For What Are You Willing To Be A Slave?

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MSimon
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For What Are You Willing To Be A Slave?

Postby MSimon » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:54 am

For what are you willing to enslave others?




?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:31 pm

You're losing it big time, Simon. Instead of smoking dope and blogging all day, why don't you go get a job?
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:07 pm

GIThruster wrote:You're losing it big time, Simon. Instead of smoking dope and blogging all day, why don't you go get a job?


I have a job. (I blog more in the interludes between efforts. It is a luxury to be sure. I am glad to have it.) And all I smoke these days is tobacco.

But I see the slave thing bothers you. Excellent.

So let me ask. Do you wish to be a slave or a slave master?

For what pet program are you willing to enslave others? For what pet program are you willing to be a slave?

===

The power to tax is the power to enslave.

For what are you willing to be a slave?

For what are you willing to enslave others?

===

I intend to stick a shiv in the guts of this slave society. Don't be there when the guts start running out. It is going to be very ugly. If you depend on the slavers for your income it might be wise to look for something else. But generally - my condolences for your loss.

==

And I might add that from the way you express your concern indicates to me that it is not I who is losing it. Again - my condolences.

==

Also let me add that if you are a messenger - I will play ball with the victors. But not until they are victorious. As long as the issue is in doubt you know which side I am on.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:27 pm

Simon, there wont ever be a tax free country. So your ideas while noble, are purely academic.

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Postby MSimon » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:46 pm

Skipjack wrote:Simon, there wont ever be a tax free country. So your ideas while noble, are purely academic.


Who ever said I wanted a tax free country? I'm a libertarian not an anarchist.

What I wanted to point out is that the power to tax is the power to enslave. Government should keep its demands for slavery at a minimum. What that minimum should be is the subject of much debate. There is hardly any doubt among at least 40% of the population that the tax number is far too high. And those anti-tax numbers may be much higher than 40%. The next election should give a better indication.

Let me break down (roughly) the American electorate. About 20% on the left. About 40% in the center. About 40% on the right. I believe 60% will vote for the right in November. But I could be an optimist and it might only be 55%. Still landslide territory. +/-
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:29 am

Msimon, so you are for slavery too! Since you do want to charge people taxes, right?
I dont get you, buddy. Lean back for a second, look at the big picture...

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Postby MSimon » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:56 am

Skipjack wrote:Msimon, so you are for slavery too! Since you do want to charge people taxes, right?
I dont get you, buddy. Lean back for a second, look at the big picture...


Uh. Let me see if I can explain it to the math challenged.

Is stealing 10% of your income better or worse for you than stealing 40% of your income?

I have established the principle. We are all slaves to some extent to the taxman. So the question then is what is the degree? Should taxes be set to maximize government revenue or to maximize (as much as possible) economic growth?

http://classicalvalues.com/2012/06/are-taxes-too-high/

Follow the link given by SteveInMA (IIRC the handle correctly) for some nice graphs and charts. Not data but illustrative of the concepts involved.

This is also an illustrative story.

http://pepeledog.blogspot.com/2012/06/l ... ation.html

And why are we stuck with illustrative stories? There is no general agreement on what level of taxation reduces government income and further at what level growth stops.

And we haven't even looked at the regulatory state.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:24 am

So let me ask the relevant questions again.

The power to tax is the power to enslave.

For what are you willing to be a slave?

For what are you willing to enslave others?

The last question is the morality question.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:37 pm

Is stealing 10% of your income better or worse for you than stealing 40% of your income?

You are paying 40% of your income to the government?
I have the prospect of paying 20,000 USD to the US government within the coming year. That still is a far cry from 40% of my income.
You must be making millions!

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:35 pm

Skipjack wrote:
Is stealing 10% of your income better or worse for you than stealing 40% of your income?

You are paying 40% of your income to the government?
I have the prospect of paying 20,000 USD to the US government within the coming year. That still is a far cry from 40% of my income.
You must be making millions!


You are obviously not paying enough.

BTW for a bright guy you seem unusually thick on the subject. But OK Mr. Thick. Let me try again.

Is it better FOR YOU to have $500 dollars stolen FROM YOU or would having $50,000 stolen FROM YOU be better FOR YOU?

But hell you do not care how much is stolen from you. Odd. But I can live with that.

Here is the morality test.

How much do you want stolen from others?

Are you willing to benefit from stolen goods?

Under what circumstances?

Who do you want the thieves to punish?

Or are you still infected with the German disease? Perhaps the Soviet disease is more to your liking.

====

I can tell you with near certainty that we Americans will be cratering the thieves in November. Those living on stolen goods should begin looking for another line of work.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:57 pm

Msimon, I think you are living in a fantasy world, where something like small government exists. It has never existed, ever.
It was always big and those in control will always seek to keep it that way since they are the ones benefiting from it the most.
There has to be some sort of balance or we end up with an oligarchy (IMHO we are already very close to that anyway).

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Postby MSimon » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:14 pm

Skipjack wrote:Msimon, I think you are living in a fantasy world, where something like small government exists. It has never existed, ever.
It was always big and those in control will always seek to keep it that way since they are the ones benefiting from it the most.
There has to be some sort of balance or we end up with an oligarchy (IMHO we are already very close to that anyway).


Well. Fantasy for now. But the journey of 10,000 miles begins with the first step.

BTW I have been told that in my life a lot. I used to just put my head down and soldier on until I got the results I wanted. Now I just laugh. I did the impossible - a publicity campaign to get Polywell refunded. It worked. Nine months start to finish. Including learning some very difficult technology deep. I only have 4 for this. But I have a lot of help.

I started working against drug prohibition about 40 years ago when the numbers were 9 to 1 against and the insults I had to endure were tremendous - you can still see echoes of that around here. Now local and state governments are giving way and I have 56% of the population on my side re: pot legalization. And my numbers are still going higher (heh).

You are a reasonable man. But progress depends on unreasonable men. I have been unreasonable all my life.

===

You fight oligarchy by limiting the power of government. Small is good. Smaller is better.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:32 am

But Msimon, there is a natural limit to how small government can be. We have already established that there are things that have to be run by the government. These are a significant part of he US budget. So you may be able to cut taxes in half, but that still leaves too much room for those with the money to direct the taxes that they have collected from everyone to whatever benefits them the most.

tomclarke
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Postby tomclarke » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:42 am

MSimon wrote:
Skipjack wrote:
Is stealing 10% of your income better or worse for you than stealing 40% of your income?

You are paying 40% of your income to the government?
I have the prospect of paying 20,000 USD to the US government within the coming year. That still is a far cry from 40% of my income.
You must be making millions!


You are obviously not paying enough.

BTW for a bright guy you seem unusually thick on the subject. But OK Mr. Thick. Let me try again.

Is it better FOR YOU to have $500 dollars stolen FROM YOU or would having $50,000 stolen FROM YOU be better FOR YOU?

But hell you do not care how much is stolen from you. Odd. But I can live with that.

Here is the morality test.

How much do you want stolen from others?

Are you willing to benefit from stolen goods?

Under what circumstances?

Who do you want the thieves to punish?

Or are you still infected with the German disease? Perhaps the Soviet disease is more to your liking.

====

I can tell you with near certainty that we Americans will be cratering the thieves in November. Those living on stolen goods should begin looking for another line of work.


I have some sympathy with a radical anti-government view.

You reckon it is immoral for governments to take money away from citizens in tax. OK. Perhaps you like Ursula Le Guin - radical communist-anarchist utopia (or distopia - has elements of both).

Otherwise:

Suppose law & order - as well as all other services - are optional. You pay the fee or not to benefit or be left on your own.

What will happen? The local warlord, controlling local protection rackets, will intimidate and ocasionally kill those who don't pay, and those who fight against him, and those he does not like...

The rule of law is a great good for all. It works pretty well in liberal democracies.

Without taxes to pay, compulsory for those living in the territory, we have what you see in many other countries. it is not pleasant.

Or, if you are in fact less radical than you sound. maybe it is not the principle of tax, but the way Federal money is spent in the US:

US Federal expenditure, and the political system that grows around it like fungus, is not pleasant. Too much money, not enough accountability. People buy elections - that goes all the way up to the president. The solution, which other countries manage, is stronger and better controls on election expenditure. Also helpful would be a political system with slightly fewer checks and balances, so that the executive has more power over finances: the inevitably horse-trading otherwise means every vote is bought. To balance that you have a party system where power requires the support of a majority of MPs (or whatever). Political parties develop principled and tolerable by the population approaches to problems. The actual decisions in power are partly realpolitik (messy compromise based on party and individual interest), partly those (chosen by the population) principles.

It don't work well. Nothing does. But it is a least bad option.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:02 am

No human has ever been free, in the sense you describe it.

Even before we evolved, when sub-humans were tribal they either did homage to the Chief, or if one was the Chief in which case they had obligations of duty to their people.

In feudal schemes, the surf may be obligated to a vassal, who is obligated to their Lord who is obligated to their King. The King must perform his duties diligently within confining constraints for fear of his removal from the throne and/or execution.

In 'less feudual times', an apprentice was tied to a journeyman (for fear of imprisonment if he did not complete his apprenticeship) and then as journeyman must ply his craft under the obligations of a guild, in turn under the obligations of the County.

And what of today? The obligation of working 40 hours a week lest you fail to meet your payments necessary to fulfil payments of 'necessary' things, and further those pesky taxes. The obligation of custodianship of owned capital that society needs to hold in good order else it collapses. The obligation to act properly and with decorum so that others around may act co-operatively for the betterment of society. The family-man now committed to 20 years or more of laborious delivery unto his family.

What is freedom? It is the removal from the obligations of others. It is turning away from the societal norms that hold it together. It is saying 'I do not need any of the things you say my taxes must pay for'. And so you lose social securities. You lose roads to drive on. You lose access to builders who may build your house. You lose the military and the mechanism of the law - for all its faults - to protect you. For these things only exist through co-operation, and co-operation is impossible without some fundamental level of coercion, be it overt such as taxes, or indirect such as a sense of social duty.

So you reject these things, and instead you wander, free as a bird [non-roosting, as that is an instinctive behaviour of obligation!], into the forest yonder, for you now detest the rules, laws and obligations from being an actor in a society and an industrial infrastructure that might otherwise offer you its conveniences, lest you must pay dues and co-operate with their requirements before doing so. And there you are, with only your wit intellect and freedom, and now you struggle with your bare hands to make a house from the wood of the forest. You struggle long and hard through bitter winters without all those fuels supplied to you by services that essentially depend on a coherent social infrastructure that you have now rejected.

And then, someone else comes to you. Also unburdened by all those obligations of society. And he kills you for what you have built, because he is free to do so. If only you had accepted to work with a group of people that could collectively protect themselves, but, alas, to work with others who may set their own rules on your behaviour is anathema to you, and, so, there your cold corpse lies. There's no-one to even bury you. Your body is now picked at by a lone scavenging animal. There you both are, together; the two most freest of creatures.

We trade our freedom for societal benefits. Some societal benefits require payment of dues. It is a place to argue that some such due do not go towards useful benefits, that is the nature of politics to argue such things. But there is no case to argue that we might decide whether to enslave ourselves for the benefits and protections we receive, for this is a given. It is an inevitability. You would be unable to even discuss this point were it not for the fact that you have already accepted this principle. You are only ever released from this enslavement at the end of your mortal coil.

Therefore, the three questions to which you must confine yourself are simply;

- do we, as individuals, receive a net benefit from some given obligation we are made to undertake?
- do we, as a society, receive a net benefit from some given obligation we are made to undertake?
- are those two things reasonably balanced?

If you do not care to confine your concerns to these questions, then the freedom you seek is the freedom of the jungle. You do not need to persuade anyone of this, you merely need to walk into a jungle and remain there.

I would not seek to enslave you. But I may have obligations I need you to undertake, for the betterment of either yourself and/or for all. Are my obligations an 'enslavement'? If so, then it is an inevitability.

"For what are you willing to enslave others?"... for society to function. But the magnitude of enslavement should be no more than is absolutely necessary. As you do not define the question by degree, it is a leading question.


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