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Thread: Taxation is theft?1960 days old

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    Default Taxation is theft?

    A popular libertarian point of view is that taxation is theft. I think this is an extremist view born out of a greedy, anti-sharing mentality (every penny is mine!). I would also go so far as to say it's somewhat social darwinist to advocate complete removal of taxes, because society wouldn't work without common funding for basic stuff such as roads and so on. I also think it's a very selfish, rude, asshole mentality to whine about how oppressed you are by the government for taxing you 55% of your 150,000 USD per month salary and complain about how people living on shitty wages or welfare who pay little to no taxes, are somehow parasites on 'your money', when in reality the more money you make, the bigger the parasite you are on this planet's resources and contributing to its pollution and the destruction of us all.

    Are rich people inherently bad people or are they justified in their complaints against taxation?

    Personally, I don't have much sympathy for rich people. I'm also of the opinion that people who only have money on their mind, are boring personality-wise.
    Last edited by EliasAlucard; 2014-06-04 at 14:52.
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    1) taxation is a fee to live in a civilized society. I'm ready to pay taxes to have nice roads, to have police to guard me, to have schooling for my (not yet existing) kids and more.

    2) I find progressive taxation to be unfair for the rich. $155k amonth gets cut in half by the state, while $2000 a month gives the state only a quarter. The $155k guy gives the state $77.5k of income and the $2k/month one gives only $500. doesn't sound very fair for the rich guy imo. We are all unequal by birth, and such progressive taxation is a tool to equalize us.

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    If there was no paid for state, then there really is no property rights, or any other rights at all. There's nobody to determine which property you own, and there's nobody who can protect your rights. Anyone can settle wherever they want, and your trusty old shotgun won't make a difference when the gang arrives to pull your spine out of your ass.

    In the case of old school anarchism, it is based on cooperation and mutual aid in small communities. Basically, it's quite like the way really primitive societies function. Thus it's a proven way, since humanity lived like that for at least 90% of our existence. However, there are typically no property rights in such societies, and there's nothing to own anyway. The world has moved on, but the human being is essentially a tribal anarchist at heart. However, it would be incompatible with the materialistic way of life we have, and it would probably also be incompatible with our technological progress.

    Thus, taxes are necessary for a large functioning society.

    Myth: Taxing is a "leftist" thing. Reality: Taxing was introduced by the ruler, such as a king, or the clergy, so they could maintain an army and make roads - and buy some jewelry. It's a bit like protection money by the mob, just on a larger scale.

    I guarantee, if all police, and all military was abandoned in the US, then they would be replaced with a mob. And their taxation isn't exactly fair.

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    Default

    I'm not the best read about this matter, but it seems "Taxation is theft" is not so much a principle of Social Darwinism as it is Anarchist (specifically Anarcho-capitalist). I do agree that the ultimate result is something like a dog-eat-dog, no-holds-barred, Social Darwinist existence. If there's no state, then what is there to keep small groups of individuals from going to tribal warfare with each other?.

    If you ask me, it comes from a schoolboy's understanding of what freedom means - "doing whatever the hell I want!" This attitude goes beyond Anarchism and into outright Nihilism (specifically Moral Nihilism). At least Anarchists, as I understand them, favor small cooperative groups in lieu of organized government - implying that there would be at least a few rules for staying in the group.

    This may have been viable in frontier societies - with huge areas of temperate climate zones averaging 1 person per sq km or less, but in this day and age such territories of good quality land and climate are quite scarce. If we tried it today, we'd quickly degenerate into Afghanistan, Syria, or Somalia.

    1 person/ km^2 is roughly 2.5 people per square mile - the US Census Bureau's litmus test for "frontier" and "settled".
    Last edited by filrabat; 2014-06-04 at 14:53.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acquisitorz View Post
    1) taxation is a fee to live in a civilized society. I'm ready to pay taxes to have nice roads, to have police to guard me, to have schooling for my (not yet existing) kids and more.

    2) I find progressive taxation to be unfair for the rich. $155k amonth gets cut in half by the state, while $2000 a month gives the state only a quarter. The $155k guy gives the state $77.5k of income and the $2k/month one gives only $500. doesn't sound very fair for the rich guy imo. We are all unequal by birth, and such progressive taxation is a tool to equalize us.
    I agree with this. As a supporter of Laissez-faire Capitalism I think there needs to be at least some taxation for what you mentioned in the former. I believe society would fall apart if taxes were abolished altogether. About schools however, the school system here in the US, the Prussian model doesn't work very well and it's like throwing tax money into the trash.
    Sedit qui timuit ne non succederet.
    He who feared that he would not succeed sat still.
    -Horace-

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    Now will someone from the real upper crust and/or ye olde nobility remark that it is only the nouveaux riches/parvenus that behave in this way, but they don't behave in this way because they've inherited their money, were brought up in an upper-class milieu and come of a good family (and yes, I know that the English-speaking upper crust prefer to use words of Germanic origin, and that it is mostly the upper middle class who use Gallicisms). Makes me think of this discussion from Plato's The Republic:

    I will tell you, Socrates, he said, what my own feeling is. Men of my age flock together; we are birds of a feather, as the old proverb says; and at our meetings the tale of my acquaintance commonly is --I cannot eat, I cannot drink; the pleasures of youth and love are fled away: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is no longer life. Some complain of the slights which are put upon them by relations, and they will tell you sadly of how many evils their old age is the cause. But to me, Socrates, these complainers seem to blame that which is not really in fault. For if old age were the cause, I too being old, and every other old man, would have felt as they do. But this is not my own experience, nor that of others whom I have known. How well I remember the aged poet Sophocles, when in answer to the question, How does love suit with age, Sophocles, --are you still the man you were? Peace, he replied; most gladly have I escaped the thing of which you speak; I feel as if I had escaped from a mad and furious master. His words have often occurred to my mind since, and they seem as good to me now as at the time when he uttered them. For certainly old age has a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many. The truth is, Socrates, that these regrets, and also the complaints about relations, are to be attributed to the same cause, which is not old age, but men's characters and tempers; for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.

    I listened in admiration, and wanting to draw him out, that he might go on --Yes, Cephalus, I said: but I rather suspect that people in general are not convinced by you when you speak thus; they think that old age sits lightly upon you, not because of your happy disposition, but because you are rich, and wealth is well known to be a great comforter.

    You are right, he replied; they are not convinced: and there is something in what they say; not, however, so much as they imagine. I might answer them as Themistocles answered the Seriphian who was abusing him and saying that he was famous, not for his own merits but because he was an Athenian: 'If you had been a native of my country or I of yours, neither of us would have been famous.' And to those who are not rich and are impatient of old age, the same reply may be made; for to the good poor man old age cannot be a light burden, nor can a bad rich man ever have peace with himself.

    May I ask, Cephalus, whether your fortune was for the most part inherited or acquired by you?

    Acquired! Socrates; do you want to know how much I acquired? In the art of making money I have been midway between my father and grandfather: for my grandfather, whose name I bear, doubled and trebled the value of his patrimony, that which he inherited being much what I possess now; but my father Lysanias reduced the property below what it is at present: and I shall be satisfied if I leave to these my sons not less but a little more than I received.

    That was why I asked you the question, I replied, because I see that you are indifferent about money, which is a characteristic rather of those who have inherited their fortunes than of those who have acquired them; the makers of fortunes have a second love of money as a creation of their own, resembling the affection of authors for their own poems, or of parents for their children, besides that natural love of it for the sake of use and profit which is common to them and all men. And hence they are very bad company, for they can talk about nothing but the praises of wealth. That is true, he said.

    Yes, that is very true, but may I ask another question? What do you consider to be the greatest blessing which you have reaped from your wealth?

    One, he said, of which I could not expect easily to convince others. For let me tell you, Socrates, that when a man thinks himself to be near death, fears and cares enter into his mind which he never had before; the tales of a world below and the punishment which is exacted there of deeds done here were once a laughing matter to him, but now he is tormented with the thought that they may be true: either from the weakness of age, or because he is now drawing nearer to that other place, he has a clearer view of these things; suspicions and alarms crowd thickly upon him, and he begins to reflect and consider what wrongs he has done to others. And when he finds that the sum of his transgressions is great he will many a time like a child start up in his sleep for fear, and he is filled with dark forebodings. But to him who is conscious of no sin, sweet hope, as Pindar charmingly says, is the kind nurse of his age:

    Hope, he says, cherishes the soul of him who lives in justice and holiness and is the nurse of his age and the companion of his journey; --hope which is mightiest to sway the restless soul of man.

    How admirable are his words! And the great blessing of riches, I do not say to every man, but to a good man, is, that he has had no occasion to deceive or to defraud others, either intentionally or unintentionally; and when he departs to the world below he is not in any apprehension about offerings due to the gods or debts which he owes to men. Now to this peace of mind the possession of wealth greatly contributes; and therefore I say, that, setting one thing against another, of the many advantages which wealth has to give, to a man of sense this is in my opinion the greatest.

    I think that Fimbulvetr and aregint on this forum originate from the real upper class. By the way, wasn't Heladageniskogen from the upper crust too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noraxen View Post
    I agree with this. As a supporter of Laissez-faire Capitalism I think there needs to be at least some taxation for what you mentioned in the former. I believe society would fall apart if taxes were abolished altogether. About schools however, the school system here in the US, the Prussian model doesn't work very well and it's like throwing tax money into the trash.
    Organizing state funded education is a not an easy task, same as for nearly all state funded facilities. Money has to be earned in a competitive market and not be given by someone.

    However something tells me that American private schools generally offer great education.

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    I think taxation is good if it's a choice. I would want a system where you could choose where to put your tax money. Of course if you don't pay road tax you shouldn't have access to that. If you don't pay medical tax you shouldn't receive free health care. 55% tax is too much and doesn't motivate people to work hard or being hustled of half of their earnings to a basket budget to pay for things they don't support.

    I want to pay taxes for infrastructure, medicare, wellfare, schools, science etc. But some things I don't want to pay for, such as the TV-license they're forcing upon us. If people want state TV and Eurovision song contests, let those people pay for it. Some more democracy as to where the tax money is spent and I'm all for it.

    But not 55% or even 33% as we have here. 33% to start with then there is extra tax on fuel, so we are getting taxed multiple times.
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    I don't think taxation is "theft" although I'm not too happy when the tax money is spent on things that I don't want them to be spent on, but I suppose that's where the elections and other "checks and balances" type mechanisms come into play .
    Which is where I have a problem with "da System".

    Those who don't pay income taxes should have less political rights than those who do, especially when it comes to being able to vote. Otherwise we're in danger of the "poor majority" voting for whoever promises to tax the shit out of the "rich minority" to fund social programs on which the "poor majority" depends.
    Some other criteria can be used as well (like say those who don't own property can't vote etc), the point is if "da system" can't function without taxing "the rich" out of 30+ percent of their income then "the rich" gotta have more say.

    I put "rich" and "poor" in quotation marks because unless you're comparing a bum to a billionaire, for the vast majority the line between the two is quite blurry (I'm talking about the USA).

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    It's theft if it's not going back to provide services to the people. The reason I left the east coast of Canada is because taxes were too high while roads were covered with potholes, health care sucks, public schools suck, public transit really sucks... while politicians over there were using tax dollars to go on trips, renovate their houses and shit like that. That's theft. Here, health care is excellent, public transit is fucking awesome, the roads are in good shape and taxes are lower. I don't view these taxes as theft as services are provided.

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