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Colonel J

A rational proof that taxation is theft.

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shirgall    1222
8 minutes ago, Mishi2 said:

You really think the police go hunting for you in the Gobi Desert? Mongolia is the most sparsely populated country on the planet. Trust me. Nobody gives a damn.

"Every option sucked" is a very vague assessment. I am not sure what your assets are either, so I guess I can't help you. Yet I try...
There are unclaimed territories in Antarctica, if you like the cold.
There is an unclaimed territory between Serbia and Croatia, but I don't suppose you would be willing to potentially pick a fight with two balkan nations.
There is also a piece of land between Egypt and Sudan.
Australia has a history of recognising micronations, where you could found your own country.
...But I am sure you mean to say these places "suck", and that you prefer comfort over freedom. I get it, but please don't claim there aren't unclaimed or tax-free territories on the planet. 

I'm not going to write you a detailed report about the sucking. The best option was to stay put and lay low. There is no place in the world I could find where you can go without fear that some government will hunt you down and extract value from you and yet provide for myself and my family. Antarctica is specifically forbidden from settlement by treaty. The unclaimed territory you spoke of was recently the site of refugee overrun and less recently civil war.

You are being specious. You have no solution. None of the options you offered allows me to move there tax-free, because there's even a tax for renouncing your citizenship.

I don't want your help. I want you to recognize that socialists don't understand consent and have to be restricted in their influence as much as possible as a result.

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Mishi2    33
1 hour ago, shirgall said:

I'm not going to write you a detailed report about the sucking. The best option was to stay put and lay low. There is no place in the world I could find where you can go without fear that some government will hunt you down and extract value from you and yet provide for myself and my family. Antarctica is specifically forbidden from settlement by treaty. The unclaimed territory you spoke of was recently the site of refugee overrun and less recently civil war.

You are being specious. You have no solution. None of the options you offered allows me to move there tax-free, because there's even a tax for renouncing your citizenship.

I don't want your help. I want you to recognize that socialists don't understand consent and have to be restricted in their influence as much as possible as a result.

You are right. I have no solution, because I am having a very difficult time understanding your problem. Mainly, the statement "taxation is theft". We have been talking about consent a bunch, and I have yet to see a convincing argument, we have addressed whether or not a monarch is a morally justified taxer (one argument we did not finish), and we have been talking about alternatives, which for some reason everybody denies exist.

I actually am pretty sure socialists understand consent. They just don't care about it. They are lost in their ideal paradise, just as many anarchists are.

Ok. Last one: If there is a nuclear war outside, and the only bunker on the planet belongs to the government of Switzerland, are they morally justified to ask you to work on demand and without freedom just like a slave, if they were to accept you? Suppose you accept the conditions, under obvious duress. Did you or did you not consent?

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Tyler H    131
1 hour ago, Mishi2 said:

I get it, but please don't claim there aren't unclaimed or tax-free territories on the planet. 

Who claimed that? We want a world free from violence and coercion. This does not limit itself to governments and taxation. We focus on reforming those aspects of society because most people are blind to the fact that they are included in the category at all, but their absence is not the only criterion for freedom. If I have to live in a barren wasteland where my capacity to produce is significantly diminished, if not entirely nonexistent, then I am not free. If the only reason you are there is because you will be assualted for your preferred choice then the choice is still not one made in freedom. 

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shirgall    1222
54 minutes ago, Mishi2 said:

You are right. I have no solution, because I am having a very difficult time understanding your problem. Mainly, the statement "taxation is theft". We have been talking about consent a bunch, and I have yet to see a convincing argument, we have addressed whether or not a monarch is a morally justified taxer (one argument we did not finish), and we have been talking about alternatives, which for some reason everybody denies exist.

I actually am pretty sure socialists understand consent. They just don't care about it. They are lost in their ideal paradise, just as many anarchists are.

Ok. Last one: If there is a nuclear war outside, and the only bunker on the planet belongs to the government of Switzerland, are they morally justified to ask you to work on demand and without freedom just like a slave, if they were to accept you? Suppose you accept the conditions, under obvious duress. Did you or did you not consent?

What you are not getting is that consequentialist justification does not imply consent. Consent is giving permission to incur an obligation of one's free will. Permission given under duress is not acceptance, it is compliance borne of fear of reprisal.

Your lifeboat scenario has no applicability to real life, especially since you are asking if governments are morally justified. Their justification has nothing to do with morality, it has to do with pragmatism.

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Tyler H    131
It would be an instructive exercise for the skeptical reader to try to frame a definition of taxation which does not also include theft. Like the robber, the State demands money at the equivalent of gunpoint; if the taxpayer refuses to pay, his assets are seized by force, and if he should resist such depredation, he will be arrested or shot if he should continue to resist.
-Murray N. Rothbard

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Mishi2    33
16 hours ago, Tyler H said:

Who claimed that? We want a world free from violence and coercion. This does not limit itself to governments and taxation. We focus on reforming those aspects of society because most people are blind to the fact that they are included in the category at all, but their absence is not the only criterion for freedom. If I have to live in a barren wasteland where my capacity to produce is significantly diminished, if not entirely nonexistent, then I am not free. If the only reason you are there is because you will be assualted for your preferred choice then the choice is still not one made in freedom. 

This is what shirgall said: "The cost of moving is huge and also under duress. And, there's no place to move to where your consent is respected. Thus, you make the best of a bad situation, but that does not mean you consent."

Your definition of freedom is very unclear to me and seems quite relativistic. If what you say is so, then you imply that first, nobody is truly free (I agree), and second, that there are degrees of freedom (I also agree). But then can you tell me exactly which country or place in the world allows for most freedom? And if you can, why aren't you there? 

16 hours ago, Tyler H said:

How does a monarch attain this property?

The counterargument to “taxation is rent” is that the property is never justly acquired.

I have brought up the Grand-Duke of Luxembourg as a case to study. You can look it up a bit further back. 
If property is never justly acquired, then are we all robbers?

10 hours ago, Tyler H said:
It would be an instructive exercise for the skeptical reader to try to frame a definition of taxation which does not also include theft. Like the robber, the State demands money at the equivalent of gunpoint; if the taxpayer refuses to pay, his assets are seized by force, and if he should resist such depredation, he will be arrested or shot if he should continue to resist.
-Murray N. Rothbard

If tax is something that was included in the civic contract, then you are ound to pay taxes. I don't see why this is so complicated. You hold citizenship, you abide by the rules, and they have the moral right o force you if you don't.

16 hours ago, shirgall said:

What you are not getting is that consequentialist justification does not imply consent. Consent is giving permission to incur an obligation of one's free will. Permission given under duress is not acceptance, it is compliance borne of fear of reprisal.

Your lifeboat scenario has no applicability to real life, especially since you are asking if governments are morally justified. Their justification has nothing to do with morality, it has to do with pragmatism.

Free will is very important to me, but free will cannot be the ultimate standard. Free will of prior times annuls free will of later times. If you entered a contract of your free will, and then stay in it on your own free will, then you don't get to claim assault when you suddenly change your mind.

In Mongolia, people apply for citizenship when they are 16, and everyone has the option not to. You can choose not to pick up your card, but then you have to abide by different rules, or leave the country. I had the means to leave the country (I did), but I still picked up my card because I found that the rules were fair (I may have been wrong). By picking up my card, I subscribed to compulsory military service (exceptions allowed), and to be taxed if I start working there. I didn't feel any particular duress, even though I knew they can punish me. Do I think the laws of the country suck and should be reformed? Yes, of course. But I don't get to claim I didn't consent.

My scenario is very close to real life. As always, Switzerland has a very low chance of getting overrun in a war, yet they have enough nuclear bunkers to house 120% of their citizenry. Which means they can accept refugees. The Swiss govenment built those bunkers, and the swiss govenment owns them, therefore, the swiss govenment gets to decide who gets in. Since there would clearly be more applicants than they can house, they will take the most productive individuals, and the ones who promise to work their souls out for the Swiss people. I think this is common sense.

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shirgall    1222
1 hour ago, Mishi2 said:

Free will is very important to me, but free will cannot be the ultimate standard. Free will of prior times annuls free will of later times. If you entered a contract of your free will, and then stay in it on your own free will, then you don't get to claim assault when you suddenly change your mind.

Good contracts lay out what will happen if the participants are no longer willing, or no longer able, to perform their activities. When you agree in advance what happens when you want out of a deal, it makes things go more smoothly.

I think part of the difficulty is the difference between latitude (the scope or breadth of actions from which one is allowed to choose) and freedom (the capacity to choose actions without the threat of force). I can choose to avoid taxes. I am not free to evade taxes.

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GSTARR    0
On 9/20/2017 at 8:17 AM, Jos van Weesel said:

 "I personally do not and will not view it as theft" > "because when"
Is a completely subjective statement and not based on principles. "because when" implies subjectivity. Universality means "for anyone, at any time, in any place" and not "when".
Your statement could also have been "I personally do not and will not view rape as non-consensual sex because when you consent to it, it's not rape."
By not consenting to the sex, it automatically becomes rape. The same goes for theft: the moment you don't consent to your money being taken, it becomes theft.
 

Deciding to stay in a place where you are born does not automatically equate to consent. I don't even have to bring up a situation where a person is being held hostage and cannot leave, so let's forget about that right from the start.
It costs money, time and effort to leave a country, and on top of all that, permission. Besides that, you shouldn't have to leave a place if you're being stolen from. You certainly can if you wanted to, but morality doesn't require you to. And not doing so does not necessarily mean that you consent.

Simply, deciding to stay in the place you're in after being put there (being born, for example) does not necessarily equate to consent. (unfortunately I feel the need to keep repeating this)
If you live in a city in the US, there is a small chance you will fall victim to rape. However, being aware of the fact that there is a chance of being raped and staying in that place, does not mean you consent to the chance of being raped, and makes it therefore consensual.

You did not look at my comments as a whole, you looked at them individually, shown by the way you formatted your comments.

And when you do that, you get the sort of arguments that you have right there, technical arguments. You didn't look at my picture as a whole, you thought about the wording of my sentence, then moved onto the difficulties of moving and decided that my statement was stupid for assuming it's easy, when in fact most of my paragraph was spent trying to explain why moving was your best option and outweighed the costs.

In addition to the fact that you ignored most of my message, you ignored the last sentence which summed it all up into a no nonsense statement

 

Edit: Well it looks like I gave you all the attitude, but everyone else did the same thing you did. Nice. Sorry about that.

Edited by GSTARR

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Just now, GSTARR said:

You did not look at my comments as a whole, you looked at them individually, shown by the way you formatted your comments.

And when you do that, you get the sort of arguments that you have right there, technical arguments. You didn't look at my picture as a whole, you thought about the wording of my sentence, then moved onto the difficulties of moving and decided that my statement was stupid for assuming it's easy, when in fact most of my paragraph was spent trying to explain why moving was your best option and outweighed the costs.

In addition to the fact that you ignored most of my message, you ignored the last sentence which summed it all up into a no nonsense statement

I wasn't talking about how easy or hard it was to leave a country, I was talking about it in terms of morality (the costs, permission and consent.)

You're saying that I ignored most of your message, but at least I responded to your message. You haven't responded to anything I said to you, and that makes me wonder. Why would you spend time writing a comment complaining how you don't like my comment, when if you have good arguments, you could spend that time refuting my arguments.

Can we stick to the topic at hand, taxation and morality, please?

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Tyler H    131
12 hours ago, Mishi2 said:

This is what shirgall said: "The cost of moving is huge and also under duress. And, there's no place to move to where your consent is respected. Thus, you make the best of a bad situation, but that does not mean you consent."

There are places where there are no taxes, but that does not mean you would be free from violence or coercion. There are some places that are unclaimed, but they are unclaimed for a reason, they cannot sustain human life in isolation. 

 

12 hours ago, Mishi2 said:

Your definition of freedom is very unclear to me and seems quite relativistic. If what you say is so, then you imply that first, nobody is truly free (I agree), and second, that there are degrees of freedom (I also agree). But then can you tell me exactly which country or place in the world allows for most freedom? And if you can, why aren't you there? 

Freedom from coercion and violence. Freedom from the initiation of force and the threat thereof. 

Most freedom in what sense? Some countries are more economically free, some are more free socially, some have greater opportunity for quality of life despite being less free in either of the other two areas. How do I measure that? Wasting time doing that is time not spent trying to convince the world that freedom is how we survive as a species and coercion holds us back. Violence benefits the few at the cost of the many. It holds the entire human race back. I want to free the world, not just myself. 

 

12 hours ago, Mishi2 said:

I have brought up the Grand-Duke of Luxembourg as a case to study. You can look it up a bit further back. 
If property is never justly acquired, then are we all robbers?

I said “the property”, as in the property in question, was never justly acquired. 

Property is justly acquired through creation and voluntary trade.  Otherwise I declare myself king of all the land in the world and since you’re on my land I conscript you to fight for me to take back what is justly mine. If you refuse I name you traitor and sentence you to death.  

No matter what I say, I’m just a murderer. Whether or not I fool a substantial number of other people to agree with me prior to killing you does not change that fact.

 

12 hours ago, Mishi2 said:

If tax is something that was included in the civic contract, then you are ound to pay taxes. I don't see why this is so complicated. You hold citizenship, you abide by the rules, and they have the moral right o force you if you don't.

I signed no contract. The social or civic contract is a fabrication designed to disguise the knavery of power seekers.  I cannot draw up a contract that binds you without your consent, getting a billion people to agree that I can does not change that fact. You’re right, it’s not complicated. A contract is a voluntary agreement of terms between two parties. The social contract is anything but. 

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Gavitor    31

If taxation isn't theft then the people who demand my property by threat of force (and those that support said individuals) should have no issue with me taxing them.

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Mishi2    33
13 hours ago, Tyler H said:

There are places where there are no taxes, but that does not mean you would be free from violence or coercion. There are some places that are unclaimed, but they are unclaimed for a reason, they cannot sustain human life in isolation. 

Quite frankly you need to leave this planet if you want to be free from violence and coercion. History is the sum of those incidences when people wanted to impose their will on other people, be it peacefully or violently. 

Quote

Freedom from coercion and violence. Freedom from the initiation of force and the threat thereof. 

Most freedom in what sense? Some countries are more economically free, some are more free socially, some have greater opportunity for quality of life despite being less free in either of the other two areas. How do I measure that? Wasting time doing that is time not spent trying to convince the world that freedom is how we survive as a species and coercion holds us back. Violence benefits the few at the cost of the many. It holds the entire human race back. I want to free the world, not just myself. 

So you define freedom as a state free FROM something rather than free TO something. Correct?

I have wasted time measuring that. In fact I posted a poll to ask members how they see things. Here it is: https://board.freedomainradio.com/topic/50034-which-is-closest-to-ancap-paradise/?tab=comments#comment-454254

Holds us back from what? Why do you want to free the world? How are you doing it exactly?

Quote

I said “the property”, as in the property in question, was never justly acquired. 

Property is justly acquired through creation and voluntary trade.  Otherwise I declare myself king of all the land in the world and since you’re on my land I conscript you to fight for me to take back what is justly mine. If you refuse I name you traitor and sentence you to death.  

No matter what I say, I’m just a murderer. Whether or not I fool a substantial number of other people to agree with me prior to killing you does not change that fact.

The owner of Luxembourg (used to be much bigger) received his land and title from the Holy Roman Emperor in exchange for his loyalty. If that is not voluntary trade, I don't know what is.

Quote

I signed no contract. The social or civic contract is a fabrication designed to disguise the knavery of power seekers.  I cannot draw up a contract that binds you without your consent, getting a billion people to agree that I can does not change that fact. You’re right, it’s not complicated. A contract is a voluntary agreement of terms between two parties. The social contract is anything but. 

I would agree that not all social contracts are voluntary nor just, but I assume you live in the west, where you did sign a contract voluntarily when you received your identity card. 

Personally, I find democracy and all forms of majority rule completely unjust and stupid, and I think they have zero legitimate authority. But I still did sign a piece of paper. And it is very hard to make the case that I was coerced, since nobody forced me to stay in that country. And I assume nobody forced you either.

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shirgall    1222
2 hours ago, Mishi2 said:

I would agree that not all social contracts are voluntary nor just, but I assume you live in the west, where you did sign a contract voluntarily when you received your identity card. 

Uh, no. I agreed that I was the person the card identified. I got the first card because it was required to operate a motor vehicle on public streets. My social security card I signed because it was required to open a bank account and it said right on it that it was not to be used for identification (tells you how old I am). My concealed carry permits were required to carry a concealed weapon in public places, but that scope was limited to. Even my passport signature only said that the passport properly identified me so I could get back into the country when I traveled. My voter registration card also only was attestation of identity. The only time I was ever required to present my voter registration card was at a Libertarian Party business convention to prove I was a legal voter because the party did not want their convention's votes thrown out.

Did I consent to these purposes? Perhaps. But you cannot use these to prove that I consented to having a third of my income taken from me on a regular basis or to pay rent to the government for my house.

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GSTARR    0
On 9/21/2017 at 12:42 PM, Jos van Weesel said:

I wasn't talking about how easy or hard it was to leave a country, I was talking about it in terms of morality (the costs, permission and consent.)

You're saying that I ignored most of your message, but at least I responded to your message. You haven't responded to anything I said to you, and that makes me wonder. Why would you spend time writing a comment complaining how you don't like my comment, when if you have good arguments, you could spend that time refuting my arguments.

Can we stick to the topic at hand, taxation and morality, please?

I literally spent the past thirty minutes with four tabs open so I could quote what you were saying, and what I was saying, and putting them all together into a comment to try and get you to realize why I'm frustrated with each new comment you and everyone else make. That's a ridiculous amount of effort for an online forum and I'm kind of disappointed in my self.

 

I don't like ignoring people as much as this thread says otherwise, and I gave you a lot of attitude when you didn't deserve it, so i want to leave you by saying that the first sentence in your reply is exactly my problem with you and everyone else that is arguing with me. You all are not reading what I'm saying, you're taking it literally as if there were no extra projected scenarios included in my words. I.E. you all read what I have to say, then argue with me, and present the same points that I argued against with different wording. I refuse to argue against the same points I've addressed simply because I didn't directly call those scenarios out.

And I'm certainly not going to do it with you, and four other people.

- Gstarr

 

 

 


 

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Mishi2    33
18 hours ago, shirgall said:

Uh, no. I agreed that I was the person the card identified. I got the first card because it was required to operate a motor vehicle on public streets. My social security card I signed because it was required to open a bank account and it said right on it that it was not to be used for identification (tells you how old I am). My concealed carry permits were required to carry a concealed weapon in public places, but that scope was limited to. Even my passport signature only said that the passport properly identified me so I could get back into the country when I traveled. My voter registration card also only was attestation of identity. The only time I was ever required to present my voter registration card was at a Libertarian Party business convention to prove I was a legal voter because the party did not want their convention's votes thrown out.

Did I consent to these purposes? Perhaps. But you cannot use these to prove that I consented to having a third of my income taken from me on a regular basis or to pay rent to the government for my house.

I still cannot figure out how your citizenship works in America. But to be fair, most of the americas have a weird relationship between citizens and government; birthright citizenship and all that good stuff.

Ok, I have no problem granting you that your taxes in your country are unjust. As I said, I think republics are stupid anyway.

Would you be willing to admit that the taxes in Luxembourg are just? That is all I need to disprove the statement that taxation is theft.

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shirgall    1222

Every *resident* of Luxumbourg has to pay tax on global income and has a parliamentary representative democracy. Doesn't look like unanimous consent to me.

By the way, I do support corporate income taxes if corporations are voluntary to create, cannot hold exclusive access to any particular market, and if transactions among individuals are not taxes. I'd also like to see all restrictions on government (namely, rights) applied to corporations as they are wholly creations of the state to begin with.

Why are you introducing the term "just"? The dividing line we have been talking about is consent.

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Mishi2    33
54 minutes ago, shirgall said:

Every *resident* of Luxumbourg has to pay tax on global income and has a parliamentary representative democracy. Doesn't look like unanimous consent to me.

By the way, I do support corporate income taxes if corporations are voluntary to create, cannot hold exclusive access to any particular market, and if transactions among individuals are not taxes. I'd also like to see all restrictions on government (namely, rights) applied to corporations as they are wholly creations of the state to begin with.

Why are you introducing the term "just"? The dividing line we have been talking about is consent.

I thought we were talking about justice. That covers consent I would think. Justice fits into morality, no?

The parliamentary democracy is irrelevant. There is a face, a person that owns the land and the country that you decided to remain on.

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