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[RD] Taxes are actually not theft

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by El_Machinae, Mar 19, 2017.

?

The RD designation held me back from being

This poll will close on Oct 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM.
  1. funny

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  2. a jerk

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    30.8%
  1. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Voters are shareholders in the nation's wealth and its growth and security. They own the country. And, like all shareholders, they need to decide whether to pursue short-term or long-term profits. They need to know when to trim expenses to maintain marketshare or when to shuttle dividends into new profitable projects.

    People on the Right don't really mind when the offspring of a successful person is then able to live off the largess. If my parents leave $6 million to me in the will, and I just live a sustainable life without working off of the dividends the Right doesn't really mind. Because I inherited that wealth.

    We inherited the country. And we distribute the dividends as we deem fit. We provide a service to every single worker in our country. We provide an infrastructure. We provide a customer and employee base. We even provide a protection service on all legal contracts.

    That last one is huge. Imagine trying to engage in an economy where you actually have no legal protections over a contract. You engage in a trade, and the trade partner may or may not renege according to whim and his own game theory calculations. The opportunities to trade would be abysmal. You'd need to actively hire muscle to protect your transactions. Others will hire muscle to violate them.

    Now, this world is available to anyone who wants it. Hire muscle. Use violence to enforce your will. Just don't complain if others, too, hire muscle.

    Taxes are simply an upfront service fee for this amazing service. Customers. Infrastructure. Legal protections of contracts.

    And these taxes are owned by the shareholders. They can be spent well. They can be spent poorly. But they're not immoral.

    I can permanently retire if I have Bank of America shares and they can collect sufficient dividends from the fees they charge for the services they provide. I don't get to decide how much dividend I get - that's a function of the shareholders as an entity. But the BoA provides a service, and we reinvest a portion of the profits (as we can) and we distribute dividends to the owners.
     
  2. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Have you ever read the comment section at CBC.ca? It's full of right-wingers who sneer at Justin Trudeau because he inherited money from Pierre Trudeau. The stock phrase used is "trust fund kid who never worked a day in his life"... and how they square that with "part-time drama teacher" is something only a right-winger could figure out. It appears to me that the Reformacons don't consider teaching to be a real job, and of course they choose to forget that Trudeau taught other subjects as well.
     
  3. AppleDumplingHead

    AppleDumplingHead Chieftain

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    I have zero problems with taxes but all the crackheads, lunatics and reprobates in this country don't equal any shareholders with whom I've ever transacted. This is why pure democracy doesn't work, because there are "these liberties to which we're entitled" and then there's coarse entitlement without responsibility.

    I feel the original post is false equivalency after false equivalency. People have the rights to think, believe, say what they feel, but all this bit about we're all in this equal standing for what's best is nonsense. All manner of hypocrites have all kinds of ideas how money is best spent, and it's just too damn easy to pass those judgements when you're not the one footing the bill.
     
  4. VicRatlhead5199

    VicRatlhead5199 Chieftain

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    Wow Canada is so much different from the US. Here he would be revered by the Right purely by virtue of his trust fund. Look at the affluenza case they elected...
     
  5. Broken_Erika

    Broken_Erika Neurotic Panda

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    It's the people who want new roads, better schools, bigger military and no taxes of any kind what-so-ever.
     
  6. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    This doesn't matter, because it's complaining about something despite it existing.

    The citizens are the shareholders of the country and the services that it provides. You may think a 'reprobate' isn't a shareholder, but that doesn't change whether it's true. What actually matters is whether they are or are not.
     
  7. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    I guess it's partly the "socialite" thing that's more prevalent in the U.S. than in Canada (rich people who are famous for being rich and famous and a fair number of them inherited their wealth). Our Prime Minister has a trust fund, yes, and part ownership of a house. But he's worked jobs ranging from bar bouncer, snow board instructor, teacher, public speaker, Member of Parliament, and now he's Prime Minister. I would imagine that somewhere along the line his father probably told him that he would have to work instead of taking the lazy way out (although it's reasonable to assume he had some help to pay his university tuitions).
     
  8. AppleDumplingHead

    AppleDumplingHead Chieftain

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    Seriously. False equivalency. A citizen of a free country is not a shareholder of anything. You need a better illustration. A shareholder invests his own personal property (money) into something, a citizen invests nothing, does not have the same vested interest in the success of the project or commodity. No more reaching, just find a better comparison.

    To wit, if citizens are shareholders, then Trump and his 35 million paid in taxes in 2005 has more vested interest and thus more vote individually than you and I and a couple hundred other people we know over our entire lives. Very few people want it that way, sure some think it would be cool, but that's expressly against our nation's founding principle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  9. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    A shareholder doesn't need to invest their own capital. They can inherit it.

    Taxpayers aren't shareholders. They're customers of the services the country provides.

    As well, there's no 'law' saying a shareholder's due is proportionate to their contribution to a company. A Walton scion that goes on to live a life of hedonism can inherit the same proportion as the scion who works for Walmart.

    Countries apportion ownership on a per-citizen basis.
     
  10. AppleDumplingHead

    AppleDumplingHead Chieftain

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    Someone, somewhere along the line, worked for that to be able to hand it down. I'm doing that for my progeny, you should, too. When you do, I hope someone doesn't try to categorize you like you've done something wrong, because you haven't. You've actually worked to achieve the capitalistic American dream. Or do we just want to stuff that in a broom closet?

    Then what are people who don't pay taxes? Non-customers? Do we show them the door? No!

    More prejudice against people who actually try to give their family a little better standing in life.

    Tell that to people in the 3rd world, or aren't those countries, too.
     
  11. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    Can I give up my citizenship and lose those rights (without having citizenship of any other country)?
     
  12. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Sure. GTFO.
     
  13. Lexicus

    Lexicus Chieftain

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    To argue that taxation is theft one must lack a basic understanding of the historical development of monetary systems, which are propped up by the fact that the state can effectively coerce the population into paying taxes.

    In any case what people usually mean when they say taxation is theft is that they don't want relative income transfers to people they feel are undeserving.
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    This relies on a certain reading of "we", though, which identifies the populace of a country directly with the state. Libertarians would probably counter that the state sits above and apart from the populace, and while it may be to some degree accountable to them, it does not represent them in any literal way, so cannot claim to derive from them any rights of property that were not willingly ceded by them. If that consent has to be granted individually, as libertarians would argue, taxes are theft unless framed as clear and voluntary exchanges. It's just a different conception of how civil society works and how it relates to the state.

    Of course, there aren't actually many on the right who are committed to this different understanding, and will appeal to precisely this model when the thing that needs funding is aircraft carriers or presidential golfing holidays. But it's remembering that at least some of those contending that taxes are theft are working from different assumptions, so won't be easily swayed by what may seem to them a simple reaffirmation of your own assumptions, and that, consequently, those who hold no coherent assumptions of their own will feel justified in similarly rejecting your argument, until such point as it becomes useful for them to temporarily pretend to believe it.

    "Non-citizen" doesn't imply "non-resident". Trump hasn't been in power that long. What Mouthwash is asking is, could a person accept a sort of voluntary second-class status in return for a reduced tax burden?
     
    Glassfan likes this.
  15. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Should a shareholder that paid $100 per share have a greater say than a shareholder that paid $1 per share?
     
    Mise likes this.
  16. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Resident non-citizens pay taxes, and get certain benefits from doing so. To not pay taxes, then it would become necessary to find a way of preventing them from using the benefits. How do you deny a person the right to use any public road? How do you deny them the legal environment to own property which is reasonably secure? I could spend all day with the examples. But the core principle is that just by being here they are consuming the benefits of government. And there's no real way to exclude them from doing so.

    Except exile.

    But, for example, what if they just wanted to opt out of certain programs, maybe simply defined ones like Social Security and Medicare? Is this a doable thing? And the answer is that it is not. This falls under the heading of a public goods problem and a free rider problem. People think they can get themselves a free ride. So they don't pay. But in not paying, the system doesn't work at all. And so not only do they not get it, but no one else gets it either. And so the whole point of democratically created programs collapses.

    It becomes an all or nothing because there isn't a means to have it at all unless it has full participation. And the only way to have full participation is to make it mandatory.
     
  17. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    So do they not have hypothetical questions in the Colonies or what.
     
    Mise likes this.
  18. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy Drinking with Obama

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    If one doesn't want to pay into social security and medicare, then become Amish. They don't pay for those programs because they don't use them.

    Though I don't know what happens if one is Amish until 65 then has a 'change of faith' and wants to start collecting.....
     
  19. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Gave that up when we gave up being colonies.
     
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  20. metatron

    metatron deplorable ally

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    Actually Mouthwash has a fair point here. The US are exceptional in how hard it is to get out of US citizenship and US tax obligations (as a natural person, mind you).
    This is of frequent entertainment value to Europeans, you know, stories about expats who go through comical absurdities to reneg their US citizenship, involving lenths unheard of in most other highly developed countries.

    So the possibility is a bit of a fake choice. Yes, it's technically possible, but it's so unusually hard and "unfair" and oftentimes economically not worth it when it arguably should be, that it's not really a valid alternative in the way that it's supposed to be in the abstract (or in regard to the citizenship of other countries).
     

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