Is Government Debt Immoral?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Michael, May 26, 2012.

  1. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    We're not going round and round. We're just not coming to an agreement on what is and is not moral. We should be able to because the formal study of morality is over 2500 years old.

    Stealing is immoral.
    No, Michael does not. Michael states that Ethics determines WHICH types of laws can be passed. Then of course it's up to the Citizens to determine which laws will be enacted.

    It should NOT be legal to pass immoral laws (like making rape or stealing legal).

    Well this is the thing quadraphonics, we have to let the market determine that. The CEO of IBM thought personal computers was a "silly" idea. The market disagreed.

    Unlike income tax, which involves force. Competing currencies do not and are voluntary. One is immoral, the other moral. Why not choose the moral route?
     
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  3. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    That is what they're doing. This is the thing, it doesn't work. When those bridges are rebuilt, unemployment returns.

    Just ask the Japanese. They've been doing it for 20 years. I have to say, the infrastructure is great in Japan. Nice roads. Nice bridges. But no economic growth for two decades. What was helping their economy was trade with China.
     
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  5. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    That's the definition of "going round and round."

    That doesn't imply that we should be able to reach consensus on anything.

    The fact of the matter is that your rhetoric is a total hash. Talking about "formal study" is a laugh - you're self-inconsistent, blatantly!

    And you are unable to discern what is stealing, from other things that are not. One of the reasons your output is a complete hash.

    And then Michael turns around and insists that the Citizens violated ethics and so the laws are immoral. The fact that nobody is convinced by his reasoning doesn't seem to figure into this dynamic.

    This kind of circular inanity is kinda funny, but is also a reason why you can't think through any of these issues without crossing your own wires.

    We already do. You're perfectly free to go live in a different place with a different currency if you think it's managed better. You're perfectly free to rely on BitCoins, or just trade for most of what you need. The market likes the dollar, and the Fed's policies, just fine. It's you that has the problem.

    If you're going to stay hung up on the fact that all governance (not just income taxation) necessarily involves using force, then you should just sack it up and admit that you're an anarchist. Anarchism is the only political philosophy that rejects the use of hierarchical force outright. All the others - including libertarianism - demand the use of force by the state to enforce certain norms. In libertarianism this gets limited to property rights, but it's still force.

    There's nothing immoral about income taxes levied by a legitimate, democratic government.

    False dilemma - those two topics have nothing to do with one another. You're way out in kooky fantasy territory here, propounding stuff that has no recognizable relationship to reality, economic theory or logical reasoning. It's all just feel-good rhetoric to let you act superior. You aren't. Your ideas are just plain stupid, and your inability to learn from people who point out their flaws is the handicap that keeps you from leaving these childish, inane concepts behind.
     
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  7. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    lets just make this real simple. you don't get to redefine words to suit your purposes. you don't get to ignore history to suit your purposes. when you stop doing both of those discourse can be had. bonds aren't theft. and history has shown your ideas to be at best foolish at worst designed to create a predatory envoirment.
     
  8. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not redefining words to suite my purpose

    Stealing is to to take the property of another wrongfully (example: by use of force or theft through secrecy).

    While quadraphonics may disagree with the use of simple analogies they serve to illustrate the meaning of the word. Particularly when one is wedded to "history". One can ignore history in this instance as history doesn't define what is and is not moral. Ethics determines what is an is not moral.

    Stealing is a priori immoral. Just as a triangle is a two dimensional polygon object having three corners. A triangle doesn't need to exist for us to agree what one is. Stealing needn't ever occur for us to agree as to what it is.

    Now, it seems to me that you guys are the ones who want to redefine terms. You want to justify stealing by redefining income tax as not stealing. However, we all know you will be coerced (forced) to pay.

    In our Island example, if 5 people were on an island. Suppose each person had enough water to last 10 days. But, they need to last for 12 days for help to arrive. They take a vote on who should die. One person refuses to participate. They vote to take his water. They use force and take his water. He dies. They live.

    That is stealing. This simple story serves to illustrate that voting to make something legal does not change the fact that stealing occurred. Stealing is by it's nature, immoral. Nothing more. As we all know, ONE COUNTER example destroys a theory. I have provided an example of where voting does not change morality. Thus, voting can not mean something is therefor moral.

    Voluntarily paying tax is perfectly moral. Forcing someone to part with some of their private property is OTOH stealing.

    Everyone here thinks they "need to tax the rich". Well, OK, you can make it legal. But you can't make it moral. Now, I'm not rich. So, I stand to benefit by the rich being taxed. Why would I therefor argue not to tax them? Because taxing them would be theft. AND we can see where it's leading us. We have a society where the top 1% pay little to no tax anyway. We're the ones who pay. The middle class. My argument is that we can create a society where, through the use of competing currencies, we could avoid violating ethics and still have all the things we need to make a prosperous society.

    We could tax the wealthiest Americans 100% of their wealth and we'd have spent it in a week. This system is not going to work. How many people I wonder, have written things off on their income tax? The very same income tax they purport to support? Isn't that interesting? AND people HATE paying it. Then why do it? Invent a better system.

    As to Government Debt. The act of inflating the currency. A STATED GOAL. Is theft again. A 2% inflation with interest rates below 2% means retiree's, the most vulnerable in society, are having their private property, their money, their store of their productive labor, stolen from them.

    Live by the sword.
    Die by the sword.
     
  9. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    What is it that we're having a problem coming to terms with? Stealing being immoral? That voting can not change an immoral act to a moral act? What exactly are YOU unable to grasp of these two relatively simple concepts?
    That's because the USD is being backed by income tax and force. IF it weren't. Perhaps people would still like it. But, maybe not as much. Who knows. Why not let the market decide? Oh, but that would take power away from the Central Banks and put it again into the hands of the Citizen. Can't have that now can we?

    It should be noted there are laws regarding the use of gold and silver as legal tender the result in the taxation of property when they are traded.

    The argument is the argument. It has nothing to do with me personally. Either it is or is not a rational argument. As it stands, it is.
     
  10. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    5,068
    Again, we can't have too little.. or people die. I mean debt?! How does that even work? They have so much they give us some, because we don't have enough?

    We didn't have any to begin with and they gave us some? They're stupid, were not paying them back. Call Japan next.

    Debt would imply a negative. Did I literally work 6 hours today and not only did I not do enough... I made it so were all poorer?

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    Can we get rid of all the rich guys who make us go to war with the other people in debt who are controlled by their rich guys? Wait.

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  11. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    Ok. Its simple.

    We work to be wealthy. Our work directly generates wealth of a specific brand.

    8 hour work day from worker 1 produces X amount of product A.

    Worker 1 needs compensation of assorted products to cover 8 hours of work fair to the quality, and quantity in which he assembled product A.

    Worker 1 needs to be identified professionally, and professions need a grading scale for fair compensation. What is the value of worker 1's out put, in relation workers 2-100,000,000?

    The gold standard is silly. Labor standard! We need milk, egg's, and potato's, not corporations to compete to sell us these things. We need farmers, stockers, and merchants, not CEO's, or VP's of sales.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  12. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    really what else do you call you trying to paint taxes as theft as?
     
  13. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Look, I made my argument on why Income Tax is theft, it's also legal and it's also tax AND it's also stealing AND thus it's also immoral.

    You OTOH come back with some smart ass response time and time again. Why not actually make an argument, a logical argument, for why income tax is not immoral. Notice once again, I didn't say income tax is illegal. While it wasn't ever voted on directly, it did pass into Law. I simply stated it involves coercion and force to remove property from someone, thus, meets the definition of stealing and is therefor immoral.


    Also, I didn't say "any" tax I specified a tax and said income tax (although SSI would qualify).

    While income tax is forced on people. Gasoline tax OTOH is freely paid. You don't have to buy gasoline. BUT, if you want to use public roads, then they need paid for, and this works well if the payment to maintain the roads is in the gasoline. Tolls also work well for roads. Japan is literally littered in tolls and the roads are fantastic. Want to drive through the mountain, pay a toll and you're in the city in 5 minutes. Don't want to use the toll roads? That's OK, it's a 35 minute drive around the mountain. Both people pay tax in gasoline and one person chooses to pay a little more for the convenience of traveling through the mountain. Either person could live in the city OR take a subway. Subways also need maintenance, they costs a bit of money as well. To attract talent, most companies in Japan PAY for the subway for all employees.

    See how all of this works? It's called volunteerism. There's nothing magical or inane about volunteerism. I'd suggest 99.99% of the interactions you have with people are via free interaction. You don't call in a government official to force someone to have coffee with you. Yet, you'd happily have the police send that very same person you were freely interacting with to jail - if they don't pay into that 81% tax.

    Sad,

    Anyway, through volunteerism tax is being paid, society is functioning, AND we haven't spoken of income tax.


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    As you can see, the government makes most of it's money milking the Cattle.
    81%

    Sadly, private insurance could provide MUCH better service at such a cheaper price. 80% of that tax money will be sucked into Fat White Middle Class American Bureaucrates (which is the REAL welfare class) who 'administer' the welfare system - which is why we will NEVER see an end to the permanent poor. There's too many fat white Americans dependent on their BEING a poor class.

    Anyway, as SSI is spent as soon as it comes in, it's no different than Income Tax. Basically a full 81%+ of the Federal Budget is only paid through force and coercion. Which is why even if you try and take your money overseas, they'll need to know how much and where to. See, it's not YOUR money. You're just Cattle and that money is just a place marker of the amount of labor you've been milked of.

    AND you know what, Governments only grow. They grow and grow and grow. See, governments think just like you. That the world revolves around government - it's the sun that shines Light out of its Ass to light up our lives. Without ALL those white middle class fat American bureaucrates *gasp* the world would actually stop turning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    Yes you are Michael. You have misused words consistently in various threads in order to support your memes.

    That is not taxation. Taxation is not theft. Taxation is the way we pay our mutual collective expenses.

    Now we know what is ethical if we are living on a remote island if we need to ration water or want to rape someone. Now how about some real life lessons in ethics? How about some applied ethics? Who is going to be the ethics guru in your world Michael? Who is going to review the volumes of statutory and common law and rewrite them to comport with your notion of ethics?

    You spend a lot of time stating the obvious instead of addressing the holes in your notions Michael. No one is arguing that theft is not immoral. What is being argued is your claims that taxation is some how theft. And clearly it is not. Taxation is the way government pays for our mutual and collective expenses.

    No Michael. We don’t need to redefine the language to make our points. You do.

    Well first, it is your example. Second, taxation has nothing to do with rationing of water on a remote island. Taxation is about paying for the benefits we receive from our government (e.g. fire and police services). It is yet another in a series of false analogies you have thrown up to defend your notions.

    No Michael this is just another in a long series of illogical arguments (i.e. fallacies) that you have used throughout this and other threads.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_analogy

    And just what is voluntary taxation? If you use the roads does that mean you are volunteering to pay for them? If you live in this country and partake of the benefits of this country does that mean you are agreeing to taxation?

    You don’t get points for repetition of previously identified fallacies.

    Retirees are not limited to investing in government treasuries. They can invest in other higher yielding debt securities if they so choose. It has something to do with this notion of freedom. Additionally, the Fed is trying to keep inflation at or below 2 percent. They are not mandating a 2 percent inflation rate as you are implying.
    The Fed’s goals are to maintain full employment and price stability which benefits those retirees you referenced. It doesn’t hurt them in any way.
     
  15. Psyche Registered Senior Member

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    This is a vacuous assertion which attempts to shift the burden of proof onto those making the negative claim about reality. The laws of physics apply to all persons equally whether they are a member of the government or not. And for ethical propositions to be accurate the same must also be true. If for instance x is immoral when peter performs x, than it follows that x is immoral when Paul performs x. No allowance can be made for social, economic, or political status. What is right for Peter must also be right for Paul. Or we are not dealing with ethics, but the doublethink involved when trying to make moral what is at base a situation of might makes right. Ethics involves judging actions, and not the title next to the name of the person performing the actions.

    This point can be brought into focus by universalizing the proposition that taxation is not theft:

    Imagine that the U.S Government is Mcdonalds, and all of the money that is collected through taxation is used to help create the ideal society as envisioned by the Mcdonald's corporation. McCitizens have no choice but to pay the tax under penalty of incarceration in McPrison, but do not regard this as strange because they have spent their entire schooling years solemnly reciting a pledge of allegiance to the golden arches and singing the Mcdonalds theme song at assemblies and sporting events. They have been taught that disobedience to Mcdonalds is synonymous with being a bad person. That only criminals or the insane would dare question the virtue and necessity of Mcdonalds as the central authority in their lives. And even though they have no choice but to sacrifice upwards of half there income to their Mcrulers, they believe that they are free because couple of years they go to their local Mcdonald's franchises and vote whether or not the Hamburgler or Mayor McCheese will be the new Ceo of the corporation/overlord of their lives...

    And of course it is plainly obvious that this doesn't make any sense. All takes is to not look at the government as different from any other corporation. There is nothing mystical about it. So when you say that taxation is not theft you are not only redefining language, you are redefining reality to fit the preconceived notion about the nature of the society we live in. We live in a murder based society where a single corporation has achieved mystical status and is allowed to use violence to organize human activity as if this were the panacea of how social problems get solved. The reason government can tax, and Mcdonalds can't is simply that Mcdonalds has no means (physically, or ideologically) of forcing anyone to pay it.
     
  16. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    6,152
    Who is the they in this fairy tale? Proof?

    Speaking of sacrifice: who is to pay the the salaries of the military, police and other public servants who sacrifice to protect McMiser?
     
  17. Psyche Registered Senior Member

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    true believers

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  18. Psyche Registered Senior Member

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    Well, you certainly don't solve the problem of protecting McMiser by creating an organization that can violate his person and property at will and in perpetuity with special immunity from the laws they are supposedly enforcing!
     
  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Michael,

    Your post at #170 shows "Entitlements" in red. 84% of that money is allocated to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    These are entitlements the claimants paid for. The unemployment insurance (in the other 16% was paid by their employers, a perk for signing on at whatever rate of pay was offered.

    The profile looks different when you set them aside as entitlements (unless you mean to cancel those kinds of agreements.) It leaves the military as the largest consumer of public funds.

    When you talk about ideas like reducing the government to reduce the debt and/or ongoing costs, you are left with the dilemma of reducing the military. This is in the cards no doubt. But how do you reconcile these facts with the rest of what you are saying?
     
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    6,152
    Psyche,

    You said they will take up to half of his money. I would like to know how many people pay that much, and why you even brought it up.


    Michael's chart above show the huge bulk of federal revenue supports Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, and the Military. All of these are protections, paid for by worker contributions. It solves the most immediate kinds of danger McCitizens would be subjected to, so yes, they are are indeed protections.


    Legal proceedings require evidence. Defendants have a right to confront the evidence, to have assistance of counsel, a jury, a fair trial and due process of law. Those are additional protections that come with the deal.

    You may not have signed a contract, but the day you agreed to do work, understanding that you would have taxes and social security deducted, you ratified your intent to abide by the law, and no doubt you had some sense of the consequences of tax evasion.

    It's the law, just like speed limits or any other crime. Depending on how severely you break the law, there is proportionate punishment. I don't know the statistics, but I would imagine most people settle out of court or pay fines. Obviously more serious cases might involve property confiscation or imprisonment, but I have no idea who those people are, how many there are, or the circumstances that lead to their convictions.

    A lot of Americans expatriate themselves for various reasons, and I would assume taxes is one of them. I would like to hear how they are doing under the rule of other governments who face the same problems raising revenues. Exceptions are some of the oil rich countries who may forego taxes and share the wealth a little.

    But that's the alternative. It's either here or somewhere else. There's the possibility of change here, but I doubt seriously anyone would be willing to dismantle their entitlements and their military just because McMiser pays 50% (for some reason).
     
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    More fallacies, why am I not surprised? I suggest you take one of them logic classes.  Additionally, the American citizen has the right to vote and elect the leadership of McWorld which your fantasy McCitizen does not - apparently among other things you forgot about the whole primary system. Additionally, you don't go to jail for failing to pay your taxes. You go to jail for failing to file or submitting fraudulent returns.

    Repeating misinformation ad nauseum never makes something truthful. I suggest you look up the definitions of the words “theft” and “taxation” and come back to us and tell us what you found. And then explain why you think you are not redefining the words.

    I am going to give you a handy list of illogical arguments and I am going to challenge you to make your case without using one of them.

    http://www.vanderbilt.edu/writing/resources/Identifying Illogical Arguments.pdf
     
  22. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    To constitute theft, the property has to belong to you. The money deducted from pay isn't yours until the amount agreed to is delivered to you. Then it's yours. But no worker (except illegal ones) agrees to do work for the gross amount of pay. They all agree to do it for the net amount, understanding that the system makes some allowances for unusual burdens (esp. dependents & mortgages, but also the cost of doing business, etc.) and so it's calculated on a case by case basis.

    If the law were written a little differently, the businesses could be taxed directly and you'd never see that number on your check stub which seems to be the irritant. Similarly, banks and investment houses could be assessed for the interest income they earn, instead of taxing each proceed as it cashes out.

    So regardless of what happens to that money, it wasn't yours or mine, because we agreed--when we took our jobs, or bought our businesses or investments, or whatever the case may be--that we would would only enjoy the net proceeds as our private property.

    So any discussion of morality would entail this agreement, before you even touch on the question that quid pro quo (services for payment) is not theft.
     
  23. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    And your argument is obviously bullshit, and you've had this explained to you, in detail, very many times already. You consistently fail to respond to that with any substance, and instead just repeat yourself over and over again, sometimes adding in hectoring, insulting tactics. At this point, nobody involved is under any obligation to engage with your advocacy here. You've gone far out of your way to prove, unequivocably, that such is a total waste of time and that you are nothing other than a one-note crank who intends to keep going around in the same rut over and over again, forever.

    Nothing remains for you here, then, but a process of social ostracism and silencing, almost surely culminating with you leaving SciForums permanently. This is how it always goes with libertarian ideologues - you didn't come here for a conversation, or to learn anything, but simply to pound the table about your fixed agenda. I suggest you save everyone involved the time, and just go the hell away right now.
     

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