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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Purgatory: Liberals and conservatives think differently (Page 3)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Liberals and conservatives think differently
ken
Ship's Roundhead
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The really odd thing about the British government pushing gay marriage is that its a conservative government using it as a stick to beat the churches with. Presumably because it makes by the churches look bigoted and out of date and and some of that reputation will rub off on their attitude to other things like the economy or immigration, which, while not exactly left-wing, tends to be liberal and to the left of the government.


quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Obama is not, by our standards, a left-winger. He's somewhere on the right.

That's not just us. Most liberals in the Democrat party in the USA think he's a right-winger too.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
If Cameron is a dictator for wanting to change a law over opposition, then every single Prime Minister you've ever had, and every single one I've ever had, is a dictator. Because every government in living memory has changed laws despite the change being opposed by someone. Every time that a law doesn't pass with 100% of the votes on the floor of a house of Parliament.

To describe that as dictatorship is an utter mockery of the word.

I stated that dictators are populists. I stated that Cameron is a populist and the ConDem government is populist.
I was talking about the Archbishop's use of the word, not yours. Which is not to say that I think you have much idea of what a dictatorship is, either, but the Archbishop has even less.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl2:
Social Justice progressive Christians tend to believe in all aspects of society - government and private - assisting the less fortunate where conservatives tend to hold to only private charity.

You miss out the main reason why conservatives favour only private charity - namely that they believe it's immoral to force people to assist if they don't want to.
It isn't immoral. It's a matter of justice.

The reason why countries in the 'developing' world are poor is because colonial invasion stripped them of their resources - which is theft.

Justice demands restitution.

The state/government exists to promote justice.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Why is it not fully reasonable to make people pay taxes to fund things they do not support, like charitable help for those in want and privation? The rich won't pay unless they are forced to. So make them. By God, make them. It must be done via legislation or it will be eventually at the barrel of a gun. Break-up their power, have governments stop giving them money in the form of tax breaks while taking more from the middle and poor classes.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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Ender's Shadow
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quote:
Originally posted by no_prophet:
Why is it not fully reasonable to make people pay taxes to fund things they do not support, like charitable help for those in want and privation? The rich won't pay unless they are forced to. So make them. By God, make them. It must be done via legislation or it will be eventually at the barrel of a gun. Break-up their power, have governments stop giving them money in the form of tax breaks while taking more from the middle and poor classes.

One of the most basic lessons of economics is that it is not a zero sum game; it is perfectly possible for ALL sections of society to get richer as a result of economic growth. The reality of the past 65 years in Europe and parts of Asia clearly demonstrate this; the standard of living of the vast majority in the UK even now is a lot higher than it was in 1950, 1930, 1900 or ever. The problem in recent years has been that the huddled masses of East Asia have finally been given the tools to join the party - which means that they have competed away a lot of the gains which had been made by some sectors of society. Add in the rapidly rising burden of pensions caused by increased life spans as a result of increased prosperity, and the surplus available for the workers starts to decline. This is painful. But the suggestion that the theft of the wealth of some of those who've done well as a result of this economic growth will make a significant difference is fatuous, whilst the damage to the future prospects for the economy will be substantial: will any foreign companies be rushing to invest in Argentina now that they've stolen YPF from its owners?

The fact that South Korea and Singapore, starting with the same level of GDP per person in 1955 as many African countries, but which have now arrived at 'rich country' status, could achieve this, makes clear that the barriers to development are mostly internal; the self serving claims of kleptocratic elites in poor countries that it is otherwise - encouraging the giving of more aid for them to steal - are hardly surprising. That many people in the West are blind enough to fall for this fantasy again and again is more surprising [Mad]

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Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Please don't refer to me as 'Ender' - the whole point of Ender's Shadow is that he isn't Ender.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by no_prophet:
Why is it not fully reasonable to make people pay taxes to fund things they do not support, like charitable help for those in want and privation?

Why is it not fully reasonable for me to come to your house, break down the door, steal all your valuable posessions, and then sell them so that I can use the proceeds to help fund a soup kitchen and shelter for homeless people?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by no_prophet:
Why is it not fully reasonable to make people pay taxes to fund things they do not support, like charitable help for those in want and privation?

Why is it not fully reasonable for me to come to your house, break down the door, steal all your valuable posessions, and then sell them so that I can use the proceeds to help fund a soup kitchen and shelter for homeless people?
If you really don't know the difference between the political will of the society and the individual desires of an individual, I think that you meet the formal definition of a sociopath.

--Tom Clune

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This space left blank intentionally.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
If you really don't know the difference between the political will of the society and the individual desires of an individual

The only difference is how many people agree with it. The effect on the individual from whom the resources are taken is the same, as is the effect on the individuals who receive the benefit of them.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Ender's Shadow
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
If you really don't know the difference between the political will of the society and the individual desires of an individual

The only difference is how many people agree with it. The effect on the individual from whom the resources are taken is the same, as is the effect on the individuals who receive the benefit of them.
Which is why that nice Mr Hitler wasn't doing anything wrong when he resolved the Jewish problem; it was the political will of the society...

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Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Please don't refer to me as 'Ender' - the whole point of Ender's Shadow is that he isn't Ender.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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I don't think you had to go all the way to Godwin to make that point, but it's still a valid one.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Ricardus
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The difference is that property, unlike the right not to be murdered, is something that is established by social agreement.

My wage is determined by market forces, which is a social agreement.

My employer's ability to pay me is determined by market forces, which is a social agreement.

The value of my assets is determined by market forces, which is a social agreement.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
The difference is that property, unlike the right not to be murdered, is something that is established by social agreement.

False. The right not to be murdered is something that is granted by social agreement just as much as any other right (say, the right to own property). You can't separate the two in those terms.

[ 20. April 2012, 13:53: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by no_prophet:
Why is it not fully reasonable to make people pay taxes to fund things they do not support, like charitable help for those in want and privation?

Why is it not fully reasonable for me to come to your house, break down the door, steal all your valuable posessions, and then sell them so that I can use the proceeds to help fund a soup kitchen and shelter for homeless people?
Because taxes aren't theft. Stupid comparison by the way.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
The difference is that property, unlike the right not to be murdered, is something that is established by social agreement.

False. The right not to be murdered is something that is granted by social agreement just as much as any other right (say, the right to own property). You can't separate the two in those terms.
So are you saying

a.) That if enough people wanted to kill Marvin the Martian, killing Marvin the Martian is morally correct (because the right not to be killed is merely social consensus),

or

b.) That if the market value of a house drops, and the buyer pays less for it than they would have done a year ago, the buyer has actually stolen from the seller (because the value of a house is a moral absolute)?

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by no_prophet:
Why is it not fully reasonable to make people pay taxes to fund things they do not support, like charitable help for those in want and privation?

Why is it not fully reasonable for me to come to your house, break down the door, steal all your valuable posessions, and then sell them so that I can use the proceeds to help fund a soup kitchen and shelter for homeless people?
Because taxes aren't theft. Stupid comparison by the way.
no_prophet went on to say "The rich won't pay unless they are forced to. So make them. By God, make them. It must be done via legislation or it will be eventually at the barrel of a gun."

Sounds a lot like saying "get it off them one way or the other" to me. Which is, of course, just another way of saying "it doesn't matter how you get it off them". At which point the line between taxation and theft starts looking pretty darn blurry, I'd say.

Essentially, you're saying that as long as enough people agree with the forcible removal of someone's assets, it's not theft. How is that different in principle from saying that as long as enough people are in the lynch mob, it's not murder?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
So are you saying

a.) That if enough people wanted to kill Marvin the Martian, killing Marvin the Martian is morally correct (because the right not to be killed is merely social consensus),

or

b.) That if the market value of a house drops, and the buyer pays less for it than they would have done a year ago, the buyer has actually stolen from the seller (because the value of a house is a moral absolute)?

False comparison. The value of a house isn't a moral absolute in either way of looking at things - it's the right to own it in the first place that's up for grabs.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The value of a house isn't a moral absolute in either way of looking at things - it's the right to own it in the first place that's up for grabs.

Or to put it another way, how much you can convince someone else to pay in exchange for an asset you own is not the same issue as whether they're allowed to simply take it from you without your consent.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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romanlion
editorial comment
# 10325

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Some truths, as they say....

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"You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook" - Harry S. Truman

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Ricardus
Shipmate
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
So are you saying

a.) That if enough people wanted to kill Marvin the Martian, killing Marvin the Martian is morally correct (because the right not to be killed is merely social consensus),

or

b.) That if the market value of a house drops, and the buyer pays less for it than they would have done a year ago, the buyer has actually stolen from the seller (because the value of a house is a moral absolute)?

False comparison. The value of a house isn't a moral absolute in either way of looking at things - it's the right to own it in the first place that's up for grabs.
The right to own a house is contingent on your ability to pay for it, which in turn is contingent on the market value of the house, and also the market value of your labour.

So yes, your right to own the house is contingent on social consensus as expressed through market forces.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ricardus
Shipmate
# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The value of a house isn't a moral absolute in either way of looking at things - it's the right to own it in the first place that's up for grabs.

Or to put it another way, how much you can convince someone else to pay in exchange for an asset you own is not the same issue as whether they're allowed to simply take it from you without your consent.
If you sell your house at a £10,000 loss, because the market falls, has society stolen £10,000 from you? You didn't exactly give away the £10,000 out of the goodness of your heart ...

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
The right to own a house is contingent on your ability to pay for it, which in turn is contingent on the market value of the house, and also the market value of your labour.

So yes, your right to own the house is contingent on social consensus as expressed through market forces.

The right we're talking about here is the right to own property. Yes, it applies to houses - but it also applies to anything and everything else we own. It applies just as much to the packet of crisps I'm about to eat and the high-performance sports car I can only dream of ever owning.

So yes, my possession of any specific item is contingent on me being able to convince the previous owner to give it to me (which generally involves me giving them something in return, that something generally being money). But the right to possess things in the first place is a different matter.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
If you sell your house at a £10,000 loss, because the market falls, has society stolen £10,000 from you? You didn't exactly give away the £10,000 out of the goodness of your heart ...

The value of any given asset (which equates to how much you can persuade someone to give you in return for that asset) is not the same as the asset itself.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

<snip>
If you sell your house at a £10,000 loss, because the market falls, has society stolen £10,000 from you? You didn't exactly give away the £10,000 out of the goodness of your heart ...

This is where the 'Law of boats'* applies. The sea ebbs and flows and with it boats move up and down. Except they don't. Unless there is something wrong with your boat, it doesn't actually sink. Similarly when economic confidence falls away you still have a house, only that another party would hand over less money for it.

*Christopher Fildes of The Spectator, Economist and D.Tel devised this. It applies to any asset, within reason.

[ 20. April 2012, 14:57: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Ricardus
Shipmate
# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
So yes, my possession of any specific item is contingent on me being able to convince the previous owner to give it to me (which generally involves me giving them something in return, that something generally being money).

Suppose the Government, through the medium of taxation, takes £4,000 from you.

Did you have an absolute right to that £4,000, or a contingent right? If contingent, what was it contingent on?
quote:
The value of any given asset (which equates to how much you can persuade someone to give you in return for that asset) is not the same as the asset itself.
No, but the value of your assets determines what other assets you can have.

If you were planning to sell your house for £300,000 and buy a lawn-mower with the proceeds, but in fact the value falls so you can't afford the lawn-mower, then your right to possess the asset of a lawn-mower is contingent on the value of the asset that is your house.

If the value of your labour falls, you might not be able to buy a house at all.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
This is where the 'Law of boats'* applies. The sea ebbs and flows and with it boats move up and down. Except they don't. Unless there is something wrong with your boat, it doesn't actually sink. Similarly when economic confidence falls away you still have a house, only that another party would hand over less money for it.

That's assuming you aren't forced to sell your house because (for example) the value of your labour has declined.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Did you have an absolute right to that £4,000, or a contingent right?

I have exactly the same right to it as you do to the shirt you are currently wearing.

If it's right in any circumstances for the government to take the £4k off me, then it is also right in those circumstances for the government to take the shirt off your back.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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That's not an answer to the question.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
That's not an answer to the question.

Yes it is. Which answer you think it is depends on how attached you are to your own posessions. What I'm saying is there's no difference between the government seizing someone's cash assets and the government seizing someone's more tangible assets, so if you think it's wrong for the government to take the shirt off your back then you must also think it's wrong for them to take £4k out of my bank account.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
That's not an answer to the question.

Yes it is. Which answer you think it is depends on how attached you are to your own posessions. What I'm saying is there's no difference between the government seizing someone's cash assets and the government seizing someone's more tangible assets, so if you think it's wrong for the government to take the shirt off your back then you must also think it's wrong for them to take £4k out of my bank account.
Pardon me for introducing my dog to this fight, but isn't there a difference between a law to specifically deprive Marvin of £4,000 (or indeed his shirt) and another law that deprives Marvin of that sum, through a formula applied to the whole population?

The former would need an individual court order and the bailiffs (although you'd be allowed the shirt you are wearing) while the latter - that's just HMRC applying the Finance Act.

[ 20. April 2012, 15:55: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Justinian
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# 5357

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
That's not an answer to the question.

Yes it is. Which answer you think it is depends on how attached you are to your own posessions. What I'm saying is there's no difference between the government seizing someone's cash assets and the government seizing someone's more tangible assets, so if you think it's wrong for the government to take the shirt off your back then you must also think it's wrong for them to take £4k out of my bank account.
False on several accounts. The first is that the difference betwen that £4k in your bank account and a random string of bytes is provided by the government and the legal system. The shirt on Ricardus' back is a shirt, not pieces of paper underwritten by the agency of the government. For that matter the only reason you in any meaningful way own land, or anything else you aren't physically wearing is society and government.

The second is that the £4k in your bank account isn't equivalent to the shirt on Ricardus' back. It's at best equivalent to a shirt in Ricardus' wardrobe. You can't eat money. It doesn't make you look good directly. It doesn't protect you from the elements. Sure it will do later when used. But this is a shirt in a wardrobe not one he's wearing now. And in the legal system there are protections for that sort of thing.

The third is the outcomes. I believe that the right for every inhabitant of a country to eat trumps the right for individuals to be arbitrarily wealthy. Or more appropriately I believe the right of every inhabitant in the country to at least not go naked trumps the right of any one to own hundreds of thousands of shirts. Taking the shirt off Ricardus' back would leave Ricardus half-naked. Taking £4k out of a bank account containing £30k would not leave you naked or hungry. (If your total life savings were £3.5k then taking £4k away from that would be a different story).

Now taking every tenth shirt out of Ricardus' wardrobe and giving them to people without shirts might be monumentally inefficient and result in ill-fitting shirts, but it would be a much better analogy than taking away the shirt he is actually wearing.

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My real name consists of just four letters, but in billions of combinations.

Eudaimonaic Laughter - my blog.

Posts: 3926 | From: The Sea Coast of Bohemia | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
The first is that the difference betwen that £4k in your bank account and a random string of bytes is provided by the government and the legal system. The shirt on Ricardus' back is a shirt, not pieces of paper underwritten by the agency of the government. For that matter the only reason you in any meaningful way own land, or anything else you aren't physically wearing is society and government.

While money may be something we've invented to smoothe the transactional process, and thus not as "real" as a shirt, the principle remains the same. And in terms of that principle, it doesn't matter whether we conduct our transactions using money, solid gold or chickens.

As for "the only reason you in any meaningful way own land, or anything else you aren't physically wearing is society and government" - no, if this is true of anything it's true of everything. If our ability to own land is purely due to the mechanisms of law protecting our right to own it, then our ability to keep the shirt on our back is also due to those mechanisms. In both cases, government is protecting us against theft...

quote:
The second is that the £4k in your bank account isn't equivalent to the shirt on Ricardus' back.
It is in principle. Posessions are posessions.

quote:
The third is the outcomes. I believe that the right for every inhabitant of a country to eat trumps the right for individuals to be arbitrarily wealthy. Or more appropriately I believe the right of every inhabitant in the country to at least not go naked trumps the right of any one to own hundreds of thousands of shirts.
This is where we simply disagree, and I'll leave it there. There's no point arguing about so fundamental a difference in outlook.

quote:
If your total life savings were £3.5k
I wish!

quote:
Now taking every tenth shirt out of Ricardus' wardrobe and giving them to people without shirts might be monumentally inefficient and result in ill-fitting shirts, but it would be a much better analogy than taking away the shirt he is actually wearing.
I'd still call it wrong. And I'd still say there's no difference in principle between taking a posession he doesn't happen to have on his person at that exact moment and one that he does.

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
isn't there a difference between a law to specifically deprive Marvin of £4,000 (or indeed his shirt) and another law that deprives Marvin of that sum, through a formula applied to the whole population?

Yes - but only that the latter affects everyone while the former affects only me. The principle is the same.

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Justinian
Shipmate
# 5357

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
While money may be something we've invented to smoothe the transactional process, and thus not as "real" as a shirt, the principle remains the same. And in terms of that principle, it doesn't matter whether we conduct our transactions using money, solid gold or chickens.

Except that money is a vastly superior means of transaction than barter and this superior tool is being provided by the government.

quote:
As for "the only reason you in any meaningful way own land, or anything else you aren't physically wearing is society and government" - no, if this is true of anything it's true of everything. If our ability to own land is purely due to the mechanisms of law protecting our right to own it, then our ability to keep the shirt on our back is also due to those mechanisms. In both cases, government is protecting us against theft...
No. Because the shirt on our back is on our back. We are there. There's not the same need to protect it when our back is turned because (to badly mix a metaphor) we can't turn our back on our own back. We can be somewhere else other than on our land.

quote:
quote:
The second is that the £4k in your bank account isn't equivalent to the shirt on Ricardus' back.
It is in principle. Posessions are posessions.
Imagine a spherical cow.

I see a distinct difference between posessions we own by title deed and posessions we own because they are on our body at the time.

quote:
quote:
The third is the outcomes. I believe that the right for every inhabitant of a country to eat trumps the right for individuals to be arbitrarily wealthy. Or more appropriately I believe the right of every inhabitant in the country to at least not go naked trumps the right of any one to own hundreds of thousands of shirts.
This is where we simply disagree, and I'll leave it there. There's no point arguing about so fundamental a difference in outlook.
Agreed.

quote:
quote:
If your total life savings were £3.5k
I wish!
Then it's wrong for anyone to take £4k from you.

quote:
I'd still call it wrong. And I'd still say there's no difference in principle between taking a posession he doesn't happen to have on his person at that exact moment and one that he does.
And I say that the only reason he can call something he doesn't have on his person one of his posessions is due to the law. There is nothing else that makes it his. Without the law they are not his posessions, they are merely objects that happen to be under his control. And if he holds them due to the law then the law can state the terms under which he holds them. Taxes are part of those terms.

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My real name consists of just four letters, but in billions of combinations.

Eudaimonaic Laughter - my blog.

Posts: 3926 | From: The Sea Coast of Bohemia | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
romanlion
editorial comment
# 10325

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When I work, I trade the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of my life for some other commodity.

I rightly see that commodity as representative of my life, and no one has any right to it.

You may not agree with me, but come for my shirt and my sincerity will be clear.

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"You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook" - Harry S. Truman

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tclune
Shipmate
# 7959

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quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
I rightly see that commodity as representative of my life, and no one has any right to it.

What a solipsistic notion!

--Tom Clune

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This space left blank intentionally.

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Ricardus
Shipmate
# 8757

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
That's not an answer to the question.

Yes it is. Which answer you think it is depends on how attached you are to your own posessions. What I'm saying is there's no difference between the government seizing someone's cash assets and the government seizing someone's more tangible assets, so if you think it's wrong for the government to take the shirt off your back then you must also think it's wrong for them to take £4k out of my bank account.
The question was whether the right to a specific asset is contingent or absolute.

If you have an absolute right to £4,000 savings, then any man-made event that causes those savings to be reduced - rising cost of living, redundancy - must be regarded as a form of theft.

Conversely, if you have only a contingent right to that £4,000, then there must be circumstances in which it is licit for them to be reduced.

Say "shirt" instead of "£4,000" and the argument still holds, but so what?

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

Posts: 7247 | From: Liverpool, UK | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Justinian
Shipmate
# 5357

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quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
When I work, I trade the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of my life for some other commodity.

I rightly see that commodity as representative of my life, and no one has any right to it.

You may not agree with me, but come for my shirt and my sincerity will be clear.

The commodity you trade for is money under the market scheme used in the country you are trading for. Tax is part of the bargain you made. And as for it being representative of your life? You can try having a life in a country with no police paid for centrally, no environmental protections, no FDA, etc.

The upkeep costs on the country you live in (a.k.a. taxes) are part of the trade you make. If you don't want to pay them then fuck off out of the country and go live somewhere like Somalia.

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My real name consists of just four letters, but in billions of combinations.

Eudaimonaic Laughter - my blog.

Posts: 3926 | From: The Sea Coast of Bohemia | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Justinian: [Overused]

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by tclune:
If you really don't know the difference between the political will of the society and the individual desires of an individual

The only difference is how many people agree with it. The effect on the individual from whom the resources are taken is the same, as is the effect on the individuals who receive the benefit of them.
Not only is that particular difference important, the following other differences also exist and are also important:

1. It's not one "individual" from whom resources are taken. Really, can you name a single tax that only applies to one individual?

2. The amount of resources is taken is assessed on the basis of the amount of resources available so as to minimise the impact. Which rather blows your "take all your possessions" comparison out of the water.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Did you have an absolute right to that £4,000, or a contingent right?

I have exactly the same right to it as you do to the shirt you are currently wearing.

If it's right in any circumstances for the government to take the £4k off me, then it is also right in those circumstances for the government to take the shirt off your back.

Absolutely.

The circumstances being that a valid law has been passed by the legislature granting the executive the power to do so.

I wouldn't pretend to know, constitutionally, exactly what would ensure a 'valid law' over in your country. My own country's constitution has a provision that requires the Commonwealth to acquire property on just terms, so they could have a shirt-taking law here but the law would have to require the government to pay for the shirt.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Sir Pellinore
Quester Emeritus
# 12163

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There may well be discrete Liberal and Conservative groupings with appropriate leaders; forums; think tanks; lobby groups etc.

Sometimes I find it's not the label but the person who has integrity which makes the difference. The real difference.

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Well...

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Ender's Shadow
Shipmate
# 2272

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
When I work, I trade the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of my life for some other commodity.

I rightly see that commodity as representative of my life, and no one has any right to it.

You may not agree with me, but come for my shirt and my sincerity will be clear.

The commodity you trade for is money under the market scheme used in the country you are trading for. Tax is part of the bargain you made. And as for it being representative of your life? You can try having a life in a country with no police paid for centrally, no environmental protections, no FDA, etc.

The upkeep costs on the country you live in (a.k.a. taxes) are part of the trade you make. If you don't want to pay them then fuck off out of the country and go live somewhere like Somalia.

Indeed, and one of the justifications offered in political theory - by Hobbes and later Locke in 17th century - is that by being in a country you are agreeing to what the government orders. Of course this creates a right to leave the country - something which communist states have always denied.

It's perhaps worth separating out two forms of tax - those which hit income, including when it is spent, and those which hit directly at wealth. If the government says: if you earn this much, or if you charge this much for a service you provide, then we'll take this proportion, then this leaves the taxpayer with the option whether to do the deed that leads to the tax or not. Whereas a wealth tax - based on the value of your possessions - is a form of confiscation ultimately, and therefore less legitimate: it is a mob turning up on your doorstep demanding some of your shirts...

The intermediate case is property taxes based on the value of your property. Although at first sight this appears to be a wealth tax, in fact it still arises by your choosing to consume that benefit, as well, of course, as reflecting the cost of providing government services.

--------------------
Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Please don't refer to me as 'Ender' - the whole point of Ender's Shadow is that he isn't Ender.

Posts: 5018 | From: Manchester, England | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
It's perhaps worth separating out two forms of tax - those which hit income, including when it is spent, and those which hit directly at wealth. If the government says: if you earn this much, or if you charge this much for a service you provide, then we'll take this proportion, then this leaves the taxpayer with the option whether to do the deed that leads to the tax or not. Whereas a wealth tax - based on the value of your possessions - is a form of confiscation ultimately, and therefore less legitimate: it is a mob turning up on your doorstep demanding some of your shirts...

The intermediate case is property taxes based on the value of your property. Although at first sight this appears to be a wealth tax, in fact it still arises by your choosing to consume that benefit, as well, of course, as reflecting the cost of providing government services.

The problem with doing this, as I saw in a very interesting article a few months ago, is that the very rich rarely have 'income' in the normal sense of the average joe who gets money in return for their labour. Instead, the very rich are asset-rich and live off profits generated from their assets.

If you start saying that wealth taxes are less legitimate, you're basically saying that the very rich can get away with paying less tax. This is precisely why we end up with the stories that so-and-so only paid a low number of cents in the dollar in tax. Cue the outrage from all the poorer people who paid more tax in the dollar, because they were hit with the 'legitimate' tax on their ordinary means of income.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Justinian
Shipmate
# 5357

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quote:
Originally posted by Ender's Shadow:
Indeed, and one of the justifications offered in political theory - by Hobbes and later Locke in 17th century - is that by being in a country you are agreeing to what the government orders. Of course this creates a right to leave the country - something which communist states have always denied.

And here I agree with you about something. That the right to leave a country should be fundamental. Further I believe that most 17th century states were illegitimate as the consent of the citizens only really became an issue with the French Revolution.

quote:
It's perhaps worth separating out two forms of tax - those which hit income, including when it is spent, and those which hit directly at wealth. If the government says: if you earn this much, or if you charge this much for a service you provide, then we'll take this proportion, then this leaves the taxpayer with the option whether to do the deed that leads to the tax or not. Whereas a wealth tax - based on the value of your possessions - is a form of confiscation ultimately, and therefore less legitimate: it is a mob turning up on your doorstep demanding some of your shirts...
That depends whether you believe that wealth, and in specific inherited wealth is legitimate in the first place. Or whether it's enclosure against what should be the common land.

--------------------
My real name consists of just four letters, but in billions of combinations.

Eudaimonaic Laughter - my blog.

Posts: 3926 | From: The Sea Coast of Bohemia | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
problem with doing this, as I saw in a very interesting article a few months ago, is that the very rich rarely have 'income' in the normal sense of the average joe who gets money in return for their labour. Instead, the very rich are asset-rich and live off profits generated from their assets.

If you start saying that wealth taxes are less legitimate, you're basically saying that the very rich can get away with paying less tax.

Yep.

Basically you can tax who you want depending on what you tax. Income tax falls disproportionalty on the middle classes, because collectively they get paid the most income. Property taxes fall on owners of property, tautologically, and so disproportionatly on the rich, who by definition are those who own the most property. Sales taxes hit the poor harder, because they spend more or their smaller income. And on retail businesses of course. Other transaction taxes tend to hit other kind of business harder.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Not only is that particular difference important, the following other differences also exist and are also important:

1. It's not one "individual" from whom resources are taken. Really, can you name a single tax that only applies to one individual?

It applies to lots of individuals, but that doesn't change the principle. If something is bad then it's bad regardless of whether it applies to just one person or to everyone.

quote:
2. The amount of resources is taken is assessed on the basis of the amount of resources available so as to minimise the impact. Which rather blows your "take all your possessions" comparison out of the water.
Again, in principle there's no difference between taking all of someone's posessions and only taking a percentage of them. That's a difference of magnitude, not type.

But I have no doubt that the sort of people who talk about shit like property being theft and call for everything to be held in common would quite happily take away everything I posess if they had the chance. They don't want anyone to own anything.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30100 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Not only is that particular difference important, the following other differences also exist and are also important:

1. It's not one "individual" from whom resources are taken. Really, can you name a single tax that only applies to one individual?

It applies to lots of individuals, but that doesn't change the principle. If something is bad then it's bad regardless of whether it applies to just one person or to everyone.

quote:
2. The amount of resources is taken is assessed on the basis of the amount of resources available so as to minimise the impact. Which rather blows your "take all your possessions" comparison out of the water.
Again, in principle there's no difference between taking all of someone's posessions and only taking a percentage of them. That's a difference of magnitude, not type.

But I have no doubt that the sort of people who talk about shit like property being theft and call for everything to be held in common would quite happily take away everything I posess if they had the chance. They don't want anyone to own anything.

That's a difference of magnitude, not type?

The magnitude makes all the difference in the world. It's entirely what taxation policy is about, balancing the take and the expenditure.

I'd be interested to hear your articulation of the principles, but we seem to have these propositions floating around unsaid: that the State is entitled to take nothing, that the State is entitled to take something, or that the State is entitled to take everything.

I fall firmly into the 'something' category. You can hint all you like that it's no different in kind to the 'everything' category, but it frankly makes you sound silly.

As does the idea that it makes no difference whether the burden is shared or on a single person.

[ 23. April 2012, 11:10: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Tell you what, Marvin. I'm sure you can come to an arrangement with the authorities. You arrange with them not to pay taxes, rates etc, and instead you can privately contract for ALL your waste disposal, your water supply, your security needs, and so on.

I'll be quite interested to see how much money you have left THEN.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
But I have no doubt that the sort of people who talk about shit like property being theft and call for everything to be held in common would quite happily take away everything I posess if they had the chance. They don't want anyone to own anything.

That famous quoite from Proudhon again! I think you might see another side of it if you actually read what he wrote. Or what Marx thought of him, and of the slogan (which wasn't much)

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
romanlion
editorial comment
# 10325

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
When I work, I trade the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of my life for some other commodity.

I rightly see that commodity as representative of my life, and no one has any right to it.

You may not agree with me, but come for my shirt and my sincerity will be clear.

The commodity you trade for is money under the market scheme used in the country you are trading for. Tax is part of the bargain you made.


Maybe in your tiny little world money is the only commodity available, but not in mine.

quote:
And as for it being representative of your life? You can try having a life in a country with no police paid for centrally, no environmental protections, no FDA, etc.
Here we go again with the "police, fireman, garbage collection" nonsense again. You really have no idea what government actually does spend money on do you?

quote:
The upkeep costs on the country you live in (a.k.a. taxes) are part of the trade you make. If you don't want to pay them then fuck off out of the country and go live somewhere like Somalia.
I regularly beat the income tax. 15 years ago they claimed I had an outstanding balance near 100 thousand dollars. I never paid them shit, and now they send me checks.

If you don't like it then why don't you fuck off into any one of the attractive, collectivist shitholes there are available to live in?

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"You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook" - Harry S. Truman

Posts: 1486 | From: White Rose City | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged



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