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burnsred
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"But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Nov 14th, 2017 at 8:57pm
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That is the classic statist argument.  It is applied by different people at different times to taxes, conscription and slavery.  From a libertarian viewpoint, those things are three sides of the same rigged coin. 

"If it weren't for conscription, the Union would not have defeated the Confederacy and the U.S. would be swallowed up by European powers."  So?  What would those European powers do to us?  Force us to serve in their military?  Burn down our houses and destroy our crops?  Give us blankets with smallpox?  Keep slavery legal in states that help us fight states that want to secede?  We're fine with those things as long as it isn't the limeys or the frogs doing them to us, but our own American dictators?

"If it weren't for slavery, there would have been no great plantations in the south producing cotton."  No, but there would have been many small cotton farmers making money instead of being displaced from jobs by slaves.  They could have hired people to build the White House also, btw.

"If it weren't for taxes, the government couldn't be nearly as large as it is now."  Right, it would have to live on a budget, just as the families they tax have to.

In my thread about implementing a corvee, a tax that is paid through hours of labor for the government instead of sending in a check, there was not a single person who said it was a good idea.  But all the objections were practical ones to the effect that government needs money not labor and that it is more efficient for an individual to "give" the government money to hire workers than for individuals to work for the government.  No one said, "the government can't do that, it would be like slavery!"

I did specify that a dentist would fix teeth for the poor, an Uber driver would give poor people rides to the dentists and unskilled people would work on roads.  Still the practicality argument is a reasonable one once you accept that government has a right to take the fruits of our labor.  Of course if they have that right, then they also have the right to demand the fruits in any form they chose, be it direct labor or money from labor.  They could even require us to make money origami and hand deliver it wearing a tutu - IF you accept that they have that right.

Clearly, there are few on this board who do not accept that government has that right, nor are they willing to put any limit whatsoever on that right or any other government "right."  Maybe some posters are willing to limit government but are but are lost in the noise of two posters who are clearly having the same old Con-Rep vs. Lib-Dem argument that makes other political forums so boring.


  
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The Opposition
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #1 - Nov 14th, 2017 at 11:15pm
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burnsred wrote on Nov 14th, 2017 at 8:57pm:
In my thread about implementing a corvee, a tax that is paid through hours of labor for the government instead of sending in a check, there was not a single person who said it was a good idea.  But all the objections were practical ones to the effect that government needs money not labor and that it is more efficient for an individual to "give" the government money to hire workers than for individuals to work for the government.  No one said, "the government can't do that, it would be like slavery!"


I did both. I said that from a practical perspective, the corpy would be superior, and I also admitted it was wrong and it was force.

I don't think it quite sunk in just how good I think that idea is (again, practical perspective!). So I'll reiterate.

1. Taxes taken only in labour means the government can't enrich its cronies or give anyone lucrative do-nothing jobs.

2. Labour can't be printed like money. It's a real resource and would have to be managed like one. That means a potential end to inflation and the implicit theft therein, if government got everything it needed through corpies.

3. No more free rides for the rich and the poor. Everyone gives exactly the same amount. And better yet, no one would be able to even say it was unfair! The redistributionist looks at the rich man and demands he pay infinitely more. Well, the rich man's time is worth that much more. If you don't believe me, make him do it and listen to how much he complains.

The super rich and the welfare queens will be reeling, and those of us actually used to working for a living will be happy as pigs in mud.
  

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burnsred
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #2 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 9:39am
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The Opposition wrote on Nov 14th, 2017 at 11:15pm:
I did both. I said that from a practical perspective, the corpy would be superior, and I also admitted it was wrong and it was force.

I don't think it quite sunk in just how good I think that idea is (again, practical perspective!). So I'll reiterate.

1. Taxes taken only in labour means the government can't enrich its cronies or give anyone lucrative do-nothing jobs.

2. Labour can't be printed like money. It's a real resource and would have to be managed like one. That means a potential end to inflation and the implicit theft therein, if government got everything it needed through corpies.

3. No more free rides for the rich and the poor. Everyone gives exactly the same amount. And better yet, no one would be able to even say it was unfair! The redistributionist looks at the rich man and demands he pay infinitely more. Well, the rich man's time is worth that much more. If you don't believe me, make him do it and listen to how much he complains.

The super rich and the welfare queens will be reeling, and those of us actually used to working for a living will be happy as pigs in mud.


MY apologies for missing that, then. 

Yes, there are advantages of the corvee over a tax paid in cash.  There are advantages of cash taxes over a corvee.  But for libertarians to argue over which is better is like abolitionists arguing over whether it is more immoral to capture slaves in Africa than to buy American-born slaves.  Or to take the analogy of the swamp, it would be like arguing over whether canoes or rowboats are better to navigate the swamp with instead of talking about how to drain it.

But you do make some good points about the corvee that I had not thought of.
  
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #3 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 11:22am
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burnsred wrote on Nov 15th, 2017 at 9:39am:
MY apologies for missing that, then. 

Yes, there are advantages of the corvee over a tax paid in cash.  There are advantages of cash taxes over a corvee.  But for libertarians to argue over which is better is like abolitionists arguing over whether it is more immoral to capture slaves in Africa than to buy American-born slaves.  Or to take the analogy of the swamp, it would be like arguing over whether canoes or rowboats are better to navigate the swamp with instead of talking about how to drain it.

But you do make some good points about the corvee that I had not thought of.


The American people are responsible for the government they have, and for all the problems with it. If not then who? You're missing something and nobody seems to want to entertain ideas on just what it is.

There is some faction at least that has led government astray because the displeasure voiced against your government is very real. I would suggest that faction is absent in other governments that haven't created the same problems.

My remarks on your corvee simply expessed that anyone could actually so what you suggest if they chose to. Or you could hire somebody else if the work didn't suit your preference. It would be a way of paying your taxes. Go out and sweep the streets with a corn broom if that's the limit of your useful talents, and government will pay you for what you're worth.
  
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #4 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 12:54pm
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The Opposition wrote on Nov 14th, 2017 at 11:15pm:
I don't think it quite sunk in just how good I think that idea is (again, practical perspective!). So I'll reiterate.

1. Taxes taken only in labour means the government can't enrich its cronies or give anyone lucrative do-nothing jobs.

You'll have the government build modern warplanes using forced labor? I can envision difficulties... Even in the design stages...
  
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Jeff
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #5 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 12:57pm
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Don_G wrote on Nov 15th, 2017 at 11:22am:
There is some faction at least that has led government astray because the displeasure voiced against your government is very real. I would suggest that faction is absent in other governments that haven't created the same problems.


Back in 1964, 77% of the American people thought our national government could be trusted to do the right thing most of the time.

That was when people didn't yet understand what the "Great Society" laws would actually do and how much power the government was going to take to itself.
  
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #6 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 12:58pm
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Jeff wrote on Nov 15th, 2017 at 12:54pm:
You'll have the government build modern warplanes using forced labor? I can envision difficulties... Even in the design stages...


Can't you recognise a good idea when you hear one? Such cohesiveness among you pseudo-libertarians!
  
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Jeff
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #7 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 1:04pm
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burnsred wrote on Nov 14th, 2017 at 8:57pm:
"If it weren't for conscription, the Union would not have defeated the Confederacy and the U.S. would be swallowed up by European powers."  So?  What would those European powers do to us?  Force us to serve in their military?  Burn down our houses and destroy our crops?  Give us blankets with smallpox?  Keep slavery legal in states that help us fight states that want to secede?  We're fine with those things as long as it isn't the limeys or the frogs doing them to us, but our own American dictators?
Of course not. Libertarians would still advocate for limited government protecting individual liberty, we'd just be more like France or England or Spain.
  
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #8 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 1:14pm
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Jeff wrote on Nov 15th, 2017 at 1:04pm:
Of course not. Libertarians would still advocate for limited government protecting individual liberty, we'd just be more like France or England or Spain.


Libertarians can advocate until the cows come home. Nobody is listening. Pick up a shovel and dig a deep hole and when you're 6 feet down, get your gun out and put it to a lawful use. You'll be burying two evils at once!
  
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Re: "But if it Weren't for ____, We Wouldn't have this Great Country!
Reply #9 - Nov 15th, 2017 at 4:29pm
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Don_G wrote on Nov 15th, 2017 at 1:14pm:
You'll be burying two evils at once!
You must be an animist of some sort. You really think a tool like a gun gets taken over by an evil spirit that causes humans who have taken anti-depressants to fall under their spell and start doing what the evil gun wants to do?

What are your feelings about evil spirits living in water?
  
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