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Taxation

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"Taxes were never instituted by common consent,… but are taken by those who have the power of taking them… A man should not voluntarily pay taxes to governments either directly or indirectly; nor should he accept money collected by taxes either as salary or as pension or as a reward; nor should he make use of governmental institutions supported by taxes, since they are collected by violence from the people."

Considering that, if you're an American citizen, your tax dollars have been used to: kill a million innocent Filipinos, build Little Boy and Fat Man (200,000 innocent Japanese, dead), bomb Hamburg, Dresden, and Pforzheim (100,000 innocent Germans, dead).

...and I could go on, and on, but I don't intend to belabor the point.

Oh, and nowadays, the money's used for stuff like waging the drug war and occupying Iraq (that's another 100,000 innocent dead); again, you get my point.

(And, regardless of your country of origin, I guarantee you that your government has done some pretty bad things as well.)

Taxation bears a marked resemblance to theft excepting the fact that the theives are the ones we entrust with enforcing laws against theivery. How can you confiscate the sweat of a man's brow, the money he worked to acquire, by fiat? So some sheet of paper says you're entitled to a certain amount? Did the man sign this document, or agree to pay?

Is paying one's taxes moral? Even if you argue that it is morally ambiguous, should one feel obliged to pay? Is tax resistance/evasion the answer?

Discuss, please. I unabashedly believe that taxation is state-sanctioned theft, but I do not want the discussion of taxation (and that's what this should be, a discussion of taxation) to be one-sided. Chime in, if you will.
 
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It's a double-edged sword, really.

Those who don't want to pay taxes could feel free not to, but perhaps they shouldn't get to use any public roads or transit systems which are constructed and maintained by tax dollars.
 

Tyrant Tar

Well-Known Member
Tax money isn't just used to kill 'innocent' people for no reason, you know.
And a nation can't sustain itself (i.e. several hundred million people) pro bono.
 
Regardless of how certain amounts of tax payer's money is used for "wrong" choices, our tax dollars do pay for various public institutions that we all need. (your first post is very gendered by the way)

Did you go to public school? Paid by taxes.
Is your house burning down? Call the fire department. Paid by taxes.
Do you use public roads and sidewalks? Maintenance paid by taxes.
Do you expect to retire someday and live off of social security benefits? Paid by taxes.


Our taxes also help others who are too disabled to work or are not earning enough to support themselves and their families (Foodstamps, welfare, etc). Taxes in this way benefit society in general.
 
The first post is what it is. You can call it gender-biased, but I'm using the words man, men, and he in the inclusive sense, which you can do--look in any dictionary, and you'll find that one of the definitions given for "he" is "anyone." No exclusion intended.

Your statist arguments ignore the fact that fires would be faught, children would be taught, roads would be built and maintained, and plenty of people would be able to retire comfortably if there were no government to tax us in the first place.
 
Your statist arguments ignore the fact that fires would be faught, children would be taught, roads would be built and maintained, and plenty of people would be able to retire comfortably if there were no government to tax us in the first place.
Is this actually fact, or is it just an assumption you neglected to mention? I'm more interested in the details behind how exactly that would all work sustainably.
 
The first post is what it is. You can call it gender-biased, but I'm using the words man, men, and he in the inclusive sense, which you can do--look in any dictionary, and you'll find that one of the definitions given for "he" is "anyone." No exclusion intended.
I know this isn't the debate, but the usage of "man" and especially of male pronouns to refer to both men and women is somewhat dated. "He" always meant just he, even if it was defined as "neutral".

Your statist arguments ignore the fact that fires would be faught, children would be taught, roads would be built and maintained, and plenty of people would be able to retire comfortably if there were no government to tax us in the first place.
But we don't know that for sure. The government is supposed to protect the people. Protecting the people needs funding. If there was no government, then how do we know that large groups of people would receive these services? The government ensures that millions can benefit.

I'm not saying that the US government is perfect. Far from it. But taxation is not all bad. Public services need to be paid by the public.
 
But we don't know that for sure. The government is supposed to protect the people. Protecting the people needs funding. If there was no government, then how do we know that large groups of people would receive these services? The government ensures that millions can benefit.
The governments of the world do an absolutely grotesque amount of damage, and yet can convince people of their necessity when the populace would be so much better off without them. Maybe you've noticed this.

How do we know that people would receive these services? This question is asinine! How do we know that fire brigades of some description would exist? Why wouldn't they? No one benefits from the lost productivity and property damage that are associated with fires. Same for highways. Commerce depends completely on the ability to travel and ship items by freight. Education? Ever heard of private schools? What about apprenticeships? Homeschooling?
 

BigLutz

Banned
How do we know that people would receive these services? This question is asinine! How do we know that fire brigades of some description would exist? Why wouldn't they? No one benefits from the lost productivity and property damage that are associated with fires. Same for highways. Commerce depends completely on the ability to travel and ship items by freight. Education? Ever heard of private schools? What about apprenticeships? Homeschooling?

Well you wouldn't have any of those things out of the goodness of people's hearts. You would have toll roads on the major highways and passage ways. The smaller areas that have less traffic would most likely have dirt roads made by those living in the area. I would take it the fire fighters would be providing insurance in which you pick which one is cheapest versus best response time. Again money is a factor.

The biggest problem however, is preventing monopolies or anti trust. That is one thing the Government undoubtably does very well. In this society, there is nothing to prevent the various fire fighting agencies from teaming up and going "Hey we are all going to set this price" or "Hey we are all going to pay our employees this wage". At that point the free market ceases to exist, and you allow for gouging, poor work place conditions, and other massive problems to exist.
 

Kamotz

God of Monsters
The governments of the world do an absolutely grotesque amount of damage, and yet can convince people of their necessity when the populace would be so much better off without them. Maybe you've noticed this.

Simply put, the world and our society is too populous to be without some form of governing body to enforce common laws and rules. The only way the government has to pay for its various projects (road maintanence, police/fire/emergency services, post office, unemployment, etc) is by collecting taxes.

How do we know that people would receive these services? This question is asinine! How do we know that fire brigades of some description would exist? Why wouldn't they? No one benefits from the lost productivity and property damage that are associated with fires. Same for highways. Commerce depends completely on the ability to travel and ship items by freight. Education? Ever heard of private schools? What about apprenticeships? Homeschooling?

If you weren't getting paid to leap into a burning building, would you? Human beings are by nature self-interested. That is, they care more about themselves than others. And why shouldn't we? It's a survival mechanism. I'm not gonna go running into your burning house to save your kid. If I get hurt who's going to provide for my family? OR even more simply, what am I gonna do? There's no one to pay my disability if a piece of burning timber falls on me and breaks my back while I'm in there. Then of course there's the fact that I have to pay to upkeep my own fire-fighting equipment? All those thousands of dollars? Don't bet on it.

Think of it this way, too. If your store burns down, who benefits? Your competition. So what's to stop your competition from going all covert-like and burning down your store? The Police aren't going to do anything: without government-collected taxpayer funding police don't even exist.

Education? Private schools exist, but they're way more expensive than many can afford. I grew up in a pretty well-off middle class suburban neighborhood and we couldn't afford to send both me and my brother to the nearest one. And without someone to maintain the roads it'd be very difficult to send is much further. Home schooling? Sure. But between both my parents working full-time jobs I would hardly call me sitting on my butt all day watching tv home-schooling.

Could they hire a private tutor, sure, but then who's teaching the tutor's kids? They have to hire their own tutor (since my parents don't want to pay for the tutor's kid--they want me and my brother to be getting the tutor's full attention). So maybe they get together with other parents and decide that the one tutor will teach all of the kids in the neighborhood of a certain age and they'll all pay a little bit and--oh wait. That's called public school.
 
More Absolute Anti-Government?

"Taxes were never instituted by common consent,… but are taken by those who have the power of taking them… A man should not voluntarily pay taxes to governments either directly or indirectly; nor should he accept money collected by taxes either as salary or as pension or as a reward; nor should he make use of governmental institutions supported by taxes, since they are collected by violence from the people."
This may be considered somewhat pedantic of me, but who are you quoting? I think it matters, given that you could be quoting someone who is entirely unqualified to make such judgments.

And to say that taxes were never instituted by common consent is an exaggeration. I think just a little American history might clear that up for you.

Considering that, if you're an American citizen, your tax dollars have been used to: kill a million innocent Filipinos, build Little Boy and Fat Man (200,000 innocent Japanese, dead), bomb Hamburg, Dresden, and Pforzheim (100,000 innocent Germans, dead).

I think you should read this article before you pass absolute judgment on the U.S. for dropping the atomic bomb.



The first post is what it is. You can call it gender-biased, but I'm using the words man, men, and he in the inclusive sense, which you can do--look in any dictionary, and you'll find that one of the definitions given for "he" is "anyone." No exclusion intended.
I agree with your point here. In that vein, here's a quote from Richard Dawkins:
"I am distressed to find that some women friends (fortunately not as many) treat the use of the impersonal masculine pronoun as if it showed intention to exclude them. If there were any excluding to be done (happily there isn't) I think it would sooner be men, but when I once tentatively tried referring to my abstract reader as 'she', a feminist denounced me for patronizing condescension: I ought to say 'he-or-she', and 'his-or-her'. That is easy to do if you don't care about language, but then if you don't care about language you don't deserve readers of either sex."

SapphireL, there's no reason PokeJustices language there should be faulted.

Now, to the actual, tax-related issue:
The governments of the world do an absolutely grotesque amount of damage, and yet can convince people of their necessity when the populace would be so much better off without them. Maybe you've noticed this.

How do we know that people would receive these services? This question is asinine! How do we know that fire brigades of some description would exist? Why wouldn't they? No one benefits from the lost productivity and property damage that are associated with fires. Same for highways. Commerce depends completely on the ability to travel and ship items by freight. Education? Ever heard of private schools? What about apprenticeships? Homeschooling?

First of all, it is the people of the world that do a grotesque amount of damage. Governmental power can add to and unleash people's potential for wrongdoing, but it isn't government that is solely to blame. People who have no connection to government commit heinous acts you know.

Second, I understand your point about homeschooling, having been homeschooled myself.

Third, who decides on what side of the road people are allowed to drive? Who decides the traffic rules? Would you personally feel safe without a binding set of rules for drivers?

But more importantly (and this was the downfall of the other thread), who defends me when people decide to do a grotesque amount of damage? Don't just say that a "Private Defense Corporation" can do it, because that just means the guys with the strongest thugs win.
 

CSolarstorm

New spicy version
Corporations will just get together and form what would be considered a government under any other name anyway.
 
The quote's from Tolstoy.

I can guarantee you I have studied the atomic bomb droppings more than have you. I am sure that that sounds condescending, and I am sorry, but I have. I urge you to read Basil Liddell Hart's Second World War, in particular the chapter on the collapse of Japan. The bombings were absolutely unnecessary and even if they weren't I would still consider them despicable. Waging nuclear war against civilians is despicable.

Who the hell says that governments decided whether traffic should be right- or left-hand? Why the hell is the State needed to make that descision? I'm pretty sure nothing would change in that regard; it's not as if, overnight, everyone would decide to drive on whatever side they pleased.

Read Hoppe's "Private Production of Defense." Here it is. Not terribly relevant, but it's good stuff. As for the rest of you, arguing from ignorance is a bad idea.

Here's the Tannehill's "Market for Liberty," which covers PMC monopolizing and maintains that it wouldn't happen in a legitimately free market: Yo.

Giving you stuff to read may seem like a bit of a cop-out, but you guys really need to brush up on market anarchism before you decide that it is repulsively dreadful and that you should slay me for daring to defend it.
 
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BigLutz

Banned
Pokejustice it sounds like you are trying to make this into numerous topics. Why don't you make one on the Nuclear Bombing of Japan, or the Iraq War instead of throwing those things out in a topic that really has nothing to do with it.
 

GhostAnime

Searching for her...
There's nothing worse than somebody telling us to read a book instead of laying out the information themselves. Use the book as a reference; not as the only thing. This is a Pokemon debate forum. we wouldn't get anywhere if we just threw books at each other.
 

Profesco

gone gently
BigLutz and GhostAnime are right. And indeed, many of the posters in this thread have made excellent arguments, only to be met with a book suggestion.

Frankly, this is a poorly-made debate and one that has already unwound. If you'd like to debate your opinions, you do the debating. It's unnacceptably condescending to answer your interlocutors with "I know more than you do, so go read this book and then come back and agree with me." We'd like to debate here, and that means we all toss in our reasons together and work out the kinks until something makes sense - pointing us to a book and implying it's not worth your time to reason with us is, quite simply, not debating.

You're free to try again, PokeJustice, but I suggest you make a debate thread, not a lecture thread.
 
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