Chevy Volt: The Car from Atlas Shrugged aka perspective for regulation folks

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  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    Stop paying your income taxes. See what the government does to you.



    I'm not following. Are you saying taxes are theft because the government can punish you for not paying them?
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    I'm not following. Are you saying taxes are theft because the government can punish you for not paying them?



    They are theft because they are taken by force. It's that simple.
  • splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fellowship View Post


    This is the way of the globalists.



    They have taken away free markets and enslaved virtually all of us with their control grid of evil.



    Banking, Energy, agriculture (look at corn and soy), Industrial Military / Intelligence / complex, Big Pharma, you get the picture.



    Ohh and BIG government which takes the rest of our once held freedoms away from us.



    Fellows



    Globalism is starting to change shape, now that the western markets are decaying. Globalism used to mean: do things the way EU bureaucrats would appreciate. Now, there are entities like BRIC that basically operate on their own designs, and they are not warm and fuzzy. The EU itself seems to be at a tipping point, too, with immigration problems at the center of it. If gradual measures are not taken to eliminate failed big government spending, an abrupt reset will occur, sooner or later, when the debt collapses and the global markets are not interested in our non-competitive offerings. Either way, smaller government is inevitable.
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    I'm not following. Are you saying taxes are theft because the government can punish you for not paying them?



    From For a New Liberty:



    Quote:

    At first, of course, it is startling for someone to consider taxation as robbery, and therefore government as a band of robbers. But anyone who persists in thinking of taxation as in some sense a "voluntary" payment can see what happens if he chooses not to pay. The great economist Joseph Schumpeter, himself by no means a libertarian, wrote that "the state has been living on a revenue which was being produced in the private sphere for private purposes and had to be deflected from these purposes by political force. The theory which construes taxes on the analogy of club dues or of the purchase of the services of, say, a doctor only proves how far removed this part of the social sciences is from scientific habits of mind."4 The eminent Viennese "legal positivist" Hans Kelsen attempted, in his treatise, The General Theory of Law and the State, to establish a political theory and justification of the State, on a strictly "scientific" and value-free basis. What happened is that early in the book, he came to the crucial sticking-point, the pons asinorum of political philosophy: What distinguishes the edicts of the State from the commands of a bandit gang? Kelsen's answer was simply to say that the decrees of the State are "valid," and to proceed happily from there, without bothering to define or explain this concept of "validity." Indeed, it would be a useful exercise for nonlibertarians to ponder this question: How can you define taxation in a way which makes it different from robbery?



  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    Disagree. There are numerous arguments against the idea that taxes are theft. I liked the concision of this one.



    Quote:

    Libertarians say that taxation is like theft because it takes property from the unwilling. What they ignore, time and time again, is the crucial role of democratic consent. Taxes are not arbitrary impositions decreed by a faceless government. Rather, taxes are the dues we pay in exchange for membership in a society and access to all the services it offers.



    The situation can be compared to a private club that charges a membership fee in exchange for providing benefits and amenities to its members. Obviously, the club is within its rights to charge whatever price it believes fair in exchange for this. If you believe the price is too high, you're free to renounce your membership and leave the club. What you're not free to do is to refuse to pay, but demand that you still be allowed to sit in the club and use its facilities. Nor are you free, if the club doesn't offer this option, to decide that you only use some of its services - only the swimming pool, say, but not the sauna or the tennis courts - and should therefore have the right to pay a prorated membership fee. But these options, clearly absurd in this thought experiment, are the same ones libertarians claim they have a right to exercise in the real world.



    The analogy of the club can be transferred in a precise way to society as a whole. Society is the club, and taxes are the membership dues we pay in exchange for the services it provides. If you don't want to pay, if you dislike its terms, you can leave that society and seek another one. But you are not free to unilaterally demand that society rewrite its terms to favor your particular preferences.



  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    Disagree. There are numerous arguments against the idea that taxes are theft. I liked the concision of this one.



    Again, from For a New Liberty:



    Quote:

    To the great nineteenth-century individualist anarchist — and constitutional lawyer — Lysander Spooner, there was no problem in finding the answer. Spooner's analysis of the State as robber group is perhaps the most devastating ever written: [p. 52]



    Quote:

    It is true that the theory of our Constitution is, that all taxes are paid voluntarily; that our government is a mutual insurance company, voluntarily entered into by the people with each other . . . .



    But this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, say to a man: "Your money, or your life." And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.



    The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.



    The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.5





  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    Again, I see it differently. Taxes are a part of the social contract. They are not theft.
  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    From http://gretachristina.typepad.com/gr...-of-taxes.html



    Said rather poignantly.



    Quote:

    IN PRAISE OF TAXES



    I realize that griping about taxes is an ancient tradition. Especially, in America, on or around April 15th. It's an ancient tradition that, this year, has been formalized in the easily and endlessly mockable "teabagging" protests.



    No, I'm not going to make cheap jokes about teabagging. Every single cheap joke that could be possibly be made about teabagging has been made on MSNBC in the last few days.



    Today, instead, I want to buck this long-standing tradition.



    Today, I want to speak in praise of taxes.



    Look. I don't passionately love paying taxes, either. (I'm especially cranky about it this year, since there was a miscommunication about my withholding and I had to write a big-ass check today.)



    But I drive on the highways that my taxes pay for. I hang out in the parks that my taxes pay for. I go to the libraries that my taxes pay for. I flush my toilet into the sewer pipes that my taxes pay for. When I set fire to my stove that one time, I called the fire department that my taxes paid for.



    And there are all the invisible things as well, the things our taxes pay for that we don't notice until they disappear. There's the rat hairs that I'm not eating, because my taxes are paying for health inspectors to see that the restaurants I eat at are clean and safe. There's the filth that isn't piling up in the streets, because my taxes are paying for street sweepers. There's the tuberculosis that I don't have, because my taxes are paying for public health officials to stem the resurgent tide of TB.



    I take advantage of the things my taxes pay for. And I'm lucky enough to live in a society that is more or less democratic, where I have something that resembles a voice in how my taxes are spent. If I don't like the way our taxes are being spent, I can vote out the people who decide how to spend them, and vote in people who'll spend them the way I want them to.



    So how, exactly, is paying taxes tyrannical, or unfair, or the hand of the government picking our pockets?



    As I've written before: The basic idea of democratic government -- what it ought to be, and what much of the time it is -- is a society pooling some of its resources to provide itself with structures and services that make that society function smoothly and promote the common good. And it's the structure a society uses to decide how those pooled resources should be used.



    Taxes are, quite literally, the pooling of these resources. To oppose paying taxes is to oppose the idea of society itself. It is to oppose the idea of pooling resources. It is to oppose the idea of working together for the common good... and to support, instead, a social philosophy of "Screw you, Jack, I've got mine." You want to live in a world with no functioning government? Move to Somalia.



    (Some people want government and taxes, and the services they provide, replaced with private enterprise and volunteerism. My problem with that is: Where's the accountability? Where's the process by which I can vote for how I want my fire extinguishing money spent... or can get rid of people who I think are spending it corruptly or stupidly? And besides, I don't want my fires put out by people who are primarily concerned with making a profit, and are therefore doing cost-benefit analysis about whether my house fire is really worth extinguishing.)



    Reflexive griping about taxes always reminds me of the Simpsons episode, the one where the bear gets into the streets of Springfield and the town goes nuts. They demand an elaborate, 24-hour bear patrol... but when they get their paychecks and see that they're five dollars short because of the bear patrol tax, they're outraged.



    I think Americans are all too often exactly like that. We want the bear patrol, but we don't want to pay for it. And all too often, like Mayor Quimby, our elected officials are all too willing to pander to us. Hardly any elected official will ever run for office in the U.S. on a platform of "I'm going to raise taxes, so we can pay for services we all want and need."



    It's commonly assumed that this state of affairs is the natural order. Human nature. It's taken as a given that of course nobody wants to pay taxes, that of course political hash will always be made out of griping about them. And in a Springfieldian, bear-patrol way, to some extent it's true. Of course we would all love for there to be roads and parks, fire departments and sewers, clean streets and plague-free cities... all without anyone having to pay for it. Provided by benevolent elves, perhaps.



    But I also think that this is a U.S. phenomenon as much as it is human nature. Look at European countries like, say, France. In France, this reflexive anti-tax sentiment just doesn't play. I'm sure people gripe about taxes in France, too... but most people there seem to basically get that taxes are the price you pay for living in a society and providing the things that make a society function.



    And I would like to start shifting the way Americans think about it, too.



    I think that those of us who care about government -- who think that government is a salvageable idea and one that works more or less right at least a fair amount of the time, those of who think that as sucky as government often is it sure beats the alternative -- need to speak up in praise and defense of taxes. On and around tax day, I'd like to see fewer gripes about the horribleness of taxes, and more commentary and news stories and blog posts and such about why the hell we pay them. On and around tax day, I'd like to see news outlets do a series on "the things your taxes are paying for." I'd like to see people sporting "I Paid My Taxes" buttons on April 15th, the way we sport "I Voted" stickers on Election Day. I'd like to see April 15th get treated as a patriotic day, the way we treat the Fourth of July and Memorial Day.



    We need to remind people -- and ourselves -- that, at least in a democracy, "paying taxes" basically just means "society working together to make all of our lives better." It's socially responsible. It's patriotic. And it's no more tyrannical than everyone on the softball team kicking in a few bucks for pizza.



    You sometimes see cute little stories in the news, about how on such and such a day of the year, you're no longer working for the government, and from now on for the rest of the year you're working for yourself. It's a story based on the concept that you pay about a fourth to a third of your income in taxes, and if you break that down by year instead of by paycheck, you'll have paid off your year's worth of taxes on such and such a day.



    But it's a story that I do not accept.



    Because when I'm working to pay taxes, I am still working for myself.



    And I'm working for everyone else in the society I live in.



  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    Again, I see it differently. Taxes are a part of the social contract. They are not theft.



    What contract? There is no "social contract" that's a fantasy, a fabrication of the imagination, a pink unicorn that's used as an catch all excuse to do whatever you want to force people to do.
  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    The social contract is fantasy but god is real. Got it. And with that, it's time for me to take my leave from your Bizarro world. I've wasted enough time this afternoon on this nonsense.
  • mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    The social contract is fantasy but god is real. Got it. And with that, it's time for me to take my leave from your Bizarro world. I've wasted enough time this afternoon on this nonsense.



    It's interesting how you cannot go very long without resorting to insults.
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    It's interesting how you cannot go very long without resorting to insults.



    I've noticed that, too.
  • splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    From http://gretachristina.typepad.com/gr...-of-taxes.html



    Said rather poignantly.



    You really think so? Regardless of the position you take on the matter, this should come across like a childish (i.e. naive) set of arguments. It is full of generally ridiculous premises. I would expect better from a good high school student. I get that you like the idea of a social democracy. That's all you really have to say. Citing resources like this doesn't help your cause.
  • brbr Posts: 8,253member
    There's just far too much of this "taxes are theft" nonsense going around here. I'm sorry that we disagree on the validity of the content of the article.
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,250member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    Disagree. There are numerous arguments against the idea that taxes are theft. I liked the concision of this one.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    Again, I see it differently. Taxes are a part of the social contract. They are not theft.



    You'll not get any argument from me on your premise here BR. The problem comes in a two-fold manner though. First, it appears that the equal protection clause has been applied in every aspect of our rights except for taxes. I've always thought that a bit strange. To use your analogies, you belong to the social club along with everyone else, but for some reason you notice some people in the club get to pay no dues and others have to pay double or triple dues. You notice that with regard to services the club provides that some services have "_________ only" next to them to keep out certain groups.



    It's pretty to see how this would and should be addressed if this were a golf club or military school and the groups were minorities or women. The question becomes why does this protection seem to stop when it is wealth or men?



    Title IX is a great example. Colleges are still having to shut down men's sports teams out of fear it discouraging women from attending college when women are almost 60% of the college population. The federal reserve is destroying the ability of the populace to save to reward many consumers who often are spending money redistributed to them by the government in the first place. Crony capitalism is running amok. No contract supports those nor should people that want good social contracts.



    The social compact makes sense when applied equally and when services do not go beyond the agreed upon intended agreement. If you own a condo and the board suddenly decreed the roof needed repair but you ought to be assessed triple for it and your neighbor nothing, you'd cry foul.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    What contract? There is no "social contract" that's a fantasy, a fabrication of the imagination, a pink unicorn that's used as an catch all excuse to do whatever you want to force people to do.



    I'd call the original intent of our Constitution a social contract by BR's definition.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    You really think so? Regardless of the position you take on the matter, this should come across like a childish (i.e. naive) set of arguments. It is full of generally ridiculous premises. I would expect better from a good high school student. I get that you like the idea of a social democracy. That's all you really have to say. Citing resources like this doesn't help your cause.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BR View Post


    There's just far too much of this "taxes are theft" nonsense going around here. I'm sorry that we disagree on the validity of the content of the article.



    Taxes aren't necessarily theft but if they are not paying for an agreed upon shared benefit, or don't give a return then that would be considered theft. You certainly would consider this to be true in any other walk of life.



    I found an article BR that you may or may not appreciate BR and it deals with the many paradoxes within the environmental movement. From many environmental views, infrastructure is a bad thing. I'm certain that most wealthy people and most Republicans have no real qualms with infrastructure. Yet we know here in California despite massive taxes, the infrastructure is crumbling. Infrastructure brings economic growth and also people, both of which are anathemas to environmental views. Thus we have income transfer payments instead of the items that would help build a sense of community.
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    Taxes in and of themselves are not necessarily theft. It is the manner in which they are collected that can be theft.
  • jazzgurujazzguru Posts: 6,435member
    GM Sold 125 Volts Last Month



    Quote:

    The July sales numbers are out and the Chevy Volt continues to electrify (get it?) the country. GM sold … 125 Volts last month!



    Way back in March I made fun of the Volt for selling 281 units in February. Turns out, February was a good month. But wait, there’s more! GM says they’re going to increase production to 5,000 Volts per month in order to keep up with demand. You see, they claim that the reason the Volt isn’t selling is that they can’t keep enough cars on the lot. A GM spokeswoman recently claimed that they are “virtually sold out.” Which is virtually true. Mark Modica called around his local Chevy dealers and found plenty of Volts waiting for an environmentally conscious driver to bring them home.



    All told, GM has sold close to 2,700 Volts. (Funny aside: There’s a Volt in my neighborhood and a Volt that parks in my garage at work. So I see almost 0.1 percent of all the Volts in America on a daily basis.) But hey, the EV future is just around the corner.



    Nissan seems to be faring better with their Leaf, which has surpassed the Volt in total sales. They sold 931 Leafs in July, but that number is down 46% from June.



    Sell a product people want at a price they want and they will buy it. Bribing people with their own money (tax incentives) doesn't seem to be working.
  • noahjnoahj Posts: 4,500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post


    GM Sold 125 Volts Last Month







    Nissan seems to be faring better with their Leaf, which has surpassed the Volt in total sales. They sold 931 Leafs in July, but that number is down 46% from June.



    Sell a product people want at a price they want and they will buy it. Bribing people with their own money (tax incentives) doesn't seem to be working.



    That number really surprises me. I know a person here at work that bought one as well. So I guess I know of .05% of the volts on the road?
  • northgatenorthgate Posts: 4,459member
    I see nothing's changed in the years I've been gone. Trumptman's unbridled hatred for the electric vehicle still rages strong I see.
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