- 2014-08-17 part one: I believe we have no choice but to make government work, because if you take away democratic government you get feudalism.
- 2014-08-17 part two: Defunding governments not only doesn't create a violence-free stateless or minarchist society in the long run (quite the opposite, in fact), it also has disastrous consequences in the short run.
- 2014-08-18 part three: Detroit was not killed by "liberal policies".
- 2014-08-20 part four: Shouldn't we want to have an organization that represents the interests of society at large? And shouldn't we want that organization to be more powerful than the largest of the private interests, so it can prevent them from taking over??
- 2014-08-21 part five: Laws and theories do not science make. (continuation of the discussion from Science-Inculcated Culture)
- 2014-08-22 part six: You can't have a civil society* without coercion.
- 2014-08-22 part six and a half: I was looking for a defense of anti-trust legislation and had marked this thread as being not for free-market discussion (#MarketFreeThread), but the free-marketeers had to crap all over it anyway.
- 2014-08-24 part seven: Is it even true that capitalism is by far the best system for distributing wealth? (continuation of discussion from the #marketFreeThread)
- 2014-08-24 part eight: Is it true that the government was "small enough to drown in a bathtub" prior to FDR? A simple graph should help resolve that question... Tentatively, here is that graph.
- 2014-08-28 part nine: rebuttal of Pauline Dixon's TEDx talk about private schools saving education
- 2014-08-30 part ten: market accountability
- 2014-09-07 part eleven: why can't poor people in India sue over pollution?
- 2014-09-07 part twelve: rights are meaningless unless they are enforced by some third party.
- 2014-09-09 part thirteen: if taxation is theft...
taxation as theft
version I decided not to use; save in case of later use
If taxation is theft, then theft must go something like this:
- The thief only takes a percentage of what you earn over a certain amount.
- If you earn less than that, you don't get robbed.
- If you think the thief is asking too much, you can file a complaint.
- Your employer volunteers to do the robbing automatically.
- If you accidentally pay too much, the thief sends back the extra.
- If you resist being robbed, the thief may respond with threatening letters and (ultimately) a court summons, where you may be robbed of additional funds at gavelpoint.
- The thief uses what they have stolen to provide a number of vital public services.
- Unfortunately, due to increasing corporate influence over the Thieves' Guild (an elected body which decides how to allocate the funds), more and more of the money has been going to pay for various forms of corporate welfare (wars, subsidies, etc.).
Clearly this is wrong, and we should just let the corporations run everything. After all, if it weren't for all the theft going around, the corporations wouldn't have to keep -stealing- rightfully reclaiming their own money that was wrongly taken from them in order to provide those stupid vital services.
Why, I'm sure they'd be so grateful that they'd immediately stop being bloodsucking leeches at every opportunity, and really start trying to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Yep.
Oh, and they'd totally defend our rights, too. (You know -- the ones that the free marketeers keep telling us don't need to be defended.) Just like major enterprises did back in the days before that big-government Civil War thing started oppressing slaveholders by infringing on their property rights.
I mean, goodness... nowadays, the people-owners aren't even supposed to physically _punish_ their -property- employees when they misbehave. What kind of mad, ultra-liberal world is this?
- freeMarketThread Free-marketeers often argue that government should be restricted to _enforcing rights only_ because otherwise power-players can manipulate it into doing whatever they want, ultimately resulting in tyranny.
(We're agreed that power-players manipulating the government is a problem, and the source of much of what's wrong with government today.)
The problem with this is twofold: 1. There is no definitive list of "rights" anywhere; people disagree about which things should be rights and which should not. 2. Pretty much any law can be couched as a "right", or can be seen as necessary in order to enforce a "right" or something that could be couched as one.
Therefore even a "rights-only" government would not really have any more obstacles to tyranny than any government currently in existence.
This argument therefore doesn't really contribute anything to the problem of fixing government or preventing tyranny.
_"You can't base a right on infringing a right.?"_
Enforcement of basic rights for one person _requires_ restricting extreme expressions of others' rights. This kind of conflict arises in society all the time -- and when the government decides the wrong way, it's called a "human rights abuse" or sometimes "tyranny".
A host-mother's right of ownership of her body is infringed upon if the fetus's "right to life" is enforced.
Taking action against a thief, for example, infringes upon the thief's right to liberty. It may infringe upon the property rights of others if the thief tries to escape the police by hiding on someone else's property.
If we absolutely enforce your right to be safe in your home, then mortgages would be impossible -- because foreclosing on a home (taking it away from you) would be a violation of that right.