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Author Topic: George ought to help.... (should we use violence on him if he chooses not to?)  (Read 4300 times)
interlagos
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February 01, 2012, 10:04:20 PM
 #41

Videos are a waste of time.  If the person has an idea worth taking seriously, they'd have it written down somewhere.

Well you did watch the original video about George, so I don't see a problem.
Here is another one opening up the truth about how our beloved state actually works:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWH5TlbloU
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Hawker
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February 01, 2012, 10:18:16 PM
 #42

Videos are a waste of time.  If the person has an idea worth taking seriously, they'd have it written down somewhere.

Well you did watch the original video about George, so I don't see a problem.
Here is another one opening up the truth about how our beloved state actually works:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWH5TlbloU

I gave up on George when he started getting illogical.  Given the level of argument, I sort of wish I didn't bother watching it and with respect will skip yours.

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February 05, 2012, 10:34:22 AM
 #43

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Videos are a waste of time.  If the person has an idea worth taking seriously, they'd have it written down somewhere.

Hawker is a speed-reading British lawyer; if you want him to consider your arguments you have to provide them in written form.
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February 05, 2012, 01:49:49 PM
 #44

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Videos are a waste of time.  If the person has an idea worth taking seriously, they'd have it written down somewhere.

Hawker is a speed-reading British lawyer; if you want him to consider your arguments you have to provide them in written form.

We are all speed readers.  Reading is something like 4 times faster than listening and that assumes the video isn't packed with atmospheric music and still scenes. 

I'm not British and I am not a lawyer but at least you got 1 out of 3 correct.

interlagos
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February 05, 2012, 08:19:46 PM
 #45

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Videos are a waste of time.  If the person has an idea worth taking seriously, they'd have it written down somewhere.

Hawker is a speed-reading British lawyer; if you want him to consider your arguments you have to provide them in written form.

The last video I posted here is only 30 minutes, it would actually save a lot of time from reading, arguing and asking questions.
Although I agree that these forums are exactly for that, so I'm not going to discourage you from doing any of that.
Everyone finds its own way to the truth.
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February 05, 2012, 08:21:47 PM
 #46

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Videos are a waste of time.  If the person has an idea worth taking seriously, they'd have it written down somewhere.

Hawker is a speed-reading British lawyer; if you want him to consider your arguments you have to provide them in written form.

The last video I posted here is only 30 minutes, it would actually save a lot of time from reading, arguing and asking questions.
Although I agree that these forums are exactly for that, so I'm not going to discourage you from doing any of that.
Everyone finds its own way to the truth.

I did that in that in the second post.  Maybe if people took time to read the threads, instead of posting repeated things, we'd have more useful conversation.
interlagos
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February 05, 2012, 08:33:39 PM
 #47


I did that in that in the second post.  Maybe if people took time to read the threads, instead of posting repeated things, we'd have more useful conversation.

Apparently posting it for the second time didn't convince Hawker to watch it Smiley
But sure, my bad. I'm not very good at reading...
I also created a separate thread for it here, thought it deserved it.
Hawker
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February 05, 2012, 08:54:29 PM
 #48


I did that in that in the second post.  Maybe if people took time to read the threads, instead of posting repeated things, we'd have more useful conversation.

Apparently posting it for the second time didn't convince Hawker to watch it Smiley
But sure, my bad. I'm not very good at reading...
I also created a separate thread for it here, thought it deserved it.


Um, what's the deal with asking us to watch videos?  They are fun to make I suppose but if the content is of any value, its available in writing.  If I wasted 30 minutes on every daft video people post here, I wouldn't have time to post.

The George video is a case in point.  The logic is fundamentally flawed.  I pointed that out on Youtube and the author blocked me.  So the time was wasted twice; once watching and seeing that he confused things and secondly point out that he made a mistake.  I regret wasting the time now.

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February 05, 2012, 09:06:20 PM
 #49

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States and societies are not voluntary and not transaction based.

I agree, this is why the activities of the state are not modeled very well by voluntary transactions between two people.

So we are in agreement.  And that's why the video about George fails.  It tries to apply the logic of 2 people in a transaction to taxation and of course it doesn't work.

If George gives money to Oliver due to your personal threat of violence would you consider it a voluntary transaction?

To go back to this... I dont think you answered it. I do not see a "voluntary transaction" occurring in that video (except between the friend and oliver). George is being threatened with violence, making it not a voluntary transaction. So the analogy works.
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February 05, 2012, 09:11:40 PM
 #50

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States and societies are not voluntary and not transaction based.

I agree, this is why the activities of the state are not modeled very well by voluntary transactions between two people.

So we are in agreement.  And that's why the video about George fails.  It tries to apply the logic of 2 people in a transaction to taxation and of course it doesn't work.

If George gives money to Oliver due to your personal threat of violence would you consider it a voluntary transaction?

To go back to this... I dont think you answered it. I do not see a "voluntary transaction" occurring in that video (except between the friend and oliver). George is being threatened with violence, making it not a voluntary transaction. So the analogy works.

Tax is not a voluntary transaction at all.  The thing between the friend and Oliver was a transaction and it was voluntary.  Comparing that to paying income tax is like comparing apples and oranges.

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February 05, 2012, 09:22:36 PM
 #51

I'm not sure why you're focusing on the friend who wanted to give. Many times people would voluntarily pay for the same services the government provides them, so it is not an issue (besides arguments about efficiency which are outside the realm of this thread) The salient character is George, who does not want to pay.
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February 05, 2012, 09:28:06 PM
 #52

I'm not sure why you're focusing on the friend who wanted to give. Many times people would voluntarily pay for the same services the government provides them, so it is not an issue (besides arguments about efficiency which are outside the realm of this thread) The salient character is George, who does not want to pay.

Correct - George is the salient character.  And if George does not want to help Oliver, no-one should force him to.  The video says that is a reason why George should not pay his income tax.  The logic error in the video is to extrapolate from the voluntary transaction between George and Oliver and say "Paying tax should be voluntary too."  But tax is not a transaction so the logic fails.

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February 05, 2012, 09:30:29 PM
 #53

I see, forgive me if you answered this already. I got busy and forgot about this thread for a bit, I'm not seeing an answer. But what is your definition of transaction?
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February 05, 2012, 09:34:35 PM
 #54

I see, forgive me if you answered this already. I got busy and forgot about this thread for a bit, I'm not seeing an answer. But what is your definition of transaction?

In this context, its the charitable gift of money to Oliver.  But I am including all kinds of interpersonal deals that you enter voluntarily or are of a private nature.  The contrast is with government where an old lady who lives in the mountains and hates the sea still has to pay for the coast guard through her income tax. 

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February 05, 2012, 09:37:29 PM
 #55

Ok, so you define transaction as being person-person. Therefore taxes are not a transaction. Ok. Is there a more general term you use for paying money to either another person or an organization and receiving some product/service in return?
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February 05, 2012, 09:47:53 PM
 #56

Ok, so you define transaction as being person-person. Therefore taxes are not a transaction. Ok. Is there a more general term you use for paying money to either another person or an organization and receiving some product/service in return?

That would be a transaction wouldn't it? 

Taxation is not a transaction because there is no "you give me this and you will get that" - you have to pay taxes even if you don't want anything the state offers.

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February 05, 2012, 09:56:06 PM
 #57


Good question.  Paying taxes and obeying laws are not transaction based activities but they are at the core of every society.

Perhaps the basis is duty?  Historically people felt a sense of duty to their tribe and would pay taxes and go and die in battle for the tribe.  It still works that way across the developing world.

Modern states seem to have stepped into the old tribe slot.  People feel a duty to support their country with taxes and they take pride in their sons going off and being killed in conflicts that have no benefit to them or their families.

Personally I think there is a "well there is no alternative" to why modern states work.  If you want to live in a society with schools, roads, army and all the benefits of modern medicine, there are no alternatives to living in a state that charges taxes to support itself. 

Now I think I'm starting to get your perspective. So the state is doing something like playing the role of tribal leaders, and taxation is a way to collect duty once a society grows beyond the point at which shame can get people to contribute?

I don't mean to put words in your mouth. I am just trying to understand in my own words... if you get my meaning.
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February 05, 2012, 10:08:15 PM
 #58


Good question.  Paying taxes and obeying laws are not transaction based activities but they are at the core of every society.

Perhaps the basis is duty?  Historically people felt a sense of duty to their tribe and would pay taxes and go and die in battle for the tribe.  It still works that way across the developing world.

Modern states seem to have stepped into the old tribe slot.  People feel a duty to support their country with taxes and they take pride in their sons going off and being killed in conflicts that have no benefit to them or their families.

Personally I think there is a "well there is no alternative" to why modern states work.  If you want to live in a society with schools, roads, army and all the benefits of modern medicine, there are no alternatives to living in a state that charges taxes to support itself. 

Now I think I'm starting to get your perspective. So the state is doing something like playing the role of tribal leaders, and taxation is a way to collect duty once a society grows beyond the point at which shame can get people to contribute?

I don't mean to put words in your mouth. I am just trying to understand in my own words... if you get my meaning.

Yes.  We exist in societies and our societies have invented concepts like property rights, human rights and money.  These concepts allow us to live a lot more comfortably than our hunter gather ancestors. Taxation is the way that the collective needs of our society get paid for.  Instead of saying "Taxation is taking what is mine" its more logically to say "Society has decided to distribute property and money in this way and of the amount I got, society is taking a percentage back."

Libertarians seem to work on the premise that the money and the property exists outside of society - thats an interesting idea but false.  Both are social creations.

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February 05, 2012, 10:15:18 PM
 #59

I see what you are saying and agree. Do you think there is reason to believe that just because this is how it has been done in the past, there is no alternative?

A libertarian society would be a qualitatively different society than any I have ever learned about. The current state-based system has alot of robustness (or else it would not have worked for so long), but that does not mean it is perfect, or even the best option under all possible conditions.
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February 05, 2012, 10:33:01 PM
 #60

I see what you are saying and agree. Do you think there is reason to believe that just because this is how it has been done in the past, there is no alternative?

A libertarian society would be a qualitatively different society than any I have ever learned about. The current state-based system has alot of robustness (or else it would not have worked for so long), but that does not mean it is perfect, or even the best option under all possible conditions.

A libertarian society assumes that some people only exist so that the misery they suffer is a warning to others on the perils of fecklessness.  That might work in a poor world where food and medicine is in short supply.  But in our rich countries where superabundance means that no child should ever be hungry and no-one should die of a preventable illness, I don't see how a libertarian society could even be attempted. 

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