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Forgive Student Debt, Fight the Recession
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

recessiontime wrote:
Fox wrote:
Unposter wrote:

1. As I said before, I don't understand the logic of how taxes can be theft or forced at the muzzle of a gun unless you are an anarchist. Even if you want limited government, government requires money to support it. By being a member of a society (not an anarchist), you agree to financially support your government.


It's something extremist libertarians often say, but what they forget is that the private property rights they so love are also enforced by the government using the exact same coercive mechanism. Funny that you so rarely see libertarians talking about how private property is wrong due to its intrinsically coercive nature. If anything, private property is a more extreme example of coercion; each act of taxation requires coercing only one person, while each act of private ownership involves coercing the entirety of society.


There is a distinction. Taxation is a coercive mechanism where the government initiating force first. Whereas with private property rights, the person who owns property is not the one initiating force first.


Totally incoherent. The government uses the threat of force to collect taxes. The property owner uses the threat of force (governmental force, even) to keep others from his claimed object. Neither uses force until their will is violated, and both use force after it has been violated. Make up whatever excuses you want, but that is precisely what you are doing: making things up, not reasoning towards truth.

recessiontime wrote:
Let's assume that a government is necessary for civil and functioning society.


No, let's not. I have some affection in my heart for anarchy, so explain to me why I should prefer your "government as a security service for the rich" model to it. Explain why I should approve of men starving in the streets while your government thugs use the threat of force to keep them away from the excess, unearned property of the wealthy.

recessiontime wrote:
Things like socialized medicine, welfare, social security drive taxes higher and are not sustainable in the long run.


They are entirely sustainable with proper policy.

recessiontime wrote:

Is it extremist to want to eliminate these programs?


Yes.

recessiontime wrote:
Is it not more extreme to want a bigger government that taxes the citizens higher?


No, it is humane.

recessiontime wrote:
To what end?


You wouldn't understand.
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comm



Joined: 22 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
recessiontime wrote:
There is a distinction. Taxation is a coercive mechanism where the government initiating force first. Whereas with private property rights, the person who owns property is not the one initiating force first.

Totally incoherent. The government uses the threat of force to collect taxes. The property owner uses the threat of force (governmental force, even) to keep others from his claimed object. Neither uses force until their will is violated, and both use force after it has been violated. Make up whatever excuses you want, but that is precisely what you are doing: making things up, not reasoning towards truth.

So your position is that using force to take from someone else is morally equivalent to using force to protect what you've gained through voluntary action? By this logic, defending your home from a burglar is no better than being a burglar yourself. Shouldn't it be pretty clear that using violence (or threat thereof) to take property or coerce into action is different than the responsive use of violence to seek justice? Or are you going to continue arguing against the most basic principle of criminal justice?
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

comm wrote:
So your position is that using force to take from someone else is morally equivalent to using force to protect what you've gained through voluntary action?

Yes, the distinction is quite clear and obvious. The only way this point can be muddled is through sophistry of the most absurd proportions.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

comm wrote:
Fox wrote:
recessiontime wrote:
There is a distinction. Taxation is a coercive mechanism where the government initiating force first. Whereas with private property rights, the person who owns property is not the one initiating force first.

Totally incoherent. The government uses the threat of force to collect taxes. The property owner uses the threat of force (governmental force, even) to keep others from his claimed object. Neither uses force until their will is violated, and both use force after it has been violated. Make up whatever excuses you want, but that is precisely what you are doing: making things up, not reasoning towards truth.


So your position is that using force to take from someone else is morally equivalent to using force to protect what you've gained through voluntary action?


No, I'm saying the entire concept of property is reliant upon coercion, not "voluntary action." You're thinking too small. Sure, when you buy a plot of land from your friend, you and he are both voluntary actors, but the only reason he "owned" that land in the first place is:

1) The government decreed that he did (without the consent of the rest of us, mind you).

2) Said government was willing to use coercive force to back up its decree against anyone who doesn't accept it.

None of us ever consented to other people owning more or less everything in the world at the time of our birth, comm. It was decreed, and moreover, decreed by coercive governmental fiat. If one of us chooses to not acknowledge that decree, force will be employed against us.

comm wrote:
Shouldn't it be pretty clear that using violence (or threat thereof) to take property or coerce into action is different than the responsive use of violence to seek justice?


Using coercive force to defend private property can only be framed as justice if the initial coercive declaration of ownership is valid, and the initial coercive declaration was an act of seizure, not an act of response. Every declaration that "Farmer Comm owns this now!" is an act of coercion against all of the rest of us, one to which I for one never consented. You don't get to pretend that private property is some simple brute fact of the world: everything that is owned was, at some point, claimed by force, without the consent of all parties affected.

comm wrote:
Or are you going to continue arguing against the most basic principle of criminal justice?


I'm not the one saying coercive force is wrong, comm. It's the people who are saying taxes are wrong because they're collected via coercive force which you need to be taking issue with, because the condemnation of coercive private property is entailed by their position, not mine. My position is that taxation (and likewise, coercive declaration of private property) is a legitimate exercise of governmental authority, and in this thread, I am merely drawing out the logical, self-contradictory conclusion in extremist libertarian thought. Understand?

Seriously, now, I'm willing to play the, "Let's cast aside our preconceived notions and question whether the coercive mechanism behind taxation is ethically acceptable!" game, but only if we broaden the field and expand it to all coercive mechanisms. From where I stand, either governmental coercion in the common interest is acceptable or it isn't. If it is, private property and taxation are both in. If it isn't, both are out. If you want to boot taxation while keeping private property, you're going to have to pick another basis for your argument than coercion.


Last edited by Fox on Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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recessiontime



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Location: Got avatar privileges nyahahaha

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys I typed in "private property is coercive" and I found an interesting read.

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/28357.aspx

Quote:
Coercion is morally neutral. It's context that allows you to determine wrong or right in an instance of coercion. Of course someone using force to defend their own property means using coercion, but the question is whether it is an immoral initiation of coercion or whether it's a moral responsive coercion.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

recessiontime wrote:
Hey guys I typed in "private property is coercive" and I found an interesting read.

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/28357.aspx


Quote:
The rapist is imposing. The tax collector is imposing.


The initial private-property claimant is imposing.

Quote:
I think Hoppe's defense makes a lot of sense when he says that private property is never initiatory since you can only gain it through improving unowned material or trade.


Totally false. The initial seizure of private property is always initiatory. Hypothetical lack of a previous owner is irrelevant, since lack of ownership does not mean lack of potentially affected parties, and any improvements you implement after ownership are totally irrelevant to the initial claim.
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Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
any improvements you implement after ownership are totally irrelevant to the initial claim


But that's all private property really represents. Improvement.

Your beef should be with capital. If you take on private property in its entirety, you're also mounting an attack on labor.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kuros wrote:
Fox wrote:
any improvements you implement after ownership are totally irrelevant to the initial claim


But that's all private property really represents. Improvement.


Perhaps that's all it should represent, but it's clearly not all it does represent in the current system, nor in any private property regime which has ever existed.

Kuros wrote:
If you take on private property in its entirety, you're also mounting an attack on labor.


True, but it's not me that's mounting the attack, it's those who chose to make coercion the focus of their own attack on taxation (at least if they want to be consistent, which in reality they don't, but they're going to have to admit it if they want to stick to their, "Taxation is wrong because it's coercive!" position).
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Unposter



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox,

Thank you for an interesting lesson. That is a very interesting line of thought. I am kind of curious if that is your original line of thought or have you borrowed or improved upon something you read. I would be intereted in reading more.

Again, sincerely, thanks, that was very educational to me.
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Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Fox,

Thank you for an interesting lesson. That is a very interesting line of thought. I am kind of curious if that is your original line of thought or have you borrowed or improved upon something you read. I would be intereted in reading more.

Again, sincerely, thanks, that was very educational to me.


Hmm. It is original in the sense that I have not personally seen that argument made before, but surely in the endless ranks of academics desperate to say something clever and earn their bread such a clear and obvious point has been raised before in some book or another, yes? Search around.
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:
Privateer wrote:


The free market currently operates most freely in Third World countries which have no choice but to let corporations run rampant. The results are dismal.


Laughing

Uh, are you sure about this?? Africa is notorious for red tape and corruption. Ditto with India, China, and a big chunk of South America. Just look at the World Bank's ease of doing business report and stats. Dominated by city states like Hong Kong, Singapore, and "socialist" countries like Denmark. Maybe you're referring to Somalia? That doesn't even have a government really, so not much of an example.

I'll counter with Kenya. It has arguably the most innovative mobile banking system in the world. Mobile phones are ubiquitous and rates are cheap compared to the developed world. Why are they so popular and widely used? Because land lines were impossible to get and if you DID manage to get a line, service was ridiculously expensive. Mobile phone service though? Not provided by the government and much less regulated.


What I meant was international corporations operate with the freest hand in Third World countries, partly due to the corruption you mention and also because they bring pressure on these countries, through the IMF and World Bank, to drop protectionist measures and ignore workers' rights. In Africa, for instance, they drill for oil where they like, spill huge quantities and take no responsibility for cleaning up the mess or for the resulting health problems among the population. This is really what talk about free trade in the international arena comes down to.
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Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

visitorq: if the consent of the governed can be assumed when it comes to taxes for the military and the judicial system, then why, in a democracy, can't consent be assumed for other services which are in the common interest such as education?

Or should the military rely on voluntary contributions or holding bake sales to raise funds?
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
bucheon bum wrote:
Privateer wrote:


The free market currently operates most freely in Third World countries which have no choice but to let corporations run rampant. The results are dismal.


Laughing

Uh, are you sure about this?? Africa is notorious for red tape and corruption. Ditto with India, China, and a big chunk of South America. Just look at the World Bank's ease of doing business report and stats. Dominated by city states like Hong Kong, Singapore, and "socialist" countries like Denmark. Maybe you're referring to Somalia? That doesn't even have a government really, so not much of an example.

I'll counter with Kenya. It has arguably the most innovative mobile banking system in the world. Mobile phones are ubiquitous and rates are cheap compared to the developed world. Why are they so popular and widely used? Because land lines were impossible to get and if you DID manage to get a line, service was ridiculously expensive. Mobile phone service though? Not provided by the government and much less regulated.


What I meant was international corporations operate with the freest hand in Third World countries, partly due to the corruption you mention and also because they bring pressure on these countries, through the IMF and World Bank, to drop protectionist measures and ignore workers' rights. In Africa, for instance, they drill for oil where they like, spill huge quantities and take no responsibility for cleaning up the mess or for the resulting health problems among the population. This is really what talk about free trade in the international arena comes down to.


I still think you're oversimplyfing things. For instance, in places such as Nigeria and Equitorial Guiena, you're certainly right about the total destruction and ruin of those countries due to "energy" companies such as Shell, Chevron, BP, et al. That being said, they are different from thsoe countries needing assistance from the IMF and World Bank. Generally those petro states have high barriers on everything else and don't need to "reform" because of their oil revenues. Because they don't have that incentive to change, the current system remains in place, the gap between rich and poor grows, and things don't really improve (I am generalizing of course, and things aren't as bad in Nigeria overall than before, but you get the idea).

All of that is seperate from countries without energy that continuely have to go to those global institutions. While perhaps it is true that labor protections and whatnot should receive more attention, it is also true that there is some validity in the WB and IMF suggestions and requests for economic policy changes. I also don't think that global, international companies are really rushing in and making a mess of things. Those types of companies are generally pretty conservative. Now if you mean natural resource companies (such as mining and the like), then yes, that definitely is an issue, especially in regards to the flood of Chinese companies in the past decade. I don't know how connected they are to the IMF and World Bank though; I'd say that is more stemming from poor governance and leadership in African countries than anything else.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
Fox,

Thank you for an interesting lesson. That is a very interesting line of thought. I am kind of curious if that is your original line of thought or have you borrowed or improved upon something you read. I would be intereted in reading more.

Again, sincerely, thanks, that was very educational to me.

If you follow this "original" line of thought, then there is basically no way for anyone to own any property without being at fault. It means you work hard and save up to buy a new car or something, and you're actually "coercing" anyone else who wants to help themselves to your car. Of course it is all sophistry and nonsense, but if you want to believe it that's up to you...

The obvious rebuttal is that the "initial" claim on property becomes increasing irrelevant over time in a system free of aggression. Even if the world were originally unjustly ruled by robber barons who had acquired all their property through brute force, in a free market system they would eventually have no choice but to trade their property to others. Over time the property would be dispersed to more and more people, until anyone able to fulfill the needs of others would have a piece. Not to mention the pie is always expanding (it's not zero sum). Obviously this is less favorable in the case of, say, natives having their land stolen at gunpoint by a vicious government (the kind which you and others love to defend so much), but over time in a free market system they would at least have a chance to get some of their property back (unlike in a socialist system where they would get nothing or be herded onto a reserve). The world is not perfect, but the further you move towards a free market system the better we are all able to earn our own property and expand the size of the pie. Market forces always reach an equilibrium, due to supply and demand, but the only way for monopoly and oligopoly to be maintained is through taxation and government regulation.
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visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
visitorq: if the consent of the governed can be assumed when it comes to taxes for the military and the judicial system, then why, in a democracy, can't consent be assumed for other services which are in the common interest such as education?

Or should the military rely on voluntary contributions or holding bake sales to raise funds?

Consent cannot be assumed. If it could then it would be voluntary and would not require collection at gunpoint.

Also, I find the notion of a "common" interest to be pretty absurd. We have individual interests, not common ones. It may be the fact that many peoples' individual interests overlap, but the distinction remains. It may come off as mere semantics, but I think it's key, since once you accept the fictional notion of "the collective" you surrender yourself to a higher authority, whose interests will invariably be placed above your own.
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