Author Topic: A thought on anti-government arguments  (Read 10858 times)

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Offline theseoafs

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #105 on: August 07, 2012, 10:41:34 PM »
Taxes are voluntary, as a matter of fact!... If what America spends its money on, like keeping the poor alive, upsets you, then you can move to another country (and pay their taxes).

Yes, keeping the poor alive, protecting us from big scary corporations, and don't forget National "Defense". You see, all the wars, bombings, drone attacks and innocent people killed by US military aggression are all part of the package deal, paid by taxes, of the US "defending us". If you don't like it, you can move to another country right? If you are aware of the atrocities being committed over seas and still maintain that you paid your taxes voluntarily, you are condoning those actions (otherwise you wouldn't have paid). You don't have a say in where your taxes go and they may very well be spent on something you oppose. The only way out of this quandary and to justify taxes as voluntary, would be to make them truly optional. When you fill out your 1040, there would be a checkbox where you can say "I do not consent to my taxes going to support foreign aggression and request a refund proportional to the amount which would have gone to pay for these actions" allowing you to wash your hands clean. Sadly, we do not have this option. Or, you would have to admit that this was done without your consent and you were forced to pay for the senseless slaughter of others, making taxes involuntary.

I don't think you get it.  The fact that the US armed forces does some pretty nasty stuff behind closed doors doesn't make taxes equivalent to a robbery.  Part of your taxes go to national defense.  It's part of the deal.  Again, if you don't like it, you can move.

Offline Orthogonal

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #106 on: August 07, 2012, 10:45:14 PM »
I don't think you get it.  The fact that the US armed forces does some pretty nasty stuff behind closed doors doesn't make taxes equivalent to a robbery.  Part of your taxes go to national defense.  It's part of the deal.  Again, if you don't like it, you can move.

I guess you don't get it. You are aware that your money is directly going toward nasty stuff. That is called aiding and abetting.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #107 on: August 07, 2012, 10:46:23 PM »
lol okay dude

Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #108 on: August 07, 2012, 11:00:02 PM »
I don't think you get it.  The fact that the US armed forces does some pretty nasty stuff behind closed doors doesn't make taxes equivalent to a robbery.  Part of your taxes go to national defense.  It's part of the deal.  Again, if you don't like it, you can move.

I guess you don't get it. You are aware that your money is directly going toward nasty stuff. That is called aiding and abetting.

If you feel that strongly about it, how are you fighting back?
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #109 on: August 07, 2012, 11:16:14 PM »
For a single citizen there isn't much you can do to make real change. I realize how difficult it is to fight. Peaceful protest and trying to educate others is probably the best you can do. I think American's are starting to get fatigued from all the conflicts and I think there are enough people to demand change such that more substantial results can be realized.

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #110 on: August 07, 2012, 11:43:29 PM »
Providing for basic medical care for the poor and elderly through taxation is not an evil. The very suggestion that it is is something that will keep libertarian thought and suggestion from being taken seriously by anyone except for a very select few. The same goes for infrastructure and education.

This is an invalid jump in logic. No one is claiming that providing care for the elderly, educating the poor etc is some sort of evil. The question revolves around taking property from others without their consent. I can't go over to my neighbors house and demand that they pay for my kids education (tax them) and then kidnap them in my basement if they refuse (imprisoned for tax evasion), but the government can do this. The government is made up of people just like you and me. Why can a person called "government" do this legitimately, but I can't. This is a double standard.

The means and the ends are identical, the only difference is the person who is doing it. Yet, one is a crime, the other is public policy.

You conveniently chose to eliminate the part of my post that you quoted where I stated that I accept the fact that I'm a part of a society. That means that I accept governance when it's effective as I also explained in the section that you chose to eliminate. There is no "invalid jump in logic" in my way of thinking unless you choose to omit sections of my statement and make an argument based on something that's been taken out of context.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #111 on: August 07, 2012, 11:52:10 PM »
I can only give you my point of view but, here goes.

Let's say that I'm your average every day general laborer (which I am). I go to work, clock in and right off the bat I'm expected to be productive enough to make money for the company that I'm working for. Instead of making money in return for my efforts, first of all I must pay my government. Who is doing the work here? Me. It feels like I have to pay for the right to work and that's the same reason that I have no use for labor unions in their current form.

What do you mean, that you must "first of all" pay the government? That's not true. You can also opt out of paying your income tax automatically in your paycheck, it just may make it more of a hassle come tax time. I've done that in a couple of jobs, mostly because I know that I won't be making enough money through the year to actually end up owing federal income tax (I still end up paying social security and medicare taxes, cause you can't opt out of those).

You also make it sound as if you must pay a fee before you get your money. Again, that's not true. You get your paycheck, you get your money, and you're free to do with that what you want. You just get slightly less in your actual paycheck, which is not nearly the same as first having to pay someone else.

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Also, I'd like to point out a major problem that many of you have been making about the use of roads. Each and every time I fill up my fuel tank I have to pay a tax that's already figured into the price of a gallon of gas

The money gained from that isn't enough to pay for all the infrastructure this country needs. And seeing as how this debate is about infrastructure, in essence, let's also bring in power lines, internet, sewage, etc.

For a single citizen there isn't much you can do to make real change. I realize how difficult it is to fight. Peaceful protest and trying to educate others is probably the best you can do. I think American's are starting to get fatigued from all the conflicts and I think there are enough people to demand change such that more substantial results can be realized.

Ya know, if we just all up and left the middle east, stopped meddling in all the affairs, our economy would probably crash. China wants that oil, they'd probably jump in and start getting that oil. Do you really think people want insanely expansive gas, and a broken economy? You can't just ignore the economic reasons why we're in the middle east.


Offline Orthogonal

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #112 on: August 08, 2012, 12:07:12 AM »
Ya know, if we just all up and left the middle east, stopped meddling in all the affairs, our economy would probably crash.

Broken window fallacy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG3AKoL0vEs

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China wants that oil, they'd probably jump in and start getting that oil. Do you really think people want insanely expansive gas, and a broken economy? You can't just ignore the economic reasons why we're in the middle east.

Cheap oil is preferential to lives, got it.

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #113 on: August 08, 2012, 12:17:21 AM »
I can only give you my point of view but, here goes.

Let's say that I'm your average every day general laborer (which I am). I go to work, clock in and right off the bat I'm expected to be productive enough to make money for the company that I'm working for. Instead of making money in return for my efforts, first of all I must pay my government. Who is doing the work here? Me. It feels like I have to pay for the right to work and that's the same reason that I have no use for labor unions in their current form.

What do you mean, that you must "first of all" pay the government? That's not true. You can also opt out of paying your income tax automatically in your paycheck, it just may make it more of a hassle come tax time. I've done that in a couple of jobs, mostly because I know that I won't be making enough money through the year to actually end up owing federal income tax (I still end up paying social security and medicare taxes, cause you can't opt out of those).

You also make it sound as if you must pay a fee before you get your money. Again, that's not true. You get your paycheck, you get your money, and you're free to do with that what you want. You just get slightly less in your actual paycheck, which is not nearly the same as first having to pay someone else.

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Also, I'd like to point out a major problem that many of you have been making about the use of roads. Each and every time I fill up my fuel tank I have to pay a tax that's already figured into the price of a gallon of gas

The money gained from that isn't enough to pay for all the infrastructure this country needs. And seeing as how this debate is about infrastructure, in essence, let's also bring in power lines, internet, sewage, etc.


To the first point about the income tax, it's removed before I get the check. To me that means that someone else is getting paid right off the top before I see any of it. I do have the choice of either paying it now or coming up with the money come tax season but, it's still a tax on my wages and as soon as I clock in the government is guaranteed to a cut of my money. We can argue semantics but, in the end they are getting the money one way or another and they are guaranteed to that cut the very moment that I begin to earn my wage.

To the second point, if you've ever paid a bill for any of those utilities you will see on your statement where they are also taxed. Infact, if you have a home phone line you are also paying a tax that was implemented to pay for the spanish/american war that occured almost 120 years ago. I dunno but, I'm thinking that the american tax payer has already paid for that minor little conflict a long time ago.

Here's a little list for you of some of the taxes paid by americans:

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
Capital Gains Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Court Fines (indirect taxes)
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax Interest expense (tax on the money)
Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Local Income Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Septic Permit Tax
Service Charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Road Toll Booth Taxes
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone federal excise tax
Telephone federal universal service fee tax
Telephone federal, state and
local surcharge taxes
Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
Telephone state and local tax
Telephone usage charge tax
Toll Bridge Taxes
Toll Tunnel Taxes
Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
Trailer Registration Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #114 on: August 08, 2012, 01:26:22 AM »
Ya know, if we just all up and left the middle east, stopped meddling in all the affairs, our economy would probably crash.

Broken window fallacy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG3AKoL0vEs


The broken window is a logical fallacy and in some ways a moral fallacy, not an economic one. The economy doesn't care if that the bake lost a window, all it cares about is that someone spent money.

Besides, it in no way applies to this situation. There is a limited amount of oil, our economy depends upon oil, and if you were to cut this supply of oil off, we'd go into a massive depression. Your food costs would skyrocket to the point where many people couldn't afford food. People would no longer be able to even get to their jobs from the suburbs. Seriously, it would fuck things up.


@powerslave:

I don't really see how a list of the number of taxes matter's at all. What matters is the amount of revenue raised. You could have a million taxes, but if they're all tiny and don't pull in enough revenue, than it doesn't matter. I'd also ask, what would you prefer? Having tons of taxes all over the place, which masks what you're truly paying in taxes, or having one simple tax, so that you know exactly what you're paying? Pragmatically, it doesn't make a difference if you pay a ton of sales taxes on everything you buy* or if you have some of that taken out of your paycheck. You're losing that money either way. Pragmatically, it's just as if, instead of getting paid $9.00 an hour, you get paid $8.50 an hour (obviously, I pulled those numbers of out of my ass, but you get the point), but at the same time, you get something in return.

More importantly, sales taxes are regressive. They hit lower income people harder, so you, as a common laborer, would experience a huge tax increase in order to get the same level of service. If all we had were sales taxes, someone like Mitt Romney would pay practically nothing**, and there'd be countless  services the government could no longer afford. You'd either need a very high sales tax, which would destroy the poor, or you'd start having to make cuts to defense, police, education, food safety, health care, social security, research and development, and probably a few others I'm forgetting about right now.

*personally, I fucking hate sales taxes. It's really a minor convenience, but I rather enjoy be able to see the price of something I'm buying, and actually paying that price. It also means I don't have nearly as much worthless change, because other than national fast food chains, people charge nice round amounts, so that really all I need are quarters.

**let's leave the issue of our current government discussion for a different debate. This one is more ideological, and less practical... cause Mitt Romney does pay a rather low tax rate, and who knows, maybe he was paying near nothing.

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #115 on: August 08, 2012, 08:02:27 AM »
The reason that I listed the taxes is because you asked me about those things as if they were not taxed at all. I also made the same argument not long ago when Praxis claimed that the poor don't pay income taxes. What else are they/we/me supposed to pay those taxes with if not their income?

Anyways, back to the point at hand, you say that there isn't enough revenue generated by those taxes to cover the costs. You're ignoring the fact that an income tax reduces the buying power of the vast majority of people in this nation. If you increase the buying power of the majority of people then there would be more demand for products that could be taxed when purchased and we would need more people to work to make those products or provide those services.

The way that it is now, I buy the basic necessities which aren't taxed (food ect.) and I'm forced to buy the cheapest that I can. There's a down side to this as well because I'm a type-2 diabetic and eating junk to survive will just cause my condition to worsen unless I can find better employment in the near future. By the way, I can't afford health insurance so the rest of you are on hook for taking care of my sorry old ass (another tax) when the time comes that I'm forced to carry insurance. Yes, I said that it wasn't an evil to help the poor with basic health needs (probably because I am one lol...) earlier in this thread but, poverty is a viscious circle that I've been struggling to deal with since this whole deal in 2008 started and none of your solutions are helping.
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Offline Orthogonal

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #116 on: August 08, 2012, 08:23:17 AM »
The broken window is a logical fallacy and in some ways a moral fallacy, not an economic one. The economy doesn't care if that the bake lost a window, all it cares about is that someone spent money.

Besides, it in no way applies to this situation. There is a limited amount of oil, our economy depends upon oil, and if you were to cut this supply of oil off, we'd go into a massive depression. Your food costs would skyrocket to the point where many people couldn't afford food. People would no longer be able to even get to their jobs from the suburbs. Seriously, it would fuck things up.

Wow, you completely failed to understand the broken window fallacy, it is pointing out this very thing. Yes, the baker is spending money on replacing his window, but what is not seen is that if the window was not broken, he would have bought a new suit. Now the baker only has a window and society is poorer by the creation of one new suit.

If destroying things to spur economic growth was a good thing, then carpet bombing a city only to destroy it (and then rebuild it) would be an outstanding economic growth policy. I say we start with DC.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #117 on: August 08, 2012, 12:14:10 PM »
No, I completely understand the broken window fallacy. What hilarious to me, is that libertarians focus on the baker, and start to ignore the window maker. It's a draw. The window maker get's a nice new suit, the suit maker still had to make a new suit for someone to buy. How does that make any difference to the suit maker? He see's the same benefits, and so does everyone else after him.

And some act of destruction is really good for the economy. It's even good for the ecosystem. America post WWII is a great example of this. In nature, we can also look at wildfires. Not too long ago, people though wildfires were horrible, the destroyed an ecosystem, and they should be stopped. Then a massive, and I do mean massive, fire occurred in Yellowstone. People freaked out, they thought Yellowstone was gone. But a few years later, everything was back, and better than before.

Quite a bit of our economy is dependent upon continual destruction. It's called food, and eating. If I didn't need to eat constantly, there probably wouldn't even be an economy to talk about. And companies do take into account how long a product will last, they don't want to create the perfect, ever lasting product. They want to create something good enough to make you like it, but crappy enough that you have to buy a new one in a few years. Computers and technology are constantly going obsolete, and having to be replaced, but that act of needing to replace them is a huge spur to the economy.

Consumerism is a direction contradiction to the idea that the broken window fallacy is the kind of fallacy libertarians try to make it out to be.

Offline soundgarden

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #118 on: August 08, 2012, 01:15:59 PM »
What shocks me about libertarians is how easily they forget why all these government arms (and thus taxes to support them) were created in the first place.  They weren't some random thoughts of crazy politicians; it was to address an issue that the free market was not fixing (or not fixing fast enough).

Libertarian arguments always strike me similarly to religious arguments.  It does sound nice; but its wholly devoid of evidence from history and reality; wishing on an imagined ideal.

Offline rumborak

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #119 on: August 08, 2012, 01:42:24 PM »
Many of them subscribe to the Austrian School, partially because it actively rejects empirical evidence.

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Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #120 on: August 08, 2012, 03:22:48 PM »
What shocks me about libertarians is how easily they forget why all these government arms (and thus taxes to support them) were created in the first place.  They weren't some random thoughts of crazy politicians; it was to address an issue that the free market was not fixing (or not fixing fast enough).

Mmmmeeeeeehhhhhhhh

You sound like someone who defends a parent who hits their kids because it's the only thing the parent knows.  Really, the parent should just not do anything if he/she's that incompetent.

Same thing with government.  "Obviously, we have red light cameras because we need a way to curb people from running them."  Irrelevant.  They're a way for the government to write tickets that have nothing to do with traffic safety and everything to do with theft.  Yellow lights are intentionally made shorter, and more rear end collisions happen because people don't want to get ticketed.

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Libertarian arguments always strike me similarly to religious arguments.  It does sound nice; but its wholly devoid of evidence from history and reality; wishing on an imagined ideal.

China implements a flat income tax (with no other forms of personal taxation that I know of) just fine.

Reducing corporate income taxes to 5% (or just not bothering) wouldn't cause the country to fall apart.

Chile has a pension system that seems to work.  Why don't we replace our financially untenable social security system with it?

This part of your post sounds like a bullshit attack to me.  Are you sure you actually understand libertarian thought and how it works?  Or are you content to just insult it and by extension the people who believe in it?

« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 03:27:54 PM by ReaPsTA »
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #121 on: August 08, 2012, 04:07:58 PM »
Yellow lights are not made intentionally shorter in order to write more tickets. That's almost on the level of tin foil hat conspiracy theory. It's a balancing act to be sure, but that's because too long of a yellow means more people will run the red light. They'll think, hey, I have plenty of time, it's just yellow. Too shot of one can lead to more rear ends, but that's not necessarily the case. Yellow lights in Albuquerque NM are incredibly long, and there's tons of accidents because of it. Yellow lights in Montana are very shot in comparison, and I like NEVER see rear end collisions, even when the roads are super fucking icy.

Our social security system isn't really untenable. It needs a few minor tweaks, but that's mostly because people started living longer, in part due to the social security and medicare. Our pension system has worked fine for 70 years now, the biggest problem being that politicians continually raided it's surpluses to balance the budget they were unwilling to balance.

Offline Riceball

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #122 on: August 08, 2012, 06:33:27 PM »
The level of conspiracy-theory-nuttiness is off the charts ITT.
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Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #123 on: August 08, 2012, 07:24:39 PM »
Yellow lights are not made intentionally shorter in order to write more tickets. That's almost on the level of tin foil hat conspiracy theory.

https://thenewspaper.com/news/17/1759.asp

And this was just from a couple minutes of Googling.  I'm sure it's far more common.  If I understand correctly, places with Red Light cameras tend to have shorter yellow light times.  I wonder why.....

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Our social security system isn't really untenable. It needs a few minor tweaks, but that's mostly because people started living longer, in part due to the social security and medicare. Our pension system has worked fine for 70 years now, the biggest problem being that politicians continually raided it's surpluses to balance the budget they were unwilling to balance.

We don't have a pension system.  We have a ponzi scheme.  There's no such thing as a social security surplus and there never was.  It all goes into the big morass of the budget.

At some point, the program will start paying out more than it takes in.

Rather than mess with any of this, just reconfigure the system.  Take money out of people's bank accounts and put it into a personal retirement fund that goes into super-duper low risk investments. 

This is apparently some kind of horseshit libertarian fantasy though, so whatever.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #124 on: August 08, 2012, 09:03:50 PM »
Yellow lights are not made intentionally shorter in order to write more tickets. That's almost on the level of tin foil hat conspiracy theory.

https://thenewspaper.com/news/17/1759.asp

And this was just from a couple minutes of Googling.  I'm sure it's far more common.  If I understand correctly, places with Red Light cameras tend to have shorter yellow light times.  I wonder why.....

And this was from reading what you gave me:

Quote
The city defended its effort to the Springfield News-Leader by claiming it was "standardizing" and had increased the yellow time at 136 city-operated lights to meet national standards

So they increased the time on more light than they decreased.


Quote
We don't have a pension system.  We have a ponzi scheme.  There's no such thing as a social security surplus and there never was.  It all goes into the big morass of the budget.

At some point, the program will start paying out more than it takes in.

These two statements contradict each other. If they've been taking more money in that it was paying out, than it was running a surplus.

You're a little right, because there was never some independent fund set up so that congress couldn't use it, but that's also a, well, easy as thing to change. As is change the age your eligible.

Oh, and really, the biggest problem with social security is demographics - we're getting older and older, and that would be a major problem period.

I'd also question the ability of a completely personal fund to actually act as social security for the lowest income people. What about someone who is a common laborer, get's injured at a young age, can't work as much, and so doesn't save as much? Do we just forget about those people? By having a common fund, it's not a very big issue.

Offline soundgarden

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Re: A thought on anti-government arguments
« Reply #125 on: August 11, 2012, 11:38:13 AM »
China implements a flat income tax (with no other forms of personal taxation that I know of) just fine.

..as part of a larger economic system that should make any Libertarian puke...

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Reducing corporate income taxes to 5% (or just not bothering) wouldn't cause the country to fall apart.

"wouldn't fall apart," yes I agree.

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Chile has a pension system that seems to work.  Why don't we replace our financially untenable social security system with it?
Europe has a health care system that CLEARLY works.  Why don't we replace ours with that.?

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This part of your post sounds like a bullshit attack to me.  Are you sure you actually understand libertarian thought and how it works?  Or are you content to just insult it and by extension the people who believe in it?

Each of those examples you listed sound nice in of itself, but forgets the larger context.  There are policies at all points on the economic spectrum that WILL work; its only a matter of analyzing them in light of the time we are in.  Flat income tax alongside communism?  The US had a pension system with GM and Ford that DID work last century and now is a major reason for our car industries' failing.

The libertarian ideal (which, I admit, and like all economic views does have some merit!) seems to believe that ONLY reduced government is the solution, that ONLY social freedom, even the freedom to harm, works.

Show me a Libertarian that admits that a universal health care system is MORE economical, MORE easy for corporations, and MORE fair for each citizen.  I will stand and hear all his other arguments for policy because I will know he is not blinded by idealism.