אקֿמך ארש-הגִנו wrote:
Typical libertarian puppet using typical libertarian melodramatic bullshit.
NB: I'm left-wing.
However, unlike you I'm able to empathise with and intellectually comprehend beliefs that I do not agree with.
The other important thing to bear in mind here is that the whole of your post is irrelevent. Your post is attacking the libertarian position; but I was not defending it. I was criticising your argument against it, which was begging the question. Responding to 'but that's assuming your premise!' with 'not if we assume my premise! Let's assume my premise...' - you're still begging the question.
Hence, you sound like, to put it gently, a nutter
, who is unable to have a coherent conceptual discussion. And this has nothing to do with the validity of the libertarian position, but only your own inability to deduce validly.
No, compulsory taxation is not "taking from you and giving to someone else" because you seem to forget the all-important concept of public goods which are goods that are non-exclusive and of non-rivalrous consumption.
I am aware of the concept of public goods; but just waving a word around doesn't prove your case.
Public goods for which if they were private, they would be impractical, such as national defense, roads, and streetlamps.
For the record, roads are not a public good. They are definitely excludable - your driving licence may be revoked, and some places may require you to pay for your usage; they are also arguably rivalrous (your use of the roads adds to the traffic, which decreases my ability to use the roads). National defence is normally considered a public good, but this is questionable, as in practice defence is rivalrous (defending my city means reducing defence for yours). Nuclear defence, however, probably is a public good.
Taxes is a form of the public paying for something to be made through the government and means that no-one can be excluded from that made good, such as public parks.
This is not true, for two very important reasons.
First, taxes are mostly not a form of the public paying for something to be made through the government. This would apply to infrastructure projects, but ignores wealth transfers (pensions, benefits, subsidies, etc), and the cost of regulatory regimes, including of course the legal system.
Second, taxes do not mean that no-one can be excluded from that good. Almost all government-supplied goods have usage restrictions on them. People may be excluded from public parks either en masse (park closures) or individually (personal bans).
In addition to both parts of your claim being false, there are two further issues here:
First, you have simply stated this to be true without any support of it. Of course, it's hard to support something that's obviously false, but you could at least try!
Second, none of this has anything to do with public goods. Since hardly any taxes actually go toward public goods.
You live in this country and use its resources and programs that help you thrive, and paying taxes is your contribution for that use. You are paying rent to the land-owner.
I do not live in your country, as it happens. However, there are a couple of more general issues with this:
- in most civilised countries, landlords cannot arbitrarily raise their rents for existing tenants without the consent of the tenants
- in most civilised countries, landlords cannot imprison tenants for non-payment of rents
- landlords have the right to charge rent because, and to the extent that, the tenant has no right to residence. Landlords, who have the right to extend that right to the tenant, have the right to charge for that... but citizens have a right to reside in their country, and hence the government has no right to demand payment for that. You can't demand payment from somebody to allow them to do something that they have a right to do already! [Most civilised countries, of course, do think that tenants have SOME rights to reside, and hence they have limits on the ability of landlords to impose arbitrary rents. The government, however, does not resect any such limits]
- it is true that in the UK the Queen does indeed own (almost) all the land, and everybody else is her tenant. This is not true, however, in most countries. It is not true in the USA - if you own land, you own it, you're not renting it from the government as a land-owner. Hence the government has no legal right to charge rent.
- even if the law did say that the government owned everything, this law would be unjust - the government do not have a right to automatically own everything
- if the government's right to levy taxes originated in the relationship of a landlord to a renter, taxes would be proportional to use, not to wealth. My landlord doesn't look in my bank-account and charge me as much as he thinks he can get away with; he charges everybody equally. To do otherwise would, indeed, be illegal. Conversely, if he is charging me for using something because it is a finite resource, the charge should be proportional to my usage, not imposed as a flat rate. Most taxes are discriminatory regarding wealth and non-discriminatory regarding usage of government services... exactly the opposite of a rent.
- a rent is a market transaction - it is characterised by free will. I can, at least in theory, refuse to buy your product. If you can compel me to buy your product at the price you demand, that is no longer a free and fair market transaction!
The analogy of a landlord is inappropriate.
And, by the way, you're still not talking about public goods here. Were you just waving those words around symbolically?
Donations are nice, but they don't get roads repaired, your country defended, or bridges built.
You're just saying there "I want these things. Therefore you must pay me so I can buy them for myself. It doesn't matter whether you want them or not." That's not a very just argument!
Yes, there is selfishness in this dispute, because it is not "I don't want my money taken from me and given to someone else", but that of "I don't want to pay my rent" or "I don't want to pay my membership fee fr using the gym".
First, no, it isn't. Those are analogies, not reality. They are also incredibly badly flawed analogies. And yeah, as a matter of fact i DON'T want to have to pay the exorbitant membership fee for a gym that I don't use!
But also: still got nothing to do with selfishness. I might, for instance, be refusing to pay my membership fee out of religious conviction, or because I have already given all my money away to charity.
You can stop renting the house or stop using the gym, however, I think the emphasis here is that you cannot refuse to pay for services you already used, just like you cannot refuse to pay for your rent!
Sure I can. When the local thug comes round and tells me that by the way he owns my house and I need to pay him rent or else he'll break my thumbs, sure i can refuse to pay him.
Advice: rather than picking someone else and believing whatever they tell you to believe, I suggest you try to work out some principles and ideas for yourself. Perhaps you might try reasoned argument as a way to arrive at them?
I don't care why so-and-so thinks taxation isn't theft. I've got a degree in politics, philosophy and economics, I've read a lot
of people telling me why taxation is or is not theft. The point is that your
reasons for thinking this, as expressed so far, have been shit.
This is why you can't (and don't want to) engage in debate with communists, or indeed in my experience with anyone who disagrees with you on any issue. What you don't understand is that being sane, intelligent or reasonable are all properties of how
you think things, not just who
you follow. You assume that just because someone thinks The Wrong Thing, they're inferior to you, and that because you think what you have been taught is The Right Thing to think you are superior to them. But it doesn't work like that. Your views will only become reasonable and sane when you think about them in coherent ways
, rather than just shouting ill-thought-out slogans. At that point, you'll become an adult, rather than an intellectually-dependent child.