Author Topic: Who else here is a libertarian?  (Read 24633 times)

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #350 on: January 30, 2017, 10:12:46 AM »
In general, I would say that protecting people's rights to life and liberty (including gainfully obtained property) is the primary time when using state force is both necessary and justified.  So if someone wants to attack you, whether it's your neighbor or someone on the other side of the planet, then it is reasonable to use state force to defend you against that attack.  Regardless of what organizational units we choose to use for the common defense, protection of the rights of the individual members should be one of the primary functions of the state's reason for existence.  So no, I would not call national defense a social project.  (I'm assuming here that we are speaking of true self defense and not getting into "nation-building" and other unwarranted acts of aggression toward others on our part).

Why does it have to be the state? If people want to defend themselves, they can form a well regulated militia with themselves. Creating a military-industrial complex funded by taxes is antithetical to freedom, especially when the state military is often used against its own citizens (like at Waco).
I'm guessing you've never actually tried to form a well-regulated anything that involves a group of people, or you wouldn't be asking.  ;-)

All kidding aside, there's no inherent "has to be" WRT a state, in the sense that some other institution (like a private militia) could possibly be substituted instead.  But someone still has to run that institution, and the problem is that power is corrupting no matter who holds it (whether government, corporations, or some other entity).  Even an independent militia can run amok if it gains too much power.  So the argument you make against giving the power to a state is equally valid against giving it to a private militia or corporation.  Having our organizations turn against us is a risk we face any time we create one and then allow it to gain too much power.

Why even do it then? If someone threatens a city/state/country, people can form up to defend it. There doesn't need to be a taxpayer funded standing militia that will be host to corruption and waste. Get rid of it entirely and save us all the money.

I agree. Also, get rid of the fire departments. People shouldn't have to have money stolen out of their own pockets for that. Individuals have the right to protect themselves from fire or emergency.

The overwhelming majority of fire departments in the USA are volunteer.  By the numbers, most firefighters are volunteer.  In terms of assets covered by volunteer vs. paid departments, volunteer wins if you count only property held by individuals (this one is flimsy, because you end up discounting most of the dense urban real estate of big cities like NY).  Almost 100% of the funding for those volunteer departments is from local property taxes.  Hell, almost 100% of the funding from the paid departments also comes from local property taxes.

Volunteer departments will tend to have better gear and apparatus, because they are free of the heavy pension load of the paid departments.  Some are even able to compensate the firefighters a nominal amount per year to cover transportation costs, etc.

There's even a handful of locations where fire service is provided by private contract, and you contract with a local fire provider (many of these are not great, but some of them can go toe-to-toe with any other arrangement).

The fire department is about as libertarian as it gets.  In fact, in places where the tax for the FD is called out separately and is optional, the FD will respond if your house is on fire and you opted out, but only to make sure it doesn't spread to your neighbors.  This is backed up as legal and correct in several court cases.

But only liberals have facts, so I assume you knew this already.

Yes, I did know this, given that most friends of mine who belong to fire departments do so on a volunteer basis.

Not so in large cities, though. But large cities are full of liberals, who don't matter as much as "real" Americans, right?

(See, I can do that, too.)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 10:14:58 AM by Kris »
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

shenlong55

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #351 on: January 30, 2017, 10:39:14 AM »
The fire department is about as libertarian as it gets.  In fact, in places where the tax for the FD is called out separately and is optional, the FD will respond if your house is on fire and you opted out, but only to make sure it doesn't spread to your neighbors.  This is backed up as legal and correct in several court cases.

This seems like a horrible position to put firefighters into.  If I were a firefighter standing outside a burning building where I knew I could save lives/prevent destruction, but I can't just because someone didn't pay an optional tax I would feel horrible...

Kris

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #352 on: January 30, 2017, 11:16:28 AM »
The fire department is about as libertarian as it gets.  In fact, in places where the tax for the FD is called out separately and is optional, the FD will respond if your house is on fire and you opted out, but only to make sure it doesn't spread to your neighbors.  This is backed up as legal and correct in several court cases.

This seems like a horrible position to put firefighters into.  If I were a firefighter standing outside a burning building where I knew I could save lives/prevent destruction, but I can't just because someone didn't pay an optional tax I would feel horrible...

Yeah, not to mention: way to foster a general "welp, he needs help, but that's not my problem" attitude that's growing in a hell of a lot of ways in this country. With effects that I think we're only just beginning to see.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #353 on: January 31, 2017, 12:57:08 PM »
Bottom line:  Even though the economy is growing, energy consumption is declining.  There are lots of reason for this, not all of them have to do with government policy, but many of them do.  Some of those reasons include renewable portfolio standards created by the various states, subsidies on the federal and local level for renewables, increases in energy efficiency standards for everything from light bulbs, to cars, to HVAC equipment, loan guarantees for various renewables including nuclear.  Not to mention millions of government buildings and public housing have been upgraded for energy efficiency.  The DOE renewable portfolio has had a few failures like Solyndra, and even more successes like Tesla.   The result is that  wind-energy prices have fallen by 66 percent, utility-scale solar-energy prices by 75 percent, and electric-car-battery costs by 65 percent.  You can see if those trends continue even a while longer the carbon-based economy will become a pale shadow of its former self.  It is already happening in dramatic fashion and in a very short period of time.

Thank you for that data, admittedly I have not yet spent the time to sift through it all, it's my list. 

A libertarian would argue that the reductions seen are largely market driven, not ONLY more natural gas, but a change in consumer sentiment, corporate responsibility, new technology, etc.

I think most libertarians would acknowledge the need for government to maintain a balanced playing field.  This includes punishing those who take resources from, or cause harm to individuals without consent.  Climate change (and other regional/global environmental issues) are perfect examples of a situation where individuals and companies are causing harm to others without consent.  That being said, how government should level the playing field it up for debate.  A standard practice is something like the EPA, which provides a large regulatory puzzle to minimize damage.  This solution inherently creates bureaucracy, promotes crony capitalism, and creates barriers of entry for individuals and smaller groups to provide solutions. 

A more market based solution would be to abolish the EPA and spend less resources to simply tax the offender's, raising prices and driving down demand.  Utilizing the taxes earned specifically to repair the damage in conjunction with public education (ie make sure the scientific knowledge of consequences is available for consumers to make informed decisions).  A good example of this strategy in use was cigarette smoking.  Fine those companies responsible, earmark those fines to provide education to consumers.  Tax the product so that revenue can be raised from those who choose smoke to cover the cost of their future illness.  This protects individuals who choose to not smoke from having to pay for the informed choices of the new potential smokers and simultaneously drives down demand for the product. Look at smoking rates! Personally, I also think those who purposely hid the scientific knowledge should also be prosecuted criminally, I do not recall that happening (cronyism?)

Yeah, not to mention: way to foster a general "welp, he needs help, but that's not my problem" attitude that's growing in a hell of a lot of ways in this country. With effects that I think we're only just beginning to see.

A long, but fascinating doc you may enjoy regarding why people tend to think this way. 

Ask wealthy people how they became wealthy.  With the answer, "We were lucky", one thinks they are being humble.  Ask a homeless person the same question, "We were unlucky", one thinks they are liars or lazy...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1MqJPHxy6g
« Last Edit: January 31, 2017, 12:58:45 PM by Classical_Liberal »

Metric Mouse

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #354 on: February 01, 2017, 11:32:31 PM »
The fire department is about as libertarian as it gets.  In fact, in places where the tax for the FD is called out separately and is optional, the FD will respond if your house is on fire and you opted out, but only to make sure it doesn't spread to your neighbors.  This is backed up as legal and correct in several court cases.

This seems like a horrible position to put firefighters into.  If I were a firefighter standing outside a burning building where I knew I could save lives/prevent destruction, but I can't just because someone didn't pay an optional tax I would feel horrible...

Yeah, not to mention: way to foster a general "welp, he needs help, but that's not my problem" attitude that's growing in a hell of a lot of ways in this country. With effects that I think we're only just beginning to see.
Should all taxes be optional in this case? I mean if one should get all the benefits of living in society without paying their due taxes, why would anyone pay taxes?
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MustacheMathTM

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #355 on: February 02, 2017, 07:44:22 AM »
The fire department is about as libertarian as it gets.  In fact, in places where the tax for the FD is called out separately and is optional, the FD will respond if your house is on fire and you opted out, but only to make sure it doesn't spread to your neighbors.  This is backed up as legal and correct in several court cases.

This seems like a horrible position to put firefighters into.  If I were a firefighter standing outside a burning building where I knew I could save lives/prevent destruction, but I can't just because someone didn't pay an optional tax I would feel horrible...

Yeah, not to mention: way to foster a general "welp, he needs help, but that's not my problem" attitude that's growing in a hell of a lot of ways in this country. With effects that I think we're only just beginning to see.
Should all taxes be optional in this case? I mean if one should get all the benefits of living in society without paying their due taxes, why would anyone pay taxes?

That's debatable. Hardcore libertarians (probably more accurately described as anarchists) would say yes, the only valid interaction is a voluntary one. I'm of the opinion that minimum government of national defense (NOT imperial nation-building), infrastructure, and law enforcement is pretty much mandatory.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #356 on: February 02, 2017, 10:21:01 PM »
The fire department is about as libertarian as it gets.  In fact, in places where the tax for the FD is called out separately and is optional, the FD will respond if your house is on fire and you opted out, but only to make sure it doesn't spread to your neighbors.  This is backed up as legal and correct in several court cases.

This seems like a horrible position to put firefighters into.  If I were a firefighter standing outside a burning building where I knew I could save lives/prevent destruction, but I can't just because someone didn't pay an optional tax I would feel horrible...

Yeah, not to mention: way to foster a general "welp, he needs help, but that's not my problem" attitude that's growing in a hell of a lot of ways in this country. With effects that I think we're only just beginning to see.
Should all taxes be optional in this case? I mean if one should get all the benefits of living in society without paying their due taxes, why would anyone pay taxes?

That's debatable. Hardcore libertarians (probably more accurately described as anarchists) would say yes, the only valid interaction is a voluntary one. I'm of the opinion that minimum government of national defense (NOT imperial nation-building), infrastructure, and law enforcement is pretty much mandatory.
Good point. I can see in the context of this thread it was probably a silly question...
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MustacheMathTM

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #357 on: February 03, 2017, 01:07:34 AM »

A more market based solution would be to abolish the EPA and spend less resources to simply tax the offender's, raising prices and driving down demand.  Utilizing the taxes earned specifically to repair the damage in conjunction with public education (ie make sure the scientific knowledge of consequences is available for consumers to make informed decisions).  A good example of this strategy in use was cigarette smoking.  Fine those companies responsible, earmark those fines to provide education to consumers.  Tax the product so that revenue can be raised from those who choose smoke to cover the cost of their future illness.  This protects individuals who choose to not smoke from having to pay for the informed choices of the new potential smokers and simultaneously drives down demand for the product. Look at smoking rates! Personally, I also think those who purposely hid the scientific knowledge should also be prosecuted criminally, I do not recall that happening (cronyism?)

I heartily agree that for this particular issue (climate change) market solutions are the way to go.  In fact, market solutions ultimately are the only things that will work.  I'd add a block and tackle to your carbon tax, and use the same market solution that was used to reduce sulfur dioxide:    Cap and trade.  That created a market for saving.  So industries that could easily reduce SO2 did so, and sold their credits to industries that couldn't.  Worked better than anyone expected.  But that has nothing to do with EPA, nor would a carbon tax.  That falls on Congress.

One thing I sometimes here on this board and elsewhere is something along the lines of "We should abolish the IRS and have a flat tax!"  Sounds great. .Everyone hates taxes and everyone hates the IRS.  Except that as a minimum you still need a group of people at the Treasure Dept to accept the incoming money, process the W2s and 1099s, perform audits, and set policy about how exactly to define income (a very difficult task),  maintain the computer infrastructure, and everything else  So even if there was a flat tax you have to replicate everything the IRS would do, only call it something different.

Same thing here.  It sounds great to eliminate a bunch of bureaucracy and institute a simple carbon tax.  Now you have to figure out who is emitting the carbon, how to tax them, how to measure carbon in a consistent way, figure out possible exceptions (emergency generators at hospitals?  the military?) how to detect cheaters, on and on.  In other words, you would need a government agency exactly like EPA. 


GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #358 on: February 03, 2017, 06:24:35 AM »

A more market based solution would be to abolish the EPA and spend less resources to simply tax the offender's, raising prices and driving down demand.  Utilizing the taxes earned specifically to repair the damage in conjunction with public education (ie make sure the scientific knowledge of consequences is available for consumers to make informed decisions).  A good example of this strategy in use was cigarette smoking.  Fine those companies responsible, earmark those fines to provide education to consumers.  Tax the product so that revenue can be raised from those who choose smoke to cover the cost of their future illness.  This protects individuals who choose to not smoke from having to pay for the informed choices of the new potential smokers and simultaneously drives down demand for the product. Look at smoking rates! Personally, I also think those who purposely hid the scientific knowledge should also be prosecuted criminally, I do not recall that happening (cronyism?)

I heartily agree that for this particular issue (climate change) market solutions are the way to go.  In fact, market solutions ultimately are the only things that will work.  I'd add a block and tackle to your carbon tax, and use the same market solution that was used to reduce sulfur dioxide:    Cap and trade.  That created a market for saving.  So industries that could easily reduce SO2 did so, and sold their credits to industries that couldn't.  Worked better than anyone expected.  But that has nothing to do with EPA, nor would a carbon tax.  That falls on Congress.

One thing I sometimes here on this board and elsewhere is something along the lines of "We should abolish the IRS and have a flat tax!"  Sounds great. .Everyone hates taxes and everyone hates the IRS.  Except that as a minimum you still need a group of people at the Treasure Dept to accept the incoming money, process the W2s and 1099s, perform audits, and set policy about how exactly to define income (a very difficult task),  maintain the computer infrastructure, and everything else  So even if there was a flat tax you have to replicate everything the IRS would do, only call it something different.

Same thing here.  It sounds great to eliminate a bunch of bureaucracy and institute a simple carbon tax.  Now you have to figure out who is emitting the carbon, how to tax them, how to measure carbon in a consistent way, figure out possible exceptions (emergency generators at hospitals?  the military?) how to detect cheaters, on and on.  In other words, you would need a government agency exactly like EPA.

It is a mistake to assume that environmental problems can be solved by a free market approach.  To be fair, a tax on pollution depends on absolute knowledge of the total long term cost of that pollution.

Free Market Approach:
Company A builds high end floppy dildos and as part of manufacturing releases gas G into the air.  Gas G is known to cause significant damage to species of tree T (of no known economic benefit).  Company A is charged X$ based on current projections of damage that gas G will cause.  Company A does the cost/benefit calculation and figures that paying X is a reasonable cost of doing business, so they continue to release G.  One hundred years later, it turns out that G has wiped out species of tree T.  Species of tree T is the only known source of a cure for the new airborne superCancerAIDS disease that is wiping out humanity.  Company A has long since gone out of business due to the popularity of artisan crafted hand carved dildos.

Without a free market approach:
Company A builds high end dildos and as part of manufacturing releases gas G into the air.  Gas G is known to cause significant damage to species of tree T.  When the damage to tree T population is discovered, the government bans the use of G.  Company A figures out a more expensive but less environmentally damaging way to manufacture floppy dildos.  One hundred years later, tree T (formerly of no known economic benefit) saves most of humanity from superCancerAIDS.


Private companies can't be held liable for the true cost of their actions unless you have knowledge of the future.  It's just not possible to calculate all the costs involved when wiping out a species or changing the environment.

LalsConstant

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #359 on: February 03, 2017, 07:08:34 AM »
It is a mistake to assume that environmental problems can be solved by a free market approach.  To be fair, a tax on pollution depends on absolute knowledge of the total long term cost of that pollution.

Free Market Approach:
Company A builds high end floppy dildos and as part of manufacturing releases gas G into the air.  Gas G is known to cause significant damage to species of tree T (of no known economic benefit).  Company A is charged X$ based on current projections of damage that gas G will cause.  Company A does the cost/benefit calculation and figures that paying X is a reasonable cost of doing business, so they continue to release G.  One hundred years later, it turns out that G has wiped out species of tree T.  Species of tree T is the only known source of a cure for the new airborne superCancerAIDS disease that is wiping out humanity.  Company A has long since gone out of business due to the popularity of artisan crafted hand carved dildos.

This ignores the probable effects on the company due to the laws of economics.  The company cannot continue selling its product in the same quantity at a higher price even if it had a monopoly on marital aids, and the substitution effect (such as high end personal escorts perhaps) would kick in and divert even more of their business. 

Most products and services are usually not viable once it goes above a certain price due to various economic phenomena, even if where that price is set by the free market is already quite high.  Even monopolies can't raise their prices too much or they just collapse (if a copy of Windows cost forty five million dollars for example, Microsoft would fold very soon unless it quickly lowered its prices again).


Without a free market approach:
Company A builds high end dildos and as part of manufacturing releases gas G into the air.  Gas G is known to cause significant damage to species of tree T.  When the damage to tree T population is discovered, the government bans the use of G.  Company A figures out a more expensive but less environmentally damaging way to manufacture floppy dildos.  One hundred years later, tree T (formerly of no known economic benefit) saves most of humanity from superCancerAIDS.

This presumes that the government knows Gas G is actually bad, and it's not based on a hysterical study about Gas G causing the shakes which is later discredited, but the law remains in place because of special interest lobbyists from the people who make alternatives to gas G, inertia, lack of political incentive to repeal it, etc.

It also suggests that the decision making power of a small group of people is greater than the decision making power of a large group of people.


Private companies can't be held liable for the true cost of their actions unless you have knowledge of the future.  It's just not possible to calculate all the costs involved when wiping out a species or changing the environment.

While this is true in the absolute sense, it's not an argument against a free market solution being the best one.  No one has perfect knowledge of anything, however you harness more knowledge by opening the decision making to more and more people.

Think of it this way: actively managed mutual funds rarely beat a simple index fund because the index fund harnesses the knowledge of an entire market, while the active fund draws on a much smaller pool of expertise.

When you pick an active fund (i.e. a government bureaucracy) to manage your investments, you may get lucky and beat the market, however you're far more likely to underperform it if anything.  You also have to deal with the fact the fund managers are more loyal to their employers than they are to you, the fund management will change over time, it will demand more staff and higher compensation, it will lose sight of its original goal, etc.

Or you can buy an index fund (i.e. the entire market) and realize while it might not beat the highest performers, it's going to be the best overall solution relative to how much it costs and what you get for the investment.

GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #360 on: February 03, 2017, 07:38:07 AM »
It is a mistake to assume that environmental problems can be solved by a free market approach.  To be fair, a tax on pollution depends on absolute knowledge of the total long term cost of that pollution.

Free Market Approach:
Company A builds high end floppy dildos and as part of manufacturing releases gas G into the air.  Gas G is known to cause significant damage to species of tree T (of no known economic benefit).  Company A is charged X$ based on current projections of damage that gas G will cause.  Company A does the cost/benefit calculation and figures that paying X is a reasonable cost of doing business, so they continue to release G.  One hundred years later, it turns out that G has wiped out species of tree T.  Species of tree T is the only known source of a cure for the new airborne superCancerAIDS disease that is wiping out humanity.  Company A has long since gone out of business due to the popularity of artisan crafted hand carved dildos.

This ignores the probable effects on the company due to the laws of economics.  The company cannot continue selling its product in the same quantity at a higher price even if it had a monopoly on marital aids, and the substitution effect (such as high end personal escorts perhaps) would kick in and divert even more of their business. 

Most products and services are usually not viable once it goes above a certain price due to various economic phenomena, even if where that price is set by the free market is already quite high.  Even monopolies can't raise their prices too much or they just collapse (if a copy of Windows cost forty five million dollars for example, Microsoft would fold very soon unless it quickly lowered its prices again).

Agreed.  All of this depends on the price being raised high enough though.  In the example, there would be no economic justification to raise the price this high . . . because the economic value of T is not high.



Without a free market approach:
Company A builds high end dildos and as part of manufacturing releases gas G into the air.  Gas G is known to cause significant damage to species of tree T.  When the damage to tree T population is discovered, the government bans the use of G.  Company A figures out a more expensive but less environmentally damaging way to manufacture floppy dildos.  One hundred years later, tree T (formerly of no known economic benefit) saves most of humanity from superCancerAIDS.

This presumes that the government knows Gas G is actually bad, and it's not based on a hysterical study about Gas G causing the shakes which is later discredited, but the law remains in place because of special interest lobbyists from the people who make alternatives to gas G, inertia, lack of political incentive to repeal it, etc.

Yes.  Both examples presume that the effect of G is known.  It's not possible to control for something if you don't know the cause.


It also suggests that the decision making power of a small group of people is greater than the decision making power of a large group of people.

How so?  What small and large groups of people are you referring to?


Private companies can't be held liable for the true cost of their actions unless you have knowledge of the future.  It's just not possible to calculate all the costs involved when wiping out a species or changing the environment.

While this is true in the absolute sense, it's not an argument against a free market solution being the best one.  No one has perfect knowledge of anything, however you harness more knowledge by opening the decision making to more and more people.

How is the decision making open to more people?  There are three groups of people in both cases; the public, the private industry, the government.

In both examples given, the public is free to investigate the issue to their heart's content.  In a regulated approach, democratic governments make decisions based on public input so if enough interest is received this will change how the problem is handled.  In a free market approach the public decides what to buy, so if enough interest is received and if the interest outweighs the interest for the product this will reduce demand for the goods that the company produces.  The problem with depending on the public to investigate and understand these issues is that there are very few people qualified to do so . . . and then from that pool there are even fewer people who care to do so.

Private industry has a notorious track record of suppressing information that could be damaging to business.  They cannot be reliably depended upon to make a decision in the best interests of the public if there is any chance that more profit will be made otherwise.

Finally, we have the government.  In both cases given the government would be monitoring the situation.  In the first case the government attaches a monetary value to the trees being wiped out (which requires guessing about potential future value and current economic impact).  In the second case, the government simply prevents use of chemical G because of the potential issues caused by loss of T.

Whatever way I look at it, the same number of people are involved in making a decision.


Think of it this way: actively managed mutual funds rarely beat a simple index fund because the index fund harnesses the knowledge of an entire market, while the active fund draws on a much smaller pool of expertise.

When you pick an active fund (i.e. a government bureaucracy) to manage your investments, you may get lucky and beat the market, however you're far more likely to underperform it if anything.  You also have to deal with the fact the fund managers are more loyal to their employers than they are to you, the fund management will change over time, it will demand more staff and higher compensation, it will lose sight of its original goal, etc.

Or you can buy an index fund (i.e. the entire market) and realize while it might not beat the highest performers, it's going to be the best overall solution relative to how much it costs and what you get for the investment.

The same number of people are involved in making the decision in both cases, so your basic premise here is flawed.  In addition to that though, plants and animals aren't mutual funds.

* When a company goes bankrupt another company can simply take it's place.  When something goes extinct, there may not be anything that can ever take it's place again.
* Mutual funds (and the stock market in general) depend on constant growth.  This is a totally different model than in the natural world, where constant growth invariably leads to restricted resources and is followed by massive death.

robartsd

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #361 on: February 03, 2017, 09:12:57 AM »
Agreed.  All of this depends on the price being raised high enough though.  In the example, there would be no economic justification to raise the price this high . . . because the economic value of T is not high.
Nobody is saying that the economic value of T is the only justification for raising the tax. Protecting the environment could be justification enough. If X is not enough to slow emissions of gas G to a point where damage to tree T is no longer threatening the long term viability of the species then that can be justification for increasing X.

Your hypothetical ban on gas G makes the assumption that the environmental impact of the new process is known. We often only discover environmental damage of new industrial processes only long after they are put to widespread use, so the solution you propose is also dependent on knowing the future.

GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #362 on: February 03, 2017, 11:07:56 AM »
Agreed.  All of this depends on the price being raised high enough though.  In the example, there would be no economic justification to raise the price this high . . . because the economic value of T is not high.
Nobody is saying that the economic value of T is the only justification for raising the tax. Protecting the environment could be justification enough. If X is not enough to slow emissions of gas G to a point where damage to tree T is no longer threatening the long term viability of the species then that can be justification for increasing X.

If you're going to value the environment at a price high enough to prevent industries from damaging it, then I don't see any real difference between what is being proposed and what currently goes on.  At that point it's no longer a tax, it's really a ban anyway.



Your hypothetical ban on gas G makes the assumption that the environmental impact of the new process is known. We often only discover environmental damage of new industrial processes only long after they are put to widespread use, so the solution you propose is also dependent on knowing the future.

If there's no known problem then it won't be fixed, regardless of what approach (free market or government) is taken.  Your hypothetical renders the whole question of how to handle the issue moot.

Telecaster

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #363 on: February 03, 2017, 11:37:09 AM »

It is a mistake to assume that environmental problems can be solved by a free market approach.  To be fair, a tax on pollution depends on absolute knowledge of the total long term cost of that pollution.


I didn't say "free market solution."  I said "market solution."  :)

robartsd

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #364 on: February 03, 2017, 03:10:52 PM »
If you're going to value the environment at a price high enough to prevent industries from damaging it, then I don't see any real difference between what is being proposed and what currently goes on.  At that point it's no longer a tax, it's really a ban anyway.
A ban says none is allowed - a high tax encourages the market to look for other solutions. Perhaps gas G is currently being released at 100 units, which is enough to eventually wipe out tree T, but after reducing to 20 units, the population of tree T starts to recover. Using a tax, you can make it economically infeasible to emit more that 20 units without a ban. This finds a balance between protecting the environment and economic activity. While you could argue that cap and trade does the same thing, how do you distribute the credit for the 20 available units? I imagine that insiders and established players would have more advantage over new competition in a cap and trade scenario than would be the case in a direct tax scenario.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #365 on: February 06, 2017, 04:18:46 PM »
Me.  Still hoping for the 4 years of Ron Paul that this country needs.

^
This.
I voted for Johnson

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #366 on: February 08, 2017, 05:42:32 PM »
Me.  Still hoping for the 4 years of Ron Paul that this country needs.

^
This.
I voted for Johnson

I've donated money to Ron Paul's campaigns in the past.  I think he'd be an ideal president.

That being said, Johnson is nothing like him.

Ron Paul is a very smart individual.  Johnson?  Not so much.  That's letting aside all the policy differences and nuances.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #367 on: February 08, 2017, 06:42:38 PM »
I think there is a glimmer of hope here that while Ron Paul won't be president, Trump will abuse the office so thoroughly that Congress and the Judiciary will curtail Executive power.

Rufus.T.Firefly

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #368 on: February 09, 2017, 07:33:53 AM »
Me.  Still hoping for the 4 years of Ron Paul that this country needs.

^
This.
I voted for Johnson

I've donated money to Ron Paul's campaigns in the past.  I think he'd be an ideal president.

That being said, Johnson is nothing like him.

Ron Paul is a very smart individual.  Johnson?  Not so much.  That's letting aside all the policy differences and nuances.

Agreed. I voted for Johnson, but the more he talked, the less I liked him. I'm still not sure why the ticket wasn't reversed with Weld running for the presidency and Johnson as VP.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #369 on: February 09, 2017, 08:15:23 AM »
I've donated money to Ron Paul's campaigns in the past.  I think he'd be an ideal president.

That being said, Johnson is nothing like him.

Ron Paul is a very smart individual.  Johnson?  Not so much.  That's letting aside all the policy differences and nuances.

I think Gary smokes too much of the devil's lettuce.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #370 on: February 11, 2017, 03:23:44 AM »
Government may be great and one of the best things ever.

Now, if it is so great, don't FORCE people to join in, but allow people to pay their taxes and get their firefighters and EMS and roads. For the rest of us, let us burn on fire, die of heart attacks and not trespass on your government owned roads :)

Great ideas don't require force.


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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #371 on: February 11, 2017, 10:16:51 AM »
Government may be great and one of the best things ever.

Now, if it is so great, don't FORCE people to join in, but allow people to pay their taxes and get their firefighters and EMS and roads. For the rest of us, let us burn on fire, die of heart attacks and not trespass on your government owned roads :)

Great ideas don't require force.

If you walk into a restaurant, sit down at a table, open the menu tell the waiter what you want to eat, finish eating, then leave have you done something wrong?  Would it be wrong for the restaurant owner to force you to pay for what you've taken, even if you didn't explicitly say that you were going to pay the price of the meal before hand?  You've enjoyed the food, it's understood that you're going to pay for the bill.

Similarly, when you choose to live in a place with common societal benefits you are agreeing to pay for them.  Simply living in a place where crime is policed is better for you (and everyone else), even if police aren't specifically called to your home every evening.  You've enjoyed the police service, now you're complaining that someone wants you to pay the bill.

There is no real force here.

Nobody is forcing you to accept the social contract.  You can opt out by leaving the country.  You can opt out by choosing to earn less money so that you're taxed at a lower rate.  You can opt out by running for office and changing the system.

The only think you can't do is skip out on the bill afterwards.  That's unreasonable, and I'm sure the restaurant owner would find it just as unreasonable as the tax collector does.

Rufus.T.Firefly

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #372 on: February 11, 2017, 12:54:37 PM »
Government may be great and one of the best things ever.

Now, if it is so great, don't FORCE people to join in, but allow people to pay their taxes and get their firefighters and EMS and roads. For the rest of us, let us burn on fire, die of heart attacks and not trespass on your government owned roads :)

Great ideas don't require force.

This doesn't work for public goods that are non-excludable. All of the population will receive equal benefit of public safety, national defense, clean air, regardless of whether they choose to participate.

You can allow people to self-select with certain services and I think it could be a good idea for certain non-essential programs, but it will not work for many of the fundamental functions of government.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #373 on: February 12, 2017, 04:51:19 PM »
I think there is a glimmer of hope here that while Ron Paul won't be president, Trump will abuse the office so thoroughly that Congress and the Judiciary will curtail Executive power.

That would be amazing.  So far, Congress though has seemed to want to do nothing but back his every decision, so I'm not hopeful.

Maybe post-2018 midterms.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #374 on: February 13, 2017, 01:07:27 AM »
Government may be great and one of the best things ever.

Now, if it is so great, don't FORCE people to join in, but allow people to pay their taxes and get their firefighters and EMS and roads. For the rest of us, let us burn on fire, die of heart attacks and not trespass on your government owned roads :)

Great ideas don't require force.

If you walk into a restaurant, sit down at a table, open the menu tell the waiter what you want to eat, finish eating, then leave have you done something wrong?  Would it be wrong for the restaurant owner to force you to pay for what you've taken, even if you didn't explicitly say that you were going to pay the price of the meal before hand?  You've enjoyed the food, it's understood that you're going to pay for the bill.

Similarly, when you choose to live in a place with common societal benefits you are agreeing to pay for them.  Simply living in a place where crime is policed is better for you (and everyone else), even if police aren't specifically called to your home every evening.  You've enjoyed the police service, now you're complaining that someone wants you to pay the bill.

There is no real force here.

Nobody is forcing you to accept the social contract.  You can opt out by leaving the country.  You can opt out by choosing to earn less money so that you're taxed at a lower rate.  You can opt out by running for office and changing the system.

The only think you can't do is skip out on the bill afterwards.  That's unreasonable, and I'm sure the restaurant owner would find it just as unreasonable as the tax collector does.
I would say it would be fine to skip out on the bill if one were unable to afford it. Not everyone can afford to pay for things like this, and forcing them to do so is not beneficial.
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arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #375 on: February 13, 2017, 03:25:35 AM »
I would say it would be fine to skip out on the bill if one were unable to afford it. Not everyone can afford to pay for things like this, and forcing them to do so is not beneficial.

Good thing we make income taxes inherently affordable, so not only those who can't afford it don't have to pay, but they get money back, and only those that can afford it pay!  :)
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #376 on: February 15, 2017, 11:40:11 PM »
I would say it would be fine to skip out on the bill if one were unable to afford it. Not everyone can afford to pay for things like this, and forcing them to do so is not beneficial.

Good thing we make income taxes inherently affordable, so not only those who can't afford it don't have to pay, but they get money back, and only those that can afford it pay!  :)
Exactly so. Not paying is hardly a problem.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #377 on: February 25, 2017, 02:56:19 AM »
Government may be great and one of the best things ever.

Now, if it is so great, don't FORCE people to join in, but allow people to pay their taxes and get their firefighters and EMS and roads. For the rest of us, let us burn on fire, die of heart attacks and not trespass on your government owned roads :)

Great ideas don't require force.
If you walk into a restaurant, sit down at a table, open the menu tell the waiter what you want to eat, finish eating, then leave have you done something wrong?  Would it be wrong for the restaurant owner to force you to pay for what you've taken, even if you didn't explicitly say that you were going to pay the price of the meal before hand?  You've enjoyed the food, it's understood that you're going to pay for the bill.

That is called theft.....


arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #378 on: February 25, 2017, 02:58:07 AM »
Government may be great and one of the best things ever.

Now, if it is so great, don't FORCE people to join in, but allow people to pay their taxes and get their firefighters and EMS and roads. For the rest of us, let us burn on fire, die of heart attacks and not trespass on your government owned roads :)

Great ideas don't require force.
If you walk into a restaurant, sit down at a table, open the menu tell the waiter what you want to eat, finish eating, then leave have you done something wrong?  Would it be wrong for the restaurant owner to force you to pay for what you've taken, even if you didn't explicitly say that you were going to pay the price of the meal before hand?  You've enjoyed the food, it's understood that you're going to pay for the bill.

That is called theft.....

Right. As is using public things such as military protection, roads, contract enforcement (courts), etc. without paying taxes.  Taxes are the bill for those items, just like the bill for your food.
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jim555

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #379 on: February 25, 2017, 06:59:32 AM »
But I am a hypothetical pacifist / hermit and I don't want to purchase those things.  Making someone buy things they don't want is not libertarian.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #380 on: February 25, 2017, 01:15:33 PM »
But I am a hypothetical pacifist / hermit and I don't want to purchase those things.  Making someone buy things they don't want is not libertarian.
No, that would be the afordable care act.

A true hermit would not pay taxes.  They would live in the wild, with no declarable income, use no services, and receive no benefits from society. I suppose someone would argue clean air/water yadda yadds, but a true hermit would live far enough from people that they would not be affected, and regulations are really to clean up the effects of other peoples consumption (no factories or coal pollution if everyone was a self sufficient hermit), which would not be caused by said hermit. I see few reasons a true hermit would need to pay taxes, or be compelled to under our current system.

On the other hand, since everyone in society benefits from taxes, I would like to see a small flat tax on all citizens to complement the graduated income tax, so that everyone pays for their meal. I would easily pay an extra $1000 per year for all the benefits I recieve if it meant an extra grand from everyone else in the country.  since every citizen gets many many times more benefit than this, I think the extra revenue is not only fair, but one hell of a deal.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #381 on: February 25, 2017, 01:46:41 PM »
I leaned libertarian in my youth. So many of the core tenets make so much sense when one is not yet jaded. Two concerns have caused me to lean more toward the progressive liberal side of things as I've aged:

1) Corporate hegemony. Large corporations do what they want when they want today, and that's WITH the regulation and oversight that libertarians love to rail against. It's hard for me to imagine a libertarian utopia that doesn't devolve into a consumerist hellscape in only a few generations. Rampant, targeted marketing to children would turn us all into sucka consumers.

2) The environment. Libertarians dislike communal property, rightly believing it to be a backhand way to force people to behave in a way they don't agree with. Even if one does not believe in human-driven climate change, humanity long-ago became capable of polluting the waters and air in such a way that the damaging effects spread far and wide. The air we breathe and the water we need to live are communal property.

Unfortunately for my formerly libertarian leaning self, trying to reconcile libertarian ideals and with a system of government capable of protecting that communal property is seemingly impossible.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #382 on: February 25, 2017, 02:25:41 PM »
But I am a hypothetical pacifist / hermit and I don't want to purchase those things.  Making someone buy things they don't want is not libertarian.

Uh huh.

Besides the clean air/water they're benefiting from, were they born in the wild? Or were they born in a hospital, with roads leading to it, and doctors?  Do they have magical control of never getting sick/injured in the future and possibly needing a hospital?  What about the forest fire firefighters that save their life? The laws that make it so the game they're killing aren't extinct, because hunting licenses and seasons?  And you can be a pacifist all you want, but you probably don't want people just taking "your" things.

I mean, you can come up with ever more ridiculous scenarios of how isolated this person is, and I can come up with ever more ridiculous stretches on how they're still affected by society, but what's the point? 

Even if I grant your hypothetical, that there exists some individual who uses no services, the fact would be that they'd also be paying no taxes. So they aren't an example of someone getting "forced" to pay for the goods of society that they don't use.

I don't see how one can plausibly claim there is anyone paying taxes that don't benefit from society/government. And taxes are the bill for those benefits.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #383 on: February 25, 2017, 05:07:20 PM »
Whether one benefits or not should have no bearing on things.  If I don't want ACME protection co. why should one be forced to "buy" it.  Can I, as a private person force anyone to buy anything?  You can't delegate a power you don't have in the first place.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #384 on: February 25, 2017, 06:26:12 PM »
Whether one benefits or not should have no bearing on things.  If I don't want ACME protection co. why should one be forced to "buy" it.  Can I, as a private person force anyone to buy anything?  You can't delegate a power you don't have in the first place.

I ate the food, why should I be forced to pay for it?  Well . . . because otherwise you're a thief.

As has been mentioned several times, the choice to avail yourself of what society has to offer is purely up to you.  If you choose of your own free will to use the services by staying in the country then you obviously place value in them.  Stop pretending anyone is forcing you to do anything.  If you don't want to pay the bill, don't eat the food.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #385 on: February 25, 2017, 06:29:51 PM »
Whether one benefits or not should have no bearing on things.  If I don't want ACME protection co. why should one be forced to "buy" it.  Can I, as a private person force anyone to buy anything?  You can't delegate a power you don't have in the first place.

I ate the food, why should I be forced to pay for it?  Well . . . because otherwise you're a thief.

As has been mentioned several times, the choice to avail yourself of what society has to offer is purely up to you.  If you choose of your own free will to use the services by staying in the country then you obviously place value in them.  Stop pretending anyone is forcing you to do anything.  If you don't want to pay the bill, don't eat the food.
Or don't pay the bill. If one can not afford the bill, there is no reason to pay, or to be called a theif for such a thing. Of course it would be better if everybody paid, but the fact that they don't doesn't really effect the positive benefits for everyone.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #386 on: February 25, 2017, 06:40:26 PM »
Whether one benefits or not should have no bearing on things.  If I don't want ACME protection co. why should one be forced to "buy" it.  Can I, as a private person force anyone to buy anything?  You can't delegate a power you don't have in the first place.

I ate the food, why should I be forced to pay for it?  Well . . . because otherwise you're a thief.

As has been mentioned several times, the choice to avail yourself of what society has to offer is purely up to you.  If you choose of your own free will to use the services by staying in the country then you obviously place value in them.  Stop pretending anyone is forcing you to do anything.  If you don't want to pay the bill, don't eat the food.
Or don't pay the bill. If one can not afford the bill, there is no reason to pay, or to be called a theif for such a thing. Of course it would be better if everybody paid, but the fact that they don't doesn't really effect the positive benefits for everyone.

That's why taxation of income is such an awesome system (as typically implemented).  The only people who have to pay are rich enough to easily afford it.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #387 on: February 25, 2017, 06:44:13 PM »
It truly is an awesome system.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #388 on: February 25, 2017, 07:08:10 PM »
Im a Star Trek Libertarian

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #389 on: February 25, 2017, 07:24:25 PM »
Whether one benefits or not should have no bearing on things.  If I don't want ACME protection co. why should one be forced to "buy" it.  Can I, as a private person force anyone to buy anything?  You can't delegate a power you don't have in the first place.

I ate the food, why should I be forced to pay for it?  Well . . . because otherwise you're a thief.

As has been mentioned several times, the choice to avail yourself of what society has to offer is purely up to you.  If you choose of your own free will to use the services by staying in the country then you obviously place value in them.  Stop pretending anyone is forcing you to do anything.  If you don't want to pay the bill, don't eat the food.
You decide to give me a service and send me a bill for it.  You are the thief not me.  I DID NOT order it and I will not pay for it.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #390 on: February 25, 2017, 07:51:58 PM »
You decide to give me a service and send me a bill for it.  You are the thief not me.  I DID NOT order it and I will not pay for it.

Why did you use it if you didn't order it?

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #391 on: February 25, 2017, 08:08:41 PM »
Whether one benefits or not should have no bearing on things.  If I don't want ACME protection co. why should one be forced to "buy" it.  Can I, as a private person force anyone to buy anything?  You can't delegate a power you don't have in the first place.

I ate the food, why should I be forced to pay for it?  Well . . . because otherwise you're a thief.

As has been mentioned several times, the choice to avail yourself of what society has to offer is purely up to you.  If you choose of your own free will to use the services by staying in the country then you obviously place value in them.  Stop pretending anyone is forcing you to do anything.  If you don't want to pay the bill, don't eat the food.
You decide to give me a service and send me a bill for it.  You are the thief not me.  I DID NOT order it and I will not pay for it.
Why didn't you leave then, instead of eating the food?  Pay for what you've eaten so far (I.e. current taxes due), and then leave and stop eating the food, rather than getting upset when you keep getting billed for it.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #392 on: February 25, 2017, 08:15:38 PM »
Can I come over to your house, cut your grass, and then send you a bill for it when you didn't order it?  NO.
Your bill is invalid, we have no contract.  Your bill collectors are mobsters in an extortion racket.

This is not difficult to grasp.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #393 on: February 25, 2017, 08:24:26 PM »


Can I come over to your house, cut your grass, and then send you a bill for it when you didn't order it?  NO.
Your bill is invalid, we have no contract.  Your bill collectors are mobsters in an extortion racket.

This is not difficult to grasp.

You are at our buffet (in our society), eating our food (taking advantage of all the services we have).

Leave if you don't want to pay the bill for that food (services).

This is not difficult to grasp.

To more directly address your analogy: your house is not an island to itself, it's in our society.

It's as if you owned a shop in a mall. You are the owner of that, yes, but you can't be upset if we send you your portion of the bill for the security guards, maintenance on the common grounds, repaving the parking, etc.  In fact, it is part of the agreement. You may have inherited the shop, so you didn't originally agree, but you tacitly agreed by staying. When we now send you the next bill, you owe that money, or you are a thief.  Or you can leave. Take your shop elsewhere, and stop using our services.

Living in our society is the same as having your inherited shop in that mall. You are agreeing to pay your share by staying there, and can leave if you don't like the fees/taxes, but if you decide to stay a part of it, you have to pay your share, legally and morally.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #394 on: February 25, 2017, 08:32:40 PM »
I expressly don't want your services and you can go stuff it.  If you want to continue to provide services I expressly said I don't want, then that is on you, not me.
You bill collectors will not be tolerated, they are mobsters.  You guys are supposed to be libertarians, right?  This is like libertarianism 101.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #395 on: February 25, 2017, 08:44:55 PM »
I expressly don't want your services and you can go stuff it. 

If you don't want them, why do you keep using them?

People like you should be forcefully removed from America.  You're a freeloader.

And just to be clear, you are not being sent a bill, unless you profit from using our services.  If you are poor, you get to live tax free.  Only those people who strike it rich benefiting from the things that America provides are asked to pay for their good fortune. 

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #396 on: February 25, 2017, 08:50:21 PM »
You guys have no understanding of libertarianism at all.  I actually am not a libertarian, but at least I understand what it is.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #397 on: February 25, 2017, 09:00:35 PM »
And just to be clear, you are not being sent a bill, unless you profit from using our services.  If you are poor, you get to live tax free.  Only those people who strike it rich benefiting from the things that America provides are asked to pay for their good fortune.

That's a really good point.

You get all these services free!  You only pay if you're profiting off while using them, then we ask you to pay a fairly small percentage.  What a deal!

You guys have no understanding of libertarianism at all.

We get it, we're disagreeing with the * that the extreme fringe libertarians (typically Randians) put forth.

Libertarianism has a valid place in society. Frothing at the mouth "taxes are theft" stuff?  Not so much.
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jim555

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #398 on: February 25, 2017, 09:04:52 PM »
We get it, we're disagreeing with the * that the extreme fringe libertarians (typically Randians) put forth.

Libertarianism has a valid place in society. Frothing at the mouth "taxes are theft" stuff?  Not so much.
But isn't that at the core of the philosophy?  Your version of libertarianism is actually some variant of collectivism.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #399 on: February 25, 2017, 09:06:38 PM »
To be fair, everybody profits off the system. Everybody, even poor people. They just get a smaller bill.
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