Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?

Have philosophical discussions about politics, law, and government.
Featured Article: Definition of Freedom - What Freedom Means to Me
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 5904
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

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

Post by LuckyR »

Slavedevice wrote: August 17th, 2021, 7:13 am I agree we do need taxes to pay for such things as roads, etc. and I personally feel everyone should contribute to a healthcare fund (what’s more important, roads or healthcare?!?!). But the big pisser is when my hard earned money is spent on **** that I DISAPROVE!!! Like military invasion of other countries just because we don’t like their way of living!! Also - money given to Israel which has no justification of existing other than religion (you can’t tell me that is a secular decision).
Is it really a big pisser? Is it reasonable that something as complex as a national government's policies should match up exactly with everyone's preferences?
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
OneGeist
Posts: 26
Joined: September 23rd, 2021, 5:55 am
Favorite Philosopher: Hegel Chomsky Marx

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

Post by OneGeist »

The way I use the words even legal murder is murder, and even legal robbery is robbery. In the sense in which I am using the words, legality is irrelevant to whether something is murder, robbery, etc.


In my opinion laws are only a reflection of what benefits those in charge. They are constantly changing to suit the actions of those who put them in place. Only the most obvious and heinous crimes have anything to do with right and wrong.
Is taxation by big non-local governments violent robbery?
Not always or at least I should say it does not have to be. Obviously if the funds were collected in a more proportionate manner and delegated fully to a social cause like healthcare or maintaining our national parks and reserves. It could be a positive social practice.
However that is not the case, and most of our federal governments actions could be considered a form of violence and/or thievery.
I adhere to the belief that all profit is inherently wrong. Taxes as we know them are just a strong arm con. How many times do we pay tax on the same dollar, with food tax, property tax, sales tax etc. There are people today getting evicted from family land because in today's job climate they can't afford to pay the property tax. On a home and piece of land that was paid off 2 or 3 generations back. How is that right in any form. Considering how much property tax their family has already paid over the years. How does that land cost our government anything. To the extent they are willing to take away someone's family inheritance and lively hood while also putting them on the streets.

Then they take the money and figure out in what way it can used to maximize their own profits from it. Whether it be directly buying armor from a company they have investments in, or trying to figure a way to squeeze a little more life out of fossil fuels. It has gotten really bad of late. It started in the 70's as a backlash to the counter culture movement and has snowballed into financial tyranny. In where a small group of dethatched hubris individuals are buying up all the property and all the businesses. Creating a nation of debt slaves.
User avatar
OneGeist
Posts: 26
Joined: September 23rd, 2021, 5:55 am
Favorite Philosopher: Hegel Chomsky Marx

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

Post by OneGeist »

sculptor1
3. Taxation is not voluntary. But it is never mandatory.

Just out of curiosity, what is your definition of mandatory? For most people it's death and taxes.
User avatar
Robert66
Posts: 395
Joined: April 20th, 2014, 5:13 pm

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

Post by Robert66 »

Robert66 wrote: May 31st, 2021, 4:51 am 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.
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 5904
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

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

Post by LuckyR »

Robert66 wrote: May 31st, 2021, 4:51 am 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.
While I don't disagree with your posting, since the original premise of the thread is overly simplistic, akin to schoolyard rules applied to nation-states, it is actually unnecessary.
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
Gumby
New Trial Member
Posts: 2
Joined: July 23rd, 2016, 10:18 am

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

Post by Gumby »

Scott wrote: May 5th, 2021, 6:22 pm It seems clear to me that taxation is violent robbery, at least when it is done by big non-local governments...
...With those important clarifications in mind, do you agree that taxation by big non-local governments is violent robbery?
I really like this question, though I can't say I've worked out an exact answer. For me, the difficulty is with the notions of robbery and ownership. I think I can articulate my objection and concern in the form a counter-question:

If someone is capable of taking something from you, and you are powerless to stop them, then did that thing really belong to you?

What does seem clear to me is that if we attempt to answer this question simply by defining robbery (ownership), it quickly becomes a mechanical exercise in deductive (moral) reasoning. I don't feel this resolves the issue though; there is a larger question we haven't answered. In particular, I think we must work out to what extent private notions of robbery and ownership are relevant.

To that end, I think we can draw a kind of equivalence between a private notion of ownership and a private notion of value. In the same way that value, say as price, is negotiated publicly and therefore objectively, the notion of ownership is decided publicly as well. I may personally feel as though the money I give to the government in the form taxes belongs to me, but my private feelings of ownership are irrelevant in the same way that my private valuation of a dollar may be wildly different, and wholly irrelevant from the dollar's public value.

In short, if I believe taxes are robbery, then perhaps the issue is not that I have been unjustly dispossessed, but that I have failed to understand the world in which I live. If something actually belonged to me, then why don't I have it? Perhaps things belong only to those who have the ability to keep them.
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 5904
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

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

Post by LuckyR »

Gumby wrote: November 15th, 2021, 9:20 pm
Scott wrote: May 5th, 2021, 6:22 pm It seems clear to me that taxation is violent robbery, at least when it is done by big non-local governments...
...With those important clarifications in mind, do you agree that taxation by big non-local governments is violent robbery?
I really like this question, though I can't say I've worked out an exact answer. For me, the difficulty is with the notions of robbery and ownership. I think I can articulate my objection and concern in the form a counter-question:

If someone is capable of taking something from you, and you are powerless to stop them, then did that thing really belong to you?

What does seem clear to me is that if we attempt to answer this question simply by defining robbery (ownership), it quickly becomes a mechanical exercise in deductive (moral) reasoning. I don't feel this resolves the issue though; there is a larger question we haven't answered. In particular, I think we must work out to what extent private notions of robbery and ownership are relevant.

To that end, I think we can draw a kind of equivalence between a private notion of ownership and a private notion of value. In the same way that value, say as price, is negotiated publicly and therefore objectively, the notion of ownership is decided publicly as well. I may personally feel as though the money I give to the government in the form taxes belongs to me, but my private feelings of ownership are irrelevant in the same way that my private valuation of a dollar may be wildly different, and wholly irrelevant from the dollar's public value.

In short, if I believe taxes are robbery, then perhaps the issue is not that I have been unjustly dispossessed, but that I have failed to understand the world in which I live. If something actually belonged to me, then why don't I have it? Perhaps things belong only to those who have the ability to keep them.
Kudos to you for coming up with a novel and interesting viewpoint on page 5.

Scott?
"As usual... it depends."
Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 4292
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi »

Ownership is conferred by power to retain and to attain and the freedom to select. Powerless people have no power to retain, no power to attain, and no freedom of choice.

Democratic processes tend to distribute power more equally than other sorts of political regimes. Under democracy if the taxation system is too burdensome it can be changed.
User avatar
Robert66
Posts: 395
Joined: April 20th, 2014, 5:13 pm

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

Post by Robert66 »

Belindi wrote: November 16th, 2021, 6:38 am Ownership is conferred by power to retain and to attain and the freedom to select. Powerless people have no power to retain, no power to attain, and no freedom of choice.

Democratic processes tend to distribute power more equally than other sorts of political regimes. Under democracy if the taxation system is too burdensome it can be changed.
Yay democracy!

But what if the taxation system is inadequate (providing insufficient revenue)? Well, good news for the tax-haters - under (current, putative) democracy there ain't a damn thing you can do about it.

Now on the subject of violent robbery, how will the poor and powerless, who receive very little in the way of services and assistance that they might reasonably expect from their democratically elected, first-world government, get by?
Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 4292
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi »

Robert66 wrote: November 20th, 2021, 5:12 pm
Belindi wrote: November 16th, 2021, 6:38 am Ownership is conferred by power to retain and to attain and the freedom to select. Powerless people have no power to retain, no power to attain, and no freedom of choice.

Democratic processes tend to distribute power more equally than other sorts of political regimes. Under democracy if the taxation system is too burdensome it can be changed.
Yay democracy!

But what if the taxation system is inadequate (providing insufficient revenue)? Well, good news for the tax-haters - under (current, putative) democracy there ain't a damn thing you can do about it.

Now on the subject of violent robbery, how will the poor and powerless, who receive very little in the way of services and assistance that they might reasonably expect from their democratically elected, first-world government, get by?
Do you seek Utopia? Under a democratic regime the government can be changed at intervals which is better than can be said for any other style of government.
User avatar
Robert66
Posts: 395
Joined: April 20th, 2014, 5:13 pm

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

Post by Robert66 »

If by Utopia you mean a place where people agree that paying tax, so that they may all live lives with opportunity and choice, is the right thing to do, then yes. "But who in their right mind", I hear asked, "would want to live in Scandinavia with all those damn socialists?" Better to return to the glorious days where a man made an honest living, earning every penny through sweat and pain, and if after laying all night with one hand clenched around his knife or pistol, and one eye open, he was still breathing in the morning, money in his pocket yet, then he had prevailed and what wealth he had attained was rightfully his. Indeed if he survived the extremes of weather, the backbreaking work of the pioneer, the Apache or Iriquois arrows, then the land too was rightfully his. It did not belong to the Indians after all, as they could not retain it. Lest you feel sorry for the remaining natives, remember they now live in a democracy, and the change they may seek is only ever an election away.
Belindi
Moderator
Posts: 4292
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 2:11 pm

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

Post by Belindi »

Robert66 wrote: November 21st, 2021, 7:14 pm If by Utopia you mean a place where people agree that paying tax, so that they may all live lives with opportunity and choice, is the right thing to do, then yes. "But who in their right mind", I hear asked, "would want to live in Scandinavia with all those damn socialists?" Better to return to the glorious days where a man made an honest living, earning every penny through sweat and pain, and if after laying all night with one hand clenched around his knife or pistol, and one eye open, he was still breathing in the morning, money in his pocket yet, then he had prevailed and what wealth he had attained was rightfully his. Indeed if he survived the extremes of weather, the backbreaking work of the pioneer, the Apache or Iriquois arrows, then the land too was rightfully his. It did not belong to the Indians after all, as they could not retain it. Lest you feel sorry for the remaining natives, remember they now live in a democracy, and the change they may seek is only ever an election away.
:P

In a democratic country there is a welfare state such that the poorest man gets an education that frees him from ignorance, and health care and legal care that are free at point of use. There are also media free from political or commercial corruption. In a democratic country there is also the right to associate for peaceful political demonstrations.
User avatar
Robert66
Posts: 395
Joined: April 20th, 2014, 5:13 pm

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

Post by Robert66 »

Belindi wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 7:08 am In a democratic country there is a welfare state such that the poorest man gets an education that frees him from ignorance, and health care and legal care that are free at point of use. There are also media free from political or commercial corruption. In a democratic country there is also the right to associate for peaceful political demonstrations.
Thanks for explaining democracy. I am however more interested in what you have left out of the picture. Reading your last few posts here is like being told all about the advantages of some advanced automobile - it has an automatic gearbox, cd player, etc - but not hearing that the car has been resting at the bottom of a lake since 1996.

Do you think some of your statements about democracy could be examined? How would they hold up under scrutiny?

Is the poorest man receiving an education that frees him from ignorance in India, or Indonesia, or the USA?

Is health care, free at the point of use, then financially crippling for the rest of the user's life, such a great idea?

How well cared for within the legal system are the majority of low-income earning and poor citizens of democracies?

'There are also media free from political or commercial corruption'? And the moon is really made of cheese.

And just to rewind a little: 'Ownership is conferred by power to retain and to attain and the freedom to select.' Do you think that statement might appear as a slap in the face to the dispossessed and colonised now residing in the glorious democratic new world?

I don't disagree that democracy is preferable in many ways, however trite statements such as 'Under democracy if the taxation system is too burdensome it can be changed' should be examined through the lens offered by reality.
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 5904
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

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

Post by LuckyR »

Robert66 wrote: November 23rd, 2021, 5:03 pm
Belindi wrote: November 22nd, 2021, 7:08 am In a democratic country there is a welfare state such that the poorest man gets an education that frees him from ignorance, and health care and legal care that are free at point of use. There are also media free from political or commercial corruption. In a democratic country there is also the right to associate for peaceful political demonstrations.
Thanks for explaining democracy. I am however more interested in what you have left out of the picture. Reading your last few posts here is like being told all about the advantages of some advanced automobile - it has an automatic gearbox, cd player, etc - but not hearing that the car has been resting at the bottom of a lake since 1996.

Do you think some of your statements about democracy could be examined? How would they hold up under scrutiny?

Is the poorest man receiving an education that frees him from ignorance in India, or Indonesia, or the USA?

Is health care, free at the point of use, then financially crippling for the rest of the user's life, such a great idea?

How well cared for within the legal system are the majority of low-income earning and poor citizens of democracies?

'There are also media free from political or commercial corruption'? And the moon is really made of cheese.

And just to rewind a little: 'Ownership is conferred by power to retain and to attain and the freedom to select.' Do you think that statement might appear as a slap in the face to the dispossessed and colonised now residing in the glorious democratic new world?

I don't disagree that democracy is preferable in many ways, however trite statements such as 'Under democracy if the taxation system is too burdensome it can be changed' should be examined through the lens offered by reality.
Preferable to what?

"...democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried..."
"As usual... it depends."
Steve3007
Posts: 10351
Joined: June 15th, 2011, 5:53 pm

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

Post by Steve3007 »

Belindi wrote:In a democratic country there is a welfare state such that the poorest man gets an education that frees him from ignorance, and health care and legal care that are free at point of use. There are also media free from political or commercial corruption. In a democratic country there is also the right to associate for peaceful political demonstrations.
I'd say the last two that you mention are definitely necessary in order for a political system to have any chance of functioning as a democracy. I'd also agree that at least some level of free-at-the-point-of-delivery education is necessary - specifically citizenship education. But free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare and legal representation are more debatable. I'm personally in favour of both of them, to at least some extent, but they're not necessarily essential to the functioning of a democracy. Particularly healthcare. If, for whatever reason, the people of the country don't want free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare then I don't think that necessarily harms their democratic rights.
Post Reply

Return to “Philosophy of Politics”

Upcoming Philosphy Books of the Month

Emotional Intelligence At Work

Emotional Intelligence At Work
by Richard M Contino & Penelope J Holt
January 2022

Free Will, Do You Have It?

Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral
February 2022

My Enemy in Vietnam

My Enemy in Vietnam
by Billy Springer
March 2022

2X2 on the Ark

2X2 on the Ark
by Mary J Giuffra, PhD
April 2022

The Maestro Monologue

The Maestro Monologue
by Rob White
May 2022

What Makes America Great

What Makes America Great
by Bob Dowell
June 2022

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!
by Jerry Durr
July 2022

Living in Color

Living in Color
by Mike Murphy
August 2022 (tentative)

Living in Color

The Not So Great American Novel
by James E Doucette
September 2022

Previous Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts
by Mark L. Wdowiak
September 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
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