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Sports Cronyism: The NFL and Other Pro Leagues are Tax Exempt

Yesterday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced legislation to kill off a particularly ridiculous bit of corporate welfare that allows professional sports leagues to dodge millions in taxes. The National Football League, National Hockey League, Pro Golfers Association, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association all claim tax exemptions by operating as non-profits.

From ThinkProgress:

Since 1966, the tax code has allowed leagues to classify as 501(c)(6) charitable organizations—a classification used by trade and industry organizations—under the assumption that the leagues were promoting the general value of their sports. But Coburn’s amendment asserts that the leagues … are businesses interested solely in the promotion of their business; that is, the NFL isn’t so much concerned about promoting the general sport of football as it is concerned with promoting NFL football, because it is the NFL brand and the NFL teams and logos and products that make it a profitable business. The NFL, for instance, didn’t seem interested in promoting the general spread of football when a competitor league, the United States Football League, was formed in 1983.

In his 2012 “Wastebook,” Coburn estimates that the NFL and NHL saved $91 million by avoiding taxes on dues paid by teams to the leagues in 2010.

From Nonprofit Quarterly:

As a tax-exempt entity, [the NFL] doesn’t pay taxes on the income that it earns. The NFL has managed to keep its income earnings a little on a low side by paying its top executives corporate-level salaries—eight NFL execs took home compensation of $51.5 million in 2010. The teams get to write off their NFL membership dues, roughly $6 million per team, for the privilege of belonging to this unusual trade association, and that money is put into a stadium fund that provides interest-free loans to teams so long as they get taxpayer financing on stadium construction and improvement costs.

The Properly Reducing Overexemptions for Sports Act (or Pro Sports Act), would put an end to the shenanigans.

Earlier this week, Reason contributor S.M. Oliva called for putting an end to the NFL draft. Steve Chapman, on the other hand, sees the end of the NFL entirely.

Photo Credit: Flickr | 401(K) 2013

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  • DJF||

    The NFL needs those tax breaks so that it can have the money to lobby for the taxpayers to pay for 100 million dollar stadiums.

  • C. Anacreon||

    100 million dollar? Where are they building them, Laos?

    The last two new NFL stadiums both cost over $1 Billion to build.

  • richards82||

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  • mad libertarian guy||

    $100M?

    Hell the Dolphins are trying to loot tourists who go to Miami with a bed tax to the tune of $400M, and that's just to make improvements to the stadium.

  • Sevo||

    Donno.
    I'm pretty much for anyone dodging taxes any way they can get away with. Maybe we should all learn the dodge and join 'em.

  • califernian||

    ^^This

    I'm having a hard time getting outraged by the fact that the government isn't taking money from someone.

  • ||

    So you think it's okay for one group to get government services at the expense of another?

  • Almanian!||

    *checks Obama Eight Ball*

    "Check Back Later"

  • Sevo||

    "at the expense of another?"

    Want to look at that again?

  • ||

    see below

  • Irish||

    I'm pretty much for anyone dodging taxes any way they can get away with. Maybe we should all learn the dodge and join 'em.

    Given that sports leagues often get their stadiums paid for at taxpayer expense, I have to disagree.

    I'd also argue that one business getting huge tax breaks while others don't distorts the market. There should be a corporate flat tax with absolutely no write-offs so that the playing field is level.

  • Free Society||

    There schold be no corporate tax at all. That will be the ONLY level playing field.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Dodging taxes is one thing. Getting subsidies is a whole other thing.

  • Hollywood||

    I agree that exempting "charitable" organizations from paying taxes is inane since it implies that profits created from a regular company are not as "good."

    The NFL (and all the other major sports)is also exempt from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act so their monopoly was legislated into existence. It's really two examples of cronyism when it comes to pro sports.

  • Robert||

    No, only baseball is exempt, because since it was operating professionally at the time the act passed, and its operation was known to Congress, and there's no indication Congress meant to prohibit baseball leagues from operating in an anti-competitive manner, therefore baseball was not believed to be a business as referenced by that act.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Sevo has my vote. Why isn't Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) introducing a bill to expand the 501(c)(6) program?

  • Robert||

    501(c)(6) already includes all business leagues. There are other parts of 501 that could be expanded, I guess.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    They're dodging at massive taxpayer expense- this is a problem and not something to be respected.

  • entropy||

    That doesn't count. 60 million American's ox shall not be gored. Football is about Freedom!

  • Another David||

    Am I understanding correctly that the league is tax-exempt but the individual teams are not?

    If so, well, the idea that the teams are not subsidiaries of the league is absurd, but the tax dodge isn't as ridiculous.

  • Robert||

    I really don't see the problem with the NFL operating as a not-for-profit. Where does the money go? The staff gets paid, and the rest goes into promotion of the league, and hence the teams. Some of those promotions promote things other than the NFL per se, such as touch and flag football leagues for children. What's the difference between that and, say, a labor union? Or WFMU? Or any number of other nonprofits that operate for the advancement of their members or general amusement?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Honestly, I don't feel any jealousy towards people who are able to avoid paying taxes.

    The rest of us should be so lucky.

    There's a laundry list of huge problems with this country--from overspending to overtaxation...

    People not paying enough in taxes doesn't even make my top 10.

  • ScottSalsman||

    Should libertarians be concerned about who's not paying extra taxes? Is this an equality issue? Can't we assume that all involved are probably paying too many taxes already?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Hear, hear!

    Anybody that wants more money in their life shouldn't be trying to extract it from the NFL by way of the government.

    Anybody that wants more money should work on starting a business or getting a better job.

  • Ted S.||

    In a football forum a few weeks back, there was a thread about health insurance for retired players and funding that, to which I responded with a tongue-in-cheek, "The NFL has a big pile of money, and that's just not fair."

    Not that I actually agree with that; it's just that I know there really are people who believe this, not just about the NFL but about any rich people in general.

    My comment set off a ~150-post shitstorm before the thread finally had to be locked.

  • Irish||

    In a football forum a few weeks back, there was a thread about health insurance for retired players and funding that, to which I responded with a tongue-in-cheek, "The NFL has a big pile of money, and that's just not fair."

    The health insurance issue is one of the dumbest there is. The people who have really serious health problems later in life are going to be the ones who have a relatively long career, and therefore take the punishment over a long period of time. Generally they'll be everyday players, too. Guys who get cut after 2 years are not going to have played enough snaps to have those serious problems that Jim McMahon or Junior Seau have had.

    So if it's a problem that's generally going to be suffered by everyday players who have been in the league a long time, are you really telling me that they don't have enough money to pay for their own health insurance? Please.

  • robc||

    are you really telling me that they don't have enough money to pay for their own health insurance?

    Considering the bankruptcy rates for pro athletes, yes.

  • robc||

    If a league really cared about their players, they would require that each year's contract money be required to buy a 30 year annuity.

    Sure, that means rookies might only be making 30-40k, but it will escalate rapidly for the guys who stick around for a few years. And it will continue.

    Sure, they wouldnt prevent a player from selling the annuity for a lump sum, but I think it would still work in many cases.

    Sure, its paternalism. But they are private entities, they can be paternalistic if they want to be.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    It is not the place of the league to care about the players. It is the place of the players to care about themselves.

  • ||

    I agree with AA, I think it'd be a good PR move, possibly even a good business move*, for teams to make financial planners available for their athletes with maybe broke retired players doing a quick overview of how fast the money can go, but it isn't their job to do so.

    *Lawsuits, bankruptcies and financial hardship are major pains in the ass and would distract players from playing at their most effective.

  • robc||

    I think it'd be a good PR move, possibly even a good business move*, for teams to make financial planners available for their athletes

    Im pretty sure they do this already.

  • robc||

    It is not the place of the league to care about the players.

    Who are we to say what is or isnt the place for a private business?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Who are we to say what is or isnt the place for a private business?

    You are the one who is telling them what to do "if they really cared."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Is this an equality issue?"

    I suppose it could be...since NFL team owners are wealthy, and the wealthy pay taxes many times their proportion of the population.

    And if the idea that wealthy people "owe" more to the government--because they earned it--has become so pervasive that even some libertarians have become susceptible, then I guess we're in even deeper trouble than I thought.

  • Sevo||

    "And if the idea that wealthy people "owe" more to the government--because they earned it-"

    If we can assume they did so absent rent-seeking, they should actually pay far less.
    They're already providing for the general welfare, and they've had to fight the government regs left and right to do so.
    The presumption that their efforts should require greater payment to the government is ridiculous on the face of it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, I'm on board with denying them freebies from their local government, but if the locals didn't do enough to cut that baloney off, that doesn't justify the feds soaking the rich.

    Hell, the voters in San Diego are basically daring the Chargers to move, after the last election. And the reason LA doesn't have a team isn't because no one's interested in moving there. It's because the County has persistently refused to offer all the freebies.

  • ||

    I believe there is a legitimate function for government. That being to protect the rights of individual citizens. IOW, defense, police, courts...

    These legitimate functions need to be funded. Every citizen has equal access to these protective services and should therefore pay an equal amount for them. Every man, woman and child should pay one flat fee for the government services provided them. To do it any other way is subsidizing one group at the expense of another.

  • prolefeed||

    I believe there is a legitimate function for government. That being to protect the rights of individual citizens. IOW, defense, police, courts...

    These legitimate functions need to be funded. Every citizen has equal access to these protective services and should therefore pay an equal amount for them. Every man, woman and child should pay one flat fee for the government services provided them. To do it any other way is subsidizing one group at the expense of another.

    Lefty commenter:

    I believe there is a legitimate function for government. That being to protect the rights of individual citizens. Welfare, housing, needle exchanges, parks, etc ...

    These legitimate functions need to be funded. Every citizen has equal access to these socially beneficial services and should therefore pay an equal amount for them. Every man, woman and child should pay one flat fee for the government services provided them. To do it any other way is subsidizing one group at the expense of another.

    Taxation is a pretty name for theft. If you want the government to provide you with some services, have them offer them to you, and if they can provide it cheaper and better than their competitors, then choose to buy it. Don't FN rob other people to finance the particular goodies you want they to provide for you.

  • prolefeed||

    The last paragraph is my comment, not something any leftist would ever say.

  • ||

    So, you can decline to may for military protection? How would that work exactly? When the Chinese invade, the military protects only those citizens who've paid up? Let's see, there's a bomber on its way to bomb pro's house. Let me check to see if he's on the list? Nope don't see it here, guess we just let that one through.

    How about with courts? I kill your wife. You going to pay a private court to try me? Under what rules? Why would I need to recognize your (or your court's) rules.

    No, there is a legitimate purpose for government, but it's limited to that which cannot be provided for in other ways.

    If you have another way to pay for them, I'm all ears. If you are going to argue they are unnecessary, don't waste your time arguing the point.

  • ||

    may = pay

  • Irish||

    No, there is a legitimate purpose for government, but it's limited to that which cannot be provided for in other ways.

    Addendum: It's limited to what cannot be payed for in other ways AND MUST BE PAYED FOR.

    There's a lot of shit that leftists try to say won't get payed for without the government, but they're things that we don't actually need in the first place.

  • ||

    Addendum: It's limited to what cannot be payed for in other ways AND MUST BE PAYED FOR.

    Agreed. That's why you define what legitimate government is upfront. And I'd argue that my definition provides the absolute minimum government you could get away with. Anything that isn't directly protecting citizens rights can probably be better provided through the private sector.

  • KPres||

    I believe there is a legitimate function for government. That being to protect the rights of individual citizens. IOW, defense, police, courts...

    I believe there is a legitimate function for government. That being to protect the rights of individual citizens. Welfare, housing, needle exchanges, parks, etc ...

    Just because the sentences are structured similarly doesn't mean the carry the same meaning. Rights are obviously defined differently in the two. The libertarian conception of rights results in a pareto optimal society that benefits all. The leftist conception of rights results in freeloading and a self-destructive tragedy of commons.

  • prolefeed||

    Are you really trying to tell me that it is impossible for a truly free market to provide for your personal protection and dispute resolution needs, and that the ONLY way to do so is to have a monopoly gang of thieves rob people?

    Just because YOU haven't tried to imagine a voluntaryist future doesn't mean it's impossible.

  • ||

    Yes, that's EXACTLY what I'm saying. Government is a necessary evil. It is absolutely required to defend your rights, but can just as easily take them. That's why you limit it to only the essentials. It's a balancing act. Minimize the oppression and maximize the liberty.

    You anarchists are so completely full of shit. You never answer the question. Tell me, how is your merry band of anarchist brothers going to defend itself against a nation-state with jets, and ships and tanks? Tell me how your model society would answer that threat.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    FdA is right. Anarchists -- even intelligent ones who have attempted to work out the mechanics of an anarcho-capitalist system -- fail to recognize the inherent impracticality of defense and dispute resolution in their system, and suggest that we leave the details for the anarcho-capitalist future to figure out.

    Unsurprisingly, most people don't want the details of what happens if they get robbed, killed, or raped left in the air -- and in the systems that approximate some aspects of anarchism in certain respects, this has always been the problem which has led to government forming or an existing foreign government taking the anarchists' shit.

  • np||

    You need to read more ancap literature as many systems have already been proposed. But, you know we already have anarchy today between nations.

    Extending your logic requires an ever expanding state gobbling up neighboring countries eventually to form a one world government. After all, dispute resolution is all left "up in the air" as there's no final arbiter and never has been either.

    And I suspect you support secession, right? If you do, then how do you prevent more and more granular secession? By what non-arbitrary logic would you use to prevent people seceding down to the individual level?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    we already have anarchy today between nations.

    Yeah, and the international forum sucks ass as a way to resolve disputes and/or to resolve them in a liberty-friendly way, to the point where "free trade agreements" are often bureaucratic nightmares with 2000+ pages of text. If dispute resolution between court providing agencies will be similarly lachrymose and absurd, then I don't see that as an improvement

    Extending your logic requires an ever expanding state gobbling up neighboring countries eventually to form a one world government

    Not at all. All governments have a sell-by date and have a limited purpose; some level of non-random stability in terms of contracts and protection over a geographic area is not the same as a uniform system for all time (which both of us agree is impossible).

    And I suspect you support secession, right?

    Secession isn't an inherent attribute of libertarianism, merely a practical precaution given the imperfect nature of human institutions. A murderer or rapist has no right to secession when he is caught by the authorities, for example -- nor do I think that, say, South Ossetia has the right to secede from a somewhat free Georgia in order to become a client of the much less free Russian Federation. Any restriction of secession that is practical for preserving freedom is non-arbitrary.

  • ||

    Yep. You NEVER answer the question.

    "You need to read more ancap literature... It's complicated..."

    BULLSHIT!

    If your model is incapable of answering the most basic of questions without resorting to reading a book, color me sceptical.

  • ||

    Oh fuck you, FdA. I, Episiarch, Old Mexican, and others have answered those questions ad naseum in other threads over the years, only to be told weeks later that we NEVER answer those questions.

  • ||

    And I should add, answering a question =/= answering it to your satisfaction. You may disagree with the answer, or not like it, or not be convinced by it, but that does NOT constitute "not answering".

  • ||

    Sorry, that just boils my blood. The unbridled arrogance of a fucking statist telling me that I'm full of shit because I can't convince him of a certain proposition to which he is already ideologically predisposed not to agree with is a MOUNTAIN of bullshit.

    You can't convince me, either, of your proposition that one can define the parameters of gov't up-front, to only deal with protecting rights, and then tax people for it, and have that be a stable, legitimate form of gov't. You know why? Because at this very moment I am ruled over by a living, breathing example of a gov't which had explicit limitations laid out in paper, which have been ROUNDLY ignored in favor of creating leviathan. So guess what? Your imaginary perfect system doesn't fucking work either! It just grows, and grows, and grows, based on the whim of voters! I remember the last thread we had where we debated this (in which I answered many of the questions you claim I have never answered), you insisted on my providing a model for a completely feasible, working anarchist society...and at the same time insisted that I compare it not to how our gov't works in the real world, but instead to your magical, permo-limited gov't. Your preferred construction is every bit as much wishful thinking as what you accuse anarchists of.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Just because YOU haven't tried to imagine a voluntaryist future doesn't mean it's impossible.

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

    You, you may say
    I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people sharing all the world

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think there are legitimate rights protecting functions of government, too. I'd also argue that there are better and worse ways to collect taxes.

    Income taxes are probably the worst possible way to collect tax revenue--for a number of reasons both moral and pragmatic. I think corporate taxes are doubly absurd for many of the same reasons that income taxes are rotten--and given that the individuals who own those corporations are already paying taxes on that money.

    I'm trying to think of a good reason why playing by the rules to avoid double-taxation is a bad thing, and the only justification I can come up with is class envy. ...and class envy isn't a good justification for anything.

    It's sort of like standing up for the rights of Adam Lanza or the Marathon Bomber--since their rights to juries, legal representation, presumption of innocence, Firth Amendment, etc. are my rights, too. Except in the case of NFL owners, they haven't done anything wrong--it's just assumed that since the NFL owners earned money, they owe the government money.

    No trial. No jury. No crime. Just, the owners owe the government money--because they earned money.

    I own corporations. Those are my rights, too! I may owe the government money to finance the courts, the police, our national defense, and a few other things, but I don't owe anybody anything just because I earned money last year. I'm okay to pay my fair share, but I am not here for society's benefit.

  • KPres||

    "Taxation is a pretty name for theft."

    True. Taxation is theft. Also, theft is theft. So what about those times when you have to choose between tax theft and theft theft? Wouldn't you prefer whatever results in the least amount of theft, even if that means you have to pay some taxes?

  • yonemoto||

    there is a difference between people not paying taxes and corporations not paying taxes, not the least of which is the legal fiction of limited liability, which should probably come with some sort of user fee (namely, taxes)

  • KPres||

    A 35% user fee?

    Somehow I don't think corporations benefit quite that much from limited liability.

  • Slammer||

  • A Serious Man||

    Allow me to summon him.

    (Lights Sloopy signal)

  • ||

    What kind of aversion therapy bullshit is this ASM!? Uniformed Brits and Chad Kroeger? You're cruelty knows no bounds.

  • A Serious Man||

    I'd have less of a problem with them dodging taxes if they weren't a bunch of rent-seeking whores that get cities and states to fund their stadiums.

  • ||

    Yup. This is it in a nutshell. I'd cheer them on if they didn't do everything in their power to get the public to pay for their stadiums. I can't wait to see how much the return of the SuperSonics is going to cost me.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Truly. The NFL, MLB, etc are crony capitalist examples of the most blatant and obvious order. I have zero sympathy for them. That said, is it too much to ask that the actual problem of government subsidized business be addressed instead of another tax grab? I know, keep dreaming.

  • playa manhattan||

    Epi, what do you know about "Lagunitas Sucks!" ? It claims to be a replacement for Brown Sugga...

  • ||

    It's pretty good. They weren't able to make Brown Sugga this year (just like last year) for some reason, so they make the Lagunitas Sucks instead as a way of apologizing to their customers. It's basically "we know you want Brown Sugga but we can't so here's this because we suck and we're sorry". All I know is I haven't seen Hairy Eyeball for a really long time and I WANT SOME.

  • playa manhattan||

    I reserved a case of Brown Sugga at BevMo last year, and it turned out to be their last case. There were people offering me cash for it in the parking lot...

    Eyeball is still 7 months away. Nov 2013...

  • ||

    Seven months?!? Fuck!

  • robc||

    Encourage them to locate in Tacoma.

    That wont cost you anything then, right?

  • ||

    If only we could put them in a different county. No, they want to put them right across the street from Safeco in SoDo. Key Arena is no longer good enough. Though if they were back in Key Arena, game nights would fuck up anything I had to do in Queen Anne.

    Basically, fuck basketball, fuck the Sonics, and fuck money sponging team owners.

  • John||

    What you don't pay higher taxes to have one of the worst franchises in sprots? It is bad enough the NBA stole the Sonics. But wanting to replace them with the Kings is beyond the pale. Why does David Stern hate Seattle?

  • C. Anacreon||

    Is that a done deal now? Last I heard Sacramento had made a last-minute new stadium deal in an effort to keep the team.

    I kind of feel bad for Sacramento people (not the politicians there, mind you). That is the only "big-league" sports team they have.

    A few years ago we were vacationing and met a couple from Europe who were on their first trip to America. They had come to see the western US -- and had chosen several days each in the Grand Canyon, LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento. They were, of course, extremely depressed about the time they wasted in Sacramento. "But it is the capitol of California!" they told us. "We thought it would be a wonderful place!"

  • John||

    Not done. No one is sure yet.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The Kings have some talent. They could be good in a couple years without the Maloofs.

  • prolefeed||

    Yup. This is it in a nutshell. I'd cheer them on if they didn't do everything in their power to get the public to pay for their stadiums. I can't wait to see how much the return of the SuperSonics is going to cost me.

    How is the federal government stealing money and squandering it on stuff like the future prosecution of you for smoking weed gonna make up for WA state stealing money from you and giving it to these bastards?

    I thought emotional reactions not based on reason was the opposite of anarchism?

  • Irish||

    I thought emotional reactions not based on reason was the opposite of anarchism?

    Well, if we're going to open up this can of worms, I'm pretty sure anarchism is based on emotional reactions not backed up by reason.

  • ||

    Anarchism, at least for me, is a moral position. It is not utilitarian in any way. I do not claim that it would solve all problems like the idiots who are terrified of even the word "anarchism" demand. It is morally superior because no one has a "legitimate" monopoly on force. This has been discussed many times here and I have no interest and no time to rehash it, but suffice it to say that at least anarchism wouldn't pretend that we have rule of law, because we never have rule of law, just rule of man. So why make up all kinds of legal bullshit to fool ourselves into thinking that's not the case?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It is morally superior because no one has a "legitimate" monopoly on force.

    This I don't understand; at least not fully. Isn't it the case that anyone who employs violence in defense of their property, person, or freedoms is acting legitimately? Then why would a miniarchist government not be acting legitimately when employing violence in the defense of those items, as well?

    In an idealized state, a perfect miniarchist government (PMG) would be defined as one which only employs its monopoly on violence against NAP aggressors -- in which case a few things would be true:

    1) Any violence from third parties in defense of life, liberty, + property would be legitimate and within the bounds of appropriate employment of violence per PMG -- as is the case when a citizen defends himself from an armed robbery in most states today.

    2) Any violence distinguishing itself from legitimate violence would be anti-NAP, given our definition.

    3) Any violence employed by PMG against violent actors fitting criterion #2 would be legitimate by NAP.

    Where's the problem?

  • Irish||

    It is morally superior because no one has a "legitimate" monopoly on force.

    No one has a legitimate monopoly on force

    in the short term.

    No one has a monopoly on force until someone comes with takes and bombers and exerts their force over you.

    You must have a government to protect rights. Otherwise those rights will be taken from you.

  • Irish||

    ...In the short term should be in italics, not block quotes.

  • np||

    If a minarchist government acted purely and I mean absolutely, strictly within its bounds--something that is more restrictive than classical liberal system--then sure, then you could say its acting legitimately.

    But here's the problem: what if they don't? You've already given them and arbitrarily assigned them a perceived "legitimate" monopoly on violence, and now that that is cemented, you have no choice but to obey.

    There's absolutely nothing now to stop them from exceeding their authority. Who gives them authority? Themselves! Sovereignty has moved from the individual to the state. It's naively utopian to expect otherwise from an authority who has gained a territorial monopoly on violence.

    Anarchism reflects both the logical conclusion of the principle of free, sovereign individuals, as well as more consequential or practical vision of how to mitigate the above devolution of minarchy.

    The only way to prevent that devolution is to remove the monopolization--to have competition. To form your own cooperative security forces, decide which businesses to do associate with, etc. But how you compete, if by definition, the government have the authority to stop competition?

  • np||

    Also, see my response above:

    But, you know we already have anarchy today between nations.

    Extending your logic requires an ever expanding state gobbling up neighboring countries eventually to form a one world government. After all, dispute resolution is all left "up in the air" as there's no final arbiter and never has been either.

    And I suspect you support secession, right? If you do, then how do you prevent more and more granular secession? By what non-arbitrary logic would you use to prevent people seceding down to the individual level?
  • Irish||

    Extending your logic requires an ever expanding state gobbling up neighboring countries eventually to form a one world government. After all, dispute resolution is all left "up in the air" as there's no final arbiter and never has been either.

    This is possibly the most absurd strawman that I have ever seen. How does arguing in favor of a minimal government necessitate that government 'gobbling up neighboring countries.' I have a feeling that any government which spends its time in constant war attempting to create a one world government will not meet my criteria of protecting rights.

    Anarchism reflects both the logical conclusion of the principle of free, sovereign individuals, as well as more consequential or practical vision of how to mitigate the above devolution of minarchy.

    Despite all the problems of American governmental expansion, our attempt to enshrine minarchy in the constitution at the very least made us the freest country in the world for about 150 years. It is true that eventually the state will get larger and larger through mission creep and bureaucracy, but in the meantime your rights will be protected as much as they can be. Anarchy provides no mechanism to protect individual rights because an anarchistic society would be unable to raise a military powerful enough to stop an invading army. What's the point in having rights if they can be taken away by Russia at any moment?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I agree that the PMG I described is utopian, but the purpose of the exercise is to establish that we are not talking about principle -- in principle either an an-cap or a miniarchist system is capable of being a fount of legitimate violent institutions -- but to talk about the practicalities of both respective systems for that end. To your credit, you and some anarchists are willing to discuss those issues -- which even when I disagree, makes for interesting discussion and strengthens the proposals and thinking of both sides.

    I will never say that anarchy is not useful -- it is enormously useful and dynamic in frontier societies, for example. I will say that I don't see how anarchy would be a practical means of enabling and expanding freedoms in the current world stage, and I don't see that changing unless we find a new frontier to conquer or develop weapons and tactics which favor autonomous, quick to form militias over established armies.

  • Almanian!||

    ditto

  • John||

    Exactly. I never begrudge tax cheats. I do begrudge welfare queens who rip off the taxpayers to build their facilities.

  • Robert||

    But they're not the NFL's stadiums. In some cases they may be the stadiums of individual teams, or stadiums used by those teams, but the league neither owns nor uses them. The teams are responsible for arranging their own home games, not the league.

    Suppose there's a synagogue to which belong a lot of successful rent-seeking members. You want to take away their synagogue's tax exemption?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I hate stupid, inefficient, overcomplicated systems. Consequently, I hate the tax code. And, if we are okay with the NFL being able to avoid the rules other people have to live by, shouldn't we be cheering for the cop double standard?

    Fuck the NFL. Fuck the IRS. Fuck the United States Government.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    The NFL is hardly the only for-profit business to be structured as a non-profit and use that advantage over competitors. Not just avoiding taxes, either.

  • Robert||

    In the NFL's case, their competitors are tax-exempt colleges.

  • robc||

    I was wrong the other day, Teo went well before Barkley in the draft.

    Lesson for kids: Dont stay in school. Barkley went from probably high 1st round last year to beginning of 4th rnd this year.

  • John||

    Teo is a good player. He is just too slow to cover and thus won't play on passing downs. But there is always a place for a guy who can tackle.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Anybody that wants more money in their life shouldn't be trying to extract it from the NFL by way of the government.

    WTF?

  • John||

    What makes gays think they will destroy Christianity when Christians themselves have been trying to do it for 2000 years and still haven't succeeded?

  • Irish||

    Shhhh. It's American. Keep very still and maybe he'll go away.

  • prolefeed||

    Yesterday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced legislation to kill off a particularly ridiculous bit of corporate welfare that allows professional sports leagues to dodge millions in taxes.

    Nice job of statist framing. What is this, a subsidiary of The Daily Kos?

    It's not "welfare" if the largest organized crime gang in the country chooses not to steal from some people who earned money.

    Would it be welfare if a mafia don chose not to shake down for protection money someone who was a distant cousin, but robbed everyone else on the block?

  • Hollywood||


    Would it be welfare if a mafia don chose not to shake down for protection money someone who was a distant cousin, but robbed everyone else on the block?

    You might consider it welfare if you viewed yourself as the mafia don, just like progtards who view themselves and society as inseparable from govt.

  • Gladstone||

    The problem with opposing tax breaks is that distracts from the fact that we should be fighting corporate welfare and for lowering taxes and reducing regulation. Not to mention it can easily lead to the notion that anything not state-owned is a beneficiary of corporate welfare.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I don't consider crony tax games any better than direct subsidies. Fucking flat tax or no tax.

  • Stevie OneLeg||

    Yes! It is high time we eliminate the tax-exempt status of football and other religions.

  • Irish||

    OT: Revelers at Versailles convinced Edmund Burke's warnings need not be heeded.

    Admittedly, giving Tom Brokaw the Burke roll in this scenario is a bit offensive to Burke, but the rest of the analogy works fairly well.

  • Nazdrakke||

    “If one party can corrupt you,” he said. “You probably shouldn’t be in the game.”

    Most unintended funny from that article.

  • Irish||

    Over the years, Remnick noted that the New Yorker has published groundbreaking stories on torture, drone strikes and other sensitive topics in D.C.

    So the two examples you give are examples that many progressives will agree with you about. Unless you've also published articles about welfare fraud or the burden of our regulatory regime, it seems like you've been captured by 'one party.'

  • Sidd Finch||

    The NYT actually had a good story a couple days ago about how the Administration just up and decided to give Mexicans and women a giant pile of money.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04.....ml?hp&_r=0

    On the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling, interviews and records show, the Obama administration’s political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a stunning turnabout: they committed $1.33 billion to compensate not just the 91 plaintiffs but thousands of Hispanic and female farmers who had never claimed bias in court.

    The deal, several current and former government officials said, was fashioned in White House meetings despite the vehement objections — until now undisclosed — of career lawyers and agency officials who had argued that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination. What is more, some protested, the template for the deal — the $50,000 payouts to black farmers — had proved a magnet for fraud.

  • Irish||

    Yeah, the NYT got to that story 3 years after Breitbart broke it. No other media outlet has talked about it, except for Mother Jones, who took time out of their busy schedule to bemoan the fact that this story of rampant fraud might make it harder for people to get discrimination payouts in the future, and Politico. Politico, to their credit, did bring up the fact that Breitbart had broken this story years ago.

    I'll give the Times credit for getting to this story, just as I'll give NPR credit for getting to the story about disability fraud, but conservatives and libertarians have been talking about systemic fraud and abuse for years, and they've either been ignored or called racists.

    A few stories sprinkled amidst the constant drone of left-wing propaganda doesn't change my overall point.

  • Sidd Finch||

    A few stories sprinkled amidst the constant drone of left-wing propaganda doesn't change my overall point.

    Oh, I agree. I just thought it was interesting that the NYT wrote a detailed and well-researched article about it that wasn't littered with "conservative activists allege" and "some critics contend."

  • Anonymous Coward||

    “What kind of image do we present to the rest of the country?” Brokaw asked. “Are we doing their business, or are we just a group of narcissists who are mostly interested in elevating our own profiles? And what comes through the screen on C-SPAN that night is the latter, and not the former.”

    Oh, Tom, the mask is off. America knows that the bulk of the media acts as the propaganda arm of the DNC, a significantly smaller portion acts as the propaganda arm of the RNC, and the rest are decried as kooks, pajama media, bloggers, and "not serious journalists."

    And given that you're all whores anyway, Lindsay Blowhan brings a certain amount of needed gravitas to the Propagandists' Dinner, as she's been a high-paid whore of The Mouse.

  • sulphurbottom||

    N.J. forwards names for federal gun-ban database


    TRENTON - The names of hundreds of thousands of current and former New Jersey residents who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities have been added to an FBI database used to bar firearms purchases by people with criminal records or a history of mental illness.

    New Jersey court officials said that they began forwarding digital records to the FBI earlier this year and that they expect to complete the program by the end of May.

    The Civil Commitment Automated Tracking system has turned over identities of 280,000 people subject to involuntary civil commitment dating to 1975 in 16 of the state's 21 counties. The five remaining counties - Atlantic, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth and Bergen - likely will be added by the end of May.

    Officials of the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts say they expect the total number of people whose names have been sent to the FBI will reach about 420,000.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Attainder? What's that?

  • Bam!||

    Oh boy, CSPAN is live on the White House Correspondents Dinner red carpet. If anyone has been experiencing insomnia, tune in.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Since 1966, the tax code has allowed leagues to classify as 501(c)(6) charitable organizations—a classification used by trade and industry organizations."

    So this bill just picks out all sports leagues or just the well-known ones? And the non-sports league trade and industry organizations are still covered by the tax exemption? If so, why? I am for simplifying the tax code and getting rid of frivolous exemptions, but this looks more like making things more complicated and judging who is getting exempted as bad rather than whether the exemption is a proper idea in the first place.

  • Robert||

    All leagues, of course. And remember that that puts the pro sports leagues only even with the NCAA, for instance.

  • Robert||

    Some of you are misled by the fact that 501(c)(6) specifically mentions football leagues and has a subsidiary clause that pertains only to football operations. This is just an example of redundant overspecificity of the law. The same sentence includes the much broader category of "business leagues", which clearly includes not just football leagues, not just sports leagues, but all business leagues! http://www.nonprofitlawcenter......em_ref=247 explains:

    Q4: What is the purpose of an IRC § 501(c)(6) organization?

    A4: The purpose of this type of organization is to serve its members. This is the fundamental distinction between these two categories of tax-exempt organizations. This element turns on the primary purpose of the organization. Often, the organizations engage in the same activities (such as conferences and publications). For example, a bar association is almost always an IRC § 501(c)(6) organization, because its primary purpose is to provide services to its members, even though it may provide some benefits to society in general (such as community outreach and pro bono activities).


    Clearly the National Football League would be included in this category even if football leagues were not specifically mentioned.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The problem with the tax breaks the leagues are receiving is that they're the result of rent-seeking. True this all stems for the tax laws themselves, but nevertheless, the leagues are using the laws to gain a protected advantage in the market-place, thereby reducing competition and wealth creation. A start-up football league is going to have a difficult time competing against the NFL, not because the NFL sells a better, more highly-demanded product, but because the NFL has gained more political clout. A yes, the stadium subsidies are another terrible joke.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I can't help but notice that 1966 was the year of the NFL-AFL merger. True, the USFL got some buzz, but nothing like what the AFL caused in the 60s. I'd be interested to learn if there was significant lobbying from the NFL-AFL to receive this special exemption for the sports leagues.

  • Gladstone||

    I recall that the New Orleans Saints was created as a Payoff for Louisiana's senators to approve the NFL-AFL merger.

    Also the KC Royals were created because a Missouri senator was mad that the A's moved to Oakland and threatened to end MLB's anti-trust exemption.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yeah, I just saw remembered that about the Saints. Also, the Super Bowl has been the catalyst for increased stadium construction subsidies, as the NFL dangles the game in front of cities where it wants new stadiums to be built.

    It's like the AFL-NFL merger is the central nexus of the statist space-time continuum.

  • Gladstone||

    I find the mania for stadium subsidies rather interesting. In the days before WWII owning your own stadium was considered extremely important since that way you couldn't be kicked out (for example the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth and others to the Yankees so the team could get control of Fenway Park)and I guess you could more of the gate and concessions.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Also the KC Royals were created because a Missouri senator was mad that the A's moved to Oakland and threatened to end MLB's anti-trust exemption.

    That's pretty typical. Tim Wirth, a former Colorado Senator, did the same thing in late 80s because MLB wasn't encouraging expansion.

    And for his trouble, Denver got a baseball team that's been to the playoffs three times in 20 years, and have basically become the Cubs of the west--people go to Coors Field in large numbers to see a team that doesn't win many games.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This. It is not equality before the law. It is a perversion of the very limited rationale for taxation that should not and must not be permitted to occur.

    This is crony capitalism, this is the type of crap OWS should have been protesting. It's government for the connected, the well-heeled, and the famous.

    Apparently the rest of us are not fortunate enough to have picked a profession that is sufficiently adored to warrant such subservient treatment by government. Sports leagues are entertainment businesses and should be treated just like any other damn business is. I would appreciate it if I was treated by my fucking elected representatives like I was worth a damn too. Where's my charitable tax break? Where's my subsidized business location? Where's my local hotel tax that supports my unsold ticket sales? Where's my pocket politician who takes care of my eminent domain acquisitions?

    Fuck the NFL, the NBA, the PGA, and the rest of 'em. Make them suffer thru the endless pool of bullshit taxes just like the rest of us. If I'm going down on the spear of Keynesian spending and mindless regulatory growth, then they're coming with me.

    This is not about equal outcomes. This is truly about equal opportunity to make a living when the government is playing favorites.

  • Gladstone||

    this is the type of crap OWS should have been protesting

    Unfortunately OWS response to this sort of thing would be demanding more taxes and regulation. 'Cause once the Right People are in charge then they won't pay favourites because of democracy and shit.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    For example, they wouldn't favour the American spelling of a word like, oh, I don't know, colour.

  • Gladstone||

    Well we Canucks use the British spelling as a way of rebelling about American Imperialism. Rockwell would approve. Along with our sacred healthcare system that defines us.

  • Almanian!||

    And the marriage ceremony for the Canadian Princess, as is tradition...

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Bieber is getting married?

  • Gladstone||

    I congratulate you on your gay wedding to Justin Beiber, Pantsfan.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well if Rockwell's for it, then I'm all in favour, coumrade!

  • Generic Stranger||

    Wouldn't that be Rouckwell?

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    "This. It is not equality before the law."

    Yes it is: 26 USC § 501(c)(6) is the law that makes this possible.

    What it is not is equality, fairness, or a lot of other things, but it is certainly equality before the law.

    Getting rid of the law, the whole tax code as it stands, is the path to equality, not making more laws.

  • ||

    It's worth noting that 26 USC § 501(c)(6) has a special carve-out for football leagues.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    See? It is in the law.

    If you want fair, don't turn to the law to get it.

  • ||

    If you want fair, don't turn to the law to get it.

    If the law is unfair in the first place, it is perfectly reasonable to ask Congress to fix it (or at least make it less bad). Of course that doesn't mean they'll listen.

  • Robert||

    No, it doesn't! Didn't you read above? It's just that IRS decided that sports leagues were just like other professional membership ass'ns & trade groups that operate as 501(c)(4). And they are.

  • ||

    How could I read above a comment you posted after mine?

    Anyway

    (6) Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players), not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

    The IRS didn't decide that; Congress did. This is the US Code, not the Federal Register.

    If they can fit under the more general purview of 501(c)(4) that is all well and good, but they shouldn't be specifically called-out.

  • Robert||

    You want the county & state medical societies to be taxed as for-profit, and their dues not tax deductible on schedule A-B, because the doctors who are their members make money and are subject to income taxes? A sports league isn't an entertainment business, it just makes its living off sports clubs that are entertainment businesses -- and whose income is subject to taxes.

  • Almanian!||

    Murray Rothbard followed me on Twitter.

    I hope it wasn't something I said....

    I did follow back - respect and all.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I think I'm growing weary of twitter. What's next?

  • Gladstone||

    TWITBOOK?

  • ||

    I'd already grown weary of Twitter when I was the only one of my friends that knew what it was.

  • ||

    HIPSTER!

  • ||

    YOU TAKE THAT BACK, GAYLORD!

    ...oh ...wait...

  • Butts Wagner||

    I have no idea what HOLO means. Is it the Christian version of YOLO?

  • ||

    No. Holo is the theme Google now recommends for Android apps.

    See here: http://www.reddit.com/r/androidcirclejerk/

    It's a little esoteric.

  • ||

    "a little" is masterful understatement.

  • ||

    Yeah, I had some people follow me on Twitter, for no reason I can discern. The only thing I've talked about was that night they were looking for the Boston bombers. One of the few I have is from Lucy, though.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    You know who else had a food tester?

  • Bam!||

    Is it me?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    This is a tax-increase bill. If you think the problem in the USA is not enough taxes, then by all means support the bill, otherwise - WTF?

    Sure, this particular target group will be portrayed as Bad People. So will the Moonies and Scientologists, when Congress comes after *their* exemption. And imagine what they'll say about the Reason Foundation when Congress tries to take away its exemption? "Why do these Koch-financed foundations get special tax treatment, etc?"

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Pointing out Reason's tax-exempt status is a fair point, I'm afraid.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The John Birch Society did not take any tax exemptions on principle. Not sure if that is still true today.

  • ||

    This is a tax-increase bill. If you think the problem in the USA is not enough taxes, then by all means support the bill, otherwise - WTF?

    There are more reasons to support a "tax-increase bill" than thinking there are not enough taxes.

    Specifically, one of them is that the US tax base is too low, and this is a small step towards rectifying that.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Look at the politics - they're targeting groups who are considered ripe targets for populist rage. They're not thinking of rationalizing the tax code, they're thinking of picking out those who are politically vulnerable.

    How does the Reason Foundation stand in this situation?

  • ||

    I'd rather they do the right thing for the wrong reasons than not do it at all.

    And I don't think the Reason Foundation has much to fear -- there are enough analogous organizations rooting for both TEAMS that I doubt many pols would go after think tanks.

    Ideally the corporate tax -- if we are to have one at all -- would be on profits instead of income. Then we wouldn't have to worry (as much) about what the hell a "non-profit" is, among a host of other reasons that would be a better system.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If Congress goes back to first principles and adopts a fairer tax system, I'll take a look. But if they simply go *ad hoc,* revoking the exemptions of unpopular groups, I suspect they'll act on a political basis, not a principled basis. Eg, they'll try to target unpopular religions and charities, all in the name of "fairness."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And if they succeed in targeting the NFL, then what says they can't target a less-popular group like the Reason Foundation?

    KOCH!

  • ||

    It would be difficult to go after Reason without sounding alarm bells, at, for instance, CAP and Heritage. So it's not likely to happen.

    And successfully targeting the NFL et al. for political points will neither help nor harm future attempts to strip other organizations' tax-exempt statuses.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Once Congress gets the idea that nonprofits are a bunch of pinatas filled with revenue, it will start passing "loophole-closing" laws - anything rather than cut spending.

  • Gladstone||

    So does this mean Coburn wants an NFL team for Oklahoma?

  • ||

    1. It is fine for any person or organization to use the laws on the books to reduce their tax liability.

    2. It is fine for any person or organization to use the democratic process to reduce their tax liability.

    3. It is not fine for legislators to carve out tax exemptions for favored groups. Whether or not it is "corporate welfare" is a semantic debate; tax preferences (a) fly in the face of equal treatment under the law and (b) distort the market.

    4. It is fine for legislators to correct distortionary aspects of a flawed tax code.

  • Sevo||

    #HOLO YOLO| 4.27.13 @ 7:34PM |#
    "1. It is fine for any person or organization to use the laws on the books to reduce their tax liability."
    OK, good.
    -------------------------
    "3. It is not fine for legislators to carve out tax exemptions for favored groups"
    So how would anyone use the laws if they weren't some tax exemption or other?
    We're all 'special interests'.

  • ||

    Let me put it this way.

    This is fine for Sevo Inc. to ask:

    Sevo, Inc.: "Hey, you can change the law so I don't get taxed as much, right?"
    Congresscritter: "Yeah, I sure do."
    Sevo, Inc.: "Well can you do that for me?"

    This is not fine for Sevo, Inc. to ask:

    Sevo, Inc.: "Hey, you can change the law so you take money from other people and give it to me, right?"
    Congresscritter: "Yeah, I sure do."
    Sevo, Inc.: "Well can you do that for me?"

    It is not fine for Congresscritter to say yes to either request. The first is favoritism and distorts the market, and the second is theft (and distorts the market).

  • Sevo||

    OK, but it takes one or the other to satisfy:
    "1. It is fine for any person or organization to use the laws on the books to reduce their tax liability."
    To avoid misunderstanding, I am *NOT* defending gov't support for stadia. In fact, I have the rare experience of being pleased to be an SF resident, since the Yorks got Santa Clara to pay for their new playpen!
    But avoiding taxes is always 'unfair' to someone and is always good. If a bookie doesn't report his income and pays no taxes, I *still* support that.
    ALL taxes distort the market.

  • ||

    By "using laws on the books to reduce their tax liability" I meant using so-called "loopholes" and "accounting tricks" (e.g., foreign shell companies).

    And even if we include laws they lobby for as in (2), there's still nothing wrong with using them to their favor. Like you said, everyone is a "special interest" -- and it's the Congresscritter's job to balance those interests (and/or ignore), not ours.

  • Robert||

    But there is no carve-out as the law currently stands. If sports leagues were prohibited from operating as 501(c)(6), that would be a carve-out, prohibiting a type of membership business or trade ass'n from operating the same way, tax-wise, as the others.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Because you were having a good Saturday: Fark discusses Jon Stewart discussing gun control.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I can normally tune into the The Daily Show because even with the liberal hackery, they do a good enough job summarizing the day's news that it's helpful to catch the first 10 minutes or so.

    But, their gun control kick over the last 3 months has been utterly unwatchable.

  • Gladstone||

    So will Gillespie be writing kind words for Stewart's gun control views, again?

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I hope not.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa.....nstitution

    The other day, in reviewing the last week's Boston Bombing story, Stewart did such an excellent job pointing out how conservatives were okay with violating 9 out of the first 10 amendments in response to the attacks.

    But, like the dimwit Stewart actually is, he then rhetorically asked if the suspect's 2nd amendment rights could be violated, to which his audience cheered in response/agreement.

    It was complete politically hackery. It's not that we shouldn't be violating any of these rights; it's that as long as we are, let's violate the one Stewart doesn't agree with.

    Completely indefensible for those who defend liberty.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Notice how Stewart uses a 40-year statistic on gun violence?

    Gee, I wonder what might have been instituted in the early 70s that might have had a significant causal relationship with gun violence in the last 40 years...Say, wasn't there some sorta declaration of a "War on Drugs" around that time?...Gee, you don't think...?

  • Irish||

    Not to mention the fact that the first federal gun control law in the modern age was passed in 1968...right before gun violence exploded from the early 1970s up until the early 1990s.

    If gun control laws result in less violence, then why did violence climb after the 1968 gun control law, and why did gun violence continue to fall after the sunset of the assault weapons ban?

    Because gun control laws do not decrease the amount of violence. At best they have no impact.

  • ||

    Every time this topic comes up, I'm reminded of my criminology textbook. Pretty much everything I've learned here about the effectiveness of gun control is actually reflected in my class's book. The 2nd book for that class is on policy, and it has a number of "Propositions" throughout the book. Just for fun, let me go ahead and repeat the gun control ones here:

    PROPOSITION 36 Attempts to ban handguns, or certain kinds of guns, are not likely to reduce serious crime.

    PROPOSITION 37 Attempts to deny ownership of handguns to certain categories of “bad” people are not likely to reduce serious crime.

    Walker, Samuel (2010-08-13). Sense and Nonsense About Crime, Drugs, and Communities: A Policy Guide, 7th Edition (Kindle Location 6424). Cengage Learning. Kindle Edition.

    There are other policy proposals which it holds to be more promising in regards to gun crime, but none of them are in the "gun control" category.

    Again, I'm just very pleased that this sort of information is actually taught in a class on criminological approaches.

  • ||

    It's worth thinking about where Stewart is coming from, and not simply because he hosts a TV show that has supposedly replaced network news as the main source of information and analysis for most of America. Stewart makes a lot of good points, or at least points worth thinking about. In the end, though, he comes up well short of proposing meaningful reforms. In that failure, too, he's capturing the anti-gun zeitgeist.

    OMG LOOK AT HIM WORSHIPING STEWART!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I know everyone here has an itchy trigger finger for anything that smacks of the cosmo-paleo debate, but that's seriously pathetic limp-wristed and completely undeserved congrats coming from Gillespe.

    Between that and the stupid crap he tried to sell on Hitler being a big gun rights guy, Gillespe is a weak sister on RKBA.

  • ||

    He was just being diplomatic to appeal to a wider audience. It wasn't necessary but it wasn't particularly noxious either.

  • Gladstone||

    I said "kind words" and indeed his words are quite kind. Has he ever said anything remotely similar about drug prohibitionists?

  • ||

    They weren't "kind" they were just diplomatic.

  • ||

    But I will concede that I have the "itchy trigger finger" to which TIT referred.

  • Worty||

    Worty support marriage equality. That way Worty can get polygamously gay married to Carrot Top, Art Modell's Corpse, Betty White, a herd of cows, Epi's mom and STEVE SMITH.

  • Episarc||

    Hey you're not going to marry my mom before me!

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE SMITH enjoy weddings. Lots of men and women and children to RAPE. STEVE SMITH enjoy raping bride, bridegroom, best man, maid of honor, ring bearers and flower girls all at once.

    STEVE SMITH no discriminate by race, sex, creed, ability, looks, weight or ingested substances with whom to RAPE.

    STEVE SMITH enjoy watching Epi and Worty marry Epi's mom so he can RAPE them all at same time.

  • SouthernSeaDog(Y-tarian)||

    RAPE KULTUREEEEEEEEE

  • np||

    People should have as little stolen from them by the state as possible.

    But people should also be able to demand back their money stolen from them in the name of redistribution too. An un-redistriction.

    All the crony benefits and subsidies ought to be considered loans. I don't want these sports groups paying more taxes. I want them to pay directly back to the people.

  • np||

    err, that should read "un-redistribution"

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    I can understand the value of the word "utilize" if you are a poet and need an additional two syllables to satisfy the meter, or if you need the last syllable to rhyme.
    Other than that, can any suggest why the word exists? Seems "use" is an exact synonym and sheds those two extra syllables (unless you're a self-important twit who desires superfluous syllables).

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I like utilize as an alternative word for the employment of resources in a managerial context. "I used Bob's expertise to do X" feels wrong compared to "I utilized..."

  • Sevo||

    "I like utilize as an alternative word for the employment of resources in a managerial context."

    Is this in context of maximizing the take-aways from our core-values as regards our mission-statement, assuring value-added services to our customer?
    I mean, we should certainly think outside the box to bring closure to the wake-up call!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Wait, are you referring to our continuing efforts to synergize our workflow and increase our options? Let's work out a time to brainstorm.

  • Sevo||

    We could take a meeting!

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    We can bluesky some new initiatives for the change-management teams!

  • Sevo||

    Damn! I'm out of buzz-words.

  • Rhywun||

    I hate all of you. My weekends are for getting that rot out of my head.

  • ||

    I use utilize when it comes naturally to me. The same for when I utilize use.

  • Sevo||

    "I use utilize when it comes naturally to me.

    Awwwwwright.....

  • ||

    What I did there, you saw it!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I can understand the value of the word "utilize" if you are a poet and need an additional two syllables to satisfy the meter, or if you need the last syllable to rhyme."

    Please don't be creeped out or surprised
    But when I look into your lovely eyes
    I think of the other parts of you I'd love to utilize

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OT:

    Belgian Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard has designated me as his official liasion to the feminist community. That means that if any crazy radical feminists want to conduct topless protests, they should come to me.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ne.....se-him-wit

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I should emphasize that I have assigned a deputy to handle delegations of topless feminists 30 years old or older.

  • ||

    I find topless protests a bit annoying. It strikes me as a pretty cheap tactic.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    It's not like they would benefit from having people focus on their minds.

  • Sevo||

    And if it's Code Pink, it's beyond annoying!
    Put it ON! Put it ON!

  • ||

    You know, there's nothing unreasonable about what you said, but I'm still going to tell you to fuck off, because your a dumbass shithead racist.

  • Irish||

    Although I'd like to emphasize that, given the quality of the women I'm seeing in that post, American seems pretty spot on in this case.

    The shithead racist part stands though.

  • ||

    I sure could. But then you'd just spew more racist drivel to justify why what you said wasn't racist drivel.

    So, I'll pass. Maybe Irish is game?

  • ||

    That is not even close to what you asked.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 9:53PM |#
    "I'm just asking for your definition of "racist.""

    That's difficult in a lot of cases. Here, it's quite easy:
    American.
    Is that clear?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    In honor of political humour. Here it is done RIGHT

  • Irish||

  • ||

    So what I'm getting from the quoted blog post is it's not that cap-and-trade isn't working, it's that carbon emissions are going down because of the shitty economy, not because of cap-and-trade."

    Sound about right?

    And if the "goal of a cap-and-trade system is not to create a high price on carbon", how exactly is it supposed to work?

  • ||

    Let's try that again:

    So what I'm getting from the quoted blog post is it's not that cap-and-trade isn't working, it's that carbon emissions are going down because of the shitty economy, not because of cap-and-trade.

    Sound about right?

    And if the goal of a cap-and-trade system is not to create a high price on carbon, how exactly is it supposed to work?

  • Irish||

    Exactly. If the number of carbon permits is so high that they don't really cost anyone anything, then it isn't going to lower the amount of carbon. If the price of carbon permits is high, then it will cut down on the amount of energy that can be used and will raise the price of goods and energy.

    There's no plus side to cap-and-trade, unless you believe that global warming will be so apocalyptic that obliterating poor people with high energy costs is worth it.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    What was Milton Friedman's position on immigration exactly, and how does it differ from Reason's?

  • Irish||

    Milton Friedman was radically pro-immigration.

    You had a flood of immigrants, millions of them, coming to this country. What brought them here? It was the hope for a better life for them and their children. And, in the main, they succeeded. It is hard to find any century in history, in which so large a number of people experience so great an improvement in the conditions of their life, in the opportunities open to them, as in the period of the 19th and early 20th century.

    He argued that immigration is great so long as you don't have a welfare state that breeds dependency.

    What’s the difference? How can people be so inconsistent? Why is it that free immigration was a good thing before 1914 and free immigration is a bad thing today? Well, there is a sense in which that answer is right. There’s a sense in which free immigration, in the same sense as we had it before 1914 is not possible today. Why not?

    Because it is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.

    Doesn't exactly sound like American.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yeah, just by coincidence, I was watching the first episode of Free to Choose, which has a strong focus on the positive impact of immigration.

  • Irish||

    In addition, mass immigration has other undesirable effects, including crime, overcrowding, degration of the environment, and bombings.

    What on earth are you jabbering about? Degradation of the environment? How? How do immigrants magically degrade the environment? Crime? Crime among immigrants is lower than it is among naturally born Americans. Bombings? There have been only a few instances of bombings in my lifetime, and the most damaging one was by a naturally born white American.

    One of the reasons for the immigration cutoff was that the upper classes feared continued immigration of Russians would lead to a Russian-style revolution.

    Clearly the upper classes from the same generation that gave us forced sterilization, made it illegal to criticize the draft and got us unnecessarily involved in world war 1 are arbiters of truth.

  • Sevo||

    "Mass immigration drives up demand for resources that must be extracted from the environment"

    Murcan posted this. Murcan actually did so.
    Now, I'm wondering what "mass immigration" drove up demand for anything at all, other than jobs.
    With one exception: The Euro immigration to North America did drive up the demand for land. But I'll bet that's not what Murcan has in mind.

  • Irish||

    Immigrants have to eat, Sevo. How does humanity produce food? Land.

    Do you seriously think there's a land shortage in America? Have you ever driven through Wyoming? We produce more food on less land than we have in the entire history of mankind.

    Perhaps more importantly, Mexicans would have to eat NO MATTER WHICH SIDE OF THE BORDER THEY WERE ON. Why would Mexicans eating on this side of the border drive up the price of food and farmland, but Mexicans eating on the other side of the border apparently wouldn't?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    For that matter, there's plenty of land in Mexico that's available.

    Mexicans are not emigrating to the US because of land or resources -- they have plenty of both of those things. They are migrating because of economic conditions which are in large part created by the awful government in place. To the extent that they are able to work in their home country and provide for their families, Mexicans (and most Latin Americans) have little interest in migration -- Costa Rica for example sees little migration to the US.

    Consider for a moment that Japan -- a net importer of resources -- sees much less migration than a resource-rich country like Mexico and ask yourself if the reason for that is that Mexico just doesn't have enough resources.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:32PM |#
    "Immigrants have to eat, Sevo. How does humanity produce food? Land"...

    OK, Murcan posted that, I had nothing to do with it, and it's stupid/ironic enough that I make no comment.
    Y'all have fun with THAT!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Immigrants have to eat, Sevo. How does humanity produce food? Land. So yes, more immigration will drive up food prices, which will drive up land prices, which will put more pressure on the environment.

    Malthusian bullshit, warmed to 260 degrees Farenheit and seasoned with bullshit drippings is American's favorite.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Yeah, "American" is an idiot. Quit playing with it.

  • Irish||

    Mass immigration drives up demand for resources that must be extracted from the environment.

    What. You do realize that Mexicans will still consume in Mexico, correct? And that most people in America have jobs that have nothing to do with extracting resources from the environment. How does a Mexican working as a migrant farm worker extract more resources from the environment than he would if he was a farm worker still living in Mexico?

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:34PM |#
    "Mexicans won't consume American resources, at least not as much as Americans, and they won't demand their "fair share." Though the point does need to be made that with free trade these problems still exist, though in a lesser degree."

    So you admit your claims are bullshit? We already knew that.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:51PM |#
    ..."force"...
    No, asshole, there's your problem.
    You're an idiot. You think you know what a word means, and then you post it publicly and get called on it.
    Asshole, there is no force involved. Is that clear? You're just like every other idiot who shows up here and says they are 'forced' to work for some company or other.
    Asshole, neither you nor any other twit is "forced" to to anything without the government doing so.
    You, you stupid son of a bitch, *CHOOSE* to do something, and then in the best impersonation of some drama-queen, claim you are "forced" to do so.
    Fuck off, slaver!

  • ||

    You do realize that Mexicans will still consume in Mexico, correct?

    Theoretically they would consume less overall in Mexico due to lower earning power. A Mexican moving to the US will likely earn more and consequently consume more. American is technically correct that the improved economic well-being of a Mexican once he has crossed the border is "bad for the environment."

    It's at base a racist/nationalist proposition that a Mexican worker shouldn't be allowed to compete for any given job, or do what he can to improve his station purely because of the dumb luck of being born in Mexico, but his assertion about environmental impacts is correct.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    One of the reasons for the immigration cutoff was that the upper classes feared continued immigration of Russians would lead to a Russian-style revolution.

    This was after all effectively the idea behind the quotas instituted in the 30s to prevent the recently impoverished German Jews from emigrating and stealing jobs or ending up on the public dole.

    In the US in particular, it culminated in the nixing of a bill in 1938 to allow 20,000 Jewish children to emigrate to the US.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Everything? No; I stated a specific set of decisions on which elites -- not only US elites, but elites in many European countries -- were wrong on an almost criminal level, and where the same rationale that you note (supposed radical tendencies of immigrant groups) was used.

    I'm aware that there have been Jewish immigration restrictionists, and that Israel itself is very restrictive in terms of immigration (though not on racial grounds, which is the sort of restriction you seem to favor).

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Putting up armed guards to stop people from walking over an invisible line goes beyond inaction. Preventing people from walking over that line when they'll be slaughtered if they don't have that option available to them is a moral crime in my book, and I don't give a damn what the philosophy section of libertarianism says about the subject.

    And this is coming from someone who is far from an open borders fanatic.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    In 1938 after Kristalnacht, the German Parliament passed laws allowing any government official associated with the Party to do literally anything they wanted to those people on the registries of racial Jews that had been instituted between 1935-36.

    The Holocaust hadn't started yet, but Jews were subject to arbitrary murder, imprisonment, and a pogrom environment by government officials and their fellow citizens, and were prohibited from pursuing meaningful employment after laws passed in 1938.

    And emigrating German Jews hadn't stolen anyone's food and had no intention of doing any such thing. Almost all of the German Jews that remained in Germany after 1936 were middle- or working-class Jews who were employed until laws made that impossible; the overwhelming majority of emigres brought skills and work ethic that improved their host countries.

  • Irish||

    Jorge Luis Borges, Luis Walter Alvarez, Franklin Chang-Diaz, Carlos Noriega, Ellen Ochoa and Severo Ochoa, Ted Cruz. That list has one of the great writers of all time, 3 astronauts, 3 Nobel Prize winning scientists and a Harvard educated Lawyer who won multiple debate championships at Harvard and is now in the United States Senate.

    Would you like me to keep going? That's off the top of my head, but I'm sure a quick Google search could yield a big ass list.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I love reading Borgias.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Borges.

  • Irish||

    Borges is great. He also was pro-capitalism and hated the Argentinian Socialists.

    Therefore, according to American, he does not exist.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Hernando de Soto and Mario Vargos Llosa should probably be somewhere on that list, as well.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    My favourite Borges story is Funes the Memorious.
    Second is the Library of Babel.
    Third is Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

  • Irish||

    Personally, I think The Garden of Forking Paths is hideously overrated. It's like his tenth best story.Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius and Library of Babel are both great, and I also really like The Aleph and The Book of Sand.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Library of Babel is my favorite.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:49PM |#
    "One could make an argument that having a gun and pointing it at people who want to steal your food constitutes starving them to death."

    Yeah, and ignoramus like you could claim that. And get called on bullshit, ignoramus.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:38PM |#
    "It is not Europe's fault what Hitler did. It is Hitler's fault"...
    No, both share the blame.
    Hitler threatened and neither the Brits nor the French called his bluff and it was a bluff.
    And both of them had enough itel to know.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:50PM |#
    "I suppose you share the blame with Saddam for the people he killed because you opposed the Iraq War."

    OK, shitstain, I'll bet you (given a pea brain) think that means something.
    Don't bother; you're not worth it...

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Descriptive analysis is distinct from a normative statement.

    Friedman was supportive of illegal immigration in the context of a system where legal immigrants were given welfare and government benefits; it is fairly obvious from his writings that he saw free immigration in isolation as a net good and that his preference was to eliminate welfare for immigrants in addition to expanding legal immigration.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yes.

    I have a question for those who would eliminate "third world immigration." Would you support a move to restrict access to California and their relatively massive welfare state from people coming from less affluent states, such as Mississippi for instance?

    How can you maintain the welfare state at the expense of our freedom of movement?

  • Irish||

    American's basically a progressive who just doesn't like brown people. He's obsessed with environmental degradation and unthinkingly agrees with Marxist economics.

    He really is a 1920's progressive.

  • Irish||

    I'm calling you a Marxist because your economic arguments are Marxist. You argue that there are 'limited resources' and that a 'reserve army of labor' will take all the jobs and resources away, which are both Marxist arguments which have been discredited by all thinking people.

    Calling you a Marxist isn't the same as claiming libertarians want Somalia, since you espouse arguments that actually are Marxist economic arguments. If I advocated that America become a nation in which warring tribes strong arm people into joining their war bands, then saying that I want to become like Somalia wouldn't be a logical fallacy, since I actually am trying to become more like Somalia.

    You use Marxist economic arguments constantly. Hence you are a Marxist, even if you don't call yourself that.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 9:51PM |#
    "It is strange that you can't have Milton Friedman's position on immigration on this "libertarian" site"

    Hey, Murcan! What is cherry picking paying today?
    Go away, asshole.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:12PM |#
    "My point was not that I agree with Friedman."

    Your point is that you tried strawmen, innuendo, misdirection and various other bullshit tactics and got called on all of them.
    Go away.

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 10:15PM |#
    ..."The goal isn't to raise prices so high as to force people back into the dark ages by severely restricting carbon emissions."

    Only to the 18th century? We should be thrilled!

  • Almanian!||

    Obama was gonna get Medieval on yo ass, but out of respect for the dead Ving Rhames, he's only getting 18th century.

    Happy 1776, motherfuckers! - O

  • Irish||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The latest developments in the case of the German homeschooling family seeking asylum in the U.S. - the Obama administration says zat zere is nozink to fear und zat it is not persecution to ban der homeschooling altogether, und zat der Germans haf been democratically opposink der homeschooling since 1938:

    "Court Packed with Romeike Supporters

    "At 2:00 p.m. today, the Romeike family appeared before a three-judge panel in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati seeking asylum under United States law. The courtroom overflowed with homeschooling families who turned out in support of the family, forcing many people to stand in the back. The entire hearing took about 38 minutes, 8 minutes longer than allotted."

    http://www.hslda.org/legal/cas.....2013&pos=1

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Many English-language blog and newspaper attacks on the German homeschooling ban like to blame it all on Hitler and the Nazis. While it is true that the Third Reich passed such laws in 1938 (and added criminal penalties), they were only an extension of education laws that have been around since 1871." 1871 being when Prussia took over all of Germany.

    So that's all right, then. The National Socialists in 1938 were simply tightening up a law passed by the freedom-loving Prussians.

    http://german-way.com/blog/200.....-verboten/

  • Acosmist||

    Prussia was the most advanced state at the time.

  • Almanian!||

    The derp is strong with this one.

    Also - RACIST!

  • Sevo||

    American| 4.27.13 @ 11:34PM |#
    "Or would noticing that make me a "racist?""
    No, just stupid as is already obvious.

  • ||

    There's a link to a White House petition there, if anyone is interested.

  • Almanian!||

    Oh, good - American's here to fuck up the thread. Was Tulip busy, or worn out from everything he fucked up during the week? Probably both.

  • ||

    Were you not here when Tulpa took his ball and went home? He said he'd be back at some point, hopefully when we've begun to miss all the substance he brought to the discussions.

  • Redmanfms||

    I wasn't, care to provide the link?

  • ||

    Here:

    OK, I've reviewed the situation and decided that it's in the best interest of everyone if I take a vacation from posting here. Perhaps you will have a better understanding of how valuable my utterances have been when I see you all in May. Have fun.
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  • Fluffy||

    I know why it's tempting to say that any time someone can avoid taxes, libertarians should think it's a good thing.

    But to the people offering that argument in this thread, I offer the following thought experiment:

    Let's say the US government passed a budget changing the federal income tax rate to 98%.

    But there was a special exemption that set the tax rate for all federal, state and local government employees at 10%.

    Do you still say, "Hey, libertarians should never get angry if someone can lower their tax burden"?

    Or is the injustice of that tax arrangement so egregious that it trumps the default libertarian assumption that avoiding taxes is good?

  • Fluffy||

    For example, would prolefeed see those two tax rates and say,

    "It's not 'welfare' if the largest organized crime gang in the country chooses not to steal from some people who earned money!"

  • robc||

    Strawman.

    Almost everyone making that initial argument added a "except for rent-seekers" provision onto it.

    And no one is more rent seekery that government employees.

  • Fluffy||

    Almost everyone making that initial argument added a "except for rent-seekers" provision onto it.

    That's completely untrue.

    Most of the posts taking that side of the argument include no such disclaimer. At all.

    And including the disclamer effectively eliminates the argument, because it's such a huge category qualifier.

    As soon as you say that, "I think libertarians should applaud anyone lowering their tax burden!" is no longer the argument at all. It is transformed into, "Libertarians should oppose inequitable tax arrangements," which is exactly what the original Ross article is doing. It would mean that all the posts critical of the piece or questioning the merit of the piece should have been, "Yeah, man, great article!" posts.

  • robc||

    Most of the posts taking that side of the argument include no such disclaimer. At all.

    All I saw did, within one reply.

  • Fluffy||

    Ken Shultz, Sevo, and Eduaard van Haalen sure didn't.

  • robc||

    At least 5 people in the "A Serious Man" subthread did. No one disagree with him.

    And Sevo mentioned rent seeking, maybe not as a disclaimer though.

  • robc||

    I guess prolefeed disagreed. So 5 to 1.

  • prolefeed||

    I recall jumping on Epi a bit for adding the disclaimer, which is the opposite of me adding a disclaimer.

  • Sordid Business||

    'For example, would prolefeed see those two tax rates and say,

    "It's not 'welfare' if the largest organized crime gang in the country chooses not to steal from some people who earned money!" '

    You aren't suggesting that a huge number of libertarian males are more tolerant of cronyism when it favors the culture of professional sports, are you?

    I mean, I know that pro and college level sport constitutes 95% of what they talk about, but still, I just can't believe such a thing is possible. Wouldn't that be, like, hypocrisy or something?

  • prolefeed||

    I don't much care for sports. Don't watch it, don't want government financing stadiums or shit.

    My objection is to the notion that taxation is ever fair or necessary.

    I will stipulate that some other libertarians might be hypocritical on this issue.

  • prolefeed||

    For example, would prolefeed see those two tax rates and say,

    "It's not 'welfare' if the largest organized crime gang in the country chooses not to steal from some people who earned money!"

    Yeah, I'd still say that. "Welfare" by the government is stealing from some people and giving some of the loot to other people. That is different from the government stealing at different levels from favored versus non-favored groups. I think "cronyism" or "differing levels of theft" comes closest to describing that arrangement, not "welfare".

  • prolefeed||

    But there was a special exemption that set the tax rate for all federal, state and local government employees at 10%.

    Do you still say, "Hey, libertarians should never get angry if someone can lower their tax burden"?

    People who work for government essentially don't pay taxes on that stolen money. They REBATE some of that stolen money, even if the fill out the same tax returns as the people getting stolen from.

  • Robert||

    If they were paying 98% too, then, realistically, to use up all that money that was coming in from everyone else, their salaries would be increased 50-fold. So maybe you could think up a better example.

  • WomSom||

    Sounds like some pretty crazy smack to me dude.

    www.GotzMyAnon.tk

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What's "unlibertarian" about equal treatment?

  • robc||

    It depends which way the flow of power goes.

    To use Fluffy's example, it wouldnt be unlibertarian to expect equal treatment by lowering everyone's tax rate to 10%.

    But raising the govemps rate to 98% might or might not be.

    It wouldnt be if the rate stayed at 98%. It could be if the change forced a reconsideration and rates got lowered across the board equally. If after one year at 98% for everyone, if it then dropped to 15%, for example. That would be strategic for a long term gain.

    But if the rate stayed at 98%? Better in that case to not get rid of the exception, at least some one can live freer*.

    *except, of course, they are rent seekers, so fuck em.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    *except, of course, they are rent seekers, so fuck em.

    But some people (Ken Schultz, cough cough) are essentially making the argument that being a good rent seeker should be rewarded.

    I, on the other hand, believe each dollar should be taxed at the same rate for all earners, including so-called nonprofits. At that point, setting THE rate enters the picture. If you want to tax only what is passed through to an individual, I'm okay with that.

  • robc||

    I, on the other hand, believe each dollar should be taxed at the same rate for all earners

    I dont think production should be taxed at all, so I guess I agree, as long as that same rate is zero percent.

    At that point, setting THE rate enters the picture. If you want to tax only what is passed through to an individual, I'm okay with that.

    0%, rate set. Which, hey! is what the NFL is paying! It should just be 0% for the individuals too.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I dont think production should be taxed at all

    Production by A is consumed by B.

    I do not see a meaningful distinction. How is a tax on production not also a consumption tax? "Production" is only taxed at sale; we haven't descended into the madness of a wealth tax (yet).

  • prolefeed||

    To this: "Taxation is a pretty name for theft."

    We got this:

    True. Taxation is theft. Also, theft is theft. So what about those times when you have to choose between tax theft and theft theft? Wouldn't you prefer whatever results in the least amount of theft, even if that means you have to pay some taxes?

    Agreed with this portion of what you said:

    "True. Taxation is theft. Also, theft is theft ... Wouldn't you prefer whatever results in the least amount of theft?"

    re" this minarchist portion: "So what about those times when you have to choose between tax theft and theft theft?"

    Don't recall being given a choice about the tax theft, other than moving to a different place with a different level of tax theft.

    The theft theft thing I actually can do something about reducing.

    re this minarchist portion: "even if that means you have to pay some taxes?"

    This is a statement that does not seem to be based on my observed objective reality. My marginal taxes by all levels of government on any income I own that gets reported to government is over 60%. The only shit I have had stolen in the last 10 years is a couple of bicycles and a hundred dollars taken from my wallet. This is just on the INCOME tax bit -- other taxes are being extracted from me, too.

    So, no, relying on government protection against theft is a pretty fucking raw deal for me. I'd like to fire the bastards and hire a private security firm.

  • SAL||

    I'm appalled by libertarians applauding inequality in taxation. They use the same simplistic reasoning as those against gay marriage, which is to consider that the only measure of government intrusion in people's lives in those cases is the immediate amount of taxes that said govt collects.

    Well, would it be all good and libertarian to reduce income tax rates of African-Americans only? Or maybe of everyone except for Jewish people? What about giving tax breaks only to inefficient green energy companies, diverting money from more efficient oil companies and thus making every product and service more expensive? Of course, there may be additional and exciting unforeseen effects such as those of tax incentives for ethanol production, which have significantly disturbed food prices all over the world.

    Anyway, it's worrisome to be defending equality before the law in a libertarian forum hundreds of years after classical liberals fought for that very principle.

  • prolefeed||

    Saying "any taxation is theft and immoral, and raising taxes for some in the interest of 'fairness' rather than reducing taxes for everyone else to that level" is hardly "applauding inequality in taxation".

    Saying there should be less theft is not at all equivalent to saying gay couples should have fewer negative rights than straight couples.

  • SAL||

    I hate taxes as much as the next libertarian, but they aren't going away any time soon. Tax exemption for everyone just isn't a political option today. So what should the government do while libertopia isn't achieved? Historically privileged companies should continue to be so? Not only is it morally wrong, but the market distortions produced by unequal taxation can be way worse than the end of a tax break. Besides, one can defend equality in taxation and reduction of tax rates at the same time.

    As for marriage, it's currently managed by the State and it includes positive rights as well; that's the reason why many libertarians are against gay marriage laws. Again, getting the government out of marriage would be wonderful, but it isn't happening any time soon, so what should the govt do meanwhile? Treat everyone equally or preserve the privileges of a historically favored group (heterosexuals)?

  • Nic P.||

    This makes no sense to me. As I understand it, the NFL (and other organizations) are non-profits in that any money that the league takes in through fees is paid out directly to employees. The league itself keeps no earnings stockpiled above and beyond salaries. Thus, the money gets taxed with an income tax as it is released to individuals, so why tax it again? It is important to differentiate between NFL teams and the NFL itself. The teams (i.e. the individual franchises, not the NFL) are not non-profits and are already taxed as such.

  • ||

    Of course corporate taxes should be eliminated. But as long as we're taxing some we should tax them all. It's the gay marriage argument in reverse - I'm against all marriage as a state sanctioned relationship, but as long as we have to have marriage the gays should be able to do so as well.

  • Paul Davidson||

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