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Tax Freedom Day

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 


I find it more than a little disturbing that a group of individuals calling themselves a government has laid claim - under threat of violence - to the money I have earned from the beginning of this year until tomorrow (April 10).

And even more disturbing is some of the things they are doing with my money and in my name.

What's your Tax Freedom Day?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #2 of 56
Hey man, if you hate the "violence" of the country so much, you're free to leave it.

The fact is, the average effective tax rate for Americans is about 10%, which is one of the lowest in the world. And by the way, how many of those states are leeches, getting more federal money than they pay in?
post #3 of 56
Thread Starter 
This might be a record for the fastest any PO poster as played the tired old "if you don't like it then leave" card.

Taxation is theft. There really is no other adequate way to describe it.

If someone knocks on your door demanding you turn over 3.5 months of your income and threatening to break in and take it at gunpoint if you don't comply, you'd rightly consider that a threat.

Give that person a badge and somehow that makes his robbery legitimate in the eyes of some.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #4 of 56
A record? Do I win anything?

If you don't like the "love it or leave it" comment, then what are you doing other than sitting on the internet bitching and moaning? You believe you live in a criminal country. It's just like stealing money from you at gunpoint. It's appropriate to meet violence with violence, so why aren't you a violent rebel, or a terrorist? Let me suggest that it's because you don't really believe your own rhetoric.

(And by the way, I'll bet that you pay less than HALF of 3.5 months of income in taxes.)
post #5 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

A record? Do I win anything?

I wouldn't consider it an honor.

Quote:
If you don't like the "love it or leave it" comment, then what are you doing other than sitting on the internet bitching and moaning?

Lots.

Quote:
You believe you live in a criminal country.

No, I believe I live in a country with an out-of-control, corrupt government.

Quote:
It's just like stealing money from you at gunpoint. It's appropriate to meet violence with violence, so why aren't you a violent rebel, or a terrorist? Let me suggest that it's because you don't really believe your own rhetoric.

While I believe that the only legitimate use of force is in defense against a party who has initiated it against you, I don't believe we are yet to the point where all other options have been exhausted and such resistance is warranted. In other words, violence is not always the most appropriate response to violence.

I much prefer passive resistance and noncompliance and greatly admire people like Ghandi in that regard.

This does not change the fact that taxation is theft.

Quote:
(And by the way, I'll bet that you pay less than HALF of 3.5 months of income in taxes.)

You have no clue what I pay. Some pay more. Some pay nothing. That makes the whole thing even more ridiculous.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #6 of 56
If all taxes are theft, how does one fund a government at all?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Hey man, if you hate the "violence" of the country so much, you're free to leave it.

I agree. Did you read that the net illegal immigration from Mexico now is zero? As the South Park episode teased, Obama wasn't supposed to solve the problem by making it so crappy here that no one wants to come or stay. Canada and Mexico both gladly drill for oil and both have more sound governments for now.

However I'm not just free to leave it. The government has to give me permission and a passport.

Quote:
The fact is, the average effective tax rate for Americans is about 10%, which is one of the lowest in the world. And by the way, how many of those states are leeches, getting more federal money than they pay in?

It is sort of sillly to discuss averages when dealing with progressive taxation. Everyone isn't treated the same. It is sort of like including men in breast cancer statistics to make it appear less of a problem.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

If all taxes are theft, how does one fund a government at all?

Guess who's begging the question now.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #9 of 56
You're backtracking from your own statements just a couple of inches up the screen. You said it's violence and it's theft at gunpoint. Now you're saying it's merely out of control. Seems to me that it's easy to say these things in internet postings, while living with the benefits of the society that you condemn as criminal.

There are plenty of places in the world that don't have a strong government. Yet you stay in this communist/criminal country, even when there are such ideal libertarian utopias like Somalia. We all know why you stay: Because our system actually works. And the more "criminal" they are, by your definition, the better they work, and the more ideal they are, by your definition, the less well they work.
post #10 of 56
I already filed my taxes a while ago and I already got my refunds back.

I don't owe the govt a dime. I believe that politicians and leaders who owe taxes should be put in jail. There are far too many of them now. How can those criminals even work for the govt?
post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

However I'm not just free to leave it. The government has to give me permission and a passport.

And there are potential tax consequences here as well.

The "feel free to leave" mantra from the big government leftists has a hollow, ironic and somewhat sadistic ring to it actually.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #12 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

If all taxes are theft, how does one fund a government at all?

"In a truly free society, a society where individual rights of person and property are maintained, the State, then, would necessarily cease to exist. Its myriad of invasive and aggressive activities, its vast depredations on the rights of person and property, would then disappear. At the same time, those genuine services which it does manage badly to perform would be thrown open to free competition, and to voluntarily chosen payments by individual consumers." - Murray N. Rothbard

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I agree. Did you read that the net illegal immigration from Mexico now is zero? As the South Park episode teased, Obama wasn't supposed to solve the problem by making it so crappy here that no one wants to come or stay. Canada and Mexico both gladly drill for oil and both have more sound governments for now.

However I'm not just free to leave it. The government has to give me permission and a passport.

Did your anti-American postings on the internet land you on a terrorist watch list?

Quote:
It is sort of sillly to discuss averages when dealing with progressive taxation. Everyone isn't treated the same. It is sort of like including men in breast cancer statistics to make it appear less of a problem.

Marginal rates differ, but the overall effective tax rate is a lot more constant up and down the ladder. Wealthy people pay more in income taxes but less (as a percentage) in state, local, and sales taxes. Poor people pay less federal income taxes but get hit harder (again, as a percentage of their income) with those latter taxes. Mitt Romney's effective tax rate, for example, is less than 14%.
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

...even when there are such ideal libertarian utopias like Somalia...

Ahhh...the Somalia card. That one didn't take long either.

It must be fun to use a country emerging from war (civil and otherwise), and decades of socialism not to mention being the rope in a tug-of-war between factions (sometimes funded and supported by the US) trying to impose a government on the country as the finest example of so-called "libertarian Utopia."

Do you get away with such simplistic and superficial analysis in your day job or do they fire you when they see it?

Yet, despite all that...Somalia has actually seen progress when left alone. Is it in great shape? No. But it has improved from the terrible place it started from.

On Somalia anarchism: one, two, three.

Here's a similar story.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Did your anti-American postings on the internet land you on a terrorist watch list?

We don't really know now do we?



Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Mitt Romney's effective tax rate, for example, is less than 14%.

So what you're telling us is that Mitt Romney (despite all the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth) is paying an effective rate about 40-50% higher than the average American?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #16 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

You're backtracking from your own statements just a couple of inches up the screen. You said it's violence and it's theft at gunpoint. Now you're saying it's merely out of control. Seems to me that it's easy to say these things in internet postings, while living with the benefits of the society that you condemn as criminal.

Backtracking? Not at all. You're the one who suggested resorting to terrorism, not me. You've jumped to all these conclusions about me before even bothering to ask me what I think, so I can understand why my responses might be confusing to you.

Quote:
There are plenty of places in the world that don't have a strong government. Yet you stay in this communist/criminal country, even when there are such ideal libertarian utopias like Somalia.

Hmm...the "if you don't like it then leave" card didn't shut him up. Let's try the Somalia card.

Quote:
We all know why you stay: Because our system actually works. And the more "criminal" they are, by your definition, the better they work, and the more ideal they are, by your definition, the less well they work.

You have no idea why I stay. You have yet to ask me.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #17 of 56
Thread Starter 
"Murder is murder, theft is theft, whether undertaken by one man against another, or by a group, or even by the majority of people within a given territorial area. The fact that a majority might support or condone an act of theft does not diminish the criminal essence of the act or its grave injustice. Otherwise, we would have to say, for example, that any Jews murdered by the democratically elected Nazi government were not murdered, but only 'voluntarily committed suicide' – surely, the grotesque but logical implication of the 'democracy as voluntary' doctrine." - Murray N. Rothbard

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #18 of 56
You folks can call Somalia a "card" if you want, but it doesn't the fact that it's one of the places in the world that does have a weak central government. There's also Afghanistan. And the Sudan. If you want to provide your own examples, please do.

There are plenty of countries around the world that have strong central governments, and plenty with weak ones. And as it turns out, the stable, wealthy, successful countries have strong central gov'ts, and the ones with weak central gov'ts are failed states.
post #19 of 56
Thread Starter 
Didn't the Roman Empire have a strong central government? Surely some failed states had strong central governments.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

You folks can call Somalia a "card" if you want, but it doesn't the fact that it's one of the places in the world that does have a weak central government. There's also Afghanistan. And the Sudan. If you want to provide your own examples, please do.

There are plenty of countries around the world that have strong central governments, and plenty with weak ones. And as it turns out, the stable, wealthy, successful countries have strong central gov'ts, and the ones with weak central gov'ts are failed states.

No one is denying most of this...only the lessons and conclusions you're drawing from all of it.

e.g.,:

1. You and others throw out Somalia as a so-called "libertarian Utopia" with the implication that if the US were to have less government than it currently does it will devolve into what Somalia is now while ignoring the fact that in much of Somalia many things actually improved after their government fell.

2. You and others ignore some of the biggest, strongest and most central governments in history (and their depredations and oppressions) or simply hand wave them away as inapplicable examples.

I don't necessarily have a problem with government so long as it can be kept in check and within the boundaries of its purpose...which should be to protect the rights of life, liberty and property of its citizenry. Where governments become, in effect, criminal gangs, is when they begin to actually infringe on these rights, typically for the benefit of some special interest or sub-group within the nation. They rob from one to give to another. The restrict the freedom of one group at the behest of another. So on.

The primary issue is vastly different philosophies of government. That is fine. The problem is that the one that advocates less freedom and more coercion wants to impose this on everyone. The beauty of how this nation started was that it as was reasonably independent set of states...almost separate countries who could do things differently from one another. If you want to establish a full on socialist state in CA, MI or NY...go for it. If you want more freedom in some other state. Great! The problem has become the desire to implement this full on socialist state on everyone.

More succinctly, you can have an island of socialism (or Marxism or communism) in a "sea of liberty" but you cannot have an island of liberty in a sea of socialism.

There are a couple of vectors of philosophical disagreement that exist here:

voluntary vs. coercive actions
decentralization, diffusion and dispersal of power and control vs. centralization and consolidation of power and control
respect for the individual vs. the preeminence of the collective

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

You folks can call Somalia a "card" if you want, but it doesn't the fact that it's one of the places in the world that does have a weak central government. There's also Afghanistan. And the Sudan. If you want to provide your own examples, please do.

There are plenty of countries around the world that have strong central governments, and plenty with weak ones. And as it turns out, the stable, wealthy, successful countries have strong central gov'ts, and the ones with weak central gov'ts are failed states.

U.S.S.R., East Germany, they did very well. Cuba and Venezuela are just having a grand old time as well.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #22 of 56
Thread Starter 
Let us not forget North Korea.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

"In a truly free society, a society where individual rights of person and property are maintained, the State, then, would necessarily cease to exist. Its myriad of invasive and aggressive activities, its vast depredations on the rights of person and property, would then disappear. At the same time, those genuine services which it does manage badly to perform would be thrown open to free competition, and to voluntarily chosen payments by individual consumers." - Murray N. Rothbard

So you argue for literal anarchy? No government whatsoever? Does that mean no laws as well? Only frontier justice?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #24 of 56
The East/West Germany an North/South Korea examples are wonderful because they are as close as we can get to any kind of controlled political/cultural/sociological/economic "experiment."

East Germany/North Korea: More government, more control, more socialism/communism

West Germany/South Korea: Less government, less control, less socialism/communism

Were West Germany/is South Korea perfect? No. Are they substantially better than their siblings? Unquestionably.

Has Germany in recent decades, ignoring the lessons of history and economics move further back toward socialism? Yes. And they'll regret it.

P.S. I'm sure we'll soon hear that examples like the USSR, China, East Germany, etc. are not applicable because these are examples of totalitarian socialism/communism/Marxism. But, logic tells us that all socialism, to be fully realized, must become totalitarian. This is almost inevitable.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

So you argue for literal anarchy? No government whatsoever? Does that mean no laws as well? Only frontier justice?

No. Not necessarily. Law and legislation aren't necessarily the same things. You appear to assume they are. You appear to assume that society and government are the same things. You appear to assume that absent some powerful government, people will simply all just kill one another. How very Hobbesian of you.

But I would submit that you (and Hobbes) are wrong.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #26 of 56
I didn't say any of that. How does one have a government without taxes to pay for it? You are the one being cryptic and not fucking being specific about how all this is supposed to work. I'm just trying to find out--only to be trashed for asking the questions.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

I didn't say any of that.

What you asked was:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

No government whatsoever? Does that mean no laws as well? Only frontier justice?

I inferred some things from these questions (mostly based on the general pattern of your posts). These questions appear to imply that without government there will be no laws and only "frontier justice" which, I'm sure implies a sort of "wild west" situation).

But maybe I'm wrong to infer all of that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

How does one have a government without taxes to pay for it?

You are begging the question here. Why must "government" be funded? Could it be funded by voluntary payments?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

You are the one being cryptic and not fucking being specific about how all this is supposed to work. I'm just trying to find out--only to be trashed for asking the questions.

Again, irony appears.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #28 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

So you argue for literal anarchy? No government whatsoever? Does that mean no laws as well? Only frontier justice?

I argue for a voluntary society free of violently enforced government. That does fit within the definition(s) of anarchy.

I suggest doing some reading on what anarchy really is before associating it with lawlessness and chaos. Here's a good place to start.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

The East/West Germany an North/South Korea examples are wonderful because they are as close as we can get to any kind of controlled political/cultural/sociological/economic "experiment."

East Germany/North Korea: More government, more control, more socialism/communism

West Germany/South Korea: Less government, less control, less socialism/communism

Were West Germany/is South Korea perfect? No. Are they substantially better than their siblings? Unquestionably.

Has Germany in recent decades, ignoring the lessons of history and economics move further back toward socialism? Yes. And they'll regret it.

P.S. I'm sure we'll soon hear that examples like the USSR, China, East Germany, etc. are not applicable because these are examples of totalitarian socialism/communism/Marxism. But, logic tells us that all socialism, to be fully realized, must become totalitarian. This is almost inevitable.

You make so many logical fallacies here my brain hurts.

Causal flaw & Fallacy of a Single Cause: You assume that less government (rather than different government and a whole host of other circumstances) was what made West Germany/South Korea better.

Can't quite dig up the proper name of this one in my limited time but "some is good, therefore more is better" is indeed a logical fallacy as well. You do the same with "less is good, so even less will be better."

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I argue for a voluntary society free of violently enforced government. That does fit within the definition(s) of anarchy.

I suggest doing some reading on what anarchy really is before associating it with lawlessness and chaos. Here's a good place to start.

I used to be libertarian. I've done the reading. I grew out of it.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

You make so many logical fallacies here my brain hurts.

Causal flaw & Fallacy of a Single Cause: You assume that less government (rather than different government and a whole host of other circumstances) was what made West Germany/South Korea better.

Can't quite dig up the proper name of this one in my limited time but "some is good, therefore more is better" is indeed a logical fallacy as well. You do the same with "less is good, so even less will be better."

The problem you fail to see (or admit) is that we have seen this pattern over and over and over again, throughout history and within the present period. So there's more than a coincidental relationship between one condition and various effects. We see certain patterns over and over again we start to draw some conclusions. You also fail to realize that there may be, and often is, a singular major root cause for the problems that occur. I believe that is the case in the examples given. In these more/bigger government situations it is typically the knowledge problem.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

I used to be libertarian. I've done the reading. I grew out of it.

I used to be more of a statist. I've done the reading. I grew out of it.

Can we move on now?


P.S. Your obvious desire to control others and use coercion to do so is so far afield from that philosophy makes me seriously doubt you were ever anything like a libertarian.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #33 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

I used to be libertarian. I've done the reading. I grew out of it.

I think more reading is needed on your part, otherwise you wouldn't have assumed that anarchy automatically equals lawlessness and chaos.

And I find it very difficult to believe that you used to be a libertarian - someone who believes that other people are not your property, in voluntary association, the non-aggression principle, and in little or no government power. I'm not saying it's impossible, I just find it hard to believe, since you are now so much in favor of using government and its violence against other people to force them to believe and act as you wish.

If you meant Libertarian as in associated with the Libertarian Party, that's different.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #34 of 56
* pours some gasoline on the fire *

Quote:
I have been struck repeatedly by a certain fact about episodes of sudden or extraordinary expansion of the state: when push came to shove, those who resistedoften to the deathtended to be people of faith.

Quote:
Atheists as a class did not distinguish themselves as resisters of tyranny or totalitarianism, although some individual atheists did resist. Of course, some of the most horrible regimesthe USSR, Communist China, Kampuchea, North Korearested on atheism as an integral part of the regimes official line, and in Germany the Nazis virtually nationalized many of the Protestant churches.

Quote:
My studies have left me pessimistic about the prospects for the survival of free societies, in part because of the relationship just described. When the tyrants take overusually in a national emergencyand whip everyone into line, only certain people of faith are, as a group, likely to resist, rather than making the best of a bad situation. Modern culture in most parts of the world is now overwhelmingly secular and even anti-religious. Without a foundation of belief strong enough to sustain resisters unto death, effective resistance is not likely to be mounted. The worst will get on top, as F. A. Hayek warned, and I do not expect these top dogs to be anything but devout atheists (although in a few societies, such as the USA, the tyrants may feign religious faith).

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #35 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

* pours some gasoline on the fire *

I read that article the other day and also found it intriguing - and backed up by historical fact.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

U.S.S.R., East Germany, they did very well. Cuba and Venezuela are just having a grand old time as well.

Point taken. They probably did better than the opposite extremes of Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, etc., but clearly communism doesn't work. But we don't even have to go to that extreme. The folks in this thread think that even the current US situation, with probably the lowest tax burden in the developed world, represents violent criminality.
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

...the current US situation, with probably the lowest tax burden in the developed world...

You keep saying that as if it is true.

First, it is not "the lowest in the developed world." There are at least four countries that are much lower: New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, Chile. I'll take those any day. I'd move there right now if I could. More importantly, there are other measures that probably better reflect the tax burden which include per capita tax burden: "The United States is indeed a low-tax country as judged by taxes as a percentage of GDP, but as judged by taxes per person, the United States is in the middle of the pack." This measure actually takes into account this next point because tax revenue only counts taxes paid now, but GDP factors in government spending (including deficits) which must all ultimately be paid by taxes (or printing money).

Second, it isn't just about current (and explicit) tax burden but the accumulating debt that points to future tax burden and the money printing that operates as a stealth tax.

Third, it isn't just about taxes...it's about the overall trend in the US. By one index that attempts to measure economic freedom, the US has been on a clear and steady decline.

Fourth, the US government's attempts at tighter and stricter tax collection have actually turned more explicitly violent in recent years.

Finally, taxation by its essential nature is theft. It is money taken under, ultimately, the threat of violent enforcement. This is a fact. That sometimes the burden is higher or lower or some places take less or more doesn't change this essential fact. That some don't put up a fight not unlike the mugging victim who takes the most practical option offered when the mugger says "your money or your life" also does not change this essential fact.

In the end, there's little to recommend any other diagnosis than that offered by Rothbard when he said "the state was a criminal gang writ large."

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #38 of 56
Thread Starter 
I think Lysander Spooner makes the case of taxation as theft quite well:

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, says 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 travelers, 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.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

You keep saying that as if it is true.

I don't recall saying it before, but if I did, it's because it is true. It obviously depends on how you measure it, and it's not always easy to compare directly, but according to the Tax Foundation's own stats, (reprinted here on Wikipedia), the US has the lowest tax burden aside from India, a poor country.
post #40 of 56
I added more after you posted I guess...but it isn't just India:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

First, it is not "the lowest in the developed world." There are at least four countries that are much lower: New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, Chile. I'll take those any day. I'd move there right now if I could. More importantly, there are other measures that probably better reflect the tax burden which include per capita tax burden: "The United States is indeed a low-tax country as judged by taxes as a percentage of GDP, but as judged by taxes per person, the United States is in the middle of the pack." This measure actually takes into account this next point because tax revenue only counts taxes paid now, but GDP factors in government spending (including deficits) which must all ultimately be paid by taxes (or printing money).

Each of those countries is comparable to the US in terms of development and livability. There are probably others that are pretty close though perhaps not officially "developed" countries.

But level of the US's tax burden relative to other countries simply a red herring anyway.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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