Tax reform as easy as 1, 2, 3

posted at 2:41 pm on August 10, 2012 by Rob Bluey

Republicans have promised to finally overhaul America’s tax code next year. Reform is long overdue. Now it’s a matter of what direction lawmakers should take.

While some of the GOP’s pragmatists have already balked at being bold, now is exactly the time to take that message to the American people. They’re looking for solutions, not excuses. And there’s one plan that stands out: the New Flat Tax. It features one rate, two credits, three deductions. It’s that simple.

The plan is part of The Heritage Foundation’s comprehensive solution for fixing America’s debt problem and restoring prosperity. As a Heritage employee, I’m naturally biased. But my personal preference for the flat tax predates my tenure at the think tank. It was 16 years ago, as Steve Forbes pursued the presidency, when the flat tax first appeared on many people’s radar, including my own.

There are few chances to fundamentally transform policy in Washington. The last major tax reform came in 1986 under President Ronald Reagan. So if Republicans are serious about tackling the tax code, they need to start preparing Americans now. (Lest we forget about the botched attempt at Social Security reform in 2005.)

Before we get into the details of the New Flat Tax, it’s important to first understand why tax reform is necessary. Heritage’s J.D. Foster explains:

America’s federal tax code is complicated beyond imagining. The arrival of personal computers and tax software has permitted the creativity of policymakers in Washington to run amok, creating tax complexities far beyond what even tax professionals could manage unaided by electronics. There are a multitude of credits, exemptions, and deductions, many of which are subject to special rules and phase out over different levels of income. As if this was not bad enough, there is a parallel tax called the Alternative Minimum Tax, and yet another in the payroll tax that funds Social Security and part of Medicare. And, all of this complexity imposed on individual taxpayers is relatively minor compared to the tortuous rules and exceptions businesses great and small must suffer.

That complexity is something almost all lawmakers will acknowledge. Last week, as the House voted on a plan to make tax reform a priority in 2013, differences began to emerge about how to fix the broken system.

“If you were to distill down the single adjective that was to describe what members are looking for in tax reform, it would be bold,” Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Yet the same story revealed that Republicans are already ruling out bold ideas. The GOP’s set of tax-reform principles would apparently make it impossible to implement a flat tax. Some of those principles include reducing the number of individual tax brackets from six to two, lowering the top rate of 35 percent to 25 percent and abolishing the problematic alternative minimum tax.

By contrast, the New Fair Tax creates a single rate that ensures individuals are taxed only once on their income. That rate, around 28 percent, applies to wages and salaries. Remember, the New Flat Tax abolishes payroll taxes, so this rate is much lower than the combined income and payroll tax rate the middle class pays today. And the rate would decline over time so the new tax code never raises more than the current code has raised on average historically. Importantly, savings would be taxed only when spent, encouraging more Americans to save money now rather than rely on the government later in life.

Simplicity is the selling point for a flat tax, and this plan honors that principle. There are just two credits: a $3,500 health insurance tax credit for low-income and middle-income families as well as the current Earned Income Credit.

The plan has three deductions: one that lets taxpayers deduct expenses for higher education, another that preserves deductions for charitable contributions, and a third that makes the home mortgage interest deduction optional.

Think for a moment what this truly means. No longer would your paycheck have separate line items for Medicare and Social Security. And the money you save is not taxed until you spend it.

There’s more detail in Foster’s paper, but here’s the whole plan explained in under two minutes:

Lawmakers will have a choice next year on tax reform. If they want to go bold and set America on a path to prosperity, they’ll make substantive changes like the New Flat Tax.

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey


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Same as in the frontier West: a group of private citizens. You wouldn’t last a day.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Apparently you don’t know a damned thing about the frontier west.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Private law. Private agencies. The free market. Freedom.

Still, I’d like you to answer my question, if you would: Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

And who enforces this “private law”? Whether you see it or not, the reality of what you describe would be similar to the old west – quickest draw rules the town.

Would there be roads? Perhaps. If enough people could get together to do the work and protect themselves from others who would take their tools and food – sort like a government entity of some kind providing a police force and/or military……
Where do think “government” originally came from? Fundamentally all it is is a group of people coordinating rules and activities for their group benefit. That’s the part you anarchists always seem to miss.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

The frontier west had a government. They had troops, police and judges.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Link 1

Link 2

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

No. Why would they be?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Because someone willing to use force and violence would come along and own them like slaves otherwise.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

No, I’m linking sites because someone asked how would we pay for the border patrol, military, NASA, etc., without taxation. The links had nothing to do with conservatism. Read the thread.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

You implied that anyone who supports reform before total elimination is not conservative in your very first comment. When pressed on it, you provided arguments from sites you identified as anarcho-capitalist. How is it that you don’t have sites to identify as conservative to back up your claim?

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

And who enforces this “private law”? Whether you see it or not, the reality of what you describe would be similar to the old west – quickest draw rules the town.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

The Wild West is a Hollywood myth. It is ironic, though, that you would cite the Old West since I’ve just linked to it being an example of how a private system could work.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

You implied that anyone who supports reform before total elimination is not conservative in your very first comment. When pressed on it, you provided arguments from sites you identified as anarcho-capitalist. How is it that you don’t have sites to identify as conservative to back up your claim?

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Oh, no. I’m not implying that anyone who supports tax reform isn’t a conservative. I am directly saying it.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Private law. Private agencies. The free market. Freedom.

Still, I’d like you to answer my question, if you would: Do you think roads wouldn’t exist without government?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Private law? Enforced by private agencies? So, you are advocating warlords basically… a return to feudalism? No government with “private laws” is pretty much what Somalia has now. How’s that working for them?

Yeah, roads would have been built. And every one of them would be toll roads. And they’d be ruled by those same private law-givers you seem to think would work so grandly.

Geez, Dante… think about it for a moment. You are basically advocating for a return to the feudalism of the middle ages, or else a Mad Max-esque future of feudal warlords demanding whatever their whim desires from those unlucky enough to live in whatever territory they happen to claim. And how would power change hands in these private law-making feifdoms? I’m sure it will be by peaceful means, right?

I’m a pretty hardcore libertarian, and even I recognize that there are functions of government that are nessecary.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

“Lawmakers will have a choice next year on tax reform. If they want to go bold and set America on a path to prosperity, they’ll make substantive changes like the New Flat Tax”

There is no choice, bold has to be the path. The only possibility of that happening is a historic sweep of the executive and legislative branches into conservative control. Not just GOP, but conservatives.

Chances of the wet noodles in Congress actually implementing a flat tax?
negative 500%

Chances that in 2014 we’ll pass the 50% mark where more people don’t pay any net federal taxes? 100%

smfic on August 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Western_Indian_Wars.jpg

Note the government cavalry posts and battles.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Private law? Enforced by private agencies? So, you are advocating warlords basically… a return to feudalism? No government with “private laws” is pretty much what Somalia has now. How’s that working for them?

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

No.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Why would they be the best they could be?

Glad you asked.

Because it would be in the owner’s best interest

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Who would be the owner, and for how many miles? What happens when I’m on the road of Mister A and come to the road of Mr. B, and he hates Mr. A?

Government is a balancing benefit if done properly. Which is why the Commerce Clause was originally written.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Oh, no. I’m not implying that anyone who supports tax reform isn’t a conservative. I am directly saying it.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

You dodged the question. Are you a coward? Here, I’ll update it for you:

You implieddirectly said that anyone who supports reform before total elimination is not conservative in your very first comment. When pressed on it, you provided arguments from sites you identified as anarcho-capitalist. How is it that you don’t have sites to identify as conservative to back up your claim?

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Some things never change. In medieval times a serf was required to give over 1/3 of what he made to the Lord of the Land and 1 son should the Lord need to go to War.

600 years later, the proposed “reform” is that we are required to give up nearly a third (28%) and entrance into the Army is “voluntary” (though those Selective Service Cards are right there).

Several studies have shown that 17.5% is the optimum Amount to fund a reasonable State and high growth (especially in a land with two sides defended by vast moats and to the North by Grinding Ice).

But the Libs want a VAST State, with minimal growth. They welcome the new Chinese overlords and admire their ability to rule effectively by decree.

The Income tax was introduced as a 3% tax one the “Millionaires” (Billionaires at the time). It is the function of Government to expand any tax to consume its people.

Implement such a tax at 17.5% on everyone, make anyone on Welfare (except for the crippled and the blind) pick our Tomatoes and radishes at Federal Minimum wage and Seal our Southern Border and then you have a society that can thrive.

But it is also not just the Taxes, it is the Regulations. Close the EPA, Commerce, Education, etc. and then businesses will stop fleeing to Vietnam.

Otherwise you are just shifting chairs on the Titanic.

Bulletchaser on August 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I’m a pretty hardcore libertarian, and even I recognize that there are functions of government that are nessecary.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Well of course you would. That’s a tenet of libertarianism.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

The Wild West is a Hollywood myth. It is ironic, though, that you would cite the Old West since I’ve just linked to it being an example of how a private system could work.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

And in your “private system”, who calls the shots? Who makes the decisions about what the private system will or will not do?
Whether you see it or not, what you propose is still essentially a government entity wherein either a committee (like a legislative body) or a single leader/manager/CEO (more like a dictator) makes the decisions. You have still created a system of government, but you’re just calling it something different.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Let’s get back to taxation.

Can we agree that our earnings are our property?

I think we would all agree about that.

Can we agree, then, that taxation is theft at the point of a gun?

Some may disagree, but what happens if you don’t pay your taxes? Someone with a gun will be knocking on your door, and you’ll eventually have your property seized and/or will be incarcerated.

Can we agree that we all have a right to our property, and that no one can claim a right to another’s property?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

The Wild West is a Hollywood myth. It is ironic, though, that you would cite the Old West since I’ve just linked to it being an example of how a private system could work.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

\

Contrary to your pathetic delusions the Wild West operated under a Governmental system that applied violent brutal force to maintain the equal observation of a structured legal system.

Federal Marshall’s, Federal Troops and Circuit Justices handed out extremely strict penalties for breaking Federally imposed laws. 20 year prison sentences and public hangings were the rule of the day.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

And in your “private system”, who calls the shots? Who makes the decisions about what the private system will or will not do?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

The free market.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Let’s get back to taxation.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

No. You claim that tax elimination is the only conservative mindset on the issue of taxes. To back that up, you provide anarcho-capitalist websites. Yet you claim that anarcho-capitalism is not part of conservatism.

Explain the contradiction.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Can we agree that our earnings are our property?

I think we would all agree about that.

No.

Without government of some sort there is no property just brute force.

Can we agree, then, that taxation is theft at the point of a gun?

No.

Theft implies an enforced moral code and laws that forbid such actions.

Can we agree that we all have a right to our property, and that no one can claim a right to another’s property?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

No.

If I can take what you have then its mine for as long as I can keep it from others.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

You could always put your theories to the test, you know.

Use only the roads you and your enclave built. Never use the Interstate highways or an other roads built with taxpayer dollars.

Make your own firearms, since guns are regulated by government.

Grow your own food and milk your own cows, since all others come under FDA auspices.

Never go to a hospital when you’re sick or injured, because government keeps oversight to be sure the medical care is the best it can be.

In short: Do it all on your own.

I’d send flowers to your funeral, except your address would be known to the Postal Service, and you don’t want that.

You also can’t have a cemetery plot except on your own land, since funerals, burials, and cremations are also under government auspices.

Shame you never thought all that through.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Explain the contradiction.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:50 PM

He doesn’t have to. Only Dante the Magnificent gets to define the terms of the debate. Only he decides what is contradictory in your mind.

Dante/HisReflection 2012!!

CurtZHP on August 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

CurtZHP on August 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

This is ultimately the problem. I probably agree with Dante more than most commenters, but I dislike him because he won’t address his own contradictions and poor debate tactics…particularly his appalling narcissistic attitude that anyone who disagrees with him on anything is not conservative. We’ve got enough other idiots on this site with that same paradigm.

I’ll give him this, though: he’s definitely worked on toning down the latter. He used to get a lot more personal when cornered.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 3:56 PM

The free market.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

A free market comprised of – what?
Corporations? Ok – so the corporations rule the world (just for fun, see the movie Rollerball).
So who calls the shots within each corporation? CEO, Board of Directors – is that really much different from a President and Congress/Legislature?.
So when one corporation works the free market well enough to consume or destroy all competition, what kind of state is the “free market” in at that point?
Which corporation gets the authority to decide what to do with someone who kills and steals (the quick draw guy who wants to be a big shot)?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Which corporation gets the authority to decide what to do with someone who kills and steals (the quick draw guy who wants to be a big shot)?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

That’s why there would ultimately be wars between corporations.

As a species, human beings unfortunately can never go for too long without needing to kill each other. Which is why the United States has been the best compromise for quite a while.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 4:01 PM

I guess Dante has left now that he’s discovered he can’t control the conversation to his liking.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Can we agree that our earnings are our property?

I think we would all agree about that.

No.

Without government of some sort there is no property just brute force.

You aren’t being intellectually honest. You are just disagreeing because it was I who typed it.

Our property rights stem from our right to exist. In fact, both are unalienable rights. They exist because we exist. The existence of property is not dependent on government. Besides, a home invasion is brute force. Armed robbery is brute force. Are you then saying that there is no property because brute force exists?

Can we agree, then, that taxation is theft at the point of a gun?

No.

Theft implies an enforced moral code and laws that forbid such actions.

Theft does not imply laws that forbid such actions. Is there a morality attached to it? Yes, of course. But there is no taxation without government. Taxation is theft; it is the compulsory seizure of property by the state.

Can we agree that we all have a right to our property, and that no one can claim a right to another’s property?

No.

If I can take what you have then its mine for as long as I can keep it from others.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I don’t think you understand the concept of rights. There is no way you can claim a right to anyone’s property. From where does this right come from? Nowhere. But you strike on the heart of the question without realizing it: to make a claim of rights for another’s property, force must be involved.

Thank you for contradicting yourself and making my point.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

A free market comprised of – what?
Corporations? Ok – so the corporations rule the world (just for fun, see the movie Rollerball).
So who calls the shots within each corporation? CEO, Board of Directors – is that really much different from a President and Congress/Legislature?.
So when one corporation works the free market well enough to consume or destroy all competition, what kind of state is the “free market” in at that point?
Which corporation gets the authority to decide what to do with someone who kills and steals (the quick draw guy who wants to be a big shot)?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The free market is comprised of two individals that simply agree to a voluntary exhange of goods and/or services.

Do you think private entities are equal to government? No. Government is inherently force. Private organizations and companies exist out of voluntary assocations. There is nothing voluntary about government. I can’t just opt out of it without government exerting force against me.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

That’s why there would ultimately be wars between corporations.

As a species, human beings unfortunately can never go for too long without needing to kill each other. Which is why the United States has been the best compromise for quite a while.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Precisely.
Dante has no answer for his contradictions that have been spotlighted.
Any way that people get together to work out mutually beneficial rules of conduct – whether you call it corporate management or government – it’s all the same thing and is still necessary for a civilised functional society.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

You are living under the same delusion as Karl Marx, Dante. You are just coming at it from a different angle. I think much to any conservative or libertarian’s dismay, some form of government is a nessecary evil. There is no anarchic utopia (or communist utopia, as Marx envisioned) because there is this thing called “human nature”. These utopias that you and Marx want to live in require an assumption that everyone in said utopia lives a completely altruistic life, everyone happy and cheery and treating each other with respect and kindness. The problem is, there is ALWAYS someone who will take advantage of that situation to exert power over others… it is human nature. We see it and discuss it here on HA every day when we discuss the greed and selfishness of our politicians in Washington.

There is no escaping human nature.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

The free market is comprised of two individals that simply agree to a voluntary exhange of goods and/or services.

Do you think private entities are equal to government? No. Government is inherently force. Private organizations and companies exist out of voluntary assocations. There is nothing voluntary about government. I can’t just opt out of it without government exerting force against me.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

And when one of those 2 individuals decides to just kill the other one and just take what he has, who stops him from doing so, or stops him from continuing to do so with others?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I don’t think you understand the concept of rights. There is no way you can claim a right to anyone’s property. From where does this right come from? Nowhere. But you strike on the heart of the question without realizing it: to make a claim of rights for another’s property, force must be involved.

Thank you for contradicting yourself and making my point.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I imagine you claim a right to live, with which I won’t argue.

But if you need to go to a hospital, and can’t pay for your treatment, who foots the bill?

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Rule of Threads:

What was the topic?

Oh yes, Flat Tax.

But the Bakunin stuff is entertaining. Well, not really.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

You could always put your theories to the test, you know.

Use only the roads you and your enclave built. Never use the Interstate highways or an other roads built with taxpayer dollars.

Make your own firearms, since guns are regulated by government.

Grow your own food and milk your own cows, since all others come under FDA auspices.

Never go to a hospital when you’re sick or injured, because government keeps oversight to be sure the medical care is the best it can be.

In short: Do it all on your own.

I’d send flowers to your funeral, except your address would be known to the Postal Service, and you don’t want that.

You also can’t have a cemetery plot except on your own land, since funerals, burials, and cremations are also under government auspices.

Shame you never thought all that through.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

This is a repackaged love-it-or-leave-it argument. Do you think there have never been private roads in America? Do you think private roads don’t exist now?

But look at the conservative arguing for big government. Do you think government is necessary for hospitals to exist? Do you think government is necessary for firearms to exist? Do you think government is necessary for farms to exist?

It doesn’t take much to examine these things, but it does take a willingness to ask and learn.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

There is no escaping human nature.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Exactly what I’m trying to work Dante toward – well put.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

And when one of those 2 individuals decides to just kill the other one and just take what he has, who stops him from doing so, or stops him from continuing to do so with others?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Already answered in the numerous links I’ve provided.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Already answered in the numerous links I’ve provided.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

On a topic on which you claim you’re conservative, for which you provide anarcho-capitalist websites as argument sources, yet simultaneously admit that anarcho-capitalism is not part of conservatism.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 4:12 PM

No credits, no deductions, if you leave those in place you leave the door open for more being inserted as the years go by.

Personal income tax of 15% Flat from $15,000 and up on income earned in the US.
Corporate tax rate of 1.5% of Gross US revenues.

Taxes complete

Dead simple, with no room for lawyering around.

Nathan_OH on August 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I don’t think you understand the concept of rights. There is no way you can claim a right to anyone’s property. From where does this right come from? Nowhere. But you strike on the heart of the question without realizing it: to make a claim of rights for another’s property, force must be involved.

Thank you for contradicting yourself and making my point.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

In your system of non-government – I absolutely can claim a right to anyone else’s property – if I am bigger, stronger or better armed than they are. In your system, who would/could stop me except for someone else who exceeds my strengths?
So even in your utopian non-government system, it all still comes down to force as well – because that is inherent in human nature – as MadCon and gravityman have both also stated very well.
You are still contradicting yourself.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Turning this discussion back to the specifics of this proposal, any tax which includes credits and deductions is not a flat tax. Period. A flax tax is a single tax rate, paid by every single citizen, with no variance.

The government should not be in the business of deciding what uses of our money are “good” and which are “bad”. But that is the purpose of most tax credits and deductions. A higher education credit? A deduction for mortgage interest? There is no economic justification for those. Just the idea that we’ve decided it’s “good” for people to go to college and to buy homes. Which is not what taxes are for. Taxes should be for raising necessary revenue and nothing else.

Plus, any time you start with a system that says something like “only two credits and three deductions,” you know that will not last. Give it five to ten years. Then we’ll be up to “only ten credits and twenty deductions.” And so on.

I am in favor of a complete, across-the-board flat tax. Pick a number. 10%. 15%. Whatever is reasonable. Then that gets applied to every dollar of income every citizen earns from whatever source. Period. No credits. No deductions. No exemptions. No allowances. Nothing. Everyone pays exactly the same rate on every single dollar.

That is the only tax code that is truly “fair.”

Shump on August 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

It doesn’t take much to examine these things, but it does take a willingness to ask and learn.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Government is part of civilization. If you refuse being involved, go become a mountain man and do it all on your own. You have that right and no one is stopping you except yourself. But we all know you won’t do that.

You just want freebies–using what is there for everyone’s benefit while complaining you have to pay for any of it.

You know–like OWS.

Nice to see you and yours out in the open.

I’m curious–how much do you owe the government in taxes or college-loan debt?

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM

But you strike on the heart of the question without realizing it: to make a claim of rights for another’s property, force must be involved.

Thank you for contradicting yourself and making my point.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

This is where you expose your fantasy delusions about reality. As long as there is any property to take, someone will use force to take it, this is the totality of human history boiled down to a single sentence. Governments represent the single greatest capacity to apply force in any society.

In relatively equitable societies those government apply their violent force in such a manner as to minimize the degree with which random citizens use force to deprive other citizens of their property, freedoms and lives.

In oppressive totalitarian societies governments apply their capacity for violence towards the subjugation of their citizens to the profit of those in positions of leadership.

Societies that do not have governments with the single greatest capacity to inflict violent force become tribal enclaves of perpetual violence as powerful warlord fight constantly for power.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I think much to any conservative or libertarian’s dismay, some form of government is a nessecary evil. There is no anarchic utopia (or communist utopia, as Marx envisioned) because there is this thing called “human nature”. These utopias that you and Marx want to live in require an assumption that everyone in said utopia lives a completely altruistic life, everyone happy and cheery and treating each other with respect and kindness. The problem is, there is ALWAYS someone who will take advantage of that situation to exert power over others… it is human nature. We see it and discuss it here on HA every day when we discuss the greed and selfishness of our politicians in Washington.

There is no escaping human nature.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Again, I’ll tell you that a tenet of libertarianism is that there is a need for government, so to say it would be to a libertarian’s dismay is not accurate.

Of course there’s no escaping human nature. I’m not saying anything about altruism. Altruism has nothing to do with any of this, or that everyone will be cheery, happy, or treating others with respect and kindness. This is a straw man. I am arguing for private law. Why would I be doing that if what you say I am arguing I were actually arguing?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Our property rights stem from our right to exist. In fact, both are unalienable rights.

If I am sitting in your house eating your lunch then I would says its been alienated.

They exist because we exist. The existence of property is not dependent on government.

Total nonsense.

Besides, a home invasion is brute force. Armed robbery is brute force. Are you then saying that there is no property because brute force exists?

A home invasion?

What is that if not the description of lawbreaking or a moral wrong?

Moral codes must be enforced on others or they are personal. If they are personal then your moral code may be very different than someone else’.

Is there a morality attached to it? Yes, of course.

Your morality, not the morality of Genghis Khan, or Stalin, or Hitler, or Alexander The Great, or any number of others.

I don’t think you understand the concept of rights. There is no way you can claim a right to anyone’s property. From where does this right come from? Nowhere.

I am not claiming a right.

I have no rights!

I am taking what you have by force. There is no right involved because a right would imply there is some sort of agreement on what is good and proper.

There isn’t.

But you strike on the heart of the question without realizing it: to make a claim of rights for another’s property, force must be involved.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I am not making any claim because there aren’t any claims offices operating. Of course force is involved. What do you think is happening in Somalia?

They have pirates and gangs that don’t care about any of the silly nonsense like ‘rights’.

Are you really this disconnected from the realities of human nature?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

There is no escaping human nature.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Exactly what I’m trying to work Dante toward – well put.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

And that is why anarcho-capitalism that he seems to want simply can’t work. Even if you could manage to establish it in the first place, it will by the very nature of human beings devolve into a warlord (or corporate warlord) feudalistic situation. There simply is no getting around that. It may be a sad statement on the nature of humanity, and we all may wish it were not so, but it is a fact.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM

I see some major issues with this flat tax as outlined in the referenced article.

Most importantly I don’t pay 15.3% in payroll taxes. I pay 7.65%, and my employer pays the rest. Unless you can guarantee that employers will add that money to our incomes upon the switch over to a flat tax, you can’t use that 7.65% when calculating my current tax burden.

This year with the phase out of the “Evil Bush Tax Cuts For the Rich(TM)” we’ll see a tax bill around 10% of AGI. Add back the extra 2% of 75% of our income (my husband has military retirement), and we’re looking at about 16% max in federal taxes and payroll taxes. I can NOT afford to pay another 10% of my gross income to the feds. I make approximately half the family income, paid weekly, and this tax would be the equivalent of me losing an entire paycheck every month.

Even if we had absolutely no debt except for the house, we would still never be able to put enough away in savings to bring our taxes down to our current level.

Unless there is a standard deduction which they conveniently forget to mention. But even if there is, it would have to be quite large to make this a neutral or beneficial change for those of us in the lower to middle middle class.

LibraryGryffon on August 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

I’m waiting, Dante. Can you explain why you need to cite anarcho-capitalist websites to back up your view that you claim is conservative, despite agreeing with me that anarcho-capitalism is not part of conservatism?

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Everybody wants a perfect, perfectly simple world. Tough. People made economic decisions regarding home ownership based on the longstanding interest deduction. Ending that overnight is about as stupid as punishing existing savers with a consumption tax.

Let’s strive for dramatic simplication, not a Platonic perfection in the name of avoiding slipperly slopes. AKA common sense.

ConservativeLA on August 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Government is part of civilization. If you refuse being involved, go become a mountain man and do it all on your own. You have that right and no one is stopping you except yourself. But we all know you won’t do that.

You just want freebies–using what is there for everyone’s benefit while complaining you have to pay for any of it.

You know–like OWS.

Nice to see you and yours out in the open.

I’m curious–how much do you owe the government in taxes or college-loan debt?

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:17 PM

It’s a shame to encounter someone with a closed mind. I’ve respectfully responded to your posts, trying to answer your questions and have posed some in return, the purpose of which was to get you to question some things. Unfortunately, you don’t respond in kind.

Good luck to you.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

If I am sitting in your house eating your lunch then I would says its been alienated.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I’m not reading any further. There would be no point. This sentence alone demonstrates that you don’t know anything about rights or what unalienable is. I’ll give you a hint: a transgression or infringement against one’s rights does not mean the right has been taken away. So, while someone may kill you, ending your life, the right to life has not been taken away. While someone may steal your food, the right to property has not been taken away.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

In your system of non-government – I absolutely can claim a right to anyone else’s property –

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Not at all.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Shump on August 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Very good points – and I readily agree with all of them.
However, it’s all still based on defining what someone’s income is. What counts as income? Wages, dividends, capital gains, inheritance, lottery/gambling winnings, etc…??
People with illegal income (criminals – e.g. drug dealers) don’t report ANY income because, well, it’s illegal, so they consequently pay no income taxes at all.
All-in-all why I favor the sales tax and elimination of all other taxes – although I readily admit that’s probably nothing but a pipe dream.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Not at all.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Who is going to stop me?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

And Dante returns to his usual low-grade debate tactics by ignoring anything he doesn’t want to address, even if it’s critical to the base of his argument.

I knew there was a reason I had stopped addressing him. Gotta stop giving people second thoughts.

MadisonConservative on August 10, 2012 at 4:27 PM

I don’t think you understand the concept of rights. There is no way you can claim a right to anyone’s property. From where does this right come from? Nowhere. But you strike on the heart of the question without realizing it: to make a claim of rights for another’s property, force must be involved.

Thank you for contradicting yourself and making my point.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

And you clearly have no grasp of human nature.

Let me make this perfectly clear to you. Any “Right” you cannot exercise is a “Right” you do not have.

If you cannot stop someone from taking what you believe to be your property, then you do not have any right to that property.

The whole concept of a government is the communal application by the individual of a greater degree of violent force than they are able to exercise as individuals.

The community as a whole agrees to a certain set of rules of personal and public behavior and then designates specific individuals to enforce those rules of behavior.

Contrary to what you might want to believe. rights do not exist in a vacuum or absent an ability to enforce those rights.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

I’m not reading any further. There would be no point. This sentence alone demonstrates that you don’t know anything about rights or what unalienable is. I’ll give you a hint: a transgression or infringement against one’s rights does not mean the right has been taken away. So, while someone may kill you, ending your life, the right to life has not been taken away. While someone may steal your food, the right to property has not been taken away.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

So you believe in magical rights bestowed upon you by the non-existent rights fairy and totally deny the magical rights bestowed upon Genghis Khan by his invisible rights fairy?

I can respect someone who believes in God and makes an argument that he bestows such rights.

To believe that ‘rights’ exist because they just do, is infantile nonsense.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:31 PM

The community as a whole agrees to a certain set of rules of personal and public behavior and then designates specific individuals to enforce those rules of behavior.

Contrary to what you might want to believe. rights do not exist in a vacuum or absent an ability to enforce those rights.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Well – exactly. That IS in fact what government is.
Too bad dante can’t seem to grasp that concept.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

I understand. When people like you can’t stand to your own arguments, you become offended. It’s all good, for I have nothing to prove.

It would be interesting to see how you fared if you practiced what you preach. Like, go build a cabin in the Rockies by the work of your own hands. Build your own roads, but without access to anything like the highways or state roads that anywhere involved government.

You have to hunt for or grow your own food, and can’t buy ammunition for your guns since ammo is regulated by government.

You can’t use money, either, since that’s printed and minted by…gasp!…government.

Since you can’t use money and aren’t allowed to have health insurance (regulated by government), you get no medical care. I’m sure a mountain man like you can come up with some kinds of herbal concoction for your ills.

Oh, and also! No phone and no Internet, either.

And people like you dare call Conservatives like me Neanderthals?

Well, at least you won’t have to pay any taxes.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Who is going to stop me?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:26 PM

You said you have a right to property simply because you feel you can take property by force. This is, again, antithetical to the non-aggression policy. It is also antithetical to the concept of natural rights. Just as I can defend my home from home invasions, burglars, what have you, the same can happen in an anarcho-capitalist system. Maybe a private security firm I’ve hired will stop you.

So you believe in magical rights bestowed upon you by the non-existent rights fairy and totally deny the magical rights bestowed upon Genghis Khan by his invisible rights fairy?

I can respect someone who believes in God and makes an argument that he bestows such rights.

To believe that ‘rights’ exist because they just do, is infantile nonsense.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Why must people resort to fallacies? You aren’t asking me, you are telling me what I believe. The answer is no. I do not believe in magical rights or a magical rights fairy. Nor did I say that rights exist because they just do. Drop the straw men.

My rights exist because I exist. I have a right to life. That right exists because I exist. This right was not given to me by anyone or anything other than nature.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I’d even be willing to let him have his guns and ammo and tools to start with. But where will he build that cabin? Careful not to build it on someone else’s property or you get shot. When you go hunting, careful where you shoot that deer or elk, or cow – it might be on someone else’s property – and you get shot.
How far do we really need to take this?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

If we had a Flat Tax Rate what would happen to all the IRS agents and Tax Accountants, Tax Software companies and Paper companies. All those people out of work, what we do then? (sarc)

EVAmom on August 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

And another thing, Dante: We understand rights. And, unlike you seem, we grasp that rights also bear responsibilities. Conservatives like so many of us understand something basic like that, which you obviously can’t or won’t.

Shame you’re so closed-minded.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Nor did I say that rights exist because they just do.

And then you proceed to claim exactly that…

My rights exist because I exist. I have a right to life. That right exists because I exist. This right was not given to me by anyone or anything other than nature.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Why does this right exist because you exist?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

And then you proceed to claim exactly that…

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

“Rights exist because they just do” is begging the question, and is not the same as “My rights exist because I exist.”

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Well – exactly. That IS in fact what government is.
Too bad dante can’t seem to grasp that concept.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

America’s Founding Fathers believed that all right’s originated from God, but they weren’t fool so the first thing they did after declaring independence from England was to form their own Government and defined exactly what right’s God had bestowed upon human beings. They then promptly set up various agencies to enforce with such violence as necessary those rights.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

How far do we really need to take this?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Far as the OWS crowd is willing to take it. Which, as experience shows, won’t be very far. It’s just talk among them, theoretical. Put extreme liberals and anarchists in the place they claim they want everyone to be, their whole world breaks down. As do their psyches.

Imagine how OWS would have fared if no one was out there donating to them free food and all. How many were drawing on money from Daddy?

The OWS crowd will take it far as others let them.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

You said you have a right to property simply because you feel you can take property by force. This is, again, antithetical to the non-aggression policy. It is also antithetical to the concept of natural rights. Just as I can defend my home from home invasions, burglars, what have you, the same can happen in an anarcho-capitalist system. Maybe a private security firm I’ve hired will stop you.
Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Whose non-aggression policy? If there’s no government, there is nobody to write or agree to or enforce any such non-aggression policy.
Sure you can try to defend yourself, but if I have better weapons – you lose. Guess what, I can hire a few buddies to help me out as well – there goes your private security firm.
You just stepped face first into exactly what I, gravityman, MadCon, and others have been saying. The “non-aggression agreement” you casually talk about is in fact government – an agreement by and for the people to live together in a civilised society – and someone designated to enforce that agreement.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

the reality of what you describe would be similar to the old west – quickest draw rules the town. dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

No, the steadiest hand. Which would be the most experienced killer.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

It is libertarian leaning in being based partly on the non-aggression principle. No one has the right to initiate force against another.

Anarchy means without ruler, not without rules.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

How has that non-aggression principle actually worked out in history?
It sounds nice in principle but it seems to deny what we see in Human History.

chemman on August 10, 2012 at 4:46 PM

This is, again, antithetical to the non-aggression policy.
Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

What non aggression policy you imbecile? Where did it come from and who is enforcing it and whom are they enforcing it upon.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

My rights exist because I exist. I have a right to life. That right exists because I exist. This right was not given to me by anyone or anything other than nature. Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Nature gives us nothing but consequences.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

NO NO NO NO NO STUPID! How do all these supposed brilliant minds go so far off the deep end?

Taxes are not our biggest problem. Don’t get bogged down pushing the greatest policy driven social change since Obamacare when the hammer coming down on our financial system is imminent (With our republic going next.)

Try “BALANCE SPENDING 1, 2, 3″ instead:

1) Pass a strong balance budget amendment, and send it to the states for ratification. (It won’t work as wished, but it will focus attention on the problem.)

2) Pass a budget that cuts spending equally across all departments by what we’re over budget (30%?). Do anything else, and we sink into the same battles that we’ve fought for the last 80 years about who most deserves how much of other people’s money. That will NEVER be resolved before we are worse that Greece without an EU bailout.

3) Battle over what remaining money to take from what department in order to give it to another until the end of time. Hit the most important first before the budget takes effect. Use executive orders and legislation to free departments from obligations that they can’t meet with reduced funding.

That’s of course just the beginning of our economic recovery, Tax policies like this Flat Tax 1, 2, 3 are certainly in the top 10 next steps, that also include:

- Promote public service to aid the millions of newly displaced workers and their families

- Eliminate Obamacare through executive order. (If he can do it to DOMA, Romney can do it to Obamacare).

- Revoke all executive orders and regulations passed during the Obama Administration through executive order.

- Deindex “entitlements” from inflation.

- End baseline budgeting.

- Hold interest rates low by not buying back money printed during QE1, 2 & 3 despite inflation. (allowing up to 10% inflation for 7 years in order to cut the NPV of our $200T unfunded liabilities by half.)

- Enact tort reform – loser pays & losing lawyer also pays if on contingency.

- Prohibit exclusive business contracts except to protect intellectual property. (yea, that’s right. It’s a lefty agenda item)

- Limit all patent and copyright protection to 25 years. (another one)

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s just off the top of my head. Balancing spending has to be our #1 priority, not tax reform.

elfman on August 10, 2012 at 4:48 PM

What non aggression policy you imbecile? Where did it come from and who is enforcing it and whom are they enforcing it upon. SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

“It’s a non-aggression policy, and if you break it we’ll have you drawn and quartered,” -Dante, political genius.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 4:48 PM

“Rights exist because they just do” is begging the question, and is not the same as “My rights exist because I exist.”

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

I have a right to kill you bestowed upon me by nature. Just as the Fox has a right to kill the Rabbit, I claim my right to kill in furtherance of my own welfare.

This has as much validity as your right to life.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Yes – but I was really refering to the hypotheticals and various arguments that Dante just doesn’t seem to understand. He’s too mired in the vague theoretical concepts of anarchist utopia to see the big picture – or the real world.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:50 PM

This is, again, antithetical to the non-aggression policy.
Dante on August 10, 2012 at 4:36 PM

In a world without government and rule of law, my right to live trumps yours soon as I can get bigger weapons than you have to take from you. And to permanently prevent you and yours from retaliating at a later time.

When you remove government and civilized common law, you have only Darwinism and the law of the jungle.

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

My rights exist because I exist. I have a right to life. That right exists because I exist. This right was not given to me by anyone or anything other than nature.

ok, let’s stop splitting hairs. If I agree that you have rights because you exist, and if I agree that no one can take your rights away (which you stated earlier), would you agree that it’s possible for someone to infringe on your rights? In other words, killing you doesn’t “take away” your right to life, but if does affect it adversely, yes?

So, given that set of conditions, exactly what do you see as preventing me from adversely affecting your right to life? What is my penalty if I do so? Who says so?

I think you’re failing to take into account human nature. Actually, your approach would work perfectly, if people were perfectly good. However, The evil men are capable of (in some circles, called ‘total depravity,’ which doesn’t mean that all people are always as evil as possible, but simply that there is no part of human existence which has not been affected by sin) is perhaps the most empirically proven aspect of human nature.

I’m (seriously) curious – what does prevent or penalize people from acting out their selfishness. Yes, I know, “read the links.” But would you do us a favor and summarize it?

psrch on August 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Yes – but I was really refering to the hypotheticals and various arguments that Dante just doesn’t seem to understand. He’s too mired in the vague theoretical concepts of anarchist utopia to see the big picture – or the real world.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Sad, isn’t it, that we should be having this kind of discussion in the 21st Century?

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

No, the steadiest hand. Which would be the most experienced killer.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

I’ll buy that.
A steady hand and a sniper rifle can take out a quick draw from outside his range any time.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Nature gives us nothing but consequences.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

It also gives us abilities. Those and consequences are the basis for our natural rights.

Turn us into slave animals, and you’re better off buying a water buffalo. Recognize our rights and set us free, and our minds and efforts will create civilization, including the roads in front of the your business that Obama says, “You didn’t build that!”

elfman on August 10, 2012 at 4:57 PM

ok, let’s stop splitting hairs. If I agree that you have rights because you exist, and if I agree that no one can take your rights away (which you stated earlier), would you agree that it’s possible for someone to infringe on your rights?

psrch on August 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Of course. I’ve already said as much. Government infringes upon our rights constantly.

So, given that set of conditions, exactly what do you see as preventing me from adversely affecting your right to life? What is my penalty if I do so? Who says so?

I think you’re failing to take into account human nature. Actually, your approach would work perfectly, if people were perfectly good. However, The evil men are capable of (in some circles, called ‘total depravity,’ which doesn’t mean that all people are always as evil as possible, but simply that there is no part of human existence which has not been affected by sin) is perhaps the most empirically proven aspect of human nature.

I’m (seriously) curious – what does prevent or penalize people from acting out their selfishness. Yes, I know, “read the links.” But would you do us a favor and summarize it?

psrch on August 10, 2012 at 4:51 PM

I am in no way whatsoever failing to take into account human nature. Once again, if I weren’t, I wouldn’t be arguing for private law. And yes, read the links. All of your questions have been answered in the numerous links I’ve posted.

I wouldn’t call it selfishness, since I don’t think there is anything wrong with rational self-interest. Selfishness is great. I also do not believe in sin. That is not a part of my moral code. So what do you mean by “acting out their selfishness”? Because someone could say that my desiring another car while someone else doesn’t have one is selfish.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I have a right to kill you bestowed upon me by nature. Just as the Fox has a right to kill the Rabbit, I claim my right to kill in furtherance of my own welfare.

This has as much validity as your right to life.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Ahhh – but Mr. Coyote here then has the right to kill and eat your fox. Then Mr. Mountain Lion can choose to eat Mr. Coyote. And…..
If some benevolent being, like say Mother Nature (but not a government of any kind), would create and enforce some sort of non-aggression pact that they could all agree to live by….///
But then wouldn’t that make Mother Nature some sort of dictator or monarch? Sounds like the start os some kind of – - GOVERNMENT! Ahhhhh

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Ahhh – but Mr. Coyote here then has the right to kill and eat your fox. Then Mr. Mountain Lion can choose to eat Mr. Coyote. And…..
If some benevolent being, like say Mother Nature (but not a government of any kind), would create and enforce some sort of non-aggression pact that they could all agree to live by….///
But then wouldn’t that make Mother Nature some sort of dictator or monarch? Sounds like the start os some kind of – – GOVERNMENT! Ahhhhh

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Is government necessary to have morals? Is government necessary for a belief in God or for religion to exist?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Ahhh – but Mr. Coyote here then has the right to kill and eat your fox. Then Mr. Mountain Lion can choose to eat Mr. Coyote. And…..
If some benevolent being, like say Mother Nature (but not a government of any kind), would create and enforce some sort of non-aggression pact that they could all agree to live by….///
But then wouldn’t that make Mother Nature some sort of dictator or monarch? Sounds like the start os some kind of – – GOVERNMENT! Ahhhhh

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Mother nature is indeed a harsh mistress and she enjoys handing out those Darwin awards. The ‘rights from nothing’ argument sounds like a bizarre sort of Jerry Seinfeld defense.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM

I am in no way whatsoever failing to take into account human nature. Once again, if I weren’t, I wouldn’t be arguing for private law. And yes, read the links. All of your questions have been answered in the numerous links I’ve posted.

I wouldn’t call it selfishness, since I don’t think there is anything wrong with rational self-interest. Selfishness is great. I also do not believe in sin. That is not a part of my moral code. So what do you mean by “acting out their selfishness”? Because someone could say that my desiring another car while someone else doesn’t have one is selfish.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I can’t go to your links because of the firewalls of where I am.
2 simple questions:
Who writes this “private law” of yours”?
Who enforces your “private law”?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM

sorry that i have to provide fuel for ones who are trolling, but swalker something you said bothers me.
you stated that “government is the communal application by the individual of a greater degree of violent force than they re able to excerse themselves.”
does this mean you view gangs as a form of government?
on topic, it puzzles me why we cant just pay taxes to our states and have the fed collect a percentage of each bugget from each state based on numbers of represenatives.

Caesar2075 on August 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

No, the steadiest hand. Which would be the most experienced killer.

Akzed on August 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

I’ll buy that.
A steady hand and a sniper rifle can take out a quick draw from outside his range any time.

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Yup, that is exactly why Armies exist. Societies and governments have evolved over centuries. They have evolved in certain specific fashions for very specific reasons, and the very same reasons that caused them to evolve are the exact same reasons that they break down.

Human nature dictates social interactions. By nature we are driven to survive and on the personal individual level that drive for survival without any form of intellectual development is directed first and foremost towards ones self.

The instincts of self preservation and reproduction are the only instincts that human being seem to be born with, all of the rest have to be taught.

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

You could always put your theories to the test, you know.

(…)

Liam on August 10, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Liam, your arguments here against anarcho-capitalism are very similar to the ones liberals sometimes use against conservatism. “Oh, you don’t want to pay extremely high tax rates? Don’t use any government services.”

It’s a false premise. You’re basically saying “Well, if you like your system so much, why don’t you practice it?” Here’s why: It’s awfully difficult to live independent of government help when the government confiscates your property, owns most of the property in your immediate vicinity, and enforces rules on all of your decisions, even the ones that affect only you, whether you like it or not.

Some of the arguments being used in this thread against anarcho-capitalism are not fair, and remind me of all the name calling and false premises liberals use against fiscal conservatives.

If we want to argue that some level of handcuff-backed statist power is necessary, we need to back it up with examples and statistics, not name calling.

Nephew Sam on August 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

gah * budget. sorry on “smart” phone.

Caesar2075 on August 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

If we want to argue that some level of handcuff-backed statist power is necessary, we need to back it up with examples and statistics, not name calling.

Nephew Sam on August 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

If I block the bridge and start demanding tolls with my gang who stops me?

If there isn’t some level of handcuff-backed statist power, then who is going to stop me?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Who writes this “private law” of yours”?
Who enforces your “private law”?

dentarthurdent on August 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM

The free market participants do. Again, anarchy means without ruler. It does not mean without rules. Protection and security can be addressed solely through the private market, as many examples of private security firms exist under our republican government. In regards to self-defense, there are many examples and studies that demonstrate more guns, or the increased frequency of guns, equals less crime. So there would be basic rules, such as no one able to acquire property except through original appropriation or voluntary exchange, and that no one has the privilege to tax or expropriate. And no one could not prohibit someone else from using his property to compete in the market. Pretty simple.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:16 PM

If I block the bridge and start demanding tolls with my gang who stops me?

If there isn’t some level of handcuff-backed statist power, then who is going to stop me?

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM

You already asked this and it was already answered.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM

You already asked this and it was already answered.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM

No it wasn’t.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Is government necessary to have morals? Is government necessary for a belief in God or for religion to exist?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Actually, yes. Government is necessary for religion to exist… at least, the concept of government. Religion is actually a form of government. Religion hands down laws, based on a moral code dictated by a supreme being(s) or set of church elders, and threatens harsh penalties (often to be carried out in the afterlife) for disobeying those laws.

Sounds exactly like a government to me.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM

No it wasn’t.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM

It has been answered, and it has been addressed many times. Private security is just one example. A host of individuals getting together – not unlike a posse – to stop you is another example. Do you think people wouldn’t or couldn’t do this? Do you think the free market wouldn’t have an answer to this?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

but swalker something you said bothers me.
you stated that “government is the communal application by the individual of a greater degree of violent force than they re able to excerse themselves.”
does this mean you view gangs as a form of government?
on topic, it puzzles me why we cant just pay taxes to our states and have the fed collect a percentage of each bugget from each state based on numbers of represenatives.

Caesar2075 on August 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

What is a government if it is not the biggest most well armed and organized gang around?

SWalker on August 10, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Private security is just one example. A host of individuals getting together – not unlike a posse – to stop you is another example.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

And if my gang is better armed and more numerous than your gang? Given that I have been taking money from those passing through, thats fairly likely.

sharrukin on August 10, 2012 at 5:24 PM

It has been answered, and it has been addressed many times. Private security is just one example. A host of individuals getting together – not unlike a posse – to stop you is another example. Do you think people wouldn’t or couldn’t do this? Do you think the free market wouldn’t have an answer to this?

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Fair enough.

But… I have a bigger posse. Now what?

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Actually, yes. Government is necessary for religion to exist… at least, the concept of government. Religion is actually a form of government. Religion hands down laws, based on a moral code dictated by a supreme being(s) or set of church elders, and threatens harsh penalties (often to be carried out in the afterlife) for disobeying those laws.

Sounds exactly like a government to me.

gravityman on August 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I think you know what I mean by government, and it’s not that there is a governing body within a private organization.

Dante on August 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM

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