• Benkei
    5.9k
    What kind of nonsense is this? Wage slavery has only gotten worse. Why do you think minimum wage has been stagnant for over a decade? Because of exploitation.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    What kind of nonsense is this? Wage slavery has only gotten worse. Why do you think minimum wage has been stagnant for over a decade? Because of exploitation.Benkei

    It looks like our standards have gone up since (real) slavery - the kind where we used to work people to death - was practiced all over the so-called civilized world. It's a good thing though and I for one recommend even more stringent criteria for what is and isn't exploitation. For instance, not given days off is in my humble opinion is gross inhumanity. This is the 21st century for Chrissakes!
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    Tax laws…We know what that means in practice: use the monopoly on violence to exploit the labor of others so you can spend their dollars on your investments, whether it’s war, infrastructure, or other ineffectual pork. You steal my income, steal it again when I buy something, steal it more when I make some gains. No private man has done that to me or anyone else but a rank thief.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    For a moment there I thought you were above the most basic of strawmen.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    use the monopoly on violence to exploit the labor of others so you can spend their dollars on your investments, whether it’s war, infrastructure, or other ineffectual pork.NOS4A2

    We've been through this before. The monopoly on violence is not necessary. The government could merely enter your house when you're out and take what it considers to be it's rightful property.

    So you'd be happy with the non-violent version of taxation I take it. Where the government uses subterfuge and cunning to get the property it thinks it has a right to?
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    Necessary or not it has it. I cannot defend my property or take it back by force. At any rate, I’d prefer it wouldn’t take my wealth in any fashion.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    I cannot defend my property or take it back by forceNOS4A2

    Nor could you without government monopoly. The strongest would simply take whatever they wanted, or the most numerous would, or whatever group could consolidate power. If I think a corporation has taken property I considered mine, what recourse do I have to get it back, government or no?

    I’d prefer it wouldn’t take my wealth in any fashion.NOS4A2

    I'd prefer my own private island in the Pacific. Who gives a fuck what you'd prefer. If you have a moral argument, make it. If all you've got is what you'd prefer I can't think why you'd consider some random people on the internet would be in the least bit interested.
  • Michael
    11.8k
    The irony is that I suspect the only kind of non-taxed society that could work would be some kind of commune.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    I didn’t think I’d have to explain why theft was wrong. I’ll pass, either way.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    You could be right. Communal living wouldn’t allow the sort of power imbalance and organized exploitation present in modern states.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    I didn’t think I’d have to explain why theft was wrong.NOS4A2

    Theft is the taking of property not legally belonging to you. Taxes legally belong to the government. You'd just prefer they didn't. I could claim I prefer your car didn't belong to you and then declare your possession of it to be theft.

    You're just trying to dodge having to defend your flimsy beliefs about property so that you can continue to accrue more wealth.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    Necessary or not it has it. I cannot defend my property or take it back by force. At any rate, I’d prefer it wouldn’t take my wealth in any fashion.NOS4A2

    Not even for national defense?
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    Right, the government declares it can legally take my money, and it is theirs, therefor they are not taking my money. You probably work for the government, don’t you?
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    Right, the government declares it can legally take my money, and it is theirs, therefor they are not taking my money. You probably work for the government, don’t you?NOS4A2

    How else do you imagine proper ownership of property is determined other than by fiat? Do we ask God whose land it is?
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    I haven’t quite worked out a theory of property, but I suppose it would be on the Lockean side. Is your theory of property one of government dictate?
  • Michael
    11.8k
    How else do you imagine proper ownership of property is determined other than by fiat? Do we ask God whose land it is?Isaac

    Pretty sure fiat currencies are owned by the government anyway. So technically all of NOS4A2’s money is the government’s. If he doesn’t want them taking any of their money back then he should manufacture his own goods and barter them for the things he needs.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    Pretty sure fiat currencies are owned by the government anyway.Michael

    The actual coins and paper are, but the government's backing turns that into money.
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    I haven’t quite worked out a theory of propertyNOS4A2

    Then how the fuck have you determined your pre-tax wages to be your property? Lucky guess?

    Is your theory of property one of government dictate?NOS4A2

    Largely, yes. Rightful property is only meaningful in terms of law, and the government make the law. Underneath that is the relationship of power to enforce, but government is a means of controlling that power. People create governments to leverage their numerical advantage over stronger but less numerous groups.

    Pretty sure fiat currencies are owned by the government anyway. So technically all of NOS4A2’s money is the government’s. If he doesn’t want them taking any of their money back then he should manufacture his own goods and barter them for the things he needs.Michael

    Ha! Indeed. Perhaps @NOS4A2 would prefer the government stay out of his financial affairs entirely and leave him to do whatever he sees fit with his now useless stack of decorated paper.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    So the capital levy on Jewish wealth imposed in 1938 proves that it wasn’t their property after all?
  • Isaac
    8.5k
    So the capital levy on Jewish wealth imposed in 1938 proves that it wasn’t their property after all?NOS4A2

    It wasn't in 1938, no. It is now.

    Nothing about property law says anything about the morality of it.

    If you want to make an argument about what people ought to possess, that would be interesting, but yours is not such an argument.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    So the capital levy on Jewish wealth imposed in 1938 proves that it wasn’t their property after all?
    — NOS4A2

    It wasn't in 1938, no. It is now.
    Isaac



    That's the wrong answer.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    It was their property. One edict was even called “Decree for the Reporting of Jewish-Owned Property”. Of course, the Nazis would lay claim to it should they need it for the sake of the German economy.

    My argument is that it is immoral to take from others, not what they ought to possess. That my money was given to me for services rendered is enough to know that it is mine.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    There's neither a legal nor moral argument that you have any right to pretax income.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    But it was offered to me and given to me for the services my employer and I both agreed upon.
  • Michael
    11.8k
    But it was offered to me and given to me for the services my employer and I both agreed upon.NOS4A2

    You're missing a premise from which you can then derive the conclusion that you therefore have the legal and/or moral right to that pre-tax income.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    Notice the argument is not that one deserves to keep the value of what one produces. That wouldn’t look too good for feudalism or capitalism — so let’s instead whine about taxes, so we can continue the attempt to undermine the one institution that’s potentially democratic.

    I repeat: all of this is, at its core, a hatred of democracy, of social institutions, and of people. The world revolves around me and my self-interests, full stop.

    It’s just more dressed-up Ayn Rand garbage. A sick and silly outlook indeed.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    1. Does one have a right to one's earnings?

    Of course.

    2. Is taxation theft?

    It can be, as in the case of the Nazis placing a special tax on Jews, or the British taxing American colonists who had no representation in the British Parliament.

    3. Is it always theft?

    Not according to the average person. When it pays for government expenditures that are on behalf of the community, and it's levied by a Congress made up of representatives, it's not theft. It's we, the people, paying our bills.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    Here once again we are confronted with the illusion that we are autonomous islands of rights. It is the failure to recognize that what is ours is a necessary condition for what is mine. The mistaken belief that the common good is arithmetic, nothing more than my interests plus or minus the interests of others.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    So? What moral or legal argument are you trying to make?
  • dclements
    493
    There isn't class warfare only because of the hopelessness of the situation. The poor have foregone hope.

    No one should be poor in a nation this wealthy, but we aren't really a nation -- not in the most meaningful sense of the word.

    And, yes, a big part of the joy of being elite is to have as many people beneath you suffering as much as possible; that's what gives your privilege substance. Of course they don't want us to be happy. The goal is to keep us only as subjugated as humanly possible without a revolution.

    Lift us up, put us down, lift us up, put us down. And we're so saturated with media bliss, we don't even realize how wrong it is that so many of us truly live lives of fear and desperation. We feel alone; everyone else is happy. Most people are so desperate to be positive, because they want so badly to escape their personal hell, they'll even convince themselves everything is okay.

    But yeah, this is no nation. We're divided at the core of what makes us human. For the people at the top, "America" is just PR. They feel no allegiance to this country (which is its people, not its resources.)
    neonspectraltoast
    Sorry I'm late in replying.. my home computer isn't really working right now so I usually have to go to the look at and reply to forum messages.

    I just wanted to say that I pretty much agree with everything you said in your post.
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