of the truly, desperately, needy should be required to be think beyond the restrictive framework of one idea? Libertarianism is the idea that the success of people is hard earned and should be respected, that they are valuable and ought to be free. Conceptually it is hard to disagree with that view, however it does not follow that Libertarianism should be applied as a wholesale idea, only some problems in our society can be alleviated by reducing government influence. That makes it a policy suggestion and not a maxim, an option to consider but no candidate for a commandment.


It is no different than any other ideology if you take it as an end all way of life it causes problems especially if you try to force that ideology on other people.



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16 Oct 2013, 7:59 am

redriverronin wrote:
It is no different than any other ideology if you take it as an end all way of life it causes problems especially if you try to force that ideology on other people.


While I agree with the sentiment if I were you, I would come up with another reason for rejecting libertarianism. Saying 'you shouldn't force it on other people' just does not make sense as a rebuttal in this instance.


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16 Oct 2013, 8:54 am

91 wrote:
If libertarianism is about respecting the individual as a sovereign entity, then it follows that this person is valuable.

Valuable to whom?

Quote:
Surely, a rational person when approaching the subject of the truly, desperately, needy should be required to be think beyond the restrictive framework of one idea?

As soon as you use a phrase like "should be required to think", you become an advocate of totalitarianism. This idea is completely in opposition to the core non-aggression principle of libertarians.

Quote:
Libertarianism is the idea that the success of people is hard earned and should be respected, that they are valuable and ought to be free.

This is not a valid description of libertarianism. Libertarianism has nothing to do with assigning value.

Quote:
Conceptually it is hard to disagree with that view, however it does not follow that Libertarianism should be applied as a wholesale idea, only some problems in our society can be alleviated by reducing government influence. That makes it a policy suggestion and not a maxim, an option to consider but no candidate for a commandment.

Libertarianism revolves around the simple principle of non-aggression. Do you disagree with this fundamental philosophy? Is it unreasonable to make the claim that the principle of non-aggression should be applied as a wholesale idea? If so, what ends justify aggression? What outcome makes it acceptable for a person to hurt or steal from another?



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16 Oct 2013, 9:13 am

lost561 wrote:
LKL wrote:
Yes, and this is even worse now thanks to the very libertarian 'Citizens United' decision by SCOTUS.


I'm willing to entertain that idea. Please provide sources that can convince me, otherwise this is just another opinion.

LKL wrote:
How can you be an economics major and think that this is true? Do you really think that all, or even a majority, of lobbying is done over simple taxation?


I never said all lobbying is done over taxation. But our tax code is thousands of pages long. There are too many loopholes in favor of people that have connections to people in office. Do you not agree?

Lobbying is done over many reasons but tell me how a flat tax would hurt this country? Remember, there are tax returns. Poor people get most of their taxes back. Rich people don't.

Lobbying is done for anybody who has their own agenda, whether it's good or bad is for you to be the judge. But a flat tax would not hurt this country.

By "tax returns", do you mean rebates and credits?

Either you have a low flat tax (in which case tax takings are not high enough to fund vital services- the USA is already running a massive surplus because Bush cut taxes and didn't cut spending, and Obama increased spending without increasing taxes) or you have a high flat tax and give rebates and tax credits to the poor, which is just unnecessary red tape. Easier, surely, to simply run a straightforward progressive PAYE tax?



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16 Oct 2013, 9:42 am

@ABD

I really dislike responding to individual sentences, can you please respond in paragraph form? Your post raises the question of whom the individual is valuable to? My view would be that, on libertarianism, the individual is sovereign, both to themselves and to the community. Even a social contact built upon an absolute respect for individual autonomy is still a social contract so it follows from that, that the individual has value to the group.

You accuse me of being an advocate of totalitarianism. I in turn accuse you of significant overreaction. My point was that treating the individual as the chief social entity, as an absolute entity leads to logical contradiction. The fact that you find my point at odds with your conception of how libertarianism should operate lends itself to the idea that I have at least partially made my point to you. My position was that refusing to do something, on the grounds of its incompatibility with your position, even when the action is a good itself, shows the position to be overly restrictive. If we accept that the individual is valuable and that we are required to respect that person's life and autonomy, then we have a social contract. One cannot at the same time be respected enough by a community to be trusted utterly with their own autonomy and at the same time have no responsibility to anyone else.

It is my view that any social contract that leads you to accept a barbaric position, like 'I have no responsibility to protect or care for the disabled in my community', then you have a legitimate contradiction on your hands. A person cannot be valuable in full and valueless to others, its a social contract that can never be affirmed outside of the imagination. Its a problem that inevitably follows from attempting to prescribe political ideology onto situation. Libertarianism might be a good idea, it might even be a great one but it is not a fundamental one.

For myself, I do not support any political ideology that puts ideas ahead of people. Having been within an actual totalitarian state, I can assure you that doing so leads to the suppression of people rather than their liberation because people become cogs in an end and are not treaded as ends in themselves.

As to your concept of libertarianism as non-aggression, I would tend to differ on that, instead preferring a definition that emphases the supremacy of individual autonomy. Such a definition adds a great deal more nuance to the position. Saying that you oppose 'aggression' essentially acts as a rhetorical device that imparts no consideration of what constitutes aggression or what constitutes social contract. A definition of aggression could vary considerably, from someone who opposes killing Kulaks and taking their money to someone who thinks that any social contract is, by its nature, aggressive. So using that term is not particularly useful unless you illustrate how it relates to the individual and their place in society. Everyone is against aggression, just like everyone is in favour of happiness.

Asking me if if I disagree with a principle of non-aggression is just too loaded, because it assumes that you have a monopoly over that term's definition. I can't imagine why I should think that you do.


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