Taxing the Rich

The trouble with progressive economics

Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it's wrong for the rich to be "given" more money. Sunday's New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don't get it.

As I've said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some—by force—and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.

That's the moral side of the matter. There's a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation. That hurts everyone, the lower end of the income scale most of all. An economy that, through freedom, encourages the production of wealth raises the living standards of lower-income people as well as everyone else.

A free society is not a zero-sum game in which every gain is offset by someone's loss. As long as government keeps its thumb off the scales, the "makers" who get rich do so by making others better off. (When the government allocates capital or creates barriers to competition, all bets are off.)

Of course, this is not the prevailing view among the intelligentsia. Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill tells me, "Those who have more should pay more."

But is there a point where they stop producing wealth or leave altogether?

"The rich have always cried wolf like that," Hill says.

But the wolf is here. Maryland created a special tax on rich people that was supposed to bring in $106 million. Instead, the state lost $257 million.

Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who is running again for his old job, says: "It reminds me of Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was always surprised when Lucy pulled the football away. And they're always surprised in Washington and state capitals when the dollars never come in."

Some of Maryland's rich left the state. "They're out of here. These people aren't stupid," Ehrlich says.

New York billionaire Tom Golisano isn't stupid, either. With $3,000 and one employee, he started a business that processes paychecks for companies. He created 13,000 jobs.

Then New York state hiked the income tax on millionaires.

"It was the straw that broke the camel's back," he says. "Not that I like to throw the number around, but my personal income tax last year would've been $13,800 a day. Would you like to write a check for $13,800 a day to a state government, as opposed to moving to another state where there's no state income tax or very low state income tax?

He established residence in Florida, which has no personal income tax.

Now Gov. David Paterson may have even seen the light.

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  • ||

    I think progressives "get it" just fine. They are trying to make sure that nobody else does. Why else would they commit such obvious fallacies as claiming that refraining from raising taxes is "government spending"?

  • Tony||

    Because we understand arithmetic. You idiots are the disingenuous ones. Just because you hate taxes you don't think you have to count lower revenues as something that has an impact on the ledger. Stupid.

  • ||

    That's not it at all. Words have meaning. If my income falls I'm not "spending more", I'm taking in less, and if I don't cut my actual spending I'll be spending too much. It's an important distinction, one you would rather people not notice.

  • Tony||

    But it's not all that important a distinction. Taxes are at historically low rates. And that means we're spending too much? When does it become the case that we're not taxing enough? Lemme guess, never.

  • ||

    Just because taxes have been worse doesn't automatically mean that the current level isn't high. Of course taxes will never be low enough for me, since I believe taxation is theft. I understand that you don't hold to that; I suspect that taxes can never be too high for you. You probably believe that every penny I earn belongs to the government.

  • Tony||

    I suspect that taxes can never be too high for you.

    This is a strawman and absolutely wrong. I'm not saying what they should be. I'm saying if we are to have a civilization, which requires taxes, then taxes can't always go down. Sometimes they have to go up. Doesn't that stand to reason?

    Of course it does. But as you openly admit, you're not interested in that, you're interested in taxes always going down, always, and using whatever flaky semantic distractions you can to keep arguing for that.

  • ||

    Of course based on your POV taxes can't always go down. I don't use "flaky semantic distractions"; I believe that taxes are wrong period. To say that paying taxes is "voluntary" is a flaky semantic distraction.

  • Tony||

    I'll grant that paying taxes isn't voluntary in the same way deciding whether to have dessert is voluntary. But we are lucky enough to have a government we can vote for. Don't like democracy? Show me something that works better.

  • ||

    Don't be Tony's porn. He has the whole Internet to help him get off, we don't need to help him.

  • The Gobbler||

    ^THIS^

  • Jordan||

    Show me something that works better.

    A republic.

  • rriord2||

    A democratic republic with a government that has a limited and easily understood role.

  • El Duderino||

    First, we are not a democracy, we are a republic. This is an important distinction because people do not vote on taxes, they vote for representatives and representatives vote on taxes.

    The problem we have currently is that the representatives are not representing the people honestly. Raising taxes on a relatively small sliver of the population (the rich) makes people in the larger segments (middle and lower classes) FEEL served, but really this is just PANDERING. The federal government spent billions of dollars. . .no billions is wrong. . . trillions of dollars on all sorts of things that virtually nobody wanted. We told them we didnt want it, but they went ahead and did it anyway.

    The government checkbook is a double entry system just like any other checkbook. Right now, Money out is many times more than money in, that is what we like to call a deficit.

    I largely agree with Enjoy Every Sandwich in that I would prefer no taxes, but if we are to have even a limited government, some taxes would be necessary. When I say "some" government, I mean something closer to a large auditorium full of representatives doing almost nothing on a day to day basis, but making sure that the limited machinations of government are not abusing the people. If we are to have taxes, then everyone has to pay the same rate.

    You cannot pretend to be fiscally responsible when it comes to debating whether or not to cut taxes if you are spending money hand over fist against the will of the people, or for the purposes of BUYING the will of the people.

    You could tax everyone in the country at 100% and you would not even begin to pay down the current deficit. Increasing taxes on anyone, including the uber wealthy does not bring in more revenue because there is a trade off to taxes and that trade off is growth.

    My employer services thousands of business, small and large, so my paycheck comes from that wealth. Those business in turn get their wealth from the services they provide. Nobody works for a poor person, because poor people dont have the money to hire people.

  • Tony||

    So you don't like current policy. You don't like any policy, and you want to pay no taxes. Sucks to be you. Surely the fact that you don't like some policies (and there are a ton I don't like) doesn't mean our entire system is therefore illegitimate, right? This is the system we got, and it could be a lot worse. I don't know what you expect, except perhaps the Duchy of El Duderino.

    Just letting the Bush cuts expire would almost solve the deficit by 2015. Alan Greenspan loves tax cuts but even he is advocating for them to expire. Yes it would have a negative impact on growth. But as Greenspan put it, the choice isn't between good and bad, it's between bad and worse--the worse being ballooning deficits forever unless we start taking in more revenue.

  • El Duderino||

    If you eliminate government completely, it does not mean you wont have civilization.

    With only a few exceptions, the direction of human government has moved from towards individual liberty. When compared to almost every government in history the US government has allowed the most freedom. I use the word ALLOWED here on purpose because the government doesn't create liberty or freedom or whatever you like to call it, it can only suppress it. So, what does this have to do with taxes?

    Taxes are violence. See my other posts below for more on this. I don't want to impose anything on anyone, that is the whole point. You imagine that everything good in your life is the result of government intervention and civilization building, but the reality is, everything that makes your life easier comes from the private economy. Your computer was not invented by the government, it was invented by innovators who were free to use their skills, imagination and resources as they wished and the result is what you are staring at right now. Your food is not provided by the government, neither is your money even if you work for the government. If you work for the government, your money comes from one of three places.

    1. they take it from me in taxes and give it to you.

    2. they print it.

    3. they borrow it.

    If they take it from me, then they are steeling it from me because I did not voluntarily give it to them.

    I am not saying there should be no government at all, but if they are going to take money from me, I would prefer it be used wisely. The only thing a government can do is protect individuals NATURAL liberty. If you dont know what this means, then maybe you should have finished reading my posts on the "Philosophy and Consequences" article.

    Less government = less taxes
    Because government must impose its values by force, less government means more freedom.

    I am not IMPOSING anything on anyone. In the free republic of el duderino, you are free to associate however you wish. If you want to get together with other like minded people, then you can and when you do, you can feel free to take up a collection to build or provide any and all services your collective imaginations can come up with. This was the purpose of the constitution. States were supposed to be the places for these social experiments, not the federal government, which is what we are talking about when we talk about the federal income tax.

    If there were a state called Tonyville, it would not be beholden to el duderinistan except to say that el duderinistan would be able to help you protect your citizens from violations of their natural liberty (murder, assault, theft, contract breaking).

    You imagine that I want to impose my will on everyone, but ignore the fact that a very small sliver of the population is already imposing its ideals on everyone through the tax code and all of the other laws and programs that have nothing at all to do with your natural liberties.

    Like I said, America is comparably more free than most in civilized history, but it has drifted away from freedom slowly. The reason why America is a great place to live is because the creative energies of its people have been tapped by this relative freedom, not by the government.

  • ||

    I don't get it. If republicans, specifically Libertarians don't like bigger government then why do major corporations have lobbyist? Isn't that directly channeling wealth to hire folks to play the very game conservatives claim to hate so much? Amending the constitution to define something to the advantage of one group of people over another, is that not playing the government game? It seems to me when legislation is made that conservatives don't care for, its big government, yet when legislation is passed VIA lobbyists it somehow, magically is exercising smaller government? Did you ever stop to think your objectivist Ayn Rand pseudo philosophical cock worshiping mumbo jumbo looks every bit as good on paper as its evil twin Communism but does little more than yield similar failing results? I'm sure that McDonald's would love nothing more than to lobby to change national health standards to promote a strictly Big Mac and French fry diet if they thought they could get away with it.

  • ||

    Correction: It seems to me when legislation is made that conservatives don't care for, its big government, yet when legislation is passed to the advantage of conservatives VIA lobbyists it somehow, magically is exercising smaller government?

  • the right does it too||

    Hey, Tony...I have a "tax stick" you can manipulate.

  • ||

    Yes, it is fair for everyone to be taxed the same percentage of income (after deductions for the most basic necessities.) The problem is that the rich DO NOT pay the same percentage as the poor, (please don't point to the tax laws, good accountants can subvert 40-50 percent of those, at the VERY least.)

  • matt||

    OK then who is supposed to pay for the operations of the federal government?

    You know who doesn't have any taxes? Somalia. Enjoy your trip! They don't have any problems with "big government liberals" and you can keep every penny you earn (and it will be literally pennies).

    You know who else doesn't believe in income taxes? Wesley Snipes. You can write him a letter- address it to federal prison.

  • El Duderino||

    Somalia is growing. The only reason why their economy is not as strong is because they are still largely an agrarian society, though other industries are growing rapidly.

    And since we are on Somalia, let it be known that socialists ran the country from 1976 to 1991 and every year since 1991, Somalia has grown with little or no help from a centralized government.

    I dont know, I might suck at farming and livestock, but AMERICA isnt exactly the engine of production it once was. In a couple of decades, Somalia could become a serious economic force in the world.

  • vinko||

    Go then, get out of here. Go to Somalia, you un-American slob. Don't talk all "I hate taxes" on us and just do nothing. You have the power to leave. So, please,.....leave.

  • ||

    And your alternative to taxes would be? Oh, thats right, you'd like a castle and sme serfs. you could force them to build your roads. They might not fight your wars too enthusiastically, so you could hire mercenaries. Education you wouldn't need, who wants educated peasants? Are you so stupid you think a democracy or even a democratic republic can exist without infrastructure, or do you expect corporations to build infrastructure in the public interest, rather than their own? I'm beginjing to suspect that rich tax opponents ctually hate democracy. Who wants to lisen to those dirty, stupid common people. "LET THEM EAT CAKE"

  • Sam Grove||

    I'm saying if we are to have a civilization, which requires taxes,

    Prove it by some argument other than assertion or recitation of clichés.

  • Tony||

    K, name me a civilization that didn't collect taxes.

  • ||

    Taxes do not always have to go up. Well the dollar amounts will but the percentages don't have to. They go up because government spending goes up out of proportion to inflation and production.

  • Teve Torbes||

    No, Tony, taxes do not have to rise or fall. We could implement a reasonable flat tax rate that applies to EVERYONE and then force the government to live within its means. If they want to implement a new program, they must cut inefficient ones or find cheaper alternatives to a solution. Since govt is a monopoly they have no incentive to be efficient.

  • Tony||

    Teve yeah we could do that, but it would be incredibly stupid. I think people should be allowed to have whatever government they want, and that governments should be flexible enough to deal with reality. Do you feel otherwise?

    There's the foul odor of authoritarianism that comes from much libertarian rhetoric like this.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I'll say it: a government limited by an authoritarian is better than people democratically "allowed to have whatever government they want".

    Fuck you.

  • Tony||

    Thanks for admitting it, you authoritarian asshat. You know what's best for everyone and you'd rather your vastly unpopular ideas be imposed on everyone against their will than let them decide for themselves what they want.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I'm all for letting individuals decide for themselves what they want. You're apparently the one who knows whats best for everyone.

  • ||

    Tony is simply a frustrated control freak.

  • ||

    I think it was Will Rogers that said, "Thank God we don't get all the government that we pay for".

  • ||

    Self-contradict much?

  • El Duderino||

    "Any government they want" is not a good idea because I want a government that provides me everything I need. Guess who gets to pay for this sweet entitlement!!!

  • Teve Torbes||

    are you effing kidding me? authoritarian? I am pushing for smaller, limited government that cannot expand to infinity and you call that authoritarian? you are a newspeaker!

    The "flexible" government you advocate is flexible enough to spend all its tax revenues no matter how high the amount and then they'll come begging for more. They never ever decrease spending and never ever look for ways to perform the essential services at less cost to taxpayers. And when the national mood is such that they can't raise taxes without inciting revolt, they create money out of thin air which is essentially a stealth tax since the value of your savings in dollars decreases.

    We can all agree that paying taxes buys us civilization, but there is a point at which paying more does not buy more civilization. We have long since passed that point. If we do not limit what the government can take, they will always need to take more. A flat tax would force the government to make better decisions and we'd still have the same amount of civilization.

  • EvilDevilCuckoo||

    Yep, we want to acquire power so we can give it back to people. Terrible indeed.

  • ||

    Then get your head out of your crotch.

  • ||

    IRT
    "There's the foul odor of authoritarianism that comes from much libertarian rhetoric like this."

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 12:17PM|#
    "Taxes are at historically low rates."

    Translation: For a couple of decades in the mid-20th century taxes were higher.

  • ||

    Tony, it IS an important distinction. In your world taxing less = spending more. If a company's revenue suddenly dropped could it be explained because they were spending more? WTF!? STUPIDITY!

  • Tony||

    But WHO CARES. The bottom line is affected by both spending and revenue. I'd be happy to get into a discussion of the nuances of tax policy but we have to get beyond addition and subtraction first.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    The problem is, and it is one I have yet to see you address, the mentality that government is "allowing" individuals to keep the money that they earn.

  • Tony||

    You mean the money that government authorizes, prints, and secures?

  • Valkor||

    No, the money that represents work. People exchange that for goods and services. The government helps make a currency system efficient. It does not create wealth. Currency is not the same as wealth.

  • cynical||

    "Taxes are at historically low rates."

    Well, the lowest income tax rate in the last 100 years was 0%. Although I can only make that argument for a few more years now.

  • Matrix||

    They aren't even historically low. FDR implemented tax rates of +90% on the "rich"

  • ||

    I haven't taken any money from you today. By your logic, I thus "gave" you money. I'm so generous!

  • Tony||

    Collecting taxes isn't stealing. In fact, it's more correct to say that YOU are stealing if you don't pay taxes you owe. The IRS would back me up on that.

    This semantic bullshit you guys engage in gives me a headache. It's just so dumb.

  • RG||

    So the government determines what you are allowed to keep and if you attempt to keep any more, you are stealing.

  • MNG||

    Well, technically you (and me, and you and that guy over there) ARE the government, or at least it's bosses...We all get a say in how much it should take, so in that way it's different from most stealing I can think of...

  • Spencer||

    Unless, of course, one group uses force to take away from another group that doesn't want to give it (under the same umbrella organization).

  • Warty||

    Well, technically you (and me, and you and that guy over there) ARE the government, or at least it's bosses

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • ||

    No, government isn't us; it's them. The ruling class. They don't have to pay taxes; we do. They don't have to adhere to the laws they pass; we do. They don't have to face consequences for being stupid with money; we do.

    The government is not "us" any more.

  • KPres||

    "Well, technically you (and me, and you and that guy over there) ARE the government, or at least it's bosses...We all get a say in how much it should take, so in that way it's different from most stealing I can think of..."

    So if I own shares in Wal Mart I'm allowed to walk in and take whatever I want off the shelves? Of course not.

    Likewise, saying I'm the boss is empty and void if I have no ability to exercise authority.

    I have 1/300,000,000th say in the government. Sorry if I think that's a little closer to the truth when I say "I have no say at all in government" than "I'm the boss of government."

  • cynical||

    "We all get a say in how much it should take"

    No, we don't all get a say. In most places, the majority of people don't even get a say through representation. Certainly anyone that voted for a losing candidate gets no say.

  • ||

    I fact, thanks to the Electoral College, I'm always forced to vote for someone that I oppose.

  • ||

    Whether I refuse money you offer voluntarily or refrain from stealing it, the point is the same. In neither case have I "given" you anything.

  • ||

    And as for "semantic bullshit", have you not read 1984? Or did you perhaps not understand what you read? The point behind "Newspeak" is that language is important to thought (or the lack of it). See also Orwell's essay on Politics and The English Language.

  • Tony||

    Of course I've read 1984, it's one of my favorite books. Orwell was a socialist, btw.

  • ||

    Then you should read the essay (if you haven't already); you would definitely enjoy it. It's also great for improving writing skills in general.

  • ||

    It would be wise of you to be less credulous about political euphemism. Remember when Bush/Cheney sent the U.S. military to invade Iraq? They called that "liberation". You don't actually think it was "liberation", do you? I sure as fuck don't.

    The thing is, politicians do this all the time, even the noble members of the Donkey party. Do yourself a favor and call things what they are.

  • Tony||

    Remind me what political euphemism I'm being credulous about?

  • Vaccine||

    That a decrease in taxes is a government expenditure.

  • Tony||

    I never said that. I'm saying it amounts to the same thing with regard to the deficit.

  • Jorj X. McKie||

    He liked penises too, so what?

  • Jorj X. McKie||

    Orwell.

  • KPres||

    "Of course I've read 1984, it's one of my favorite books. Orwell was a socialist, btw."

    Yeah, but 1984 was not a Socialist book, and the Left hated him for writing it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Orwell may have been a socialist, but at least he had enough sense to write a warning in book form.

    Team Red'n'Blue thinks parts of 1984 were instructions on how to mold a future America. Orwell didn't write it for that purpose.

  • MJ||

    "Of course I've read 1984, it's one of my favorite books. Orwell was a socialist, btw."

    Tony just thinks O'Brien is the hero.

  • MJ||

    "Of course I've read 1984, it's one of my favorite books. Orwell was a socialist, btw."

    Tony just thinks O'Brien is the hero.

  • ||

    The Whorf-Sapir Hypothesis.

  • Lamonte||

    Tony,

    I think the argument you should be trying to make is that if you don't pay taxes, then you are stealing the benefits of services those taxes pay to provide.

    However, under any pressure, that argument falls apart too, but it's a better one.

  • Tony||

    That's what I'm saying. I don't see rich people flocking to live in places with extremely low or no taxes. Their bank accounts, maybe, but they seem to enjoy living in places with an actual civilization.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    That's what I'm saying. I don't see rich people flocking to live in places with extremely low or no taxes.

    Yes, they are. It's called Baja. And San Miguel de Allende.
  • Lamonte||

    Until it reaches a tipping point. When will that happen?

    Also, they never have a real choice about simply moving. There is no free migration in the world for americans. They are also not given the choice for what services they want to pay for and use and those they don't. That is the theft.

  • Tony||

    Almost every taxpayer is getting a better deal for his money than he would if he were allowed to keep that money and then were left to live in the uncivilized wild. You don't get to choose to remake how civilization is structured on your whims, that's true. What you do get to choose are representatives in government. Which is a better deal than most people have gotten throughout time. Taxation without representation would indeed be theft.

  • KPres||

    "Almost every taxpayer is getting a better deal for his money than he would if he were allowed to keep that money and then were left to live in the uncivilized wild."

    False dichotomy. You are not arguing with anarchists, but with minarchists. And anarchists generally identify with the left, for the record.

    Most taxpayers would get a better deal for their money if government would stick to clearly defined public goods.

  • ||

    I have no representation in the government. Show me a Libertarian (capital L) congressman.

  • Ska||

    That's odd, because high earners in NY constantly leave the state for lower tax states, like FL (no income tax) or NH (interest and dividends taxed only).

    If you're self-employed and live in NYC, between the federal, state, city, unincorporated business, self-employment, and now the MCTMT, you reach a marginal tax rate of about 55%. Wealthy, successful, self-employed individuals are going to move if their residence means they only get to keep 45% of their earnings.

  • El Duderino||

    I used to enjoy the $9.99 30 packs of miller highlife in NH SUPERMARKETS too.

  • Ska||

    That's odd, because high earners in NY constantly leave the state for lower tax states, like FL (no income tax) or NH (interest and dividends taxed only).

    If you're self-employed and live in NYC, between the federal, state, city, unincorporated business, self-employment, and now the MCTMT, you reach a marginal tax rate of about 55%. Wealthy, successful, self-employed individuals are going to move if their residence means they only get to keep 45% of their earnings.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Not to mention Californians flocking to Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, and Texas.

  • LeBron James||

    Or Ohioans to Florida.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Not to mention Californians flocking to Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, New Mexico, and Texas."

    And screwing up those places too. Fuck Californian emigrants.

  • ||

    Or Americans to Taiwan.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Maybe it ought to be illegal to move from one high-tax state to a lower-tax state, than... Tony and his ilk would love that.

  • Sam Grove||

    Except that the idea of progressive taxation is not to make everyone pay for the benefits they receive, but to make some pay for the benefits that others receive.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The civilized world exists despite government. The market has provided everything government has, but more efficiently.

  • El Duderino||

    Exactly how many Uber rich people do you know?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Collecting taxes isn't stealing.

    Of course it is. The taking of property that does not belong to you. That is the definition of STEALING.

    In fact, it's more correct to say that YOU are stealing if you don't pay taxes you owe.

    Really? Ah, so it is the government that's making the money from YOUR work, not YOU. You just called yourself a SERF.

    The IRS would back me up on that.

    Might makes right . . . Right, Tony????

    This semantic bullshit you guys engage in gives me a headache. It's just so dumb.

    Your lack of comprehension and subsequent pain is not my concern nor I believe is anybody else's. That's YOUR problem.

  • Tony||

    Theft is defined by statute. You WANT taxation to be defined as theft, but it ain't. You want the concepts of theft and property to be written in a stone delivered on a mountain, but they aren't. They are defined legally, and that's that.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Theft is defined by statute.

    This is a cop-out, Tony, a very silly one at that. "Statute" is not how things are defined. By "statute," you could define 2+2=5; would that MAKE 2+2 equal five?

    You WANT taxation to be defined as theft, but it ain't.

    I don't want anything, theft IS defined as "taking something that does not belong to you," and taxation IS the action of taking something that does not belong to you.

    You want the concepts of theft and property to be written in a stone delivered on a mountain, but they aren't.

    Yet for you they ARE defined in stone, called a "statute."

    The pot calling the kettle "black."

    They are defined legally, and that's that.

    Indeed - just like marriage is defined in the same way, right? Why fight it?

    A legal definition is relevant only in the court, Tony. You cannot suspend your intelligence only because something was defined by lawyers - that's a cop-out.

  • KPres||

    "Theft is defined by statute."

    Stupid.

    If theft is defined by statute, then by what logic is the statute initiated?

    It's clear to everybody with a brain that people's sense of rightful ownership precedes the legal protection thereof. Words aren't defined by government decree, dumbass.

    You make yourself look dumber every day with shit like this.

    "This semantic bullshit you guys engage in gives me a headache."

    BWAHAHAH! You're the one who's engaging in semantic bullshit you idiot...as if the word 'theft' doesn't have an underlying meaning outside of some legal handbook.

  • El Duderino||

    "If theft is defined by statute, then by what logic is the statute initiated?"

    This comment gives me a hardon.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Wrong. Theft is a common law crime that was later codified.

  • Tony||

    Yeah and at no point under common law or statute has taxation ever been considered theft, unless you don't have the opportunity to vote on it.

  • El Duderino||

    Okay, so I have this stuff. It is mine because I worked (built, looked, labored, farmed, mined, traded etc. . .)for it.

    If you ask for it and I give it to you, this is a voluntary act so it cannot be theft.

    If you ask for it and I refuse, and you take it anyway, this is theft. The government doesn't collect taxes from volunteer giving, people are FORCED to pay taxes. If you don't pay your taxes, the government can use all sorts of methods to collect it, but at the end of the day, if you resist and evade long enough, you WILL have a GUN pointed at your head. If you dont believe me, just try it.

  • Tony||

    That's true, but that's the system you've bought into by remaining a citizen. You are free to go elsewhere, but good luck finding a place that doesn't tax you. Government also "forces" you to go to jail if you murder someone. That's ITS JOB.

  • El Duderino||

    "That's true, but that's the system you've bought into by remaining a citizen. You are free to go elsewhere, but good luck finding a place that doesn't tax you. "

    Okay so I should just shut up and accept the fact that I am paying for somebody elses bad decisions, lack of motivation, war on terror, war on drugs, farm subsidies, green energy projects, war on obesity, bridges to nowhere, bloated pension. . . I could go on, but the internet doesnt have the necessary capacity to hold the entire list.

    All I want is for people to understand that NATURAL liberty is the only liberty ALL people share inherently. The more people that understand this, the more they will abandon the current political paradigm for a smaller more efficient, more EFFECTIVE government. The majority of people understand natural liberty intuitively, but they have been conditioned by government programs and lazy political discourse to accept the current situation.

    "Government also "forces" you to go to jail if you murder someone. That's ITS JOB."

    As far as I am concerned this is one of the governments ONLY jobs. If I kill someone, I have violated their NATURAL liberty , the one that is inherent to their being alive which, obviously, is their life. While I like to think I can defend myself, I would gladly pay a small amount of taxes (as long as it is an equal proportion to all other payers) for government to protect this natural liberty. The reason why this government intervention is acceptable is because LIFE is an inherent and self evident liberty for ALL citizens equally. Things like health care, social security, roads, post offices, libraries etc. . . are not self evident liberties because they do not extend from ones physical and cognitive reality, like life, free association, self expression, gathering and using resources to express self expression or to survive.

  • Tony||

    You've got to get over this mystical bullshit. Natural liberty? What the fuck does that even mean? The liberties we have in a state of nature? No thanks, I'll take civilization.

  • El Duderino||

    Humanity is a self organizing system. You do not need government or taxes to have civilization because people ON THIER OWN without enforcement from the government know which actions are good for their rational self interest and which ones are bad.

    I have repeatedly used the term CONSEQUENCES so if you still don't understand how this mechanism, along with the pursuit of individual rational self interest emerge a natural order called civilization then you are probably not a human, because all humans have experienced consequences and all humans have self interests.

    Furthermore, I have conceded that some law is probably better than no law at all. Laws imposed by the government, must be imposed by force. Natural laws do not require force because of the mechanisms described above. If we as a society are to ALLOW government to use force to enforce law, then the only acceptable laws we could allow are those that are inherent to every human being. Enforcement of any other law is government IMPOSING its will and values on society through violence.

    This basic form of governance may necessitate taxes. If taxes are to be imposed then this is at best a necessary evil. If taxes are to be imposed, they should be imposed on EVERYONE PROPORTIONALLY. Our progressive tax code takes more from one group of people and less or none at all from the rest. You may not like rich people, but they are just people and they are therefore no more or less protected by law therefore they should be no more or less taxed than everyone else.

    Here is my definition of natural liberty so that you don't have to think about it for yourself:

    Natural Liberty: These are the qualities of humanity that are both common among all humans and necessary for humans to survive as individuals. The ability to use natural resources creatively to sustain ones life, express ones imagination and creativity and enhance the effective use of resources by innovation and technology. Self expression, while commonly understood as speech, is a fact of our reality and it is a necessity for individuals to associate with other individuals for the purposes of cooperative resource usage. Cooperation and free association of individuals is important and common among all humans. It is important because, first, it is necessary to negotiate the use of resources. People who have a claim to a large volume of resources OWN those resources so others may wish to use those resources, free association allows this contract to exist. LIFE is the ultimate natural liberty because without it, the above mentioned natural liberties would not exist.

    How does this translate into natural laws?

    Violence obviously infringes on the individuals LIFE, but it also infringes on ones self expressions and free associations. Violence (murder, assault, rape etc. . .) have consequences, but because they are also concerns for ALL rational humans they MAY be enforced by law.

    Property is the resources, both physical and intellectual, that an individual has obtained through their labor. Gold does not just appear in neatly stacked bricks in the laps of wealthy men, people have to MINE it. The people who MINE the gold had to NEGOTIATE and CONTRACT with others to get the land. If a gold miner pulls a chunk of gold from the earth, then it is his until his employer, through contract, pays him for that gold, then it belongs to his employer. When I buy gold from the mine, I have made a contract to give something of value (money, goods, services or other resources) to them in EXCHANGE for the gold. Ownership is determined by WORK. While some work may be more efficient than others, it is the end result of that work that has any value at all to others. I don't care how much time you spent looking for the perfect rock, I am not going to buy a pet rock just because you worked hard to find it. Property is something all individuals who work to obtain and use resources have and therefore it is a natural right and therefore it is acceptable for government to protect property by force of law. And because contracts are a necessity for individuals to obtain resources CONTRACTS or free association if you prefer, are NATURAL liberties and also therefore appropriate for legal protection.

    People do not need theese things to be protected by law, because the rational pursuit of these things requires that people respect these liberties. If they do not respect these liberties, there are consequences and the effects of consequences are not in line with the rational self interests of the individual.

    So when you say taxes are a necessity for civilization, I will say civilization can exist outside of government and therefore taxes. This is not news to most people because they understand that government is necessary for taxation to exist and civilization creates goverment (for good or bad). Its not like people started collecting taxes with the goal of one day becomming civilized. In other words, GOVERNMENT is an example of emergent order in humanity, that doesnt mean it is a good thing, it is just that government, once formed expands on its own because a narrow selection of individuals in that government feel compelled by their GREED, not rational self interest to enlarge government. Law making is a corrupting influence it is legalized violence. Tax collection has the potential to be used to enlarge government, through REDISTRIBUTION. If a government takes money from a MINORITY (the rich) and gives it to a MAJORITY, the MAJORITY will believe that they have a rational self interest to protect this mechanism through democratic means. I use the word BELIEVE because this is not in their rational self interest, these gains are made through violence and deception and therefore have CONSEQUENCES. Rich people have resources poor people want and if the government takes those resources by force, the rich will be more inclined to cheat or they simply will be less willing to part with their other resources (you can read this as JOBS). Eventually, this cycle comes full circle and the system crashes. This is already happening, so why exacerbate it by raising taxes on the rich.

  • ||

    Okay, so I have this stuff, it's mine because I stole it from the broken backs of the working poor who worked (Built labored, farmed, mined) or else i traded (dubious financiial instruments, knowing the government I hate would save my rich ass when i fucked up)
    Please don't take it from me, stealing is wrong!!
    (worlds smallest violin plays in background)

  • Timothy F. Geithner||

    Tony, I like the cut of your jib. Get your CV to the White House ASAP. I don't know if you heard yet, but there are two openings on the CEA.
    Real life experience is not a plus, but I'm sure that won't prevent you from qualifying.

  • Matrix||

    Right. It's not "stealing". It's extortion!

  • ||

    Or fraud, if voluntarily given.

  • KPres||

    "I haven't taken any money from you today. By your logic, I thus "gave" you money. I'm so generous!"

    Well said. Tony's a fucking idiot.

  • El Duderino||

    I tried to explain your logic to my bank -- they simply refused to credit my account.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Just because you hate taxes you don't think you have to count lower revenues as something that has an impact on the ledger. Stupid.

    Don Vito, fewer people are unwilling to pay extorsions.

    What? Don't these misers realize it hits my ledger???

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Your understanding of arithmetic is as poor as the rest of your political philosophy.

    Historically, the government has never taken in more than 20% of GDP in tax revenue. Ever. At any time. Even when the top marginal tax rate was running at over 90%. And you think raising taxes is going to plug the current hole we're in? You must be insane.

    And guess what? Now that the M3 has fallen below the Public Debt Outstanding, that means the government could take every penny from every person in the country and it still wouldn't put us in the black.

    But you think that raising taxes on "the rich"--however you are subjectively defining that this week--is going to solve the problem and make every government program solvent. Try looking up the actual liablities, obligations, and revenues before you make such a stupid statement again.

  • ||

    Hopefully there arent many people dumb enough to deny that government is many times it's ideal size. Just because I'm against unbridled exploitation doesn't make me a communist. (and that's what it is, not capitalism, real free markets would mean no such thing as "too big to fail",) of course come to think of it, zero regulation would also mean unlimited environmental destruction.
    Side point, with no regulation of business whatsoever, i.e. a true free market, how long do you think the planet would survive? (no, I'm not a "greenie" either, and most environmental laws are burdensome and ineffective, but just because some wacked liberals wrote a stupid enviro policy doesn't mean that "no"policy is the only good one)
    p.s. This is my most pressing question and the one I'd like to see answeredthe most. Does anyone here HONESTLY believe people, in general, with no coercion, ever act other than in their own self interst? I wish the libertarians and pro-corp types would just admit that they don't give a shit about anything but themselves. If anyone big business people on here say that in a laissez faire economy, they wouldn't take from anyone to enrich themselves, their a damn liar. (Charitable contributions to salve their conscience and/or lower their tax bill don't count)

  • JohnD||

    You are the idiot, Tony. IT'S NOT THEIR MONEY!!! Besides, history has shown that lowering taxes actually increases tax revenues.

    Maybe the fools in Washington should consider reducing spending. Or is that too freaking complicated for you.... asshole.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why not just spend less, Tony?

    Oh, yeah, I forgot... you're a Keynesian.

  • Liberal Genius||

    In this decrepit shack with no heat or light, hundreds of desperate people work for 12 hours a day in horrible conditions to make people happy. They are our government.

    Most politicians live on less than a dollar a day. Everyday, dozens of them die from from hunger and disease, even as they slave away to better the lives of others.

    Save the Government is working to better the lives of politicians everywhere. We'll match you up with a politician who needs you. Your monthly donation of $100 will provide the politician with money for whiskey, whores, a decent suit- all the things they need to stay happy and healthy.

    Time is running out for them. Won't you give today?

  • DesigNate||

    Do I get a photo of the politician I'm saving?

  • ||

    No, but you get a free slide show of his favorite kiddie porn.

  • ||

    Or gay porn (not that there's anything wrong with that)

  • El Duderino||

    Will my donation support innovative educational programs to help these poor politicians read and understand the constitution?

  • ||

    No, but it will fix their cleft lips.

  • Tony||

    So let's get this straight. We shouldn't raise taxes on the rich because they are whiny pissy pants babies who will take their toys and move if we dare ask them to pay for the civilization that has been so generous to them. Libertarianism: anarchy for the rich.

    My god the stupid in this article is painful.

  • MNG||

    Stossel's "thought pieces" have been quite bad recently. Perhaps he should stick to what he knows best: investigative journalism exposing government boondoggles and such. He's admittedly talented at that.

  • Tony||

    It's painful to watch a man of his age go through his Ayn Rand phase.

  • Mr. Bentley||

    It's painful to read your stupid comments. Do you purposely pretend to be this clueless?

  • Tony||

    By clueless you mean of course I don't accept libertarian bullshit dogma as revealed truth.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    No, by clueless he means clueless. As in someone who believes that lowered revenue is spending and then tries to pass off the flawed definition because the lowered revenue impacts the ledger. As if anyone were denying that it impacted the ledger or as if everything that impacts the ledger is spending.

  • Tony||

    You're clueless because you don't accept MY bullshit dogma as revealed truth. Not my fault if you can't see the real path.

  • angmina||

    LOL...his Any Rand phase. Most people go through that (and grow out of it) in college.

  • ||

    Tell that to my 73 year old father who read AS every year for 20 years (a little much in my book) and is naming his new sailboat Ayn.

  • Tony||

    College? Middle school is the appropriate place for the Ayn Rand phase, which should last roughly a month.

  • ||

    I suppose you wouldn't know, as you've been stuck at the breastfeeding phase for as long as you've been alive.

  • RG||

    Ummm, Tony what "civilization" are they paying for? Have you see the federal budget recently? Its not like roads, fire, police make up a huge chunk of it.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Indeed, about 2/3 of it is just taking money out of one pocket and putting it into another, a zero-sum, wealth-destroying transaction if there ever was one.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    We shouldn't raise taxes on the rich because they are whiny pissy pants babies who will take their toys and move if we dare ask them to pay for the civilization that has been so generous to them.

    The sociopath tends to see his victims not as human with rights but as something else entirely, case in point, the above...

  • Tony||

    I'm just echoing Stossel's argument. I have more respect for people than to assume they are extortionist ingrates by nature.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I have more respect for people than to assume they are extortionist ingrates by nature.

    I have more respect for people WHEN they are not extorsionist ingrates by nature.

  • RG||

    But you assume that those who want to keep their money are thieves.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That's because according to Tony, all property is theft.

  • El Duderino||

    okay Tony, you can have your computer I paid for back, I am done typing this post.

  • ||

    So maybe I don't have to pay my rent this month?

  • El Duderino||

    Naah, You have a right not to pay rent.

  • ||

    There is a difference between property and money EARNED by doing something of real value, like labor does, like inventors do, like manufacturing companies do,(this is NOT theft) and property taken from others by deception, (like the finance industry and many corps who offshore, etc. do) which IS THEFT.

  • ||

    "not as humans with rights but as something else entirely"

    Kind of like politicians and their masters see every working person in this country?

  • ||

    Sigh, okay, i'm done posting. I just realized every single pro-Stossel and libertarian poster on here is just a clone of Gordon Gecko.

  • Captain WTF||

    No, the government shouldn't raise taxes because it's proven time after time that it will always spend way more than it takes in.

    CUT SPENDING!

  • Milton Friedman||

    The government will spend whatever it takes in taxation and whatever else it can get away with.

  • Tony||

    It's weird how you guys have built an entire philosophy around Will Rogersian witticisms.

  • Tony||

    However, "hope and change" is fine for building entire philosophies.

  • Tony||

    I was against Obama when it was cool to be for him. Of course I'm for him now that it's cool to be against him.

  • El Duderino||

    This is how they test for mental retardation. Congratulations, you passed... that is not a good thing, it means you are retarded...mmmkay.

  • ||

    Well, maybe we ARE getting too much of what we are paying for, so I'm all for gridlock.

  • Leroy||

    "So let's get this straight. We shouldn't raise taxes on the rich because they are whiny pissy pants babies intelligent people who will take their toys job creating wealth and move if we dare ask them to pay for the civilization that has been so generous to them ridiculously large government programs that encourage dependency and discourage productivity. "

    FIFY

  • ||

    "So let's get this straight. We shouldn't raise taxes on the rich because they are intelligent people who will take their job creating wealth... "
    Nice job creation, assholes, way to put those third world kids to work.

    and move if we dare ask them to pay for ridiculously large government programs that encourage dependency and discourage producti"

    okay this
    I agree with, government is too big.

  • KPres||

    "civilization that has been so generous to them."

    Generous? Civilization has rewarded them for the wonderful things they've created.

    Civilization benefits the poor, mostly, since they would have died out via evolutionary processes without it.

  • CJ||

    So let's get this straight. We shouldn't raise taxes on the rich because they are whiny pissy pants babies who will take their toys and move if we dare ask them to pay for the civilization that has been so generous to them.

    You have a lot loaded into that last part. "The civilization" also uses tax money for drug wars, culture wars, wars on terror, and bailing out those corrupt corporate scammers you claim to despise so much, just to name a few. Speaking of that, the tax money isn't for use only by your favored party; the loathsome Republicans you blast repeatedly get to do what they please with it when they're in power. In fact, in a system dominated by two parties, they get to use it about half the time. If you disagree with their goals, then you have a built-in 50% waste of tax dollars, which should be unacceptable.

    If you can turn a blind eye to those factors because you consider the rest of civilization so worthwhile that it's a net positive, then alright, but it sure takes a lot away from your attacks on Republicans since you can toss around a phrase about generous civilization even while factoring their influence and their idiocy into it.

  • DesigNate||

    They don't have a problem paying some taxes you fucking douchebag. They are moving because the state legislatures are purposely singling them out and making them pay even more than they already do. Idiot.

  • cynical||

    "So let's get this straight. We shouldn't raise taxes on the rich because they are whiny pissy pants babies who will take their toys and move if we dare ask them to pay for the civilization that has been so generous to them."

    So, if you talk shit about your boyfriend all the time and spend all his money on yourself, and he eventually gets fed up and leaves you, you're going to complain to everyone how he's selfish he is and how he didn't appreciate any of the unspecified but surely numerous things you did for him, right?

    No one is fucking "generous" to rich people -- even politician cronies are just business partners. If people thought that government programs were mainly going to rich people, they would try to cut them (they would fail, but they would try). And if rich people thought they were getting a fair amount of government services for their money, they wouldn't move to low-tax areas that provide fewer services.

  • ||

    Define "rich"

  • MJ||

    Some of the "civilization we are paying for:

    "WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is giving out $60,000 to University of Southern California students and other contest winners who created phone apps to encourage exercise and healthy eating.

    The $20,000 grand prize, announced Wednesday, goes to a team of USC students for their app called “Trainer.” The app gives users a virtual creature that stays alive as the user does real exercise, tracking physical activity with interactive webcam technology.
    The Agriculture Department sponsored the digital game and phone ap contest, which received 95 eligible entries. Next up will be a contest to create healthy recipes for school lunches that appeal to kids.
    The contests are part of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity."

  • Matrix||

    How about the people who want to raise taxes actually raise it on themselves. Maybe then they'll stfu!

    You think the government can spend your money better than you can? Then prove it! Take absolutely NO deductions on your income taxes... hell, send money to the treasury. Quit telling other people what they have to do with their own money.

  • MNG||

    "It sounds less noble when plainly stated."

    Yes, but it also doesn't sound as horrible to most people as it does to libertarians either. Pat Buchanan once said of liberals that they think discrimination is worse than anything else in the world. For libertarians the same could be said of force. When taking meds to give to a sick child is worse than letting sick children die, then you know you've got a couner-intuitive moral theory to say the least...

    "Taxes discourage wealth creation."

    That's certainly not necessarily true. It's at least concievable that the government could put the money into things that augment wealth creation as much as or more than what the wealthy may have done with it. It's an empirical question.

    "Some of Maryland's rich left the state."

    Sounds like an argument for a national policy...

  • ||

    "Some of Maryland's rich left the state."

    Sounds like an argument for a national policy...

    And ven zey try to leave ze country, ve vill build a vall of zome zort.
    Vhat can ve call it? Maybe zomething non-threatening like a curtain or zomething similiar.

  • RG||

    Every dollar you've spent over basic substinance could have been used to treat sick children. Why are you so morally bankrupt?

  • MNG||

    Seems someone hasn't heard that it is a fallacy to try to discredit a theory by saying the one advocating the theory isn't "living up to it."

  • RG||

    I'm discrediting you.

  • MNG||

    OK, fine. My point is what matters in this debate.

  • RG||

    Your point that no one in existence follows?

  • Spencer||

    Looks like someone else hasn't heard of a false analogy or the myth of zero sum games in economics.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Sounds like an argument for a national policy...

    Hence the tendency for policies like this to be referred to as "totalitarian."

  • Charles 3E||

    I think a lot of libertarians (well, some) would think differently if all these taxes were actually going toward keeping sick kids from dying of starvation or something like that. But they're not -- they're going for billions of dollars in bailouts for the billionaires who got us in this bad economy, enormous foreign wars, and paying wealthy retirees to be retired, and padded expense accounts of unaccountable political appointees.

    When even a majority of federal spending goes toward helping the actually needy, then you can call libertarians heartless.

  • KPres||

    "I think a lot of libertarians (well, some) would think differently if all these taxes were actually going toward keeping sick kids from dying of starvation or something like that."

    Not me. That's what voluntary charity is for.

  • ||

    "All these taxes" could put every kid in the country through college, and throw in medical care as an afterthought. But they're not.

  • KPres||

    "I think a lot of libertarians (well, some) would think differently if all these taxes were actually going toward keeping sick kids from dying of starvation or something like that."

    Not me. That's what voluntary charity is for.

  • ||

    You show me a lower-middle, lower class neighborhood, and I'll show you a bunch of pudged up lil porkers running around. Why do we need to keep hearing the 'starving kids' bullshit when we're fighting childhood obesity at the same time? You ever, ever, EVER see a child STARVING to death in the U.S.?

  • Joe||

    This ^^ This right here.

  • ||

    They would feel the same. Everybody hates sick kids, right?

  • KPres||

    "That's certainly not necessarily true. It's at least concievable that the government could put the money into things that augment wealth creation as much as or more than what the wealthy may have done with it. It's an empirical question."

    Yep, and empirical evidence shows that average growth is maximized when government spending doesn't exceed around 20% of GDP.

  • MJ||

    "Sounds like an argument for a national policy..."

    Sounds like an intention to undermine one of the checks and balances inherent in our federal system, i.e competition between the states.

  • ||

    But as John Stossel explains, a tax cut is not a handout.

    Oddly enough, I was going to say this is self-evident to anyone with half a brain.

    Silly me.

  • robc||

    Tax cuts are change in revenue, not change in expenses.

    Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

  • KPres||

    To be fair, Tony's just stupid.

  • ||

    That's not fair to the truly stupid folks.

  • ||

    This is nonsense. The rich, on the whole, haven't stolen their money, nor have they gotten it from exploiting the poor. So what's the moral justification for taking so much of their money? The only real argument seems to be that there's some inherent inequity in some people having more than others and that it's perfectly okay to use government force to steal money from those to have it to spend on, well, whatever the government spends money on.

  • MNG||

    I would say the arguments are like this:

    1. The rich benefit more from the existence of governments, so they should pay more (property laws don't help homeless people much)
    2. If the government can take the money and raise overall utility it's justified (if one is a utilitarian)
    3. Since money=power it's unfair to have some people so much more powerful than others so equality is a legit thing for government to promote (similar argument could be made if vast inequality leads to great unrest)

  • RG||

    1. The rich benefit more from SS and Medicare, the two major budget items?
    2. Or we could just kill off the pesky poor and non productive. If one is a utilitarian.
    3. Equal outcomes can't be legislated.

  • MNG||

    1. Everyone benefits from those two, because you have them if you need them. What you get is security. They also benefit from a society where our old and sick are not living in abject poverty in the streets.
    2. Hard to think of a calculation of the utilitarian calculus that would yield that result.
    3. More equal outcomes surely can via tax policy, look at Scandinavia.

  • Brian D||

    So property laws don't benefit the homeless, but Medicare and SS benefit the rich because they have them if they need them?

    Double standard much?

  • MNG||

    Do you think you wasted money on insurance unless you got to file a claim?

  • RG||

    You really don't get voluntary vs. forced action, do you?

  • ||

    He gets it, he just doesn't give a shit.

  • KPres||

    "Do you think you wasted money on insurance unless you got to file a claim?"

    For the most part, yes. You gambled and lost. There is a slight psychological gain, however, which is what insurance companies profit from providing.

    So by way of your insurance analogy I assume your claim is that rich people benefit from SS and Medicare psychologically. But if their benefit was psychological, there are private avenues whereby they can benefit the same (charity) and so your SS and medicare would be unnecessary.

  • Tony||

    The rich benefit tangibly. First, they might not always be rich. You never know what could happen. Second, having zillions of elderly and disabled people wandering the streets with no money is not good for the economy.

    Of course I believe that a decent society provides a safety net and I don't care if the rich get a return on their investment in it. Their being rich is reward enough.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    A real safety net would help only the people who really need it, and its minimal nature would encourage people to make sure they don't need to use the safety net.

    Social security and medicare are not safety nets.

  • ||

    ^^^THIS

  • ||

    Yes. Especially if the overall cost of the policy premium + deductible cost more than the total anticipated payout of the claim and you were to, say, save that money in a CD or SAVINGS ACCOUNT or something similar.

  • KPres||

    "2. Hard to think of a calculation of the utilitarian calculus that would yield that result."

    BWAHAHAHAHA! Now you're just being disingenuous. Clearly, society would see a net gain by eliminating anybody who consumed more than they produced.

  • El Duderino||

    LOL

    Social security is government run investment savings. The argument that it is NOT INSOLVENT is that it is backed by T-Bills... Why dont we just BUY our own fucking t-bills?

    People need to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for their own savings. Government cant continue to take money from me to give to my parents. I love my parents, but if I want to give them my money, i can just write them a fucking check.

  • ||

    Social Security is insolvent according to the CBO.Well - without creating an exponentially growing debt anyway.

  • El Duderino||

    I agree.

  • BakedPenguin||

    2. Or we could just kill off the pesky poor and non productive. If one is a utilitarian.

    Here's a better song than the Motorhead one pictured above, even if the guy who wrote it thinks like Tony.

  • AA||

    One of my favorite bands, even though I don't think quite like them. Nice.

  • El Duderino||

    I have always had a love hate relationship with Punk in general. For most part the tone suits my mind just fine, but sometimes I hear stupid shit like "you have the right to food money" now maybe I misunderstood the lyrics... good chance of that cause I am usually drunk or high or both when I listen to them, but this to me sounds like a plea for big government.

  • El Duderino||

    OOPS, those lyrics are from the Clash "Know your Rights"... I am drunk. . . mmm . . . and high... my bad.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    The rich benefit more from the existence of governments, so they should pay more[.]

    This is a non sequitur, MNG. EVERYBODY can claim a benefit from having a government.

    2. If the government can take the money and raise overall utility it's justified (if one is a utilitarian)

    Even if they could, you would be begging the question - how would you know the "utility was raised"?

    3. Since money=power it's unfair to have some people so much more powerful than others

    You're begging the question. Why would it be "unfair"?

    so equality is a legit thing for government to promote

    Non sequitur - it does NOT follow "equality" would be a good thing to promote from the proposition that having more money equals having more power.

  • MNG||

    "EVERYBODY can claim a benefit from having a government."

    Perhaps, but you missed that I was making a relative claim about some benefiting more.

    "how would you know the "utility was raised"?"

    The same way we know anyting. We make estimations about what would raise the utility of the people around us everyday, mostly correctly.

    BTW-You really should lay off the "non sequiter!" "begging the question" repetition. From past debates I know your grasp of logic to be pretty elementary. Only a pedantic goofball expects every assumption/axiom to be spelled out on a blog debate post...

  • T||

    We make estimations about what would raise the utility of the people around us everyday, mostly correctly.

    Based on the results of almost every federal law passed lately, I have to say your assertion about "mostly correctly" is full of crap and doesn't hold up under scrutiny. "Disastrously wrong" is a better description of the estimates.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Perhaps, but you missed that I was making a relative claim about some benefiting more.

    Again with the question-begging: HOW would you *know* someone is benefiting MORE than others? Perceived benefit is subjective.

    The same way we know anyting. We make estimations about what would raise the utility of the people around us everyday, mostly correctly.

    By estimation, you really mean "guessing."

    Only a pedantic goofball expects every assumption/axiom to be spelled out on a blog debate post...

    Your non sequiturs and question-begging conclusions are quite obvious, you don't need to spell out your arguments in detail, MNG, because it would make you look ever the bigger simpleton.

    You are the one flinging these terms around: "fair," "equality," "more that that or this," without being able to define them; you just assume they are so to then conclude they are so.

  • ||

    I see flaws galore with that argument. First, by giving the government more money and more power to use it, that's what contributes to the expansion of government and the utility of wealthy or influential people using government for their own ends.

    Second, the utilitarian argument for government having the money faces mounds of contrary evidence. Money is far more effective in private hands than in the government's. Government waste and its reputation for spending to advance mostly political ends isn't some sort of myth. It's reality.

    Finally, if money equals power, then how come the majority can take that money pretty much at any time it decides it wants it? In our current system, with the Constitution in rags, the government can seize large chunks of wealth without much restriction. Sure, the influence that the rich have can be used to try to stem the tide, but when more than half of the voting population is sucking at the government teat, they're trumped by the tyranny of the majority.

  • Vaccine||

    1. It is possible that the rich benefit more than they pay in taxes. But this is an "empirical question" that is not obviously true, as RG points out.
    2. "Hard to think of a calculation of the utilitarian calculus that would yield that result," especially when one includes unintended consequences. The utilitarian approach requires central command-and-control, which is, ironically, comparatively inefficient in maximizing utility.
    3. Can't say it better than RG. Legislating equal outcomes is incompatible with freedom.

  • Dick Fitzwell||

    So.....the rich have to pay more in taxes because they benefit more from the existence of the government that takes more of their money away?

    Is it me or is it getting fucking retarded in here?

  • El Duderino||

    its not you.

  • KPres||

    "1. The rich benefit more from the existence of governments, so they should pay more (property laws don't help homeless people much)"

    Yep, and they WOULD pay more under a flat tax. Anything beyond that, ie the progressive tax, is wrong and the rich are getting an unfair shit end of the deal.

    ---------------

    "2. If the government can take the money and raise overall utility it's justified (if one is a utilitarian)"

    That's only a temporary increase in total utility. Once the corrupted socialist incentive structure sets into the people's collective awareness, total utility dwindles.

    That's why communism is never successful for more than 50 years or so (if that). Poor people get a nice boost at first when the wealth is spread around, but after a while all the poor people in the capitalist countries are doing far better.

    Witness the $3000/year per capita income in the Soviet Union when it fell...about a quarter of the poverty line in the US at the time.

    And yet the Soviet's had achieved their maximum total utility. That's why total utility is a completely useless indicator. Growth is what matters.

    ---------------

    "3. Since money=power it's unfair to have some people so much more powerful than others so equality is a legit thing for government to promote (similar argument could be made if vast inequality leads to great unrest)"

    Money is a form of power, among many. It does not = power in any kind of direct correlation.

    It follows that you can't equalize power by redistributing wealth because the very ability to do so implies that some person or group has more power than the people or groups from whom the wealth is being taken. This is tautological and inescapable. Ergo, this argument is bunk.

  • Joe M||

    What is the definition of rich, exactly?

  • KPres||

    "(property laws don't help homeless people much)"

    Yes they do. If we didn't have property laws, the rich could afford their own property protection. So all the thieves would steal from the homeless people exclusively.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    1. If the income tax is a flat percentage rate, people who make more money still pay more. Natural property law certainly would help homeless people claim unclaimed property.

    2. Utilitarianism is an immoral basis.

    3. Money equals power, when government skews the market in favor of people with money... or in favor of people who will vote in favor of government power to take money.

  • ||

    I was probably horribly misunderstood in my earlier comments. "the rich" in general aren't evil and haven't stolen from anyone. I'm ashamed to say that in my burning white hot anger, I fell into the the bleeding heart trap of referring to "the rich" as the enemy, when actually I meant mega-corps, and giant financial institutions, and thier ceo's who sell us out to other countries and destroy our jobs to enrich themselves. No animosity to entrepeneurs, inventors, etc. If only manufacturing and innovation were encouraged, instead of false wealth createdby pushing dolars, then the rich really would benefit everyone, whether intentionallly or not.

  • ||

    also, I DO believe in a flat tax, and I think it is possible if we savagely cut spending AND eliminate ridiculous tax shelters and deductions.

  • ||

    also, I DO believe in a flat tax, and I think it is possible if we savagely cut spending AND eliminate ridiculous tax shelters and deductions.

  • ||

    also, I DO believe in a flat tax, and I think it is possible if we savagely cut spending AND eliminate ridiculous tax shelters and deductions.

  • ||

    Because we understand arithmetic.

    Really?

    Dumber

    and

    dumber

    and

    dumber...

  • robc||

    How to budget (home and goverment edition):

    1. Write down revenue you received
    2. Spend in order of priority until money runs out (saving/paying down debt may be somewhere on this priority list).
    3. Stop spending until more revenue arrives.

    Tax cuts affect #1. They arent a part of #2, so dont have to be "paid for".

  • ||

    well done!

  • Brett L||

    You should sell this on infomercials.

  • robc||

    I stole it from Dave Ramsey. Well, the home version. But it applies to governments too. And, actually, there are some locations that do priority based budgeting, every project has a priority numbre and they dont deficit spend.

    Best thing about it, on the state level, for example, is that it prevents the holding schools hostage thing. If you care about education so much, you give it a high priority and if money runs short, it isnt in danger of being cut.

  • ||

    When taking meds to give to a sick child is worse than letting sick children die, then you know you've got a couner-intuitive moral theory to say the least...

    Okay, Hobbes.

  • MNG||

    Force > Death

    That's just a goofy equation...

  • Ron L||

    MNG|9.30.10 @ 12:30PM|#
    "Force > Death
    That's just a goofy equation..."

    That's just a stupid denial of fact. Force, in it's final form is death to the person suffering the force.
    Only if the person applying force chooses to stop at some point does it not equal death.

  • KPres||

    "Force > Death"

    Patrick Henry didn't think so, and if he and others did, you'd still be living under a King.

    Of course, given the leftist reaction to our Lord and Savior Barack Obama, that's probably wouldn't be such a bad thing to you guys.

  • Xenocles||

    It's an inequality, jackass.

  • robc||

    Because I can see MNG has commented multiple times on this thread, although I can see the actual comments:

    FUCK UTILITARIANISM.

    Its been a while.

  • robc||

    cant see, that is.

  • MNG||

    because you are still a small minded pussy that hides from those he disagrees with?

  • waffles||

    I like when you talk dirty to conservatives.

  • ||

    2. If the government can take the money and raise overall utility it's justified (if one is a utilitarian)

    "Utility" is subjective, you obtuse baboon.

    Your depraved yearning for a government wielding dictatorial power, while unsurprising, sickens me.

  • Tony||

    Where did MNG advocate for dictatorship? Strawman. Binary thinking. -10

    Besides, you're a utilitarian if you say taxes should be low for the rich, because [fill in the blank]. Your utility calculation is just fucked up.

  • MNG||

    +1

  • RG||

    Taxes should be low for everyone because it's their property. That's not utilitarian. Now whose guilty of the binary thinking?

  • Tony||

    I agree that taxes should be as low as possible for everyone, but they should still pay for the things we buy.

  • waffles||

    Why can't we buy less?

  • Tony||

    Because most people aren't libertarians. Sorry.

  • Tony||

    Here's a less flippant answer: we can. I would like to dramatically cut defense spending. You, I presume, would like to cut or eliminate entitlements. We differ merely on policy, but surely we can agree that government should pay for the things it buys. Y'all think it should act like a household. How many households operate on a "starve the beast" model?

  • Soonerliberty||

    Cut it all, period. This is why liberals and conservatives are the same ideologues. I don't like entitlement spending!, but I'll spend like daisy on defense. I don't like defense spending, but I'll spend like daisy on everything regulating economics.

    You are the ultimate conservative, Tony. Climb down from your self-delusional tower of progressivism. You represent the feudal lords and have a primitive view of man.

  • robc||

    The proper response is "Fuck off, slaver".

  • Mango Punch||

    How are tax cuts in the face of a deficit any different than "stimulous" spending??

  • T||

    They aren't. But it's harder to play favorites with tax cuts.

  • ||

    tax cuts leave money in the hands of those who earned it. They may choose to spend, save, invest, or retire debt.
    With stimulus spending, government makes the decisions, ultimately handing the bill to the tax payers. Economists will argue for eternity about the efficacy of these strategies. Overall, most government spending is not sensitive to market pressure. For example, will consumers pay more for electric vehicles - perhaps a little, but not double

  • robc||

    One is a revenue change, the other is an expense change.

    If you spend less than you bring in, you wont be facing a deficit any more.

  • Ron L||

    Mango Punch|9.30.10 @ 12:45PM|#
    "How are tax cuts in the face of a deficit any different than "stimulous" spending??"

    The government sleaze-bags don't get their baksheesh with tax cuts. How do you think we 'afford' all those 'community activists'?

  • ||

    Besides, you're a utilitarian if you say taxes should be low for the rich, because [fill in the blank].

    Wait, what?

    Isn't "utilitarianism" based on the collective "benefit"?

    I advocate for leaving money in the hands of the individuals who earned it to spend it as they see fit, based on their individual assessment of "utility". Society can fuck off.

  • robc||

    And thats a moral argument, not a utilitarian one. It isnt that we (or at least I) think their individual assessment of "utility" is any good. Its that my judgement matters fuck all. They earned the money, they get to spend it, I can go fuck myself if I dont like the way they spend it.

  • ||

    you have good ideas, but what you are confronting are minds controlled by arrogance. How can you win them over? Best not to prove them wrong, better to help them discover truth - expletives help no one, at all. Just saying...

  • robc||

    Am I trying to win them over? If they were honest men, proving them wrong would be enough. And I dont get a fuck about dishonest men.

    expletives help no one

    They help me.

  • ||

    They reason from a different standard. Typically, it is what they wish the world, and its residents, to be like - not what they are like. You reason from other standards - natural law, the characteristics and history of mankind, and the constitution.

  • ||

    Mankind is basically evil and mercenary, either you accept some coercion for the good of other people or you say "fuck you, I got mine" Not making a value judgment, just laying out the alternatives.

  • robc||

    Oh, and I made a promise to all of reason in 2008 that if Im ever in a national presidency debate, I will use the phrase "Fuck off slaver" on TV.

  • ||

    I'm no economics expert, but even a simple blue-collar libertarian like myself understands that my wages aren't getting any higher when the rich people I work for are being bled white by taxation. They can't pay me what they don't have. By the way, I love the Motorhead motif on the front page. Great Band!!!

  • ||

    like I said, people are basically evil. If your boss had more money, why would he pay you more? If he was richer, why would he not offshore your job?

  • BrooksSucks||

    You first, Brooks. Go live in Somalia, you won't have to worry about pesky government.

  • robc||

    Somalia has plenty of governments.

  • BrooksSucks||

    They might, but they won't get in your way with pesky things such as property laws and roads.

  • ||

    No, they will with Sharia instead.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    By this, "BrooksSucks", do you mean to say that Somalia's various competing governments all believe that 100% of existing property is theirs for the plunder?

    Are you referring to a type of society where anything you have is likely to be stolen by men with guns at any time just for the hell of it?

    Cause that would be the reality you're talking about - and it's hardly reflective of a free system... In general, it's basically the same as the one we have here except the theft and violence is more overt and there are no pretenses of "social justice" in the takings.

  • ||

    sounds a lot like the current system, except the governemnt isn't the thief, the large corporations are, and they don't steal your money, they just make you a slave
    work for (almost) nothing, and keep the money your labor earns.
    libertarian="might makes right"="fuck you jack I got mine"

  • ||

    Sorry to sound like a marxist there, I belive in keeping the products of your labor, it's just that when you have to compete with slave wages in other countries you have little choice but to work for almost nothing. In a fair 'US' labor market this wouldn't happen, but it's inevitable in a free 'GLOBAL' labor pool. Thats the prblem with a freemarket global labor pool, if everyone ends up equal, Americans will end up a lot lower than they are now. There are not nearly enough resources on the planet for everyone to live comfortably. If every laborer on earth earned the same, we'd all live in squalor. So...I suppose I do believe in a measure of social justice, but for Americans first. I enjoy my middle class life and I don't want to live in a third world plutocracy, but that seems to be the way we are headed. We can't save the world, so let's save ourselves. I know it's hard to see how this is different from the "fu I got mine" attitude that I hate in corporations. The difference is that their (corps) "fu" attitude hurts the average american and benefits the rich, while my "fu" to the rest of the world prevents American workers from having to live like their third world counterparts. I don't hate the rich, I just don't give a single solitary fuck about them. I do, however, love my country.

  • waffles||

    Salmonella is a librarian pair of dice.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Drink?

  • dakotian||

    I would do it. If I had enough money. I would build a big compound with lots of (heavily) armed guards and an airstrip. The only worry would be some local warlord.

  • KPres||

    Somalia today is still much better off than when they were Socialist.

  • ||

    Why did it take so deep into the thread for the authoritarians to mention "Somalia"?
    It's like getting to Dec. 24 without somebody mentioning Santa Claus.

  • Pablym Pucking Liberal||

    I'm one of those so-called rich people ($300k+) and as selfish and greedy as I am, I have no problem to going to the pre-Bush tax rates for people that make over $200k...which, BTW, is about 2-3% of the population.

    I welcome the tax if it went to programs to offer healthcare, job growth, retirement, poverty, education...All the things people from the CATO Inst and the Right hate because it would be better if the free market with no government involvedment fixed everything.

    For good or for bad, as wasteful as these programs that you libertarians hate so much, they are at least aimed at helping the people (in good faith) here and they do. Can it be done smarter with the Free Market with regulations...maybe.

    However, if my tax money is just going to go to War, the destruction of other people's civilization, crony salaries, etc., I don't want to pay them at all.

    As bad as you people think the public funding Social Security, Public Healthcare, and schools may be, they are NO WHERE near as destructive and wasteful as WAR. Nothing shows more BAD FAITH than WAR.

  • Vaccine||

    I think you'll find that people here generally agree with you re: war spending, but are less glamored by the fallacy of good intentions than you appear to be.

  • Pablym Pucking Liberal||

    I know the road to hell if paved with good intentions. Nevertheless, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf, Israel, Iraq, Afghan are all WARS with NO GOOD intention in mind other than minding other peoples businesses and protecting large corp-american interests. These have actually hurt the regular american guy and has made conoco-philips and haliburton and of the like rich.

  • ||

    Do you not get they we're not "pro-war?"

    You keep coming back to WARS. We don't like them either.

    Sheesh.

  • George V||

    Kool, the name says it all. Pablym Puking Liberal. If you don't thinhk like they do, you are automatically a right-wing, racist, conservative kook who is only interested in sending money on religious wars.

  • Tony||

    It's not that you guys are pro-war, it's that you never, ever talk about spending on wars because you're too busy shitting on poor people.

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 4:35PM|#
    "It's not that you guys are pro-war, it's that you never, ever talk about spending on wars because you're too busy shitting on poor people."
    Cut your welfare check, did they?

  • El Duderino||

    Spending on war is wasteful unless it is a defensive war.

    mmmkay are you satisfied?

  • Soonerliberty||

    I love poor people. Tony, you will never understand that I want everyone to be rich and I understand that the social state hurts the poor, though it aims to help them. That's the irony of such a primitive, phony philosophy such as progressivism. Progressivism has killed more people than anything imaginable, save the plague, and, yet, people still buy it. Amazing.

  • Tony||

    Yet you evidently buy Glenn Beck's bullshit. That's amazing.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Don't care for Glenn Beck. He's a conservative more than anything. But he sure gets under the skin of progressives.

  • Tony||

    Only an idiot Glenn Beck cocksucking loser would say something like "progressivism has killed more people than anything imaginable."

  • Soonerliberty||

    Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot...shall I continue? You identify with the left...that's your heritage. Deal with it.

  • Tony||

    Yeah, the left that by definition opposes any form of authoritarianism. Fascists aren't a part of my heritage, no matter what economic system they happened to favor.

  • ||

    Yeah, the left that by definition opposes any form of authoritarianism.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Oh Tony, you so funny.

  • dakotian||

    I always wonder why WWII is viewed as such a just war. The war in Europe was pure interventionism. We were there to save the world from Nazism.
    The war in the pacific is easier to understand because of the attack on Pearl Harbor and other US territories. The problem is we pushed Japan into attacking us by threating their oil supply if they did not get out of China. Interventionism again.
    I have always wondered how WWII fits into the “no interventionist war” idea of the libertarian. I don’t mean this as an attack on libertarian ideas; I am just curious.

  • ||

    +10 - Same for WWI - no need for that either, and its after-effects started WWII, which in turn led to the whole middle east issue. Great point man!

  • ||

    Ever hear of Fort Stevens, Oregon? The idea that the axis would never have invaded the U.S. after rolling through Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia is a little naive. And we stop exporting oil to fund an emperor/dictator's war machine rampaging through the Pacific so it was only natural Japan would attack Pearl Harbor 'out of defense'? From a libertarian standpoint, if there can be one on this, how can you stand by and just watch as entire continents fall to these dictatorships, knowing that sooner or later, they're coming for you. So, do you act now or later? If we waited for them to sail a fleet to California or New York, they would have been too strong and powerful. Plus, trying to explain to Hirohito the ideas of 'individual liberty' and Stalin 'the free market', once they're standing on Capitol Hill with bombers flying overhead, would be a little futile.

  • ||

    ^^ he said it better than me.

  • ||

    He's no more enamored of the fallacy of government good intentions than libertarians are enamoured of the fallacy of corporate good intentions. Both are naive. People, individually and collectively, suck.

  • ||

    As bad as you people think the public funding Social Security, Public Healthcare, and schools may be, they are NO WHERE near as destructive and wasteful as WAR. Nothing shows more BAD FAITH than WAR.

    "...you people..." Are you new here? Most of us don't like war either.

  • ||

    You can make out your check to "United States Treasury" or donate directly to the program you like. Better to let others do the same with their money - they may have several employees on the payroll who still need a job.

  • ||

    The main point here is making the government more efficient (Anarchy is not an option for now, but I hope it will be in the future). I strongly suspect that AT LEAST in some domains this can be done by it relinquishing its responsibilities to the market.

    But I don't really think all of the State's responsibilities are better handled by a market at present. Why? Because the vast majority of people composing the market are of ONLY average intelligence.

    If you have a technocracy in place, where only the really smart people and scientists are (s)elected to make up the government (instead of people getting (s)elected based on their social skills and popularity - and let's not forget that it's sometimes easier to deceive and manipulate people with your charisma about what you are going to do, rather than doing it) , the results may be even better than that of the market in some areas.

    Only economists with PhDs should be allowed to run the country (along with a handful of doctors, computer scientists and engineers). Lawyers and other people who don't have anything to do with science should be barred from holding office.

  • robc||

    As an engineer, about the only thing worse than a government of lawyers is a government of scientists.

  • T||

    +10e6. My compatriots in the engineering fields often have some highly questionable ideas about how human beings think and operate.

    Of course, just because you're really smart doesn't mean you can't be wrong.

  • Tony||

    Since when were engineers scientists?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Most things have been created or discovered by people who are not scientists or engineers. Or, at least, have not been anointed as such by other scientists or engineers.

  • El Duderino||

    For most part you are right, but "On Intelligence" http://www.amazon.com/Intellig.....0805074562 by Jeff Hawkins (inventor of the Palm Pilot, is one of the best scientific explainations of the human mind I have read. . . and I have read quite a few.

    That said, Govt + Scientists is not a good mix. Science is not perfect until it become proven as scientific law. Unfortunately, many scientists are personally invested in their work and so they would like their work to be political law well before it has become scientific law.

  • Ron L||

    "If you have a technocracy in place, where only the really smart people and scientists are (s)elected to make up the government (instead of people getting (s)elected based on their social skills and popularity - and let's not forget that it's sometimes easier to deceive and manipulate people with your charisma about what you are going to do, rather than doing it) , the results may be even better than that of the market in some areas."

    Sarcasm?
    If not, hoping for the "Philosopher King" is a fools errand. Power corrupts and all that.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Yeah... Actually I think it's way worse than the Lord Acton situation...

    I cringe to think of a government run by people who have the common sense and hubris of most scientists. A government run by lawyers is shitty enough. A government run by people who believe that simply being smarter than their predecessors will allow them to better "plan" everything in existence would be catastrophically worse.

    I doubt that it would even cross their minds that perhaps they *shouldn't* go about trying to control everything.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Because having a PhD means one is intelligent.

  • ||

    "this can be done by it relinquishing its responsibilities to the market."

    Yeah Right, corporations work for the good of American citizens. --barf---

  • Ron L||

    "I welcome the tax if it went to programs to offer healthcare, job growth, retirement, poverty, education...All the things people from the CATO Inst and the Right hate because it would be better if the free market with no government involvedment fixed everything."

    And history is pretty clear that every time an economy is liberalized, people get more prosperous so they can afford their own choices in 'healthcare, job growth, retirement, education'
    Seems they might be on to something.

  • T||

    Shorter version: I won't give money to charity unless forced by the state, so everybody should get forced by the state to fund the charities I deem important. Right wingers and libertarians just want people to die in the streets. War is bad.

    Seriously, that's all you got? You want to give money to help people, (in good faith, of course), nobody's stopping you. Instead, because you lack the moral fortitude to pony up without the state forcing you, everybody must be forced! Your weaknesses are shared by everyone! Why do you assume that no one else's choices of how to spend their money have any merit or moral value? Damn, but you're an arrogant ass.

  • ||

    "Right wingers and libertarians just want people to die in the streets."

    I know you want us to think that is sarcasm. Too bad it's 100 percent true.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    For good or for bad, as wasteful as these programs that you libertarians hate so much, they are at least aimed at helping the people (in good faith)

    Typical leftist mindset. Only intentions matter. Results and means are completely irrelevant to any discussion as long as the intentions are good.

  • ||

    So bad intentions with the desired bad results are better?

  • Zeb||

    Do you honestly believe that government can do more good with your money than you could on your own (or at least choosing what causes to give it to)? If you think that your money ought to be used to help people with the things you list, why not help them yourself instead of using your money to fund a huge inefficient bureaucracy that will mostly spend your money on things you don't like?

  • ||

    I'm funding a huge inefficient beuracracy because we have tax laws. The laws or the taxes aren't wrong in and of themselves. The things congress chooses to spend on are what's evil.

  • rriord2||

    Interesting you mention Cato. Have you seen this?

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12169

    But sure, we pay taxes for the good of civilization, society, the state, something...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pablym Pucking Liberal,

    I'm one of those so-called rich people ($300k+) and as selfish and greedy as I am, I have no problem to going to the pre-Bush tax rates for people that make over $200k.

    See the envelope.
    Put donation in envelope.
    Seal envelope. Place stamp in envelope.
    Send to the IRS.
    Leave the rest the FUCK alone.

    I welcome the tax if it went to programs to offer healthcare, job growth, retirement, poverty, education.

    ...Unicorn breeding programs, . . .

    For good or for bad, as wasteful as these programs that you libertarians hate so much, they are at least aimed at helping the people (in good faith) here and they do.

    Saying "for good or bad" means you don't really care about the results, only about the intentions. Is that the way you carry your life, expecting people to look at the intentions behind your actions, rather than the actions themselves?

  • Alice Bowie||

    Is that the way you carry your life, expecting people to look at the intentions behind your actions, rather than the actions themselves

    Hey, i got to $300+ by doing so. You'd be supprised to see how good faith and good intentions works.

  • ||

    The government programs do suck hard, despite good intentions. Still better than the libertarian ideal of "LET THEM EAT CAKE"
    I hate being shot in the foot, but it's better than being shot in the balls. Not that I'm too happy with either.

  • CJ||

    However, if Because my tax money is just going to go to War, the destruction of other people's civilization, crony salaries, etc., I don't want to pay them at all.

    There you go. When I was still in high school I dreamed of maybe actually making money one day. Today, though, I'm content to make barely above minimum wage (and I'd be more than fine at exactly minimum wage too). The hacks in power can't coerce me into helping fund their evil if I don't have money to begin with.

  • ||

    BrooksSucks|9.30.10 @ 1:13PM|#

    Ron Hart, is that you?

  • ||

    The proper response is "Fuck off, slaver".

    Oops- you are quite correct; appy polly loggies.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    When taking meds to give to a sick child is worse than letting sick children die, then you know you've got a counter-intuitive moral theory to say the least...
    From here:

    Forget about outright socialism and even such features of American social democracy as foreign aid (especially to foreign dictators) and corporate subsidies. Consider instead the most basic function of the "welfare state": care for the needy. What justifies the concentration of all "welfare" dollars into the hands of government except the notion that society will starve the poor but the State won't? Yes, the government -- essentially, a handful of guys with guns -- will be more compassionate and generous with the people's money than the people themselves -- the entirety of the population -- will. With that as a concession, is it any wonder that this limited welfare state continues to grow beyond its limits (possibly with socialized medicine as the next domino)?
  • ||

    I really like social justice in theory, and I've defended it here to some extent, but it can never work because there really isn't enough to go around. Of course the only real answer to any of this is for people to STOP FUCKING! there are way too many people alive today for everyone to have a good standard of living. If only the population shrank we wouldn't need infinite artificialy sustained economic "growth" to sustain the economy. The libtards are most to blame, since suggesting limiting population sounds "classist" to them. It's not my fault that the people least able to support kids have the most kids. It's not the kids fault, so don't punish them, but don't reward the parents either. Welfare could actually be a social good, if we could make people stop taking advantage of it, and decrease the population until it was unneeded. Forced sterilization is unfortunately not an option. I suppose there is no answer and we are all doomed. Unless you are willing to FORCE humans to stop breeding, they will keep it up until the population is untenable, followed by a massive dieoff, just like any other species that outstrips it's resources. Of course before the dieoff most humans will live in abject suffering. Humans are NOT exempt from the laws of nature. "green" economics is bullshit. You can conserve all you want, but people have to eat and the earth has limited rooom for photosynthesis, the source of food energy. So, sustainability and "green" policies are useless long term if the population keeps growing. Laissez faire capitalism won't work forever either. Maybe the economy can "grow" forever, if you really believe you can add infinite "value" (whatever that is) to a finite object. But you can't eat "added value"

  • Alvin Lee||

    Tax the rich, feed the poor
    Till there are no rich no more
    Population keeps on breeding
    Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy.
    World pollution, there's no solution
    Institution, electrocution
    Just black and white, rich or poor
    Them and us, stop the war.
    I'd love to change the world
    But I don't know what to do
    So I'll leave it up to you

  • Mamadou||

    Can we finally put to bed the Laffer curve. Look at the 'Individual Income Taxes' column on the left. The values significantly drop both as of 1981 and 2000.

    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org.....?Docid=205

  • Wegie||

    Has anyone here stopped to think that Tony is just a plant, to keep interest up? Every time he shows up you fucking idiots get in a pissing match with "him". Is there a reason you waste your time replying to Tony???

  • Tony||

    Without me, MNG, etc., H&R would be a ghost town, with the occasional circle jerk.

  • waffles||

    Oh, the truth! It blinds me, binds me, and unwinds me!

    I simply cannot understand why people claim that you suck so much. Sure you have some opinions I find repulsive, but you give H&R what it craves.

  • Wegie||

    That's for sure. Reason should be paying you....if they're not already

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    I think we should welcome — and answer — other (i.e., non-libertarian) viewpoints.

  • newshutz||

    re:Tony is a plant

    What kind of plant?

    He is kind of limp and bitter, perhaps he is spinach that has wilted.

  • Edwin||

    Tony wouldn't have so much to complain about if you fucks would just admit that taxes pay for our civilization, and in the absence of any actual documented substitute system, that's a good thing.

    There's nobody who's not willing to admit that taxes can be too high. Tony has even said that his marginal rates end up being way to hiogh because of bad policy. However, the complaint here is the constant, silly libertarian refusal to admit taxes are necessary and constantly calling taxes "theft". If taxes are too high, say taxes are too high, but please fucking stop with the shrill, absolutist douchebaggery. You're not doing your movement any good, you're just making yoursleves look like a bunch of ascetics.

    Taxes are theft.... but only through the extremely narrow definition that libertarians give it. The world is a much more complex and varied place than some stupid simple libertarian axiom. You have a say in the laws that govern the levying and spending of taxes, and you can leave this country any time you want. And on a more practical level, this government has legitimacy through the agreement of its people; remember, you dumb fucks, NO ONE VOTES LIBERTARIAN in the first place. Again, if you don't like it, YOU can leave. But don't be surprised when you see 200 other "statist" places to choose from. That they all have picked the same organization method should tell you something. Like how everybody buys cars now instead of horses.

    I could easily use your silly word play but the other way around. Agression, by definition, is initiating violence against someone. Period. End of definition. So if someone is stealing my car, and I strike him to stop him, I've agressed against him. However, on a daily basis, few people would describe what I did as JUST plain "agression". Of course, an out-and-out communist would try to play that word game, like you guys do with taxes. This would all be fine and good, except that communists are a weird loony fring of the political left, whereas like fucking HALF of libertarians are like you fucks and take the philosophy full-retard. It would be like if half of all democrats were actually communists.

  • KPres||

    I only have a problem with taxes that are for redistribution, or for services that could otherwise be payed for on a per-use basis.

    It's just all the other taxes (that is to say, most of them) are theft.

  • KPres||

    I only have a problem with taxes that are for redistribution, or for services that could otherwise be payed for on a per-use basis.

    It's just all the other taxes (that is to say, most of them) are theft.

  • Tony||

    All taxes are redistributive because that's the entire fucking point. Some taxes can't be theft and some not. Otherwise we're talking about specific payments for specific services, which does not a civilization make.

  • El Duderino||

    "All taxes are redistributive because that's the entire fucking point."

    Actually, the point of taxes according to the founding fathers is to protect the NATURAL rights of the American people, not to give the tax money away to others.

  • Ron L||

    Edwin|9.30.10 @ 3:35PM|#
    "The world is a much more complex and varied place than some stupid simple libertarian axiom."

    The excuse of every damn blood-sucking, self-centered egotistical, bastard asshole in the world:
    'You're not smart enough'
    Go to hell,m shithead.

  • Edwin||

    or maybe it's the axiom of every REASONABLE PERSON you fuckhead.

    I mean really? REALLY? Do you REALLY believe that your NAP is it? That's all that there is to life? That's all that we need to organize an entire society? Is it all really that simple? It's not so and you know it. If you say otherwise, you're being willfully blind.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "Civilization" is a hell of a lot more than what it taxes from citizens, you fucking thief.

    If you weren't so obsessed with other people's money maybe you'd realize that.

  • Soonerliberty||

    You can't even tax without civilization existing first. Think about it!

  • ||

    Exactly, "your not smart enough" does not imply "I am smart enough" Only people who know nothing think they have all the answers.

  • ||

    Edwin|9.30.10 @ 3:35PM|#
    "The world is a much more complex and varied place than some stupid simple libertarian axiom."

    But not so complicated that it can't be fixed by whoever you anoint as the next saviour of the people.
    You can't even keep your own contradictions straight.
    Statists aren't smart enough to complete their own arguments, but they think they're enough smarter than the rest of us that they should decide matters.

  • Edwin||

    excuse me? Who the fuck said anybody expects anyone to save the people?

    Hey you know what kind of argument that is? The ones you love to claim everybody's elses' is - strawman.

    i don't believe anybody is going to save anything. But the entirety of world history shows that you are never going to have an anarchy with no taxes. And you're not going to structure an entire society on one (supposedly) exact libertarian premise.

  • waffles||

    Edwin, tl;dr.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Edwin,

    Tony wouldn't have so much to complain about if you fucks would just admit that taxes pay for our civilization

    "If you just bowed to my amazingly amazing arguments, everything would be all right!"

    By the way, taxes don't pay for our civilization - they pay for the bureaucrats' payrolls, pensions and entitlements, hardly the creators of civilization.

    However, the complaint here is the constant, silly libertarian refusal to admit taxes are necessary and constantly calling taxes "theft".

    For a rapist, a rape is necessary. That does not make the complaint from the rape victim "silly." Saying that "taxes are necessary" is nothing more than your OPINION. They are certainly not necessary for ME.

    Taxes are theft.... but only through the extremely narrow definition that libertarians give it.

    "Instead of the broadest definition *I* give it, as I am intellectually dishonest."

    The world is a much more complex and varied place than some stupid simple libertarian axiom.

    Right. Just like "murder" becomes "collateral damage."

  • Edwin||

    Wow, Old Mexican, you've out stupid-ed yourself. That was so full of inanity I don't even need to respond point-by-point.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    He didn't set the bar any lower than you did in your original post.

  • Edwin||

    Only in your mind, yoiu fucking dipshit. Try reading my original post. Try understanding some concepts in this world for fuck's sake. Not libertarian re-re super nerdo douche concepts, where everything is exact, context doesn't matter, there are no exceptions, and reality is ignored, but REAL general concepts about the REAL world, where not everything works out so perfectly. The sort of shit you should already understand if you're older than 24.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Get over yourself, you fucking fop. Your original post was full of self-righteous, self-justifying pablum that only gets taken seriously at the local coffeehouse. Your whole argument went up like a wet fart the minute you typed that "taxes pay for civilization." As if civilization was the sum of everybody's checking accounts. Get a grip.

  • Edwin||

    you wish, nerdo fuck. In case I have to refresh your memory, NOBODY VOTES LIBERTARIAN. The vast majority of people agree with everything I said. They may not like taxes, they may want to see them lowered, but few people see them as inherently illegitimate.

    And I never said that taxes represent the entirety of our civilization. But they pay for the basic enforcement of property rights that drives it. That house you own? Your deed is recorded at the county courthouse, along with the survey demarkating the property. All that shit you own? Ultimately protected by police officers and court system your taxes pay for.
    Everybody understands this, only you fucking 13-year-old-boys can't get it through your think skulls
    http://encyclopediadramatica.com/13_year_old_boy
    http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Libertarian

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "you wish, nerdo fuck. In case I have to refresh your memory, NOBODY VOTES LIBERTARIAN. The vast majority of people agree with everything I said."

    The vast majority of people watch bullshit reality shows on television, but that doesn't make their decisions inherently more correct than people who go without.

    "few people see them as inherently illegitimate."

    Except no one is arguing that the whole tax system is illegitimate--only that the method of application promoted by progressives is primarily a tool to punitively attack "the rich"--an always selectively-defined status--for the simple fact that they have more money than other people. Oddly enough, this country managed to pay down a great portion of its debt before the 16th Amendment was passed--maybe you should spend some time figuring out how that was accomplished. It might be a little more complex than you imagine.

    "And I never said that taxes represent the entirety of our civilization."

    Here's what you said:

    "Tony wouldn't have so much to complain about if you fucks would just admit that taxes pay for our civilization"

    Stop trying to weasel out of that by changing the semantics of your argument.

    "Everybody understands this, only you fucking 13-year-old-boys can't get it through your think skulls"

    And if libertarians were arguing that a society should never be taxed, you'd have a point. But that's not what's being argued, and you know it.

    The main problem with Tony's argument, as it has been from the beginning, is that he can never quantify what taxes he actually wants to see--inevitably, they will be "too small," regardless of the circumstances. Never mind that the country has never taken in more than 20% of GDP in taxes, ever, because people reflexively seek to lower their income to avoid the heinous crime of having too much money, according to Tony.

    The whole fucking problem is that people like you and Tony seem to think that this "civilization" can exponentially increase spending forever, as long as the tax rates are "fair," however the fuck you think they should be defined. That's the argument of a 5-year-old, and it's not surprising you haven't progressed beyond it either intellectually or emotionally.

  • Edwin||

    no, that's the argument these other guys are making. They are indeed arguing that taxation is theft and that there shouldnt be any. I thought that you were arguing the same.

    I didn't weasel out of anything. I indeed never said that taxes are all of civilization, but they do pay for it.

    I don't necessarily think that taxes should be increased. In fact I think they should decrease. It's just fucking annoying how stupid libertarians are who argue against basic things like the very existence of taxes themselves. But if you're not actually arguing that, then I guess you can congratulate yourself on not being retarded. Though, I must warn you, if you can admit that taxes are inevitable then you might not actually be a libertarian. Libertarianism is basically defined by the vast scores of libertarians who take it full retard.

  • Edwin||

    and hey, assfuck, before you start saying I "haven't matured pasta 5 year old", why don't you actually try fucking reading my posts. You know what 5 year olds don't do? They don't read. I never said that taxes should be raised, This entire article's comments I've only been lambasting the anarchist re-re's who can't admit that taxes are inevitable and are NOT theft.

  • Edwin||

    "And if libertarians were arguing that a society should never be taxed, you'd have a point. But that's not what's being argued, and you know it."

    Do you even fucking read these posts, you shit-for-brains? That's exactly what you co-stupiditists are arguing. That's basically been this entire articles comment thread.

    READ, THEN POST.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "I didn't weasel out of anything. I indeed never said that taxes are all of civilization, but they do pay for it."

    That was clearly your implication, fucko, based on the presumptive argument that civilization would be impossible without taxes--and since Tony is clearly focusing on income taxes in his argument, which is where most of the debate has centered around, how do you reconcile the 100+ years that the federal government operated, and even paid down its debt, without an income tax? A civilization is defined by the character of its citizens, not the sum of what it extracts from its citizens. Moreover, given the broad generalization of your argument that taxes pay for society, what's to distinguish taxes, in the classical sense, from extortion by strongmen in various Third World countries or Mafia-run neighborhoods? Where does the distinction lie?

    "and hey, assfuck, before you start saying I "haven't matured pasta 5 year old", why don't you actually try fucking reading my posts."

    Why don't you try making a coherent argument that isn't full of presumptive strawmen? Or maybe, you could simply act like you aren't the all-mighty, all-knowing Edwin, and people might not react so negatively to your little screeds, you waste of carbon molecules.

  • Edwin||

    "That was clearly your implication,"

    How the fuck was that my implication? You're clearly not capable of basic logic and reasoning. Taxes pay for civilization, that's it.

    who's talking about income taxes? i wasn't talking about income taxes. I was talking about taxes in general, and how you morons somehow think you could have a society without one. And how you constantly call it "theft"

    What's the difference? Are you serious? Let's see, YOU CAN LEAVE THIS COUNTRY ANY FUCKING TIME YOU WANT TO! Not to mention that you have a say in the system. you can vote on both politicians and legislation. But no, that doesn't mean you always get your way politically speaking. But that's never going to happen in the first place, it's a basic reality of society. Also, this entire concept of taxes and statist governments holds well over 90% of not just the american people, but the entire world. Libertarians are the only ones who complain about taxes oin the fundamental level. Other americans complain about taxes, but exceedingly few want to actually see them abolished. This is what we call "legitimacy".
    And, may I remind you yet again, thatt the vast majority of the American population does not buy your bullshit. A LOT of Americans are libertarians in a very general sense, but very very few take your full-on Libertarianism seriously. Maybe you should stop being such an absolutist fucko.

  • CraftBeer||

    How did the US pay its bills for 100+ years? On the backs of slaves. Uncompensated labor built this nation and allowed for the "liberties" of a few. It did not happen in a vacuum, unlike most demagoguery, including the Libertarian variety.

    In a similar vein, a post way above had a nice, pat description of how gold gets into rich men's laps, but it completely neglected history. That's how it works now, perhaps, in a civilized country with property laws, but in the frontier, gold, land, etc, was simply stolen. A Libertarian philosophy works great if there is "unclaimed property" an a lot of excess goods. Go to Walden Pond, do.

    I like Thoreau as well as the next guy, but many want to have their roads and no taxes too.

    The basic fact is that our wealthy dynasties were founded in grants from the Crown and outright theft, real theft from natives. Such actions reverberate to this day and give the lie to any purely individualist ideology. Just because we can theorize about natural rights does not mean that they will be enforced naturally. What history shows is a chain of despots, plutocrats in various guises.

    To the post above which claimed that only the private sector could have invented your computer, think again. The transistor, which led the way to the integrated circuit, was subsidized by the government, as was the Internet itself.

    Finally, to completely earn your scorn, let me speak about taxes and the rich. A flat tax is not fair. It disproportionally affects the lower income earners as a greater percentage of their basic expenses.

    The rich, with more property, benefit more from the society as represented and enacted by government. The goods sold and transported across the nation are being brought to markets on publicly funded highways and rail. Their goods and their franchises are protected by public police. It is proper that they pay for this, and it is simply true they have the means.

    If the rich hire so many people when they get tax breaks, and if this trickle-down system is so great, then how do we explain the mess we are in with stagnant wages, widening gaps between the tiers of income, and huge unemployment? The economy has been good with double the tax rate on the top brackets, so it is not a foregone conclusion that taxes always are inversely proportional to growth.

    Further, it is to the benefit of society that we limit plutocracy, and a progressive tax structure is also for that purpose. Is it violence? Theft? Perhaps, but then it seems that some form thereof is unavoidable in the real world. The Libertarian utopia is no more achievable than the Rousseavian pre-political--pre-private property--one.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Perhaps you didn't, though I gotta say, I was literate at 4... So I'm not really sure what you're talking about.

    That said, taxes may or may not be "inevitable", but they are most certainly theft.

  • ||

    "Except no one is arguing that the whole tax system is illegitimate"

    Except 90 percent of you ultra-libertarian Ayn Rand worshipping fucks..

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "Agression, by definition, is initiating violence against someone. Period. End of definition. So if someone is stealing my car, and I strike him to stop him, I've agressed against him."

    Aggression is the initiation of force. The car thief is the aggressor because they initiated force by touching your property. Striking the car thief is a response to their force.

  • Edwin||

    Again, retard begging the question. WHY should we even believe your claim that you have the right to own that car?

    And that is NOT in line with the NAP.

    Either you believe in property rights, or you believe in Non-agression. Agression already has a meaning, yoiu can't change it.

  • Soonerliberty||

    You are absurdly dumb. How would you justify your absurd view that when one person steals from me without permission for his own benefit and that of his family, it's theft, but when a group of peoples steals from me without permission for its own benefit and the benefit of others, it's not theft. I know, I know. The law says it is!!! Yes, the law said the Nazis were legitimate, slaves too.

  • CommentARRRRR||

    Once again, can we get away from this erroneous claim that "my" taxes always and only benefit "you?"

    Everyone is getting some gain, regardless of whether or not its value entirely matches the amount given. Doesn't make the taxing rate and format right, but pretending the rich/producers see ZERO benefit is disingenuous.

  • Tony||

    If we just freed up some more cash for the wealthy, they could hire Mexicans to clean up the dead old people in the streets before they leave their gated compounds for work in the morning.

  • El Duderino||

    My checkbook:

    $2000 pay check
    -$500 car
    -$1200 arbitrary trip to disney
    -$800 rent
    -$700 iPad
    -$100 Cable/internet
    -$120 food
    -$700 sweet looking statue of myself
    -$800 pet rocks

    Bottom line:-$2220

    No way around it, I have to request a raise.

  • Tony||

    Why are so many libertarians poor?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, here we go again... wait, aren't we supposed to all be rich fuckers? But now we're supposed to make at least X amount of money?

    What the fuck is it with wealth envy practitioners?

  • Tony||

    I don't care how much you make, I just find it odd that people would believe in a political philosophy that would punish them if it were ever implemented. I guess you're just that noble.

    I accept that you are in good faith, but much like your "wealth envy" talking point, economic libertarianism is really just an excuse for the rich to get policies that make them richer at everyone else's expense. See the light. You can be noble and true to principles and be in favor of progressive taxation at the same time.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I just find it odd that people would believe in a political philosophy that would punish them if it were ever implemented.

    That would be freedom, right?

    Because I can imagine that becoming a slave, like YOU advocate, is less detrimental . . . in some yet-unseen way . . . except by you.

  • Tony||

    OM freedom to be eaten by a large carnivore after your child dies of diphtheria because you live in the jungle and are illiterate is not freedom in my book.

  • Dictionary||

    I agree. Freedom means being free. That is, being able to live the way you want to. Freedom doesn't mean being prosperous or happy. That's why you never hear people say things like:

    "Wow, look at that millionaire! He must be really free."

    Or

    "I tell ya, I've be feeling free ever since I got that new nose hair trimmer."

    Or

    "I'm not giving you $10! What do you think I am? Free?"

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "I don't care how much you make"

    That's an odd claim considering how obsessed you are with the state taking more money from "the rich."

  • Tony||

    I'm just concerned with paying for the things we buy without burdening anyone. What I'm really not interested in is engaging in this nonsense about how the rich are the oppressed and the poor are the oppressors.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    How about buying less? Or did that not cross your mind?

  • Liberal Genius||

    Yes, why on earth would people refuse the free goodies the government promises them? It's almost as though they think government is untrustworthy or ineffective. Preposterous!

    Everyone knows that more government control benefits the poor, just as it has in Cuba, North Korea, and Zimbabwe.

    A good thing, I say. I'd hate to end up in a world where public money was used to keep unprofitable companies afloat while many regular folks lose their jobs.

  • ||

    "I'd hate to end up in a world where public money was used to keep unprofitable companies afloat while many regular folks lose their jobs."

    Yes, that world would be a nightmare.

    Wait a minute....
    no jobs....
    corporate bailouts.

    NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • MJ||

    "I just find it odd that people would believe in a political philosophy that would punish them if it were ever implemented."

    Yes, the liberal incredulousness that anyone would be against policies that screw groups you do not belong to.

  • ||

    The rich certainly DO favor every policy that screws a group they don't belong to.

    But they can't understand why the working class would think likewise.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    *yawn*

    Did Tony say something logical? No?

    Fuck it, I'm going back to sleep.

  • El Duderino||

    That is not my checkbook. I am trying to make a point.

    I am not poor. I save my money, because i am not waiting for the government to do it for me. I don't own a home, I dont go on expensive vacations, I dont own an iPad (though I do have an iPod Touch). I VOLUNTARILY saved and invested what little income I earned and believe me I have sacrificed.

    Too many people feel entitled so they believe that government is going to provide for them because they were told that health insurance is a "right" and social security is "solvent". Now everyone is waking up to reality so they are beginning to do the hard thing. . . everybody BUT the government, they are doing just the opposite because there are still enough people who will gladly take MY tax dollars rather than save it themselves.

  • ||

    You logic doesn't hold water for enforcement of federal tax codes on the wealthy, or discontinuing or not renewing tax cuts for the wealthy, which is the proposal before Congress.

    The wealthy aren't going to leave the country. If they decide to, then we have the answer on their patriotism, don't we?

    John, you know the wealthy haven't been paying their fair share of taxes, including you. That is the issue. They have the means to avoid full taxation at the proper rate. A working mother making $40,000 doesn't. She is forced to pay a disproportionate amount of tax. You know that. Don't pretend it's something different.

  • El Duderino||

    and the tax code made it easier, not harder to find loopholes.

  • Ron L||

    Corrupter|9.30.10 @ 4:59PM|#
    " ...the wealthy haven't been paying their fair share of taxes,..."

    You've just proven yourself to be an ignoramus.
    Define "fair".

  • A Scientist||

    Shhhh....that's way too much logic and "reason" for the folks around here.

  • ||

    "The wealthy aren't going to leave the country. If they decide to, then we have the answer on their patriotism, don't we?"

    They already admit they will leave the country.

    ding ding ding

    We have our answer!!!!

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 4:41PM|#
    "If we just freed up some more cash for the wealthy, they could hire Mexicans to clean up the dead old people in the streets before they leave their gated compounds for work in the morning."

    Or we could buy tony a brain cell so it wouldn't be a total vacuum in there.

  • ||

    Ad Hominem much?

  • ||

    I don't see rich people flocking to live in places with extremely low or no taxes.

    Never heard of this place, evidently.

  • Tony||

    "However, Monaco has high social insurance taxes payable by both employer and employee. The employer's contribution is between 28%–40% (averaging 35%) of gross salary including benefits and the employee pays a further 10%–14% (averaging 13%)."

    And their defense is handled by France.

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 5:15PM|#
    "However, Monaco has high social insurance taxes payable by both employer and employee. The employer's contribution is between 28%–40% (averaging 35%) of gross salary including benefits and the employee pays a further 10%–14% (averaging 13%)."

    I guess you're ignorant enough not to recognize 'begging the question' by replying wit an irrelevance.
    "Only French nationals pay income tax in Monaco."
    It's famed as a tax haven for Brits paid for work performed elsewhere.

  • Tony||

    I know that. That's why we need a global system so the parasitic fuckers can't cheat.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So much for individual governments, then...

  • Tony||

    What's so great about separate governments? Just means more risk of wars. Commerce increasingly knows no borders so government, one of whose jobs is to regulate commerce, should be commensurate.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I, for one, do not want MY country being run by some global central bureaucracy. It's bad enough we have that in D.C., Tony.

  • Tony||

    Sovereignty is way overrated.

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 5:45PM|#
    Sovereignty is way overrated."
    Only be greedy assholes.

  • Tony||

    Oh NOW it's your country. So help pay for its upkeep and stop whining.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Nothing's stopping you from not taking any tax refunds, you know.

    Oh I forgot, you only want OTHERS to pay for the free shit you think you deserve.

  • ||

    So if he stops taking tax refunds, that will change your views or your arguments how???
    Not at all?
    Thought so.
    So bringing up this irrelevancy advanced your position how?
    Not at all?
    Thought so.

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 6:56PM|#
    "So help pay for its upkeep and stop whining."
    So stop being a greedy asshole begging for more.

  • ||

    Dude. Seriously. FUCK YOU. We're WAAAAY beyond upkeep you asshole. Besides, most of my taxes go to my state and local government who pay for the upkeep of shit that I actually see. The Fed's? Fuck 'em.

  • CraftBeer||

    So that's why bridges are collapsing.

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 5:25PM|#
    "I know that. That's why we need a global system so the parasitic fuckers can't cheat."
    Fortunately, we have different governments so fucking assholes like you can go suck canal water.

  • Chad||

    Ding ding ding ding!

    Tony hits a nail square on the head. The cure for the race to the bottom is to close the damned loopholes that allow it, not to try to win the race!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Spoken like a thug who wants one-world government.

    Fuck off, Chad. You're a deluded fool.

  • trueofvoice||

    Classifying taxation as theft is silly. At any point you can break your contract with your government, leave the country and cease paying.

  • Ron L||

    trueofvoice|9.30.10 @ 5:18PM|#
    "Classifying taxation as theft is silly. At any point you can break your contract with your government, leave the country and cease paying."

    Replying like that is silly. You can run away from a thief, too.

  • trueofvoice||

    You don't have a contract with a thief.

  • Ron L||

    And I don't have a 'contract' with the government, either.
    A contract can only be changed by agreement among the parties.

  • trueofvoice||

    Citizenship is a contract, Ron. Your parents contracted for you when they gave birth to you and, as with many contracts, it continues to be in effect until explicitly rejected. This is Libertarianism 101. You don't like the entity with whom you're doing business, you cease contracting with it and find another.

    Which you can do at any time, so calling taxation a form of theft is silly.

  • Ron L||

    trueofvoice|9.30.10 @ 6:07PM|#
    "This is Libertarianism 101."
    Cite please. Your understanding is, shall we say, at odds with mine.

    "...so calling taxation a form of theft is silly."
    All of which is based on your assumption that I have contracted with anyone

  • trueofvoice||

    A contract is a binding legal agreement that is enforceable in a court of law or by binding arbitration.

    Your parents established a contract of citizenship when you were born. This contract obligates you to do things like obey the law and pay taxes. In return your parents contracted the government to provide you with things like roads, police, schools etc.

    You are essentially saying that you do not like the terms of the contract, which is fine.

    You are free to void the contract by renouncing your citizenship. So no, you aren't being robbed. You can cease giving the government your money at any time.

  • Ron L||

    You are essentially saying it's a contract because you say it's a contract.
    Fail.

  • trueofvoice||

    No, Ron. Be obtuse if you like, but your citizenship is a contract by any definition. Your thinking is that of a faux-libertarian, someone who wants the benefits of a contractual agreement, but none of the obligations.

  • Ron L||

    trueofvoice|9.30.10 @ 6:57PM|#
    "No, Ron. Be obtuse if you like, but your citizenship is a contract by any definition. Your thinking is that of a faux-libertarian, someone who wants the benefits of a contractual agreement, but none of the obligations."

    Calling a circular argument a circular argument is hardly obtuse.
    No, trueofvoice, you're thinking that you can define contractual arrangements, and they are therefore contractual arrangements.
    Your thinking is that of a faux-libertarian, someone who wants the benefits of government, but wants others to pay for it.

  • Edwin||

    no, he's sayin that it is in effect a contractual arrangement. All the elements are there. And you DO have choice. With a theft, you do NOT have choice, the thief takes something, and that's it. But you've been here for multiple decades, and you know how our system works. You could leave at any time, or move to another state, or anything. If you don't want to pay real estate taxes you could not buy real estate. If you don't want to pay gas taxes, you can ride a bike. Granted other taxes offer less choice, like income taxes, but the general point still stands, especially with regards to leaving this country.

    So what exactly is so different about government taxation and subsequent spending that makes it so different from a contract and exactly like theft? This whole line of reasoning you guys got is silly and very selective.

  • Soonerliberty||

    It is not an enforceable contract even under our law system because it was obtained through coercion, which are de jure unenforceable. It is also unenforceable because it is an option contract. One side has the ability to amend it at any point in time while the other doesn't.

    So, massive fail. Social contract theory is an immoral and disingenuous attempt to justify theft. Contracts are not binding on posterity.

    Besides, if I leave this country, I would only have the option of choosing another mafia to live under.

    Your basic view is that mafia owner comes to business owner and says. You want my protection. Business owner says no. Mafia repeats, you want my protection, now pointing a gun at business owner. Business owner agrees. Under your view, they have a contract. This isn't considered a contract anywhere in the world.

  • Tony||

    Besides, if I leave this country, I would only have the option of choosing another mafia to live under.

    Waaaaah. What do you want? We only have one planet. Sorry no country has seen fit to implement your stupid libertarian nonsense, but that's life. You don't get an infinite amount of TVs to choose from and you don't get an infinite amount of countries either.

    This is pretty basic stuff. Whether governments, even democratic ones, are truly legitimized through social contract theory is an interesting question. But as there really is no alternative, it's not a particularly useful one.

    You guys could be playing a useful role in politics. Find policies changes you want and advocate for them. Fantasizing about magical worlds that will never exist is something little kids do.

  • Soonerliberty||

    You're truly a fascistic bootlicker. Because we have a system, we shouldn't strive for more? This is idiocy. This status-quo thinking leads to all sorts of absurdities and tyrannies. "Well, sorry, friend, we can't set you free. We've had slavery since the beginning of time. Don't cry about it, though. It's just the way it is. Nobody has ever even thought about freeing slaves, so it must be a dumb idea." Would you say that to gay people who can't get married because of your gov't? Waah, leave. You're a disingenuous ass that changes his arguments to fit the issue. At least, stay consistent like the social democrats in Europe I have to deal with everyday as they leech 50% from me to pay for failing systems.

  • Tony||

    I'm not arguing for the status quo with respect to specific policies, like marriage. Just with respect to the only way human beings have found to implement civilization successfully.

    Being against government abuse of power is a liberal concern and always has been. But we've moved on to worry about other abuses of power in addition to that, while you guys are stuck in time trying to invent the Magna Carta all over again.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Considering that the Magna Carta has all but been forgotten by fascistic bootlickers (love the term, thanks sooner) like yourself, perhaps a new one needs to be invented.

  • El Duderino||

    My contract with the federal government is the constitution. The constitution does not allow the federal government to use my tax money to bail out banks, prop up failed car manufacturers, require me to buy health insurance or fund insurance for others, subsidize farms, subsidize green energy, limit speech via the FCC, enforce environmental rules through the EPA etc. . . So the government has BROKEN its contract with ME and therefore I am not contractually obligated to pay taxes so when they come to collect, they are taking my money against my will and THIS IS THEFT.

  • Edwin||

    Ok, so based on what you just said, if the government did follow the constitution, then taxation wouldn't be theft?

    Are you actually willing to admit that? If you did my and Tony's heads just might explode with surprise if the space-time continuum doesn';t rip first.

  • ||

    Are you willing to admit the government has broken it's contract with us, and doesn't deserve any more of our goddamn money?

    Because our heads might explode with surprise then.

  • Edwin||

    Did I ever say the federal government isn't well out of its constitutional bounds?

    But That's not what we've been talking about. You re-re's can't just admit that taxes are inevitable and aren't the same as theft.

  • El Duderino||

    I am a supporter of the constitution, because it is my current contract for better or worse. I would prefer MORE limits on government, but I am willing to work in the parameters of the constitution.

    Now if you are going to argue that anything the federal government is doing is remotely constitutional, I will just say this:

    The commerce clause is not an excuse to regulate any and all commerce in the USA. It was intended to prevent STATES from creating laws that gave businesses in their state an unfair advantage. For example if states along the Mississippi river charged a massive fee for ships moving cargo that came from other states along the Mississippi. This was not intended to grant permission to come up with any and all rules the federal government could imagine to "regulate" commerce.

    Here is a squeegee. . . please wipe your brains off the screen before closing the lid.

  • Edwin||

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    Yo seriously

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    Are you such a fucking sick fuck that you just respond to shit that's going on in your head? Are you that reactionary?

    I JUST said "Did I ever say the federal government isn't well out of its constitutional bounds?". As in, that's not even what we're talking about, and I don't even necessarily disagree with the idea.

    So what's wrong with you? Why didn't you read all relevant posts thoroughly before being an asshole? You're such an asshole that you imagine the other guy is disagreeing with you on a subject and then argue that?

    How about you answer my original, ACTUAL question.

  • El Duderino||

    "Ok, so based on what you just said, if the government did follow the constitution, then taxation wouldn't be theft?

    Are you actually willing to admit that? If you did my and Tony's heads just might explode with surprise if the space-time continuum doesn';t rip first."

    By "original question" do you mean "if the government did follow the constitution, then taxation wouldn't be theft?"

    If so, then yes.

    Please read my response to your "question" dumbass.

  • CraftBeer||

    It would be nice if the commerce clause indeed did what you assume it should. There would be better regulation of banks and insurance companies.

    Income tax is an amendment to the Constitution, not a statute, so it is in the Constitution. As is the Ninth Amendment. I know most of you are really fans of the Tenth, but the Ninth is the best, most overlooked one.

    Can we all agree that the War on Drugs is a war on our citizens and a violation of the Fourth Amendment?

  • ||

    Oddly enough, Tony didn't quote this part:

    Monaco levies no income tax on individuals. The absence of a personal income tax in the principality has attracted to it a considerable number of wealthy "tax refugee" residents from European countries who derive the majority of their income from activity outside Monaco; celebrities such as Formula One drivers attract most of the attention, but the vast majority of them are less well-known business people.

  • Ron L||

    You expect a cherry-picker to deliver apples?
    Tony lies and does so until he's busted; sort of like your local politico.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "I agree that taxes should be as low as possible for everyone"

    Didn't you say, about a week ago, that you would raise taxes higher on the rich if you could? Or words to that effect?

    Which is it, Tony?

  • Tony||

    I see no reason to tax people beyond what is necessary to pay for the things they buy with their government.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why isn't 34 cents on the dollar enough, then? Why do you insist on another nickel?

    It. Won't. Be. Enough. Unless we cut spending.

    But God forbid we expect our government to be frugal, like WE have to be.

  • Tony||

    If our government is frugal while the economy is not growing on its own, then we will have to be even more frugal because the economy will just continue getting worse.

    I'm not talking about specific figures. The problem is it could be 10 cents on the dollar and you'd be making the EXACT SAME ARGUMENT. Going to Clinton tax levels isn't going to hurt anybody, and it will help immensely with the deficit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Okay, Nostradamus. Whatever you say.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    But somehow, going to Clinton spending levels is forbidden.

  • Tony||

    That would be fine if Republicans hadn't destroyed the economy.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Oh, bullshit. You're just scared that Congress isn't going to be able to cook the books and play "extend and pretend" long enough for you to get your precious entitlements before you're safely in the grave.

    Sooner or later it's going to get in your thick skull that the party's over. Maybe you should take a look at those spending allocations again.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....tegory.jpg

    If you think going back to Clinton-era tax rates is going to fix that mess, with trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, you clearly haven't come to grips with reality.

  • Edwin||

    Tony, Keynesianism is retarded and obviously wrong. The depression took what? like 14 years to get out of? Yeah, that's not success. These libertards may be fucking retarded but that doesn't mean you have to go retarded in the opposite direction.

  • Tony||

    Edwin what's the alternative? We responded to the current crisis (comparable to the GD) with Keynesian spending and we're back to growth again. The only reason the GD took so long to get out of was because we didn't try Keynesianism until late in the game. And 25% unemployment is a lot bigger hole to dig out of than 10%. I think it's been pretty well vindicated. At the very least supply-sider bullshit has been completely demolished, but don't tell anyone here that.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "We responded to the current crisis (comparable to the GD) with Keynesian spending and we're back to growth again."

    Uh, no, we're not. It shouldn't take 12% of GDP spending to promote less than 2% growth in GDP. That's pathetic by any standard, and is unsustainable, yet you seem to believe that we can run trillion-dollar deficits forever with no impact to the nation's economy. And if you believe the recession is actually over when the reports said it was (it's not), the spending was irrelevant anyway.

    "The only reason the GD took so long to get out of was because we didn't try Keynesianism until late in the game."

    This is a flat-out falsehood. Hoover spent more on public works projects during his tenure than the previous thirty years combined. The idea that he was a laissez-faire President was simple propoganda cooked up by FDR's sycophants like Schlesinger.

  • El Duderino||

    I am not a republican defender, but I am sick of people blaming the republicans. At best both parties are at fault, but PROGRESSIVE policies had more to do with our situation than "republican policies of the past".

    1. Progressives invented HUD and other such mechanisms which encourage people who cannot afford a home to own a home. Presidents and politicians, including Bush ENCOURAGED poor people to buy homes because it is "the American dream".

    2. Public policies that encourage banks to be "equal housing lenders" sound good on paper, but when these banks are pressured by government and angry citizen groups like Acorn to adopt the "equal housing lender" programs, they are put in a position to have to make a certain volume of loans to specific economic classes of people. While I am not against poor people owning homes, I do believe poor people who want to own homes should be aware of the costs and maybe consider something more affordable. Pressure to make loans to certain groups of people leads banks to sell products that are designed to get people through the system (zero down and adjustable rates and other convoluted schemes that are anything but transparent).

    3. Local banks cannot afford to make high risk loans, this is why people pressured them in the first place, because their unwillingness to make high risk loans was somehow seen as racism or classism, when it was really just pragmatism and responsibility. Because these banks could not afford to make these loans, they instead sold the bulk of the debt to bigger banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac facilitated these transactions with great effectiveness. These convoluted debt instruments would not exist if the government didnt create a market by pressuring banks to lend to people who they normally would not lend to.

    It is not as if these policies were invented by Bush, they were around for decades. Over decades, these assets worked their way into the economy like a virus and the collapse was the unintended consequence of the various progressive social engineering programs designed to "get people into homes so they can enjoy the American dream like everyone else."

  • Tony||

    El that myth has been exposed thoroughly as a self-serving lie. The crisis was not caused by poor black people, I hate to break it to you.

  • El Duderino||

    BOTH Republicans and Democrats were responsible. My point is that PROGRESSIVE policies were the root cause. And I am not blaming poor black people. I am blaming progressive policies that PERMITTED banks to make loan products targeted at poor people of all color. I am not saying that poor people do not have a right to buy a home, but that they should not be encouraged to make a loan they cannot afford. The poor were not the only beneficiaries of these bad loans, these zero down adjustable rate type loans were made available to everyone, including speculators trying to "flip" property, but the fact remains that it was the PROGRESSIVE policies that tried to enforce "equal housing lending" that allowed these loans and it was government sponsored institutions like Fannie and Freddie that facilitated these loans by absorbing the risk for the banks. If banks did not have the ability to sell this bad debt to larger banks or Fannie and Freddie, then they would have failed or they would not have made the bad loans in the first place.

    I love how all of a sudden this is a racial issue. This is a typical tactic of the left Tony. Everybody knows this tactic for what it is and it is race baiting.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, the Rs AND your party are destroying the economy. Don't play like your side is 100% innocent.

  • Tony||

    They're not 100% innocent. That doesn't make both parties equally guilty.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Then stop pretending that only one party was responsible.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yes, Tony, they ARE equally guilty. Take off your Team Blue-colored glasses for a change.

  • Tony||

    That's highly unlikely.

  • ||

    Why isn't 34 cents on the dollar enough, then?

    It should be plenty.
    How many idiots think the very rich actualy pay this much, except on paper?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I see no reason to tax people beyond what is necessary to pay for the things they buy with their government.

    Oh - you fancy the government is a store? Silly me - I didn't know a store could lead me to their doors at bayonet point.

    I guess this is another example of jow eleutherophobes stretch the meaning of words and concepts to fit their arguments, instead of the other way around.

  • Tony||

    Nobody's forcing you to buy anything. You can leave.

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.30.10 @ 5:56PM|#
    "Nobody's forcing you to buy anything. You can leave."
    Above:
    "I know that. That's why we need a global system so the parasitic fuckers can't cheat."
    So, as a greedy asshole, what you're offering as 'freedom' is only because you don't yet have a big enough gun, right?

  • Tony||

    You're welcome to go to Mars.

  • Ron L||

    So you admit to being a hypocrite? Good.

  • Tony||

    Do you admit to being an entitled narcissist? Who ever said you were guaranteed a libertopia to live in?

  • ||

    Do you admit to being an entitled narcissist? Who ever said you were guaranteed a libertopia to live in?

    Yeah Ron L, you selfish bastard, who ever said you were a free human being? All you libertarians think your entitled to things like freedom to do what you want with your life and ownership of your property, you make me so sick.

    We live in an enlightened, civilized, non-entitled society, where the selfish individual has to work for the benefit of the majority.

  • Edwin||

    Anybody can make themselves sound saintly with self-righteous words, but the fact is you guys keep espousing a system that has never worked. And if you aren't anarchists, then your basic framing of taxes is just as silly.

    And a disturbingly high number of libertarians actually do not really believe in freedom - they just believe in property rights or anti-government to the point of absurdity. I've heard libertarians claim that one has the right to hire child prostitutes as long as you pay the child specifically. I've heard multiple times libertarians say drunk driving should be legal. There's even a Lew Rockwell article on it. One libertarian told me that that guy a few years back who shot a kid for walking across his lawn absolutely had the right to do that.
    It's not all libertarians, but it's disturbingly too easy to get a libertarian to say fucked up shit. There's plenty more of those kinds of examples I just listed.

    It's like every single libertarian HAS to be stupid or fucked up in some way. If they don't believe the weird fucked up shit I mentioned above, then they believe in the Rand Paul civil rights B.S. If they don't believe that, then they want drugs legalized, but make ass arguments about it, flat out ignoring and/or denying the bad effects of drugs, or stick to claims of "free will" and ignore how addictive drugs can be, or just sticking only with their moral position. And not one of them seems to get that legalizing drugs in just one state would probably doom their own experiment to failure, as legalization in just one state would have artificially bad effects as every druggie went to that state.
    Or if they're not like any of the above and seem well adjusted and reasonable, it turns out they're a conspiracy theorist.

  • ||

    Anybody can make themselves sound saintly with self-righteous words, but the fact is you guys keep espousing a system that has never worked.

    The only reason the system hasn't worked is because it has never been implemented. The reason we espouse it is because it is the right thing to do.

    And a disturbingly high number of libertarians actually do not really believe in freedom

    They all believe in freedom, or they aren't libertarians. Sure you can state a bunch of viewpoints on singular issues without any mention of the reasoning behind them, but that doesn't prove anything about anyone.

    For example, the opposition to the Civil Rights Act is because it is restrictive on the rights of an individual to say that he/she cannot choose who to serve and who to not serve in their own private business. Yet all I hear from you is that they are against the Civil Rights Act so they are crazy racists. There is a specific logical argument behind this view that you are ignoring in favor of simply labeling it with connotations. It simply shows that critics like you aren't willing to think.

  • Edwin||

    did I say anybody was racist?

    And you're calling me unwilling to think?

    And how the fuck are you going to have this magical system when you sick fuckos can't agree on which perversions you believe in?

    That fucko who said he has the right to diddle kids, might actually diddle your kid. That ever occured to you? Are you going to tell me you aren't going to do anything just because the laws of his little anarcho-capitalist society that he started say he CAN do that? What if you do try to do something and then he tries to defend himself? But you're both doing this with entire mini-countries? How do you think this shit turns out?
    Starting to see why we have single governments?

    And by the way that scenario has been tried over and over again, and it always turned out with lots of infightintg. Your system has been tried.

    And don't you think "what's right" should involve a little fucking reality? Should be based on what can actually fucking be done in the world? Communists are absolutely sure they're "right", but they aren't, they're fucking retarded, know why?

  • ||

    did I say anybody was racist?

    What besides racism would be your objection to that criticism of the Civil Rights Act?

    And how the fuck are you going to have this magical system when you sick fuckos can't agree on which perversions you believe in?

    This is dumb. Do Democrats agree on every issue? Oh well then how can we have a Democrat-controlled Congress???? There are things that all libertarians agree on, just as there are things that the Democratic party promotes collectively.

    That fucko who said he has the right to diddle kids, might actually diddle your kid. That ever occured to you? Are you going to tell me you aren't going to do anything just because the laws of his little anarcho-capitalist society that he started say he CAN do that?

    Now you're just being dense.

    What if you do try to do something and then he tries to defend himself? But you're both doing this with entire mini-countries? How do you think this shit turns out?
    Starting to see why we have single governments?

    And of course Edwin reverts to incoherency. If you don't understand, or aren't willing to understand what libertarians actually advocate, don't comment on it. This is what I mean by not thinking. You are being intellectually dishonest, and it's not like people don't notice.

  • Tony||

    Edwin, age of consent is a natural law. Jesus said, lo the age of consent is 18 (16 in some jurisdictions), and it was so.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, I'm not for a lot of laws, but there has to be some lower limit - "age of consent" - or else we could fuck a kindergartener and get away with it.

    NAMBLA might be okay with that, but rational people aren't.

  • ||

    "I've heard multiple times libertarians say drunk driving should be legal."

    Well, it should be. Just as running with a pair of scissors is legal.
    Until your car/scissors hurt someone or damage property.

    Not difficult. Try to keep up.

  • Dave Daggett||

    I am trying to square Hayek and Chomsky. I find both compelling. Has anyone done it?

  • ||

    You ARE entitled to be free. However, unfortunately for pie in the sky libertarians, you must also live in OUR UNIVERSE, not your dreamworld, where infrastructure, law enforcement, etc. magically appear from nothing, or else aren't necessary to guard your property rights.
    You can go somewhere else, or try to change things here, but you can't have the impossible just because you want it.

  • ||

    to add to this, you could TRY forming a non "statist" society here on the real planet earth. A dozen french chicks on the rag could annihilate your whole "country" in a day.
    Kinda wish you had a government now, don't you?
    Before you launch another straw man that you accuse others of all the time...yes, our current systems all do suck. But NO SYSTEM would suck even harder.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    So Tony want us to leave if we don't like it (does that cover not liking TSA airport porn scanners or government abusing wiretapping laws as well?), but he wants to set up a global government so that if we leave we still get shivved by somebody with a badge and some authoritah.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Hah, and add in a little one-party only love from Tony to his preference for one world government:

    Tony|4.9.10 @ 4:23PM|#

    Does it not matter to anyone that the Republicans are fucking insane?

    If we just had the Democratic party, we'd have a wide spectrum from right to left that would pretty much mirror the rest of the democratic world.

    But they'd believe in science and not be completely fucking loony toons. All we'd be lacking is what has become exclusively the ultra-right part of the spectrum. And ultra-right is always wrong.

    One party, one government, talk about being anti-choice.

  • Tony||

    Chartreuse,

    Any global government I'd advocate for would be fairly loose--just what's necessary to regulate an increasingly borderless economy. We've already got the UN for conflict resolution and aid. We just need a more robust regulatory system for the global economy.

    And in that post I wasn't advocating for one-party rule. I was, as I always am, advocating for you guys to stop flirting with the Republicans, because they are sociopathic anti-science religious zealots. Maybe the Dems could split into two sane parties. I don't care. Two party rule is only slightly less fucked up than one party rule. I've never liked the idea of parties anyway, but I don't really know what can be done about them.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    And Tony... How's that UN working out for "Conflict Resolution" anyway? I'm curious... Are they doing a good job?

  • Tony||

    Yes. Note the absence of world wars since 1945. Despite some really bullshit conflicts the world really is a more peaceful place since the conception of the UN.

  • El Duderino||

    World wars were prevented by the DETERRENT effects of the United States Military. We are the bayonet, the rifle, the bullets, the helmet, the soldier, the tank, the jet, the bomb, and the candy handouts to the kids. The UN is the fucking stale condoms stuffed in the soldiers wallets.

  • Dumbshit Liberal Link||

  • El Duderino||

    LOL, I had this link loaded on my iPhone as I was walking through Walmart looking for a car charger for my iPhone.

    I heart Walmart more now than before.

  • ||

    Well, one bright spot in this brouhaha is that maybe we can get away from twisting this society up around equality, and get it back to good old straightforward liberty.

  • ||

    If we all had the kind of liberty libertarians seem to advocate, we would all truly be free, to die in ignorance and near starvation of a curable disease in our jungle hut in whatever way our conscience dictated.

  • ||

    If congress allowed all tax legislation to lapse/sunset (personal income tax %, AMT) I question whether the individuals who are impacted by the consequences of these policies would have an earnest discussion about the size of the government and what the "necessary functions" of the federal government are.

  • ||

    Lots of smart people in here. Some anyway. Then there's Tony.
    What's happening now has happened to me before, I suddenly realized I was getting the shaft from my government. So I compensated. I reduced the workforce (130 people), accelerated any deprciatioin I could, deferred as much income as I could,and...I commenced to cheat. I find, in retrospect, I cheated commensurently with the fucking I perceived I was getting. [They

  • ||

    So, if only the government left poor little you alone, you would have kept all your workers and never cheated, accepting less money in your own pocket than you could have gotten otherwise? Please excuse my total inability to believe a word you say.

  • ||

    yeah, I know how you feel. My next door neighbor stole my chainsaw, so I stole one of his handkerchiefs off the wash line, then I beat up the old lady across the street and stole her car. Boy, I feel better now.

  • ||

    Lots of smart people in here. Some anyway. Then there's Tony.
    What's happening now has happened to me before, I suddenly realized I was getting the shaft from my government. So I compensated. I reduced the workforce (130 people), accelerated any deprciatioin I could, deferred as much income as I could,and...I commenced to cheat. I find, in retrospect, I cheated commensurently with the fucking I perceived I was getting. [They

  • ||

    oolps
    They (the IRS) will not prosecute commensurat with your ability yto pay if/when you get caught.
    Looking back (and now forward), I find the most saving (so me) was the reduction in personnel, benefits and generally tightening the corporate purse. I sense that is what most companies are doing now. Sucks for the employees, but they can go talk with Tony.

  • ||

    They can talk to your larger competitors who could offshore and undercut you. Corps much larger than yours don't play by the same rules and can hide their profits. Yeah the tax code sucks, and maybe you got shafted. Blame the megacorp who bought your local congressman.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    and now the man who splatters conventional jizzum...

  • Fiscal Meth||

    These people need to "rock" the stay home and don't vote

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Other post. It's shorter.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I know who all those people are, that's why I'm gonna stay home on election day.

  • ||

    "New York billionaire Tom Golisano isn't stupid, either. With $3,000 and one employee, he started a business that processes paychecks for companies."

    The reason businesses pay those payroll companies is to keep track of all the payroll and income tax bullshit. That guy might be a millionare on his own, but if he's a billionare, it's because of the gov't. Indirectly.

    just sayin'

  • El Duderino||

    You see, this is the problem. You see the existence of a payroll company that helps small businesses deal with the tax code as a benefit created by government. I see this as an individual adapting his skills to deal with government intervention and make it easier for others to make a living while remaining compliant with this convoluted tax code.

    This individual would no doubt have found some other way of being productive if he didn't feel compelled to deal with the tax code. Who knows what this person might have done instead.

  • ||

    "It simply means government steals less. "

    I see you think that the soldiers who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan are stealing from you. Perhaps you think they should work for nothing.

  • ||

    No, Stossel thinks the government is stealing. That's what he said. Soldiers are being paid with stolen money.

  • Chad||

    I don't even know why I read things written by Stossel. His only reasoning nowadays seems to be "post hoc ergo propter hoc", and nothing more. How many times can he say "Government X did something I agree with, and Good Thing Y happened later. Therefore, X causes Y."

    The idea that we are on the right side of the Laffer Curve could only be believed by the most mathematically inept people on earth. Our tax rate is FIFTEEN PERCENT, folks. FIFTEEN PERCENT.

    Does it make one bleeping bit of sense in cold bleeping hell to cut your income by 30% in the face of a 5% tax increase? OF COURSE NOT.

    Yet that is EXACTLY what the average American would have to do in order for the government to lose money.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Government needs to tighten its fucking belt, Chad. Your party is not consisted of spendthrifts anymore than the other party.

    If we spent less, we wouldn't need to raise taxes. But you WANT things to appear as though we have no other recourse. Sick mentality you got there.

  • ||

    Tony's Gallery of Illogical Arguments

    I'm saying if we are to have a civilization, which requires taxes, then taxes can't always go down...

    K, name me a civilization that didn't collect taxes.

    I've only seen green apples, so there is no such thing as a red apple. Green must be part of the definition of an apple.

    Taxation is not part of the definition of a civilization. It is merely a society of humans in a certain geographical location. Is there any reason why a society without forced taxation could not be a civilization?

    I don't see rich people flocking to live in places with extremely low or no taxes.

    And I don't see women flocking to places with extremely low amounts of rape. I guess that means women are OK with being raped huh?

    Just because a person tolerates being wronged because they have no better alternative doesn't mean they have given consent to be wronged.

    You don't like any policy, and you want to pay no taxes. Sucks to be you. Surely the fact that you don't like some policies (and there are a ton I don't like) doesn't mean our entire system is therefore illegitimate, right?

    Note the wording here. Tony ignores the fact that libertarians argue that certain policies restrict the freedoms of individuals. Instead, he simply says that we "don't like" certain policies. Tony is deliberately avoiding the argument that he must necessarily make: individuals don't have the freedom to do what they want as long as they aren't harming anyone.

    There are plenty more here, but others have refuted them sufficiently.

  • El Duderino||

    "Taxation is not part of the definition of a civilization. It is merely a society of humans in a certain geographical location. Is there any reason why a society without forced taxation could not be a civilization?"

    Exactly. Tax and civilization are not codependent. Tax certainly needs civilization, but civilization can exist without tax. People like Tony are unwilling to accept the concept of emergent order despite the fact that it happens all the time. As if taxes and government are the only things keeping people sane and normal. I dont do things because the government tells me to do them, I do them because they support my long term rational self interest.

    If there was no law at all, I would not be more inclined to kill others because there would be consequences. That said, murder and theft (among a small handful of other things) are about the only thing that the government can protect us from through the use tax money because we are all equally interested and benefited by these protections.

  • Edwin||

    -That's not the definition of civilization

    -We've seen red apples. And they've all sucked balls.

    -his argument about rich people not leaving was about economics, not morality. Namely the article's claim that higher taxes would hurt the eocnomy

    -Oh, I have the freedom to do what I want as long as I'm not harming anyone? OK, how about I steal your car? That won't harm you. Oh wait a minute, maybe "agression" isn't so cut and dry.
    Furthermore, on a practical level, your "anybody can do whatever they want as long as they don't harm anybody" is never going to happen on a practical level. Even in a minarchist or even anarchist state, if crimes are to be solved, people will have to be arrested during the investigation process. That immediately violates your principle.
    I mean for fuck's sake driving laws violate that principle. "WHO ARE YOU TO SAY I CAN'T DRIVE ON THE LEFT! I'M NOT HARMING ANYONE!" You'd run into this problem even in an anarchist society, not that said society would even last any amount of significant time.

    Tony's argument is that there is not nor ever will be a libertopia; Your basic complaint about taxes on the fundamental level is stupid and meaningless. It's one thing to argue for less taxes, or that less taxes represents more freedom. But to complain about the CONCEPT of taxes is just silly.

    If you re-re's would just admit that there's going to be taxes no matter what we do, he wouldn't need to post. See, when guys talk the way you do, it's fucking annoying as fuck. People shouldn't be this stupid. I mean, I know a lot of libertarians are 18 or 19 year pold retards, but a lot of you are a lot older and should have grown up by now. I mean, it's just embarassing that you guys are the same SPECIES as me, that I have to be identified with you in that way. It's just one of those things that just makes you shake your head in shame.

  • Edwin||

    Look, I can even predict the stupidity that's going to come out of your mouths. One of you idiots is going to say "But stealing someone's car IS harming them!" and then do that fucking nerdo wheezing laugh you do like a fucking jerkoff.

    No, fucko's that's the point. Saying that is begging the question. Who the ehll says that you get to own things in the first place? Do you get to own anything? And if you accept property, then you don't accept non-agression. Agression is doing violence to someone. If you defend your property rights other than that of your body, you are agressing against someone.

    And I guess the point of all that is, who's going to defend your property rights, and do so EFFECTIVELY? Who's going to decide exactly the details of those rights? Considering that, how sure are you that you own it? And How is all that going to be paid for?

  • AA||

    God you are repulsive. Can't you write a paragraph without sounding like a 12 year old who just learned a few new 4 letter words?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "I have the freedom to do what I want as long as I'm not harming anyone? OK, how about I steal your car? That won't harm you."

    Stealing from me will harm me. And it is aggression. Physical harm is not the only kind of harm.

  • Edwin||

    no it isn't. Agression is violence initiated against a person. Your car isn't a person. You are not your car.
    That is the definition of agression. You can't change it;s definition.

    If you are starting with the premise that you have property rights, then you're just begging the question

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Taking things that don't belong to you, is a form of aggression. If you don't buy that, then I guess it's okay if we all descend upon your property and take what we want.

    And there had fucking better be Miracle Whip in your fridge, because I'm gonna take a sandwich. And YOU have to like it, based on your arguments above.

    Jesus, Edwin, are you really that obtuse?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    1: a forceful action or procedure (as an unprovoked attack) especially when intended to dominate or master
    2: the practice of making attacks or encroachments; especially : unprovoked violation by one country of the territorial integrity of another
    3: hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or outlook especially when caused by frustration

    Right there in the dictionary. "Action or procedure", "encroachments", "hostile", "destructive". Leaves it pretty open to concepts like theft and other force against property. Retard bitch.

  • El Duderino||

    First, this is probably the best pro green apple argument I have heard in ages.

    "OK, how about I steal your car? That won't harm you. Oh wait a minute, maybe "agression" isn't so cut and dry."

    I performed physical and mental labor to pay for my car. My labor has value to my employer. My employer provides a product and service that is of value to others because it makes it easier for them to afford food and survive when they retire. My labor benefits others and it benefits me, it is not as if I am just performing arbitrary tasks. Furthermore, the person who built my car had to do physical labor. The person who made the parts in my car had to do physical labor. The person who extracted the minerals from the earth that constitute my car had to do labor to get it. Finally, I use my car to do my job and to enjoy the world around me more efficiently so my car is of value to me -- it helps me feed myself and my family so if you steal my car it is a VERY CUT AND DRY CASE of assault. You took something that was mine and either I have to confront you to reclaim it or the government has to reclaim it. I never suggested that the government didnt have a role here because my right to own that car is my NATURAL liberty. I created it from my efforts to feed myself and my family.

    "WHO ARE YOU TO SAY I CAN'T DRIVE ON THE LEFT! I'M NOT HARMING ANYONE!"

    Okay, you are putting words in my mouth here, but lets discuss this comment. I can drive on the left if I want, but that would be retarded because I will collide at full speed with oncoming traffic and DIE. This is what I like to call a CONSEQUENCE. I do not do these kinds of things cause, well I would prefer to stay alive. Nuff said here... I hope.

    "Even in a minarchist or even anarchist state, if crimes are to be solved, people will have to be arrested during the investigation process. That immediately violates your principle."

    First, define "crimes" if by crimes you mean smoking pot, then this is not a crime in my world, because my physical reality allows me to do it and my action has no CONSEQUENCE to others until I fuck up and drive on the wrong side of the road. This is when the crime is committed. Because being high and driving have CONSEQUENCES, I avoid them, but if some moron decides to do this despite the consequences, then so be it. They will suffer the consequences if they cause harm. I am not anti police. If you are obviously endangering people, you should be stopped, but there is a big difference between stopping an IMMEDIATE threat to safety and creating arbitrary rules. There will always be practical limitations to enforcing public safety because there is just too much subjectivity involved. Good laws protect NATURAL liberty. Good laws are reactive, not proactive, because proactive laws require a subjective observer to make a judgment outside of any objective factual information (some things could seem obvious, like crossing the painted lines, but what if I am just avoiding what I think is a pothole?).

    "If you re-re's would just admit that there's going to be taxes no matter what we do, he wouldn't need to post."

    Taxes are not a necessary requirement for civil order to exist. People can associate with each other in an anarchistic government. Anarchy is not violent chaos. Because of consequences, most people understand the difference between good and bad. Beyond that, people are all working towards their own rational self interests, which necessitates that they treat others respectfully, they protect the lives of others, they deal honestly with others because if they dont, they will suffer the CONSEQUENCES of these failures. If I am unfair, If I am a murderer, if I am a threat to public safety, if I am dishonest, then you and the rest of my community will reject me and that is not in my rational self interest. This is why greed is not the same as rational self interest. Greed requires deception.

    And to answer Edwin's concerns below:"Who the ehll says that you get to own things in the first place?"

    My physical and mental labor determines my ownership. Awwe fuck it, just read the top part again about how I came about owning a car.

    Here is what government should do:
    Protect life.
    Protect private property.
    Enforce contracts (free association of individuals to secure their needs and pursue their rational self interests aka happiness).

    Protecting life entails a DEFENSIVE military, though I would not mind a private military. Protecting life demands a police force and a judicial process that is it. That is what I would be willing to pay for through taxation and only if all other citizens are paying in the same proportions I am. I would accept this because EVERY person has the same natural liberties by virtue of their physical and intellectual existence.

    Thats it.

  • Edwin||

    -Still begging the question. Or rather, you explained your position, but who gives a fuck? Why should anyone accept your position? Furthermoe the issue is, who gets to? And in what manner? There's a reason we have singular governments for these issues

    -So should have government or anarchy? First you say we don't need governement, then you describe the "only things" government should do

    -Who's talking about pot? Did I mention pot? Drawing up non-sequitus much?

    -actually... taxes and governments are necessary for civil order. Various forms of your anarch-capitalism have been tried and they all sucked balls. "Anarchies" or whatever you want to call them have been and are more chaotic. Various places have had similar systems - groups of tribes, clans, small city-states, modern Somalia. They all sucked.

    -How about you actually adress my point about solving crimes? If you arrest people to do an investigation, maybe you suspect them, but it turns out they never actually did anything, then you just agressed against them, didn't you? Even an anarcho-capitalist set up couldn't avoid this

    - OK did you just admit that there should be no driving laws whatsoever, and even drunk driving? OK, so you've just admitted you're a fucking retard, and nobody should listen to you.
    By the way, if only actual consequences matter but not risk, and so drunk driving should be legal, then maybe you'd like to hear about my favorite game, Grenadees. I take a buch of grenades, a few of which are live, and take them to a public park. I then sit down near some people and pull the pins off of a few of them, then leave. There's a CHANCE that people could be blown to smithereens. Why am I doing it? I dunno, I'm a suicidal adrenaline junkie. But it's nobody's right to stop me, right? Since I haven't hurt anyone yet?
    Or how about I set up a gun range facing a public park? I only MIGHT hurt someone.
    Or how about attempted murder? Hey, I never ACTUALLY killed anyone.

    You should be ashamed of how stupid you are.

  • El Duderino||

    Sit down and listen.

    "-So should have government or anarchy? First you say we don't need governement, then you describe the "only things" government should do"

    No, not total anarchy. Government should protect NATURAL liberty. This does not mean prevent it, just provide consequences for it. If I murder someone, I should be ARRESTED. This is acceptable, because every LIVING human has a NATURAL interest in staying alive.

    "-actually... taxes and governments are necessary for civil order. Various forms of your anarch-capitalism have been tried and they all sucked balls. "Anarchies" or whatever you want to call them have been and are more chaotic. Various places have had similar systems - groups of tribes, clans, small city-states, modern Somalia. They all sucked."

    Since you brought up Somalia as an example, let me just state that this is not an example of a limited government, which is what I was describing. If you are saying this was an anarchy then you are also wrong, because the Islamists (ICU) IMPOSED Sharia law. This is the REASON why limited government is needed to PROTECT individual liberty. If you want to live under Sharia law you are welcome to do so voluntarily, but if you try to IMPOSE it on me, I will have some limited recourse in the government. After Somalia, you point to "clans" and "tribes". I dont know if you realize this, but "clans" and "tribes" seem to be the only groups of people that get along with each other. If a clan goes after another clan, this is called WAR and the other clan has a right to defend themselves. A group of people allied as a tribe share common principals and values and this allows them to get along. Just because tribes are prevalent in the 3rd world doesnt mean they are bad examples of civilization, it just means they are not as industrialized as we are, because America was and in many ways still is a bigger more effective tribe.

    "-How about you actually adress my point about solving crimes? If you arrest people to do an investigation, maybe you suspect them, but it turns out they never actually did anything, then you just agressed against them, didn't you? Even an anarcho-capitalist set up couldn't avoid this"

    I did address this. I said that arresting people without cause is aggression. If a "crime" is committed and we have EVIDENCE of who committed it, then arrest is perfectly acceptable. This is WHY I brought up POT. Pot is a crime in 99% of this country and so one could be arrested for using or owning it. It is not the arrest I am concerned with here, it is the fact that it is illegal. Arbitrary laws, lead to arbitrary arrests and arbitrary incarcerations. THIS IS A VIOLATION OF NATURAL LIBERTY.

    "- OK did you just admit that there should be no driving laws whatsoever, and even drunk driving? OK, so you've just admitted you're a fucking retard, and nobody should listen to you."

    Laws are consequences codified by government. Killing people by driving drunk is illegal because killing or harming people is illegal. Creating a LAW against drunk driving isn't a bad thing as long as the law isn't based on arbitrary expectations. The BAC limit is not arbitrary, it is a specific measurement of intoxication. If you are driving with a BAC that is over the limit then you are endangering the public and you should be arrested. The problem arises when the police have to make arbitrary decisions about which drivers may or may not be driving over the BAC limit. Do you stop everybody? Do you look for erratic driving? If you stop everyone, it is a violation of my freedom of movement. If you start saying that swerving is a sign of drunkenness, then you are applying a subjective standard to initiate prosecution of a law. Anyone who opposes SB1070 should be aware of this issue. All I am saying is that drunk driving has built in consequences. If government wants to add consequences to the activity, that is fine, because it just enhances the negative reinforcement mechanism, but once it becomes dependent on arbitrary standards, it becomes a violation of liberty.

    Your "grenades" argument is based on irrational behavior. Most people are rational, they have no good reason to bring grenades to a park at all let alone kill people. People would also avoid this behavior because if they are caught, there would be CONSEQUENCES, because you are OBVIOUSLY endangering people. Government cannot do anything to prevent this kind of activity without violating privacy and so far, the government hasn't been particularly effective at preventing this sort of thing from happening. People blow shit up because they are crazy, the government is not going to develop some special magical powers that will allow them to immediately recognize crazy lunatic grenade throwers. Most people don't do this sort of thing because they know it is not a very good idea.

    Despite government, people understand right and wrong actions and society has natural mechanisms in place that ensure most people don't do stupid things to others. Government is only necessary in so much as it helps protect the natural liberties of its people. Protecting anything other than the liberties ALL humans share as a fact of their being is acceptable, because ALL people are considered equal in this situation. Arbitrary laws are arbitrary because they require that one person be treated differently than another based on subjective criteria. Criteria such as "fairness" are subjective, but further than that, the term "fairness" is being misapplied in most cases, because fairness just means that judgment is made based on the same criteria for all individuals and punishment is sentenced on the same principal.

    "You should be ashamed of how stupid you are."

    Okay, you got me on this one. I don't believe that government is the sole provider of justice and freedom, but rather I believe that humans work towards their own rational self interests and this motivation, coupled with consequences for bad actions are the drivers that allow civil order to emerge. People want order because it is whats best for them so they work to ensure order. They dont work to create order because the government tells them to.

  • El Duderino||

    CORRECTION:

    Protecting anything other than the liberties ALL humans share as a fact of their being is UNacceptable, because ALL people are NOT considered equal in this situation. Arbitrary laws are arbitrary because they require that one person be treated differently than another based on subjective criteria.

  • ||

    "I can drive on the left if I want, but that would be retarded because I will collide at full speed with oncoming traffic and DIE"

    You can live in a libertopia if you want, but that would be retarded because you will collide at full selfishness with other's oncoming egos and you would DIE

  • ||

    That's not the definition of civilization

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines civilization (noun) as "a developed or advanced state of human society; a particular stage or a particular type of this." What part of this is dependent on taxation?

    We've seen red apples. And they've all sucked balls.

    So you've know of a civilization without taxation? Thank you for proving my point.

    his argument about rich people not leaving was about economics, not morality. Namely the article's claim that higher taxes would hurt the eocnomy

    Too bad I'm not replying to the article. I'm replying to thing's Tony wrote. Does Edwin not want to argue morality? Then don't reply to my comments.

    Oh, I have the freedom to do what I want as long as I'm not harming anyone? OK, how about I steal your car? That won't harm you.


    On the contrary it obviously does harm me. If you think not, then would you be fine with me stealing your car? No? Why not? It doesn't harm you? If you are going to argue that property is illegitimate then put your money where your mouth is and share it with everyone else. I'll be waiting...

    Even in a minarchist or even anarchist state, if crimes are to be solved, people will have to be arrested during the investigation process. That immediately violates your principle.


    How does it violate my principle? It's the same in our current society. We are innocent until proven guilty, yet arrest is not a guilty verdict.

    I mean for fuck's sake driving laws violate that principle. "WHO ARE YOU TO SAY I CAN'T DRIVE ON THE LEFT! I'M NOT HARMING ANYONE!" You'd run into this problem even in an anarchist society, not that said society would even last any amount of significant time.


    This has nothing to do with the problem, since in a minarchist or anarchist society, there are no public roads. Or if there somehow swaths of land that people used as roads but no one owned, there would be no road rules for them.

    Your basic complaint about taxes on the fundamental level is stupid and meaningless. It's one thing to argue for less taxes, or that less taxes represents more freedom. But to complain about the CONCEPT of taxes is just silly.


    Yes, it's not just silly, it's inconceivable, it's unmentionable. I guess there's no reason to present arguments or discuss this, since Edwin has determined that it's just silly. Well then.

    Another brilliant intellectual procrastination from the Great Edwin.

    If you re-re's would just admit that there's going to be taxes no matter what we do, he wouldn't need to post.


    You seem to have lost focus of what libertarians are arguing, which is that the creation of a free society is the RIGHT THING TO DO. I find it funny that you gloat over your "victory" that a libertarian society will never be created (isn't that like counting your chickens before they hatch?). Isn't it more important to show that we are wrong than to show that we will never succeed? Regardless you have done little to show either. Less juvenile gloating, more intellectual substance please!
  • El Duderino||

    "This has nothing to do with the problem, since in a minarchist or anarchist society, there are no public roads. Or if there somehow swaths of land that people used as roads but no one owned, there would be no road rules for them."

    I appreciate this argument. I can drive on any side I choose so long as my decision does not run contrary to my rational self interest of not getting hit by an oncoming vehicle.

    Heller, I like your argument better than the one I proposed because it takes the proper conclusion that in the governmental organization described, public roads would not exist and therefore rules for roads would be a matter of practical use. I am not going to collide with an oncoming vehicle because there is no rule that says I have to stay on the right hand side. NO, instead, I am going to drive on whatever side doesnt get me killed.

  • Edwin||

    Your arguments are fucking clown shoes. The both of you jagaloons.

    I don't even know what the hell El Duderino is arguing above. So is drunk driving laws bad or not? And he keeps switching between taxes being OK and being inherently wrong.

  • El Duderino||

    Dumbass learn to read.

    Drunk driving is DANGEROUS, it is also hard to prove objectively without stopping drivers for arbitrary reasons. If I get pulled over because I swerve to avoid a pothole well, this is a SUBJECTIVE evaluation of my behavior. All I am saying is there are laws against driving drunk, this does not mean that cops should be out using subjective criteria to SELECTIVELY enforce the law.

    Govt is wrong because it is necessarily violent. This violence can only be JUSTIFIED when it is used for the purposes of protecting natural liberty.

  • Edwin||

    Jesus Christ kid, what the fuck are you talking about? how the fuck are the cops supposed to enforce any driving laws if they can't pull you over for dangerous driving? how are they selectively enforcing the law? If you look like a drunk driver, they're going to pull you over. Sounds pretty consistent to me.

  • ||

    "Isn't it more important to show that we are wrong than to show that we will never succeed?"

    Not really, your degree of futility is infinite in either case.

  • Chad||

    Heller, the problem is your pathetic and wrong-headed idea of freedom, which does not extend beyond the minimal concept of freedom from government.

    How, pray tell, are you "less free" than, say, a Swede or Japanese? Oh, I am sure you can come up with a few pathetic things, but there are plenty of things on the opposite side of the ledger in both countries.

  • ||

    Heller, the problem is your pathetic and wrong-headed idea of freedom, which does not extend beyond the minimal concept of freedom from government.

    We've already discussed this many times Chad. The libertarian concept of freedom obviously does extend beyond freedom from government force, or libertarians would be fine with ordinary individuals killing and stealing. Libertarians focus on freedom from government specifically because we already for the most part have the right to not be murdered or harmed by individuals. I find it laughable that you consider this freedom "minimal" when it clearly extends beyond yours. If you think its OK for the government to take my money and restrict me from doing things that don't harm others, then aren't YOU the one with the minimal concept of freedom?

    The problem lies, as I've said before, in the conflict between negative and positive freedoms. Libertarians want all negative freedoms to be enforced, while liberals and conservatives are willing to sacrifice certain negative freedoms for material advancement of positive freedoms. Libertarians don't explicitly restrict either negative or positive freedoms, so they have the most inclusive concept of freedom.

    How, pray tell, are you "less free" than, say, a Swede or Japanese? Oh, I am sure you can come up with a few pathetic things, but there are plenty of things on the opposite side of the ledger in both countries.

    I would say that I am considerably more free than a Swede or Japanese person. I don't see where you got the opposite idea from...

  • Edwin||

    Really, you believe in Freedom beyond just government intervention? So do I. So, for example in the 1960's I recognize that no amount of WRITTEN "equality under the law" was ACTUALLY going to create an equal and free world for blacks, so the civil rights act, and it's title 2, make sense. The South would have been fully capable of extra-legally imposing Jim Crow on blacks even if the laws supposrting Jim Crow were struck down. There's a lot more to the world than laws. That's why even the national chains wanted the anti-discrimination title 2 section of the act. Not to mention that blacks were already starting from an unequal position in terms of power. For a hundred years they were slaves. Most of the country was surveyed and deeded to people while blacks couldn't get it. That entire system of property, and real estate, no less, one of the most important kinds of property, was illegitimate even by libertarian standards. And then after slavery they still never really got a fair shake in the marketplace, yes because of laws too, but that doesn't change the fact that it made them start worse off in the 60's.

    See? There's more to freedom than just not being interfered with by the government. So if it takes some government interference to ACTUALLY create a FREER, EQUAL-(of opportunity, not outcome) world for blacks, in the form of anti-discrimination laws, then that's still a net boon to freedom.

  • ||

    Really, you believe in Freedom beyond just government intervention? So do I. So, for example in the 1960's I recognize that no amount of WRITTEN "equality under the law" was ACTUALLY going to create an equal and free world for blacks, so the civil rights act, and it's title 2, make sense.

    Too bad forcing bigots to serve black people didn't actually give them equal rights. White people shouldn't have the right to be served in any establishment they walked into either.

    See? There's more to freedom than just not being interfered with by the government. So if it takes some government interference to ACTUALLY create a FREER, EQUAL-(of opportunity, not outcome) world for blacks, in the form of anti-discrimination laws, then that's still a net boon to freedom.

    Yes, I understand that blacks suffered severe injustices and violations of their freedoms. So how exactly does restricting people's freedoms today make up for that? The slavers are long dead Edwin, collectively punishing white business owners (and non-white business owners) is not solving or rectifying anything.

    Also, this is inherently about equality of outcome, not opportunity. Saying that a store has to serve anyone who comes through their door is about outcome, not opportunity.

  • Edwin||

    the point isn't to punish other people. The point is that blacks did not have an equal world from the get go. You can't claim people have equality under the law when an entire, obvious minority group has fuckloads less money and property.

    Try to keep up

    and the anti-discrimination laws didn't indeed start creating an equal world for blacks. It cut off Jim Crow completely. It gave the segregationalists NOITHING to hope for in terms of accomplishing their goals. And it made it so that business owners who wanted to serve blacks could without extra-legal harassment (since there would be no point for the racists to attack EVERY store/resaturant). And it created a freer world on a day to da basis for blacks. Can you imagine a world where you can't go into half the stores? What do you do if you're in a new town? Just going into the wrong store could not only get you kicked out but attacked. Entire small towns could end up off-limits to blacks.

  • ||

    the point isn't to punish other people.

    Too bad! I know you would like to act like it doesn't punish people, but it does, regardless of the stated motive. Your actions have consequences other than those you prefer Edwin.

    The point is that blacks did not have an equal world from the get go. You can't claim people have equality under the law when an entire, obvious minority group has fuckloads less money and property.

    No, those are completely separate measures. They currently have equality (or "over-equality") of the law, regardless of how wealthy people are under around them. Then, separate from that is the problem of outcomes. You think the ends of benefiting those who suffered justifies punishing neutral parties, I don't. It's that simple.

    The argument that if we did not have this law, blacks would be excluded from entire towns is ridiculous. If we want an open society we have the responsibility to create it ourselves through our own peaceful means, not through the means of force.

  • ||

    The law never got rid of racism, it merely forced racists to pretend they weren't. It was the ideas and the peaceful efforts of the movement BEHIND the civil rights act that actually decreased racism in this country, not the law.

  • ||

    oh sure, people always do the right thing if left to their own devices...ha!

  • ||

    without the law, racists would have just killed all the activists.

  • Edwin||

    "Too bad! I know you would like to act like it doesn't punish people, but it does, regardless of the stated motive. Your actions have consequences other than those you prefer Edwin."

    Wow. Did you just conflate intentions with consequences, after I responded to YOUR accusation of the motivations behind the relevant law? Wow, you're retarded.

    You're clearly to stupid to understand the basic failings of the world and laws. My argument is that as much as they'd have equality under the law in writing (NOT equality of outcomes), this simply would NOT be so on a day-to-day basis in reality. Again, there's plenty of of stuff the people can do outside of the law to enforce what they want. The mafia is technically illegal, but that doesn't stop it from putting it's hand in like half the economy of Sicily. There's only so much laws can do. And in the 1960's, it was either the federal government install watchdogs for every local police force and government all over the country, or pass title 2 in the Civil Rights Act. By making segregation impossible in people's everyday lives, they completely cut off any hope for any accomplishments for the segregationalists, and started a social change by making such thought processes a losing strategy, and the newer generations responded accordingly.

    Read the Epstein and Bernstein articles on why Rand Paul was wrong.

  • ||

    Did you just conflate intentions with consequences, after I responded to YOUR accusation of the motivations behind the relevant law?

    Where did I conflate them? Is specifically said "The law punishes people regardless of the stated motive." That's not conflation, that's juxtaposition you dumbfuck.

    The motives of the act are completely out of touch with its effects. As I said before, preventing people from refusing to serve blacks didn't end mainstream racism in this country. Popular support and advocacy did.

    Either laws are ineffective or they aren't. You can't have it both ways. Part of the Civil Rights Act punished people who were acting within their rights, and it had nothing to do with giving blacks equal rights.

    So far I have not heard a single reason from you about why it's OK to not allow people to discriminate privately. I've heard reasons of how it would benefit other people, but not reasons that actually allow the taking away of that right. This is what the argument over the Civil Rights Act was truly about, and all you have done is avoid the question.

  • Edwin||

    that's because i don't focus only on direct morality/rights, I actually care about the net effects of policies and the net amount of freedom that the people have. So if racists not being allowed to discriminate, even if you assume they have the right to, actually makes a freer, more equal-under-the-law world for blacks, then so be it.

  • ||

    I actually care about the net effects of policies and the net amount of freedom that the people have. So if racists not being allowed to discriminate, even if you assume they have the right to, actually makes a freer, more equal-under-the-law world for blacks, then so be it.

    But there were many more racist whites in the south than there were blacks. Being a utilitarian, doesn't the freedom of the many racists outweigh the freedom of the few blacks? In fact, shouldn't you be saying that whites should have been given the freedom to walk all over the blacks? That's a huge net increase in freedom Edwin. The minority should always suffer for the benefit of the majority, right Edwin?

  • Edwin||

    no, because the freedom of a racist to discriminate is trivial. But the freedom to live actually live your life like a normal fucking human being for once is enormous.

    "The minority should always suffer for the benefit of the majority, right Edwin?"
    That's shit you're coming up with. I never said anything like that, ya fucking psycho.

  • ||

    no, because the freedom of a racist to discriminate is trivial. But the freedom to live actually live your life like a normal fucking human being for once is enormous.

    Huh? How is a racist's right to not allow a black person into his store not equivalent to a black person's "right" to enter his store? Those two are completely complimentary freedoms. You're just talking semantics because I caught you using bad premises to bridge the gap between reason and your dumb beliefs.

    That's shit you're coming up with. I never said anything like that, ya fucking psycho.

    Yes, you did say that when you said you care about net freedom. The freedoms of a big group of people always has more net worth than the opposing freedoms of a small group, you fucking fascist. Either admit you're a fascist, or admit that you don't actually care about "net" freedom.

  • Edwin||

    Bullshit. Net freedoms, with various freedoms weighted accordingly. Not just any one freedom for as many people as possible. Not every freedom is as meaningful as every other. And sometimes one freedom will be at odds with more and greater freeedoms.

    So, racists can't discriminate, but on the other hand, blacks could finally live their lives unmolested. In case (you're trying to pretent) you didn't know, blacks had it extremely rough before the 1960's. Their daily lives were a struggle. Doing the most basic daily tasks came with huge restrictions, if they managed to do them at all. Furthermore, title 2 ALLOWED people who didn't want to discriminate not discriminate. While they legally could have without it, in reality Jim Crow was enforced by a lot more than laws. All it takes is some shit done by the klan or just vigilantes in general and the Southern segregationalists could enforce Jim Crow segregation extra legally. That's why national chains stuck their neck out and called for an added anti-discrimination clause in the Civil Rights Act.

    And you're in no position to call me a fascist when you're arguing against the civil rights act.

  • ||

    Bullshit. Net freedoms, with various freedoms weighted accordingly.

    Exactly. And you get to arbitrarily choose which freedoms are more important. So really you have no coherent philosophy of freedom.

    So, racists can't discriminate, but on the other hand, blacks could finally live their lives unmolested.

    As I said before, this has nothing to do with freedom. Your reasoning is, black people suffered, so in order to make up for it, I'm going to take away freedom from some other guys to make the outcomes more equal.

    While they legally could have without it, in reality Jim Crow was enforced by a lot more than laws.

    Yes, illegally enforced. So what should the government do when someone is illegally enforcing their whims on someone else? Go down there, arrest them, convict them, and put them in jail. But somehow, some genius figured that instead of that, the government should just make everyone behave like the people the klan were coercing. Does that make any fucking sense when compared to what the government is supposed to do when a crime is committed? No it does not.

    And you're in no position to call me a fascist when you're arguing against the civil rights act.

    Why not? The civil rights act contains a clause that makes it illegal for business owners to do what they want with their business. That is fascism. In this country, we allow people to have their opinions in their private homes and businesses. It's called freedom, and even the people you don't like have it, you fucking fascist.

  • ||

    It might be ok to allow people to dicriminate privately, but that inevitably leads to public discrimination.

    "The lack of a civil rights law punishes people regardless of the stated motive."

  • ||

    so, the law may have negative consequences, but which is more important, You having the right to harm someone, or them having the right to be free of harm?

    (wow I can't believe I got sucked into this side of the argument, I can't stand most equal rights advocates cause their bleeding heart affirmative action types, but I don't maintain the right to dehumanize someone. Dislike, yes, but I dislike a lot of groups (non-atheists, rednecks, "post-modern" liberal college profs, neo-cons, etc.)and still think they should be treated as human.(except the post modernists, kill em all!!))

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And Edwin plays the race card.

  • Chad||

    Libertarians want all negative freedoms to be enforced, while liberals and conservatives are willing to sacrifice certain negative freedoms for material advancement of positive freedoms

    Precisely. And this is why you guys are absurd. You are willing to fight for the protection of negative freedoms to the bitter end, at the sacrifice of a multitude of positive freedoms. While you may concede the latter exist in principle, you give them zero weight in practice, and hence throw them in the trash the moment they conflict with even the most hypothetical and trivial negative freedom.

    Thus, we wind up a lot less free than we need to be if your policies are adopted.

    OK, how are you "more free" than a Swede. What amazing freedom do you have which offsets the ability of every Swede to, say, wake up in the morning and not worry about paying for health care?

  • Sweden||

    We pay for health care with taxes.

    Very, very high taxes.

  • ||

    Precisely. And this is why you guys are absurd. You are willing to fight for the protection of negative freedoms to the bitter end, at the sacrifice of a multitude of positive freedoms.

    And if you had quoted the rest of what I had said, your reply would not have made sense. How have we "sacrificed" positive freedoms? This is a very important concept Chad:

    Not giving the poor other people's money is NOT equivalent to restricting the poor from getting money or sacrificing their freedom. This is the fundamental difference between positive and negative freedoms that you ALWAYS ignore. They are not equally exchangeable. You are never restricting positive freedoms by supporting negative ones, but you can (and usually do) restrict negative freedoms by supporting positive freedoms. Positive freedoms require scarce resources or specific action in order to be supported, negative freedoms require nothing. They require the absence of action.

    To say that libertarians restrict positive freedoms is dishonest and merely a rhetorical rationalization for your own unequal favoring of positive freedoms over negative freedoms.

  • ||

    Also, nice fail comprehension of the concept of paying for healthcare. Sorry Chad, but it's time you learned the harsh lesson of TANSTAAFL.

  • Japan||

    We are one of the most overtly racist and classist societies on Earth. Do a Google search for "burakumin" or look up how we treat ethnic Chinese and Koreans.

  • Adam||

    As an objective observer (British), I can state fairly that both sides of the argument are, in fact, stupid. For a start, no-one will change the others opinion. Go outside and climb a tree.

  • Edwin||

    indeed, we can't talk about whether taxes should be lower or higher if one side is so stupid that it can't admit that taxes have to exist in the first place (if we want to live with a standard of living similar to what we have now)

    Like I could tell you about how taxes are too high, and more revenue could be raised by simplifying the tax code anyway as opposed to raising the rate, IF we were talking about taxes. But these fuckos won't even admit to the legitimacy or even inevitability of taxes in the first place

  • ||

    Then there really is no reason to argue with you Edwin, since you hold as a religious ultimatum that civilization must have taxes. There is no reason to believe taxes are necessary for the progress of humanity, just as there is no reason to believe murder, rape, and theft are necessary for the progress of humanity. All these things have existed in civilization up to this point, that doesn't mean they are necessary to civilization.

  • Edwin||

    Taxes are necessary if you want things like a police force, courts, county offices to store deeds and land surveys, etc. Unless you think these things happen by magic.

    But, oh right, you believe in having multiple little governments or whatever da fuck. It all has to be VOLUNTARY, you little obsession. Never mind the fact that that HAS NEVER WORKED OUT WELL. All the places that came close to your system sucked. YOU'RE the one with the religious belief in spit of MILLENIA of historical evidence.

  • ||

    Taxes are necessary if you want things like a police force, courts, county offices to store deeds and land surveys, etc. Unless you think these things happen by magic.

    Hmmm, that's interesting, I don't think taxes were necessary for providers of other services, like supermarkets, dry cleaners, etc. Those guys found a demand for their services that payed for them. It's not magic, Edwin, it's just how people who aren't allowed to use force get payed to do things.

    But, oh right, you believe in having multiple little governments or whatever da fuck.

    Ignorance is not an argument, my dear Edwin.

    Never mind the fact that that HAS NEVER WORKED OUT WELL. All the places that came close to your system sucked. YOU'RE the one with the religious belief in spit of MILLENIA of historical evidence.

    I guess it's too much work for things like examples or proof. I'll just take your word for it.

  • Tony||

    You think police and courts should be private services?

  • El Duderino||

    Why not?

    Private police are no different than government police. Private judges are no different than government judges.

    Oh wait, there would be one difference. Competition. If a private police force isn't serving its community effectively, those people can go to another private police provider. If a society finds that its private judicial system is unfair, it can FIRE them for another.

    The only thing these private enterprises need to ensure there is no abuse of power is public oversight. In government, public oversight is granted to representatives who have a built in desire for re-election (a fixable problem for a different post). But even if they didnt have this problem, they are still just a singular representative and they are therefore more easily corrupted into serving the narrow interests of a few. Dont take my word for it, just watch a few SCOTUS confirmation hearings.

    In a private justice system local communities can decide locally on which providers are best for them locally. On a federal scale, this is more difficult, but exactly why do we need a federal system? If we assume we actually need a federal system, there is still an opportunity for competition to select the best provider, but why cant local providers just enforce the federal law?

    ... I await your argument against this because these private corporations are greedy, but while you are formulating your argument based on greed, please take a moment to figure out how government is insulated from greed.

  • Tony||

    Well a "public oversight" body, i.e., a government, contracting out police isn't much different than it just having normal police, except it would probably be more expensive and less accountable. You're arguing this from a community standpoint, meaning we don't disagree about anything but scale.

    In general, governments need a monopoly on the legitimate use of force (otherwise we have what's known as a failed state). I think it's generally better to have such things as police forces public rather than private. At least you don't go as far as some quasi-anarchists and think armed protection is something to be purchased on an individual basis. So our only disagreement is the fact that you want taxpayers to pay for for-profit security firms (meaning, again, it's more expensive and less accountable).

    But I just don't see how a private judicial system would work at all. Is a fair, impartial judiciary something that could be a salable commodity? Could communities choose not to have one at all and save the money?

    You seem to be arguing for a less efficient, less fair, almost premodern system for no reason whatsoever.

  • El Duderino||

    I would tend to agree that a private police and judicial system would be difficult to manage and while I don't think a private judge would have any less or more capacity for corruption than a public one, in the end, this is a non-issue because corruption does not care which system is used so it is its own independent problem.

    I, like many Americans would prefer to be able to defend my life, liberty and contractual obligations on my own using only the force necessary to do so and I will retain that right as it is naturally mine, but I could probably be more productive if these basic essential and natural liberties are protected by the government. Believe me, as a free market libertarian with all the trappings thereof, I would like nothing more than to have a society free of government, but there is an obvious advantage of having some very limited government. And while it sounds nice to believe we can have a private police force and private judiciary, I have given it considerable thought and I just think there are too many impracticalities. Like you said, this perhaps should be a monopoly power of the government, though I would like to see much more accountability. I don't think a SCOTUS appointment should be a lifetime appointment and there should probably be some modifications to the appointment process so that political pandering is less likely to influence decisions and selections at all levels of the judicial system (I dont have any good ideas on this regard, but it seems like something that should be considered.)

    I think the military could be privatized, but the use of military power would still rest in the hands of the government and oversight would have to be strong enough to keep them from starting wars. I don't think a private military would be any less inclined to push for certain wars than a public one, because they are both doing essentially the same thing, the only difference would be is that we would pay more to the private military firm who does the job the best or commits the most resources to the job. If we used the military more often for humanitarian needs (a concept that is relatively new) we could use these events rather than war to reward military firms. In the end, a private military will have a profit motive of some sorts to keep costs down and that is about the only advantage other than the possibility that competition among firms might further enhance the efficiencies, skills and technologies of the military, but our current government run military is world class on many different levels and their technology is superior to almost any foreign military because private companies compete (sort of at least) to win defense contracts. We just need to clean out the corruption in all levels of government to make this system work better.

    In the end, a system of justice, including police and the military are things a government is good at in so much as the system is not corrupted. Arbitrary laws, like the progressive tax code are corrupting forces because politicians can use them to pander for votes and that is exactly what is going on today. If all people are equal in the eyes of the law, then how can you have a law that treats some people differently than others. Taxing the rich is a value judgment, not an objective truth. One could argue all day about the economics if it, but it doesn't change the fact that the decision to tax one group of people differently than another is unfair in the true sense of the word fair, no matter how you feel about the rich.

  • Edwin||

    Jesus Christ. Talk about tl,dr. Just STFU kid. What the hell is wrong with you? What the hell makes you think you're so much fucking smarter than billions of people over thousands of years? I mean what the hell are you even talking about? "We should have private police, but we shouldn't, but we should have private courts, but maybe we shouldn't." You're all over the fucking place. Get the fuck out of college, and get a job. Live in the world a little. Maybe that'll learn you something.

  • El Duderino||

    You could have private police. I am saying I dont know that it would necessarily be better.

    Telling me to shut up doesnt really support your point of view so why dont you actually engage in the conversation rather than tell me to shut up.

    I am at least willing to explore possibilities and in this case I explored the idea of privatized justice system as well as privatized military and came to the conclusion that private police and private judges are at least possible, but probably not much better than the public version.

    So far all you have managed to do is prove that you are unwilling to consider any ideas or engage in any sort of critical thinking. You have not only proved that you have no intellectual curiosity whatsoever, you also come off as an asshole.

    "Get the fuck out of college, and get a job. Live in the world a little. Maybe that'll learn you something."

    To that I say, I have been out of college for over a decade and I have been working each day since. You dont know me so dont pretend you know my "type". You are useless because all you do is denigrate people who challenge your world view. You see, I engage Tony because although I dont generally agree with him, HE ENGAGES back and more often than not he makes good arguments. You do nothing useful as far as I can see.

    I dont know you so I will give you the benefit of doubt that you are probably a reasonable person, but telling people you disagree with or dont understand to STFU is useless. I suggest you actually make a point and maybe you can get others to THINK about their world view, but that would mean YOU would have to also think about your own world view and not just take it on faith.

  • Edwin||

    Well, you should be fucking ashamed of yourself. You've clearly not matured. Most people come out of their awkward dogmatic libertarian phase after college, but you haven't. Really, you should be fucking ashamed of yourself.

  • Edwin||

    Tony and I and Chad have engaged all you fucking losers and spelled it out for you over and over again. But you idiots are too fucking stupid to get what the vast m,ajority of people understand. You're all still stick fucking on what we overcame 5,000 YEARS AGO. Anarchy doesn't work. You need taxes to run a civilization. And if your system has never been tried, it's just as stupid for you to expect other people to believe that it woul;d work so much better. But frankly you idiots don't even espouse any real system. It's all just babbling about taxes and freedom and fairness. Like communists, very little actual detail comes through. Certainly not enough detail to describe how the hell an ENTIRE SOCIETY is going to run. And like communists, you flat out don't care about the real world, about practicality; you're obsessed with your stupid moral premises. But the world isn't built out of moral premises.
    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • El Duderino||

    The entire society runs itself. I never said there should be NO laws or NO taxes. All I am saying is society and civilization can exist OUTSIDE of these things. The reason why this distinction is important is because Rule making and taxation have consequences in real life. You cant simply say ok we will make these laws and because there is a law everything will improve because laws and taxes REQUIRE the government to commit violence to ENFORCE those laws.

    The reason why I bring this up is because it is the ESSENTIAL basis of the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION so if YOU dont like it YOU can move to Sweden or Canada or anywhere else. The fucking article is about taxing the rich. The current conversation in this country pertains largely with the ECONOMIC effects of taxing the rich. I frankly dont give a shit about the economic effects (though it is all too easy to see how not taxing the rich would benefit the economy). If we are going to have this conversation we need to move from economic issues and consider the ethical implications of taxing one group of people over the other. We obviously differ on this point. You seem to think that rich people are somehow not as free as poor people and therefore it is acceptable to treat them differently. I believe this is class warfare bullshit and you are just parroting EMOTIONAL appeals made by progressives to justify their desire to collect taxes for their redistributive programs.

    All rational arguments must start from a core concept I'm sorry if you think it is simplistic and immature, but this is what I believe and if you take the time to consider what I have said and perhaps read up on things like emergent order you might just see that it is not as silly as you say it is.

    And by the way, the ENTIRE SOCIETY can run itself any way it wants if you and Tony and Chad want to have rules for your group of people, well you are free to do it in the United States. All you have to do is find the STATE that has laws that match your values and if you cant find one, then you have to fight to change laws LOCALLY. that is the whole point of the TENTH AMENDMENT.

    If you want government run health care, move to Massachusetts. I don't want to pay for it so I will live in a STATE that doesnt have that particular law.

    All you are saying here is that the US Constitution is childish and stupid. So fuck off.

  • El Duderino||

    And yes, I am saying that the 16th amendment is contradictory to the ORIGINAL intent of the constitution.

  • Edwin||

    excuse me? Don't slander me you moron. i never said the constitution was childish. I'm saying your stupid ideas are childish. The constitution does not set up an anarchy. It recognizes the inevitability and legitimacy of both statist governments and taxes.

  • Edwin||

    "The entire society runs itself. I never said there should be NO laws or NO taxes. All I am saying is society and civilization can exist OUTSIDE of these things. The reason why this distinction is important is because Rule making and taxation have consequences in real life. You cant simply say ok we will make these laws and because there is a law everything will improve because laws and taxes REQUIRE the government to commit violence to ENFORCE those laws"

    Yo, what the fuck are you even saying there? What in the fucking fuck are you talking about? You just like to babble. If you're a retarded anarchist, say it. If you're not, don't be. Don't try to jerk off your retarded colleagues by going all wishy washy about it.

  • Edwin||

    I never said anything about the tax on the rich, or about its ethicalness. Or about healthcare. So WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    I'm pissed because you feebs are such fucking dogmatic psychos. I'm pissed because you take this philosophy, and then go full retard with it. You could easily just take it, and believe in it generaally and reasonably, like everyone else does with their political philosophy. But no. I'm pissed because people shouldn't be this stupid. If you were a more normal libertarian, and were more reasonable, and weren't such an absolutist. I'm equally pissd at communists. Problem is, very few leftists are actual;ly out-and-out communists. Even leftists have some reasonableness to temper their outlook. Libertarians on the other hand overwhelmingly go full retard.

    God fucking damnit I hate you so much. YOU fucking leave this country. YOU'RE the one who doesn't like government. The rest of us are just fine with the concept. YOU fucking leave and start your magical fucking anarchist utopia bullshit. Oh, you can't, can you? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FUCKING WORK. you wouldn't even survive to start in the first place, militarily speaking. If you actually had such a wonderful system, you'd be able to take over some land. And yes, that is part of the litmus test for success of a political system - gaining land in the first place and surviving. But you idiots are far too stupid and inept and obsessed with "principles" to ever do that.

  • El Duderino||

    Okay.

    "If you actually had such a wonderful system, you'd be able to take over some land. And yes, that is part of the litmus test for success of a political system - gaining land in the first place and surviving. But you idiots are far too stupid and inept and obsessed with "principles" to ever do that."

    So without government I cannot own land. Noted. I am sure the generations of people who managed to acquired land before government existed would be curious to see how this works.

    Land and people predate government. Do you think that people before government existed just sort of hovered in place so as not to touch the land? People can acquire land by violence or by free association (barter and contract) Because violence has much more significant consequences (DEATH) MOST people prefer the latter over the former.

    I don't understand why you cant conceive how free association (barter, trade, contract whatever form it takes) and CONSEQUENCES lead to order.

    Like I have said repeatedly and so that you are not confused. SOME government is good. People left on their own are certainly capable of violence. The people who wrote the constitution of the United States of America believed that LIMITED government was necessary to promote the stability of society (so that I could concentrate on productive activities rather than tend to defensive needs.

    I can see by your frustration that you have run out of useful arguments so if you like, please feel free to call me names. Of course you know that if all you can do is get pissed off at me, then you are no longer making a rational argument, but an emotional appeal that I just change my point of view to be more in line with yours. That could happen, I could change my mind, but you have to prove your case and you have to make a sound REASONABLE argument. . . Or have you already forgotten the name of the website/magazine.

  • ||

    On the contrary Edwin, no more details are necessary. A libertarian society could be created from this one, simply by removing the coercive parts of the government. The world doesn't need them. The only thing they propagate is themselves and other coercive institutions.

  • Edwin||

    "no more details are necessary. A libertarian society could be created from this "

    See? You're a moron. An entire society can't run on one single fucking philosophical premise. The world is a lot more complex than that, no matter how much you try to ignore it.

    And you are aware that "logic" isn't the only thing in the world, right? You do realize it's extremely faulty when it comes to philosophy because no premise is exactly true.
    See:
    http://world.std.com/~mhuben/skept/logic.html

  • ||

    If you had quoted the rest of that statement, your reply wouldn't have made sense. Libertarians are not creating a new world from nothing. They simply want to eliminate the coercive parts of government. You have to prove that we need these parts in order to sustain the non-coercive parts of our society in order to prove your point. None of what makes us civilized is dependent on coercion. What you are saying, that civilization is dependent on taxation, is ironically closer to the false idea that a society can run on a single premise. Libertarians have more than one philosophical premise, and many of them are already apparent in our society today. Just look at the market. It is what it is today because of capitalism, because of the voluntary exchange of goods and services. Libertarian premises are premises that are already working in our world today Edwin, which is something I doubt you will ever understand. The world does not rest on coercion.

  • Edwin||

    Hey, you outright said that you think an entire society can run on one premise. What's a matter, you have to back away from it when that's exposed for the retardation it is?

    The enforcement of property rights and contracts is hardly non-coercive. Unless you think people would be angels without a government? Enough said.

  • ||

    Hey, you outright said that you think an entire society can run on one premise. What's a matter, you have to back away from it when that's exposed for the retardation it is?

    Where did I say this, you disingenuous wackjob?

    The enforcement of property rights and contracts is hardly non-coercive. Unless you think people would be angels without a government? Enough said.

    Defending yourself from coercion can never be coercion. That's the fundamental idea of libertarian freedom. My freedom ends where yours begins. If you don't have the freedom to coerce me in the first place, then the government preventing you from doing that cannot be coercion.

  • Edwin||

    Let's see, right here:

    "On the contrary Edwin, no more details are necessary. A libertarian society could be created from this one, simply by removing the coercive parts of the government"

    Oh it most certainly can be and is coercion. If you;re going to solve a murder or a theft or something, some people are going to have to be arrested during the investigation. That's coercion. Some of these people may not have done anything, and yet you forcibly detained them.
    Any time our courts decide something, if you don't comply with the order, you will be forcibly arrested. etc. etc.
    Or do you think all people will be angels and respect your "natural rights"?

    Furthermore, if any of this is to be paid for, you need taxes. If taxes are COMPLETELY optional (not that they aren't now, it's just a matter of degree - you can leave this country any time you want), then few if any people will pay them.
    Oh, taxes could be paid per service? Like you pay when the cops do something or when you go to court? Yeah, only to a ;libertarian is justice a tradeable commodity.

    You can deny it all you want, but human nature and history shows that if you don't require taxes as part of being in a country's boundaries, people won't pay them. And if they are allowed to, many people will violate your rights for their own gain. Again, this is why you're like a communist, you're denying basic human nature all in the name of following your principles exactly. Difference is, few liberals are actually communists. But for some reason all you libertarians just have to go full retard.

  • ||

    Let's see, right here:

    "On the contrary Edwin, no more details are necessary. A libertarian society could be created from this one, simply by removing the coercive parts of the government"

    Yes, that says a libertarian society could be created from this society by removing the coercive parts of government. Where did I say a society can run on a single premise, you illiterate ape?

    Oh it most certainly can be and is coercion. If you;re going to solve a murder or a theft or something, some people are going to have to be arrested during the investigation. That's coercion.

    No it isn't. If you want your rights to be protected by a judicial system, then you have to consent to being arrested. The alternative that you have is to not have your rights protected by the judicial system, which would not be very good for you.

    Furthermore, if any of this is to be paid for, you need taxes. If taxes are COMPLETELY optional (not that they aren't now, it's just a matter of degree - you can leave this country any time you want), then few if any people will pay them.

    False dichotomy. Your cable bill is not a tax, yet you must pay it.

    Oh, taxes could be paid per service? Like you pay when the cops do something or when you go to court? Yeah, only to a ;libertarian is justice a tradeable commodity.

    Don't pay your taxes and see what justice you get Edwin. The only difference is that in a libertarian society, you could choose what you want to buy, whereas taxes makes you pay for everything, regardless of whether you actually use (or can use) them.

    You can deny it all you want, but human nature and history shows that if you don't require taxes as part of being in a country's boundaries, people won't pay them.

    What does this have to do with libertarianism? We are talking about the abolition of taxation, not making it optional. Wow, you're dumb.

    On a side note, could you provide me with examples or proof of this historical evidence you speak of? Can't wait to hear it.

    Again, this is why you're like a communist, you're denying basic human nature all in the name of following your principles exactly. Difference is, few liberals are actually communists.

    So the way people pay for things voluntarily in a market is against human nature? Hate to break it to you Edwin, but that means we've been going against your retarded view of human nature for hundreds of years.

    Also, you're right about liberals. They really just took alot of bad communist ideas without having their philosophical consistency. But that's a good thing to you, isn't it Edwin?

  • ||

    Also, I'm getting tired of your juvenile style. It's like yo have a set script of insults, between which you fill in the blanks with whatever lame arguments will continue the discussion. Internet dickery is not making you look cool here or winning your argument. Try 4chan next time.

  • ||

    So you want private police? Nice idea. You could pay your private police to rob, rape and kill your poor neighbor who couldn't afford the exorbitant rate police would charge in a free market... Much easier than robbing them yourself. Please don't try to convince me that in a lawless society humans won't just exploit other humans at every opportunity. I realize this doesnt happen (as often) in primitive subsistence cultures where everyone is dependent on everyone else for mere survival, or is that the kind of "freedom" your advocating?

  • Edwin||

    Listen to me. This is what's going to happen to all you fucking nerdo douchebag libertarians.

    An elephant is going to come. He is going to come at you and lift you up with his trunk. He is then going to tip you forward and ass-rape you. He is going to ass-rape you by sliding you up and down his cock with his trunk, as opposed to humping you. This is what shall happen to you for being such fucking dogmatic, absolutist douchebags. The more normal libertarians, who don't believe in magical fairy tales, and just want more freedom in general, and aren't asses about their political philosophy shall be left alone. But all you psycho dogmatic fucks, anarchists or voluntaryists or whatever the fuck you call yourselves, are going to get ass raped by Bingus the Ginormous Horny Elephant.

  • El Duderino||

    Okay, now I am convinced. I shall convert immediately before the circus comes to town.

    Aggression is the first sign that your argument is a failure. . . or that you are too stupid to make a sound argument. Based on what I have read so far, I will give you the benefit of doubt and assume that you are just unable to accept a reasonable argument because your own idealism has erected barriers in your mind that require you to justify your own beliefs rather than consider the possibility you might be wrong.

    Ask yourself this, if government didn't exist, would it be okay for you to eat food? Would it be acceptable for you to defend yourself? Would it be acceptable for you to take wood from the trees or stone from the mountains to carve an object you need or simply to create art? If you say no, only government can allow this, then you are being dishonest, because this is what people did long before government ever existed.

  • El Duderino||

    Someone pass the Jeffery.

  • Edwin||

    Jesus Christ kid. Leave it to a fucking douche nerdo libertarian to respond seriously to an obvious flame/joke post. Retard. You getting why I'm calling you guys nerds?

  • ||

    Oh, I just thought all your posts were flame/joke posts. Were we not supposed to reply to those either?

  • El Duderino||

    No, apparently, you are just supposed to accept them as fact.

  • Edwin||

    Please. You can't weasel your way out of this one. Anybody that isn't an aspberger-case would understand that was a flame/joke and not meant as part of real debate. But you guys didn't get it. Clearly my repeated claim that you guys are aspberger*-afflicted nerds is spot-on.

    *not that aspberger's is a real psychiatric syndrome, so much as a grouping of traits that tends to show up in certain kinds of socially maladjusted assholes that we typically call "nerds"
    http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Assburgers

  • El Duderino||

    If you dont expect a reply then dont bother posting.

    I get your humor, its just not funny. And if you insult somebody EXPECT consequences in the form of a reply.

    Grow a thicker skin or stop posting simply for the purposes of insulting people. It is not helping you win the argument.

  • Edwin||

    oh bullshit. You replied. You clearly didn't get it. Clearly you're a fucking socially detached aspberger case.

  • El Duderino||

    Yes, I'm going to get ass raped by republicans... I get it. it is not funny and because it was DENIGRATING to me and people like me, I responded to it in a way I found to be useful in showing how much of an asshole you are and it also happened to highlight the fact that you are unable to defend your position. This is what children do.

    Or if you just though I was going to sit here and LAUGH at your stupid comment at MY OWN EXPENSE, then perhaps you are an even bigger retard than I initially thought.

  • Edwin||

    I thought you weren't going to be such a fucking sensitive pussy that you'd respond seriously to a stupid joke

    and the elephant wasn't meant to be republican, it's just a ridiculous scenario

  • El Duderino||

    Well then you probably need to work on crafting your jokes. This is a political conversation so excuse me if ELEPHANT images evoke the REPUBLICAN party.

  • ||

    Poor Edwin, he thought we would be quiet and stop destroying him, but we're not. I almost feel sorry for someone who doesn't have enough intellect to reply with anything more than juvenile insults.

  • Edwin||

    You've never destroyed anyone. You always only manage to show what a deliberately religious ascetic you are with your simplistic philosophy. Don't believe me? Take a look at the libertarian vote numbers.

  • ||

    Edwin, just because something is too complicated for you to understand fully, doesn't mean you can ignore the complicated parts and call it simple. From someone who has no philosophy other than preserving the status quo and "the ends justify the means," it seems quite hypocritical for you to point this out.

    Take a look at the libertarian vote numbers.

    Show me "voting records have something to do with the philosophical merits of libertarianism!"

    Oooh, I'm sorry, that is not up on the board, meaning you lose and the Smith family goes on to the next round.

    Thanks for playing Edwin, your consolation prize is an all expense payed link to www.4chan.org, where juvenile trolls like you belong.

  • Edwin||

    That actually is on the board. If luibertarianism actually had some merit, people woulkd believe in it. And as a matter of fact, it does, and people do. But NOT THE PSYCHO DOGMATIC VERSION YOU MORONS ESPOUSE.

  • ||

    That actually is on the board. If luibertarianism actually had some merit, people woulkd believe in it.

    People do believe in it, just not the majority of people. Hmmm, argument from majority?

    So I'm guessing you believe in God, since everyone else does. And you vote for whoever is ahead in the polls, since everyone else has gotta be right about politics, right? Ever tried thinking for yourself, or do you just go by whatever everyone else is doing?

    But NOT THE PSYCHO DOGMATIC VERSION YOU MORONS ESPOUSE.

    Yes, we heard you're whole rant about how real libertarians are against the free market and think government coercion is cool, blah blah.

    All you idiots have is bullshit like this: strawmanning the other guy, making crappy assumptions about the other guy's position.

    No, that's what you do when you argue against libertarianism. That and gloat that libertarianism isn't one of the "popular kids." Is Edwin still stuck in high school?

    All I've ever said is that you're never going to have your stupid anarchist utopia of no taxes. It's not going to happen, and it'll never work out.

    Again with this temper tantrum? This is getting pretty old, little Edwin. I know you have a monopoly on predicting the future, but humor me please. What exactly is going to stop it from happening? The world is getting more free, more libertarian all the time. Look at where humanity was two thousand, a thousand, five hundred years ago. The trend is toward liberty, not against it. What makes you so sure the future will be the same as it is now? It's reasonable to assume it won't be the same, and that it will change in the right direction. Human innovation always works against the status quo. Regardless of what you say, libertarians have many reasons to be optimistic about the future.

    You can easily follow a philosophy or general principle, if you're willing to be realistic about what you can get done and what will work in the real world. there are plenty of minarchist libertarians.

    Except what you mean by realistic is believing in stuff you agree with. So as long as libertarians don't say they want to get rid of all coercion, they are realistic. Too bad. If you concede that some coercion is OK, where do you draw the line? Either coercion is unjust, or it isn't. And there's nothing unrealistic about not allowing the government to coerce you when you have done nothing wrong. And we are minarchists. No one wants to get rid of government here, they just want to get rid of coercive government.

    But if you feel like you HAVE to follow ONE principle EXACTLY, then you're just a silly douche, like yourself, or like communists.

    Yes, it's quite silly to be consistent and not a hypocrite. I definitely see your point. Silly, that's it.

    I notice you don't have an actual reason for why it's bad to follow your principles. It's just silly. Just weird. Only the weird minority of people does it, right Edwin? And you only hang with the cool kids, the popular group, right? Still in high school, I see.

    This is all part of the self-gratifying nature of majority thinking. Anyone outside the majority is "unrealistic" and "extreme." Never mind finding actual reasons why communist extremists are bad (such as that they don't believe in property rights, and therefore can't distribute scarce resources without resorting to coercion). No the EXTREMISM is what makes them wrong. This is all one big excuse for not thinking for yourself. It is juvenile intellectual laziness to the core. And that is really what most of your criticisms and beliefs amount to, Edwin.

  • Edwin||

    Bullshit. You can't tell me that you can build an entire society out of one single specific premise and then turn around and tell me that you aren't being simplistic. That's an extremely simplistic and juvenile idea. You use only one premise, and always stick to that: that's simplistic. That's almost the definition of simplistic.

  • Edwin||

    "From someone who has no philosophy other than preserving the status quo and "the ends justify the means"

    Please. Go fuck yourself. Go shove a giant fucking kinfe up your ass. All you idiots have is bullshit like this: strawmanning the other guy, making crappy assumptions about the other guy's position.

    All I've ever said is that you're never going to have your stupid anarchist utopia of no taxes. It's not going to happen, and it'll never work out. If following your exact principles means taking up a position that you know won't work out, then you better fucking believe that you better be a little more resilient with your philosophy, or as you put, "the ends justify the means". Though of course, it's not as simple as that. You can easily follow a philosophy or general principle, if you're willing to be realistic about what you can get done and what will work in the real world. there are plenty of minarchist libertarians. But if you feel like you HAVE to follow ONE principle EXACTLY, then you're just a silly douche, like yourself, or like communists. Problem is, way too many libertarians seem to be silly douches like yourself, whereas very few liberals are actually communists.
    Liberatarianism is defined by its extremism/absolutism. if there are any reasonable libertarians or minarchists, they're going to have to start calling themselves something else.

  • El Duderino||

    LOL... I could go years before seeing a good Family Feud reference like that. Pure Gold.

  • El Duderino||

    Tossing bombs is easy.

  • El Duderino||

    A: I am not a kid.

    2. What do you have against nerds?

    *. I am still waiting for my Jeffery. Pleas pass it to the left hand side please.

  • ||

    Edwhine, are you getting paid by the number of "nerd" mentions you drop into your trolling?
    Because you might be at risk of pushing into a higher tax bracket.

  • El Duderino||

    I am a proud NERD.

    End the Nerd persecution now!

    Goodnight booger.

  • ||

    If you switch to threatening us with gaunchy pulls I'll be suitably impressed.

  • Peter Jensen||

    Stossel would be a little more credible if he had hit on the Republican controlled Congress who voted in an non-financed Medicaire extension and unsustainable tax-cuts.

    Letting tax-cuts for the rich expire is hardly instating new taxes for the rich. It's going back to the 90s rates.

  • Chris||

    If Libertarians are ever to go mainstream, you just have to answer the question, Why do you think the ever-growing income inequality is just fine? Why do you not rail against Private tyranny and only Public or State tyranny. Its intellectually dishonest. Call yourself a Private Libertarian or something, but allowing Private tyranny to form (you don't agree that with obscene wealth come obscene arbitrary power?) is not Libertarian. Your'e only halfway there.

    Hayek recognized the need for a legislative framework (a recognized halt on some liberty) within which competition and individual choice could make the best economic decisions. There is no rational reason why creating a set of checks and balances that don't let wealth accumulation spriral out of control into the hands of very few, for the sake of preserving the system, should not be part of the framework.

    Are you kidding? More personal wealth for a billionaire, for ideological reasons, is more important than the functioning of the economy or preservation of our nation?

  • Soonerliberty||

    Except that such a framework is used to punish the competitors of well-connected businesses. The FTC is the best example of this. Why are most of the lawsuits stemming from businesses and not consumers?

    What is private tyranny? The only way anyone can get rich in a private market is by providing something voluntarily that the public demands (without judgment of the demand). What tyranny can exist without government there to punish competition? We're not talking about fairytale legislation that checks business - that never happens. When you look at private tyranny, what you're really seeing the private businesses using the power of government to crush competition. That is not a free market, nor do we have one. We have progressive socialist corporatism, favoring the rich at the expense of the poor. Only a rudimentary understanding of economics would reveal this to you.

    Income inequality means nothing. It has always existed, and its eradication would mean mass poverty and starvation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And Chad plays the wealth-envy card.

  • Captain WTF||

    Please try to understand this: Most libertarians feel that if a person made money honestly, they should be allowed to keep all of it (minus a flat tax applied to all), no matter how much it is.

    To put it another way:
    Are people going to work hard to make money they won't be able to keep? Will they obey your progressive tax laws? Or will they try to change them or find ways of circumventing them?

  • ||

    Call yourself a Private Libertarian or something, but allowing Private tyranny to form (you don't agree that with obscene wealth come obscene arbitrary power?) is not Libertarian. Your'e only halfway there.

    It's an oldie but a goody.

    "WEALTH = POWER"

    Libertarians know that in fact FORCE = POWER. A rich man who forces no one to do things against their will is not using private tyranny. Money can be used to obtain power, but so can a kitchen knife, a gun, or a fist. The reason libertarians focus on government tyranny is because private tyranny (defined correctly) is already illegal for the most part. The government, on the other hand, has a monopoly on legal power.

  • Chris||

    What about the oldie but goody of cornering the market, and tough luck to everyone else?

    I do appreciate your answer and I am sympathetic to what you said. I just don't think someone on the way from millionare to multimillionare, especially based on true productivity and passion, is going stop, just to spite the idealogy of the tax structure. Particularly if that structure is for the most part Libertarian socially and marketwise, but just recognizes that at some level, kicking some profit back to individuals lower in the scheme of things, helps keep the morale of the whole thing going. Note: $ back to individuals, not government.

  • ||

    What about the oldie but goody of cornering the market, and tough luck to everyone else?

    Yes, the monopoly has been cried many times, but none have actually done so. What at first seems to be unbeatable becomes stagnant and then obsolete, overtaken by innovators. No individual in history has ever conquered a market, yet there are numerous examples of governments taken to the extreme of authoritarianism that even exist to this day. The monopoly is a bogeyman.

    I just don't think someone on the way from millionare to multimillionare, especially based on true productivity and passion, is going stop, just to spite the idealogy of the tax structure.

    And why should he stop? One person gain in wealth is not a sign of someone else's wealth being lost. The market makes people rich by creating wealth. No other system can do that.

    Of course it would be great if everyone kept up at the same pace, but this does not justify taking away what others have gained. Being charitable is great, but not if you are giving away other people's money without their consent.

  • Dave||

    I am trying to square Hayek and Chomsky. I find both compelling. Has anyone done it?

  • El Duderino||

    This is easy. Chomsky is a smart person, but his ideas are irrational. There is no way to both dismantle "authoritarian control of the means of production" and have no government. The only effective way to dismantle any authoritarian "owning elite" is by government force or so called direct democratic actions.

    He doesn't seem to understand that anarchy is essentially the opposite of the rest of his ideals because of the violence required to "control" or "prevent" certain undesirable classes from emerging in a totally unregulated economy.

    Further so called direct democracy schemes like trade unions will in themselves accumulate authoritarian power as they pursue their goal of attenuating the power balance between employee and employer. This is a reality that is evident in America today.

    Only true free competition can regulate and prevent "authoritarian control of the means of production." What Hayek is saying is that only the natural emergent order of the free market has the power to regulate the economy and this power is the only non-violent means because it is not effected by individuals, but by the collective actions of the entire society including both employee AND employer.

    You are trying to square a circle.

  • Chris||

    So with ever increasing concentration of wealth/property, which is what happens with no re-distributive tax policy, and with investment opportunities, eventually (why not?) we reach a situation with very few individuals owning all the property, having most of the money. The rest by default become rent-paying serfs.
    (No government role there)
    Once I see a mechanism, market, or Legislative framework, that prevents that tendency, then I will be happy to set the market free.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Called competition, which gov't prevents. There you go. Your assumptions are flat out wrong that everything leads to only a few owners. That's a Marxian concept that time has proved wrong over and over again.

  • Chris||

    How does the renter compete with his landlord? Do you believe in an infinite pie? I don't believe economics is a zero sum game but I do believe resources are limited and the pie is not infinite, thus its impossible for everyone to be billionaires. Also, please elaborate on how entrenched wealth gets displace back to the honest entrepreneur, with no intervention.

    To suggest that asking these questions reflects Marxism is inane. Marxism asks questions we need to answer with empirical evidence, not theory. I'm all for the answers, but feel like rabid one-liner libertarian dogma gets in the way.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Competition, given time and the absence of gov't coercion to prevent, brings down everyone, especially today, given the diversity of production all over the world. The inability to understand this reflects ignorance of the world as it is and basic economics. It also betrays a cynicism about mankind that only public schooling could have perpetuated to this degree.

  • Chris||

    Explain how cornering the market in a scarce resource can be undone, once it occurs in a free market, without harming the liberty of the one who cornered it.

    Why would a free market never let that happen in the first place?

  • Tony||

    The typical response here is that as long as government exists, it can be blamed for any market failure.

  • ||

    We can argue about the worst possible consequences of political systems all day. Just as a free market could theoretically end up with one or a few owning everything and "enslaving all," so too could a government with power over itself become a total authoritarian state that enslaves all citizens. This is the inherent folly in arguing from a utilitarian standpoint, instead of a moral-philosophical standpoint that looks at the world now, points out what wrongs are being perpetrated and seeks to eliminate them. When argued this way, libertarianism will always win over authoritarianism. Freedom is the moral choice.

  • ||

    Just as a free market could theoretically end up with one or a few owning everything

    You really think this isn't an inevitable reality at this point?
    Really, I want to know. What is going to prevent the richest one percent, or even one-tenth of a percent, from controlling all wealth and exploiting the poor to death with no restraint whatsoever? Realistically, What will possibly stop this at this point in the game? Do you really think America can ever , and I mean EVER, again elect a politician not already bought by the plutocrats?

  • ||

    How can the free market prevnt the concentration of wealth without any regulation? A slight accumulation favors a greater accumulation. It's a feedback loop.
    As soon as someone begins acquiring more wealth, the tendency is for them to accumulate more and more. exponential growth at the expense of others until singularity is achieved.

  • Soonerliberty||

    Cornering a market means nothing in the absence of gov't coercion. It merely means one was apter than the next. Given time, though, things will change. America Online never saw google or yahoo, and they never saw youtube coming. Static thinking is your problem. Not everything will be as it is now. This is the statist dogma. Things can't possibly change without bureaucrats. The fear that everything will end up in the hands of a few is baseless (this is true now with gov'ts, but baseless in a market). It is Marxian to the core. Nothing else you say is, just that concept.

  • Chris||

    "Income inequality means nothing. It has always existed, and its eradication would mean mass poverty and starvation."

    I would say $12,000 to $5,000,000 is a healthy income inequality. Taxing ones personal wealth above $5,000,000 and injecting it back into the general economy (I propose rebating it back to other individuals so they can make best decisions with it).

    I say fund limited government with a flat tax, then have a progressive -mega wealth tax as above.

    It allows people to become wealthy, it allows others to have a chance, it prevents infinite accumulation of wealth to a few. It funds a limited government. It preserve the incentive to work, to better oneself or become wealthy. It preserves liberty for all, except liberty of massive wealth above, say, $5,000,000. I see no reason that can't be seen as libertarian or Hayekian, except for those with extreme ideology, unlike Hayek.

  • Chris||

    Is Libertarianism the same as Capitalist Anarchism? Sounds like it around here.

    Funny thing is I am on other mainstream sites defending Libertarianism and Hayek, Mises et al, but when you tune into these message boards here, you get such an extreme flavor, which is so self-defeating.

  • ||

    We don't need your help honestly, since you don't really get libertarianism. You don't seem to promote capitalism or maximization of personal freedom, so why do you think you are libertarian?

  • Chris||

    "Except that such a framework is used to punish the competitors of well-connected businesses. The FTC is the best example of this. Why are most of the lawsuits stemming from businesses and not consumers?"

    You sound like the lefties who want to throw the baby out with the bathwater (capitalism; competition).

    Sounds like we need to reform the FTC or the legal framework surrounding the issues you raise. It doesn't prove we need to reject the concept of a legal framework.

    Only ideological extremists believe market forces can rationally address every single aspect of our lives. Meanwhile such attitudes turn reasonable people away from Libertarianism, and rob us of ever seeing any of its benefits.

  • ||

    The market isn't supposed to create your view of a perfect world in which no one suffers. It's just supposed to work. It does what humans make it do.

  • Matrix||

    Here's an idea for all the fools that think taxes are not high enough:

    Take absolutely NO deductions on your taxes. None! Pay the maximum for your bracket.

    After that, start sending money to the Treasury since you think the government knows how to spend your money better than you do.

    Don't demand that other people should be paying more. It's their money, and they should do with it as they please. You're no better than conservatives who try to tell people what to do in the bedroom.

  • Chris||

    I made a comment at 10:49. I don't see why that couldn't be done, supporting limited government that is smaller than what we have now, including defense, and lead to overall lower taxes. Redistributing some mega wealth back into an otherwise free market, would go a long way to preventing the excesses of human nature, yet preserving free markets for the system.

  • Chris||

    as well as taking away alot of ammunition for general tax and spend types, and the basic justice notion of at some level, the super wealthy giving something back, that like it or not, exists.

  • Publius||

    Just curious, but why is everyone here so rude?

    What is the point of calling someone a retard or a five year old or, most creative of all :'fucko'?

    It makes every participant in the conversation look like....well, finish the sentence with your favorite insult.

    I am not asking you to be nice, just civil.

    Actually, I guess am not really asking for anything, just making a sad observation.

    Oh well.

  • El Duderino||

    Information is information regardless of whether or not it is surrounded with insults.

    I occasionally throw out insults, it is usually all in good fun, but sometimes I am being totally serious. I would call someone a retard because their argument is retarded. This is a judgment of their argument and therefore their mental process and I am using the word retarded as it was intended to be used.

    Generally, I agree with you that civil discourse is generally more helpful than crass name calling. That said if I call somebody a dipshit or use a condescending tone it really doesn't take away from my argument insomuch as my core argument is still sound.

    For example:
    No you retarded asshole 2+2=4, not 5.

    You see, the argument is sound despite the insult. I am not saying the insult is useful, its just helps draw attention to the comment.

    I try very hard not to insult people, but I am human and like everyone, I react irrationally to conflict.

    And you know what, when I look back at some of the more effective posts there are no insults in them.

    There is one thing to keep in mind. If you see an insult on its own, like "you are an idiot and your ideas are moronic" this is what people do when they cant actually defend their own position. If you see my 2+2=4 type of hybrid insult plus argument post, then that is just frustration that the intended reader does not understand or is unwilling to concede certain facts.

    Insults are a reaction of our cognitive dissonance. Party A presents information that contradicts party b's established understanding. The conflict creates a defense mechanism in the mind and the body lashes out via evolutionary defense systems (posturing and intimidation).

    My recommendation to anyone is try your best not to react like this, but if you do see it, dont just dismiss the arguments therein.

  • Tony||

    A simple "you're new around here huh?" wouldn't have sufficed?

  • El Duderino||

    LOL Fair enough.

  • Publius||

    OK, not everyone here is rude. Just a lot of you.

  • ||

    It's mostly Edwin. You'll have to excuse his diminished levels of intellect and maturity.

  • matt||

    There is an ideal point of taxation -- any lower and deficits rise w/o benefit to production and growth, and any higher and growth is stifled.

    Many would argue that the Bush tax cuts shifted the balance too low-- we are adding too much to the deficit while not reaping any additional economic benefits.

    Why not raise the marginal tax rates back to the Clinton-era (which historically are still quite low)? Economically we were at our strongest with these rates.

    Can any wealthy person REALLY moan this much about a 3.6% increase on only their income in excess of $250,000 (not on the 1st 250k just everything AFTER that)?

    The rich don't use that money to create jobs. In fact they're much more likely to make money by cutting and offshoring jobs!

    Sorry Stossel, but "cut taxes for the rich" is a bad idea that's bad for America and politically unsustainable.

    All the GOP's "pledge to America" consists of is a plan to make the richest 1% that much richer, cut programs with social benefits, and spend MORE on "national security."

    And this is coming from a registered Republican voter, not the "liberal enemy."

    Maybe we should think about taxing billion-dollar-a-year-income hedge fund managers at more than 15%. Just a thought.

    Look at Meg Whitman- she wants to keep the state income tax but eliminate the capital gains tax-- she wants to tax the middle class working stiff and let the trust-fund babies and day traders off without paying a dime in state tax. It's gotta be all or nothing- ditch state tax or keep it, but you can't ditch it for the rich and keep it for the poor. But unfortunately that's the Republican mantra for the day-- more war, more defense spending, no audits or investigations of any sort of military defense contractor waste or fraud, but social programs are evil and the rich need lower taxes.

    We're sick of it.

  • El Duderino||

    Rich people are PEOPLE. They are the same as everyone else. Taxing them proportionally more than anyone else is wrong because it is a unfair. And before you lecture me on fairness, please take the time to look it up in the fucking dictionary.

    Fairness does not mean equal outcome, it doesn't mean equal opportunity, it just means that the RULES are applied evenly to everyone.

    but dont take my word for it:

    fair
    1    /fɛər/ Show Spelled [fair] Show IPA adjective, -er, -est, adverb, -er, -est, noun, verb
    –adjective
    1.
    free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.
    2.
    legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.

    Just because its law doesnt mean it is right.

    Or would you prefer if the tables were turned and America decided to take YOUR money disproportionally.

    You want to balance the budget? Stop spending money on everything and protect these three things ONLY:

    Life
    Property
    Contracts

    and let the people decide the rest. I dont need nor want social security. I dont need not want bailouts. I dont need nor want wars. I dont need nor want Obamacare. I could go on, but suffice it to say that FEDERAL and STATE spending is so far out of control that you could tax EVERYONE at 100% and still not make a dent.

    You are being used by democrats as a bludgeon against republicans. Somewhere out there, there is a republican doing the same fucking thing. This retarded game ends here. Learn about natural liberty, then demand it. This is the only way EVERYONE will ever be free.

  • Tony||

    Taxing them proportionally more than anyone else is wrong because it is a unfair.

    No! Being rich is itself an advantage, it's not a class in the sense that race is a class. There is no amount of social reform that will make a rich person equal to a poor person. They are more privileged because they are rich because wealth IS privilege.

    Taking $500 from a wealthy person is a trifle. Much less burdensome than taking $50 from a poor person, and that's a tenfold difference.

    You guys have got to get this nonsense out of your heads that there is some civil rights parallel here.

    And stop blathering about natural rights. Since they're mystical in origin, they can be whatever you say they are. Rights are more useful that are codified in some sort of contract so that you actually have them. You're just expressing your policy preferences and claiming that they possess some sort of divine imprimatur, because you say so. No, we just have policy differences. And your policies suck balls.

  • El Duderino||

    A rich person has the same humanity as a poor person. A rich person has the same body and mind as a poor person. The only difference between a rich person and a poor person is their circumstances.

    Applying any law unevenly is morally unjustifiable because it requires the judge (in this case the congress) to make arbitrary decisions about who is "rich". Wealth is not privilege, it is compensation for products and services provided to others. The reason why you see wealth as privilege is because you think only the wealthy can be wealthy. The poor can become wealthy in this country, it happens all the time. If you want more poor people to be wealthy, then you need to take down the barriers to entry that the government has put up that PROTECTS the wealthy. The tax code is one of those barriers. The WEALTHY create jobs by buying things, hiring help, investing in businesses, and creating new businesses. Poor people can do this as well, but they need to save a lot of money, get financing before opening a new business. Where do they get this money? Well it doesnt fall out of the sky, Rich people give or loan it to them, or they just work for a rich person and SAVE their earnings. But you know what these poor people find out when they decide to finally open their own business? The find out that there are all sorts of things they have to do that have nothing at all to do with their business. A farmer cannot simply sell food on the street, there are permits and zoning requirements and health requirements. This is a simple farm stand, Try opening a bar. You have to blow a city official to get a liquor license in most states.

    Regarding your examples:
    If the tax rate were flat for all citizens, then there would be no inequity. Or better yet, you could do a consumption tax this way, the rich pay every time they spend, but all products and services MUST be treated equally with the exception of food (and all food must be treated equally).

    Natural rights are self evident, I dont understand why you dont believe that YOU have a right to grow and eat food, find shelter and associate with others to enhance your efforts or reproduce. These are things ALL humans are capable of and therefore have a natural right to perform. These are all procreative rights. There are also destructive natural rights like murder and theft. These natural rights should be restricted because they are destructive to everyone. The government didnt give you these rights because you would have had them regardless of whether or not government existed. Or do you believe that nobody would eat or grow food if government didnt tell them it was OKAY to do it.

  • ||

    Tony: Justice is blind, EXCEPT WHEN SOMEBODY HAS AN ADVANTAGE.

    I guess we should put people in jail longer if they are healthier, since a few more years in jail is nothing to a person who is going to live a long time.

    And if someone went to college, well they should have less defense at a trial because they're smarter.

    After all, the purpose of the government isn't to treat everyone equally, it's to make everyone equal. People with advantages should be made closer to those without.

    BTW, does reading Harrison Bergeron give you a hard-on Tony?

  • Tony||

    Okay but define treating equally with regard to tax rates. Is it the same dollar amount? The same rate? The same proportion of total wealth? What is equal? You guys want to go with rate and end the conversation there. I don't think it's quite so clear.

  • El Duderino||

    Tax collection is a matter of mathematics. There can be any number of mechanisms for tax collection, such as income tax, consumption tax or a value added tax (VAT) as long as the equation is applied the same to all citizens it is fair.

    The current progressive tax code has multiple tiers of tax rates that means the calculation is different from person to person. Besides income level tiers, there are so many exemptions and penalties for all sorts of things from owning a hybrid to taking money out of your 401k before age 59.5. These are all arbitrary and have no value other than to push a specific set of SUBJECTIVE values on YOU.

    If the tax is based on income, then a fair tax is one that is the same percentage for all, because taking a certain dollar amount would become uneven. I would not support this kind of tax because the higher the rate goes, the higher the burden.

    A national sales tax applied as a percentage of the price of any goods and services and applied equally for ALL goods and services would be easier for citizens to control their overall burden legally. Like I mentioned earlier, Food is a universal need among all citizens so the rate on food is the only rate that may be different (lower), but again, the rate must be the same for ALL food, that means twinkies, McDonalds, Coke, Kobe Beef, Lobster, and exotic jungle cat meats...mmm White Tiger Meat... In this model, the citizen can control their tax rate by controlling their overall spending. If they cant afford the taxes, they probably cannot afford the goods and services either.

    It is important to note that tax is only one side of the equation when it comes to government revenue. Spending is the other side of the equation. All of the anger about spending that you see has everything to do with the fact that most people see no benefit at all from the spending. This goes to the whole purpose of government itself.

  • Edwin||

    You're really good at babbling on without coming even remotely close to answering an asked question or addressing a brought-up issue. Try reading Tony's question again and actually answering it. Are you even capable of doing that?

  • El Duderino||

    Any rate applied to ALL citizens EQUALLY. By rate I mean percent, otherwise I would have said AMOUNT. By EQUALLY, I literally mean EQUALLY as in 5% = 5%, that is it, EVERYONE PAYS THE PRECISELY SAME EXACT RATE.

    I would prefer the LOWEST possible rate, therefore spending needs to be minimal.

    But I am repeating myself, because all of this shit was in my post.

  • Chris||

    Hayek; Road to Serfdom Ch. 6. Planning and the Rule of Law. Discusses just this.

    "....the widespread confusion about the concept of "privilege" and its consequent abuse. To mention only the most important instance of this abuse-the application of the term "privilege" to property as such. It would indeed be privilege if, for example, as has sometimes been the case in the past, landed property were reserved to members of the nobility. And it is privilege if, as is true in our time, the right to produce or sell particular thinks is reserved to particular people designated by authority. But to call private property as such, which all can acquire under the same rules, a privilege, because only some succeed in acquiring it, is depriving the word "privilege" of its meaning."

    Hayek

  • El Duderino||

    That quote made me dust off my old Road to Serfdom.

    Thanks

  • Chris||

    Ironic you should put it that way, of course NYTimes today denigrating Hayek and Austrian ideas, that threaten the status quo, by lumping them in with the Tea Party and calling them “Dusty old texts”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10.....ty.html?hp

  • El Duderino||

    Well there not dusty anymore.

  • ||

    they're*

  • El Duderino||

    Thanks. I just hope none of my English teachers are reading.

    I also get Whether and Weather mixed up so if you see it, please know that I am generally disinterested in Weather;) or not its going to rain.

  • ||

    Don't worry, most teachers these days don't know what the internet is yet.

  • ||

    Yeah no one was reading those obscure texts before the Tea Partiers. Those authors must be wackjobs since no one payed attention to them. The NYTimes, as clueless as ever.

  • ||

    Were income tax to be raised across the board, it would become obvious that there is a distinct difference between moving from one state to another to avoid paying as much tax, and leaving the US altogether. I'm sure that in this situation most of the super rich would still choose to live in the US as opposed to Switzerland, for obvious reasons.

  • Edwin||

    yes, because America is the Chuck Norris of countries. Living in America is like driving in a monster truck rally with a huge-titted chick sitting in the passenger seat wearing a bikini and serving you beer, with Metallica blasting on the radio. Few people would choose to leave America just because of slightly higher tax rates.

  • ||

    The U.S. not only has a lower tax rate than most countries, it is also one of the most politically and economically free.

  • Edwin||

    Didn't I just imply that?

    Are you just always set on whiny bitch mode, or what?

  • Edwin||

    And anyway, I thought we were all oppressive fascist statists

  • ||

    Yes, just to a lesser degree.

  • ||

  • Edwin||

    Really? Well, why don't we look at the libertarian voting rolls? Oh yeah, that's right...

    Nobody votes libertarian because nobody finds strict libertarianism convincing. All you guys manage to do is deny human behavior and history, all in the name of EXACTLY following one basic premise. Few people are obsessed with such technical "correctness", if you want to call it that. Most have some general ideas of their ideals. So when you guys talk the way you do, you sound like a bunch of kooks. I mean, just listen, some Libertarian positions:

    -No taxes. Never mind how we're going to get people to pay for even the most basic services like police and courts.
    -multiple, voluntary governments. Never mind the vast history of infighting that such systems have led to
    -drunk driving should be legal. Batshit crazy. 'Nuff said
    -No patents. Never mind the huge not-so-coincidental starting times of both the enstatement of patent laws and the start of the industrial revolution.
    -and the other crazy shit I posted further upthread, like the kiddie-diddling thing

  • Edwin||

    I'm sorry, I meant to say deny human behavior and history, randomly change the subject, make almost conspiratorial accusations of the other guy's motives or twisting his claims, focus only on government sources of opression, completely ignoring other places it may come from... and there's more but I'm just too lazy now to go on

  • ||

    Really? Well, why don't we look at the libertarian voting rolls? Oh yeah, that's right...

    Wow Edwin, it's like you're trying to prove to everyone that I was right about you being a little high school cheerleader. Being popular is just THE most important thing, right Edwin?

    I mean, just listen, some Libertarian positions:

    -No taxes. Never mind how we're going to get people to pay for even the most basic services like police and courts.
    ...

    And never mind that I debated and beat you on every single one of those points. And I debated and beat you on each of these points:

    -All you guys manage to do is deny human behavior and history

    -all in the name of EXACTLY following one basic premise.

    -Few people are obsessed with such technical "correctness", if you want to call it that. Most have some general ideas of their ideals.

    -focus only on government sources of opression, completely ignoring other places it may come from..

    But in Edwin's mind, he never loses right?

    So just continue to write those out even though I refuted them all, that's it, good Edwin.

  • El Duderino||

    Heller, I believe this link should help you understand what you are engaged in here.

    http://www.bing.com/videos/wat.....q=argument sketch monty python&FORM=VIRE1

  • ||

    No it isn't.

  • Edwin||

    If what you want is zero taxes, then why is anyone here arguing that taxes should be lower? You're implicitly legitimizing taxes. There is no such thing as getting "closer to" absolute zero. The only thing you should ever argue is for no taxes anywhere.

    If you argue for less taxes, then you're admitting to my and Tony's pragmatism in ideological/political matters. You're saying that while your goal isn't perfectly achieved, one situation might be better. That's basically all I've been arguing all along, but with respect to statist governments and required taxes. You're doing the same thing I'm doing, it's all just a matter of degree.

    There's even a guy in the Free State Project who during the liberty forum or something said he doesn't want marijuana legalized. I.e. he's completely against the concept of "legal" in the first place.

  • ||

    If what you want is zero taxes, then why is anyone here arguing that taxes should be lower? You're implicitly legitimizing taxes. There is no such thing as getting "closer to" absolute zero.

    Really Edwin? So decreasing taxes will not get taxes closer to zero? That's the fucking definition of "decreasing" you dumbfuck!

    If you argue for less taxes, then you're admitting to my and Tony's pragmatism in ideological/political matters. You're saying that while your goal isn't perfectly achieved, one situation might be better. That's basically all I've been arguing all along, but with respect to statist governments and required taxes. You're doing the same thing I'm doing, it's all just a matter of degree.

    Edwin are you being spoofed? Not even you could be this stupid.

    Saying that we should be closer to the ideal society does not invalidate the ideal. It's not a difference of degrees, it's a difference of direction. Since you are against our ideal, you are pushing in the opposite direction. Just because we haven't gotten to your ideal, whatever that may be, doesn't mean that you aren't against us.

    There's even a guy in the Free State Project who during the liberty forum or something said he doesn't want marijuana legalized. I.e. he's completely against the concept of "legal" in the first place.

    Cool story bro!

  • Tncm||

    I feel that is again important to remind ourselves of who, exactly, our good friend Tony is and why debating him is completely asinine.

    Tony has admitted on more than one occasion to never reading a single treatise on economics in his entire life. His excuse was something along the lines of, "I don't need to read ancient macroecon tomes that were written centures ago". How you can expect to have a rational discussion with someone who believes that logic and reason have expiration dates is totally beyond me.

    Tony has, on multiple occasions (this thread included) and despite being a firm atheist, expressed his belief in mythical entities like "The Greater Good" or the "Collective Will". When it is pointed out to him that the utilitarian idea of a Greater Good cannot possibly exist because human value scales are purely ordinal, or the fact that there is no agreement on what constitutes the Greater Good or how such a thing can be empirically measured, he goes into his straw man fit of "See! You filthy libertarians hate democracy!".

    It is finally demonstrated, on this very thread no less, that he seeks world government not for the sake of peace, but so he can hunt down those greedy capitalist pigs in Monaco and Hong Kong. Would Monaco and Hong Kong be allowed to opt out of this world government if they so choose? Probably not.

    Tony is your average, run of the mill progressive. He is blatantly ignorant of economics, has a fetish for authoritarianism and micromanaging the populace hidden under the thin guise of the aforementioned Greater Good, and is envious of anyone who makes a penny more than he does. While Chad, Max, and MNG don't pretend to be anything other than bitter Marxists, Tony hides his longing for the proletariat revolution by being fluent in English and using Firefox spell check. That is, because of his decent grammar he is assumed to be the fabled intelligent progressive (oxymoron?), and that is clearly not the case.

    Think of Tony as a clown. And what do you do with a clown? Do you try to engage it in a political or economic debate? Of course not. You just sit back and laugh at it.

  • Tony||

    You probably define being well-versed in economics as "believing bullshit libertarian dogma." Even as an amateur I'm still smarter than you guys, who to a person deny historical reality if it contradicts your preconceived beliefs.

    My criticism of certain ancient economics tomes is not that they're old, but that they rely on mere nuggets of wisdom and no math. Economics has yet to become a hard science, and you guys still believe in economic tenets from a prescientific era that have, if anything, proved completely inadequate to deal with the complexities of human reality.

    So with neither history nor numbers on your side, libertarians go on believing things because they sound good to them, or because they are simple rather than complex. You lecturing anyone on having religious habits is laughable.

    I am hardly the first person to conceive of societies as both collections of autonomous individuals and as things themselves. Without some conception of collective will, nothing would work. That is not a thing set in stone, but it is something good societies gauge and attempt to satisfy. Just because there is no set definition doesn't mean ignoring the idea altogether is the proper answer. Anything else is one form of tyranny or another. Under the banner of freedom what you guys really want is an enlightened despotism with you in charge, because your hatred of humanity leaves you suspicious of the democracy that consistently rejects you.

    Adults see political reality and, if they are so inclined, try to influence it in practical ways. You guys just daydream about fantasy worlds like children. It's just icing on the cake that your 'utopia' would actually be a hell-hole if ever put into practice, and every time it's even partially attempted on this planet, a hell-hole emerges that is swiftly rejected if the people are given a choice, something you really don't think they should be given, because the choice to decide things collectively is for some bizarre reason off-limits to right-thinking people. You tell me how to reconcile democracy with your beliefs, and if you can, why you persist in believing in a society that only a tyranny will ever produce?

  • Tncm||

    "You probably define being well-versed in economics as "believing bullshit libertarian dogma." Even as an amateur I'm still smarter than you guys, who to a person deny historical reality if it contradicts your preconceived beliefs."

    Sure, you always win. That's why whenever someone backs you into a corner, you conveniently never reply to them again. Have you beaten people in debates on this site before? Sure, but only when they say something stupid that even other libertarians call them on. While there isn't a specific point where one goes from being ignorant of economics to being an expert on the subject, the fact that you continue to subscribe to the multiplier effect and the belief that taxes and regulation don't hurt the economy is proof positive that you haven't the slightest idea of what you're talking about.

    "My criticism of certain ancient economics tomes is not that they're old, but that they rely on mere nuggets of wisdom and no math. Economics has yet to become a hard science, and you guys still believe in economic tenets from a prescientific era that have, if anything, proved completely inadequate to deal with the complexities of human reality."

    How can you criticize that which you have not read? And mathematics and economics have been forced together before; you've never heard of economaticians or econometrics before? Probably not, considering the fact that the movement died out decades ago and they're now in the same boat as the Marxists and Socialists, that is, the boat labeled "Laughing Stocks". The reason economics is not a "hard science" is because humans are not robots or static molecules; as such, equations cannot be made to predict human actions. Can math be applied to economics? Sure; for example, I could say that my income has raised 10% or that GM's sales have fallen 15%. But how do you make an equation to explain time preference, or human value scales? I understand you don't know what either of these things are, but needless to say, you cannot.

    "I am hardly the first person to conceive of societies as both collections of autonomous individuals and as things themselves. Without some conception of collective will, nothing would work. That is not a thing set in stone, but it is something good societies gauge and attempt to satisfy. Just because there is no set definition doesn't mean ignoring the idea altogether is the proper answer. Anything else is one form of tyranny or another. Under the banner of freedom what you guys really want is an enlightened despotism with you in charge, because your hatred of humanity leaves you suspicious of the democracy that consistently rejects you."

    Impressive; I note an appeal to authority, an appeal to tradition, and a straw man all in one paragraph. Very impressive; have you ever considered a career working for Newsweek? I will say it again; society is not an individual, it does not have preferences nor can it "choose" things. And if there is no objective definition of what the Greater Good is, then how can one go about attempting to gauge or satisfy it? Do you even read what you post?

    "Adults see political reality and, if they are so inclined, try to influence it in practical ways. You guys just daydream about fantasy worlds like children. It's just icing on the cake that your 'utopia' would actually be a hell-hole if ever put into practice, and every time it's even partially attempted on this planet, a hell-hole emerges that is swiftly rejected if the people are given a choice, something you really don't think they should be given, because the choice to decide things collectively is for some bizarre reason off-limits to right-thinking people. You tell me how to reconcile democracy with your beliefs, and if you can, why you persist in believing in a society that only a tyranny will ever produce?"

    If libertarianism is consistently rejected across the entire planet, then how was it ever put into place? Unfortunately, the world is becoming more and more libertarian; market economics prevails in nearly every country on the globe, civil rights have seen an insurgence in continents where they were formerly alien ideas. The world is moving towards freedom, not away from it. The world is rejecting your brand of authoritarianism, not embracing it. While I don't speak for all libertarians, I think all forms of government that aren't voluntary are a joke, regardless if I can rattle my chains every few years or not.

    Two requests. Could you please respond to my question about your proposed world government? And just curious, but which would you rather have: a dictatorship where the ruler simply sat on his hands and gave his citizens the absolute amount of freedom possible in a civil society, or a totalitarian democracy where the tumulus will of the majority decides whose head is going to be the next one to go on the chopping block?

  • El Duderino||

    I predict this post will be declared a "fantasy" worldview. The "fantasy" argument is due up in the rotation.

  • Tony||

    the fact that you continue to subscribe to the multiplier effect and the belief that taxes and regulation don't hurt the economy is proof positive that you haven't the slightest idea of what you're talking about.

    Okay so you are just saying that because I don't believe bullshit libertarian maxims, I'm ignorant of economics. Thanks for proving me right.

    If libertarianism is consistently rejected across the entire planet, then how was it ever put into place?

    Usually in the aftermath of a real or manufactured disaster. Usually the people tend to swing hard the other way once the utter failure of a laissez-faire system manifests itself, and elect socialists.

    On world government: I agree, it presents a problem of participation. Of course participation would be voluntary, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be strong incentives. I don't want a world government for shits and giggles, but because we need one because we have a world economy. If the events of the past couple years haven't convinced you of that, well then you're probably a libertarian dogmatist.

    I don't think either of your extremes are good ideas. Dictatorships are never good because, even if you have an enlightened despot, his successor probably won't be. Of course pure majoritarianism isn't good either because minorities would tend to get oppressed. I prefer something more like the system we have.

  • Tncm||

    "Okay so you are just saying that because I don't believe bullshit libertarian maxims, I'm ignorant of economics. Thanks for proving me right."

    No, I'm saying because you believe in fallacious economic ideas that you're wrong. Why don't you actually go read "Economics in One Lesson", or "Man, Economy, and State"? And for the record, Austrian economics isn't some wacko-voodoo shit that only us libertarian occultists believe. Some of the most basic economic ideas that we take for granted, like marginal utility, the law of diminishing returns, and the value scale are all ideas that either originated with Austrian economics or were heavily influenced by them. Was Keynes wrong all the time? Of course not; for example, he recognized that taxation and regulation hurt production, and if I recall, said that federal taxation shouldn't go above 25% of the economy. So, I guess I'm wrong in saying that you're a Keynesian, because even the Keynesians (who, if you haven't heard, are now laughing stocks as well) understand more about economics than you do.

    "Usually in the aftermath of a real or manufactured disaster. Usually the people tend to swing hard the other way once the utter failure of a laissez-faire system manifests itself, and elect socialists."

    On one note, I'm glad that you're embracing your inner socialism; so many other progressives shun it. If you knew anything about economics, then you'd know, for example, that the boom-bust cycle is caused by the expansionary credit policy of the federal reserve. Moreover, you'd know that we've never had a laissez-faire economy ever, but that's besides the point. I don't know why I'm trying to explain any of this to you. Debating a progressive on economics is like Stephen Hawking debating physics with a third grader, it just isn't fair.

    "On world government: I agree, it presents a problem of participation. Of course participation would be voluntary, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be strong incentives. I don't want a world government for shits and giggles, but because we need one because we have a world economy"

    Free trade agreements aren't good enough, or do you just have a massive boner for central government? A world government is totally unnecessary. Shit loads of more bureaucracy won't encourage international trade. And why do you care about free trade to begin with? Why am I wasting my time with you? I don't know who needs to see a therapist more, me or you. And please name the country that practiced the libertarian political ideology and then spat it back out in favor of socialism. Or is this another one of the imaginary examples you progressives are so found of?

    "If the events of the past couple years haven't convinced you of that, well then you're probably a libertarian dogmatist."

    I just spit up my Coke all over the computer screen. Is that you, troll Tony? But I suppose you're right; I am totally convinced that liberty is better than slavery, that free markets are better than "fair" markets, and that Keynesians are dullards and Austrians and the other free market schools are in the right. So if you'll excuse me, I have to go sacrifice an infant on the altar of my Lord and Savior Lew Rockwell.

    "I don't think either of your extremes are good ideas. Dictatorships are never good because, even if you have an enlightened despot, his successor probably won't be. Of course pure majoritarianism isn't good either because minorities would tend to get oppressed. I prefer something more like the system we have."

    Totally missed the point of my hypothetical. But regardless, I think I know your answer even if you haven't said anything.

    I've noticed that you've completely disregarded my entire response to you except for the last two questions that I soft balled to you. Please take the time to, in detail, respond to the rest of my post and try to maintain some credibility in doing so. Thanks.

  • ||

    I believe in absolutely no taxes whatsoever. Just because we are self-righteous and noble on what we think is necessary to spend other people's income on, doesn't make it any less reprehensible.

    I can argue that a mandatory military draft is absolutely essential, and propose hundreds of reasons to support why we need a military, it doesn't negate the fact that eventually people are going to feel that going to war against their will is immoral. Like it or not.

    If we are creative enough to make military recruitment optional, then we are creative enough to make all publically funded endeavors optional as well.

  • Tony||

    How would you make abstract concepts like having a secure and prosperous society to live in--which requires a taxpayer funded government--optional?

    The optional thing is your choice to remain a citizen. You don't American soil and all the benefits that come with it for free, and I'm not sure why you think you do.

  • ||

    How would you make abstract concepts like having a secure and prosperous society to live in--which requires a taxpayer funded government--optional?

    Tony seems to be confusing "publicly funded endeavors" with abstract concepts like security and prosperity. Retard much? I'll give you half credit on security, but prosperity a government does not make.

    The optional thing is your choice to remain a citizen. You don't American soil and all the benefits that come with it for free, and I'm not sure why you think you do.

    Wrong again. You have rights in this country whether you can pay to protect them or not, or do poor people who pay no taxes not have rights? But lets continue along this incredibly stupid path of thought. Since the government grants us rights for a fee, who says they have to sell them at all? I know you'd love being a slave, but I don't think the rest of us are completely convinced yet.

  • ||

    So, when the govt does it to the rich, it's stealing, but when the rich do it to the poor its...?????

    So, economics in a fee society is not a zero sum game? I agree. But since the current system apparently is a zero sum game , as the poor are getting poorer, I asume you blame this on a lack of freedom. If only the govt. would leave tose poor billionaires alone, they would be able to help people, etc.. I bet the rich really WANT to pay more for labor by hiring inside the US. It's the evil government which forces them to offshore, bust unions, deliberately pursue financial transactions which intrinsically have to harm the less wealthy to generate their profits, etc.

    Ummmm, how does the creation of wealth help the everyone if 100 percent of the wealth is retained by them to create more wealth, which is then retained, etc....As the rich seek lower and lower labor costs to hold onto and not distribute the wealth, plus is it realy wealth if its just a few extra zeroes on an income already to big to even have meaning anymore?

    So, the more the rich make, the better everyone's standard of living gets. What about when most tactics they use to enrich themselves directly and purposefully make the standard of living lower. Unless you mean the GLOBAL standard of living, as in a foreign worker making fifty cents a day instead of two. Wait, I thought that was a progressive idea.O, I see how the rich are committed to making life better for everyone. They really only want to control 99 percent of the wealth so they can HELP people. They offshore jobs so those poor 8 year old Asian kids can have jobs and make something of themselves. They only take the jobs from americans to motivate those lazy bastards to go out and become billionaires themselves. If only those dumb poor people would exploit othhers as much as the rich, everyone would be rich...oh, wait if everyone was a thief, where would their victims come from?

    As for the laffer curve, even many former proponents (yes, even non-progressives before you ask) now admit it's hopelessly flawed and does a very poor job of representing reality.

    About the "tax causing the rich to flee" idea? Leaving the state is not leaving the country. Let the millionaires move to third world countries where their labor maket is and try to become rich there. Bet they'll be back. Or maybe you think they will flee to a developed European country, many of which has 90 percent or higher income tax on the super rich.
    I suppose there are places they could go where they would hardly be taxed. This illustrates a problem of globalism (which I know is inevitable, except that it's not). If the rich all really did ALL leave for tax havens, our country would then be essentialy governed by independent foreign powers, with no incentive to sustain our economy and every reason to destroy it. They wouldn't need american markets, theyd have other countries to sell their useless baubles in. A highly desireable result for the rich, which would screw over every other citizen of this country, and most of the developed world, just to enhance the already incomprehensible fortunes of the rich. Oh, I get it, that was the plan all along.

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