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Author Topic: renting out a house is armed robbery!  (Read 4503 times)
XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 08:51:25 AM
 #1

If the tenant doesn't pay his rent, MEN WITH GUNS show up and initiate violence against him! Anyone who believes in the NAP cannot ethically allow this! Overthrow landlords!
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Hawker
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February 28, 2012, 09:08:29 AM
 #2

I don't agree with the NAP but I don't agree with trolling either.  The NAP allows violence if someone breaks an agreement with you.

XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 09:14:51 AM
 #3

Now  replace landlord with government and you'll see my point.
XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 09:21:36 AM
 #4

See, if a property owner forces you out if you don't pay, that's cool. Even if other stuff like utilities that are included in the rent, it's still okay.

But if a government forces you out of the country if you don't pay taxes, that's initiation of force, right? Even if other stuff like roads, schools, or healthcare are included in taxes, it's still bad.
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February 28, 2012, 09:41:28 AM
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If the tenant doesn't pay his rent, MEN WITH GUNS show up and initiate violence against him! Anyone who believes in the NAP cannot ethically allow this! Overthrow landlords!

If the tenant didn't pay rent, then they have stolen your property (called trespass in this case).  Trespass is an act of aggression so the NAP doesn't apply.

(You do know that the NAP is "thou shalt not initiate violence"?)

But if a government forces you out of the country if you don't pay taxes, that's initiation of force, right? Even if other stuff like roads, schools, or healthcare are included in taxes, it's still bad.

Governments don't force you out of the country if you don't pay tax.

Firstly: you are forced to pay tax because it's mostly deducted before you get your money.  Secondly: it's deducted during any transaction.  Thirdly: anything else is just issued as a bill, and handled just like any other unpaid debt.

Government is the monopoly provider of force.  Depending on the degree of ones libertarianism/anarchism you accept that they must have that role.  It's pretty much a given that land ownership can only exist with a state there to register it with (some like to suggest that they don't need the state, that they will simply defend their borders... but that's a debate for a different thread I think).

Once you have a state as monopoly provider of force, then unpaid debts are simply extracted from you once a court has ruled on its legitimacy.

That is nothing to do with the ethicality/necessity of taxation in the first place.

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XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 09:44:04 AM
 #6

Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?
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February 28, 2012, 09:47:54 AM
 #7

I have to agree with XMPPwocky. In anarcho-capitalism, somebody still has to own the infrastructure. Each network (roads, utility lines, etc.) has to be monopolized to maximize its usefulness. Therefore any owner of infrastructure is a de facto member of government.

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February 28, 2012, 11:24:29 AM
 #8

Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?

How can it force you out of a house without threat of imprisonment?

What does socialism have to do with tax?  The USSR survived 60 years without any taxation.

I have to agree with XMPPwocky. In anarcho-capitalism, somebody still has to own the infrastructure. Each network (roads, utility lines, etc.) has to be monopolized to maximize its usefulness. Therefore any owner of infrastructure is a de facto member of government.

That makes no sense at all.  The whole idea of anarcho-capitalism is that there is no government.

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February 28, 2012, 11:37:05 AM
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Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?

It's hard to follow what your point is now.  However, to answer your question: it's not okay because of the tax, not because of the forcing out.

  • What has "socialist" to do with it?  The state is the state regardless of its current operators
  • What's the difference between dealing with an unpaid debt to the state, and an unpaid debt to your grocer?  My argument is that on this point, the state is no different from anyone else.  Debt is debt.
  • For any practical society there will have to be some way of resolving the unpaid debt problem.  If there is no consequence to running up debt and never paying it why wouldn't everyone simply run up that debt?  The answer for libertarians is "contract law", but once you allow for contracts you allow that they must eventually be enforced by someone.  "Enforced" being the key word.  The state is the monopoly provider of force.
  • We were talking about the NAP and how it applies to tenants; and somehow you've leaped away from that.  The tenant presumably signed a contract which said "I will pay or I will get out", if they don't pay what is your proposed remedy other than the "MEN WITH GUNS" enforce that contract?  Let them stay forever?  How is that not an act of aggression against the property owner?

So -- I have no problem with forced compliance with contract.  The problem with taxation though is that there is no contact.  Everyone is treated as if they signed an agreement to pay taxes, and if they don't they are dealt with just like any breaker of contract.  The problem then is not the method by which contract defaulters are dealt with -- that must exist with or without taxation -- the problem is the taxation in the first place.

"Taxation" (without a contract) simply being another way of saying "theft".  That's the initiation of force.  It is that which libertarians should have a problem with.  Any other state-committed force doesn't break the NAP because it is always in response to some other trespass which was the initiation.

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February 28, 2012, 11:59:14 AM
 #10

See, if a property owner forces you out if you don't pay, that's cool. Even if other stuff like utilities that are included in the rent, it's still okay.

But if a government forces you out of the country if you don't pay taxes, that's initiation of force, right? Even if other stuff like roads, schools, or healthcare are included in taxes, it's still bad.

Here's a key difference: I _signed_ an agreement with my landlord.
In other words, I made a promise and I am now trying to keep it.
I didn't sign anything with any governments. I owe them nothing.


That doesn't follow.

Your agreement with your landlord is a contract.  You don't have an agreement with your government.  It can collect taxes from you because you are in its territory, regardless of whether or not you chose to be there.

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February 28, 2012, 12:13:00 PM
 #11

Your agreement with your landlord is a contract.  You don't have an agreement with your government.  It can collect taxes from you because you are in its territory, regardless of whether or not you chose to be there.

That's one way of running a country -- not a million miles from Hobbe's social contract idea. I think the point libertarians want to make is that it's not the only way, and they'd like their way more.  What's more, their (our) argument is that a more libertarian country would end up better off in aggregate.

I don't suppose we'll ever know.  Turkey's don't vote for Christmas.

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February 28, 2012, 03:19:01 PM
 #12


It can collect taxes from you because you are in its territory, regardless of whether or not you chose to be there.


That is incorrect and on multiple counts.

Government usually collect taxes from you if you _earn_ money on their territory.

Also, other than the US, most countries in the world only tax you in that case, and
not once you earn money someplace else.



Actually you need to check your facts.  Most governments tax spending and tax property as well as taxing income.  If you buy petrol or if you own a house, the government taxes you.  And the bigger point is that you are paying taxes without your consent.  You don't have a contract with the government the way you have a contract with a landlord.

XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 03:56:05 PM
 #13

Okay, so if a full-on socialist government only forces you out (no imprisonment) if you fail to pay taxes, that's OK?

It's hard to follow what your point is now.  However, to answer your question: it's not okay because of the tax, not because of the forcing out.

  • What has "socialist" to do with it?  The state is the state regardless of its current operators
  • What's the difference between dealing with an unpaid debt to the state, and an unpaid debt to your grocer?  My argument is that on this point, the state is no different from anyone else.  Debt is debt.
  • For any practical society there will have to be some way of resolving the unpaid debt problem.  If there is no consequence to running up debt and never paying it why wouldn't everyone simply run up that debt?  The answer for libertarians is "contract law", but once you allow for contracts you allow that they must eventually be enforced by someone.  "Enforced" being the key word.  The state is the monopoly provider of force.
  • We were talking about the NAP and how it applies to tenants; and somehow you've leaped away from that.  The tenant presumably signed a contract which said "I will pay or I will get out", if they don't pay what is your proposed remedy other than the "MEN WITH GUNS" enforce that contract?  Let them stay forever?  How is that not an act of aggression against the property ownewr?

So -- I have no problem with forced compliance with contract.  The problem with taxation though is that there is no contact.  Everyone is treated as if they signed an agreement to pay taxes, and if they don't they are dealt with just like any breaker of contract.  The problem then is not the method by which contract defaulters are dealt with -- that must exist with or without taxation -- the problem is the taxation in the first place.

"Taxation" (without a contract) simply being another way of saying "theft".  That's the initiation of force.  It is that which libertarians should have a problem with.  Any other state-committed force doesn't break the NAP because it is always in response to some other trespass which was the initiation.


Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?
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February 28, 2012, 04:03:23 PM
 #14

Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

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February 28, 2012, 04:33:07 PM
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Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

My understanding is that the NAP is not compatible with a state because a state insists on a monopoly on violence and you pay taxes regardless of your opinion on on what the money is spent on.

Am I wrong?

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February 28, 2012, 04:39:20 PM
 #16

I question the idea of owning land that you do not use yourself.

Also, for me personally the "social contract" is broken. This is because it turns out that the governments (at least the ones I would have a choice to live in) attack and murder their own citizens (i.e. false flags attacks) and then cover it up. So the idea of a "government" has lost all credibility for me. There should be no governments, just private organizations that don't have more rights than any individual.

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XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 05:37:48 PM
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Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

Alright, thanks.

I'm thinking of a minarchist government that only enforces contracts and handles property rights, and then multiple private "microstates" with different rules.

See, I tend to lean more towards the socialist side of things (sorry, but if someone doesn't have enough money for a life-saving operation and can't convince people to donate enough to him, I don't think he should die.) However, a free market can be extremely effective. So, I think formalizing the social contract is the best way to provide for those less fortunate while maximizing individual freedom.

Similar to a microkernel, actually. The government/kernel provides only the basic rules and structure (contract enforcement and property rights/IPC and security) - individual people/daemons have no ability to modify that, although some people/daemons are more privileged than others (own property/have access rights to important files or device nodes).
XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 05:39:44 PM
 #18

Okay. So if you could only enter a nation if you agreed to pay taxes, and could leave at any time without being further taxed,  then that could work under the NAP?

Yep; I think so.  One might argue that that is the option open to all of us right now.  Fair enough to that I think.  It's made slightly ambiguous because there isn't any country you can go to where you aren't taxed, but that's hardly the countries' problem is it?

There is also the further point that libertarians believe that the country they are in would be better if it became more libertarian; so being willing to stay somewhere doesn't automatically imply that you don't think that improvements could be made (like say making all taxation opt-in, say via a land value tax paid in exchange for keeping you registered as the owner of a particular bit of land in the land registry).

My understanding is that the NAP is not compatible with a state because a state insists on a monopoly on violence and you pay taxes regardless of your opinion on on what the money is spent on.

Am I wrong?
Well, the usual solution there is to define breach of contract or trespassing as "violence". Odd, but it makes things come out right.
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February 28, 2012, 05:55:52 PM
 #19

But you don't have a contract with the state.

XMPPwocky
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February 28, 2012, 05:57:39 PM
 #20

But you don't have a contract with the state.

Well, the state needs to allow you to leave at any time if you have no unpaid debts.
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