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Is Taxation moral?

 
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The point of the private mint rabbit trail was to point out that one method of reducing the size of government thus reducing taxation would be to privatize money. The more you can reduce the size of gevernment the more you can reduce the need for taxes and the more freedom you can have.
 
pollinator
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Ah so I see .
Many years ago I went to see a play called " A man for all seasons " I recommend it to you as its pertinant to this discussion and has lots to say about the role of government and freedom .
In the play one of the characters suggests getting rid of all laws that stop him getting at the devil the main character replys "if you do this who will defend you when the devil turns on you ? "
I see your agrument for small government as similar . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Man_for_All_Seasons_(1966_film)
You seem to see government as a bad thing and in seeing it as a bad thing believe its role is to curtail your freedom yet people all over the world seem to seek this freedom you are so much against , and live in this country you are so unhappy with . When does freedom become anarchy ? When does the functioning however flawed of a society come before the rights or the will of the indevidual .

David
 
Sam Barber
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I think that the goals of our government when it was founded was to make America the freest country on Earth and I also think that over the past 260 year our government has worked its hardest to ruin that dream. I think that like many things government was a good thing when it started and gradually was corrupted by greed and cronyism. I don't see it as a bad thing to try and fight for an improvement in freedom in our country! I also don't want to settle for "Our country is the one of the freest countries in the world why aren't you happy with that?" If we aren't trying to increase freedom everyday then we are losing it!
 
David Livingston
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Have you read about Thomas Paine who was very influential with the founding fathers , it is interesting what he has to say about taxation and the Rights of man . http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/paine_01.shtml

David
 
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Are there any acceptable taxes?
What do you mean by freedom?
What is an acceptable cost, monetary or other payment for freedom?
Can a society have to much freedom?
"Taxation without representation" Seems to indicate that the peoples voice was missing.
I have a tremendous problem with fees, licenses and permits. System Development Charges can easily escalate cost of construction in some areas of our county by 50 percent. Are fees, permits and licenses moral?
 
Sam Barber
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Robert Ray wrote:Are there any acceptable taxes?
What do you mean by freedom?
What is an acceptable cost, monetary or other payment for freedom?
Can a society have to much freedom?
"Taxation without representation" Seems to indicate that the peoples voice was missing.
I have a tremendous problem with fees, licenses and permits. System Development Charges can easily escalate cost of construction in some areas of our county by 50 percent. Are fees, permits and licenses moral?


I would say that all taxes are bad but I would say that some are worse then others! For instance a graduated income tax scale is worse then a flat income tax. I would also say that property tax is also worse then sales tax. This being that a Flat tax is fair across the board and a sales tax is more of a voluntary tax then a property tax or an income tax. I believe that we should reduce the tax burden in this country to a point that a person could live on their property and be self sufficient and not have to pay any taxes. This would include relying on tariff tax and sales taxes to fund a much smaller government then the greedy behemoth that is currently in charge.

In my opinion an Ideal state would be one that was completely tax free and all of the infra structure would be run by private business. I realize however that that state is far from being a reality any time soon and the best way to achieve that goal is by making changes slowly over a period of time, It took us 238 years to get this bad all of our problems aren't going to be resolved in a decade.

I think that ideal amount of freedom to have is clarified by the old saying My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins. What this means to me is that people should be allowed to do what ever they want to as long as it does not affect other people i.e. muder, rape, theft, assault would not be allowed because they would violate someones property and personal rights. But victemless crimes drug use, prostution, gambeling, would be allowed as long as they are all done by consenual addults and no one is forced to do anything that they don't want to.

I would also say that fees and licences are just a state run program to help rob people who actually want to achieve something by working. How does it make sense that a person can style hair all they want to for free and be perfectly legal but when they want to charge money they have to have an expensive license? To me that makes no sense because the job that the license is "suppose to do" is "quality control" but the free market can do the same job as the license If there are two barber shops in town and one is an excellent barber who went to barber school and everything and one is a terrible barber who never had any training in his life most people will go to the excellent barber because they want nice haircuts! The terrible barber would go out of business very quickly unless he improved his skills!

 
Robert Ray
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Something to look at.
http://cdn.publicinterestnetwork.org/assets/H5Ql0NcoPVeVJwymwlURRw/Private-Roads-Public-Costs.pdf

I think that you might be able to transfer some of the suppositions to other utilities if they all became private entities.

We're just going to have to disagree Sam.
I think as David commented your transfering the two issues how the money is spent inefficiently and the tax as an instrument to provide services.



 
Sam Barber
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1) Money - do we privatize money as well? How would that work? Would that work? The government is currently the only power who can lawfully print money (and lets not start talking about the Fed at the moment... talk about ulcers...)


I also want to add to this that right now the US government doesn't control the money supply! the money is actually printed by the Federal Reserve, which is neither Federal or a reserve, which is a private bank who is in control of the purse strings and owns the largest portion of US bonds (debt) of anyone in the world. Here is a great vidoe all about how screwed up our current system is.
 
Sam Barber
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I also think you should take a look at this video too. It is short.



 
pollinator
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Sam,

I really like that saying

" My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins." within reason of course - threats and such being a dubious line (punching within an inch of someones nose)

Yikes did you have to drag the Fed into this! I'm really unattached to the US dollar btw.

I find myself treading a line in this discussion between totally agreeing with your intent and being in extreme disagreement in how we get there. For some of it anyway. Perhaps we should focus more on the destination?
 
Sam Barber
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Yikes did you have to drag the Fed into this! I'm really unattached to the US dollar btw.


That is a good thing the US dollar is not something to be overly attached to!

I find myself treading a line in this discussion between totally agreeing with your intent and being in extreme disagreement in how we get there. For some of it anyway. Perhaps we should focus more on the destination?


I think that the end goal for me personally is more Liberty and less government taxation in less government incursion into my life.
 
David Livingston
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I sometimes wonder if I am witnessing a very slow civil war being fought in the USA. On one side is corporate America who wants less taxes and no government apart from the army who buy it's products and protect its over seas efforts and on the other are the people loosing both freedom and protection by the govt. The weapons a mountain of propaganda of everytype used to disinform, confuse, scare , sow doubt and mislead . It's sad . The eventual situation will be the end of democracy apart from a fashion contest , a series of gated rich enclaves and a wilderness for the lawless polluted uneducated masses.
Oh and yes less govt.
Rant over sorry
David
David
 
Robert Ray
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Sam Barber wrote:I am not sure about bit coin though... It looks promising but we will see what happens.



What would you see as a requirement for a private currencies backing?
Regional?
What about overseas interchanges?

 
pollinator
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Way too long, but here goes....I may have ended up OT.... sorry.

Gold and silver currency might work until the plutocrats owned most of it.. as they already do. (Remember the Texas brothers who tried to corner the silver market?..) Also, 'fiat' non-debt money has been proven to actually work very well, historically, as in US Colonial scrip, Lincoln's greenbacks, Austrian currency I can't remember now, etc. But bankers were a bit perturbed to let it continue. See "The Lost Science of Money" by Zarlenga, for starters... Stills also as previously mentioned, and others.

It sounds so right on first take, but I'd really like some real examples of the 'free markets' having actually worked anywhere, anytime.... at all!! Somali is really free of government constriction right now... ? I've never found a free marketeer who could produce one... seems more like 'pie in the sky' theory than a 'pie on the table' plan.

The 1800's story that 'barter was too cumbersome, so 'tokens' became popularly used' is a myth, as anthropologists have long known. (See Graves "Debt: the First 5,000 Years".) Pre-civilization folks, in groups of approximately 150, operated on 'mutual obligation'. When someone needed shoes, the person with extra provided, and understood that when he needed chickens, he'd get the poultry, probably from someone else...it went back and forth and around and around... because they all knew they needed one another. (The shells, etc. were typically used for ceremony, status, etc, not day to day goods transfer.) But we've been individualized and 'atomized' and don't want to need anyone.

And, regarding morality as to flat vs progressive taxation, one might remember that Jesus (I didn't start this bible thing!) said the widow's mite dropped into the collection box was worth more than the many 'dollars' from the Pharisee. It is proportional, and seems obvious if morality is truly one's goal.

I object to property taxes on one's home, a basic necessity, but approve of it on one's 'castle', secondary homes, etc. I prefer a consumption or income tax. But even if required in our overpopulated society, taxation creates a big trough of $$$ and the pigs will come.... the ordinarily corrupt, and the contractors, who have bought off the pols writing the laws. For starters see President General Eisenhower's last speech, 1960, publicly warning us about subversion of government by one such sector.. the 'military-industrial-congressional complex' - he was talked into removing the 'congressional'). Do you really think we have a 'representative' government?

The vultures come out for any pile of mammon (btw, it is Jesus' word for God's opposite, i.e., the devil :), typically in large organizations..... big business, government, mafia, big churches, etc., etc., etc. At least we have a theoretical option to choose our leaders in government, if only so many of us weren't too lazy to read history and think. You could say we don't have to buy products of big corporations (and yes, I think voting with the $ may be more powerful ... if 'we' could just get organized!) .... but, do you know how much money is spent by marketers on psychological and sociological research to learn how to manipulate consumers?? Sociopaths are best adapted to climbing ladders (actually, they get others to carry them :) (See "The Sociopath Next Door") so our plutocracy is no wonder ;).

But I'm a secret, optimistic anarchist and think we will all be when the various collapses really bite... and we will again discover the real value/price of cooperation, mutuality, production vs consumption, simple pleasures, community, generosity, etc....to see what has actually happened in historic catastrophes, check out "A Paradise Built in Hell' by Solnit.

 
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The idea that everything could be backed by gold is silly. Last year, total production of gold was valued at $133,335,720,000

The value of iron that came out of the ground was greater at $280,000,000,000 --- When you add up all of the other mined products, gold looks smaller still. If we're going with a commodity, iron or oil futures could both serve.

Total world GDP is about $72,000,000,000,000 currently, so gold mining accounts for a little less than a fifth of 1% of the world's economy. There isn't enough gold to back currencies.
 
steward
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A lawyer / talk show host has been proposing an addendum added to the bottom of each piece of legislation requiring tax spending . It reads :

"I (insert name of sponsor or co-sponsor), in sponsoring this legislation, do hereby state that it is my belief that it is more appropriate for the government to use its police powers to seize this money from the person who earned it, and spend it on the legislative purposes outlined in this bill, than it is to allow the person who worked for and earned this money to retain it and spend it on their own needs and the needs of their family.”

It was introduced as a bill into one states legislative session but died unmentioned .
 
Landon Sunrich
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Re: currency

Dale Hodgins wrote:oil futures



This is an idea I've suggested seriously before on a number of occasions. It is pretty literally the most broadly useful natural resource out there. Of course then we'd all be burning money.

wayne stephen wrote:
A lawyer / talk show host has been proposing an addendum added to the bottom of each piece of legislation requiring tax spending . It reads :

"I (insert name of sponsor or co-sponsor), in sponsoring this legislation, do hereby state that it is my belief that it is appropriate for the government to use its police powers to seize this money from the person who earned it, and spend it on the legislative purposes outlined in this bill, than it is to allow the person who worked for and earned this money to retain it and spend it on their own needs and the needs of their family.”

It was introduced as a bill into one states legislative session but died unmentioned .



That's brilliant. A bit provocative to be sure - but it would make 'um think before passing a law - which I'm pretty sure they don't at the moment.

David Livingston wrote: The eventual situation will be the end of democracy apart from a fashion contest , a series of gated rich enclaves and a wilderness for the lawless polluted uneducated masses



Um, eventual? I think you can cease your wondering...

nancy sutton wrote: 'fiat' non-debt money has been proven to actually work very well, historically, as in US Colonial scrip, Lincoln's greenbacks, Austrian currency I can't remember now, etc. But bankers were a bit perturbed to let it continue. See "The Lost Science of Money" by Zarlenga, for starters... Stills also as previously mentioned, and others.

It sounds so right on first take, but I'd really like some real examples of the 'free markets' having actually worked anywhere, anytime.... at all!!



Good points made all throughout. But I too am curious. Anyone name a free market anywhere which has worked without extreme exploitation, colonization, or subjugation? A 'free market' could (and has been in the past) be two guys with guns kidnapping a selling one guy without one. Thus the need for some form of regulatory body and... taxes.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Landon Sunrich wrote: Perhaps we should focus more on the destination?



and dammit Landon!

Sorry, but I just can't help jumping back into conversations I find interesting
 
wayne stephen
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“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville

Funny how long ago that quote was written .
 
pollinator
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Those bothered by taxes in the USA should consider that the other developed nations have much higher tax rates, and every one of them has as a result a superior society to that of the USA, which is essentially backwards by comparison.

By the time Yanks have paid for medical care, education, child care, etc., they're left with less money than if they were living in France, Denmark, etc., and paying the high taxes!

Check out how much a university education costs in those countries.

Those who think less government makes us more free should consider whether you think that corporations are more trustworthy than the govt. How are those private prisons? If you think you can't trust government bureaucrats, tell me how much you trust a profit-motivated corporation? We could use cable TV as an example... yeah those corporations sure make me feel "free" the way they provide such excellent cable service, cough cough.

The USA is now essentially a 2nd-world country. Having lived in Europe, I am acutely aware of the backwardness here, which can be traced to the policies enacted since January, 1981.

I attended the Univ. of California, got a BA in 1981. Check out the rate of tuition then, and compare with today. Have wages risen proportionally? No. See how it works? Lower the taxes of the rich, as has been done drastically in the USA, and that is the result. All but the rich get screwed.

As a foreigner in Europe, I had to pay for medical services. We had a baby there. The total cost, including prenatal and the hospital stay, was about $800. It would have been at LEAST $5000 in the USA (that was in 1981). Our "free-market" anachronism makes things expensive which ought not be.
 
nancy sutton
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Thank you, Victor... a breath of reality (maybe that's what's missing in the USA... Reality... and the Big Picture).

BTW, hopefully not off topic, but I think this is a very accurate (and readable) history of the origins of 'capitalism' (i.e., rule by the capital, i.e. wealth - holders).  'Empire of Cotton' by Beckert.   Trying to defend 'free markets' is like demanding that the fire be laid in the middle of the living room, instead of the fireplace ... IMO.
 
nancy sutton
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Maybe OT, but John Michael Greer's book, 'Retrotopia', is a ficitonal, post-US civil war/secession story that I enjoyed.  (It's not the typical dystopian horror version.) One very interesting idea is how the different resulting areas chose different rates/styles of taxation and 'services'.  I really enjoyed the book, and highly recommend it, for entertainment, and thought - provocation : )
 
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nancy sutton wrote:Maybe OT, but John Michael Greer's book, 'Retrotopia', is a ficitonal, post-US civil war/secession story that I enjoyed.  (It's not the typical dystopian horror version.) One very interesting idea is how the different resulting areas chose different rates/styles of taxation and 'services'.  I really enjoyed the book, and highly recommend it, for entertainment, and thought - provocation : )



Yes, I loved the story as well.

But there's more to that book than just a good read. JMG is famously an activist, and many of his stories, Retrotopia included, are prescriptions disguised as fiction.  That section that described the differences between counties; cities with paved roads, a plain-old-telephone-system, and high taxes; versus the deep rural county with dirt paths, no power infrastructure and almost zero taxes; and other counties that choose something in between; is JMG's interpretation of localization and "resilient communities".  JMG is not a libertarian, but that book had me wondering if he had turned libertarian, because so much of that book, and in particular that local-taxation-versus-infrastructure description; is very libertarian.  

The description of the return of the age of canals was also a very libertarian viewpoint.
 
nancy sutton
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Thanks, Creighton, for clarifying the book's presentation of a different take on taxation.  Don't know if I'd call it libertarian (don't know if I know what that mean, exactly, either ;)  I would describe it more as local direct democracy.  Hope more folks read it and we can have more discussion...
 
pollinator
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One of the lawyers I work for represents phone companies. Anytime anyone complains about taxes I ask them quite honestly how they think Wyoming is going to get internet and phone services without federal government subsidies which are derived from our taxes. I ask quite honestly because I know that my house, which is in a location that would never attract phone company interest, is billed at the same rate as city people because of federal funding. I also know that the only roads available for me to drive to work are federally funded. I am always a wee bit baffled how the "country" people are the ones who are the most against taxes and the fed and yet also the ones benefiting the most from it.
 
nancy sutton
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I can understand why some folks are totally anti-tax... Ariana Huffington wrote a book years ago, "Pigs at the Trough", about corporate theft.  Also I think Nomi Prins' "Other People's Money" is a good one.   And the contracting give-aways are obscene, not to mention the 'cost plus' military contracts, et al.  

I think 'understanding' on both sides is the missing 'magic sauce', including understanding that essential services ARE essential and require taxation. (Acts 4: 32)

Hopefully, with UNDERSTANDING will come cooperation, and we can ALL support candidates brave enough to write the necessary laws, and regulations! (with luck they will live long enough to see them enacted - I'm 74).  Are we  'cutting off our noses to spite our faces" by letting 'them' divide and conquer us.  (We seem frightfully addicted to hatred... sinfully ginned up on both sides.)
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