• Xerographica's Avatar
    07-16-2018, 05:38 PM
    Pragmatarianism is not anarcho-capitalism. With pragmatarianism, taxation would still be compulsory, but taxpayers would be free to choose which government entities they give their tax dollars to. Congress is a government entity, therefore taxpayers would be free to choose how many of their tax dollars they give to congress. If you are dissatisfied with the tax rate, then you wouldn't give any of your taxes to congress. Instead, you'd give your taxes to the DoD, or the DoJ or some other government entity. Hayek (1945): Markets are needed to optimally supply goods Samuelson (1954): Because of the free-rider problem, markets fail for public goods Buchanan (1963): Actually, with individual earmarking, markets could also work for public goods That was the discussion between three Nobel economists... one libertarian, one liberal and one pragmatarian. It's clear that you haven't read Hayek's Nobel essay... The Use of Knowledge in Society. He argued that socialism fails because it doesn't reveal the demand for goods. Samuelson responded that, because of the free-rider problem, markets fail to reveal the demand for public goods. His underlying assumption was that the optimal supply of all goods depends on knowing the demand for them. This is really important, so I'll repeat it with plenty of emphasis... the optimal supply of ALL goods depends on knowing the demand for them. Buchanan critiqued Samuelson's conclusion by explaining that the market could work just as well for public goods. Giving people the freedom to earmark their taxes would reveal the demand for public goods. You think taxpayers are unaware of the necessity of defense. But what the government is currently unaware of is how importance defense is to taxpayers. What you're unaware of is that it matters how important defense, and everything else, is to consumers.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-16-2018, 01:53 PM
    Out of curiosity, have you actually read the Supreme Court's opinion?
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-16-2018, 09:31 AM
    Here's the post that I wrote acknowledging the taxation portions written in the constitution. The Supreme Court's interpretation of the first amendment clearly and obviously negates/contradicts/overrides everything and anything that the constitution says about taxation. What would greatly facilitate discussion of this topic is if you actually read and addressed the material that I linked to in the OP. For example, try and say something relevant and useful about Wicksell and Buchanan.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-16-2018, 02:07 AM
    I've been a member of this forum for 8 years but I've never once made a donation. I'm a free-rider. Let's say that I donated a penny. Would I still be a free-rider? Yup, but marginally less of one. Same thing if I donated two pennies, or ten pennies, or even a 100 pennies. I'd stop being a free-rider when the amount that I donated was equal to my true estimate of this website's relative importance. One way for this website to decrease the problem of free-riding would be to increase people's incentive to donate. This could be accomplished by giving donors the perk of using their donations to help rank the threads by usefulness.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-16-2018, 01:58 AM
    If you trust the allocation decisions of congress, then why do you see ever-expanding spending as a problem? You simultaneously believe that congress will overestimate the importance of the EPA but optimally estimate the importance of the DoD. In my preferred system, ever-expanding spending isn't an issue. You think the tax rate is too high? Then boycott congress. Congress, like all the other entities, really wont want to lose revenue, it will want to maximize its revenue. In order to do so, congress will have to find the optimal tax rate. James Buchanan proposed this idea decades ago. Partisan propaganda? Do you spend your money on bread because of partisan propaganda? Of course not. Pragmatarianism would make political parties completely pointless.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-16-2018, 12:38 AM
    When I was in stationed in Afghanistan in charge of a small team that went village to village collecting information... what do you think I did with this information? Do you think I e-mailed all my reports directly to congress? Or perhaps you think there was a congressperson who was always embedded in my team? The government isn't just one entity. Congress and the DoD are different entities. Naturally the DoD has more defense information than congress has. Therefore, you trust the DoD to decide for itself how many tax dollars it should receive? I'm pretty sure that the answer would always be "more", which would mean that it would compete more and more scientists away from other organizations. You have this idea that the reason that we allow congress to spend everybody's taxes is because taxpayers are uninformed about the necessity of a few public goods... defense, justice and the police. Where did you get this idea from? Can you cite any sources? No you can't, because there aren't any. I spent a year of my life in Afghanistan gathering defense information, but since then I've spent more than a decade of my life gathering public finance information. This is why I know, for a fact, that the only reason that taxation is compulsory is because of the free-rider problem. That's it. If you don't believe me, then e-mail anybody who studies public finance for a living and ask them why taxation is compulsory. Let me know what they say. Our society is based on a division of labor, which means that nearly everybody is knowledgeable in one specific area, and largely ignorant about all the other areas. But the division of labor really isn't an argument against consumer choice. No economist will tell you that only computer scientists should be able to spend their money on computers. That would be absurd. It's up to all consumers to decide for themselves the necessity/relevance/usefulness of all the different areas. Of course it helps to do homework. You know who's the best at doing their homework? Taxpayers.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-15-2018, 09:53 PM
    I don't think you understood the point of the Eisenhower quote. The DoD doesn't just create scientists out of thin air... it competes them away from other uses. The more money the DoD receives the more scientists it can compete away from other uses. There's no such thing as a "free" scientist, just like there's no such thing as a "free" lunch. There's always an opportunity cost. As a libertarian, your primary objective is to greatly reduce the scope of government. To what? To defense, police and courts? If so, why don't you want the government to also protect the environment? Do you not trust politicians to decide how tax dollars should be divided between the DoD and the EPA? To be clear, dividing tax dollars between the DoD and EPA is the same thing as dividing scientists between them. You don't trust politicians to correctly determine the relative importance of protecting the country and protecting the environment? But you do trust politicians to correctly determine the relative importance of defense, justice and the police? There's no logical half-way position. You either do, or do not, trust politicians to determine the relative importance of things. It's a bad idea to allow the market to dictate how much of this website's funding is allocated to protection against hacking? But it's a good idea for the market to dictate how much of the private sector's funding is allocated to computers?
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-15-2018, 07:52 PM
    Question: Why shouldn't vegetarians be forced to subsidize meat? Answer: The rule is that nobody should be forced to fund anything. Answer: Vegetarians should be free to boycott meat. Do you really think these answers are satisfactory? Imagine if a big spaceship landed near you and some aliens walked out and asked you why, exactly, they shouldn't enslave you. What explanation would you offer? Would you explain that slavery is illegal? Would you explain that slavery is immoral?
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-15-2018, 06:42 PM
    It's problematic that you can't explain why, exactly, I should not be forced to subsidize a church. Maybe it would help if we switched examples. Why, exactly, should a vegetarian not be forced to subsidize meat? Yes. It will help if we consider Netflix. Right now I don't have the freedom to earmark my fees to the content that most closely matches my preferences. What difference would it make if I was given this freedom? If more than 100 million Netflix subscribers could earmark their fees to their favorite content, would the supply of content improve, worsen, or stay the same? Most people respond that Netflix already knows my preferences. Then I have to explain that just because I might have theoretically and hypothetically spent my time watching Charmed really doesn't mean that I'd earmark my fees to this show.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-15-2018, 05:32 PM
    I didn't ask you whether a church is the same thing as a government. I asked you whether I should be forced to subsidize a church. Evidently you don't think I should be. The question is... why not? I should not be forced to subsidize a church because _________________________________________________. (you fill in the blank) Legitimate functions of government? What, exactly, makes them legitimate? Is it because our founders said that they are legitimate? You seriously don't see anything wrong with a small group of government planners determining the legitimate scope of government? If not, then why argue against congress (a small group of government planners) deciding to greatly expand the scope of government? You either do, or do not, trust the value judgement of government planners...
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-15-2018, 04:02 PM
    Let's set SCOTUS aside for now and determine your own perspective on the topic. Obviously you believe in God, while I do not. Maybe you regularly go to church and listen to the sermons? Should I be forced to subsidize the sermons? I'm guessing that your answer is "no". But should I be forced to subsidize the church instead? If not, then why not? You probably attend church, while I never do. But here we both are on this website. We're using it to exchange our thoughts with each other. Personally though, I've never made a single donation to this website. Have you? Should we be forced to subsidize this website? Carefully consider this passage... A church really does not further my interests, but this website does further my interests. Is it blatant injustice to force me to subsidize a church? Yup. Is it blatant injustice to force me to subsidize this website? Nope.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-15-2018, 05:47 AM
    When you talk about "natural rights" it seems like we're from completely different planets. On my planet, there aren't any natural rights. Nature does not confer or grant any rights. Neither does any god. What is, and is not, allowed is largely determined by the government, which is significantly influenced by voters. For the longest time people were allowed to drink alcohol. Then the majority of voters decided that alcohol should be prohibited, and the government gave them what they wanted. Even if a taxpayer thought that prohibition was the stupidest thing in the world, their taxes helped to pay for it. Just like, way back in the day, even if an Egyptian taxpayer thought that the pyramids were the stupidest thing in the world, their taxes helped to pay for it. Just like now, even if an American taxpayer thinks that war is the stupidest thing in the world, their taxes help to pay for it. The Supreme Court decided that people should not be forced to help pay for anything that they consider to be seriously stupid.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-15-2018, 05:27 AM
    So you're equating "propaganda" and "speech"? Free speech is the same thing as free propaganda? Consider this... Was it "speech" when Reagan went around saying "Restore our defense"? If it helps...
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-13-2018, 04:02 PM
    Where did I say that the bill of rights was created by the supreme court? The issue is their interpretation of the first amendment.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-13-2018, 03:59 PM
    What do you mean that spending is only sometimes speech? The issue here is communication (the transmission of information). Spending is always communication, but not all communication is spending. The 16 amendment overrides the 1st? So the constitution says... What happens if it's decided that taxation isn't an exception to the rule? The Supreme Court decided that forced-riding is a bigger problem than free-riding. Do you think that this is true for union dues but not taxes?
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-13-2018, 03:10 PM
    The constitution was amended to include protection for speech. According to the 5 citizens in robes... 1. Spending is a form of speech 2. Speech cannot be compelled Therefore, the first amendment logically overrides what the constitution says about taxation. Voting is used to rank politicians. My hypothesis is that voting elevates trash while spending elevates treasure. I think this hypothesis is well-supported by the top-ranked politicians and the top-ranked videos on Youtube.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-12-2018, 11:02 PM
    The Supreme Court decided that compulsory union dues are unconstitutional because they violate the first amendment. What's the economic difference between compulsory union dues and compulsory taxes? There is absolutely no economic difference. The point of compulsory payments is to solve the free-rider problem but the Supreme Court decided that free-riding is a smaller problem than forced-riding. This can't only be true for some compulsory payments... it must be true for them all... because that's how economics works. Personally I don't know if forced-riding is truly a bigger problem than free-riding. I do know that both are big problems. From my perspective, the best solution is for payments to remain compulsory, but for people to have the freedom to "earmark" them. For unions this means that, rather than conservatives funding liberal causes, they could simply earmark their dues to a new microwave for the employee breakroom. For the government it means that, rather than pacifists funding war, they could earmark their taxes to public education or healthcare. Earmarking would essentially transform the government and unions into markets. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is only slightly more knowledgeable about economics than you are. Maybe they might know that, in this context, if I refer to James Buchanan I'm not referring to the president, I'm referring to the Nobel pragmatarian economist. But it's seriously doubtful that they read his paper about the economics of earmarking. It shouldn't be a surprise that governments aren't lining up to test the idea of giving taxpayers the freedom to earmark their taxes. But there's more than one way to skin a cat. Last year the libertarian party (LP) gave donors the freedom to use their donations to help rank potential convention themes...
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-12-2018, 12:33 PM
    Honestly, I'm not sure what's going on here... 1. Did you click the link? If so... 2. Do you try and read the post? If so.... 3. Was there something you didn't understand? If so... 4. What, exactly, did you not understand? I'm not trying to be rude. The post that I linked you to is the story of modern economics. If there's a part of it that you don't understand, then you're not going to appreciate the significance of the Supreme Court's ruling. If you don't understand any of the story of modern economics... then let me know. Let us know.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-11-2018, 09:59 PM
    Did you read what I linked to?
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
  • Xerographica's Avatar
    07-09-2018, 06:40 PM
    The Supreme Court recently ruled that compelled communication (including spending) is unconstitutional. They were specifically referring to compulsory union dues, but their logic inherently applies to all compulsory payments.
    52 replies | 862 view(s)
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