Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Korean Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Forgive Student Debt, Fight the Recession
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 17, 18, 19  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Current Events Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucheon bum wrote:
I still think you're oversimplyfing things.


I think things are simple.

bucheon bum wrote:
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.


Power is pragmatic. One way or the other, they'll get their way and get those profits flowing. Which method they employ is not important.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
comm



Joined: 22 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
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.
I think I see where you're going with this, but it's a pretty extreme position to have to defend.
By this logic, no one can be justified in owning anything, since it once came from land that was acquired by force (not even one's own body). Of course, these land and resource assets are generally both acquired and distributed by governments to begin with. So doesn't that put us back where we started? Yes, Alaska was obtained and held by force... and (after purchase by the U.S.) was voluntarily distributed to citizens and organizations. When the U.S. government sold/leased that land, there was no clause stating that improvements or products of the land would be communal property... so why would the government be justified in using force against its own citizens to secure property (or products thereof) that the government has already been paid for?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visitorq wrote:
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.


You seem blind to the points I'm trying to make.

If consent cannot be assumed, then they have no right to tax us to support the military or judicial system. Therefore there is no guarantee that these things will be supported, therefore we must expect to provide for our own individual defence, and expect no recourse to the law.

If there is no such thing as common interest, then lack of even a military or a judiciary will not bother you since without a common interest (in security and law) there is no reason to have such institutions. In cloud cuckoo land, this would no doubt be true.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
visitorq wrote:
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.


You seem blind to the points I'm trying to make.

If consent cannot be assumed, then they have no right to tax us to support the military or judicial system. Therefore there is no guarantee that these things will be supported, therefore we must expect to provide for our own individual defence, and expect no recourse to the law.

If there is no such thing as common interest, then lack of even a military or a judiciary will not bother you since without a common interest (in security and law) there is no reason to have such institutions. In cloud cuckoo land, this would no doubt be true.

I'm not blind to anything. I'm just not operating according to the assumptions you're making. You are also throwing down some pretty obvious non sequiturs there...

Doing away with taxation doesn't mean people can't still voluntarily work together. I support a limited government for the purpose of upholding the (very basic and fundamental) rule of law, but this does not entail having a massive bureaucracy. It should be very lean, and much of it done on a voluntary basis by elected members of the community who feel up to the responsibilities (and not doing it for the pay). The more decentralized and localized governments are, the better (keeping in mind that fundamental liberties/rights should apply to everyone regardless of state or community). Regarding security, I would argue that all we really need are well armed (voluntary) militias, not a giant imperial army that greatly outspends all other countries combined and has troops stationed around the world.

The whole question about just forms of taxation is an open-ended debate, but my opinion on the subject is that trillions of dollars in federal tax revenue to support a massive bureaucracy is beyond excessive, it's actually quite ludicrous. Taxation at a state or local level is also debatable. I don't have all the answers, but I generally think the less tax the better. Some taxes are also inherently more harmful than others (i.e. capital gains taxes are more favorable). Income tax is probably the worst tax I can think of, and really just feels like outright theft by the mafia-like government.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

comm wrote:
Fox wrote:
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.
I think I see where you're going with this, but it's a pretty extreme position to have to defend.


It is an extreme position. Very extreme. That's my point.

comm wrote:
By this logic, no one can be justified in owning anything, since it once came from land that was acquired by force (not even one's own body).


If people can fantasize about an effective government that relies on purely consensual taxation, I see no reason I cannot fantasize about a consent-based ownership model. Person X owns Y if all affected parties consent to his ownership, and if his ownership of Y is really in society's best interest (and that's the capitalist position: private ownership benefits society at large), surely that consent should be obtainable, right? In reality, of course, people are unreasonable and would often refuse their consent to his ownership even if it were in their best interests, but that exact same unreasonability is why voluntary taxation would also fail.

comm wrote:
When the U.S. government sold/leased that land, there was no clause stating that improvements or products of the land would be communal property... so why would the government be justified in using force against its own citizens to secure property (or products thereof) that the government has already been paid for?


Allodial titles to land -- the kind of title which would lead a person to believe they had the sort of usage rights to which you are referring -- have generally not been granted to the denizens of the United States, and that alone is sufficient justification. Our nation could grant the kind of ownership rights you are describing -- I believe President Jefferson advocated just that? -- but it for the most part has refrained, and all property owners ought to be aware of that fact.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Unposter



Joined: 04 Jun 2006

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VisitorQ,

There is reason to celebrate: we may actually agree on something -

"Some taxes are also inherently more harmful than others (i.e. capital gains taxes are more favorable). Income tax is probably the worst tax I can think of"

I totally agree. Income taxes for low and medium income earners are odious.

But, around half of all Americans don't pay any federal income taxes. I think that is a fair compromise.

Personally, I think the first X amount you need to live should not be taxed. People have to live - first. If you make more, you should contribute some. If you make a lot, then you have more to contribute.

And, personally, I am all for increasing the capital gains tax.

But, all of this is the how much do we tax and how do we use it discussion - not the lets do away with the system - discussion.

I think it is a much better discussion, don't you?

Even if you don't, I am happy to find some common ground (even if it does not last for long).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Leon



Joined: 31 May 2010

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unposter wrote:
VisitorQ,

There is reason to celebrate: we may actually agree on something -

"Some taxes are also inherently more harmful than others (i.e. capital gains taxes are more favorable). Income tax is probably the worst tax I can think of"

I totally agree. Income taxes for low and medium income earners are odious.

But, around half of all Americans don't pay any federal income taxes. I think that is a fair compromise.

Personally, I think the first X amount you need to live should not be taxed. People have to live - first. If you make more, you should contribute some. If you make a lot, then you have more to contribute.

And, personally, I am all for increasing the capital gains tax.

But, all of this is the how much do we tax and how do we use it discussion - not the lets do away with the system - discussion.

I think it is a much better discussion, don't you?

Even if you don't, I am happy to find some common ground (even if it does not last for long).


Pretty sure that he doesn't agree, don't waste time popping any bottles on this one. I would be shocked if he was for increasing any tax, regardless of the type.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
comm



Joined: 22 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
If people can fantasize about an effective government that relies on purely consensual taxation, I see no reason I cannot fantasize about a consent-based ownership model.

While I think I've gotten your point, I think you've missed mine.
If a government can be said to legitimately "own" anything, it's the land that a country actually controls. The use of this land also happens to be largely voluntary (though you do have to live somewhere, you can at least choose which land to use). Therefore, taxation of land based on its market value provides an avenue for semi-voluntary taxation without the constant use of violence to enforce new claims against citizens' property.

It would be much better than a government that behaves like Darth Vader...
"I am altering the tax code... pray I don't alter it any further"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

comm wrote:
While I think I've gotten your point, I think you've missed mine.
If a government can be said to legitimately "own" anything, it's the land that a country actually controls. The use of this land also happens to be largely voluntary (though you do have to live somewhere, you can at least choose which land to use). Therefore, taxation of land based on its market value provides an avenue for semi-voluntary taxation without the constant use of violence to enforce new claims against citizens' property.


So you're taking up Sergio's old Georgist cause? Well, that's not an entirely unreasonable position (it's not internally contradictory anyway), but land tax is still ultimately gathered in a coercive fashion (almost anyone who owns a land title would probably forego paying taxes on it if not for governmental insistance, and the costs of said taxes would be passed along to the average man anyway through the price of goods and services, so there's nothing really "semi-voluntary" about it: unless you can exist without consuming at all, you're going to be paying into the government coffers), so I'm not sure how it interacts with my own attack on the whole "taxation is wrong because it's coercive" idea. I'm not saying there's no room for change in the tax code, or that it couldn't be made more fair or reasonable somehow. I'm simply saying that whatever you choose, there will need to be a coercive element to it, so any case against taxation that relies upon coercion being "wrong" is just plain silly, because it makes assumptions which, while charming, are incompatible with society. Society is a giant exercise in coercion when it comes down to it. The world itself is, really, and if you want to transcend that, your battlefield is not political, but metaphysical.

comm wrote:
It would be much better than a government that behaves like Darth Vader...
"I am altering the tax code... pray I don't alter it any further"


Heh.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
comm



Joined: 22 Jun 2010

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Society is a giant exercise in coercion when it comes down to it. The world itself is, really, and if you want to transcend that, your battlefield is not political, but metaphysical.
That may be true.
Can we accept that the cornerstone of our civilization is embodied by the question "Who will be coerced and to what end"? And if that's truly necessary, isn't it our moral obligation to keep that coercion to an absolute minimum?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fox



Joined: 04 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

comm wrote:

Can we accept that the cornerstone of our civilization is embodied by the question "Who will be coerced and to what end"?


Well, it's certainly a question that needs answering.

comm wrote:
And if that's truly necessary, isn't it our moral obligation to keep that coercion to an absolute minimum?


It's interesting where each of us put the emphasis in that sentence, because as I read it, my thought is that the matter of paramount importance lies in choosing the proper ends, with the degree of coercion required being entirely subordinate to that consideration, and to the extent that coercion is wrong, it's generally wrong not in-and-of itself, but precisely because it obstructs the achievement of those proper ends.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kuros



Joined: 27 Apr 2004

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darth Vader isn't the tax rate, he's the national debt.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
geldedgoat



Joined: 05 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
comm wrote:
Fox wrote:
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.
I think I see where you're going with this, but it's a pretty extreme position to have to defend.


It is an extreme position. Very extreme. That's my point.


You did an excellent job of showing that visitorq's position is likely indefensible... if he accepts the notion that the idea of ownership is fallacious. But why must he accept that to still be consistent in his other claims? Or is it your position that we all must accept that?

Interesting argument nonetheless (no sarcasm).

Leon wrote:
Pretty sure that he doesn't agree, don't waste time popping any bottles on this one. I would be shocked if he was for increasing any tax, regardless of the type.


I've seen him advocate for increasing capital gains tax (in this thread, didn't he?) and, if I recall, an increase in sales tax in the form of the Fair Tax. I could be wrong about the latter, though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
visitorq



Joined: 11 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

geldedgoat wrote:
Fox wrote:
comm wrote:
Fox wrote:
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.
I think I see where you're going with this, but it's a pretty extreme position to have to defend.


It is an extreme position. Very extreme. That's my point.


You did an excellent job of showing that visitorq's position is likely indefensible... if he accepts the notion that the idea of ownership is fallacious. But why must he accept that to still be consistent in his other claims? Or is it your position that we all must accept that?

The notion that "ownership is fallacious" is itself fallacious, and can only appear to make sense if we begin with the assumption that once upon a time some people originally claimed authority over land/property for the first time, and subsequently had it stolen or coerced away from them. The implication being that throughout history, private property has been little more that a series of forceful appropriations and thefts.

However, the above is only true in a narrow legalistic sense. In a market society, regardless of whatever happened in the dark, murky past, proprietors of capital and land can enjoy their property insofar as they use it as a means of production to satisfy the needs of others. In other words, a person's "ownership" stems not from his own authority or ability to serve himself, but from a mandate given by the consumers in the market.

In this way, free market capitalism can be reconciled with "society" (which I still maintain is nothing more than many individuals acting upon their own interests, which may or may not be shared). Society is not "coerced" by individuals owning private property, since that ownership cannot exist in isolation. Nobody can survive entirely on his own (except maybe the most unlikely hermit). In a market system, people are free to own as much as they want, only insofar as they are able to produce for and trade with others. It renders the idea of coercive taxation quite unnecessary. In fact, the main barrier to a market functioning as it should (as per the mandate of consumers) is the arbitrary force of government (i.e. people who do not produce anything of value, but simply take from others), which is often opposed to the wants and needs of the many individuals who comprise the market society.

Quote:
Leon wrote:
Pretty sure that he doesn't agree, don't waste time popping any bottles on this one. I would be shocked if he was for increasing any tax, regardless of the type.


I've seen him advocate for increasing capital gains tax (in this thread, didn't he?) and, if I recall, an increase in sales tax in the form of the Fair Tax. I could be wrong about the latter, though.

For the record, I am not interested in "increasing" any taxes... I am primarily interested in reducing the size of government. I am entertaining the idea that some taxation may be necessary for even a limited government, but in that case I would greatly favor something like a capital gains tax over any form of income tax.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Privateer



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Location: Easy Street.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ It's absurd to say there's no such thing as a common interest. I mean, the whole reason you are arguing for free market capitalism in the first place is because you think it is best for everybody.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Korean Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Current Events Forum All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... , 17, 18, 19  Next
Page 18 of 19

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2013 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International