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Anonymous

tax: questions from a libertarian
    #1630160 - 06/13/03 12:34 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

tax is money taken without consent and by threat of force from peaceful individuals. even when taxes are levied for the sole purpose of providing defense, it is still theft. it's not ok for my neighbor to come force me to pay him for 'protection'. we call that extortion. but the government can. why?

even when the government is restricted to its single, most fundamental purpose of protection from force, if it cannot raise funds by non-coersive means, can it rightfully levy taxes? aren't taxes in that case still money taken at gunpoint?

the libertarian in me says that taxes are never justified. but what about when they're absolutely needed by the government to fulfill its bare obligations?

this creates a problem for me.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: ]
    #1630169 - 06/13/03 12:38 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Even if your assertion that taxes=theft is true(which I don't believe it to be), I have trouble seeing how society could operate without them.


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Anonymous

Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: silversoul7]
    #1630199 - 06/13/03 12:51 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

when you pay taxes, you are being threatened by force. you are forced to hand over your money to another group of people whom you have not made any consent with nor have a debt with. it matters not what the 'organization' is that comes to take your money.

if you live in a wartorn patch of dirt and are forced to pay the local warlords,
or live in a 12th century european village and must pay the king,
or live in a 21st century democracy and must pay congress,
or you own a shop somewhere and must pay the mafia for 'protection',
it's all the same really.

the debate about whether taxes=theft could be a good one (maybe i'll open another thread for it), but for the purpose of this thread, for now, let us just assume it is... assuming (for now) that taxes are indeed theft... let us proceed with the original questions...


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: ]
    #1630210 - 06/13/03 12:56 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

the debate about whether taxes=theft could be a good one (maybe i'll open another thread for it), but for the purpose of this thread, for now, let us just assume it is... assuming (for now) that taxes are indeed theft... let us proceed with the original questions...



Sure. Let's just assume that taxes are theft. Even so, do you have any better ideas on how to run a society?


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinerommstein2001
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Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: silversoul7]
    #1630219 - 06/13/03 01:02 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

A necessary evil, but they take too much and do too much.


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Anonymous

Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: silversoul7]
    #1630264 - 06/13/03 01:33 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

well, this causes a problem because if taxes themselves are indeed theft, it really doesn't matter what they're being spent on. when a thief steals money from you, it doesn't matter what they spend it on... it doesn't matter if they burn it or if they use it to buy you a car... hell, they can give it right back to you and it doesn't make it ok.

if taxes are necessary, and they're also theft, then there are some real problems.

either taxes aren't theft, or they're not necessary, or theft is necessary...

i can't come up with any reasoning showing that taxes are not theft. there are also times when it would seem that taxes are absolutely necessary. the notion that the government must commit a crime in furtherance of its purpose of.. preventing crime, seems absurd.

i suppose it could be argued by a libertarian that as long as the funds are being used only for the funding of police, courts, jails, and military, then it's ok.

but i never consented to anything. what if i don't want police protection for myself? i've no way to opt out of the program. the government's got no more right to charge me for protection than the guy down the street does, right?

so where's the answer?


Edited by Anonymous (06/13/03 01:38 AM)


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Offlinezeronio
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Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: ]
    #1630461 - 06/13/03 03:08 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Taxes are an "acquirement" of evolution of society. The first civilizations that emerged & introduced taxes had many advantages over those who didn't.
- They could maintain a professional army while others had to choose between working in the fields and loose a war or fight the war and die from hunger.
- They could invest in expensive infrastructure like watering systems that helped them to survive in dry seasons.
And probably many more. It's obvious that such cultures somehow prevailed and destroyed the ones that didn't have taxes, since that's the only system we have now.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: ]
    #1630642 - 06/13/03 05:54 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

but i never consented to anything

You could stop driving on any roads that tax dollars built if you feel that strongly about it.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: tax: questions from a libertarian [Re: ]
    #1630699 - 06/13/03 07:33 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

You are correct that coercive taxation is theft, even if the proceeds from that theft are spent on the legitimate functions of government (i.e. cops, courts, and military).

Libertarians have proposed several ideas by which government may raise revenue through non-coercive (i.e. unavoidable taxes) methods. Here are the ones I can think of right now (I am probably missing a few) --

1) Lotteries

2) Bequeathments and donations

3) Contract insurance

4) Elective "taxes"

I am pressed for time this morning, but I will expand on each of these points later today. For now, let me move on --

Critics of Libertarianism claim that revenues raised by these methods alone will be insufficient to pay for the legitimate functions of government. It must be noted that most of these critics believe that government must provide more than just cops, courts and military, but there are some critics who claim that such methods are insufficient to support even CC&M. Most of these critics point to the current cost of today's US military machine (ignoring the fact that if the military were reduced to what was necessary for national DEFENSE rather than foreign ADVENTURISM, the Pentagon's budget would be a tiny fraction of what it is today) and to the current cost of the justice system in the US (ignoring the fact that if victimless crimes such as drug use, prostitution, gambling, etc. were to be abolished, the US justice system's budget would be a tiny fraction of what it is today) as "proof" that only taxes can generate the required revenue.

Others claim that under such non-coercive methods of revenue-gathering, there would inevitably be people who received a "free ride", forgetting that under today's system there are enormous numbers of people receiving free rides of one sort or another.

More later.

pinky




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