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Thread: Morality of Not Paying Taxes

  1. #1

    Default Morality of Not Paying Taxes

    I got into an argument with a guy who was claiming I was stealing from all of America if I didn't pay my taxes and how immoral it was not to contribute my part etc etc etc...

    I was so utterly shocked I didn't know what to say... he doesn't understand the immorality of the taxation to begin with? Damn... that's the type of stuff that makes me realize how far gone we still are.

    He was a Democrat but it still blew my mind... "we're immoral, greedy, and disgusting crooks" (yes his exact words) if we don't pay our taxes.


    Can someone please rip this to pieces so I can go to bed?
    It's just an opinion... man...



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  3. #2
    Member Odin's Avatar
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    Whatever money the government takes, that does not go toward the efficient protection of our freedom, is theft plain and simple imo.

    However I do think a small amount of taxes are justified in a free society.

  4. #3
    Member Odin's Avatar
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    I'll just add that I've heard it said that the government has 3 main ways of controlling the people - 'force of arms,' 'force of numbers,' and 'bewildering propaganda.'

    Unfortunately in our country all three are prevalent, and your friend seems to buy into it.

    "Force of arms" - "give us your property because we have guns and handcuffs and prisons"
    "Force of numbers" - "give us your property because the mob says so"
    "Bewildering propaganda" - "If you object to this tyranny, and you object to your property being taken by force, you are stealing from America."

  5. #4

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    I was going to write something but then I realized its already been made into a book.
    http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged.../dp/0451191145
    Terminus tela viaticus!

  6. #5

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    Honestly OP. If you are just now waking up ( by that I mean the past couple of years) try reading this book. You think you are awake now. Just hold on till Rand is done with you. Awake lol this book is like doing an 8 ball of coke.
    Terminus tela viaticus!

  7. #6

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    How is avoiding paying a robber immoral? If a mugger comes up to you on the street and you can somehow get away with not handing over your wallet, are you performing an immoral act.

    People who do not pay taxes are heroes. They are not contributing to the murder, injury, and imprisonment of millions of innocent people. At least a mugger may do something positive with your stolen money. The government only engages in destructive activities.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
    However I do think a small amount of taxes are justified in a free society.
    How is the initiation of force on peaceful people justified? If I'm forced against my will to pay the state at the point of a gun, how am I free? Taxation is ALWAYS theft and immoral.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carehn View Post
    Honestly OP. If you are just now waking up ( by that I mean the past couple of years) try reading this book. You think you are awake now. Just hold on till Rand is done with you. Awake lol this book is like doing an 8 ball of coke.
    I've only been reading economics books for the last 12months when I really started to get into the literature...

    I haven't even gotten into Rand yet (in part because a lot of people here really seemed to hate her) and because it didn't apply to the Austrian school.

    I really think Atlas Shrugged is next... i'm re-reading Economics in 1 Lesson right now because i'm bored.


    I mean... seriously? I also take the approach people that do not pay their taxes are heros and the fact someone could take the complete opposite approach (hell i dont even expect someone to take my approach, but disgusting greedy crooks? seriously?) just literally blew me out of my skull...
    It's just an opinion... man...

  10. #9
    Member Odin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mport1 View Post
    How is the initiation of force on peaceful people justified? If I'm forced against my will to pay the state at the point of a gun, how am I free? Taxation is ALWAYS theft and immoral.
    Not if you consent to it. And 'consent' does not necessarily mean 'embrace'.

    Let me put it another way - do you think that the government forcing you to feed your children, is immoral? I believe a moral obligation kicks in, one that we as free people must rationally consent to.

    We will get into this more deeply but I would like to know your answer to that question.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoOneButPaul View Post
    I've only been reading economics books for the last 12months when I really started to get into the literature...

    I haven't even gotten into Rand yet (in part because a lot of people here really seemed to hate her) and because it didn't apply to the Austrian school.

    I really think Atlas Shrugged is next... i'm re-reading Economics in 1 Lesson right now because i'm bored.


    I mean... seriously? I also take the approach people that do not pay their taxes are heros and the fact someone could take the complete opposite approach (hell i dont even expect someone to take my approach, but disgusting greedy crooks? seriously?) just literally blew me out of my skull...
    My advice, for what it's worth, and being someone who has read a LOT of philosophy, is to avoid Ayn Rand. You will get a superficial explanation of libertarianism, based on all the wrong principles imo.

    If you want to read something that is truly brilliant and will make you question everything and think about everything, you should read Nietzsche.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
    Not if you consent to it. And 'consent' does not necessarily mean 'embrace'.

    Let me put it another way - do you think that the government forcing you to feed your children, is immoral? I believe a moral obligation kicks in, one that we as free people must rationally consent to.

    We will get into this more deeply but I would like to know your answer to that question.
    With taxation there is no consent involved. If you do not comply you will be fined, if you don't pay the fine you will go to jail, if you resist being taken to jail, you will be murdered.

    To your question, no. You would be initiating force on the child in which case it is fine for other agents to use retaliatory force against you. That is perfectly consistent with the non-aggression principle. Taxation is not.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoOneButPaul View Post
    I really think Atlas Shrugged is next... i'm re-reading Economics in 1 Lesson right now because i'm bored.
    I'd skip Rand and either read Rothbard if you haven't yet, Molyneux, or The Market for Liberty. I tried to read Rand but was bored to tears.

  14. #13

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    Taxes kills jobs. No income taxes mean there could be 20-25% more jobs out there, theoretically
    A savage barbaric tribal society where thugs parade the streets and illegally assault and murder innocent civilians, yeah that is the alternative to having police. Oh wait, that is the police

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    Quote Originally Posted by mport1 View Post
    With taxation there is no consent involved. If you do not comply you will be fined, if you don't pay the fine you will go to jail, if you resist being taken to jail, you will be murdered.

    To your question, no. You would be initiating force on the child in which case it is fine for other agents to use retaliatory force against you. That is perfectly consistent with the non-aggression principle. Taxation is not.
    Ok well I'm trying to clarify this. If I don't feed you, that's not initiating force on you. If I don't feed your child, that is not an imposition of force. But if I don't feed my child, that is?

    You can probably spin it that way, but the more fundamental question is whether we have an obligation to support our children. I believe we do, and it seems you do to, or else you wouldn't view it as an imposition of force by the parent to not take care of their child.

    Do you agree with that?

  16. #15

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    OP: Skip Rand's novels and read some of her essays instead. Same message, but thousands of pages shorter. In addition to Economics In One Lesson, the first half of Peter Schiff's How An Economy Grows and Why It Crashes is essential. It may even be better than Hazlitt in terms of distilling the economic argument down to its simplest form. Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State: Power and Market is excellent if you're looking for an in depth read.

    From there, Rothbard's For A New Liberty/The Ethics of Liberty are both great for libertarian theory.

    Tom Woods is also an excellent read. Meltdown, Nullification, and Rollback are all top notch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
    but the more fundamental question is whether we have an obligation to support our children. I believe we do, and it seems you do to, or else you wouldn't view it as an imposition of force by the parent to not take care of their child.

    Do you agree with that?
    No legal obligation to feed our children. The right to life does not include the right to have another provide for you. If children were exempt, then group rights would then be legitimate.
    Last edited by Feeding the Abscess; 11-14-2012 at 12:35 AM.
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  17. #16

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    The OP could simply say (to avoid all the theoretical hassle or acrimony) that "the IRS has not completed a lawful assessment proving any income taxes are owed." As a practical matter of fact under the current tax system, this statement is always true. The IRS is not able to complete a lawful, correct assessment with verified proof of claim, because it relies on incomplete, erroneously misapplied data from unsworn information reports (W2s, 1099s, etc) that are hearsay sources at best. The IRS relies on this paperwork to administratively manufacture 'liability' in light of there being no positive law requiring most people to be paying the tax.

    Certain forms or personnel (like District Directors) are not even legitimately in place to properly certify or document the liability claims, that by law must be there so that all the steps in their assessment process can be completed. Absent a lawfully completed assessment, there is no liability and no taxes owed.
    Last edited by Peace&Freedom; 11-14-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoOneButPaul View Post
    I got into an argument with a guy who was claiming I was stealing from all of America if I didn't pay my taxes and how immoral it was not to contribute my part etc etc etc...
    The idea that not paying taxes is theft - i.e., that you are "stealing" from the taxing authority - is deeply & profoundly foolish. It's a deliberate yet thoughtless warping of the meanings of words, engaged in by people who don't really give a damn about logic and truth - or even about being right, for that matter. They just wan't some sort of verbal excuse they can spout for their essentially nihilistic feelings & ressentiments.

    If there was any point at all in trying to engage such people in reasoned discussion or debate. one approach (of many) you could take would be reductio ad absurdum. Necessary to the claim that failure to pay taxes is "theft" is the premise that the taxing authority (i.e., the State) is the "owner" of whatever taxes you are expected to pay. The amount of taxes "owed" by you, however, is essentially arbitrary (depending, as it does, on whatever tax rate the State happens to be imposing at any given time). Given a tax rate of 100%, every single penny you keep for youself would have to be considered "stolen." The fact that the (arbitrary) tax rate might not actually *be* 100% at any given time (and almost certainly won't be, for reasons of feasibility) is not relevant to the absurdity of this conclusion. In the case of a less-than-100% tax rate, whatever you are allowed to keep is to be considered a gratuity generously permitted to you by the State. It "belongs" to the State, and you are merely being allowed to use it by virtue of the State's magnanimous consent (which, of course, may be withdrawn at any time).

    You could go on from this to uncover yet more absurdities. For example, consider the case of someone who is not busting his ass in order to maximize "his" income to the greatest possible extent. Such a person, we must conclude, is "stealing" from the government, because he is not paying as much in taxes as he otherwise would have (and again, this is regardless of what the actual tax rate is).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feeding the Abscess View Post

    No legal obligation to feed our children. The right to life does not include the right to have another provide for you. If children were exempt, then group rights would then be legitimate.
    So the government forcing you to feed your children WOULD be an unjust imposition of force against you, according to your philosophy?

    At least that's consistent. Although I would say you partly illustrate the point of my 'Rights vs Freedom thread."

    The problem is that when you have sex and then choose to bring new life in the world, you commit yourself to the obligations that attach to that enterprise. It is not an imposition of force to ensure that you fulfill these obligations, any more than it is an imposition of force to ensure that you follow through on your contractual obligations. It is not a denial of your freedom, to hold you accountable for the obligations that you voluntarily assent to.

  20. #19

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    I tend to be much the other way, but I come from a philosophy background rather than an economics background.

    Go Nietzsche then Rand. Rand final destinations get a bit weird but her starting places are much more solid than the an-caps. The An-caps tend to have more pragmatic results, but they very loosely work backwards to a set of 'axioms'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoOneButPaul View Post
    I got into an argument with a guy who was claiming I was stealing from all of America if I didn't pay my taxes and how immoral it was not to contribute my part etc etc etc...

    I was so utterly shocked I didn't know what to say... he doesn't understand the immorality of the taxation to begin with? Damn... that's the type of stuff that makes me realize how far gone we still are.

    He was a Democrat but it still blew my mind... "we're immoral, greedy, and disgusting crooks" (yes his exact words) if we don't pay our taxes.


    Can someone please rip this to pieces so I can go to bed?
    Taxes pay for public goods and services. This is his angle. He's saying that because you use things like roads, police, etc. you owe taxes. The problem is, you don't have a choice. You're forced to use these goods/services because they've been monopolized by the State, and thus you have no other options. Notice how everything the State 'provides' is necessary for daily life? They regulate electricity, water, land, communication, education, employment, travel, security, and healthcare. The State has weaseled itself into virtually any and all that is integral to modern life. In those areas where they have not entirely monopolized the respective industry, they've intervened so thoroughly that they've made private sector alternatives non-viable for many, and even those private sector alternatives are still regulated by the State, just to a lesser degree than the public sector.

    It's like the mafia showing up at your small business and demanding protection dues. They don't give you a choice. You either pay them, or they damage you and/or your property until you do. And since the State has monopolized the use of force, it's not like you can shop around for better protection/security services.

    So basically, the State is just a mafia. It's no more moral for them to do it than it is for the mafia. If it were moral, it would be voluntary. It is involuntary. It is coercive. It is the initiation of force or the threat thereof compelling you. It's the antithesis of morality.

    It's rape masquerading as making love.
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  22. #21

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    That's like saying that you're stealing money from the victim of a thief if you don't give money to the thief as well.
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  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mport1 View Post
    I'd skip Rand and either read Rothbard if you haven't yet, Molyneux, or The Market for Liberty. I tried to read Rand but was bored to tears.
    I'd advise starting with Hazlitt and Ayn Rand, and skipping Rothbard until you have the wisdom and ability to reason about economics and politics necessary to separate his contributions from his confusions.
    Last edited by jj-; 11-14-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
    Ok well I'm trying to clarify this. If I don't feed you, that's not initiating force on you. If I don't feed your child, that is not an imposition of force. But if I don't feed my child, that is?

    You can probably spin it that way, but the more fundamental question is whether we have an obligation to support our children. I believe we do, and it seems you do to, or else you wouldn't view it as an imposition of force by the parent to not take care of their child.

    Do you agree with that?
    Yes you have an obligation to support YOUR children. You do not have an obligation to fees other people's children or anybody else.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by mport1 View Post
    Yes you have an obligation to support YOUR children. You do not have an obligation to fees other people's children or anybody else.
    What about a moral obligation. Isn't that the way a truly moral voluntary society operates? To take care of someone suffering out of moral responsibility? You should not be forced to do so, but you should make every effort if your mean exeed your needs.
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  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
    Whatever money the government takes, that does not go toward the efficient protection of our freedom, is theft plain and simple imo.

    However I do think a small amount of taxes are justified in a free society.
    Yes, and a obligation to understand why.

  27. #26

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    Sure you should help out others in need but you shouldn't be forced to. Every single one of us are allowing people to die overseas. We could all live on less and donate money to help them, but we should not be forced to at the barrel of a gun.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by mport1 View Post
    Sure you should help out others in need but you shouldn't be forced to. Every single one of us are allowing people to die overseas. We could all live on less and donate money to help them, but we should not be forced to at the barrel of a gun.
    Or we could stand up for the rights of others by forcing our illegitimate federal government to stop violating the rights of others overseas.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoOneButPaul View Post
    I've only been reading economics books for the last 12months when I really started to get into the literature...

    I haven't even gotten into Rand yet (in part because a lot of people here really seemed to hate her) and because it didn't apply to the Austrian school.

    I really think Atlas Shrugged is next... i'm re-reading Economics in 1 Lesson right now because i'm bored.


    I mean... seriously? I also take the approach people that do not pay their taxes are heros and the fact someone could take the complete opposite approach (hell i dont even expect someone to take my approach, but disgusting greedy crooks? seriously?) just literally blew me out of my skull...
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  30. #29

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    Funny stuff from a guy who, in a different context, would be quick to screech that the government shouldn't legislate morality. (There's your out - ask him if he really believes that government should legislate morality. You'll quickly get to the point - he wants government to legislate HIS definition of morality.)

    Taxation is the ultimate immorality.

    Seriously, those of you that still have Democrat friends - look what this guy just did. Instead of arguing logically, he went right for calling his friend a name.
    .[QUOTE]"Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won." - Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead[/QUOTE]
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