• NOS4A2
    5.8k


    Are you saying that taxation is a secret where you live?

    No, taxation is not a secret. When you accept a job, do you agree to the gross or net wage?

    I literally gave you the example in the fucking quote you're replying to, if would be hard to get more disingenuous. If you board a train you agree to pay the price of whatever journey you took. If you have a bar tab you agree to pay the cost of however many drinks you accumulate by the time the tab is due.

    At no point in either arrangement did you shake anyone's hand or bow or sign anything. Remaining on a train definitely constitutes an agreement to pay for the excess journey.

    You gave me a false analogy. You’re using an example of voluntary exchanges as analogies for compulsory taxation, services I agree to pay for and willingly seek out as analogies for services I do not. Utter trash.

    You've not linked agreeing with deserving. If a prison guard agrees to help a prisoner escape, do they thereby deserve to escape?

    I thought we were talking about why I am entitled to the gross wage, now it’s offers to escape from prison.
  • Isaac
    7k
    No, taxation is not a secret. When you accept a job, do you agree to the gross or net wage?NOS4A2

    Both. Unless taxation is a secret, both parties are fully aware of the legal implications of providing a gross wage in terms of taxation and resulting net income.

    You’re using an example of voluntary exchanges as analogies for compulsory taxationNOS4A2

    Taxation is voluntary. If you don't want the services and products offered, stop using them. Move.

    thought we were talking about why I am entitled to the gross wage, now it’s offers to escape from prison.NOS4A2

    Yes. The argument you gave was that your reward was agreed on by some other party, therefore you deserve it, if you provide no further factors, then whatever reward is agreed on is deserved. So the prisoner deserves to escape because that's what was agreed on.
  • Michael
    10.4k
    I claimed no such thing. You said your gross wage was agreed as yours by consent. That's a lie. You employer has full knowledge and expectation that you will give the taxable portion to the government. He never consented for you to keep that portion in return for your labour.Isaac

    Well, that’s even more absurd. It’s no business of the other party whether I pay my taxes or not, and it matters not one bit what he implicitly expects me to do with my payment. If a client expects me to spend his payment on food or rent it makes little sense to say I am violating his consent if I flush it all down the toilet.NOS4A2

    Here in the UK it’s the employer that pays their employees’ income tax/national insurance/student loan repayments/pension contributions. They only pay us what’s left.

    Not having to deal with that hassle is a great benefit over being self-employed.
  • NOS4A2
    5.8k


    Why would there be legal implications if the tax is voluntary?

    Yes. The argument you gave was that your reward was agreed on by some other party, therefore you deserve it, if you provide no further factors, then whatever reward is agreed on is deserved. So the prisoner deserves to escape because that's what was agreed on.

    If the transfer and acquisition of the exchange was voluntary and consensual, it would be a just exchange, sure.
  • NOS4A2
    5.8k


    Here in the UK it’s the employer that pays their employees’ income tax and national insurance (and student loan repayments if required). We only ever see the post-tax amount.

    The business is forced to deduct taxes from the gross wage and sends it to the government on the employee's behalf, leaving the employee with what is left over. The state sure has streamlined the process, haven't they?
  • Michael
    10.4k
    The state sure has streamlined the process, haven't they?NOS4A2

    Yep, it’s very efficient and saves me from having to do tax returns and make all these extra payments myself.
  • Xtrix
    3.3k
    "If we abolish the state, people can cooperate and trade on their own. Have some faith in human beings!"

    This picture is missing one important piece: provided we get rid of capitalism first. Since it's precisely capitalism that is at the heart of most awful modern human behavior to begin with, it's laughable to want to abolish or minimize the state while keeping capitalism intact. Show me nearly any problem today (obesity, drug abuse, climate change, environmental degradation, social media-driven division, poverty, low wages, debt, poor healthcare, inflation) and I'll show you terrible behavior justified by capitalist principles at the core.

    It's like fighting the system of slavery by abandoning government...while ignoring racism.
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    This picture is missing one important piece: provided we get rid of capitalism firstXtrix

    I agree in principle with this statement, but it is an oversimplification I think. It is not capitalism, per se, that is the corruption point, but rather the elevation of corporate over individual rights, and the over-concentration of capital. In principle, a "restricted free-market" economics could realize the best of both worlds. I'm currently reading John Rawls' analysis of the inherent equilibrating capacities of the free-market (which I assume underlies whatever rational appeal the laissez-faire argument holds) and he is quite right, I think, in pointing out that it can be a tool of either a private or public ownership society:

    It is evident, then, that there is no essential tie between the use of free markets and private ownership of the instruments of production. The idea that competitive prices under normal conditions are just or fair goes back at least to medieval times. While the notion that a market economy is in some sense the best scheme has been most carefully investigated by so-called bourgeois economists, this connection is a historical contingency in that, theoretically at least, a socialist regime can avail itself of the advantages of this system. One of these advantages is efficiency. Under certain conditions competitive prices select the goods to be produced and allocate resources to their production in such a manner that there is no way to improve upon either the choice of productive methods by firms, or the distribution of goods that arises from the purchases of households. There exists no rearrangement of the resulting economic configuration that makes one household better off (in view of its preferences) without making another worse off. No further mutually advantageous trades are possible; nor are there any feasible productive processes that will yield more of some desired commodity without requiring a cutback in another. For if this were not so, the situation of some individuals could be made more advantageous without a loss for anyone else. The theory of general equilibrium explains how, given the appropriate conditions, the information supplied by prices leads economic agents to act in ways that sum up to achieve this outcome. Perfect competition is a perfect procedure with respect to efficiency. Of course, the requisite conditions are highly special ones and they are seldom if ever fully satisfied in the real world. Moreover, market failures and imperfections are often serious, and compensating adjustments must be made by the allocation branch (see §43). Monopolistic restrictions, lack of information, external economies and diseconomies, and the like must be recognized and corrected. And the market fails altogether in the case of public goods. (Rawls, A Theory of Justice)

    The final sentence highlights the critical concept. The notion of seriality in application of the principles of justice says that certain principles of justice must be satisfied first, before others can be applied. In particular, public goods, such as equality of liberty and opportunity. Therefore, when it comes to the general social welfare, economic considerations must be subordinated to social welfare, basic human needs and rights cannot be economized. Once this simple principle is understood and accepted as a 'prime directive,' the legitimate benefits of a free-market system can be reasonably enjoyed.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    provided we get rid of capitalism first.Xtrix

    Yes, somehow.

    Capitalism has raised the standard of living mightily in the West so its positive outcomes have to be included in any account of its virtues and failings. But with the progressive concentration of wealth - and therefore, of power - in the hands of a tiny, apparently soulless, certainly apathetic, minority, and with the (unconscionably) vast majority of citizens growing progressively more penniless - yes, even those who work their piss-poor-ass asses off - some revision to the capitalist credo ought to be undertaken.

    The details I leave to the economists. I hope there are some smart, powerful and empathic visionaries faithful enough to work it out. Not too hopeful though, with so dark a storm on the horizon: the decline of democratic aspirations worldwide, the anticipated havoc of climate change and the resultant displacement of millions - a fearful fateful future will likely ride it out with capitalism at the helm.
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    certainly apatheticZzzoneiroCosm

    I don't know, being compulsively driven to plunder and exploit doesn't seem to fit "apathetic" to me.....
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    I get that.

    Certainly there is an apathos in it. A lack of feeling for others.
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    Certainly there is an apathos in it. A lack of feeling for others.ZzzoneiroCosm

    There is a "pathos" in it, as in pathology, I'll give you that! :lol:
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    That I won't try to rebut. :smile:
  • Xtrix
    3.3k
    It is not capitalism, per se, that is the corruption point, but rather the elevation of corporate over individual rights, and the over-concentration of capital.Pantagruel

    Which is a natural consequence of capitalism left to its own devices.

    I'd like to think I'm realistic -- I realize that capitalism isn't going to be overthrown in my lifetime. I would like to at least see a move away from the more "laissez faire" side of the spectrum (neoliberalism) to a system that we had in the 1940s-70s, the era of "regimented capitalism." But that really isn't going to solve this issue long term.

    The issue, ultimately, is whether private ownership and private profit should be at the core of our economy. A society based on greed and personal gain will not only be an ugly one -- as the United States is -- but will potentially destroy the human species, as we're seeing with environmental destruction, global warming, and the war industry. I see no reason why replacing monarchy with plutocracy, which is what has happened, is the way to go -- even regulated plutocracy.

    The solution is democratizing the economy, and that starts with corporations. Other countries organize this much better than the United States. (I mention the United States over and over not only because I'm a citizen, but because it's the most powerful country in world history, and what it does has wide ranging effects.)

    Why a handful of owners -- a capitalist class (also the ruling class) -- should be given the power over economic (and political) life is the question. I don't think they should.

    If that's too abstract, take one S&P 500 or Fortune 500 company, public or private, and see how it functions -- and that's essentially the economy writ large: a handful of people (boards of directors) and executives (CEOs, COOs, etc) make all the decisions, and all do the bidding of the "owners" (usually major shareholders). The more shares you own, the more votes you have for board seats; executives' compensation is made up mostly of stocks, as well.

    People who defend such a system have very poor arguments, based on poor values and even poorer beliefs about human beings and human nature. Self interest, greed, and gain become "natural" -- as if these are the only human characteristics that matter. That's capitalism. I don't think it's oversimplifying things to say this needs to go.
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    Why a handful of owners -- a capitalist class (also the ruling class) -- should be given the power over economic (and political) life is the question. I don't think they should.Xtrix

    And I don't think that anyone seriously disputes that, because it would be a rationally indefensible position.

    So the question really is, how can an institution in such bad faith be so meticulously maintained? Either they have the best propaganda in existence, or the each and all of downtrodden masses secretly nurture aristocratic aspirations....
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    the best propaganda in existencePantagruel

    No question.

    The collusion of PR and psychiatry-psychology from circa. Edward Bernays to Century 21 is, to my view, the most heinous betrayal of trust since Judas's kiss.


    All about the crowns and the Benjamins.
  • NOS4A2
    5.8k


    Rawls’ theory of justice is what Nozick called an “end-state” theory of justice. Such a theory proposes that redistribution must lead to a just state, in Rawls’ case, that distribution should be arraigned in a way that we achieve the Difference Principle.

    Nozick contrasts this with his own “entitlement” theory which is a “historical” theory of justice. Distribution is only just if the transfer and acquisition of the goods were just. Further, all historical transfers of any certain “holdings” must be just, from its initial acquisition until its most recent.

    In my mind, one advances just outcomes, the other just behavior. It’s no surprise that I’m with Nozick on this one. I fear end-state theories of justice because unjust behavior can (and has) been used in an attempt to reach a the desired state, which may or may not be achievable.

    Anyways, Nozick’s chapter on Distributive Justice is a great companion to Rawls and makes for great debate.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    Evolution is laissez-faire. Look at the mess we're in! Just a baby step away from ecological collapse unless...this is part of the Divine Plan. :snicker:
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    Rawls’ theory of justice is what Nozick called an “end-state” theory of justice.NOS4A2

    If you focus on the mechanics of realizing justice, but you can also read Rawls from the more theoretical perspective which analyzes justice as fairness in the context of Kantian-contractual theories. Establishing a mechanics of justice is complicated, but IMO it would be simplified if we could agree upon some theoretical pillars, such as "social goods" as Rawls calls them. The point I think is that social goods ought to be removed from the mechanics of redistribution altogether, and just treated as universal rights. De-economized.

    I have bookmarked the chapter for later consumption. Rawls is already a super-dense read.
  • Benkei
    5.4k
    Further, all historical transfers of any certain “holdings” must be just, from its initial acquisition until its most recent.NOS4A2

    Which they aren't and weren't. So his proposal is procedural rather than historical.
  • NOS4A2
    5.8k


    Historical. The question of whether a distribution is just depends upon how it came about, so one has to examine the history of the transfer and acquisition of any “holding”.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    The question of whether a distribution is just depends upon how it came about, so one has to examine the history of the transfer and acquisition of any “holding”.NOS4A2

    In the USA, at any rate - good luck locating the tiniest morsel of capital with no link to slavery or the pilferage of land from indigenous peoples.

    Your notion of "historical justice" is a lavish gift to your antagonists.*





    *So - thank you! :smile: Let's see if you can walk it back.
  • NOS4A2
    5.8k


    If you think such transactions are unjust, how can you be indifferent when the state does it?
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    Good try. But this isn't about me.
  • NOS4A2
    5.8k


    It’s either unjust or it is not. The cognitive dissonance must be painful.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    In case you're genuinely interested in my view: just about everything the US government does is gross to me - apart from the few charitable programs directed to the succor of the downtrodden and marginalized. So if you have me pegged for a state-humper you've got the wrong dude. :smile:

    As to just or unjust - that's just too boggling to even ponder. Especially after the (crucial?) introduction of historical (in-)justice.
  • NOS4A2
    5.8k


    I appreciate your opinion.

    I don’t think it’s too difficult to ponder. If my chicken lays eggs and I give you a dozen that sounds to me like a just exchange.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    If my chicken lays eggs and I give you a dozen that sounds to me like a just exchange.NOS4A2

    If your chicken coop is built on land pilfered 300 years back from an indigenous tribe we now have a mind-boggling justice conundrum.
  • ZzzoneiroCosm
    2.1k
    I don’t think it’s too difficult to ponder. If my chicken lays eggs and I give you a dozen that sounds to me like a just exchange.NOS4A2

    By the same token, if your eggs are delivered to your client via a national highway system constructed under Eisenhower and funded by tax dollars of citizens long-dead and decayed to the bone - we now have a mind-boggling justice conundrum.
  • Benkei
    5.4k
    Historical. The question of whether a distribution is just depends upon how it came about, so one has to examine the history of the transfer and acquisition of any “holding”.NOS4A2

    Just because you call it that and Nozick did, doesn't make it so. It's one of the main criticisms that what we have today isn't the result of just transfers and therefore his proposal is both ahistorical and arbitrary. Think colonisation, wars, oppression by nobility and the church, oppression of women, etc.
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