Taxation is theft - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-14-2008, 07:51 PM   #1
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Taxation is theft

Broadly speaking, I agree with the above statement.

Can anyone provide arguments to the contrary?
__________________

__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 08:05 PM   #2
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Considering that most of us here take part in representative democracies with verifiably free and fair elections, taxation is not theft, because, as our elected representatives, we have given them the authority to tax us to fund the government's--and, by extension, our--institutional interests.

An Athenian-style direct democracy, where all legislation was voted on by directly by the public, is flat-out infeasible, not only because of the kind of people who would likely turn out to show up (special interest groups with a set personality type), but also because we have a hard enough time getting people to show up to vote in a representative democracy.

If you don't like how you're taxed, exercise your proverbial muscle and vote your elected officials out of office.
__________________

__________________
melon is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 12:29 AM   #3
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,648
Local Time: 01:14 PM
How do all you no tax people propose the government is ran, highways are funded, military built, etc...
__________________
BVS is online now  
Old 08-15-2008, 12:35 AM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,272
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Disagree.

I would sooner see tax is just another form of a contract than theft. The taxpayer surrenders money and as consideration gets the provision of services.
__________________
anitram is online now  
Old 08-15-2008, 01:32 AM   #5
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Zoomerang96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: canada
Posts: 13,459
Local Time: 01:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Broadly speaking, I agree with the above statement.

Can anyone provide arguments to the contrary?
i'm more intrested in your arguement.
__________________
Zoomerang96 is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 04:53 AM   #6
I serve MacPhisto
 
unforgettableFOXfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,053
Local Time: 02:14 PM
I would agree that taxation is theft if you operate under the assumption that there's no such thing as public welfare (read: not 'the dole' but rather well-being or greater good) and that utilities (namely public goods necessary to equitable social function) like water, electricity, gas, and services (equally necessary public goods for equitable social function) like police, courts, fire, and ambulance/health need not be moderated in any way. I don't agree with that, of course. I would if I could, though.

Invariably someone insists that the free market is more efficient, and to them I suggest that the open market is only theoretically more efficient and that while it ought to be more efficient that it doesn't necessarily mean that it always will be more efficient. Case in point, communications networks like tv cable and telephone wires, rail networks, road networks, etc. Who can afford to pay to install that kind of infrastructure in the first place, let alone have competing groups installing multiple networks and bartering with the public over costs? That'd be ridiculous. If monopolies can be more efficient than free-market, then why can't taxation also be a mechanism of efficiency?

Corporatism ruling exclusively over those things which people need to live does not result in a healthy, happy, productive society. All in all, I disagree whole-heartedly with the premise that taxation is theft. I'd even say that taxation is necessary. The notion that people are responsible enough to operate in a truly free market is equally implausible with the notion that people are responsible enough to operate in a truly communist society; people will always exploit, seek short-term gains that cheat long-term sustainability, and revert to a might-makes-right lifestyle when it is profitable to them because at the end of the day there's little to make immediately apparent the fact that the benefit of all will provide the most benefit to the self and not vice-versa. We've come this far and most people still don't get it, I don't put much faith in any institution that promises to make utopias where none have existed or ever likely will.

Government and taxation is an excellent check-and-balance to unbridled exploitation. In the absence of government and the things that government provide, corporations are little more than clans/factions out for their own benefit, and there's very little that's democratic about the way they're run. Going that direction would roll-back nearly all the gains re: quality of life that a democracy provides.
__________________
unforgettableFOXfire is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 08:05 AM   #7
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomerang96 View Post
i'm more intrested in your arguement.
I'd actually love to read this too.
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 10:50 AM   #8
Refugee
 
A stor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: U.S.A. East Coast
Posts: 2,464
Local Time: 07:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
How do all you no tax people propose the government is ran, highways are funded, military built, etc...
Plus, the foreign aid that Bono speaks of in Africa.
__________________
A stor is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 03:05 PM   #9
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram View Post
Disagree.

I would sooner see tax is just another form of a contract than theft. The taxpayer surrenders money and as consideration gets the provision of services.
But no other contract has the co-ercive power of the state to back up one side of it.

If a car dealer sells me a dud car, and negotiations to get a refund do not succeed, I can pursue them in the law courts where I MAY be successful, but if I am not it is pretty much tough titties.

Taxation is essentially an unequal contract as regards the small amount of power of the private citizen vis-a-vis the overwhelming power of the state.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 03:07 PM   #10
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by melon View Post
Considering that most of us here take part in representative democracies with verifiably free and fair elections, taxation is not theft, because, as our elected representatives, we have given them the authority to tax us to fund the government's--and, by extension, our--institutional interests.
Ho hum. This ignores the practical reality that the nature of bureacracy is to expand itself. When has a government ever voted for less power for itself? When have parliamentarians ever voted for a reduction in their salaries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by melon View Post
An Athenian-style direct democracy, where all legislation was voted on by directly by the public, is flat-out infeasible, not only because of the kind of people who would likely turn out to show up (special interest groups with a set personality type), but also because we have a hard enough time getting people to show up to vote in a representative democracy..
The Swiss seem to come close.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 03:17 PM   #11
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,272
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Taxation is essentially an unequal contract as regards the small amount of power of the private citizen vis-a-vis the overwhelming power of the state.
I think you are right in the sense that it's hard to argue that for every taxpayer, there is a meeting of the minds between him/her and the government.

But do you really believe that other contracts are equal? If I am applying for a mortgage, what is my bargaining power up against an entity like HSBC or Bank of America? In pretty much every instance where an individual customer is at the mercy of a large corporation, you will have unequal bargaining power. Do we consider that to be theft? Is it lesser theft?
__________________
anitram is online now  
Old 08-15-2008, 03:33 PM   #12
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Zoots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: the great beyond
Posts: 36,802
Local Time: 09:14 PM
Yeah what about fucking APR's on an auto loan for example? I'd call that theft before I think about taxes. Although, I've often thought about this too... if our tax dollars are being put to good use or not???
__________________
Zoots is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 07:56 PM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Kieran McConville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Auto Dafoe
Posts: 9,600
Local Time: 05:14 AM
I'd suggest that taxation of some kind underwrites the modern state, which in turn is the basis for modern civilisation, that is to say, large-scale civilisation. We can always go back to locally based self-sufficient communities that barely interact with each other... but even then, I suspect you'd be expected to contribute a tithe to the chieftan.

I know you're a conservative Financeguy, but I can't help thinking this thread is a little tongue in cheek.
__________________
Kieran McConville is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 08:22 PM   #14
I serve MacPhisto
 
unforgettableFOXfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,053
Local Time: 02:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran McConville View Post
I know you're a conservative Financeguy, but I can't help thinking this thread is a little tongue in cheek.
I assumed the same, but that didn't stop me from replying anyway
__________________
unforgettableFOXfire is offline  
Old 08-15-2008, 08:31 PM   #15
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 08:14 PM
Well, I think it is interesting as a kind of thought experiment to take a 'zero-based budgeting' approach to the public sector, but, granted, I am not really a died-in-the-wool 'privatize everything' minarchist.

I am a keen advocate of investing in rail transport, for example. Now it is probably impossible to build rail transport links without state funding, and those recent attempts to privatize the railways that have been tried, for example under Thatcher in the UK, don't seem to have worked out particularly well (although they were not the disaster the left painted them as either).

Now that I think of it however, interestingly enough most of the early railways in Britain and Ireland were largely built and financed by private companies. And seemingly in Ireland at least the railway network was MORE EXTENSIVE back then in the early twentieth century than it is today under a 100% state owned and financed railway system.
__________________

__________________
financeguy is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com