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Do you agree with Dr. Rothbard on taxation?

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
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I do. Basically, his stance is that consumption taxes can be just as bad as the income tax because the consumption taxes can bring in just as much gov revenue. He also points out that they could be as bad as income tax for those today referred to as "job creators", because goods to increase capital would require a sales tax. Consumption taxes basically distort the natural supply/demand curve. He also doesn't like the Flat Tax because it could be bring in more money than the graduated income tax with a higher top marginal rate and more exemptions... and he's right as he always is, because even a 17% flat tax rate on all income would unfortunately cause govt revenue to sky rocket. Consumption taxes are also not more civil than income taxes, because evading both is easily criminalized and both have far too high of a cost to administer.

However, a net worth tax is even worse than income and consumption taxes, because the former could bring in more revenue than the latter two could, value is subjective, and then you'd be paying the state to rent your worth.

Dr. Rothbard's solution, other than abolishing the state, is to have a head tax. It would have to be so low so that everyone could pay it and the govt also wouldn't be able to spend much. That is the least bad tax. The 2nd least bad tax (IMO) would be a single rate tax on all exporting.
 

Demo24

Diamond Member
Aug 5, 2004
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An export tax? Lol, what a stupid idea if I've ever heard one not to mention its illegal here anyway.

Since, like always,you've not provided a credible link to Dr rothbards ideas, one will have to conclude he is an idiot.
 

berzerker60

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2012
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It's absurd that you define more revenue as a bad thing, rather than a neutral thing contingent only upon what size fits the services the people decide they want to be made available. If the people want no services, then any taxation would be wrong since it would have no purpose. If the people want everything provided by the government, total taxation would be appropriate. Thankfully, no significant number of people want either situation.

Even if you want very low taxes and few services a flat or regressive tax is morally reprehensible.
 

Smoblikat

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2011
5,184
107
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Why is govt revenue a bad thing? If they have more money, the country has more money therefore the states and us have more money. Sounds good to me, though I think the idea of taxes is stupid to begin with.
 

halik

Lifer
Oct 10, 2000
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Love how people with absolutely no background in economics are drawn to a long-empirically-debunked fringe of economic thought....
 

bfdd

Lifer
Feb 3, 2007
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why would bringing in just as much gov't revenue be a bad thing? IMO it comes down to simple SC rulings that cause failures in the constitution. Spending money = speech, congress has the ability to tax, but they can make no law that infringes on speech. So, taxing me before I have the opportunity to spend my money to me is infringing on my speech, taxing me as I spend my money isn't.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,390
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Theoretically that's true, but in practice it's not. For example, Lincoln income taxed, import taxed, excise taxed, printed money, and borrowed.
Nothing in your statement showed that government spending was constrained by revenue.
 

Gunslinger08

Lifer
Nov 18, 2001
13,234
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I don't support consumption taxes because:
1. They are regressive. Those who make more tend to save more of their money, meaning that those who make less pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes.
2. They unnaturally deter consumption. Yes, saving is awesome, but consumption is what drives our economy. I would expect a lot of people in the US to cut back on spending if everything cost 20% more. At least with taxes being taken out before expenses, you have an exact amount to work with. Even if you're going to end up with the same amount of money after taxes and expenses each month, there will be a psychological block on spending more than we used to.
3. Rates are going to go up, pretty much unavoidably so. Consumption is going to drop considerably as rates go up. For those who can't decrease their consumption and also can't afford everything they need, you end up paying consumption tax on borrowed money (ex. credit cards, home/auto/personal loans, etc.), which will increase debt and tie up funds that could have loaned out to create jobs.
 

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
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Love how people with absolutely no background in economics are drawn to a long-empirically-debunked fringe of economic thought....
Many disagree with interventionist economics on an ethical level.
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
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Nothing in your statement showed that government spending was constrained by revenue.
Then why did Lincoln not just borrow everything or print everything to fund his war? Why did he reinstate the tax on alcohol and start the first income tax in America? Why did he support higher tariffs for more revenue? Just wondering.:)

The point of the morrill tariff was not only to "protect" American industry but it was also to raise more revenue.

If the 16th Amendment was repealed tonight and replaced with nothing, then the govt couldn't fund how much it spends plus interest on the national debt with tariffs alone. It could totally nationalize the banking system into a total greenback system to print money and make borrowing even cheaper than it is now, but that would eventually crash from hyperinflation... unless there was enough revenue from taxes.
Many disagree with interventionist economics on an ethical level.
Thank you:)
 

MooseNSquirrel

Platinum Member
Feb 26, 2009
2,583
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Is that some kind of fringe libertarian website?

Very strange.

Why do Libertarians hate Civilization so much?
 

Demo24

Diamond Member
Aug 5, 2004
8,357
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Here is the source.:)

"The Flat Tax Folly" isn't written by Dr. Rothbard, but it's written by someone who is inspired by him.
Well its not like I'm ever going to read it anyway since the 'ideas' are simply asinine, but you could at least try and make it more credible by sourcing the person and not some kook that was 'inspired' by him.

Is that some kind of fringe libertarian website?

Very strange.

Why do Libertarians hate Civilization so much?
It does seem to be a party where all these anarchists and other individuals that want to see an end of the conventional government reside. Perhaps some have decent ideas, but feels like most label themselves as such as a way to identify with some party that doesn't sound as bad as 'the anti-government mass chaos party'.
 

bfdd

Lifer
Feb 3, 2007
13,312
1
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Libertarians don't hate civilization, they just happen to believe people can be civil and charitable without the force of government needed to take from them. Nor are they scared like little fucking pussies if everything went to shit simply because they were wrong. Seems to be the MO for everyone else though. ZOMG SAVE ME JEEBUSerr... I mean Mr. President!
 

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
350
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How do Libertarians propose we build a modern civilization without taxes?
Privately through profit seeking entrepreneurship. Government makes it possible to build things that maybe cannot be provided privately because private enterprise cannot force you to pay for something.

The main disagreement libertarians would have with someone like yourself is whether or not a particular project would be worth it even if a free market would determine that a project is not profitable and not worth it.

I'm assuming since you cannot see a way civilization can be built without taxes means you think that certain elements of our infrastructure could not produce a profit on their own if they were privately held and paid for without taxes and as such must be provided for with taxation, is that correct?
 

Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
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How do Libertarians propose we build a modern civilization without taxes?
Is the foreign policy we have conducive to civilization? What about corporate welfare? What about jailing people for failure to give up money they earned? What about the drug war? I don't think any of those are conducive to civilization, but let me know how you think they are.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,390
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Is the foreign policy we have conducive to civilization? What about corporate welfare? What about jailing people for failure to give up money they earned? What about the drug war? I don't think any of those are conducive to civilization, but let me know how you think they are.
Only one of those things is related to taxes and yes, jailing people who do not comply with taxation is definitely conducive to civilization. Sanction for failure to remit taxes is in fact a fundamental attribute of every advanced society the earth has ever seen.
 

modestninja

Senior member
Jul 17, 2003
753
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Only one of those things is related to taxes and yes, jailing people who do not comply with taxation is definitely conducive to civilization. Sanction for failure to remit taxes is in fact a fundamental attribute of every advanced society the earth has ever seen.
But what about the Aliens man? They totally tried the whole anarchy thing and the magical hand of the market lead them to discover faster than light travel only two years after abolishing all taxes. Their civilization was so much better after that. Anarchist420 and I consult with them all the time on how we can make the Earth a better place... :D
 

berzerker60

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2012
1,233
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Privately through profit seeking entrepreneurship. Government makes it possible to build things that maybe cannot be provided privately because private enterprise cannot force you to pay for something.

The main disagreement libertarians would have with someone like yourself is whether or not a particular project would be worth it even if a free market would determine that a project is not profitable and not worth it.

I'm assuming since you cannot see a way civilization can be built without taxes means you think that certain elements of our infrastructure could not produce a profit on their own if they were privately held and paid for without taxes and as such must be provided for with taxation, is that correct?
Obviously. Most natural monopolies, for example. Joe Blow in the sticks would never see electricity, much less internet, because the cost to set up the wiring would not be profitable to the electric company until way way way down the road if ever, compared to immediate profits from other uses for that investment capital. Same goes for roads to every home, postal service to every home. Not everyone will be able to afford schools, and those catering to the poor by definition will have to aim for a high volume, lower quality model.

Then there's the fundamental problems of externalities and information flow. There's no profit-motivated way to deal with company A dumping into the river and making people sick 20 miles downstream. Even if the people strongly suspected that was the cause, the needed investment in time and money to exhaustively research the water chemical levels along the river for 20 miles or more would put it well out of the reach of any given private citizen, or even voluntary collective of citizens. And if they DO prove it, so what? Company A can just sell to the people upstream or in the next territory who haven't heard of the pollution or (more likely) don't care because it doesn't affect them.

Similarly, when company B starts using questionable 'meat' in their sausages that don't make people immediately sick, but build up and cause illness down the road, how are consumers to know (and therefore use the only recourse they have in this scenario, choosing to not buy that sausage)? They'd have to have home FDAs.

Information is expensive in time and often money, certainly in money if we start privatizing all sources of it, and reliable information costs even more time to verify. Not everyone has the time to invest into information gathering to make fully-informed rational choices, even assuming the mythical rational decision-maker existed. We need regulations to give us a baseline of knowledge on which we can act - that our foods are almost always up to a certain standard, same with our water, and any special dangers will be listed for us to decide on.

Also monopoly trusts are bad for everyone but the monopoly trusts, and require governments to keep them from forming. But I doubt you'd ever see a well-ordered and developed enough economy under libertarian anarchy to get to that stage.
 
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