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Author Topic: What's so special about the NAP?  (Read 18484 times)
myrkul
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June 20, 2012, 08:32:24 PM
 #101

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivity_in_United_States_income_tax

In the mid-twentieth century, marginal tax rates (the rate applied to the last bit of income) in the United States and United Kingdom exceeded 90%

I asked for stats, and since you instead gave me a wikipedia quote, I'm going to have to ask this way: [citation needed]

Google.  Stop being lazy. 

It's your assertion, back it up.

I regard wikipedia as adequate back-up. 

And as I said, [citation needed].

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June 20, 2012, 08:37:42 PM
 #102

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivity_in_United_States_income_tax

In the mid-twentieth century, marginal tax rates (the rate applied to the last bit of income) in the United States and United Kingdom exceeded 90%

I asked for stats, and since you instead gave me a wikipedia quote, I'm going to have to ask this way: [citation needed]

Google.  Stop being lazy. 

It's your assertion, back it up.

I regard wikipedia as adequate back-up. 

And as I said, [citation needed].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivity_in_United_States_income_tax


myrkul
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June 20, 2012, 08:52:54 PM
 #103

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivity_in_United_States_income_tax

In the mid-twentieth century, marginal tax rates (the rate applied to the last bit of income) in the United States and United Kingdom exceeded 90%

I asked for stats, and since you instead gave me a wikipedia quote, I'm going to have to ask this way: [citation needed]

Google.  Stop being lazy. 

It's your assertion, back it up.

I regard wikipedia as adequate back-up. 

And as I said, [citation needed].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivity_in_United_States_income_tax

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

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June 20, 2012, 09:06:09 PM
 #104

Of course its circular reasoning.  You ask for facts; I provide facts and your reply is "I don't like those facts.  Please give me facts."  

Its a historical fact that the tax rate was 90% after WW2.  Whining that you don't like it is pointless.  I can't find a different set of facts in Google for you because that is what happened.


myrkul
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June 20, 2012, 09:27:27 PM
 #105

Of course its circular reasoning.  You ask for facts; I provide facts and your reply is "I don't like those facts.  Please give me facts."  

No, I asked for numbers, you gave me words, and when I asked for the numbers that backed up those words, you pointed me back to the words.

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June 20, 2012, 09:28:40 PM
 #106

Of course its circular reasoning.  You ask for facts; I provide facts and your reply is "I don't like those facts.  Please give me facts."  

No, I asked for numbers, you gave me words, and when I asked for the numbers that backed up those words, you pointed me back to the words.

I provided a nice wikipedia article with nice sets of numbers all neatly sourced.  Your problem is that you don't like the numbers.

myrkul
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June 20, 2012, 09:32:48 PM
 #107

Of course its circular reasoning.  You ask for facts; I provide facts and your reply is "I don't like those facts.  Please give me facts."  

No, I asked for numbers, you gave me words, and when I asked for the numbers that backed up those words, you pointed me back to the words.

I provided a nice wikipedia article with nice sets of numbers all neatly sourced.  Your problem is that you don't like the numbers.

Oh, I see plenty of numbers in that article, but all for 2007. Isn't that "early twenty-first century", not "mid twentieth century"?

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June 20, 2012, 09:37:05 PM
 #108

Here is a tax chart from 1913.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2011-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets

If you bothered to google it, there is a helpful summary.

"The rate had reached 94 percent during World War II, on income over $200,000 (approx. $2.49 million in today's dollars). It dropped down to 91 percent in 1946 and remained there until the Kennedy tax cuts in 1962-64. Brackets weren't inflation adjusted back then, so it still applied on income over $200,000, which by then had reached $1.41 million in today's dollars."


myrkul
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June 20, 2012, 09:49:18 PM
 #109


Well, there you go, numbers. Thank you. Was that so hard?

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June 20, 2012, 09:53:58 PM
 #110


Now you have the numbers, you can see a nice correlation between high US debt, high taxes and high growth.

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June 20, 2012, 09:56:30 PM
 #111


Now you have the numbers, you can see a nice correlation between high US debt, high taxes and high growth.

Correlation != causation.

I am not an economist, and I doubt you are either, to draw conclusions from those numbers.

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June 20, 2012, 10:04:24 PM
 #112


Now you have the numbers, you can see a nice correlation between high US debt, high taxes and high growth.

Correlation != causation.

I am not an economist, and I doubt you are either, to draw conclusions from those numbers.

Not correct.  You can conclude that people saying that high taxes or the national debt or high rates of trade union activity cause economic problems are talking nonsense as you now have facts that prove otherwise.

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June 20, 2012, 10:13:24 PM
 #113


Now you have the numbers, you can see a nice correlation between high US debt, high taxes and high growth.

Correlation != causation.

I am not an economist, and I doubt you are either, to draw conclusions from those numbers.

Not correct.  You can conclude that people saying that high taxes or the national debt or high rates of trade union activity cause economic problems are talking nonsense as you now have facts that prove otherwise.

But how many people actually met that high tax bracket? How many people altered their finances specifically to avoid it? How much more would the economy have grown without that high bracket? I can't answer those questions, can you?

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fergalish
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June 20, 2012, 10:14:02 PM
 #114

Folks, this thread has turned into a pro-NAP anti-NAP flame war, something I wasn't intending with the OP. My question was specifically asking why libertarians like the NAP so much - forum rules state that we should preferably remain on-topic.

So, I wish to consider a society with the maximum freedom, where even the NAP is eliminated. There is no social contract which obliges people not to initiate violence. Now, if anyone *does* go around being violent, they'll eventually meet their match, and so violent people will be eventually eliminated, right? Of course, since there are no restrictions, then all people retain the right to self-defence.

Someone in this thread said something like "NAP is a natural law". Well, I have to say, but that's flat out incorrect. Humanity's natural state, as a caveman, was full of violence - fighting for food, for mates, for survival, of one's self and one's offspring would have been a typical day out.

Someone else asked, and this was interesting, that if, in a libertarian society, there is no authority which can enforce the NAP, then does the NAP really exist? I mean, if I have to assume that any random stranger I meet might initiate violence, then I'll surely have to be constantly ready to defend myself, and the NAP's utility approaches zero. Of course, the NAP would apply when I meet people, for example, with whom I regularly trade. But then, well, if I regularly trade with them, then I won't really need a NAP now, will I?

So: Why The NAP?

It can't be to increase productivity and efficiency for a society, 'cos otherwise you could justify a law saying, 'no loud music after 11pm', so that everyone can sleep better (or any other similar example).

It can't be on moral grounds - all morality is relative (I hope this is not in dispute).

It can't be on utilitarian grounds - same applies as with the loud music after 11pm.

So what's so special about the NAP?  Given that it's unenforceable, which calls it's very existence into question, and there appear to be no convincing grounds on which to apply it, then why have it at all?  Eliminate the damn NAP, and go for a *truly* free society.

[Just to be clear, I am largely anti-libertarian. I think a lib. society could function for a small group of, at most, a few thousand people; bigger than that and members' honesty and loyalty will take second place to personal greed and self-preservation instincts. That's my opinion.]
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June 20, 2012, 10:21:07 PM
 #115

It can't be on moral grounds - all morality is relative (I hope this is not in dispute).

...

So what's so special about the NAP?  Given that it's unenforceable, which calls it's very existence into question, and there appear to be no convincing grounds on which to apply it, then why have it at all?  Eliminate the damn NAP, and go for a *truly* free society.

[Just to be clear, I am largely anti-libertarian. I think a lib. society could function for a small group of, at most, a few thousand people; bigger than that and members' honesty and loyalty will take second place to personal greed and self-preservation instincts. That's my opinion.]

It is on moral grounds, and it is enforceable.

Enforcement of the NAP is called "self defense"

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June 21, 2012, 06:58:00 AM
 #116

...snip...

Not correct.  You can conclude that people saying that high taxes or the national debt or high rates of trade union activity cause economic problems are talking nonsense as you now have facts that prove otherwise.

But how many people actually met that high tax bracket? How many people altered their finances specifically to avoid it? How much more would the economy have grown without that high bracket? I can't answer those questions, can you?

You have this thing that when the facts are not what you want, you say "Lets ignore them and carry on."  Its sort of sad.

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June 21, 2012, 07:05:49 AM
 #117

But how many people actually met that high tax bracket? How many people altered their finances specifically to avoid it? How much more would the economy have grown without that high bracket? I can't answer those questions, can you?

Or maybe they were inspired to reinvest back into their business and hire workers so as not to be in such a high tax bracket. Maybe the government had reduced debt and more money to invest in the nation's infrastructure, employing more people. Maybe more people in the lower tax brackets had more disposable income. And then they went out and spent that disposable income at businesses, and those businesses made money, and reinvested it.

Maybe trickle down isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
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June 21, 2012, 07:38:08 AM
 #118

Enforcement of the NAP is called "self defense"
Suppose a person is unable or unwilling to defend themselves. How is the NAP enforced then? I'm sure that generations of libertarian philosophers have a better response than simply 'self defence'. And, if, to my disgust, that really is the ultimate basis for libertarianism, then why bother with the NAP at all? Everyone has to go around armed to the teeth anyway so what use is it?

It can't be on moral grounds - all morality is relative (I hope this is not in dispute).
It is on moral grounds, and it is enforceable.
Whose moral grounds? Yours? Please state specifically which moral grounding NAP is based on - but remember that for it to work, then ALL members of the lib. society in question must subscribe to that moral structure.

I was under the impression that moral absolutism had been more-or-less universally rejected by philosophers the world over; with the exception of, e.g., religious philosophers who have an interest in promulgating an absolutism created by an eternal and unchanging God. Though, even there, the absolutism changes with time - I remember when one couldn't eat meat on Friday. Once upon a time lending money at interest was immoral, as was getting a divorce. Once upon a time homosexual acts were considered perfectly normal, as was interracial marriage. How about pre-marital sex? The list goes on.

I'm not a philosopher by profession (unfortunately), so perhaps someone more educated than me could provide better evidence that moral absolutism has been conclusively rejected.

There are, one must accept, social groups which probably do behave, within the group, more according to a NAP than anything else. Quakers, for example, though I have no direct experience. Mormons aswell perhaps? Primitive tribes? Inner city streetgangs or mobs? Mafia organisations? Help me out here folks. The problems are two: firstly in such a social group, something as formal as a NAP is unnecessary because members will naturally cooperate for mutual benefit; secondly, where two such social groups interact, you'd need an external authority to reconcile their differing moral values or a bloodbath would ensue.
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June 21, 2012, 07:52:27 AM
 #119

Enforcement of the NAP is called "self defense"
Suppose a person is unable or unwilling to defend themselves. How is the NAP enforced then? I'm sure that generations of libertarian philosophers have a better response than simply 'self defence'. And, if, to my disgust, that really is the ultimate basis for libertarianism, then why bother with the NAP at all? Everyone has to go around armed to the teeth anyway so what use is it?

I rather expected you to pick up on this, Yes, there are people who can or will not defend themselves. That's fine, since it opens up a market opportunity. Since there's a need for people to defend those people, someone will show up to provide that service. If they can't pay, and there are people who care about people who can't pay for their defense, then there will be a charity to pay for it.

It can't be on moral grounds - all morality is relative (I hope this is not in dispute).
It is on moral grounds, and it is enforceable.
Whose moral grounds? Yours? Please state specifically which moral grounding NAP is based on - but remember that for it to work, then ALL members of the lib. society in question must subscribe to that moral structure.

The moral structure of the NAP is in the wording of the NAP: No person has the right to initiate force or fraud on another person.

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June 21, 2012, 08:01:02 AM
 #120

The moral structure of the NAP is in the wording of the NAP: No person has the right to initiate force or fraud on another person.

Why do you need the NAP to state that? As I said several times before, the NAP is meaningless.

I'll ask you again, for about the tenth time over the past year: what if I hire a gang of thugs (oops - I mean security firm) who aren't into the NAP, but instead, the NNNAP. NNNAP stands for Not Necessarily Non Aggression Principle. This might be the wording of the NNNAP: No person has the right to stand within 20 feet of me when I am wearing black, regardless of where I am.
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