Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Scott »

Robert66 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 5:26 pm 2. Taxation is not violent.
Scott wrote: Are you denying that people are in prison for refusing to pay taxes to the United States government?

Or are you denying that imprisoning peaceful people against their will is violent?
Robert66 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 5:26 pm Ok let's go around again. You are a member of a society, and as such you receive benefits, and are required to pay taxes. By remaining in your society, you give your consent to the arrangement. Taxation is not violent, but refusing to pay it will ultimately lead to action against you. This is no different to committing other crimes.
It seems to me like you didn't directly answer the questions. Please answer the questions:

1. Are you denying that people are in prison for refusing to pay taxes to the United States government?

2. Are you denying that imprisoning peaceful people against their will is violent?


Scott wrote:With those important clarifications in mind, do you agree that taxation by big non-local governments is violent robbery?

If not, please specify which of the following statements are the ones with which you disagree and which are the ones with which you agree:

1. Taxation is non-consensual.

2. Taxation is violent.
Robert66 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 5:26 pm 1. Taxation is consensual.
Scott wrote: May 13th, 2021, 4:08 pm I know that is false since I never consented to paying taxes to the United States government.

[Emphasis added.]
Robert66 wrote: May 14th, 2021, 1:39 am By remaining in your society, you give your consent to the arrangement.
No, I am not allowed to leave the United States at this time, and even if I did I am legally required to pay taxes to the USA Federal Government. USA federal income taxes are not assessed based on where I live. Your argument is fallacious, but even if it wasn't it fails because it's simply not true. I am not American by choice or consent. It would make as much sense to bill me for being male or white, and throw in me prison if I refuse to pay my man-fee or my white-person-fee.

Moreover, regardless, I absolutely 100% do not consent to pay taxes to the big violent United States government and never ever would; I only pay because I am threatened with violence if I don't.

If your argument rests on the claim that I consent to paying taxes to the big violent United States Federal Government, which is behind things such as the $1 trillion war on drugs, then I reject your argument out of hand, and there is no need to discuss it further.

I will not argue in detail about whether or not I consent to something, at least if there is not a signed contract. If there is a signed contract, or some similar paper trail of seeming affirmative consent, then perhaps we could argue about whether that was signed freely of sound mind without duress (e.g. without a literal or figurative gun to my head).

If an armed bank robber pointing a gun to my head keeps claiming I consent to give him my watch and perhaps even claims I like what's happening, while I assert that no I do not consent and am only giving my watch because I was threatened with violence by the armed robber, then I will not argue in detail about it.

The same goes if an armed person literally shoves something down my throat while I verbally protest that I don't consent to it but the armed forcer claims I do consent. I am the authority in regard to what I consent to.

In my book, you don't get to say what I consent to, and if your argument rests on trying to do that, then I totally and absolutely reject it out of hand, and we can just agree to disagree.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Scott wrote: May 23rd, 2021, 10:52 am
Robert66 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 5:26 pm 2. Taxation is not violent.
Scott wrote: Are you denying that people are in prison for refusing to pay taxes to the United States government?

Or are you denying that imprisoning peaceful people against their will is violent?
Robert66 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 5:26 pm Ok let's go around again. You are a member of a society, and as such you receive benefits, and are required to pay taxes. By remaining in your society, you give your consent to the arrangement. Taxation is not violent, but refusing to pay it will ultimately lead to action against you. This is no different to committing other crimes.
It seems to me like you didn't directly answer the questions. Please answer the questions:

1. Are you denying that people are in prison for refusing to pay taxes to the United States government?

2. Are you denying that imprisoning peaceful people against their will is violent?


Scott wrote:With those important clarifications in mind, do you agree that taxation by big non-local governments is violent robbery?

If not, please specify which of the following statements are the ones with which you disagree and which are the ones with which you agree:

1. Taxation is non-consensual.

2. Taxation is violent.
Robert66 wrote: May 12th, 2021, 5:26 pm 1. Taxation is consensual.
Scott wrote: May 13th, 2021, 4:08 pm I know that is false since I never consented to paying taxes to the United States government.

[Emphasis added.]
Robert66 wrote: May 14th, 2021, 1:39 am By remaining in your society, you give your consent to the arrangement.
No, I am not allowed to leave the United States at this time, and even if I did I am legally required to pay taxes to the USA Federal Government. USA federal income taxes are not assessed based on where I live. Your argument is fallacious, but even if it wasn't it fails because it's simply not true. I am not American by choice or consent. It would make as much sense to bill me for being male or white, and throw in me prison if I refuse to pay my man-fee or my white-person-fee.

Moreover, regardless, I absolutely 100% do not consent to pay taxes to the big violent United States government and never ever would; I only pay because I am threatened with violence if I don't.

If your argument rests on the claim that I consent to paying taxes to the big violent United States Federal Government, which is behind things such as the $1 trillion war on drugs, then I reject your argument out of hand, and there is no need to discuss it further.

I will not argue in detail about whether or not I consent to something, at least if there is not a signed contract. If there is a signed contract, or some similar paper trail of seeming affirmative consent, then perhaps we could argue about whether that was signed freely of sound mind without duress (e.g. without a literal or figurative gun to my head).

If an armed bank robber pointing a gun to my head keeps claiming I consent to give him my watch and perhaps even claims I like what's happening, while I assert that no I do not consent and am only giving my watch because I was threatened with violence by the armed robber, then I will not argue in detail about it.

The same goes if an armed person literally shoves something down my throat while I verbally protest that I don't consent to it but the armed forcer claims I do consent. I am the authority in regard to what I consent to.

In my book, you don't get to say what I consent to, and if your argument rests on trying to do that, then I totally and absolutely reject it out of hand, and we can just agree to disagree.
Taxation is not imposed on people who have no money.
Taking money from the system is voluntary.
Therefore taxation is also voluntary.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Steve3007 »

Scott wrote:Moreover, in the United States at least, there is an important significant difference between civil liabilities dealt with in civil court and required payments that are directly and explicitly enforced criminally by prison sentences for non-payment. It's generally not a criminal crime to not pay a contractual debt to a condo community where one lives. You won't go to jail simply for not paying that debt. Similarly, you won't go to jail just for refusing to pay your credit card bills because it is not illegal. You may lose your house and land in civil court, and you may eventually get evicted from where you live, but you won't go to jail just for not paying the debts.

There are thousands of people in prison right now for refusing to pay taxes to the United States governments. There is not a single person in prison right now simply for refusing to pay the town of Manchester.

We don't just need to hope to happen to see it with our own eyes (or rely on mere assumption). It's both de facto and de jure. Here is the codified federal law: I.R.C. § 7201. They aren't hiding it. It's not a secret.

There is no corresponding local law where I live.

There is no codified legal basis for putting a person in prison for refusing to pay money to Manchester, CT or refusing to pay their condo fees if they live in a condo community.

It's not the same, and thus the comparisons are (I believe) utterly inaccurate, but that's also all moot to the titular topic.
I think the above is relevant to the titular topic in that it's important to be clear as to how you're using the term "violent robbery" in the title.

I think we've established previously that you're not using "robbery" in the legal sense, because if you were then it would be self-contradictory to propose that the body which creates laws (government) has done something illegal. And it's also already been made clear that your use of "violent" is not confined to the infliction of physical injury. As I understand it, you see anything done to a person against that person's will (such as imprisoning them or taking their property from them) as a form of violence. Hence, you see imprisonment of people for non-payment of taxes as violent even if they "came quietly".

Do you agree with the above?

If so, then by your definition of "violent robbery", I disagree that evicting somebody from the land they bought for non-payment of a surcharge is not violent robbery. I think, by your definition, if you're being consistent, it is violent robbery. The fact that it's a civil matter is irrelevant to whether it's violent robbery because, in your usage of "robbery", you've already made it clear that you're not using terms in any legal sense here.

Of course, you're not forced to be consistent. You can choose to be inconsistent by stipulating that you're only considering the action of entities that you've previously defined as "big governments" and that you won't entertain the idea of any other entity committing acts of violent robbery, as you use that term, because they're off-topic.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

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Steve3007 wrote: May 24th, 2021, 5:13 am I think we've established previously that you're not using "robbery" in the legal sense, because if you were then it would be self-contradictory to propose that the body which creates laws (government) has done something illegal. And it's also already been made clear that your use of "violent" is not confined to the infliction of physical injury.
Yes, correct.

I include coercion via threat of violence as violence. For instance, I would consider armed bank robbery to be a violent crime, even if the robbers don't actually shoot anybody but only threaten to as a way to get money. Do you typically consider armed back robbery to be a violent crime even if physical injury is only threatened but those threats are not realized, presumably because the victims comply with the armed robbers' demands?

Steve3007 wrote: May 24th, 2021, 5:13 am As I understand it, you see anything done to a person against that person's will (such as imprisoning them or taking their property from them) as a form of violence.
Not necessarily. I see a conceptual distinction between non-violent theft versus violent robbery. Additionally, many instances of financial fraud or other profitable acts of fraud could be classified as essentially nonviolent as I use the term.

In my anecdotal experience, the legal enforcement of most civil debts, such as credit card debt, is non-violent, in the USA in 2021 at least. In contrast, that is generally not true in places where debtors' prison or involuntary indentured servitude are used to collect debts, or other violence or threatened violence is used to violently criminalize the non-payment of debts.

If I ring some stuff on my credit card, and I don't pay the bill and never ever willingly pay it, no violence will come to me as a direct result of that. In that sense, it is not a crime for me to not pay my credit card bill.

If I don't pay the IRS, then that is a crime, and they will commit violence against me as a punishment for the crime of non-payment.

In that way, non payment to the IRS is a violently enforced crime much like smoking marijuana.

However, non-payment of rent, condo fees, or credit card debt is more like drinking alcohol. It's legal. The government won't attack you with violence specifically for doing those things.


Steve3007 wrote: May 24th, 2021, 5:13 am Hence, you see imprisonment of people for non-payment of taxes as violent even if they "came quietly".
I see non-consensual imprisonment as violent. Full stop. The other stuff is moot as to whether it is violent.

For example, if I went to a person's house, and I told that person that if they don't get in a dog crate that I have in my basement I'll shoot them, and they "come quietly" and get in the dog crate, that would be an act of violence on my part, in my opinion. Don't you agree?

Steve3007 wrote: May 24th, 2021, 5:13 am The fact that it's a civil matter is irrelevant to whether it's violent...
I disagree because the very thing that distinguishes civil court from criminal court is the use of violent force--at least insofar as the criminal court directly sentences people to prison, execution, to hands-being-sliced-off, butt spankings, or other violent punishment for crime.

For example, Judge Judy does not commit violence when she makes her sentences, at least in the way I use the terms.
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I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Scott »

Sculptor1 wrote: May 23rd, 2021, 11:21 am
Taxation is not imposed on people who have no money.
Taking money from the system is voluntary.
Therefore taxation is also voluntary.
That logic is utterly fallacious.

If it was valid, then the following would be valid:

The armed bank robbers only take money from people who have money.
Taking money form the system is voluntary.
Therefore, being robbed by armed bank robbers is voluntary.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Scott wrote: May 24th, 2021, 12:38 pm
Sculptor1 wrote: May 23rd, 2021, 11:21 am
Taxation is not imposed on people who have no money.
Taking money from the system is voluntary.
Therefore taxation is also voluntary.
That logic is utterly fallacious.

If it was valid, then the following would be valid:

The armed bank robbers only take money from people who have money.

True
Taking money form the system is voluntary.

gibberish
Therefore, being robbed by armed bank robbers is voluntary.
false. Non sequitur.

My 3 points are all true.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Scott »

Sculptor1 wrote: May 23rd, 2021, 11:21 am
Taxation is not imposed on people who have no money.
Taking money from the system is voluntary.
Therefore taxation is also voluntary.
Scott wrote: That logic is utterly fallacious.

If it was valid, then the following would be valid:

The armed bank robbers only take money from people who have money.
Taking money from the system is voluntary.
Therefore, being robbed by armed bank robbers is voluntary.
Sculptor1 wrote: May 24th, 2021, 1:48 pm
Taking money from the system is voluntary.
gibberish
That's a direct verbatim quote of you, so I am inclined to agree with you that your sentence is gibberish if you say it is.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Steve3007 »

Scott wrote:I include coercion via threat of violence as violence....
Fair point.
Do you typically consider armed back robbery to be a violent crime even if physical injury is only threatened but those threats are not realized, presumably because the victims comply with the armed robbers' demands?
Yes. As you say later, the fact that I "come quietly" doesn't in itself make my imprisonment non violent.
Not necessarily. I see a conceptual distinction between non-violent theft versus violent robbery. Additionally, many instances of financial fraud or other profitable acts of fraud could be classified as essentially nonviolent as I use the term.
OK. Understood.
In my anecdotal experience, the legal enforcement of most civil debts, such as credit card debt, is non-violent, in the USA in 2021 at least. In contrast, that is generally not true in places where debtors' prison or involuntary indentured servitude are used to collect debts, or other violence or threatened violence is used to violently criminalize the non-payment of debts.

If I ring some stuff on my credit card, and I don't pay the bill and never ever willingly pay it, no violence will come to me as a direct result of that. In that sense, it is not a crime for me to not pay my credit card bill.
Yes, my understanding (after briefly checking to make sure) is that that's true here in the UK too. It's not a crime to get into debt and never pay back the debt. I could be bankrupted and/or my ability to borrow money in the future (credit rating) will be severely damaged, but, as I understand it, I won't actually ever go to prison for it. Obviously, with the way we live in modern societies, a bad credit rating is an extremely debilitating thing. But it would be difficult to argue that assigning a bad credit rating to a person is an act of violence against them. But I suspect that could spin off into an interesting wider argument about the nature and function of society.
If I don't pay the IRS, then that is a crime, and they will commit violence against me as a punishment for the crime of non-payment.

In that way, non payment to the IRS is a violently enforced crime much like smoking marijuana.

However, non-payment of rent, condo fees, or credit card debt is more like drinking alcohol. It's legal. The government won't attack you with violence specifically for doing those things.
So, how about this: Suppose the taxes imposed by our governments were exactly the same as they are now (in terms of the amount levied and the things on which they're spent) but they were treated the same way as debts are treated. So non-payment of tax would be treated in the same was as non-payment of debt. Presumably then you wouldn't regard taxation as violent robbery? It would be the same as that surcharge on property in Manchester CT, but on a bigger scale.

If taxes were treated like debts, with respect to their enforcement, would you be happier paying them? Presumably then your only objection would be to some of the things they spend them on? (Sofas in Washington DC, the War On Drugs, etc.)
For example, if I went to a person's house, and I told that person that if they don't get in a dog crate that I have in my basement I'll shoot them, and they "come quietly" and get in the dog crate, that would be an act of violence on my part, in my opinion. Don't you agree?
Yes, I agree.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

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An interesting aspect to the above here in the UK is student loans. When I was a a university student ('90 to '93) student loans were only just starting to be introduced. Up to then students got tuition fees and a small maintenance grant paid for via taxation. When I was a student, loans were being phased in, tuition was still funded by the taxpayer and the maintenance grant was frozen so as to gradually diminish in real value. Nowadays they typically run up huge student loan debts to pay for both maintenance and tuition. They're encouraged to treat these loans as, effectively, a graduate tax. Otherwise, the thought of starting working life with tens of thousands of debt would be too depressing. But starting working life in the knowledge that during that life one will pay hundreds of thousand in taxes isn't such a psychological barrier.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

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Steve3007 wrote: May 25th, 2021, 4:49 am So, how about this: Suppose the taxes imposed by our governments were exactly the same as they are now (in terms of the amount levied and the things on which they're spent) but they were treated the same way as debts are treated. So non-payment of tax would be treated in the same was as non-payment of debt. Presumably then you wouldn't regard taxation as violent robbery?
If it was legal to refuse to pay the tax (e.g. the government merely reported it as an alleged debt on one's credit report), then I would not consider it violent robbery. I might still consider it theft or some similar act of nonviolent financial victimization, such as if a hacker used my credit card number against my will and left me with the debt and thereby possibly messed up my credit score. But of course it would depend heavily on the exact circumstances, and since it is a hypothetical there are no exact circumstances.

I'd certainly prefer and choose to have my excellent credit score ruined than pay the United States Federal Government to fund their non-defensive violence. I would rather have bad credit than support things like the very violent war on drugs, the mass incarceration of nonviolent people, expensive violent military interventionism, the $10 million per day (yes, per day) given to Israel alone from USA taxpayer dollars, the huge amounts of USA taxpayer-stolen funds given to other violent international and governments groups including Hamas. Unfortunately, my options are not to choose between bad credit and funding what I consider to be violent terrorism and murder; rather, my options are to fund the horrible violence and plutocratic endeavors or go to prison, so I begrudgingly choose the former much like one might begrudgingly hand over their beloved watch to an armed bank robber, or like one might help fund organized mobster violence by paying into a mafia protection racket at the threat of non-defensive violence if one refuses.

Steve3007 wrote: May 25th, 2021, 4:49 am If taxes were treated like debts, with respect to their enforcement, would you be happier paying them?
I wouldn't pay them then, not to the USA Federal Government at least.

As a fan of Thoreau, if I didn't have kids, I would possibly choose prison over funding things like the very violent war on drugs, which alone has cost over $1 trillion already (one million million dollars), just to name one of the many, many horrible expensive violent plutocratic things the USA federal government does that I would never ever consensually fund. The only way to get me to fund those kinds of horrible violent things is to threaten me with non-defensive violence, which is what the USA federal government does.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Steve3007 »

Scott wrote:...The only way to get me to fund those kinds of horrible violent things is to threaten me with non-defensive violence, which is what the USA federal government does.
I have problems with a lot of the things my government spends my taxes on too. But I regard it as a problem with government policy, not with the principle of taxation. As I've said, I'm in favour of the use of taxation to fund the various public services that it funds, and I don't care if that taxation is labelled violent robbery. You having persuaded me that calling taxation "violent robbery" is a coherent usage of those words hasn't, as far as I can see, changed anything.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Scott »

Steve3007 wrote: May 26th, 2021, 6:15 am
Scott wrote:...The only way to get me to fund those kinds of horrible violent things is to threaten me with non-defensive violence, which is what the USA federal government does.
I have problems with a lot of the things my government spends my taxes on too.
We seem to be veering off-topic, which is at least as much my fault as anyone's.

The question isn't whether we like or have problems with the way certain violent robbers happen to spend the revenue they obtain from their violent robbery.

For example, if a guy named Bob allegedly robs a bank at gunpoint, then uses the money he obtained from the bank robbery to either (1) donate to the KKK or (2) donate to your favorite cancer charity, or (3) both, the difference between #1, #2, and #3 is irrelevant to whether Bob committed violent robbery.

In other words, whether or not you have a problem with (A) how a (alleged) violent robber spends the money isn't relevant to (B) whether his actions are violent robbery.

Steve3007 wrote: May 26th, 2021, 6:15 am I'm in favour of the use of [violent robbery by government] to fund the various public services that it funds... You having persuaded me that calling taxation "violent robbery" is a coherent usage of those words hasn't, as far as I can see, changed anything.
Fair enough. It seems in regard to the topic at hand we agree that taxation is violent robbery, so there isn't much more to discuss here about that.

In this case, since agreement presumably isn't as much fun, I invite you to these other topics which may be of interest:

Would you murder an innocent child with your bare hands to cure cancer?

Intentional non-defensive killing - Do you always oppose it?

Man Is Not Fit to Govern Man: My Philosophy of Non-Violence, Self-Government, Self-Discipline, and Spiritual Freedom
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Steve3007 wrote: May 25th, 2021, 6:35 am An interesting aspect to the above here in the UK is student loans. When I was a a university student ('90 to '93) student loans were only just starting to be introduced. Up to then students got tuition fees and a small maintenance grant paid for via taxation. When I was a student, loans were being phased in, tuition was still funded by the taxpayer and the maintenance grant was frozen so as to gradually diminish in real value. Nowadays they typically run up huge student loan debts to pay for both maintenance and tuition. They're encouraged to treat these loans as, effectively, a graduate tax. Otherwise, the thought of starting working life with tens of thousands of debt would be too depressing. But starting working life in the knowledge that during that life one will pay hundreds of thousand in taxes isn't such a psychological barrier.
I had the same experience. My degree was 92-95. I don't think I'd have bothered any later. As it was I was already 32yo. BY the time I did my PGCE in 1997. There was nothing for undergrads. Doing a teaching degree meant I got the fees paid and an extra stimend of £1500 I think. But the loan was £2750 by then.
Thanks to Tony the fees got dumped too. So much for Labour!
In the 1980s all fees and grants were paid. The UK is now a much richer country than then - so why saddle its young with so much debt? Things are definitely not going the right way.
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Re: Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Post by Robert66 »

Robert66 wrote: May 14th, 2021, 7:04 pm You might argue that you lack the means to be a dissenter - you cannot simply "up and leave" the U.S., or wherever you find yourself in vehement disagreement with an evil state. You might quote David Hume (‘Of the original contract’, Essays, 1748): ‘Can we seriously say that a poor peasant or artisan has a free choice to leave his country, when he knows no foreign language or manners, and lives, from day to day, by the small wages which he acquires? We may as well assert that a man, by remaining in a vessel, freely consents to the dominion of the master; though he was carried on board while asleep, and must leap into the ocean and perish, the moment he leaves her.’

Of course such a "walk the plank" analogy is a drastic simplification, given that soon after your birth a Certificate was signed ( a Birth Certificate kept by yet another branch of the Hydra-like, evil, bureaucratic state, The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s State Vital Records Office) which conferred considerable rights and advantages upon you, albeit without your consent, and that if you seek to deny such rights and advantages you would have an uphill battle ahead of you to say the least. You may not have freely consented to the dominion of the master, however your parent's saw it fit to do so on your behalf, and it would be hard to reasonably find any fault in them for having done so.

But let's say fair enough, Hume makes a good point, and come at the issue from a different direction.

It is unfair, arguably a form of violence, if people aren’t paying for benefits they receive, if their enjoyment of those benefits is secured by the payments of others. If too many such free-riders exist in a society, it will be impossible for sufficient benefits to be provided to all who need them, and the most needy are likely to miss out.
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by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021