Last income tax remark

Said Cecil in (3) No income tax at all? Fine. When the guys in the military come looking for their pay, we’ll tell them to see you.
Sign me up, pronto.

I like evil reduced to its essentials.

I just love people who think that “freedom” and “free-ride” mean the same thing. Even if you think that the entire military is some great EVI*L, your taxes pay for a lot more. Schools, roads, safety regulations, and all the social programs that “freedom”-loving people suddenly need when their oh-so-perfect world comes crashing around them.
Now, if you’ve got a better place in mind, where taxes are low or non-existant, and your version of “freedom” runs rampant, please tell us where this utopia is.

One is forced to conclude by such comments as in the original post that we have spent way too long without a serious threat of military invasion (last worries in 1814). The whole purpose of the federation of states into the United States was to provide for the common defense of the country: the result in the War of 1812 proved the point.

When a military is used for purposes that don’t directly relate to defense of the homeland, that doesn’t make the military evil; it means that the government may be using it wrongly. But I wouldn’t want to live anywhere where there is NO military defending the country, nor, I suspect, would the person who made the original post.

The liberal columnist Donald Kaul recently had an article praising high taxes. His basic argument was would you really want to live in a country with low taxes.

high tax countries-- usa, germany, france, japan, etc…
low tax countries—indonseia, russia, liberia, equador, etc…

Just a thought.

The liberal columnist Donald Kaul recently had an article praising high taxes. His basic argument was would you really want to live in a country with low taxes.

high tax countries-- usa, germany, france, japan, etc…
low tax countries—indonseia, russia, liberia, equador, etc…

Just a thought.

That’s a good point, labdude. The thing is, a lot of the people who complain most about taxes could probably afford to live pretty well in Liberia, Russia, or Indonesia. It would almost certainly cost more in:
(a) bribes, to keep you on the good side of underpaid but powerful bureaucrats;
(b) bodyguards, to protect you from crooks in the absence of honest and effective policemean;
© fuel for your diesel generators, to keep the air conditioning going even when the power grid browns out; and
(d) private tutors for your kids, to make up for the unsafe, underfunded, and/or nonexistent public education.

The thing is, some people hate taxes so much, that they’d be willing to pay more in the above categories, just because they hate the idea of being forced to do anything. After all, you’re not forced to educate your kids, or have electric lighting, or protect your family from kidnappers (big business in parts of Latin America). Obviously, not many people are actually willing to emigrate to avoid taxes, but some are.

‘I hate it that my tax money goes to fat bureaucrats with their bloated benefit packages.’ Hey, it’s taxes, bribes, or anarchy, baby. I know which one I choose.

I’ve been thinking that those who complain so much about taxes (not just the size of taxes: everybody complains about that, but the existence of taxes) could do one of two things:

  1. Go to Somalia. Perfect example of a country without a central gov’t & without federal taxes… and we know how well that’s working out.

  2. Go live in the wildnerness. You can live in the U.S. just fine without having to pay taxes. Since you have no income (I don’t think the berries and firewood you gather counts), how could anyone ask you to pay taxes? Even if they wanted to hunt you down, there’s more than enough wilderness area in the U.S. to make sure they can never find you. Finally, since you benefit essentially nil from the gov’t defense, roads, etc. that taxes pay for, you wouldn’t even be a parasite on the rest of us who do pay taxes!

Of course, when I organize a group to come in and take whatever possessions you have, burn your house to the ground, and beat the living snot out of you, you won’t dream of calling the police to file a complaint, right?

I am not “free-loading” by rejecting that you or any entity endorsed by you (say, a government) has a right to claim payment for “free stuff” given to me sans contract.
I owe you and your government nothing.

Your comments are irrelevent in the moral context. You do not have a right to steal from me out of your perceived pragmatic “necessities”.

Ditto. (Try adding Hong Kong to your list to blow your correlation theory out of the water.)

Boris B…
> Hey, it’s taxes, bribes, or anarchy, baby.
> I know which one I choose.

How are you defining "anarchy"? If by your usage of that word you are referring to unorganized (violent) chaos, then you are positing a false dichotomy (with organized government predation (violence) as your asserted lesser evil).
But again, a pragmatic attempt to avoid dealing with the moral essentials.

Spiro Agnew said “Love it or leave it” more eloquently before getting off to the funny farm.

Slythe (again)
Who do you think you are? The FBI at Waco? Slobs like your alter ego I can handle on my own, but should I perchance to feel need of assistance, I will contract for it without employing coercion (if I did, then I be like you, wouldn’t I?).

So, let me get this straight, Honeyko: You feel no need for a government to protect you from thugs on any scale, from Mac the Knife to Saddam Hussein, to maintain your roads, to pick up your garbage, to educate your children, to put out your house should it catch on fire, to arbitrate disagreements, to certify the safety of the food you eat and the water you drink, or to sponsor the basic research behind everything from the computer to modern medicines? You’d rather do each of these things yourself, or contract for them personally. Good lord, do you have any idea how time-consuming it would be just to make all the necessary contacts? This is even assuming that those things can be done by an individual-- Surely you can’t afford to single-handedly hire armed forces sufficent to stop Castro, say, or Hussein, much less Hitler. OK, so suppose that you and a bunch of like-minded individuals decide to collectively raise an army. How is that army supposed to protect you without protecting everyone in your city (at least), and if the rest of the city is benefitting, why don’t they have to pay, too? And suppose that your next-door neighbor declares that he owns your house, how do you decide the issue? Based on who can afford to hire more “protection”?

Sans contract? Of course not! You are party to a contract with the government by virtue of living here as a citizen. The terms of that contract are that you have the power to change the government by your votes, and receive certain services, and in exchange, you agree to obey the laws of that government and pay taxes to support it. If you don’t like that contract, you’re perfectly free to opt out of it-- All you have to do is move.

False dichotomy, eh? What do you think the other alternatives are? Organized chaos? Organized by whom?

I don’t like taxes, but I DO like driving on decent roads, the availability of public education, garbage collection (no, I’m not distinguishing between fed & local taxes), game management, law enforcement, and military preparedness, to name just a few things for which our taxes are used.

I’m with Boris B – I don’t like the pork barrel politics, but that’s something we have the power to stop. Vote the hogs out. In the meantime, I suppose it’s something we tolerate in order to have an infrastructure that is sufficient to meet the needs of the teeming masses.

I wasn’t using a very detailed definition of anarchy. I was using the term to describe the absence of those government institutions we need to make modern civilization function. Police protection, somebody to fix potholes, environmental protection. Some governmental functions can be privatized and/or funded by user fees as opposed to taxes. Not all of them can.
Some that can: mail delivery (postage stamps are a good example of a user fee), state pensions (could be privatized or made voluntary), motorcycle escorts for funeral processions.
Some that can’t: national defense, epidemiology and infection control, consumer protection.

I would be willing to part with public environmental protection, on one condition: if my property rights extended to everything on my property, including the air I breathe, I would have the legal right to control everything that anyone does affecting my air. That is, if you have a barbecue down the street, I might not like the sauce you use, which I can smell on my property. Under this regime I would have the right to stop your barbecue; I would control every activity on earth (minus a few underwater activities). That is, you have my blessing to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency as long as you make me Dictator of the World.