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Everything posted by ParanoiA

  1. You seem to be approaching population growth like a zero sum game, and completely assymetrical to the local resources and established trade of a given population. By your logic, a country of one person - just me - should have a spectacular standard of living that cannot be beat by any cobble of humans. Of course, that's silly. I have no idea how to build a car, or an electric toothbrush. Let alone central heat and air... You are also viewing people as liabilties. They are generally assets, my friend. When I add to my country of one, I get someone to help me with the electric toothbrush and the central AC. Yes, they consume food - and they grow food. They consume water - and they fetch water. They use steel - and they mine steel. More people to mine the resources of the earth and create wealth. You need to distinguish between liabilities and assets. This is one of the reasons why libertarians and conservatives try to eliminate what we might describe as "entitlements". If we remove entitlements, it causes people to be more like assets. If we then loosen up our immigration laws to make it easier for folks to come here, we will receive assets. And since many of us believe the producers are beginning to be outnumbered by the soakers, it would be a great time for a flood of assets - producers.
  2. Again, that's imprecise and incomplete. Do you view your right to discriminate who enters your home as a privilege? Or is it a right? I think you have a right to deny access to your home to anyone for any reason. I do not support racism or bigotry, although I obviously support your right to be so. You do too, actually. That would be wise decision. It is not your fault that Romney is not clear, just like it is not your fault that dark energy is not clear. However drawing conclusions about each, when we know they are not clear, is irresponsible. Sorry. From what posts I've read, you strike me as a very fair minded, logically driven person. I haven't seen anything that he has written that suggest pro-slavery in order to not be clear on it. Consistently he has been anti-slavery in his writing. The only time we aren't "clear" is when he uses the phrase "Civil Rights", but I simply cannot speak for him to validate your inquiry, however I think his position is clear. You don't. I only take issue when someone is choosing an interpretation that is entirely contradictory with recent data. And when they use the excuse "he wasn't clear", I take issue with choosing a conclusion then.
  3. It isn't your fault if he misspoke, but it is your fault for making conclusions regardless. When someone isn't clear, you don't get to choose their position for them and expect that to reconcile with reality. Your conclusion that he was disparaging the abolition of slavery as the point at which rights were transfered unfairly is entirely at odds with his previous comments on slavery, not to mention one gigantic post # 52 that refuts this interpretation spectacularly. Here it is: Sorry, but interpreting him as pro-slavery - again - is convenient for hostile treatment of dissent. It does nothing to the advancement of anything but poop throwing fights. Property rights were removed. When you see a partition between personal property (your house) and "business" property, then you will interpret civil rights legislation as equal rights. When you refuse this partition, and see all property as personal property, then you will likely interpret civil rights legislation as transfered property rights. That is precisely how I look at it. For the same reason that it does not promote racism and bigotry to advocate a person have the right to refuse anyone entry into his home for any reason he chooses - even racism - it also does not promote discrimination to uphold that same right when people trade while occupying the property, ie..business. Excellent question. I saw that earlier in the thread, great point.
  4. Anders will have to specify I guess, which still means that assumptions of pro-slavery are convenient for hostile treatment of dissent. Civil Rights has always been associated to the 1964-65 legal movement. Slavery is overwhelmingly a civil rights violation, which makes "civil rights" a grossly underrated phrase which is why it is rarely associated with abolition of slavery. It's like using the term "reproductive rights" to refer to rape. Well yes, that's a violation of reproductive rights, to be sure, however since we have a dictionary full of better terms to use, we don't use that phrase. Anders is correct, slavery is the same as abortion in terms of consistency with his own belief. The existence of slavery required one person to lose their rights to another. That was his point. I'll bet you thought he meant that the *abolition* of slavery created the disparity. But that is not consistent with anything he has said on slavery in above posts. I'm reading what he is writing.
  5. Interesting that you would judge and reject the idea without any reference at all to coercion or force. This suggests you reject the idea even if I would love to be part of such an experiment. You don't really deny me the joy of being part of such a thing, do you? This is what happens when you get openly hostile with your right wingers over here. You end up with a lobsided high five forum with 21 votes for Obama and 0 for Romney. Boring over here. I've been on this site for an hour and have only found two things to comment on. Yeah, good thing they ran off Pangloss...smart move to eliminate diversity.
  6. Wrong, he's talking about Civil Rights (1964-65), very clearly stated, not Abolition of slavery. Not even Fox News would spin such straight forward language. You owe him an apology for grossly misrepresenting his position and flat out ignoring written words. You took someone who believes in property rights - wherein business property is considered equivalent to personal property and we all have a right to be racist tools about who comes into our homes - and tortured his position to mean he believes in slavery. That's low. Disgustingly low. A better argument would be to point out that the mother already lives, and is a person, and has been a person for quite some time, invested into human societies without question. So her rights trump the rights of the fetus, who's personhood is in question, has not even a fraction of the investment into life that the mother has. Or maybe that's a crap argument. But ignoring the issue of one of the life forms - mom or fetus - gaining at the expense of the other is dishonest. One must lose for the other to gain. I very comfortably choose the fetus to lose (or tumor or parasite) over the mom.
  7. You can protect him if you want to, but I felt such an easy concept being conflated for strawman purposes was a technique that was not rewarded around here. He has been unable to argue crucial points choosing instead to remain obstinate in differentiating law from will in practice, in context, while claiming to distinguish the two. The language is plain to see. One can argue its merit but to argue its meaning and even pretend it isn’t there is to demonstrate intellectual dishonesty. That, Mooeypoo, does nothing for debates either. But it's not like I didn't see it coming and it's ok. The inability to counter honestly suggests a devastating blow to the belief system sending the ego into a tailspin. Libertarians are used to it, we encounter a lot of scrambling by our adversaries. If I can't argue my points with an honest debater, I'll just take that as a consolation prize. Nice to see you all again. Take care.
  8. So, you mean the roads and bridges I help pay for and use everyday are useful? Who knew? What is with the sudden realization that infrastructure is useful for society? Isn't that why they pay for it? What took you so long to notice? Isn't that also why you don't see thread after thread of me denouncing roads and bridges built by government? Here's a news flash too: They're also great for consumers. Yeah, no kidding. Turns out, when folks want to go work, go visit friends and family or take their kids to school that roads and bridges are pretty handy for them. My guess is that's why they pay for them and don't complain about the situation. A point to consider in this weird realization you're experiencing and trying to use to make believe you have a right to someone's profits you have done nothing to earn...a government has to have taxable events in order to get money in order to build roads and bridges. Taxable events means trade. We had lots and lots of trade my friend before a government agent joined the private sector in building roads. Selective reading and inability to comprehend simple sentences. Here try some of these, that you didn't read before. I even bolded them to make it easy for you. You are a dishonest debater iNow. This distinction between free will and government force is very, very easy to understand which is why your rigney act here of evasion and selective reading is obvious to everyone. If you listen closely enough, you can hear their disappointment in you. Instead of arguing the point I have made, you're making a pretentious display of not getting it - while you claim its oversimplified - and making conclusions that you know are not my position. I have been honest and sincere with you and it's all been a waste of time. You cannot argue my points so you must change them to pretend I mean something else and then argue that. I'm sorry that you're so threatened by libertarians that you cannot debate honestly. We're done until you can grow up, read what I've written, comprehend what I've written and then argue what I've written. Notice how none of that invites you to ignore things I've written so you can argue other things I wrote instead. Now, you need to stop criticizing libertarians since you should not criticize what you clearly do not understand.
  9. ID requires documents and private information that may be difficult for some folks to navigate due to personal circumstances. What if I lost my birth certificate or social security card? What if I have a bench warrant for my arrest? The poor and disenfranchised are there for a reason, and government ID requires interaction with authorities. Not to mention it costs money. None of these would be good reasons not to require ID except that voting is a fundamental right to us, and I think it best to qualify rights as little as possible. People will be left out of the process with voter ID laws that never violated a voting law in their life, even though they have no ID. We all deserve a voice regardless of our station. 13? Yeah, they're dreaming. We can tackle voter fraud though without impacting the entire voting populace.
  10. Umm…nope. You didnt read that anywhere in my post. Which is revealing, since you said this in your previous post (emphasis mine): Yet, here again youve refused to acknowledge the existence of values outside of legal force. So which is it? Do you believe values exist when not legally enforced or not? If so, then you must concede that the libertarian belief system executes its values outside of legal force, acknowledging that we do *not* hold personal liberty higher than other values we have. (And in fact, you don't know the values we have or how important they are to each of us). If not, then you must concede that you believe values are only executed when a law enforces them. Your choice. (We libertarians are always about choice, arent we?) No, I don't believe this. I don't believe in every man for himself. I could not have done the things in my life without help from others. I still get help from my parents from time to time, and I provide help for others, not just my family, though it is generally menial since I have little means at the moment. I agree that cohesive groups helping each other will probably always outperform individuals. I live like this, and have all of my life. I have many people to thank, and have. And none of these people were forced to help me. I asked, they gave. Or they offered, and I accepted. Just as when I help others, it's not by force. I do what I feel I can, and they are appreciative generally. The problem is when people think this cohesion needs to be primed with coersion. When right and wrong are qualified by "need", then you have no right and wrong. Is theft right, or wrong? Libertarians are *not* making the conservative case of who is "deserving" of help. Certainly, individually most of us value labor and a strong work ethic, but generally we are not concerned about verifying the merit of someone's need. You say you need help, hell I believe you. I've been around enough to know how good, hard working people can get in a bind. We *are* making an opposite statement with our belief system - that your dire need doesn't change right from wrong. If we're going to say theft is wrong, then by Thor it's wrong regardless if someone is starving and stealing from a rich person. I sure won't blame them, and will have sympathy, but theft is wrong. We always get accused of not caring for the poor, the sick, the downtrodden. We *do* care. Our belief system is not a repudiation of them or their needs, rather it's an acknowledgment that while it's convenient to coerce individuals to support and help them, it's not right. We stand on principle, when it counts. Just like we will never rationalize the forcible trade of affections, we also will never rationalize the forcible trade of anything else that belongs to a person. The good thing is, there are lots of good people that like to help and are able to help. And when they aren't forced to do it with taxes, they'll feel appreciated for it, finally.
  11. The easy response to this is that it's a giant strawman supplemented by well poisoning. The better response is to explain why I criticize and sometimes challenge your position, and the position of quite a large many libertarians, so let me do that. But its not a strawman, its a direct response to the charge that libertarians pursue freedom and liberty to the exclusion of all other values we dont. We do that *in law*, not *in life*. Thats why I pointed out the lack of distinction between law and choice. You can only say we dont pursue any other values when you ignore our private life choices and pursuits. We are not valueless people wandering around with blank stares we all have different value systems we employ at home, in our private lives. Thats where we think values are to be executed by private choice, not by public force. Yes, we do have issues with those of you who dont allow nuance in private lives. We do think we are better prepared to accept people as they are than you are. We dont have a societal vision in mind, no agenda along those lines, so nuance is exactly what you get with us. We believe we are more thoughtful to diversity, and more committed to equitable treatment under the law, thus we believe we are in a superior ethical and moral position. Guess what? Everybody does about their little opinions. You do too when youre not critiquing my doing it. Imagine that, people thinking their beliefs are better than others. Go figure. We just take this a step further and acknowledge that all of us are taken by our little belief systems that weve built. Were all very convinced of our shit. And since no one can objectively prove their shit, we say let everyone pursue their beliefs as the only moral and ethical choice left. Things are simple, although the libertarian mindset doesnt need them to be. Difficult choices are generally not complicated, rather theyre tough to accept so we invent more shades of gray to intellectually work around an inconvenient principle so we dont have to live it down. Like prostitution. Nothing complicated here. Your body, your property, yours to wager as you choose. I sell myself in 8 hour chunks per day, massive time away from my family yet Im protected by labor laws. The principle is clear these people dont belong to us to regulate. Theres no objective damage to be observed, certainly no more than can be observed by my 8 hours of servitude per day only cultural offense. And there comes the supposed shades of gray you have to pretend like its too complicated for a person to consider alone, so you can invent a reason to interfere and create laws against this form of labor. The real problem is that its a tough thing to have to accept that some people would rather make a days pay in 30 minutes rather than 8 hours. The real problem is we dont want to live up to the principle of personal sovereignty. So we invent complication to provide intervention. No legal shades of gray here, just fabrications from the mind of those who cannot and will not leave others be to make choices they dont like, or are even disgusted by. There are real shades of gray, to be sure, but Im rejecting those shades fabricated in frustration of a stubborn principle. Most of the time what we wring our hands about is accepting the tough simple choice. I would *not* do this. I dont think of my country, or myself, as better. Different cultures and people retrieve happiness differently. I do not know enough about any other country to make judgments like that. They may be very happy under Shariah Law, or they may be quite happy as a socialist society. I have no beef with others choices, only the refusal to allow mine in my country. Hopefully you remember my previous comments about politics and preference. I do not subscribe to the belief that socialism doesnt work, or communism doesnt work what works and what doesnt is up to the society that prefers it. They all work. Its just a matter of matching the human with the right structure for that humans sensibilities, as they perceive them. See, one of things Ive realized is that people with varying sensibilities have varying values and cultural norms, and different forms of government cause distress and happiness just as disparately as their personalities. I dont believe you would be happy as a libertarian, even if I could convince you. And why should I? Why shouldnt I want you to be as happy as you can? Youre happy being quite liberal, if I perceive your beliefs correctly, and you deserve to live out your only life as you choose. Why shouldnt I support a government structure that allows you to live liberally, while allowing me to live libertarianly (that should be a word, damnit)? Conservatives and religios are quite happy with their gods and traditions and they are not excited about progressive societies, and not happy to live among them. Why shouldnt I support a government structure that allows them to live as conservatively as they like so long as they cant force anyone else to live like them? I have no interest in arguing value systems because like ice cream, they are arbitrary choices, cultural preferences and conditioning, all that. People are happy pursing their values as they define them. Why shouldnt I support this? Who cares if I dont believe in their views? *They* believe them, and they are just as important as I am, and their happiness matters. I have no judgments over peoples choices other than to laugh and carry on. I simply want mine respected, as I respect yours. Im a libertarian in terms of legal preferences, and Im comfortable in that lifestyle. I dont mind asking my family for help when I need it, and they dont mind asking me. We like a tiny government footprint. It works for us, maybe not for others. It's not up to me to disparage their choices, only to disparage their lack of respect for mine. The key, to me, here is that my libertarian legal preference leaves room for liberal societies and conservative societies, in all of their flavors but their legal preference leaves *no* room each other, nor libertarians or any other political philosophy. Its a constant fight over a central, national value system. Its insane. We necessarily force large numbers of people to be miserable. Some of them in prison. I take aim at your belief system when you deny mine. Otherwise, I have no judgments and really prefer you to be able to live what makes you happiest. Not what I think is better for you because Im all convinced about my value system being better than yours. To recap…the only difference between us is that libertarians pursue values *outside* of government force. So, naturally when talking about laws, wielding government force, obviously our only interest is liberty and how to draw an objective line without endorsing particular values again, only in the context of law and political force. No surprise there. Dont let our legal disposition fool you about our personal dispositions about the complexities of life. We simply dont handle them through government force so there isnt much for us to say about them while most belief systems spend *most* of their time there. I mean seriously, the last hundred conversations I had about global warming and drug use was entirely in the context of what government should do about it. Libertarians look simple minded because you wont shift the conversation from what the government should do about it to what society should do about it or if anything should be done about it. Political conversations dont seem to lend themselves to solutions outside of government force. And of course, we often challenge that anything need be done at all because we have to parse real problems from societys cultural offenses that they *think* are problems. Your issues with home schooling, and Bloombergs issues with soft drinks are an example of cultural offenses in my opinion theyre only problems because were geared to think of them as problems. Were geared and conditioned in this brow beating, judgmental country to define good for our society as a whole and subordinate the individual to that end. If society thinks its perfectly reasonable to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and float to the ground with a glorified umbrella, then its acceptable. If same society thinks its unreasonable to order a soft drink larger than 16 ounces due to health concerns then its not. Not exactly an objective measure, nor very consistent. And neither is that surprising. Sorry, but we must distinguish serious and actual problems from a frivolous control-freak citizenry. This balance is up to each person to pursue for themselves, not as a collective. Thats why the libertarian answer *appears* easy. Because its not for us to define for each person. I do *not* agree that we must find a balance, thats my problem with you and most political belief systems. The premise is faulty that my life is partly up to *you* to regulate. That I should be the least bit interested in what a group of people has determined as a balance for me. That we should all group up and argue, find a balance, apply it to all, and then we all walk away, some happy, some miserable, all subordinate to the group, vowing to fight another day. Why should I value collective agreement? Why is it viewed as a good value over individualism? Why should there be any conformity to a group, or their cultural preferences (which really just boils down to arbitrary restrictions invented by societies)? Remember, laws overrule opinions opinions you never heard. We dont hear from all 330 million americans when we debate law, but theyre all affected. And we dont seem to care if we dont hear from too many in fact, we seem to like it when there isnt a lot of opposition to our proposed laws. That balance is for each person to find, on their own terms. No, my life is not yours to regulate so you can plan a society that you believe meets the definition of good. I dont agree sir. I will not help you structure our nation per a plan that you are convinced meets the definition of good that youve decided for us. So many assumptions, built on top of each other. Its no wonder you miss what we say so profoundly. I do not agree that a well planned and properly functioning society that maximizes the good of the most people possible is possible as a central plan because you cannot know each persons sensibilities such that they would interpret your plan as well planned and properly functioning and agree with it. Some would argue our society right now is such a thing. Most would argue otherwise. If you had a properly functioning government in your view, I would wager it would be at least fairly liberal, and about half the people would disagree because they dont view the liberal government as well planned and properly functioning. Its really something to watch you work around and just magically dismiss whole chunks of the country as you invoke we. Where are all the 330 million Americans when we are determining this properly planned and functioning government? Surely youve included everyone in this debate? Maybe you would reply that its their responsibility to participate in the republic, or be left out. If so, I would argue again that is yet another value you want to force onto everyone that they should value political participation. And if they dont, they suffer, with no say. And again, we libertarians have a more thoughtful position…let each person decide for themselves what pursuits make them happy, and we wager you will be left with a properly functioning society because each person of society *is* doing their proper function, as measured by their choices and behavior unfettered from force. And they dont suffer from non-participation in politics since their right to direct their lives and own their bodies has not been restricted. See, even libertarians have a better answer for the disenfranchised. Or I could put it another way…what good is a well planned and properly functioning society if happiness is minimized? Why are we doing this then? Function is more important than happiness? Do I smell yet another value? People ought to be able to pursue happiness, or function, or both. Not be required to hold one above the other. This is just an example of what Ive been saying about assumptions, and codifying values in laws. Again…personal choice dude. You cant plan a society and expect everyone to love it it ignores their intentions, preferences, their comforts, their culture, their pursuits, all of it for all 330 million of them. That is simply not true iNow. Most of our laws are arbitrary values laws. When you take my money for Medicare, Social Security, welfare and etc,- things you have argued in support of - you have chosen a value for me to fulfill diverting my money from values *I* have chosen. Im not allowed to opt out of social security taxes, or pick and choose when I have money for an American that thinks theyre poor. Its forced on me every pay day. Its forced on everyone. I have been forced to value nationalism, and value American problems over problems in the rest of the world. Vice taxes, food restrictions (like transfats and drink sizes), drug war, prostitution, marriage laws…it goes on and on. These are values made into law. Values that I should have a right *not* to value, that I should have a right *not* to violate my conscience, that I should have a right *to* value what I please and pursue it as I please, on my terms. Oh please iNow, Ive been using the ice cream flavors line for a decade or more. I dont believe youd outlaw a flavor of ice cream, rather Im illustrating the similarity between that and other values I find arbitrary and shallow. But the more interesting reply is…all it would take is for society to assign a negative value to vanilla and a positive value to chocolate. Say, another 20 years of the food police and astronomical obesity and it isnt hard to visualize regulating the intake of sugars and fats, outlawing vanilla with zero value, whereas chocolate at least has been linked to cancer prevention, thus chocolate is the only government approved ice cream flavor. And then theres the flavors with real fruit, frozen yogurt…etc. Sorry but you would have made fun of me 20 years ago if Id said a mayor would regulate soft drink sizes to 16 ounces. But, for the record, bad joke or not, I dont believe youd outlaw a flavor of ice cream. This reminds me of the outrage Obama is facing by his "You didn't build that comment." You act as if your personal efforts and drive alone led to your success... like the roads we share or the schools that educated us or the safety and enforcement mechanisms in place to reduce crime played no part. I suspect you would acknowledge each of those things as important, yet you fail to update your one-dimensional ideology upon making that acknowledgement. No, you totally blew by a fundamental concept of private property and misrepresented my argument importing a strawman about personal efforts and success. Please stop that. I said none of that. What I said was, property is earned, not given by the government. Are you saying you didnt buy your house, the government did? You didnt work that job to earn the money to buy groceries? Im not making a Every successful man is an island argument save that speech for those that make the argument. Im merely pointing out the obvious. Since we all work for our stuff, we insist on our own consent to take our stuff. And just to keep that strawman at bay, notice I did *not* say since we all work for our stuff and did everything in our lives entirely on our own with no one to thank for anything learned or gained in the whole of our existence. Clear? Great, lets take the next baby step. We are taught and conditioned from day one to respect others personal space. We require mutual consent before trading affections no force allowed. Yet this line of respect is never inferred to suggest that we do not want to give affection. Yet this line of respect *is* inferred to suggest that we do not want to help others when we insist on the same value of mutual consent with respect to property. Again, just like trading affection is qualified by mutual consent, we think all trade should be qualified by mutual consent not just affections that we own, but because we own ourselves and the objects and property that we acquired and wealth mined from leveraging ourselves. Do you have any more broad sweeping generalizations you'd like to use as the foundation of your position? I, for one, support the changes needed to escape the self-reinforcing cycle of poverty. I, for one, understand the desire to hand out food to hungry people, but prioritize the need to alter their circumstance in such a way that they can provide for themselves. But no... this has become a pissing contest... In your mind, libertarianism is like the Aryan master race where all others are inferior beings who should be castrated and purged... and all for some vague amorphous concept of liberty. Shall we start chanting U.S.A!! U.S.A!! U.S.A!! like mindless zombies next just to keep with the theme of the thread? Fail. Strawmen. Hell, Im not sure a single sentence you wrote has anything to do with a word that I wrote. You have conceded my point by your inability to argue it. I understand, its a tough one, many have failed before you as well. You might try re-reading it and see if you can assail the logic, or just give up. The point is clear, and you have to go out of your way to pretend not to see it. Im not rewarding this blatant attempt to avoid an inconvenient, honest difference of philosophy. Its important too, because youre doing the same thing the author of your article was doing and its at the heart of libertarian misrepresentation. Why not argue that "America achieved its greatness with love," or some other deepity? You're using a vastly abstract concept and trying to position it as some foundational support beam. As I already shared above, there are greatly differing degrees of liberty... degrees that vary based on context and circumstance and situation... yet you posit this one monolithic vagary as if it's some impenetrable fountainhead that unquestionably extinguishes all other counterpoints (which is part of the reason I find your position so unrealistic and frankly childish). Ha ha, because America didnt achieve any greatness with love that I can tell. Wheres the logical trail for that one? I trace our diversity and rugged individualism that I believe was responsible for a pioneering America with a heavy culture of personal autonomy back to the insistence of liberty as the prime central concept of our founding. The declaration of independence was all about it, the central theme, and at the heart of our moral case for autonomy. The constitution, that we have flourished and become the global superpower under, framed it as a permanent value with a long list of amendments protecting it. And its the value of liberty psychology responsible for us basically acting like brats and rebelling against the crown in the first place. Remember, the taxes they imposed werent exactly uncalled for we were being protected by the crown and that costs money. Sorry, I know some people always say thats what makes us great about every value in about every context. Maybe you could save your deepity bit for someone who makes such an argument? Ill forgive this repetitious bit on the exclusive liberty value since you wrote this over and over before I could correct your misrepresentation and lack of distinction between political force and free will. Ill repeat myself too….since we believe government should not force morals and value systems onto a society and instead should maximize the range of values a society can implement, then liberty is *governments* prevailing value. For the free citizens of America, all else matters as they choose them to matter. I think the part that offends most is the respect given to each citizen. I think most want the moral authority to override someone elses choice. This idea that each persons thoughts and opinions should be legally equivalent to each other, really distresses the control freaks that seek to use laws to engineer society. Libertarianism is a great threat to those that would assume themselves over others. The great conceit of central planners and societal engineers is the ability to frame an opinion into law, assuming its superiority, without having heard the opinions of the 330 million different people who live here and under those laws. Its truly staggering to me, the assumption required to frame laws around cultural offenses and arbitrary values. They are basically saying that their law their opinion is so correct and superior to anyones logic or argument that theres no possible way any one of those 330 million citizens could trump it and they know this without the need to even *hear* them. Passing laws is really freaking serious business. People go to prison for our views. Whole lives ruined, because of our views. People are necessarily altered, permanently, by our views. I dont approach politics as a lighthearted game its real life, real consequences, with real men with real guns forcing people to value certain things over others. Its disgusting and unethical as hell to forcibly influence their one and only time on this earth with our own ideas superseded over theirs because were so convinced of ourselves and not of them. Our own insecurities forced on to others… Yeah, online friend…whatever. Save that for Pangloss, Im not interested.
  12. No I would not. Only the destitute poor get my sympathies, sorry. The rest of us are just bitching because our stuff is not as nice as others. I prefer a sales tax solution that exempts medical, food and shelter. This moves taxation to surplus, away from survival resources. Private, personal information no longer required means more power to the people. More like anyone can make capital gains, rich or not. There's a whole readily identified group of people who can't take the earned income credit either, is there a reason why this matters? Lots of poor folks and middle class folks run into capital gains when attempting to mobilize themselves economically. Nothing changes that. You change the capital gains rate, you *will* necessarily knock little people down. I think you're more concerned about knocking big people down such that a those little people don't bother you. But I haven't though Swansont, that's the point. I'm still *attempting* to mobilize and acquire house flipping as another occupation, but it is not complete. I have merely bought a house - saving about 600 a month in mortgage, but I still pay insurance and real estate taxes. The house is not sold, we're living in it, paying bills, struggling to come up with the tax bill. We have not achieved this yet, we are broke mostly, and not prepared to sell the house yet. My plan is still not yet realized. Building a business is not one day your poor, working for the man, the next day your business is up and running. For those of us with limited means, it takes time and creativity. Creativity being limited by laws and regulations. These 401K tax laws are keeping us from continuing on the house and getting it ready for sale. That's the facts, man. I can't continue to divert my funds to further improving this home while this tax bill looms over our heads. We do pay taxes on the 401K, I'm not sure why you keep pretending as if we've skirted something. You pay when you withdraw, whether that's when you're 67 or 41. It doesn't matter, you pay taxes on that money as "income". I have no issue with this part of the 401K tax problem, and I did not figure it in here as such. My problem is with the penalty of 10%. It's an imagination penalty because goddamnit they want you to build a retirement, rather than do things that might eventually make you happier or more independent. Actually they do on the sale of a main home, all the time. I'd like some numbers on this, but I suspect most home sales are occupancies 2 years or longer. This means they're enjoying a 0% capital gains on the sale of their homes up to 250K for singles and 500K for married couples. That's definitely a lower rate than their marginal tax rate, such as short term capital gains. Yeah, I'm a little out of practice here, sorry. The careful parsing of words... I meant, however, anyone can run into capital gains, rich or not. When one tries to improve their situation financially, and begins to imagine and create ways to acquire more resources, they will encounter the barriers you built for the rich. It happans all the time. I've struggled against government bullshit my whole life and it is absolutely discouraging. It takes a long time to save money and risk it on an idea - years and years - the last thing you need is government pigeon holding you into a business model that doesn't give you an advantage. Our business model gives us an advantage over the big cheap labor crew approach, a competitive edge, something the little guy needs, particularly an upstart. But we still have to overcome the government's disapproval in the form of tax penalty before we can continue on with it. How is this good for the economy? If we did things the government's way, I would still have my 401K, outrageous house payment, 65K a year job, and paychecks that get eaten alive by monthly obligation piranha's. Because I don't have any other money to buy a house with or attempt a business with. The working poor will use whatever funds they have, and 401K's are becoming more and more popular for even the most dead end of low paying jobs. My son has one and he works for Pizza Hut as a delivery driver. That wasn't an oversimplification, it was mistatement of the word "every" instead of "any" body. The funny part is, I'm the one attempting to show that poor people are more complex than any of you are giving them credit for. That they are more resourceful and busy than you think they are. That you may have built barriers aimed at the rich, but you're hitting little people trying to change their lives for the better because they don't throw their hands up and give up on themselves as you have. Further your last sentence is a caricature, or a stereotype of what you think the poor are. That's silly. You should visit Sand Springs, OK sometime and I'll show you whole neigborhoods of poor - they are a struggling class of people, not static sacks of tissue. They have more than you think, and they are capable of more than you think. That's what I was thinking. Further, that it's merely a savings account in which the gamble is post or pre tax dollars. I would never have thought that the timing of withdrawal could be considered "bad" or skirting something. It's in your interest to leave money in there to continue to compound interest, so it's a natural consequence to cash out early. Then you understand why they don't need our sympathies. They have cars, houses, air conditioners, TV's, stereo's, computers, and etc and all kinds of stuff - it's just shitty versions of it. Our poor mostly don't do without, they do *with* ugly and pre-owned. I say if you care about poor people, remove the bureaucracy that makes it so hard for the little guy to start up a business. Stop taking his tax money on his paychecks, what little he has. Move to a sales tax that only taxes surplus - let him have all of his money so he can be in a better position to try his own ideas of labor or service, that may make him/her happier in their lives. In other words, fight for open markets for them. Support removing regulations invented by business-government cronies. That's extremely destitute iNow. The poverty threshold is set at 23K for a family of 4. 7 people to a room and can barely afford groceries? This is not the typical poor. This is not the majority of poor people you're talking about, this is that slice of destitution that is the most depressing and least hopeful. My son lives at home, 19 years old, fulltime delivery driver for Pizza Hut - pays into a 401K. I'm not sure how much he puts in it, but I've tried to get my boys to invest in the idea of a lifetime savings account. Most of the people he works with are working poor. Young men and women just starting out, but with 401K's mind you. They're very popular. But the point I'm making is that it is a point of gravitation for someone ready to try something to improve their financial situation. To write this off as most poor people don't have 401K's so we don't need to make any changes to it, is to write off those little people you refuse to notice that won't just lie down and be helpless like our numbers say they should be. Poor people, and lower middle class try not to be poor all the damn time. How do you think that looks? What form does that take? One form it takes...cashing out 401K's. That's a bit like saying putting someone to death for running a stop sign is ok as long as they knew about that consequence ahead of time. Sorry, I'm a bit more inclined to criticize bad laws. It's not right to assign capital punishment for stop signs, and I would readily blame the government for murder if they did it. It's a bad law to dictate to citizens how to spend their money on otherwise legal things. Yeah, I knew about the penalty and did it anyway. I knew the government was going to be a brick wall, but did it anyway. Is that somehow a good argument for government to build brick walls in the first place? Like I keep saying...your laws and regulations impede the progress of creative people with limited means. That 401K was the key to this move for us, and the government has been the only obstacle, certainly the worst one. Imagine if they weren't an obstacle at all? I could spend the next 4 paychecks finishing the siding, the windows and the air handler and would be ready to sell in about 4 weeks. Instead, I'll be saving for taxes the rest of the year if I'm lucky. This could be a real-time example of how you overcomplicate rules due to an overcomplicated view of society. People need room to innovate, and there's very little room for little people to innovate in this rigid system built to contain big business. Isn't the possibility of deferring income while in a high tax bracket (earning wage income) and then withdrawing it while in a lower bracket (retired) by design? Don't we expect people to be in a lower tax bracket when withdrawing? So if they're still earning wage income, yet withdraw 401K savings, aren't they paying more than they would have if they waited until they retired? Plus there's less money to earn more interest.
  13. Well, the story does not end good John. The rich people have all the money and the earth is warming really fast anyway, so he visits his brother to get the hook up on some good pharmaceuticals and checks out.... Well I didn't mean that statement the way you are taking it anyway - you could have proved it false pointing out a homeless man with zero money. My statement was meant to convey that poor, middle class and rich all encounter capital gains and it's the same rate for all of them. But...Fred can buy a single stock, sell it for a penny more a year later, and he's made a capital gain of 1 penny. When he figures his taxes at the end of that year, he'll have to include this penny he made as a capital gain. Probably after all the deductions, credits and income thresholds he won't have to pay anything out of pocket, though the gain was still figured in the return.
  14. I don't know how atypical it is for a relatively poor person - certainly not rich or comfortable - to risk their 401K on a house, business or whatnot. I suspect it's more typical than you think, but certainly not prolific. We got the house at a good price because of the market and since we were paying cash it was easier to get the bank to let go of it at our price - it had sat for 3 months, starting at 46K. The people that lived there before got foreclosed on and they trashed the place, urine, fecal matter, the whole nine yards. This market is great for poorer people to make some money. Cheap housing is good for poor folks even though the middle class and rich are up in arms about it. We think we can get around 85 to 90K based on market comps in the area and we did a much better job of the work that the other remodels we've seen. Not trying to say we're super awesome, but we do honest work and we fix things like we'd like them to be and that's just another step up from the contractor mentallity we see in other remodels. Doubling our investment is what we've always done in real estate fix ups. We're selling the place so we can do it again, and again. Our idea is to live in the houses we want to "flip". By living there we gain the advantage of not being in a hurry, not requiring large crews of cheap labor and all that hassle but we also aren't paying enormous monthly payments to hard money lenders, or even paying a dime on interest. But this also means we have to do every bit of the work, and it's time consuming when you do it all yourself, and the place is under construction most of the time you live there. Takes a while before you can relax on some carpet and hear the TV without trying to overcome a drill in the back room. Oh, and you pay taxes as income when you get your 401K withdraw and I have no problem with that, because as you pointed out, it was pre-taxed going in. It's the 10% penalty I have a problem with. It's a creative penalty and really sucks because 401K savings are one the few places a poor person can go to get funds for their ideas.
  15. I'm so glad you made that point, because you're wrong. There are plenty of people out there with the cash to buy a house - 401K, that's where mine came from - that are considered "poor". I work for the city, making a measly 7,000 more per year than the nationally "impoverished" - people who would pay ZERO taxes and clean up on earned income credit. I'm much further away from the median - 21K, 3 times as far as I am from the impoverished. I can qualify for food stamps and all kinds of stuff if I wanted. If you don't think I'm poor, then congratulations, you are a heartless conservative. Most of the poor are like me - I live in a neighborhood called "Meadow Valley" that has been affectionately renamed "Ghetto Valley". We each have unique situations, just like how people are all unique....weird huh? That was half of the point of my post. You all have no idea who the poor really are or what they're lives are really like, apparently. They don't except themselves from the methods of the rich as you would have them do. They refuse to sit still and they try things - usually against the recommendation of "educated" types that look down their nose at the silly idiots trying to use their retirement to secure a home. When the poor try to claw out of their trenches, they run into barriers we put in place for bigger business types, making it incredibly difficult to achieve their ideas. Just like right now..my biggest obstacle is taxes. I'm going to get taken because laws were created about how to use 401K funds, and the government doesn't like what I did, so I'll have a very bad tax bill - over 6,000 in penalties alone. I expected that, I knew that going into it, but again, who's standing in the way of this poor person? Taxes, not Wal-mart. That 6 grand is going to be tough to come up with - I already extended to October and the IRS won't let me extend it any further. Dealing with that penalty making the beans I bring in...it isn't going to be easy. But alas, the working poor are used to government invented hurdles in an already tough competitive life. Government is always more of an impediment than the legitimate open market. That's just it Charon, you would make the same claim about "unique situation" if you interviewed everyone in my neighborhood. We're not cookies, we're people. We haven't been sitting around watching TV being "poor" for all these years. Working poor people don't just say "well I'm poor, let's just eat some corn and go to bed". Instead they dream, hope and scheme and attempt their ideas because "sitting around" and accepting ourselves like a caste system never did anything for us. And this 1 year vs 2 year rule...this is just one example of how a simple rule can screw people. If I wait until next year to sell my house, I won't have any of this profit to pay my tax bill with but I won't have to pay capital gains on the house. If I sell the house right now, I can pay my tax bill but I'll be stuck with capital gains on the house. This means I have to pay my tax bill with 401K penalties on my 30K a year poor man's salary.
  16. So the rules are I must log in every single day and take counterpoints every single day or I'm ignoring counterpoints and failing to support or discuss my assertions? John, we haven't soaked the rich enough here for me to have the same time on here as you and still be able to feed myself and my family. If you require this much attention in order to discuss things in your forum then I'll have to bow out. And from the looks of things, you will too. You failed to rejoin the discussion and deal with your comments that I replied to many days ago, even weeks. You're only just now coming back and you still haven't supported or discussed your "not normal" comments about rich people. Now, this is where iNow's and most liberal ideologies miss the mark on reality. People are not static actors. There's this ideal "poor person" to them, that works a job, back and forth, saves and budgets, and that's all they do. This is why imagination fails them when someone speaks of the poor trying to mobilize economically and running into the license laws and regulations that crony business and government built together. A poor person encounters long term capital gains on the sale of a main home owned less than 2 years, longer than 1 year. A poor person trying to claw out of poverty can use real estate to make gains. They have to live in a home anyway, so you borrow the money, fix the place up over the next year and then sell it. Capital gains will be figured, and depending on their wage salary they may end up paying taxes, or receiving a reduced refund or credits. In our case, I make less than 30K a year at my new job. Median is 51K, so I bring home a little over half of the median income here in America. Poverty is set at 23K for a family of four. We are a family of four and I make 7K above poverty. I think I stand as an example of the working poor, but not impoverished. I bought our house in July of 2011 for 31K with cash from my 401K upon leaving my job that was making me miserable. I put in 15K immediately, made the house very nice and livable with our own labor - we lived on concrete floors for over a month though, since it took time to get the walls, windows and doors finished and sealed. It was embarrassing so we didn't invite anyone over. Now, a year later, the house is wonderful, though it still needs a new central AC air handler. I make no house payments, but I do pay insurance and real estate taxes. When we sell the house this year, it will be capital gains. We will have owned the house less than 2 years, but more than 1 (I can't afford to sit around and grow another year older just so I can save 15% on capital gains). We will gain 45K, and when you add that to my wage salary of 30K, I will show income of 75K for that year. I will be paying taxes on this. That's just an example of how *one* poor person encounters capital gains. The people always forgotten are the working poor. The working poor always know exactly what kind of headaches you've created in government because they are the ones who hang their heads in discouragement after interacting with anything government trying to start a business of some kind of pull off some kind of outside-the-box financial scheme . They are the ones that encounter just how ridig and inflexible this supposed "open market" really is. The working poor aren't some static parameter on a spreadsheet, they can be quite inventive and creative about their situations constantly struggling and resisting and as they try to mobilize themselves they run into the laws we created around "big" business, like capital gains. And your failure to recognize that, and instead grasp at conveniently childish black and white partitions - capital gains = rich people - helps to keep them poor, rigidly in place. Ha ha, definitely one of the funnier ones. Not owning people and not hating weirdos, is one thing we're good at. Neither of which can be claimed by both parties nor their respective ideologies that each, at one time or another, provided for the ownership of black folks and the bigotry against them, women, homosexuals, people with lots of stuff,...etc. We're real good at accomodating value systems of all kinds, providing an inclusive environment for everyone to chase the things that make them happy, however weird or ordinary they may be. Free to associate, form bonds of all kinds, communes or total isolation - we make room for all of it. Only we can do that because only we allow the freedom for that to happen. The two major ideologies taking down the country right now are too restrictive and invasive and rely heavily on extortion to maintain the government's existence. Even if we pretended as if their beliefs provided for such liberty, despite mounds of evidence to the contrary, they're tax needs alone drain the citizenry of their resources otherwised used for their own happiness and conscience.
  17. Sorry but that's not the issue. Everyone can make capital gains, rich or not. And if capital gains were only the tool of the rich, then I ask again, why is the rate set at 15%? Everyone pays that rate. And every ordinary citizen pays the same as him on their capital gains. It doesn't matter if they make less than 20 grand or more 20 billion - they all pay the same. No, the issue is this: That the *only* income he gained was from investment. He didn't work a job. Because if he had wage income to be taxed, his taxes in general would have been higher, like most other wealthy folk that work. The offense would not be any more realized than any other rich candidate running for president. But the problem was he didn't work a job, or at least didn't earn a wage, so the only income he got was capital gains which is set low to entice investment, and thus the offense of only paying 15% in taxes and the offense that someone could have so much investment money that they don't need to work a job. Again, it's resentment. Let me ask you this...if Romney earned no income from capital gains, nor wages, nothing to report, but still possessed his billions, would you want to tax him?
  18. A couple things, since I see this as a big theme and misunderstanding of our values. Starts out familiar, but let it build. And I'm really out of practice... Domestically, libertarians largely don't look to the government to solve problems. We don't think the role of government is to "solve problems" in society. We think free actors in society can and should solve most problems. We think the role of government is to provide the framework to pursue happiness however we define it, by defining a clear line of respect between people - the non-coercion principle. There is no particular 'vision' of society to implement, no set of values to endorse here, no culture to mention or speak of. We don't care. We support an emergent society. Each person is free to pursue their values and their happiness as *they* define it. If you want to believe in god and teach your kids the earth is 6000 years old, fine. If you want to believe that's total crap, then fine as well. We are not in any position to know what's best for anyone else. "Good" is the subjective term that makes asses out of us when we use it on behalf of others. I found no truth iNow. And that's precisely the point. My philosophy comes from the lack of knowing the truth, the humility to understand that I *cannot* know what is best for you, what is good for you. I cannot know who's reality is correct - and further, I suspect that all are correct. When I see a red car, the dog sees a gold car - which one of us is correct? Same with our interpretation of reality which directs our entire lives. Which one of us is correctly seeing the world, iNow? I think we both are. Counter intuitive, maybe, but we're in the same test box together and neither can trump the other and claim objectivity. The only moral and ethical thing I can do is not do anything to you at all. I can't govern your choices because I might be wrong. I don't want you governing mine because you might be wrong. We pursue freedom and liberty as the overarching value *for government*, because that's the only way to morally and ethically treat *equals*. If neither of us can objectively claim reality or truth, then we are equally subjective in that context. Libertarians don't look to government to solve problems but to create problem solvers. That's why the endless liberty message...individual liberty feeds diversity. Diversity feeds generalism. Generalists solve problems and survive catastrophic changes much better than specialists. We look to cultivate a diverse field of human beings to maximize our ability to survive in the face of knowable and unknowable impending challenges. Because we look to free actors to actually solve the problems (most of the time), our charge in government and politics is devoid of specific values and intents. We don't like government promoting values and culture because when that comes from central authority, particuarly when using force, you necessarily lose diversity. So - nuanced as it is - we promote freedom and liberty in government and politics to promote equal treatment of citizens to follow their conscience, their values, their trail to happiness.
  19. Right, the proposed increase in taxes - in the video - are aimed at the rich. That is the context of this thread, that Dick Morris was speaking to non-typical wage earners making over 250K about how their taxes are going to go up. Disproportionate taxation, just as I said. And further, I would support any elimination of property taxes by shifting the revenue source to other methods of taxation. Ideally, sales tax for all revenue collection. But I'd even support shifting the burden to income taxes if I had to. Really prefer not though. Does that clear up any confusion? It's not a contradiction at all. A single person's speech amplified to 20 thousand voices is *not* the same as 20 thousand people speaking. That's 20 thousand brains verses one. 20 thousand people to create, imagine, counter and speak back. There is a difference between speech that is repeated over and over and new speech that is created over and over. It's not a strawman because it's not a counter to any argument you have made. I introduced the material for others that are reading this thread. Hopefully they see the similarity between "black people are criminals" and "rich people are criminals". Where? Show me. Sincerely Swanston, you have misunderstood what I have written. Maybe that's my fault, I have no interest in sideways spats. I'm going to try this one more time....please read carefully. When people are outraged that Mitt Romney only paid 15% in capital gains, then the implication to me is that if he had not invested any of that money (which I concede he would even though that has nothing to do with this point) that it would have been better. It implies that it was bad for one person to invest lots of money, because investment return is taxed at 15% (the rate we set), too good for one person to enjoy. Otherwise why wouldn't they be outraged that *everyone* rich or not, was only paying 15% capitial gains? That's why I made the point that we *set* the capital gains rate, so we know it is lower than wage income, and we did that, presumably to encourage investment activity. Romney is one such person successfully enticed to invest, and so he did, and now we're outraged? And we're *not* outraged at the capital gains rate? No one is crying about the capital gains rate, only that Mitt Romney got to enjoy that rate with everyone else. That, sir, is how you cut off your nose to spite your face.
  20. I'm torn here iNow because you have taken the time to write a sincere, thoughtful post about your misgivings with Libertarian thought and I'm moved to be just as sincere and thoughtful in my reply. But I don't think you've given the same care to understand what I posted. You've focused in on generalizations (which we all use, even when you use the term "libertarian" you're generalizing a diverse group of thought) and taken offense at my interpretations and then let that occlude the points where I contrast it with libertarian ideas. It has been said, previously by Sisyphus here at SFN by the way, that our politics we choose can be described in terms of our political aversions. I provided contrast between my aversions and libertarian counters to help distinguish how we execute virtues of society. You can disagree with my interpretations of reality - we all do - but to understand someone, if that's your aim, you must accept *their* perception in the proper context. I will write a reply, have already started, and it will be thoughtful and sincere and will take some time. I don't have the time I used to on here. But in the meantime it would mean a lot if you'd re-read what I wrote in reply to that author and this time try to understand the points I'm making, even if you disagree with my perception of events. None of us share the same reality, and none of us share the same perception, and none of us occupy an objective point in this test box from which to prove anyone over another.
  21. Prove it. Where did I write that any increase in income tax is being from resentment or hatred of the rich? You're getting sloppy here. I have repeatedly said that disproportionate taxation is wrong. Increasing income tax on the *rich* exclusively is wrong, not on the whole. Although, I would stand against such taxes because I want to see income tax eliminated, not further invested in. But don't now conflate that position to mean, yet again, that I don't expect to raise taxes somewhere else to compensate. And yes, appealing to emotion is exactly what we do when we are seeking equal treatment of minorities, as well as reason. You dismiss the rich as a minority with an offensive, convenient argument that their money equals more speech. At best, their money equals amplified speech of the same minority number of total voices. A majority has a more voices, more minds, more people, more advantage to create speech and counter speech. And to reason that someone has the "abilility" to trade in their property in order to speak and that somehow makes them even with a majority is laughable. That they have a workaround to at least amplify their speech as the citizenry gathers their pitchforks is a small advantage over other minority groups - it does not make them anywhere close to a majority voice. I did not say we should all bleed and cry for rich people. I don't do that for gay people, nor any other minority group. It's the principle of equality that we are ignoring when we institutionalize bigotry of a minority group. In this case, disproportionate taxation while still carrying the blame of "not paying their fair share" as well as destroying the financial market. Yeah, all 3 million American millionaires all acted in concert to destroy the financial market, and all 3 million American millionaires take from poor, keep them poor, blah blah blah...big oil, Wal-Mart, golden parachutes, Enron... They all get lumped in together as one coordinated group responsible for all these terrible things. Black folks can relate to that. It's not ok to stereotype and then execute policy based on it. Right now, the rich are being stereotyped and painted with broad strokes and policy is directly referenced to it. Everytime Obama says "they need to pay their fair share", when they clearly pay way more than their "fair" share. Pardon me, but this is obfuscation. You ignored the point I made and appear to have no argument. The implication by the outrage is that if he had not invested in any of this, and made no money, and no offensive capital gains, then no one would be outraged. And I ask how that is good for society? How is that good for us? We set the capital gains rate, it's not a market emergence. We know what it is because we declare it. It's set low at 15% to encourage activity. Then we get activity, and get outraged at the low tax rate...the..one...we....set...deliberately? Why the hell did we set it so low if we're offended by it? This is the kind of contradictory silliness you get with class warfare. It's on like Donkey Kong. That point is important and those who cannot or will not address it are likely engaged in it themselves. Kind of like this argument since "observing that the deficits would be smaller and that historically the economy did quite well under the previous tax system" may be what you are doing, but has *nothing* to do with the populist offense to Romney's capital gains.
  22. My previous post on the matter counters everything you just wrote. Here try reading it again. You can disagree, but you can't change my words to make believe I said only eliminate taxes and never increase. I specifically called for an increase and even outright implementation of a new tax. I distinguish local governments from state and federal because most of their work is right there servicing the pragmatics of the people, the infrastructure. Building roads, police, fire and all that - truly government services that I fully support. Unlike the political games at the state and federal level where the need for their services are more debatable due to differing political philosophies. Other than entrenched crony capitalism and their methods of taxation, I don't have a lot of criticism of local governments. They can be wasteful, but I suspect more honest work from them. I'm trying to figure out where this question came from and how it relates to what I wrote. I said that to complain about Romney's capital gains is to imply that it would have been better if he didn't invest that money at all, and received no capital gains for anyone to complain about. That's the resentment I'm talking about...how is it good for society for him not to invest? How do we benefit *more* from him sitting on his money? The resentment and complaints suggest to me that people are more concerned with what someone in particular is gaining rather than the system as a whole. It's as if they'd complain about his capital gains even if he was writing checks directly to the American people. They are not focused on the system, just one node that offends them. It's class resentment, not reason. Agreed, except that I also support eliminating multi-point tax events so I prefer both changes. We get taxed from too many directions and this makes a "black cloud" out of our tax system. If we the people in this republic cannot easily review and realize the tax code then we can't be the check against an out of control tax code can we? It is the disadvantage of the republic that we require "keep it simple stupid" since we are a mass of people governing ourselves, but that's our charge. They can have complex tax codes in governments that are not by the people since their people don't serve as a check on their governments. Also, I would think you'd be attracted to eliminating the disparity in school funding created by linking funding with real estate values. By removing the property tax link, each school could receive equitable funding since they aren't tied to a rich or poor neighborhood. And for us free market people, it preps the ground for voucher based school funding.
  23. It's weird because they apparently didn't account for the loss of revenue. Yes, I find that stunningly stupid. You remove property taxes and then increase somewhere else. It's the removal of the direct link to property that I advocate, not eliminating the funding and then wondering where all the services went. Seriously, property taxes remain the chief revenue source for local governments but account for but a fraction of what we pay in the various directions we are taxed by all government. There is really no argument against this, it is happening right now. We know we can impliment a different tax method because we already have services with other governments that don't use the property tax method, and have never used the property tax method. It's an ugly tax because you can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars for a tiny one thousand dollar tax bill. No other tax we have directly applies leverage to the most valuable asset a family could possess. And *that's* why they like it - it works. And so does holding a gun to someone's head, that works pretty good too. Not exactly ethical though. And the reason that is specious is because the comparison implied with his capital gains income is with wage income. But wage income came from someone else and provided no capital for anyone else, only labor. Whereas his capital gains income came from money previously earned from wages, and then not spent on toys and gadgets but rather used to provide capital for someone else. The implied alternative this backlash seems to purport is that it would have been better if he didn't invest that income at all and instead just sat on his money. He would have no capital gains for anyone to be offended about and people with ideas would still be looking for someone with money to invest in them, no jobs created, no growth. I think that's ridiculous to be so full of resentment for someone else that it leads you to reason against the good of society.
  24. I agree with the first two, but you have a problem with individuals who don't like taxes and then invest millions of dollars in foreign countries? I'm not sure how they're related. So, if Bobby Sager wants to invest in a third world country and rescue people from dirty water and sewer, he has your blessing only if he likes to pay taxes here in America? Or were you aiming at Wal-mart?
  25. Correct Moontanman. It's as if they think property taxes are permanent structures that when eliminated, all the benefits they provided go away. Weird. Yes, we can simply tax them differently for the same things. The multiple directions of taxation we experience right now are evidence of its efficacy. Any state or local government can just as easily impliment a consumption sales tax or increase the one they have to pay for schools, police, fire - if that's how they fund them. And then it's more equitable to the citizens since it eliminates the geographic link - rich neighborhood schools for the wealthy kids and poor run down schools for the poor kids. I think I've had quite enough of class division begetting yet more class division, by government schools. Then, the those local governments are set up for voucher based schooling where the money follows the child, not the institution. This allows parents maximum flexibility (oxymoron really considering mandated schooling) and control over the kind of educational environment they want their children in. Schools will have to compete for business instead of taking their classrooms for granted. The people can demand the level of education they want in a market like this far better and more efficiently than joining PTA and fielding a bureaucracy of union and government bullshit. See how long it takes to change your neighborhood school into the one you want for your child and compare that to how long it takes to shop for one. There is little good reason in not using a single source taxation system. Sure, you eliminate the ability to tax usage, but you also eliminate the "black cloud" that is the tax code that gives every politician the ability to claim they lowered taxes, or claim someone else raised them, yet nobody actually knows if they did or not. Our tax code is stunningly beautiful for oligarchy. Complex enough that the average voter doesn't understand it, leaving them largely withdrawn from the subject, accepting the status quo out of ignorance. They don't challenge how we collect taxes nor why those methods are chosen. Consider the income tax...why would a government relinquish the power and control gained by having access to the private affairs of the citizens. If they traded it in for a sales tax, they would lose such a sweet position of information and power that you wouldn't even give to your best friend. Most local governments set up tax structure this way I believe. Property tax is a powerful collection source, very popular among coersive groups. Here's the rub...when you fail to pay the IRS, even tens of thousands of dollars, they raid your checking accounts, garnish wages and intercept tax refunds - your property isn't at risk for quite some time, years and years, if ever at all. However, when you fail to pay your property taxes, like your house, your property is the *first* point of leverage. They don't bother with checking accounts, garnishing wages and intercepting refunds - they go straight for the throat and take the property. I had a friend personally go through this two months ago. I agree, he's brought this on himself and hasn't paid for 3 years, but this house was bought and paid for years ago. They threatened to sell the house at auction for one year's worth, an overdue 600 dollars, complete with a due date to be out of the house if it wasn't paid by the deadline. We helped him get it paid and I launched a new crusade. His father spent 20 years buying that house, just so Tulsa County can sell it to get 600 bucks. This is too costly. Taxes must be paid, but taking people's homes? He would have been homeless, iNow. He and his mother. How is this a good government? How is this good for society? It is good for us to gain two homeless people and 600 bucks in revenue? We don't put people to death for failing to use a turn signal. I don't think we should take people's homes for failing to pay their government school bill. There's a better way. Sales tax. I made the counter argument to this in another thread but you never read it or didn't respond to it. I'm not wasting my time making it again. Anyone who supports the notion of planting a flag and drawing a poorly shaped circle around it and telling every human born in the perimeter for the foreseeable future to pledge allegiance to their funky circle and obey some rules and culture that they're all really impressed with - dictating the only life you'll ever have to live - under the impression they are "moral" or "ethical", probably does have a huge problem with freedom and individualism. To receive their criticism is to be validated.
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