Taxes

Celebrate (Read: Develop Ulcers) Remember Tax Day With Reason.tv!

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Can Tax Day already be behind us? All that preparation and then, pffft!, it's gone in like a minute! Wotta disappointment. And who's gonna eat all these leftovers?

Don't worry, gentle readers, because every day is Tax Day in Obama's America. Just like it was in George W. Bush's. And will be again in 2012, or 2016, or whenever Neil Bush or Hillary Clinton or whomever finally ascends to the throne that is theirs by noble birthright and demonstrated leadership abilities.

Enjoy the two Reason.tv offerings below. Original posting date was April 15.

Two recent vids directly on point today as millions of Americans look forward to paying no federal income tax and others look forward to paying lots of the same:

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  1. You can all feel better about tax day, knowing that it is also my birthday.

    See? Don’t you feel happier now?

    1. Me too. Happy birthday to us. I can’t wait to do my taxes tonight.

      1. We have to have an accountant do ours, now. It’s so damned complicated, we get our returns in a spiral binding. TWO of them!

        Happy birthday to us!

        1. I’ve never had to use anything more complicated than the EZ forms until a few years ago when my company gave me “vested stock”. That triggers the most complicated 1040 plus a new form for the stock that I still don’t think I’m filling out right after several years. But now I use one of those online services where they save all of last year’s answers for this year. It shouldn’t take me more than 10 or 15 minutes.

          1. If you want to keep it easy, just don’t ever become a small business owner.

            On the plus side*, we get to enjoy a negative AGI.

            *I guess that would be minus side.

            1. Now you Reasonoids are catching on…

    2. Happy Birthday, Bronwyn. You too, Rhywun.

      1. Good Morning reason!

        1. Good Day Suki.

  2. How much in tax did Exxon pay this year?

    1. Fuck you. That’s how much.

      1. Well, sage, when it comes to those afflicted with Income Derangement Syndrome, taxes on Teh Rich are never high enough.

        1. One of the cornerstones of my plan to fundamentally change America….

    2. Doesn’t matter. All corporation taxes get passed on as higher prices to the corporation’s customers. The consumers pay all corporation taxes. Dolt!

      1. I often wonder why there’s such a crossover between people who believe big business is inherently greedy (which I agree with, though I’d further extend it to “humans in general”) and people who don’t know that raising taxes on said big businesses will cause them to raise prices on their products.

        1. Duh, that’s why we have to legislate price controls too.

          1. Another cornerstone of my plan. Nixon didn’t go far enough. But we’ll change that…

      2. Actually, businesses can’t simply pass on higher taxes to customers by raising their prices directly.

        The demand curve that describes the number of customers willing to pay a certain price for a good is not affected by the increased taxes. Thus, if a company tries to immediately raise its prices, they will see a huge drop in sales.

        So, what they do is a combination of raising prices and lowering production costs in other areas. For example, a candy bar maker will raise prices by maybe a nickel while making the size of the candy bar smaller.

        Consumers will react to the lower quality; they will reduce what they are willing to pay. In the end, the business will end up selling fewer units of lower quality goods at higher prices.

        But we should all feel good; I’m told that shoddy goods at expensive prices are the “price we pay for civilization”

        1. Or, as we’ve seen in recent decades, they just push the manufacturing offshore and delay – sometimes permanently – the repatriation of the profits, investing them abroad. And we just can’t figure out why so many jobs are going overseas.

    3. Shitloads, Scotch.

      But not enough to satisfy your bloodlust.

    4. Butters: I am STILL waiting to hear from the asshole who fed you after midnight. I have a bone to pick with him.

    5. Scotch, why do you hate oil workers?

  3. There are no words to describe how brilliant the first video is.

    1. Reason.tv forgot the credits. Which spirited school in our public education system rendered that rousing version of Key’s key opus?

  4. Taxes are the price we pay for a subsidized society.

  5. OK thats making pretty good sense to me dude.

    Lou
    http://www.security-tools.us.tc

  6. Oh wow, never thought about it that way before.

    Lou
    http://www.security-tools.us.tc

  7. Even in Halo

    Ahh the days of “Pepsi has defeated Coke in a duel to the death” in EQ.

    1. I remember those days, they were getting pretty witty towards the end. Oh the days of the EC tunnel.

  8. How much in tax did Exxon pay this year?

    Golly, Dan- I don’t know. Probably the legal minimum, based on generations of rent-seeking and Congressional social-engineering via tinkering with the tax code.

    Whatever that number is, I’m certain you believe it to be tragically insufficient unfair.

    1. Actually, I can’t find what the bill was for 2009, but there’s this report from early 2009:

      According to the company’s income statement, the amount of taxes
      it paid in 2008 was 2.5 times as much as its net profit. The $45.2 billion profit figure makes a snappy headline, but the $116.2 billion in taxes that it paid is relegated to a footnote?if that. Exxon’s tax bill breaks down like this: income taxes, $36.5 billion; sales-based taxes, $34.5 billion; “all other” taxes, $45.2 billion.

      I also, as a shareholder, believe that to be unfair.

      1. Set down your monocle for a minute and think about the poor. You rich bastard.

        (did i do that right?)

        1. Perfectly citizen. I approve this rejoinder.

    2. EDGAR has all the answers…

  9. Is that the same reason gear chick? She’s smiling! She’s really smiling!

  10. How much in tax did Exxon pay this year?

    $15,119,000,000 on pretax income of $34,777,000,000 (Consolidated income for 09)

    The interesting companies are the Beltway companies like GE. Who recorded a tax benefit of $1,090,000,000. It pays to have the ear of the White House. (all reports bottom of the list on the left, ctr F 1090)

    1. Those taxes should reflect internationally paid taxes as well. The oil companies do business in areas that tax the ever loving crap out of them. Where GE gets to suck ass here in the US, or do business in countries with low tax budens and mitigate it’s tax burden, like most large US companies.

    2. Fifteen billion in taxes is not enough.

      1. I am proud of your unwavering support of my policies to remake America. Without your contining fellation support, Hope and Change(tm) will be diffcult to implement.

      2. Yes moron, we liberals just love taxes for their own sake…

        1. MNG has a point here, I think. Liberals aren’t thoughtless taxers, imposing burdens for their own sake. They are quite scrupulous about punishing behavior they don’t like and subsidizing behavior they do. Not surprisingly, these behaviors closely track those of their political foes and friends, respectively.

        2. As you stated below, you don’t love taxes. You love to tax those who in your opinion have too much. An obvious difference.

          1. Wrong again. I hate taxes. If they must be paid, they should be paid by those who can more easily afford to. That’s certainly not saying I love their paying it.

            1. Your premise that they “must be paid” is incorrect.

              1. Only if being a failed state is a viable option.

                1. Or no state which seems to be the option you do not consider.

            2. You just advocated below taxing those that supposedly incur less of a burden than others. That’s not hating taxes, that’s hating taxing certain people. Playing some utopian no one pays scenario to make a point is a little retarded when your point is some should say and some shouldn’t/

              1. Tony,chad,and mng parodied your posts for you all to a “t”

    3. This counts as a pwning, I think.

      1. I get tired of uninformed people pissing and moaning about oil companies, which not only get to deal with their main source of income being from a commodity that is openly manipulated, but also taxed and regulated second only to financial institutions. (who usually get around the taxing part)

        1. We feel the same way.

        2. (who usually get around the taxing part)

          In exchange for more regulations though I’m sure.

          1. My plan has to ply the corporations somehow. But when we slap ’em with more regulation, they will not be “unresponsive”.

            1. that wasn’t and will never be funny.

              1. Get over yourself. We defend both of them at others’ expense; ever heard of a “metaphor”?

                1. they don’t ever get over it.

                  1. No, they don’t. 🙁

        3. Because being the most profitable industry in the history of the world doesn’t mean we’re also not the most oppressed!

      2. Indeed. This troll that masquerades as all these clowns know how to do little else than whistle out of their asshole, forgetting not only the taxes that corps pay but that the whole concept of the corporation was a result of the tax code. Not only that, but a company like Exxon employs roughly 80,000 people and no doubt provides good benefits. I guess it’s not enough because they don’t employ 80 million whether they need to or not.

        1. Exxon should be responsible for feeding and clothing every single american. Shell can handle housing, and BP can pay for everyones healthcare.

          I just made a wealth-distributionist’s utopia in only 2 sentences. Damn, this hope and change stuff is fun!

          1. Where did you get that? I have a mole in My administration, apparently.

            1. pssst, it’s next to your nose sir.

              1. You better watch it pinky, you’re being a real asshole to us. We brought your boss into office and he’ll take you out.

  11. Neil Bush will never be president.

    By the time we’ve had four years off after Jeb’s 2 terms, Jenna will be old enough.

    1. Don’t count me out!

      Al Qaeda’s got nothin’ on those dykes in public rehab.

  12. …whomever finally ascends to the throne that is theirs by noble birthright and demonstrated leadership con artist abilities.

    FIFY

    1. In addition – It’s “whoever” and not “whomever.” The subject is in the nominative case.

      FIFY II.

  13. We feel the same way.

  14. More important than politics. Well done Matt Smith.

      1. Dr. Who reference. Never much cared for the show, personally, but the geeks dig it.

        Now, Red Dwarf…

        1. RACIST!

        2. smeghead

        3. Yes, but Red Dwarf is no more while the Dr. has hit his 11th reincarnation.

          1. Matt Smith is OK but I grew up watching Tom Baker. He is still my favorite and allways will be.

          2. But I did love the episode “The Beast Below” which actually had a very libertarian theme.

        4. “Yes Minister” IMHO

          ..but yes, RD was great fun.

  15. David Boaz says libertarians aren’t anti-government, they are pro-skittle-shitting-unicorn government or something like that.

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org…..overnment/

    “I’ll take Somalia over this statist bull shit”

    1. I think it’s funny that the term “anti-government” is tossed out there to describe people that want to stop the out of control spending that’s going to cause the republic to collapse. Would that be a good example of irony?

      1. A simple “Thank You” for lowering your taxes would have sufficed. But since I’m in a jovial mood from the Tax Day amusement, I’ll let it slide.

    2. The second and ultimately more important problem is that libertarians are not, in any serious sense, “anti-government.”

      Boaz apparently doesn’t think the Rothbardian end-the-state crowd are libertarians.

  16. I thought even moderately well-read people were aware by now that ulcers are caused by the H. pylori bacterium and, less commonly, by NSAIDs and other drugs; not stress.

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s just a figure of speech, Nicky. Don’t get your panties in a wad.

      1. That’s covered in Obamacare as well. Until your incontinent while in a coma. Then it depends.

        1. That’s covered in Obamacare as well. Until your incontinent while in a coma. Then it depends.

          No, then it is Depends.

      2. When someone posts using a derogative diminutive of the person’s name he is addressing, you can safely ignore him. Bad manners and stupidity are conjoined twins.

        1. OK, sorry. Trying again:

          I’m pretty sure it’s just a figure of speech, Nicolas. Don’t get your panties in a wad.

  17. I think there are a lot of gross oversimplifications going on here. I don’t think any liberal likes paying taxes any more than libertarians like paying a price for any good or service. We see taxes as a necessary evil and we think certain government services and programs are worth paying taxes for. And of course we disagree with you guys over what those are. But we don’t love taxes anymore than you like the fact you have to pay for things you like or need…

    There may be some naive liberals who think corporations paying taxes is a good thing in itself. But most liberals I know just want taxation to be “progressive”; if there is to be taxes they should fall on those who can best afford to pay them (those who won’t have as much dent made into their life by paying them) and many people assume (probably wrongly) corporations are all big and wealthy and so they should pay a great share. But again, most thoughtful liberals I know don’t want to tax corporations or anyone for shits and giggles…

    1. Just say you want to redistribute income and wealth for the purpose of social engineering.

      It’s much easier and contains 95% less bullshit.

      1. Yeah, but come on. Social engineering isn’t just a liberal bailiwick. The only real difference is that liberal philosophies upset the status quo, while SoCon engineering forces the status quo in place. It’s cheaper and a lot less people complain, or even notice, but it’s still the same thing.

        Wealth redistribution, on the other hand…

        1. I never claimed otherwise. It just amazes me it takes someone 30 lines to say something that can be said in 1.

      2. If you are asking me would I like to see greater equality of wealth I will say yes. I share Rawls’ ideas on this: some inequality is a good thing as it provides incentives that make everyone better off, but it should be minimized if possible in ways that don’t violate other values I have.

        1. Equality of income != Equality of wealth.

        2. Oh to be smart enough to know exactly the right amount of incentive needed for every person. Wait I think there’s something that does that. (note it’s not someone, it’s something)

          My point was you spent two paragraphs trying to make your true intention sound more palatable. Just say it if it’s what you believe.

          1. But supporting progressive taxes doesn’t = supporting wealth equalization.

            1. OK, what does it support? You said below you want to punish increase taxes on people/entities that are “doing well.” What would the purpose of that be?

              1. Because they can better afford it, it will burden them less. It’a about burden minimization.

                1. That is wrong. It will burden them more (math is fun and pretty absolute when it comes the simple things like percentage taken). Your argument hinges on their ability to deal with the burden and your belief you or others are better capable of determining who is and who isn’t burdened. Simple math eludes you or you choose to ignore it because you think you can determine individuals ability to deal with a progressive burden. It’s about taking and giving, not distribution. Your argument would work if the social welfare and entitlement programs didn’t exist. So in a vacuum you have a case. Here on earth your case boils down to exactly what I called it.

                  Just say you want to redistribute income and wealth for the purpose of social engineering.

                  1. “Your argument hinges on their ability to deal with the burden and your belief you or others are better capable of determining who is and who isn’t burdened”

                    It’s not rocket science that those who have a whole lot are going to miss a certain % of what they have a lot less than people who have very little.

                    1. Really? What percentage will they not miss. Give me a number. Lets not hide behind vagueness and get to some hard numbers here to see if your theory holds water.

                2. There is a word for what you suggesting MNG. It means relieving someone of their property involuntarily. “Burden minimization” = X.

                  What is X? (hint: it’s one word, one syllable, and five letters)

                  I think we would like to hear you say it.

                  1. And it isn’t taxes.

                  2. A word for having costs fall on those who can burden them better? Because that is what I’ve been talking about.

                    But I can guess where you’re going, ye olde ‘taxes=theft” hyperbole. Look, that discussion is going on downthread dude, join us. This one is about the fairnest way of how any tax burden should be shouldered.

                    1. Costs are one thing. Costs of giving to others that which was taken is more akin to theft. I have no problem supporting my roads, and other community entities. (even if I disagree with some of it) I have a problem with supporting another human through force of violence.

                      While everyone on the internet is a saint, has a hot wife, is a millionaire and genius I assure you I put my money and my time where my mouth is with respect to giving back to humanity and those in need.

                    2. hmm
                      You’re missing the point on this discussion: IF (if you don’t want to assumet this join us downthread) there are to be taxes, whom should they fall upon? Those who, after they are exacted, will still have much money left over to realize their aims in life, or those who, after they are exacted, will have close to nothing?

                    3. They should fall on all those who consume the benefit. Pretty damn simple. Charity is just that, forced charity by a third party is theft.

                      I understand the argument just fine. You seem to be the one lost in the woods of superiority. Yet you didn’t quantify what a burden is farther up thread. Maybe we can just use some vague idea and go from there, that should work. Right middle class?

            2. But supporting progressive taxes doesn’t = supporting wealth equalization.,/i>

              Quoth the Iron Law:

              Foreseeable consequences are not unintended.

    2. Two quick points:

      1. Since 5% are already paying more than 1/2 of the tax burden, and 47% are net tax consumers (yes, barring the FICA tax, I know the argument), I’m just curious how much more “progressive” you would like the system to be.

      2. Since 90% of Congressional Democrats were howling for “windfall” taxes on oil company profits a few years ago; I guess we can safely eliminate them as “thoughtful” liberals? Especially since nobody gave two shits about Exxon when oil was $10/bbl and they were operating at a huge loss?

      1. Don’t bother answering. You will never cop to the fact that Liberals are like Don Fanucci from GF 2.

        “I hear you and your friends are doing well for yourselves. Why do you treat me so shabbily? I only want to “wet my beak” a little.”

      2. 1. We would like the wealthier within that 5% to pay more of that share.

        2. I don’t think “windfall” taxes are taxing just for fun, in fact it falls squarely into the values I discussed (having more of the tax burden fall on people/entities that are doing very well).

        1. 1. We would like to spread even more of that wealth around.

          2. We like to punish people/entities when they are successful, because it’s just not fair.

          1. 1. It has to do with those people being better able to shoulder the burden as much as it does equalization.

            2. Again, it’s not about punishing anyone, it’s about placing the burden on those who can better bear it.

            1. And why does there need to be such a large burden to begin with? Here’s a hint: it rhymes with “smocial fengineering.”

              1. The size of the burden is one question, how it should be shouldered is another.

        2. MSG, you are an intelligent man. And probably a damn fine looking man as well. (First rule of rhetoric: identify with the listener)…he he.

          You can obviously apply logic to a question; though, often, since your starting premises are flawed, the product of your logic is invalid.

          Here’s my challenge: Apply logic to this question. When a critical mass of successful producers get tired of being punished for their success; and stop vying for membership in that top 5%; what happens to YOUR windfall?

          I know that your crowd are relying on man’s inherent greed and competitiveness to always supply new pockets to pick, but EVERYTHING has a tipping point. (reference the underground economies of every totalitarian state in history)

          Equality is worthless if it means that we are all equally miserable.

          1. Well, yes, the goose that lays the egg can be killed so to speak (your incentive question), that has to be a concern.

            I think you’d be surprised how much “punishment” people will bear to make more money. We’re nowhere near that point, whatever it is…

            1. Shorter MNG: “A successful parasite must never kill its host.”

              1. In a capitalist system of course the government must consider the health of capitalistic institutions as it is the source of its funding. We’ve made a conscious decision to have our system set up and funded this way.

                But since the government makes that capitalism possible (enforcing contracts, creating and enforcing property rights, etc) you can just as easily say capitalism is “parasitical” on government…

                1. And you’d be wrong, unless you feel that capitalism! = rent-seeking.

                  1. I’d be interested in how capitalism would exist and thrive without third party enforcement of contracts and property rights, among other things.

                    1. If you really are interested it is discussed (in part) here.
                      http://mises.org/daily/3719
                      If you want more detail I can recoment books by Rothbard, Walter Block and others.

                    2. Third party enforcement of contracts and property rights is not parasitical, and it’s not what “makes capitalism possible.” You make it sound as though without contract enforcement every single deal would be broken in a free market environment.

                    3. Yes, it’s not parasitical, my point was that it does make capitalism possible. Capitalism lives off of and is made possible by government.

                      Sorry.

                    4. I return you to underground economies in totalitarian systems…capitalism exists in SPITE of government in those cases.

                    5. “I return you to underground economies in totalitarian systems…capitalism exists in SPITE of government in those cases.”

                      Yes, yes, and in Somalia people still trade things with each other. So yes, if what you mean by capitalism is that people will trade things at this bare level, it can exist without government. What a victory that is for you, the black market in Russia and Somalia!

                    6. If that is true, MNG, that government makes capitalism possible, then you would have to accept that:

                      1) Products are created by business.

                      2) The public is free to buy products.

                      3) Products requires choice to be selected or rejected freely.

                      4) Choice requires a medium of exchange.

                      5) Products are not manufactured by the government.

                      6) Government does not have a product to sell.

                      7) Government cannot receive a medium of exchange.

                      8) Government cannot be freely rejected or accepted.

                      9) People must be free to choose to give or keep medium of exchange.

                      10) Freedom to exchange or reject products for medium of exchange is capitalism.

                      Conclusion: If government can acquire medium of exchange without providing a product, then government is not a business and is by definition not capitalism.

                      QED

                    7. Products are not created by business if there is no government to lay out what property belongs to the business, enforce the contracts of the business, etc.,

                      In other words, FAIL on your fist premise buddy.

                    8. What product does the government provide then? What tangible product is produced by government that is not made by the private sector? And don’t bother with the military example, as that is dependent on private companies manufacturing the needs of an standing army.

                    9. Products are not created by business if there is no government to lay out what property belongs to the business

                      Again, not true. If I purchase some raw materials in good faith from my next door neighbor, say some vegetables from her victory garden, that would be a transaction, no? The property is her’s, and it wouldn’t be that difficult to steal it if I wanted. But I choose not to, as that is how a civilized society operates. Not because of government: I realize as property owner that to have my rights respected, I have to be willing to respect others’ rights. If I want her tomatoes (no metaphor there, she isn’t that cute), then I should be prepared to pay her price. Otherwise, no victory tomatoes and off to the market I go, another owner of property.

                      Anything that the government desires to peddle as “product”, is legislation dependent on theft to do so. Save the post office and a national defense, there is nothing constitutional that even remotely enumerated. And don’t bother with bastardizations of the “General Welfare”.

    3. Most “thoughtful” liberals seem to be okay with sustaining a “progressive” paradigm under the reality of which literally ten trillions of dollars of resources have been squandered in avoidance and compliance with, and enforcement of, what you call a necessary evil.

      Can there be a more spectacular misallocation of resources? How do you spell opportunity costs?

      Again, if “thoughtful” liberals were concerned about those who can least afford the “dent,” they sure have a funny way of showing it. If they cared, they would be screaming to eliminate FICA.

    4. “We see taxes as a necessary evil and we think certain government services and programs are worth paying taxes for.”

      Except that many liberals are against simplifying the tax code because they like using the tax code for social engineering purposes. Many taxes exist, not for bringing in revenues for the government but to punish people for behaving in ways liberals don’t like. Depending how petty an capricious you believe those tax policies to be, some of them can certainly be described as for “shits and giggles”.

  18. Watching Sunday morning TV news chat:

    Michelle Bachmann saying “gangster government” =Timothy McVeigh and a Ryder truck full of ANFO.

    (My Firefox spell-check recommends “Eichmann” as a preferred spelling for “Bachmann” LOL!)

    1. “We’re on to this gangster government,” “I say it’s time for these little piggies to go home.”…. “We need you to take out some of these bad guys.”

      Terrorism, straight up.

      1. damn skippy!

    1. Ah, the joys of “order.” Yet, there are some who are stupid enough to think that uniformed thugs of caesar provide “order.”

    2. I already tortured my retired LEO friend with this earlier in the week.

    3. What’s really cool about that is that with all the stormtrooper gear on, they literally all look alike.

      “Uh, that wasn’t me playing hide the baton with that perp. It was some other pig asshole.”

      1. Great. How long before they are growing and harvesting LEO’s in the lab, a la Jango Fett?

    4. The beating was bad enough, but then to read those bullshit charges against McKenna just infuriates me. It’s going to be hard to suppress my schadenfreude following this case and seeing those cops fire and prosecuted for their lawlessness.

  19. Wow Dude, Thats really cool!!!

    [insert hyperlink here]

    1. You forgot your link spam bot. =(

  20. But most liberals I know just want taxation to be “progressive”; if there is to be taxes they should fall on those who can best afford to pay them

    Fuck off, slaver.

    1. And a gentle good day to you to sir!

      It is nice to see the stupid slaver meme back though, it’s been a few weeks…

      1. So how else would you describe someone who forces you to work for him or her at the point of a gun?

        1. Progressive? Bwahaha!!

          Actually, I am unsure. Progressives ran from that label in terror after it became obvious to enough people just what an evil d-bag Woodrow Wilson and his ilk were. They co-opted “liberal” (one of the great all-time oxymorons) until the 60’s, when that word became so tainted by the counter-culture. Now they’re back to progressive, but it’s anyone’s guess for how long.

          Let’s go with pro-lib-gressive-tard…

          1. Since it bothers people like MNG so much I think I will start using the word “slaver” to describe such people. Unlike progressive and liberal it accurately describes their political views. We should all start using slaver to describe such people. It might catch on.

            1. It hardly bothers me, I think it’s the kind of over-the-top hyperbole that marginalizes folks like you more, and that can be a good thing. That’s why I said it was nice to see it back.

              1. Why do you view it as “over the top”?

        2. Has someone forced you to work for them at the barrel of a gun recently?

          1. Yes, the I.R.S. If I choose not to pay them they throw me in a cage. If I resist or try to escape I will be shot at with a gun.

            1. I can’t think of any government that exists off of voluntary funding, taxation for that government must be compelled. No normal person thinks that is the same as slavery.

              1. “I can’t think of any government that exists off of voluntary funding”

                Exactly.

                “No normal person thinks that is the same as slavery.”

                Normal people have been trained all of thier lives not to think.

                1. So you think there should be no government? No enforcement of property rights or contracts etc?

                  And you’ve just admitted that all government would have to have compelled support.

                  So….

                  1. “So you think there should be no government? No enforcement of property rights or contracts etc?”

                    These are two different questions. I believe that there should be no government. I ALSO believe that there SHOULD be enforcement of property rights, contracts etc.

                    1. “I ALSO believe that there SHOULD be enforcement of property rights, contracts etc.”

                      And how would this happen without compelled government?

                    2. People would purchase security services and contract enforcement services on the open market like any other service. If government had an historical monopoly on shoes and I spoke against that people would accuse me of being “anti-shoe”.

              2. So anybody who disagrees with you and thinks that people WOULD voluntarily pay money in exchange for services received from the government (or else opt out and arrange for private providers of those services) — and that the current involuntary, coercive funding method is a form of slavery — is not “normal”?

                Really?

                1. Prolefeed, with these threaded comments it is sometimes difficult to know who you are adressing. If you are adressing me I was not really agreeing with MNG. I was simply saying that I think most people have been trained from childhood on up not to think about government in a critical way. This makes sense because most of us went to government schools as a child.

                2. Prole
                  It’s certainly not the normal understanding of the concept of slavery to include compelled taxation.

                  Consider the point already made here: many people don’t pay any taxes, they choose to work not at all or so little they don’t. So there is no compelling of their time or money. Now that’s a funny kind of “slavery.”

                  1. Consider the point already made here: many N***** don’t work on farms, they choose to not work at all or manage to escape up Noth. So there is no compelling of their time or families. Now that’s a funny kind of “slavery.”

                    1. Holy inapt analogies Batman!

                      (At least you kind of realize itself as you felt the need to awkwardly work geography in there to try to make it work).

                    2. In both the case of the slave in 1811 and the slave in 2010 the person needs to make lifesytle changes in order to increase the level of freedom. That does not mean slavery does not exist. Why should anyone be compelled to either move elsewhere or decrease his productivity to cease having the fruits of his labor stolen?

                    3. Moving elsewhere and decreasing one’s productivity are not the same thing (literally or morally), and thus the analogy sails into the Sea of Inaptness…

                    4. Let me help you: for your analogy to begin to work you must have the Southern slave owner allow any slave who wishes to move North.

                      And yeah, as you probably realize, that lil’ fact in itself takes us away from what most people abhor about the actual practice of slavery in the US…

                    5. “for your analogy to begin to work you must have the Southern slave owner allow any slave who wishes to move North.”

                      Allow is not the proper word here. Our rulers allow us to fill out paperwork to do certain things and, if they feel like it, grant permission. There were some slave owners who would free their slaves. Not many but they existed. The slave owner would fill out paperwork and the slave would be told that to be safe he should carry around this paperwork to show those who may be suspicious – kind of like a national ID card that some politicians want to show down our throats – or like the national work ID that xenophobes support.

                      Paperwork was the key here. If our rulers wish to grant us a few more liberties we must fill out paperwork.

                    6. So every person in every functioning country on earth is a slave. Man, that’s fucked up.

                      Your ability to have your labor generate fruits for yourself would not exist without a neutral enforcement body. Otherwise it’s just whoever has bought the bigger “private security force” that gets to decide what you can do with your wealth.

                      I don’t think you want to live in that kind of world. And nobody else does either, which is why they’ve nearly universally accepted national governments, with their best hope (greatest freedom for the greatest number) being forms of government by the people.

                    7. “So every person in every functioning country on earth is a slave. Man, that’s fucked up.”

                      Yes Tony, it is.

                      “I don’t think you want to live in that kind of world.”

                      Live in a strawman? How could I live in a strawman even if I wanted to?

      2. MNG, you’re trying to spin it as if the only difference between progressives and libertarians is that they disagree on what the government should be doing, or what we should be paying taxes for. THIS is the biggest oversimplification in this thread. Progressives believe that the government should be doing certain things, and that if you don’t want or use those things, it doesn’t matter, you still have to pay for them. Libertarians believe you should only pay for what you voluntarily buy. If everyone in the country wanted to pay taxes to the government to get some service, fine, I would have no problem with that. But that is almost never the case. The truth is, the people who pay the most taxes are not buying anything near equivalent to what they are getting back. They are simply being forced to give charity to the less wealthy. Except you have to subtract the government’s huge cost of doing bureaucratic business, as well as any money that does not go to the poor but to other pet projects of the politicians, i.e. most of the money never even gets to the poor.

        So really, the inherent difference between progressives and libertarians is that progressives believe the means of forcing someone to give their own money against their will is justified in order to, yes, give money to the poor, but also to pay for every bureaucrat, government employee, and “government funded” project. If you can’t see why this is simply utterly and inherently wrong, and why we should be letting people decide what is the right thing to do with their own money, then you need to mature a little and learn some respect for your fellow human adults. Because what progressivism REALLY says is that the vast human populace are children who can’t do what’s right for themselves, and only the right politicians are smart enough and adult enough to take care of the children through authoritative means. But after all, the great progressive slogan is “it’s for the children!”

        1. “Libertarians believe you should only pay for what you voluntarily buy.”

          Really? What about police to enforce minimal things like property rights and stuff, are they going to be funded as a fee service?

          “The truth is, the people who pay the most taxes are not buying anything near equivalent to what they are getting back.”

          Well, I think fairness means something bigger than just coercion avoidance. One can also argue that the wealthiest benefit the most from having a government in place, so it’s fair to ask them to pay much more.

          “Because what progressivism REALLY says is that the vast human populace are children who can’t do what’s right for themselves”

          That’s silly hyperbole. They see it as carrying out the best interest of people, that doesn’t equate to treating them like children.

          1. “Really? What about police to enforce minimal things like property rights and stuff, are they going to be funded as a fee service?”

            I cannot speak for all libertarians but as for myself, yes.
            http://mises.org/daily/3719

            “Well, I think fairness means something bigger than just coercion avoidance.”

            Interesting. What do you view as fair and how would you enforce this idea of fairness?

            1. Really? What about police to enforce minimal things like property rights and stuff, are they going to be funded as a fee service?

              Sure. If you want the government to enforce your “property right and stuff”, then pay the price the government is charging for that service.

              If you don’t want the prices and terms offered, buy a private service (akin to private security guards).

              If you’re destitute, then private charity / voluntary tax donations for this purpose would suffice.

              1. People should have to rely on charity to have their fundamental rights enforced/protected?

                1. Yes, because the alternative that you suggest simply treads on the fundamental rights of others.

                  1. “Yes, because the alternative that you suggest simply treads on the fundamental rights of others.”

                    Yeah, and yours leaves many people, through no fault of their own, no recourse when their fundamental rights are tread upon…

                    1. How do you know that Tony? Where there is sufficient demand, supply will always follow, not to demand that the market will be supplemented by the charity of all those kind people who really do want to pay taxes because they believe it helps the poor? I simply don’t understand why you think once we stop forcing people to pay taxes, everyone will simply stop being charitable too. The opposite should occur. Charity should increase if the majority of this country is made up of progressives.

              2. Take the following hypo: A and B both claim legal title to the same property. Now how is this going to be solved in a “fee system”?

                1. I’m confused MNG, weren’t you saying before that taxes are what we pay for the government’s protection? How is this different from a fee system, except that you only pay for what you actually use?

                  1. In that many government services are fundamental rights that should not be conditioned upon the ability to pay the fee? Come on, it the only utilitarian here supposed to educate you on rights?

                    1. If you can’t pay for it, it doesn’t magically come from nowhere, whether you have the right to it or not. Someone else has to pay for it. My right to protection doesn’t mean I get to steal your property. That’s NOT how rights work. I prefer people volunteer to pay for it rather than be forced to. But hey, that’s just me. If you think you can protect rights while stomping on them, that’s your decision to be delusional.

                  1. En Garde!

          2. “Really? What about police to enforce minimal things like property rights and stuff, are they going to be funded as a fee service?”

            PIRS and prolefeed answered this well enough.

            “Well, I think fairness means something bigger than just coercion avoidance. One can also argue that the wealthiest benefit the most from having a government in place, so it’s fair to ask them to pay much more.”

            Can you define what fairness means to you? Does it mean that if I buy a big candy bar, I have to share it with the other children, otherwise Mommy will come and take it away? We are not children MNG, we do not need someone else to tell us what is fair and what isn’t.

            “That’s silly hyperbole. They see it as carrying out the best interest of people, that doesn’t equate to treating them like children.”

            Then I must also be a progressive, because I see libertarianism as being in the best interest of all humans. I also see it as the most fair and equal system. The DIFFERENCE between progressives and libertarians is that progressives believe in the few politicians using their authoritative power to do what they think is best for everyone, while libertarians believe only the individual is capable of taking care of himself. How is this hyperbole? It is completely accurate that progressives believe that they are the adults and the people are the children.

            1. “progressives believe in the few politicians using their authoritative power to do what they think is best for everyone”

              That’s silly Heller, those “few politicians” are democratically elected and represent the majority.

              I’m not even sure you’re other points were points frankly…

              1. “That’s silly Heller, those “few politicians” are democratically elected and represent the majority.”

                Then let those who voted for them obey the laws they passed. Why should those of us who did not vote for the current crop of politicians be forced to obey their laws?

                1. Why should those of us who did not vote for the current crop of politicians be forced to obey their laws?

                  You’re seriously asking why you should be forced to obey laws?

                  1. “You’re seriously asking why you should be forced to obey laws?”

                    Yup. Do you seriously have an answer?

                  2. That wasn’t the question, dumbass. Don’t be purposely dense.

                    1. heller, are you and Tony the same person? I only ask because you seem to know what his question was better than he does.

                    2. Heller, sorry, sometimes it is hard to follow who is talking to who. I do not like the way these threads are now set up.

                    3. Yeah that was a reply to Tony not you. Sorry ’bout the mix up.

              2. Ohhhhhh, so if the majority of adults decide that the minority is children, then it’s OK? The majority is allowed to do that right?

                Also, I’m sure all majority voters support everything the person they voted into power does, because that person is always representing the single majority view, correct? Politicians do represent their majority constituents perfectly right?

                “I’m not even sure you’re other points were points frankly…”

                Oh yeah that’s cool, just ignore them…

                Yeah, but, um, could you please just define fairness?

                1. Fairness is a vague term and cannot be logically determined.

                  1. MNG I refer you to upthread.

                2. Fair has several meanings:

                  1. The area in baseball between the foul lines

                  2. A celebratory gathering, usually rural in nature.

                  3. An imaginary term, invoked by children and progressives, that is code for: when I get what I want.

                  1. Thank you KFP. Fair is also ambiguous too. I was referring to door #3.

                3. “Politicians do represent their majority constituents perfectly right?”

                  er, they have these things to address these called “periodic elections.”

                  ‘could you please just define fairness?”

                  Didn’t I refer you to Rawls downthread?

                  1. “er, they have these things to address these called “periodic elections.””

                    And that solves the problem? So when do we get these periodic elections, because the problem definitely isn’t solved….

                    “Didn’t I refer you to Rawls downthread?”

                    Yeah but could you just answer the question instead of avoiding it? Just a brief definition would be fine, thanks.

  21. John Rawls wrote a book on fairness that seemed to get it right to me. I can refer you to it.

    I guess I’d want fairness to enforced through a combination of informal social controls and democratically elected governments.

    1. Informal social controls are fine with me so long as they are voluntary. How would these “democratically elected governments” enforce your concept of fairness?

      1. Why through coercion. It’s not the bad word for me it is for you.

        1. MNG, I sure you consider coercion a bad thing when it is enforcing things you disagree with. Like, banning books, movies, throwing gay people in jail. I am sure you would consider it a bad thing if the Jim Crow laws were brought back, would you not?

        2. How is coercion fair MNG?

          1. Every time it increases overall human well being it is.

            1. “Every time it increases overall human well being it is.”

              Great evils have been justified using words like these. Poll Pot thought he was doing this. So did Stalin. So did a certain painter from Austria who was elected to a position of power in Germany. So did George W. Bush. I could go on but I think you get my point.

            2. And how exactly does one measure human well being MNG? Also what does this have to do with being fair? Doesn’t fair mean we treat everyone equally?

  22. Of course the coercion of bad things is bad. The coercion of good things is not so bad. For example, when the police coerce a trespasser off of your property I’m betting you would call that a good thing.

    1. In that case it is the tresspasser who is doing the coercion.

      1. You mean to tell me that trespasser is not coerced by the billy club and threat of the constable? Interesting…

        1. There is a difference between the initiation of force and the response to force. This is why I am not a pacifist. The devout Amishman would agree with you. I see a huge difference.

    2. The trespasser has initiated coercion, MNG.

      1. Ah, so you DON’T have an absolute opposition to coercion: coercion to address initial coercion is OK.

        That’s fine, just to get it out of the way that neither of us has some absolute objection to coercion per se.

        Welcome to the fold, brother!

        1. It is not coercion, it is a defense.

        2. You’re not coercing someone if they’ve already lost the right to not be coerced against, MNG. If I initiate force against you, I have shown that I don’t respect your rights. Therefore I lose my right. So no, self defense and the defense of others is NOT coercion. Nice try though.

    3. See, MNG, I believe in fairness and equality so much, that not only do I believe everyone should have equal rights, but we should all have equal power over one another (zero power, that is). When you give a politician the power to initiate coercion over another individual, you aren’t being fair.

      1. we should all have equal power over one another (zero power, that is)

        But this is a fantasy. Either government is going to coerce you or some guy with a bigger gun than yours will. You only get a say in the coercion in one of these scenarios. In a world without strong rules whose enforcement involves coercion, I doubt if very many people will abide by your definition of fair. There are coercive rules for a game of Scrabble. You can’t expect a functioning society to exist without them.

        1. “But this is a fantasy. Either government is going to coerce you or some guy with a bigger gun than yours will.”

          So which do you prefer, a government legally coercing you, so you have no means to defend yourself, or a thug coercing you, whom you can legally defend yourself against. I know which side your on…

          I will always prefer coercion to be outlawed over having coercion as the law.

          “There are coercive rules for a game of Scrabble.”

          That you agree to before playing, dumbass. If you’ve already agreed to them, they aren’t coercive, are they?

  23. It’s an irrelevant argument anyway.

    Unless you’re an anarcho-capitalist, you understand the need for military/police/courts to enforce rights.

    And if the government limited themselves to those areas, as constitutionally mandated, my tax bill would “magically” decrease by 70-75% overnight.

    And I would STFU.

    Redistributionism and social engineering with confiscated/coerced wealth is ugly, no matter the shade of mascara and lipstick.

    1. But if government was reduced to only that, wouldn’t it be the same as a voluntary, pay for what you get system? Where’s the coercion that separates it from anarcho-capitalism?

      1. You just answered your own question. When a government is limited to its proper role, there IS no coercion.

        1. Governance =/= a government/the state.

          If you have a state running the military/police/courts via involuntary, coercive taxes (aka your “its proper role”), then the coercion is the taxes for these, and the monopoly enforced by violence requiring everyone to use the state for these services instead of making their own arrangements.

          / Rothbardian A/C 101

        2. Hilarious. There will be no trespassers, no frauders, no IP piraters in Libertopia that will need to be dealt with using force.

          What utter bullshit.

          1. Retard, this is clearly not what he said. There is no legal coercion.

        3. What I meant by that question was that anarcho-capitalism and limited, non-coercive government are the same thing, Kant

  24. “Selling your sores” as a panhandler is a fine old tradition, dating back to the ancient Egyptians and Hindus. Kind of a fucked up way to make a living, but hey, go for it. I will throw a few denari in the cup.

    However, when the people who have been charged, under oath, to protect my rights as a U.S. citizen; instead castigate and punish me for my LACK of sores???

    I’m going to get, and STAY pissy about it.

    1. More random and unprotected sex should alleviate the lack of sores. I don’t guarantee an ease in pissing though.

  25. We need not restrict ourselves to the helpless condition of buying the kool-aid that the enforcement of our rights can only be achieved through a single provider.

    Competition would do a lot for the protection of our liberties. Lots of it. That way, you would not have immunity for badge wearing neanderthals.

    1. Once again, if government was limited to its proper role, there wouldn’t be any badge-wearing nenderthals.

      They exist today as the enforcement arm of that vast gray blob of unaccountable bureaucracy that now passes for government.

      At least with Royalty, there was a face you could associate with your woes.

      1. True. The French monarchy in particular had an interesting view when they last faced their subjects eye to eye.

      2. “Once again, if government was limited to its proper role”

        Absurd. Read some property, family, criminal, etc., law. The great bulk of it would fit nicely into Libertopia (hell most of it was developed in quite laissez-faire times); the government in Libertopia would still have a lot to do, a lot that could not be duplicated by “private sources” (conflicting parties would have little incentive to agree on a common source, those who could not afford such a source would simply sacrifice their rights, such an arrangement would possibly mean granting coercive powers to private sources [how else to carry out the very decrees parties turn to them for?]).

        1. As explained above, those roles aren’t coercive.

    2. Fuck! nenderthals=neanderthals

  26. MNG, just own up to the fact that we both want the same thing, you just don’t have enough respect for individuals to treat them like adults.

    1. It certainly treats people like adults to let them choose representatives who then make rules binding on them all, especially when such representative are regularly subject to elections.

      1. I haven’t had any politician represent me in my entire life. Fair?

        Democracy might be the most fair-ish system that exists right now, but it certainly isn’t fair.

  27. MSG: Your thought for the day:

    The merely intelligent are just as vulnerable to cognitive dissonance as the slow-witted.

    As is evident from reading any newspaper.

    Without the strong foundation of a rational philosophy, intelligence can actually be a hindrance. It allows one to creep further out on the limb.

  28. MNG: People should have to rely on charity to have their fundamental rights enforced/protected?

    The current system is people are relying on violence and coercion, thus taking away other people’s fundamental rights, to have some of their fundamental rights protected while yet other people take away the remainder of their rights. This is not a great setup.

    So, people should rely on themselves, or people they hire on their behalf, to protect their own rights. For that tiny fraction of the populace who are incapable of providing for themselves, two situations would obtain:

    People like you who claim to be compassionate would voluntarily kick in a bit of your income to help them.

    OR

    People like you who claim to be compassionate would prove that this alleged compassion was empty rhetoric, that said people were hypocrites who won’t lift a finger to help others.

    Which of these scenarios do you think is more likely?

    1. Prole thinks fundamental rights should rely on “the kindness of strangers.”

      1. You have them whether or not you can pay to protect them or not, that isn’t the issue MNG.

  29. Unless you’re an anarcho-capitalist, you understand the need for military/police/courts to enforce rights.

    Ummm, anarcho-capitalists also understand the need for the equivalent of military/police/courts to enforce rights (call them militias/private protective services/private arbitration and dispute resolution services). They thoroughly disagree with the notion that the state should fund and run such entities, rather than individuals.

    1. I can’t think of any service entity that doesn’t provide tiers of service based on fee paid. Prole would like to see fundamental rights enforced on this model. This guy over here who can’t afford it will have his “fundamental rights” enforced at a lower degree. Thus we make a mockery of a concept which, ironically, is at the heart of you guys philosophy not mine (fundamental rights). This mockery can be made because it is really about protecting the powerful vs. the powerless (here measured in ability to pay, an ability which even Hayek etc., acknowledge has more often than not been determined historically via force/fraud)…

      1. I know you can predict the future of Libertopia perfectly, MNG, but the important thing is that coercion is inherently illegal in the basic moral principles of that society. You can’t make sure it stays illegal by making it legal, which is what you support.

    2. Fine: Unless you’re an anarcho-capitalist, you have no problem with a limited state which provides for military/police/courts to enforce rights. Better?

      1. I would imagine that some non-A/C folks would object to the concept of monopoly government provision of those services, but that’s a better approximation.

    3. Prole, I understand the anarcho-capitalist’s viewpoint. I really do. My sticking point is when you have competing military/police/courts, and the inevitable happens. A chooses X to protect his rights, and B chooses Y for that service. How does that conflict get resolved? Service Z? Or armed confrontation?

      1. Read Rothbard’s “The Ethics of Liberty” (it’s online), and if you disagree with his explanation, let me know.

  30. I’m constantly told that the successful must pay their “fair share” of taxes.

    How much is that, exactly? How is it calculated?

    It’s not calculated, is it. It’s just emotional bullshit.

    1. Every day Sammich you rely on concepts that cannot be “exactly calculated” so get over yourself.

      We can at least say this with certainty: those with much can pay a % of their muchness with less loss than those with little can.

      And that’s all we need to get me where I want to go!

      1. Take note:

        the ability to pay = responsibility to pay

        No reasoning is necessary for this equation. It is simply axiomatic.

      2. Further, and further, and further out on the limb……….

      3. Every day Sammich you rely on concepts that cannot be “exactly calculated” so get over yourself.

        Realy? Do you mean quantified instead of calculated?

        For example. You think you can quantify things like the level of burden through calculations.

      4. So you concede my point: “fair share” emotionally satisfies you, so that’s “enough”.

        No doubt when the Great Barack sez that person X or corporation Y isn’t paying its “fair share” you just nod your head, like the RCA dog listening to His Master’s Voice.

        On the other hand, some of us actually care about the truth and need a rational means of evaluating such a statement. So how do I rationally decide what a “fair share” is?

        1. >…you just nod your head, like the RCA dog listening to His Master’s Voice.

          That’s a great line. 🙂

  31. As a complete thread jack, after 245 comments: I have been having a lovely time fucking with Tom Holland (the D-candidate for Kansas Gov.) on his facebook page.

    He posted a media story about he and Sen. Sam Brownback (the R-candidate) “disagreeing” on education.

    There was the expected mix of fawning little Liberals, and bellicose Conservative opponents; with a few exceptions, neither group could adequately articulate their need for a sandwich if called upon to do so.

    One pro-Holland commenter wanted to know why “they” always went for the education budget in tough times.

    I pointed out that education spending was by far the fastest to expand during good times, and then the teacher’s unions cried “draconian cuts” when the gravy-train ran dry. Then I quoted some stats.

    Voila! My comment disappeared! The “crazy” conservative’s comments remain, for contrast purposes…LOL

    Now, I am no fan of the bible-thumping Brownback, and stated so. But Holland had an ad on his site:

    “SAM BROWNBACK DOESN’T CARE ABOUT YOU! He voted against extending unemployment compensation, and the jobs bill!”

    I pointed out that the ad was disingenuous at best, that if I agreed with Brownback about run-away federal spending, he did an excellent job of caring for me. I also pointed out that lowest-common-denominator pandering was a major contributor to America’s problems.

    Bam! Comment was gone within a few hours. I will give him credit, he did pull the ad.

    Having fun, fun, fun till Daddy takes the T-bird away…LOL

    1. Great job KfP. God I love the intertubez.

    2. Yes, great job, KfP.

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