Carlos

Taxation, Regulation and Government Programs in a Free Nation

388 posts in this topic

Okay Jason, laws build off of what? In other words, laws stemming from what principle? Up until this countries formation, the prinicple of rights and it's recognizition and protection did not even exist as we know it today.

Further, where to you think the term duty comes from? It is not a this worldly based concept but a mystical one with no tie to reality. Which is what you want to put forth, a duty to your country.

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One more thing for you two to think over. How come man can take care of everyone of his needs and responsiblities which includes what job, spouse, clothes, car, house, kids, medical, and many more without your regulated intervention but not the support of his rights? How come it is this one responsiblity that you choose to say, by mans very nature he cannot handle choosing for himself to apply some of his wealth to the support of his freedom? Do you see a problem within man's nature that keeps him from handling this one aspect of his life without the same ability to reason and choose a moral path? What is it that makes you think man cannot handle this choice and why would it only be related to this one aspect and not all of his choices?

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I'm done with this insanity.

The insanity, Rick, is that you view the world in such absolutes without context! As bad as America is today, we still are nowhere near Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. Things in the world exist in gradients between good and bad. So what we, as a group of people following a philosophy based upon Aristotle and based upon living life within this reality, must do is to look at the world, learn from the world, and form our beliefs based upon the world. They key, then, is that abstractions do not exist detached from reality. And if you can not prove your abstractions with facts of reality, but must rely upon hypothetical (ie. other abstractions) situations and hypothetical facts, then you are one and the same with the String Theory physicist who take what works on paper and tries to apply it to reality...without the actual physical proof for any of these "strings".

What does any of this have to do with Jordan's involuntary taxation plan. I will ask you one more time. Please address the following.

Tell you what JRoberts, you show me where in reality, in history or present day, that I can find a government that gives me the choice to

1. Serve in the military.

2. Pay my taxes.

3. Take public office.

4. Choose not to choose 1, 2, or 3 but stay in the country but not receive the services provided to 1, 2, or 3.

This is Jordan's plan for government not mine.

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Laissez-faire capitalism has never been tried. It has no historical record.

Ah but it does! Has laissez-faire ever been tried, truly and absolutely? No. But history is chock full of examples pointing towards the validity of this absolute. The more free an economy is, the more powerful, prosperous, and innovative that society is. There is a difference between South Korea and North Korea-even though neither is an absolute laissez-faire economy. However, the one which leans way closer to laissez-faire is the one from whom we gain some of the worlds greatest accomplishments to date (such as stem cell research, cloning, genetics, information technologies, etc.).

A person, then, can look at the world and see through empirical evidence what works, and what doesn't.

In other words, the historical data is clear: greater and greater freedom produces greater and greater prosperity -- right up to the point at which we free people from compulsory taxation -- at which point this final increase in freedom results in the destruction of civilization and freedom?

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I think this is enough evidence to show that involuntary taxation is not needed to fund a war.

I, of course, support the position, but I don't think that those bonds are the best example. Bonds must be paid back with interest, and it's fairly certain that in this case they were paid back via tax receipts, since the government is not a productive enterprise. In essence then they simply pushed back the problem by a step.

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None of that implies that a free society without the unnecessary burdens of statism would not raise the funds to fight a necessary, defensive war. But who would donate money or even invest in government bonds without regard to the rate of return for something like Iraq or Vietnam?

And it's interesting that it still took massive coercion and propaganda levels to get Americans to fund, fight, and die for the sake of Europe's evasions in WW1 and 2. I was surprised by Ayn Rand's take on WW2, because it was a completely new idea to me that I'd never heard about before (or since): The U.S. should simply have stayed out of the fight between the Nazis and Soviets and let them pulverize each other, then go in and mop up the remains. A beautifully non-sacrificial plan.

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I'm done with this insanity.

The insanity, Rick, is that you view the world in such absolutes without context! As bad as America is today, we still are nowhere near Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.

Then logically you must class Ayn Rand among the "insane", along with those of us who do grasp her radical new morality and the fact that the initiation of force is the primary social evil.

As a matter of fact, America is much closer to Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia than it was at its founding. It has been said that the Founders would be literally up in arms over the government we have today, even lacking the greater knowledge that comes from Objectivism. The welfare state, the cancer consuming ever greater portions of our productivity and our lives, is hardly some axiomatic law of nature - it's the result of a long process of decay initiated by evil philosophic ideas. It is orders of magnitude FAR worse than Britain in 1776 - and the reason is fundamentally simple: it was those who would sell liberty at the price of some supposedly necessary coercion.

So I would say, anybody who wants to join those ranks of coercion-advocators, feel free, but DO NOT do it in the name of Objectivism, and do NOT expect those of us who know better to approve of it.

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So I would say, anybody who wants to join those ranks of coercion-advocators, feel free, but DO NOT do it in the name of Objectivism, and do NOT expect those of us who know better to approve of it.

Very well put, Phil.

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I have few more things left to say to you, Jordan. First, I still think you have a lot of reading and integrating to do. Second, I hope you get exactly what you deserve and wish for, rule over cowards.

Ray I do not think that is fair. First off, these are twenty-somethings. But secondly, even in the hypothetical that they arrive at wrong answers, they are employing the very best methodology -- looking at reality first and then trying to find the answers. First off I think you're being too hard on them. Second of all, I don't see anyone giving them credit for their methodology. In short, swift condemnation is out of place here.

AisA,

When is it proper to be dishonest and to steal? Lying to someone -- such as the way Galt lied to the looters about his feelings toward Dagny -- is not an example of dishonesty. Nor was Danneskold stealing when he raided government relief ships.
What Galt and Ragnar did was indeed lying, and indeed stealing. Lying is defined as willingly making a statement contrary to the facts. Stealing is willingly parting a person from property. Your examples were fine, however, the best example is the one Ayn Rand gave herself: what is the answer you should give to a very shady and dangerous-looking person who is at your door asking if you know where your daugther is? Do you remember what Ayn Rand's answer was to that? That lying to him is perfectly fine, because you don't owe him the truth, and because you have reason to suspect he will abuse that honesty to malicious ends towards your daughter. Objectivist virtues, as all principles and everything in all of the world, are contextual. Perhaps you'd like to re-read the Virtue of Selfishness that you yourself so often cite.
The imposition of a tax may have pushed the Royalist majority off the sidelines and into a much more active role in supporting the British and opposing the Revolutionaries. Or, the imposition of a tax may have made us look hypocritical and weak to the French, which may have led them to stay out of the war. I don't know one way or the other and I don't see how you can either.
It's rather simple -- those Royalists or the French weren't Objectivists expecting a tax-free country. Every country since the beginning of the world had taxes. While that in and of itself is not a justification for tax, it certainly led everyone to expect that this new nation fighting for its independence would have taxes also. It would be completely arbitrary to say that some people would leave the Union because of taxation -- they did not expect to live without it anyway! And Washington perpetrated plenty of seizure of property to sustain his army that suffered so much it dispersed to 1/10th of its size, and that the patriotic remaining core mutinied more than once. As for the French -- with taxes we wouldn't have to require French or any other arbitrary aid. That's my whole point.
2) Even if it could be established that a compulsory tax would have insured the Revolution's success, the existence of such a tax and the income it would provide the government may have resulted in a different type of nation emerging after the revolution.
Wait, you are aware there was a tax after the revolution right? That there was also compulsory draft in form of state militia?

Finally,

You seem to be arguing that Ayn Rand’s condemnation of taxation as immoral doesn’t count because she didn’t advocate its immediate termination
Hold up, first of all I argued no such thing. Everything Ayn Rand said counts.

Second of all, you admit that she didn't want to abolish tax right away. Why do you want to abolish it right away. Does what she said count to you?

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I think this is enough evidence to show that involuntary taxation is not needed to fund a war.

I, of course, support the position, but I don't think that those bonds are the best example. Bonds must be paid back with interest, and it's fairly certain that in this case they were paid back via tax receipts, since the government is not a productive enterprise. In essence then they simply pushed back the problem by a step.

I agree the war bond example is not the best example but it is historical. Given the proper context and knowing that my government was committed to using overwhelming force and Rules Of Engagement that protected my life and those fighting with me not the enemy, I would not only give money to the cause with no expectation of being paid back but I would also serve in its military.

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In other words, the historical data is clear: greater and greater freedom produces greater and greater prosperity -- right up to the point at which we free people from compulsory taxation -- at which point this final increase in freedom results in the destruction of civilization and freedom?
I know you might have meant this tongue-in-cheek, but that is the best summation of the point, stated better than I did or Jason or Jordan.

Not addressing you specifically, I am bothered by the swift dismissal of the historical value, based on these near-ad-hominems like "this country crumbled therefore it was all wrong". That is non sequitur first of all, because the perusal of the reasons why such and such country crumbled will show very different reasons for it than people seem to ascribe. Second of all, by the very nature of history, any nation can be shown to have crumbled, and thus any claim of pointing at reality can be swifty cut off and disabled. What I don't see is how this leaves you in any better position, because the methodology you're supposed to be employing looks at reality first, and learns from the examples or lessons of the men before us. It is a very faulty methodology to assume that knowing the theory provides you with the answer that you need not trouble yourself grounding in reality. And it's a tremendous disservice to Ayn Rand, who took great such pains to ground what she thought in reality.

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And it's a tremendous disservice to Ayn Rand, who took great such pains to ground what she thought in reality.

A misplacement of words in the heat of the moment -- I meant "such great pains".

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I have few more things left to say to you, Jordan. First, I still think you have a lot of reading and integrating to do. Second, I hope you get exactly what you deserve and wish for, rule over cowards.

Ray I do not think that is fair. First off, these are twenty-somethings. But secondly, even in the hypothetical that they arrive at wrong answers, they are employing the very best methodology -- looking at reality first and then trying to find the answers. First off I think you're being too hard on them. Second of all, I don't see anyone giving them credit for their methodology. In short, swift condemnation is out of place here.

Do you honestly think that those twenty somethings who have decided to do their duty and serve this country are being cut the slack that Jordon and Jason have received in this thread. Jordon and Jason are getting off easy.

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Ray I do not think that is fair. First off, these are twenty-somethings. But secondly, even in the hypothetical that they arrive at wrong answers, they are employing the very best methodology -- looking at reality first and then trying to find the answers. First off I think you're being too hard on them. Second of all, I don't see anyone giving them credit for their methodology. In short, swift condemnation is out of place here.

What method might that be? Taking certain situations out of context and backing illogical conclusions? Or, stating that taxes should not be decidied on by what is moral but instead by what is practical, although their can be no dichotomy. Then, stating that George Washington seized property, again without the context of who's property was seized and also not reccognizing that it was not a normal (always life-boat scenario)situation. Nor did they recognize that during the Revolutionary War the people of the colonies were a bunch of rebels fighting against the greatest country of that time, which really does not relate to today. Not once answering what principle(s) they were making their decsions from as that was "unworthy" of answering or with "I gave it some thought" and never stated how they came to the conclusion it was wrong. Changing the scenario every time they were caught in a contradiction. First we are discussing taxation then immagration then seizing of property and so on. Never giving exact definitions of words such as "duty", instead stating the common usage, whatever that means. With more than 180 post in this thread, I think most have been very patient, but enough is enough.

Of course you are free to disagree.

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What method might that be? Taking certain situations out of context and backing illogical conclusions? Or, stating that taxes should not be decidied on by what is moral but instead by what is practical, although their can be no dichotomy. Then, stating that George Washington seized property, again without the context of who's property was seized and also not reccognizing that it was not a normal (always life-boat scenario)situation. Nor did they recognize that during the Revolutionary War the people of the colonies were a bunch of rebels fighting against the greatest country of that time, which really does not relate to today. Not once answering what principle(s) they were making their decsions from as that was "unworthy" of answering or with "I gave it some thought" and never stated how they came to the conclusion it was wrong. Changing the scenario every time they were caught in a contradiction. First we are discussing taxation then immagration then seizing of property and so on. Never giving exact definitions of words such as "duty", instead stating the common usage, whatever that means. With more than 180 post in this thread, I think most have been very patient, but enough is enough.

The debating has been all over the place, fine. But fundamentally what I see are people trying to reconcile stated philosophical principles with a valued and irreplaceable historical record. I don't see how that is any worse than claiming that any such record holds null value and worth. Fundamentally, this debate is not solely about philosophy, but about history just as much. I guess Jason and Jordan are trying to reconcile and integrate the former and the latter together -- a worthy pursuit. But some people consider only the former.

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So I would say, anybody who wants to join those ranks of coercion-advocators, feel free, but DO NOT do it in the name of Objectivism, and do NOT expect those of us who know better to approve of it.

Dear Phil,

I have not ever, nor am I, nor will I ever, speak as though I were the world's foremost authority on Objectivism. I am not, nor do I believe myself ever to be.

You may fling mud at me as long as you want, but please don't ever even hint that I am speaking for Objectivism or Ayn Rand.

In the mean time, I would suggest re-reading my posts and please give me the quote where I stated that I supported coercion. Until you do this, and until you change your attitude from destructive to constructive, I see no point in responding to anything you say.

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AisA,

When is it proper to be dishonest and to steal? Lying to someone -- such as the way Galt lied to the looters about his feelings toward Dagny -- is not an example of dishonesty. Nor was Danneskold stealing when he raided government relief ships.

What Galt and Ragnar did was indeed lying, and indeed stealing. Lying is defined as willingly making a statement contrary to the facts. Stealing is willingly parting a person from property. Your examples were fine, however, the best example is the one Ayn Rand gave herself: what is the answer you should give to a very shady and dangerous-looking person who is at your door asking if you know where your daugther is? Do you remember what Ayn Rand's answer was to that? That lying to him is perfectly fine, because you don't owe him the truth, and because you have reason to suspect he will abuse that honesty to malicious ends towards your daughter. Objectivist virtues, as all principles and everything in all of the world, are contextual. Perhaps you'd like to re-read the Virtue of Selfishness that you yourself so often cite.

If you will read what I wrote, I didn't say that what Galt did wasn't lying -- I specifically said it was lying, as anyone who reads my words that you quoted above can see. I said it wasn't an example of dishonesty, because you previously said the injunction to "always be honest" doesn't always apply.

And stealing is not merely "parting a person from property". It is removing property by force from its rightful owner. That is not what Danneskold did.

But the larger point is that nothing in these examples of lying and taking property away from government thieves establishes that it is ever appropriate for the government to initiate the use of force to collect taxes.

The imposition of a tax may have pushed the Royalist majority off the sidelines and into a much more active role in supporting the British and opposing the Revolutionaries. Or, the imposition of a tax may have made us look hypocritical and weak to the French, which may have led them to stay out of the war. I don't know one way or the other and I don't see how you can either.

It's rather simple -- those Royalists or the French weren't Objectivists expecting a tax-free country. Every country since the beginning of the world had taxes. While that in and of itself is not a justification for tax, it certainly led everyone to expect that this new nation fighting for its independence would have taxes also. It would be completely arbitrary to say that some people would leave the Union because of taxation -- they did not expect to live without it anyway! And Washington perpetrated plenty of seizure of property to sustain his army that suffered so much it dispersed to 1/10th of its size, and that the patriotic remaining core mutinied more than once. As for the French -- with taxes we wouldn't have to require French or any other arbitrary aid. That's my whole point.

The point is that to assume a new tax would generate revenue and no adverse consequences is just that: an assumption. We don't know what the reaction would have been had the Revolutionaries imposed a tax. No, the royalists weren't Objectivists expecting a tax-free existence, but if the Revolutionaries had imposed a tax during the war, those Royalists would have found themselves paying both the British tax and the new American tax. I don't think you can simply assume that they would passively accept this, not knowing how long the war was going to last.

Nor do I think you can assume that a tax would have no effect on those who sympathized with the Revolutionaries. This is at a time when the primary basis for the revolution was an opposition to taxes! For the Revolutionaries to impose one of their own might have dealt a severe blow to their cause, for at that point, to many of their supporters they might look little better than the British they were fighting.

2) Even if it could be established that a compulsory tax would have insured the Revolution's success, the existence of such a tax and the income it would provide the government may have resulted in a different type of nation emerging after the revolution.

Wait, you are aware there was a tax after the revolution right? That there was also compulsory draft in form of state militia?

Are you saying the exact tax that you think should have been imposed during the war was imposed immediately upon its completion?

Finally,

You seem to be arguing that Ayn Rand’s condemnation of taxation as immoral doesn’t count because she didn’t advocate its immediate termination.

Hold up, first of all I argued no such thing. Everything Ayn Rand said counts.

Second of all, you admit that she didn't want to abolish tax right away. Why do you want to abolish it right away. Does what she said count to you?

I haven’t said I want to abolish it right away. I said I want to strongly condemn it and work for its elimination as soon as possible, as opposed to “strongly supporting” it as you advocate.

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the larger point is that nothing in these examples of lying and taking property away from government thieves establishes that it is ever appropriate for the government to initiate the use of force to collect taxes.
But why did you ignore the example I gave about Ayn Rand, which is the best one of the three?

The point is that all evaluation is contextual, which was a big big point in her philosophy.

the primary basis for the revolution was an opposition to taxes!
Not to taxes, AisA! To taxes without representation! Big, big difference here! Thomas Jefferson was not furious that the colonists had to pay a tax, he was furious that they were not allowed to vote in the British Commonwealth despite paying their dues. That was the big bone of contention.

In general, I don't know 100% (nor does anyone) what exact effects a tax during the Revolution would cause. All we can do are educated guesses. Tax was absent not on moral grounds, but on grounds that it could not be collected as there was no government machinery in place for that. And so arbitrary means had to be resorted to in order to try to win the war.

However!

Are you saying the exact tax that you think should have been imposed during the war was imposed immediately upon its completion?
that is exactly what I'm saying!
I haven’t said I want to abolish it right away. I said I want to strongly condemn it and work for its elimination as soon as possible, as opposed to “strongly supporting” it as you advocate.
If that's where we disagree then our disagreement isn't as strong as we think. I wish it didn't have to be, as Ayn Rand did, but I leave it in place just as she did. I "strongly support" taxes not on moral grounds but on the same grounds as she did -- continued existence of society.

However you and I do have one difference -- I do not work for elimination of taxes "as soon as possible", but only "when and if the right society will be ready". In the meantime, I am not going to apologize for the taxation imposed after the Revolution, and so in that sense I do support it with conviction.

Every stance I take, at every point in time, I take with conviction. I don't wallow in guilt, and I do my best to try to understand historical context. If the time comes, if that select and special day arrives, I'll oppose it, but not until then.

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In the mean time, I would suggest re-reading my posts and please give me the quote where I stated that I supported coercion.

You stated in a previous post:

This is an evolution of the concept of private property. Just as I can tell somebody to leave my house, so too can the government (or the population) tell somebody to leave the "property", or borders, of the United States.

Thus what I have proposed is that, to support this system or government, a citizen should gain admittance into this society by either paying a tax, joining the military, or a few other options that would be considered fair.

Both of these positions are completely contrary to Objectivism. On your first point, the U.S. government does not "own America", not its wealth nor its population, and in fact has zero right to tell anyone either to leave, or to stay out, other those who pose an objectively established threat (e.g. a violent criminal or somebody with an active Ebola infection). On your second point, you are advocating coercion by taxes or what amounts to a draft (throwing in "a few other options" does not negate that fact.)

My point is not that you are presumed to be an expert on Objectivism; but it's certainly reasonable to expect that somebody, posting on a board specifically dedicated to the ideas of Ayn Rand and her philosophy, in a philosophically oriented thread, has enough grasp of the ideas to understand that it is completely contrary to the most basic principle of rational social interaction to advocate that the government use force against non-criminals, no matter the rationalization.

"Slinging mud" would be making personal insults; that is hardly the same as strong disagreement with advocacy of government initiation of force and admonishing that such positions should certainly not be promoted as compatible with Objectivism. Ideas matter.

In other words, if something thinks that they have a "good reason" for government coercion, they should not take the Objectivist position on faith, but neither should they act as though that position is an expression of Objectivism.

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In other words, if somebody thinks that they have a "good reason" for government coercion, they should not take the Objectivist position on faith, but neither should they act as though that position is an expression of Objectivism.

Sorry for the typo, sentence fixed above.

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But fundamentally what I see are people trying to reconcile stated philosophical principles with a valued and irreplaceable historical record. I don't see how that is any worse than claiming that any such record holds null value and worth.

Ayn Rand's degree was in *history* because she wanted to see what men *had done*. Then, with full knowledge of that context, she proceeded to formulate a radical new philosophy, because what men *have done* is not acted with consistently full rationality, and no fully rational philosophy had ever existed.

The core of any argument actually related to the title of this thread is a forward-looking view on what *should be*; not *what has been*, nor *what is now*. Ethics is not a history lesson, and isn't a rationalization for today's errors: it's a normative set of principles.

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But why did you ignore the example I gave about Ayn Rand, which is the best one of the three?
Are you saying that the Ayn Rand example does establish that it is appropriate for the government to initiate the use of force to collect taxes? If not, then what is its relevance?
the primary basis for the revolution was an opposition to taxes!

Not to taxes, AisA! To taxes without representation! Big, big difference here! Thomas Jefferson was not furious that the colonists had to pay a tax, he was furious that they were not allowed to vote in the British Commonwealth despite paying their dues. That was the big bone of contention.

In general, I don't know 100% (nor does anyone) what exact effects a tax during the Revolution would cause. All we can do are educated guesses. Tax was absent not on moral grounds, but on grounds that it could not be collected as there was no government machinery in place for that. And so arbitrary means had to be resorted to in order to try to win the war.

I'm not going to argue this point anymore because I think I have established that it is not a foregone conclusion that a tax during the Revolution would have helped the rebel's cause.
If that's where we disagree then our disagreement isn't as strong as we think. I wish it didn't have to be, as Ayn Rand did, but I leave it in place just as she did. I "strongly support" taxes not on moral grounds but on the same grounds as she did -- continued existence of society.
Well, I certainly don't buy your attempt to make Ayn Rand's position seem identical with your's. I don't agree that Miss Rand "strongly supported" involuntary taxation as you imply or that her attitude toward it was to "leave it in place". Her attitude toward it was to condemn it as immoral, logically derive and prove why it is immoral and work to persuade others of the truth of that position. That can hardly be equated to your refusal to oppose it.

Involuntary taxation, especially through inflation, is the mechanism by which the most virtuous members of society are being destroyed. I cannot imagine why someone who claims to be an Objectivist would take the position that it is not proper to oppose this process until we can get in a position to implement voluntary financing. I don't know what on earth makes you think we can ever get rid of something without expressing opposition to it.

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Are you saying that the Ayn Rand example does establish that it is appropriate for the government to initiate the use of force to collect taxes? If not, then what is its relevance?
The relevance, again, is that all evaluation must be contextual. That's my point here. Earlier you requested of me situations when Objectivist virtues "would not apply" or something to that extent. I gave you examples. Lying to a potentially dangerous man. That example was not concretely relevant, but the principle that all evaluations are contextual is relevant. My argument goes something like this -- if there are situations when we can condone lying, although we will still say "lying is bad", then perhaps there are situations when we can condone taxation while still saying "taxation is bad".
Well, I certainly don't buy your attempt to make Ayn Rand's position seem identical with your's. I don't agree that Miss Rand "strongly supported" involuntary taxation as you imply
I am sorry I did not intend to make that implication. Each person has their own views. I am merely trying to say that mine and hers are not so different as it would seem, and that the others' and hers are not so synonymous as they would like.
or that her attitude toward it was to "leave it in place".
Ok if Ayn Rand's position was not to take away taxes right away, then by implication what do you think her stance must be about what to do with them right now? Please spell it out for me, and I think the answer contains four words.
Involuntary taxation, especially through inflation, is the mechanism by which the most virtuous members of society are being destroyed. I cannot imagine why someone who claims to be an Objectivist would take the position that it is not proper to oppose this process until we can get in a position to implement voluntary financing. I don't know what on earth makes you think we can ever get rid of something without expressing opposition to it.
Well first off, please don't attribute to me what I hadn't said, especially inflation and other horrible measures like that. What I would support in the current context, is a flat 2% tax. This does not preclude me from philosophically expressing my opposition to it, so I am siding with you there.

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Just for a correct understanding of what Ayn Rand had to say about taxation I will quote her, which I am sure everyone else has the ability to look up themselves.

"In a fully free society, taxation--or, to be exact, payment for government services--would be voluntary. Since the proper services of a government--the police, the armed forces, the law courts--are demonstrably needed by individual citizens and affect their interests directly, the citizens would (and should) be willing to pay for such services as they pay for insurance.

The question of how to implement the principle of voluntary government financing--how to determine the best means of applying it in practice--is a very complex one and belongs to the field of the philosophy of law. The task of political philosophy is onl to establish the nature of the principle and to demonstrate that it is practicable. The choice of a specific method of implementation is more than premature today--since the principle will be pracaticable only in a fully free society, a society whose government has been consititutionally reduced to its proper, basic functions." [Ayn Rand, Government Financing in a Free Society, VOS, 157; pb 116.]

"Any program of voluntary government financing has to be regarded as a goal for a distant future.

What the advocates of a fully free society have to know, at present, is only the principle by which that goal can be achieved.

The principle of voluntary government financing rests on the following premises: that the government is not the owner of the citizens' income and, therefore, cannot hold a blank check on that income--that the nature of the proper government services must be constitutionally defined and delimited, leaving the government no power to enlarge the scope of its services at its own arbitrary descretion. Consequently, the principle of voluntary government financing regards the government as the servant, not the ruler, of the citizens--as an agent who must be paid for his sercies, not as a benefactor whose services are gratuitous, who dispenses something for nothing." [Ayn Rand, Government Financing in a Free Society, VOS, 160; pb 118.]

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