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Thread: Taxes Are Unconstitutional

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    So you're equating "propaganda" and "speech"? Free speech is the same thing as free propaganda?
    Government speech is propaganda.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Consider this...



    Was it "speech" when Reagan went around saying "Restore our defense"?

    If it helps...
    Was Reagan's speech government funded?
    If it was it shouldn't have been, if it wasn't then it had nothing to do with taxes.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  3. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.

    Now, everything aside, do you truly think it's beneficial to force people to pay for things that they consider to be seriously stupid? Do you believe it's a good idea to take away people's freedom to boycott seriously stupid things?

    On the planet that I want to live on, everybody has the freedom to boycott seriously stupid things.
    You live on another planet alright, GOD gave all men rights, when they are violated it is wrong, SCOTUS didn't say people shouldn't be forced to pay for things they consider stupid, SCOTUS said that people couldn't be compelled to pay for speech they disagree with.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  5. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    You live on another planet alright, GOD gave all men rights, when they are violated it is wrong, SCOTUS didn't say people shouldn't be forced to pay for things they consider stupid, SCOTUS said that people couldn't be compelled to pay for speech they disagree with.
    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...

    It would seem to be a blatant injustice if someone should he forced to contribute toward the costs of some activity which does not further his interests or may even be diametrically opposed to them. - Knut Wicksell, A New Principle of Just Taxation
    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.

  6. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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?
    A church isn't the same as a government, government can't be avoided because the only way to defend against government is with a government, government has some legitimate functions that taxes are needed to pay for.

    If men were angels no government would be necessary but men are not angels.

    If the owner of this website wanted to bar access to anyone who didn't pay he would be within his rights to do so but that is not relevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    But it is not blatant injustice for you to subsidize the legitimate functions of government, protecting your rights from enemies foreign and domestic and administering justice does further your interests and can't be handled any other way despite the fantasies of the AnCaps.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  7. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    A church isn't the same as a government, government can't be avoided because the only way to defend against government is with a government, government has some legitimate functions that taxes are needed to pay for.
    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)

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    But it is not blatant injustice for you to subsidize the legitimate functions of government, protecting your rights from enemies foreign and domestic and administering justice does further your interests and can't be handled any other way despite the fantasies of the AnCaps.
    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...

    The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder. - Adam Smith
    Look, I am not an anarcho-capitalist. Like you, I believe that free-riding is a real problem. However, unlike you, I also believe that forced-riding is a real problem. This is why I am a pragmatarian. I believe that people should be free to choose where their taxes go. This way the legitimate scope of government will be determined by a multitude of taxpayers...

    On the other hand, it is also a maxim of experience that in the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom; and that a man seldom judges right, even in his own concerns, still less in those of the public, when he makes habitual use of no knowledge but his own, or that of some single adviser. - J. S. Mill, Considerations on Representative Government
    The market is a multitude of counselors. But unlike democracy, the counselors in the market put their money where their council is. Do you believe that supplying bread is a legitimate function of the private sector? If so, then you don't simply vote for bread, you spend for it. The sacrifice that you're willing to make for bread is more credible and reliable than cheap talk.

    For God so loved the world that he sacrificed his only son to save it. Imagine the democratic version of this story... for God so loved the world that he voted for it. This would reveal absolutely nothing about the size of God's love for the world.

    According to the Bible, we shouldn't hide our light under a bushel. A vote doesn't reveal how bright your light is, only sacrifice can do this. Therefore, the legitimate functions of government can only be optimally determined by each and every taxpayer having the freedom to use their own taxes to shine a light on the most legitimate functions. Then, and only then, will the proper scope of government be known.

  8. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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)
    Because none of the things I said about government apply to a church, you don't need a church to keep another church from being forced on you.



    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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...



    Look, I am not an anarcho-capitalist. Like you, I believe that free-riding is a real problem. However, unlike you, I also believe that forced-riding is a real problem. This is why I am a pragmatarian. I believe that people should be free to choose where their taxes go. This way the legitimate scope of government will be determined by a multitude of taxpayers...


    The market is a multitude of counselors. But unlike democracy, the counselors in the market put their money where their council is. Do you believe that supplying bread is a legitimate function of the private sector? If so, then you don't simply vote for bread, you spend for it. The sacrifice that you're willing to make for bread is more credible and reliable than cheap talk.

    For God so loved the world that he sacrificed his only son to save it. Imagine the democratic version of this story... for God so loved the world that he voted for it. This would reveal absolutely nothing about the size of God's love for the world.

    According to the Bible, we shouldn't hide our light under a bushel. A vote doesn't reveal how bright your light is, only sacrifice can do this. Therefore, the legitimate functions of government can only be optimally determined by each and every taxpayer having the freedom to use their own taxes to shine a light on the most legitimate functions. Then, and only then, will the proper scope of government be known.
    What are you proposing?
    Would you collect taxes and then let each taxpayer set how much of their taxes go for what budget item?
    Taxpayers don't have the necessary information or coordination to allocate their money appropriately and the government wouldn't know how much to tax without a budget plan.

    Or are you suggesting that people be allowed to donate or not donate to specific budget items?
    In addition to the information and coordination problems above you will have a free rider problem and the government will become beholden to its major donors and serve their interests at the expense of everyone else.



    The legitimate functions of government are to protect the citizens' right from enemies foreign and domestic and administer justice, you don't want to let the market expand on those and legitimize bigger government by funding it and saying that the voluntary funding makes it right.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  9. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Because none of the things I said about government apply to a church, you don't need a church to keep another church from being forced on you.
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    What are you proposing?
    Would you collect taxes and then let each taxpayer set how much of their taxes go for what budget item?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Taxpayers don't have the necessary information or coordination to allocate their money appropriately and the government wouldn't know how much to tax without a budget plan.
    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.

    But it's not like Netflix is going to agree to experiment with giving subscribers the freedom to earmark their fees. It's even less likely that the government will agree to giving taxpayers the freedom to earmark their taxes.

    The thing is, in both cases consumers would be using their money to rank the content (broadly speaking). What do you think would happen if donors to this website could use their money to rank the content? All the money would be given to the owner of this website, but donors could use their donated money to highlight the best threads. Promoting the best threads would be a perk of donating.

    Right now none of us know what the demand is for topics. I supplied this topic because I want to talk about it. You replied because you want to talk about it. We can clearly see there's some interest in this topic, but this really isn't the same thing as seeing and knowing the demand for this topic. What's your demand for this topic? I have absolutely no idea. I don't even know what my demand is for this topic. Demand can only be revealed when people have the opportunity to spend their money for something. Right now we don't have the opportunity to spend our money for this topic.

    Have you ever argued that donors should have the opportunity to use their donations to help allocate attention to the best threads? In other words, have you ever argued that this forum should be a market? Have you ever argued that we should see and know the demand for topics?

    You have this idea that the supply of topics is adequate even though we've never known the demand for topics. Basically, you believe that things can be adequately supplied even when there isn't a market. I believe otherwise. I believe that markets are the only way that the supply can be adequate. This is just as true for this forum as it is for Netflix and the government.

    Part of the issue is that you have primarily focused on the "rights" side of libertarianism. I, on the other hand, have primarily focused on the economic side of libertarianism. That's the same link that I included in the OP. I highly suggest allocating some of your attention to the economic side of libertarianism. This would help you explain why vegetarians shouldn't be forced to subsidize meat. Basically, the optimal supply depends on honest signals. This is just as true for brain food as it is for stomach food.

    Admittedly, maybe you're correct that taxpayers don't have the information and they wouldn't be able to coordinate. The beauty of "my" idea is that we can use this forum to test whether turning it into a market would improve the supply of topics.

  10. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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?
    You don't seem to understand, the general rule is that nobody should be forced to fund anything, they have a right to keep the fruits of their labor and to only spend it on what they choose, it is necessary to give a reason for any exception not for the general rule, I gave an explanation for why legitimate government functions are an exception and pointed out that a church does not have any such reasons and therefore is not an exception to the rule.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.

    But it's not like Netflix is going to agree to experiment with giving subscribers the freedom to earmark their fees. It's even less likely that the government will agree to giving taxpayers the freedom to earmark their taxes.

    The thing is, in both cases consumers would be using their money to rank the content (broadly speaking). What do you think would happen if donors to this website could use their money to rank the content? All the money would be given to the owner of this website, but donors could use their donated money to highlight the best threads. Promoting the best threads would be a perk of donating.

    Right now none of us know what the demand is for topics. I supplied this topic because I want to talk about it. You replied because you want to talk about it. We can clearly see there's some interest in this topic, but this really isn't the same thing as seeing and knowing the demand for this topic. What's your demand for this topic? I have absolutely no idea. I don't even know what my demand is for this topic. Demand can only be revealed when people have the opportunity to spend their money for something. Right now we don't have the opportunity to spend our money for this topic.

    Have you ever argued that donors should have the opportunity to use their donations to help allocate attention to the best threads? In other words, have you ever argued that this forum should be a market? Have you ever argued that we should see and know the demand for topics?

    You have this idea that the supply of topics is adequate even though we've never known the demand for topics. Basically, you believe that things can be adequately supplied even when there isn't a market. I believe otherwise. I believe that markets are the only way that the supply can be adequate. This is just as true for this forum as it is for Netflix and the government.

    Part of the issue is that you have primarily focused on the "rights" side of libertarianism. I, on the other hand, have primarily focused on the economic side of libertarianism. That's the same link that I included in the OP. I highly suggest allocating some of your attention to the economic side of libertarianism. This would help you explain why vegetarians shouldn't be forced to subsidize meat. Basically, the optimal supply depends on honest signals. This is just as true for brain food as it is for stomach food.

    Admittedly, maybe you're correct that taxpayers don't have the information and they wouldn't be able to coordinate. The beauty of "my" idea is that we can use this forum to test whether turning it into a market would improve the supply of topics.
    But entertainment and information are different than protecting rights and administering justice, the only factor determining their necessity is the choices of the consumer, protection of rights and administering justice have their priorities determined by the enemies and criminals that must by opposed more than by the whims of the citizens protected.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  11. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    You don't seem to understand, the general rule is that nobody should be forced to fund anything, they have a right to keep the fruits of their labor and to only spend it on what they choose, it is necessary to give a reason for any exception not for the general rule, I gave an explanation for why legitimate government functions are an exception and pointed out that a church does not have any such reasons and therefore is not an exception to the rule.
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    But entertainment and information are different than protecting rights and administering justice, the only factor determining their necessity is the choices of the consumer, protection of rights and administering justice have their priorities determined by the enemies and criminals that must by opposed more than by the whims of the citizens protected.
    I'm not sure that I understand. Are you saying that it's not a big deal if Netflix supplies the wrong amount of nature shows... but it is a big deal if the government supplies the wrong amount of defense?

    If Netflix subscribers could earmark their fees.... would this improve, or worsen, or not change the supply of nature shows?

    Right now the private sector is primarily responsible for supplying food. What would happen if this responsibility was transferred to the government? Would the supply of food improve, worsen, or stay the same? To be clear, I'm not talking about a pragmatarian government, I'm talking about the current type of government. Politicians would determine the supply of food just like they currently determine the supply of defense.

    And please, for goodness sake, don't tell me that the private sector is adequately effective at supplying food. I already know this. What I want to know is why you think it would be problematic for the public sector to supply the food. I already know my answer to this question. What I don't know is your answer to this question.

    My answer to this question is that the Great Leap Forward is an example of what happens when the government tries to supply food. Well yeah, politicians suck at supplying private goods. But why would you believe that this is only true for private goods? Do you think Mao got the supply of food really wrong but he got the supply of defense really right? This might help you answer the question...

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron…Is there no other way the world may live? - Dwight D. Eisenhower
    The reason that markets work is because they get the balance right. The public sector right now is not a market, therefore, the balance of public goods is really wrong.

    Do you not believe me? It's easy enough to test this "theory". We just need to turn this forum into a market. Then we'd all see whether or not the balance of topics noticeably improved.
    Last edited by Xerographica; 07-15-2018 at 08:06 PM.

  12. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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?
    If you want a deeper explanation then yes it is immoral and it is also illogical.



    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    I'm not sure that I understand. Are you saying that it's not a big deal if Netflix supplies the wrong amount of nature shows... but it is a big deal if the government supplies the wrong amount of defense?
    I am saying that the only factor that determines the "right" amount of nature shows is the whims of the customers but that outside forces determine how much defense or administration of justice is needed, the "customers" of government don't have the requisite information to determine individually how much to budget for those needs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    If Netflix subscribers could earmark their fees.... would this improve, or worsen, or not change the supply of nature shows?
    It would probably improve the "correctness" of the supply of nature shows or any other kind of show but that is not relevant to government for the reasons I have explained.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Right now the private sector is primarily responsible for supplying food. What would happen if this responsibility was transferred to the government? Would the supply of food improve, worsen, or stay the same? To be clear, I'm not talking about a pragmatarian government, I'm talking about the current type of government. Politicians would determine the supply of food just like they currently determine the supply of defense.

    And please, for goodness sake, don't tell me that the private sector is adequately effective at supplying food. I already know this. What I want to know is why you think it would be problematic for the public sector to supply the food. I already know the answer to this question. What I don't know is your answer to this question.
    Any government would be terrible at supplying the public with food, the people have better information individually about what they need and want in their diets than government ever could and there is no third force involved in that market like criminals, tyrants or conquerors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    My answer to this question is that the Great Leap Forward is an example of what happens when the government tries to supply food. Well yeah, politicians suck at supplying private goods. But why would you believe that this is only true for private goods? Do you think Mao got the supply of food really wrong but he got the supply of defense really right? This might help you answer the question...
    He undoubtedly got the supply of defense against outside enemies more right than he did the supply of food, the important question is whether individuals would be able to get the supply of defense and justice administration more correct than the government would, I maintain that they lack the information to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    The reason that markets work is because they get the balance right. The public sector right now is not a market, therefore, the balance of public goods is really wrong.
    But letting the public earmark their taxes would make the problem worse not better, the public has worse information than the state does about the relevant factors, also the two biggest problems are not about the distribution of expenditures but about the kinds that take place their size, much of the public would allocate their taxes for the illegitimate government functions and the public would not control the size of expenditures since you said you only wanted them to allocate their tax bill rather than determine its size.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Do you not believe me? It's easy enough to test this "theory". We just need to turn this forum into a market. Then we'd all see whether or not the balance of topics noticeably improved.
    Your idea might or might not work for this site (if you like your idea Bryan has a thread asking for suggestions on how to improve the site) but it wouldn't work for government, using it on government would be like suggesting that site members be allowed to dictate to Bryan how much of his budget could be used to maintain the site and defend against hackers, that would definitely be a bad idea.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment



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  14. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    He undoubtedly got the supply of defense against outside enemies more right than he did the supply of food, the important question is whether individuals would be able to get the supply of defense and justice administration more correct than the government would, I maintain that they lack the information to do so.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Your idea might or might not work for this site (if you like your idea Bryan has a thread asking for suggestions on how to improve the site) but it wouldn't work for government, using it on government would be like suggesting that site members be allowed to dictate to Bryan how much of his budget could be used to maintain the site and defend against hackers, that would definitely be a bad idea.
    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?

    There's no logical half-way position. You either do, or do not, trust the market to determine the relative importance of things.

    Here's a fact... everybody's perspective is extremely limited. Here's another fact... everybody's perspective is different. This means that everybody's perspective is unequally limited.

    You and I don't know the same exact things. We haven't had the same exact experiences. We haven't had the same exact jobs. We haven't lived in the same exact places. We haven't interacted with the same exact people. We haven't participated in the same exact forums. We haven't read the same exact books or articles.

    Our perspectives are both extremely limited, but not equally so, which is exactly why two heads are better than one. The combined perspectives of a group of people is less limited than the perspective of any member of the group. The market is by far the most effective/efficient way for people to combine their perspectives.

    The aliens that asked you why, exactly, they shouldn't enslave you would already know the answer. They would know that enslaving you would marginally decrease, rather than increase, their collective intelligence.

  15. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    I understand completely but your proposed solution doesn't solve the problem or even help it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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?
    There are cases where one person violates the rights of others in direct measurable ways by damaging the environment, it would be government's job to adjudicate such matters but legislating broad rules and bans based on scientific guesses is unjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Do you not trust politicians to decide how tax dollars should be divided between the DoD and the EPA?
    There shouldn't be an EPA, but to be fair and answer the spirit of your question I will say that I trust politicians to decide how tax dollars should be divided between the military and the justice system more than I trust an uninformed public to do so properly.



    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    There most certainly is a logical halfway position, I trust the public more than politicians when it comes to environmental issues that the government can't possibly have as good or better information about than the public and I trust the government more than the public on defense and justice issues that the public can't possibly have as good or better information about than the government.
    In other words I trust the entity with the best information in each different case.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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?
    When did I ever say it was a good idea for the market to dictate how much of the private sector's funding is allocated to computers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    There's no logical half-way position. You either do, or do not, trust the market to determine the relative importance of things.
    Only when the market is the best informed entity involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Here's a fact... everybody's perspective is extremely limited. Here's another fact... everybody's perspective is different. This means that everybody's perspective is unequally limited.

    You and I don't know the same exact things. We haven't had the same exact experiences. We haven't had the same exact jobs. We haven't lived in the same exact places. We haven't interacted with the same exact people. We haven't participated in the same exact forums. We haven't read the same exact books or articles.

    Our perspectives are both extremely limited, but not equally so, which is exactly why two heads are better than one. The combined perspectives of a group of people is less limited than the perspective of any member of the group. The market is by far the most effective/efficient way for people to combine their perspectives.
    Bryan has the best perspective to decide how much money to spend on site maintenance and hacking defenses, a much better perspective than random members would have, the government has a much better perspective on how to allocate money for defense and justice than the average taxpayer does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    The aliens that asked you why, exactly, they shouldn't enslave you would already know the answer. They would know that enslaving you would marginally decrease, rather than increase, their collective intelligence.
    But it would increase their personal or group wealth, the reasons they should not do it are that it is immoral and that it creates a precedent that would possibly allow them to be enslaved either by their fellow aliens or by humans in the case of a successful rebellion.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  16. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    There most certainly is a logical halfway position, I trust the public more than politicians when it comes to environmental issues that the government can't possibly have as good or better information about than the public and I trust the government more than the public on defense and justice issues that the public can't possibly have as good or better information about than the government.
    In other words I trust the entity with the best information in each different case.
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    There most certainly is a logical halfway position, I trust the public more than politicians when it comes to environmental issues that the government can't possibly have as good or better information about than the public and I trust the government more than the public on defense and justice issues that the public can't possibly have as good or better information about than the government.
    In other words I trust the entity with the best information in each different case.
    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.

    If the DoD wants more money, then let it try and persuade a multitude of taxpayers. Let millions of people carefully scrutinize the DoD's needs and compare them to the EPA's needs. Let the market decide whether the threat from foreigners is more clear and present than the threat from climate change. I trust the market's verdict far more than I trust congress's verdict.

  17. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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?
    I think you passed it up the chain of command and eventually analyses were given to Congress and the President, biased as those reports to Congress and the President likely were they were more and better information than the average taxpayer had.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    But the DoD doesn't have the requisite economic and political information, they also have a greater incentive to distort their judgement in favor of ever expanding spending than Congress does.

    Besides your idea does nothing to solve the problem of ever expanding spending, the taxpayer wouldn't get to control the size of their tax bill just its allocation, if too many of them allocated their money differently than Congress would then Congress would raise taxes until the under allocated expenditures received as much money as they wanted them to and the over allocated expenditures would be over supplied.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    I have identified an information issue that has never been identified before because nobody else has ever proposed your idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    Anyone will tell you that only computer scientists should be designing hardware, firmware and software, after they design the systems they give the consumer condensed information about them so that they may choose from the various competing products.
    In this case the "computer scientists" are politicians like Ron Paul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    If the DoD wants more money, then let it try and persuade a multitude of taxpayers. Let millions of people carefully scrutinize the DoD's needs and compare them to the EPA's needs. Let the market decide whether the threat from foreigners is more clear and present than the threat from climate change. I trust the market's verdict far more than I trust congress's verdict.
    It will still be a political and propaganda exercise rather than a "market" action because the people don't have the required information.
    All you will have accomplished is to turn our government into more of a direct democracy which our founders wisely knew to avoid.
    People would allocate their money based on partisan propaganda and little would change except that taxes would likely go up so that Congress could fund the least allocated items to its satisfaction.

    The only improvement that can be made to government expenditures is to eliminate the illegitimate functions of the government (like the EPA) so that they receive $0 and elect those who will reign in the overspending on the legitimate functions, it would be necessary to do those under your system as well in order to achieve anything and your system would offer no additional advantages.

    It troubles me that you keep listing the EPA as a legitimate government function (especially at the federal level) and that you seem to believe in "climate change" and that the government could do anything about it if it were real.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  18. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    . 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.
    We've been down this rabbit hole before, but define "free riders".
    "The Patriarch"

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post

    Not going to happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    The man did not think clearly. It was almost as if he had brain cancer of something.

  19. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Besides your idea does nothing to solve the problem of ever expanding spending, the taxpayer wouldn't get to control the size of their tax bill just its allocation, if too many of them allocated their money differently than Congress would then Congress would raise taxes until the under allocated expenditures received as much money as they wanted them to and the over allocated expenditures would be over supplied.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I have identified an information issue that has never been identified before because nobody else has ever proposed your idea.
    James Buchanan proposed this idea decades ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    People would allocate their money based on partisan propaganda and little would change except that taxes would likely go up so that Congress could fund the least allocated items to its satisfaction.
    Partisan propaganda? Do you spend your money on bread because of partisan propaganda? Of course not. Pragmatarianism would make political parties completely pointless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The only improvement that can be made to government expenditures is to eliminate the illegitimate functions of the government (like the EPA) so that they receive $0 and elect those who will reign in the overspending on the legitimate functions, it would be necessary to do those under your system as well in order to achieve anything and your system would offer no additional advantages.
    You have this idea that taxpayers, if given a choice, would choose to spend their taxes on the illegitimate functions of government. But if the private sector is adequately supplying education, for example, then why in the world would taxpayers choose to spend their taxes on education? When you put enough bread in your shopping cart, do you continue putting even more broad in there? Do you take home a dozen more loaves of bread than you truly need? Of course not. The market works because each and every consumer can decide for themselves what counts as "enough" bread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    It troubles me that you keep listing the EPA as a legitimate government function (especially at the federal level) and that you seem to believe in "climate change" and that the government could do anything about it if it were real.
    The world's forests are being decimated and this won't have any effect on the climate? There's nothing that the government can do? Are you sure?

    Nature is a public good, which means that it's subject to the problem of free-riding. ALL public goods are subject to the free-rider problem. You "conveniently" believe that free-riding is only a problem for defense, justice and police. But nope, free-riding is a problem for ALL public goods.

    You have the weird libertarian mindset that politicians are trustworthy and wise only when it comes to defense, courts and police, but untrustworthy and stupid for everything else. In my pragmatarianism mindset... politicians are always untrustworthy and stupid. Command economies can't get the supply of anything right. The sooner you accept this fundamental fact, the sooner we can fundamentally fix the government.

  20. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    We've been down this rabbit hole before, but define "free riders".
    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.

  21. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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
    Your planet has its own government, thatís odd. I can tell you donít have much knowledge about the history of the bill of rights, but to make it simple, they donít grant any rights, they discuss rights which predate the US government, ie the constitution, and remind the federal government of those natural rights.


    For the longest time people were allowed to drink alcohol Drinking alcohol was never prohibited, learn your history. Then the majority of voters decided that alcohol should be prohibite this isnít a democracy , 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. Youíre off topic again

    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.
    Which judge wrote this decision?
    Now, everything aside, do you truly think it's beneficial to force people to pay for things that they consider to be seriously stupid? Do you believe it's a good idea to take away people's freedom to boycott seriously stupid things?

    On the planet that I want to live on, everybody has the freedom to boycott seriously stupid things.

    You typed quite a lot, but You havenít written a single post acknowledging the taxation portions written in the constitution. There isnít much point continuing this topic if you avoid those facts as they directly contradict your subject title.



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  23. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by TommyJeff View Post
    You typed quite a lot, but You havenít written a single post acknowledging the taxation portions written in the constitution. There isnít much point continuing this topic if you avoid those facts as they directly contradict your subject title.
    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.

  24. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Here's the post that I wrote acknowledging the taxation portions written in the constitutio this fails to recognize the times taxation is mentioned in article 1, the 16th amendment isn’t the only place taxation is listed 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.there is no authority for the court to do this. Show me evidence of the court’s power to alter the constitution, only amendments can do such a thing. The first amendment says Congress cannot make a law outlawing (my word) freedom of speech. In what way did the court alter that or interpret that? The first amendment does not address the constitutional portions of 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 Bucha this material is irrelevant to your topic. None of it explains the supreme court’s authority to unilaterally change entire sections of the Constitution. Nor does it explain how the first amendment (which includes far more than speech) supersedes article 1 with respect to taxation. You’re making an economic debate, not a constitutional argument. I will say again, your title is wrong and you posted this in the wrong sub forum for the debate you’re trying to have .
    If you’d like to discuss the constitution, I will continue to engage but you’ve offered zero constitutional support of your argument to date. I hope your title is proven true and maybe we can continue this on a different sub forum, but unless you address the constitution in your next reply to me, I won’t be responding, and you may have the final word. Whatever you decided, I wish you well, and I thank you for the discussion

  25. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by TommyJeff View Post
    If youíd like to discuss the constitution, I will continue to engage but youíve offered zero constitutional support of your argument to date. I hope your title is proven true and maybe we can continue this on a different sub forum, but unless you address the constitution in your next reply to me, I wonít be responding, and you may have the final word. Whatever you decided, I wish you well, and I thank you for the discussion
    Out of curiosity, have you actually read the Supreme Court's opinion?

  26. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    I only trust them so far and more than I trust the uninformed public, I also do not think that they currently optimally estimate the importance of the DoD but the uninformed public will do worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    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.
    Then you are letting people choose how much to pay in taxes if any?
    In addition to the information and coordination problems you will have a free rider problem and the government will become beholden to its major donors and serve their interests at the expense of everyone else.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    James Buchanan proposed this idea decades ago.
    That is nice but it still hasn't had much discussion and I have identified an information problem with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Partisan propaganda? Do you spend your money on bread because of partisan propaganda? Of course not. Pragmatarianism would make political parties completely pointless.
    In the first place many consumers do choose their food purchases based on advertising propaganda and in the second the average taxpayer doesn't have the kind of information about the government budget that he does about his own food preferences, people would go to politicians and pundits for recommendations on how to allocate their tax dollars.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    You have this idea that taxpayers, if given a choice, would choose to spend their taxes on the illegitimate functions of government. But if the private sector is adequately supplying education, for example, then why in the world would taxpayers choose to spend their taxes on education? When you put enough bread in your shopping cart, do you continue putting even more broad in there? Do you take home a dozen more loaves of bread than you truly need? Of course not. The market works because each and every consumer can decide for themselves what counts as "enough" bread.
    Education is different than most government functions, it comes closest to being a valuable service that consumers know about, many people would allocate their tax dollars for illegitimate functions of government like the EPA, OSHA, etc. in order to use government force to make others do what they want.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    The world's forests are being decimated and this won't have any effect on the climate? There's nothing that the government can do? Are you sure?
    Are they?
    If they are the market can't deal with it?
    Can the government do anything that won't violate the rights of people?
    Is the government likely to do anything that would actually help the problem instead of making it worse?
    Are you sure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    Nature is a public good, which means that it's subject to the problem of free-riding. ALL public goods are subject to the free-rider problem. You "conveniently" believe that free-riding is only a problem for defense, justice and police. But nope, free-riding is a problem for ALL public goods.
    Government can't be trusted to be the custodian of nature without violating people's rights and causing more problems that it helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xerographica View Post
    You have the weird libertarian mindset that politicians are trustworthy and wise only when it comes to defense, courts and police, but untrustworthy and stupid for everything else. In my pragmatarianism mindset... politicians are always untrustworthy and stupid. Command economies can't get the supply of anything right. The sooner you accept this fundamental fact, the sooner we can fundamentally fix the government.
    Some things government has better knowledge of than the average man, most things the average man has better knowledge, government must handle those things it has the best knowledge of even if its knowledge and handling of them is mediocre because those with worse knowledge would handle them even worse.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankindÖitís people I canít stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  27. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Then you are letting people choose how much to pay in taxes if any?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    That is nice but it still hasn't had much discussion and I have identified an information problem with it.
    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.

    Right now the demand for defense is unknown. The demand for defense has never been known. Your belief is that we don't need to know the demand for defense. But you also believe that free-riding is a real problem. Except, free-riding is only a problem because it prevents us from knowing the demand for defense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Education is different than most government functions, it comes closest to being a valuable service that consumers know about, many people would allocate their tax dollars for illegitimate functions of government like the EPA, OSHA, etc. in order to use government force to make others do what they want.
    As opposed to the majority using their votes to force others to do what they want?

    Do you want to force people to pay taxes? If so, then in a pragmatarian system you'd have to worry about whether the IRS was adequately funded. If you perceived that the IRS was not adequately funded, then you'd have spend your taxes accordingly.

    Whether we're talking about democracy, markets, or socialism (congress), the entire point is to beneficially regulate each other's behavior. My firm belief is that people reaching into their own wallets is the best way for behavior to be beneficially regulated. The alternatives are anathema to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Government can't be trusted to be the custodian of nature without violating people's rights and causing more problems that it helps.
    You either do, or do not, trust congress. You either do, or do not, think it's necessary to know the demand for things.
    Last edited by Xerographica; 07-17-2018 at 09:07 PM.

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