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  #1  
Old 02-23-2013
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Is it justifiable to force people to pay tax?

A citizen of the USA that I met while teaching in Taiwan posted on his facebook the other day that forcing one to pay taxes is atone to violence and slavery. While I have seen a few 'academics' (in the sordid use of the word) publish books suggesting this, I never believed anyone normal would seriously believe it. Yes, I realise most rich people dislike tax, but that even they would never seriously suggest it is slavery or a form of violence.

Am I mad, or is this premise is just wrong?
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2013
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As taxes are enforced now, it's blatantly stupid.

That being said, it's also a direct result of practically all U.S. citizens, and arguably a majority of people in any non-third world country, not actually understanding what it would be like to live without a structured civilization.

Taxes are simply the price we pay to maintain a pretty intricate governing system designed to provide us with a variety of comforts and necessities. You know. Like not having to live wondering if a random stranger will attack you in the night.

Call it an exaggeration, but we hit upon civilization and working together for a reason.

Of course, whether the tax money is being utilized properly for the betterment of our various civilizations is something that should always be questioned. Skepticism is always the better practice in that scenario. But proposing that taxes shouldn't be charged at all is nothing short of naive.

Last edited by Zairak; 02-23-2013 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Sentence redundancy, MOM.
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2013
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I completely agree Zairak, the clear injustices to any tax system, with some being worse than others, but the idea that a bad Tax law means the concept of tax is bad is a flawed ideal.

As I said to this person, I can give you examples of poorly drafted Homicide laws, but that does not mean legislating homicide is wrong.

Whatever Taxes problems may be, the advantages for, as you put it, civilisation clearly far outweigh the disadvantages, and I find it concerning that educated teachers cannot understand this.
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Old 02-23-2013
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I believe that taxes are necessary to run government, and that as citizens we have agreed that government is necessary. However, the amount of taxation (due to the large extent to which government has grown) is, with its cause, not as agreeable. However, through the use of elected representatives, dissatisfied constituents can make their desire for smaller government and lower taxes known, and have their opinions voted in the lawmaking process. Of course the system is flawed (change only happens slowly), but the only alternative would be violent revolt, and that is in my opinion obviously not the better choice.
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  #5  
Old 02-23-2013
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Lower taxes=Good

This is one of histories great lies. There is a wonderful study, somewhat suppressed, which was done by the EU. In that study it found that the countries in the EU with the Highest tax had not only the highest living standards, but also the highest levels of satisfaction among the populous.

Popular culture likes to tell us that 'money will make us happy!' This is wrong, money can sometimes give us a means by which to obtain the things which can sometimes make us happy, but actually what makes most people happy is self-fulfillment, and in the countries with the highest tax, often self-fulfillment is at its highest. Why is this? Well simple, in these countries the system is set-up in such a way that the birth lottery is a lot less stacked against you. This means every citizen has a stake in society. Every citizen has a chance to achieve their aspirations.

This is because rich, whether they like it or not, are providing the poor with good education, healthcare, transport...etc all the things that in countries with low taxes stand as barriers to social mobility. Tax always has been, and until someone comes up with a better system, always will be the best way to achieve social mobility.

Let me explain this in a more practical sense, or give a more real example, there is this idea that if I give a small number of people lots of money, they will reinvest it in society thus creating a boom period which creates wealth for all. This is the justification for low taxes. A very good example of it is the small-to-medium sized business model which conversatives love. The problem is that actually, if you give a small number of people a lot of money, they do not invest most of it, most of it goes into a big volt somewhere deep under ground, where it remains, being pasted on from one generation to the next. The reason for this once people have certain amount of money they have no reason to spend it, other than to provide security for their children, which in most cases makes them only more fugal with their wealth.

However, there is another idea that if you give lots of people a small amount of money each, that money will quickly be reinvested in society because those with it have no choice but to spend it in order to survive. This is why social welfare and faninical redistribution is so vital to an economy, and why those Europe countries, like my own sadly, who decided to join the race to the bottom have the ground with a crunch, rather than bang; because by taking money away from the poorest to cut taxes, suddenly the rich lost their biggest customer base. Without their customers the shops had no income, which meant they had no need for staff, which saw them close and even more people out of work, which meant these economies had even less people with money to spend, which caused even more businesses to go bust, which saw even more unemployed which led to even less spending...etc and growth flat-lined, then left and then triple dip recession...Low taxes are only good for creating low interest rates on government loans, but it does not matter how low they are if no one has any money to spend to generate Government income.

Now why is the Government lacking income such a bad thing? Especially if you support the idea of small government. Besides a few peasant types going hungry and fewer bombs going off in the middle east, what would a poor government mean for me?

Well, quite a lot actually, you see Government's do not just waste their money (though they do have a habit of being wasteful) on welfare and schools and hospitals and other unimportant things like that for those peasant types, it also invests in the countries infrastructure. You see, what people often forget is that every country's biggest customer is the country itself. Whether you are a supermarket or a multi-national building corporation, your market's biggest customer/investor is the Government. Unlike the private sector, governments can pool resources (economic stimulus) into a multiplie of different industries, thus creating wealth and growth.

Now, in both the US and UK there are many great examples of what happens when Governments decide not to invest in a infrastructure and leave it to the private sector, especially during the recession when Austrian schools and Chicago schools of economic growth become popular, but as public transport is pet-love, I will use that as an example.

The last Government of Britain thought building a giant, ugly tent was more productive than investing in Britain's train-lines. They thought the 'private' free market could deal with the railways. The result, Britain now has to invest 3 times what it originally would have had to invest in a rail-link which is still going to be ten years behind the rest of Western Europe. This has not only been a feck-up for the railways though, nope, it has also caused the house prices in London to rise at an above inflation rate, which has led to social displacement and slum developments throughout Britain's capital. Alongside this, it has also completely centralised our economy, which has caused further poverty in most northern regions. It has caused railfares to raise at an above inflation rate meaning travel is too expensive, causing northern students and poorer workers to have less opportunity for internal migration of opportunity. I took my degree in the midlands meaning I had less chance to undertake work experience and other opportunities due to the lack of internal travel offered in my country. Next, it has undermined our internal tourist industry, one of the biggest employers outside the sector. The result of all of this is by not putting a little money into our railways the British economy became much weaker, causing less jobs, meaning less expenditure, meaning less growth.

I could go on, but I think my point is clear enough. Taxes are not just morally justifiable, they are fundamental to society. Without Government investment and support, a country cannot grow. This is because even a poor decision in one small part of a country's internal structure, like the country's rail-links, can have massive, long lasting and catastrophic effects. And in 9 out of 10 cases, not investing in your country's infrastructure is a bad decision.

Small Government [ When you work in Government, you quickly realise that that this part of the debate has nothing to do with taxes, it is just regional Government offices like to say it does, so they have a scapegoat when they raise taxes; however, it is something I find interesting all the same, so I will comment on it anyway. ]

Now, as a Liberal, I probably should think the idea of 'small' government is a wonderful thing, but I do not. I leave small-minded thinking to men like David Laws. [ Can you tell I do not like him. ] I think small governments lead to the real problem, centralisation. We want 'big' governments we if the Government is big then its understanding is big. To me, when you say small Government, I instantly think, Westminster or the Whitehouse...etc. Small square plots of land which completely do not understand the world beyond their own doors. What we want is localisation. We want it that instead of Government being a small square mile which superimposes it will on the outer-regions, whose small-minded regional government offices do not look beyond their own small boarders with small-mind, one size fits all decisions, we want a big Government, where every part of it, from your small parish council all the way down to Westminster is part of big identifiable Government

We do not want a small centralist based heart with lots of small body parts dotted across the country all going their own way, that is too small, but nor do we want a small centralised Government superimposing itself on the rest the country by using its regional governments as little more than administrative office blocks. We want to spread the power and initiative based decision-making across the country equally, so each part in country and in-sink with the others. So Local government offices have the power to make localised decisions which meet the specific needs of their region, while having the mind and initiative to think of the wider results of their actions. Central Government and Big are not the same thing, nor is small and localisation. Most centralised Governments are very small, as the regional ones, but could someone unify them into one, efficient and cohesive Government, then you would have something special.

Last edited by Fat1Fared; 02-23-2013 at 10:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2013
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Explain income taxes to me someone.
I don't feel like having to read the google 20 page in depth version currently.
Specifically why people get their taxes back?

If the whole idea of paying taxes is to "invest" in a government that protects us. Then how are they giving money that they "spend" back to the people?
Even more how do people that make $0.00 a year get money for having kids on their income taxes?

Always behooved me.
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2013
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Originally Posted by Ishikawa Oshro View Post
Explain income taxes to me someone.
I don't feel like having to read the google 20 page in depth version currently.
Specifically why people get their taxes back?

If the whole idea of paying taxes is to "invest" in a government that protects us. Then how are they giving money that they "spend" back to the people?
Even more how do people that make $0.00 a year get money for having kids on their income taxes?

Always behooved me.
The general idea is that the government is attempting to provide additional support to citizens with concerns and responsibilities that other citizens lack. It's the entire purpose behind tax deductions, it's a way to identify which citizens should receive what special considerations. It was likely chosen to be done in this manner so that a single organization could process it instead of several smaller organizations or aid programs to give help to citizens with said special responsibilities.

Some examples of special responsibilities, for instance, and in reference to your last point, include raising children.

In short, it's just a more convenient way for the government to perform its duty of caring for its citizens. It doesn't hurt that the idea of getting tax money back appeals to quite a lot of people.
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2013
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Originally Posted by Zairak View Post
The general idea is that the government is attempting to provide additional support to citizens with concerns and responsibilities that other citizens lack. It's the entire purpose behind tax deductions, it's a way to identify which citizens should receive what special considerations. It was likely chosen to be done in this manner so that a single organization could process it instead of several smaller organizations or aid programs to give help to citizens with said special responsibilities.

Some examples of special responsibilities, for instance, and in reference to your last point, include raising children.

In short, it's just a more convenient way for the government to perform its duty of caring for its citizens. It doesn't hurt that the idea of getting tax money back appeals to quite a lot of people.
I'm more concerned about where the money for those "services" is coming from.
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  #9  
Old 04-16-2013
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Originally Posted by Ishikawa Oshro View Post
I'm more concerned about where the money for those "services" is coming from.
Which services are you referring to?
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  #10  
Old 04-16-2013
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Always behooved me.
It bothers me that so many people use this word incorrectly. It would behoove you to learn the definition before using it further.
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  #11  
Old 04-16-2013
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It bothers me that so many people use this word incorrectly. It would behoove you to learn the definition before using it further.
Well thanks for that behooving explanation on this excellent word.
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Old 04-16-2013
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Which services are you referring to?
We can use the two services I already mentioned.
Tax returns/children

If we give the government money to take care of society how are we getting that money back in income taxes? If the money was used and spent where does the refund come from?

And in the cases of family's with children. How do they recieve an income tax when technically if they did not work that year they have no income to give back?
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2013
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Originally Posted by Ishikawa Oshro View Post
We can use the two services I already mentioned.
Tax returns/children

If we give the government money to take care of society how are we getting that money back in income taxes? If the money was used and spent where does the refund come from?

And in the cases of family's with children. How do they recieve an income tax when technically if they did not work that year they have no income to give back?
In the case of income taxes, there's likely a fund set aside from prior year taxes. It's effectively the same as you sending them a set amount of money, complete with tax records, and them sending back a portion of it based on said tax records and deductions. It comes from the taxes you're paying.

The second point is related to what I said above. The purpose of our government is to facilitate the survival and relative well being of its citizens. In that light, giving tax money back to people with children who had no income during the year is no different than the government setting up a fund or organization for the purpose of helping the unemployed. It's just a service that we, as a society, have elected to provide through taxes to our relatively less well off, in this case assuming they have tax deductible children.
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Old 04-16-2013
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Originally Posted by Zairak View Post
In the case of income taxes, there's likely a fund set aside from prior year taxes. It's effectively the same as you sending them a set amount of money, complete with tax records, and them sending back a portion of it based on said tax records and deductions. It comes from the taxes you're paying.

The second point is related to what I said above. The purpose of our government is to facilitate the survival and relative well being of its citizens. In that light, giving tax money back to people with children who had no income during the year is no different than the government setting up a fund or organization for the purpose of helping the unemployed. It's just a service that we, as a society, have elected to provide through taxes to our relatively less well off, in this case assuming they have tax deductible children.
I must be underestimating the actual amount of money they make from taxes.
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  #15  
Old 04-16-2013
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Ish: Income tax is a drop in the ocean in the world taxes. The taxes you are really interested in are Corporation Taxes. If all companies pay the Taxes they owed to the Governments of this world, rather than private accountancy firms, we could basically cure world-hunger, end poverty and set up a self-sustaining welfare state (heck and get rid of income tax to boot); unfortunately, they do not and we live in a world based on the princple of racing to the bottom.

This is where each company which try and make it s corp-tax the most attractive in the world so that companies choose to base themselves in that country for tax purposes. It is based on the cynical and self-defeating principle that it is better to get a small piece of any pie, than no piece of the big pie.
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Old 07-21-2013
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It would be a crime not to order taxes. Everything in our possession we got through luck and/or our environment. We are nothing without the people around us or in other words, we are not alone, but part of a society. Because we got everything eventually through our society and are part of our society, everything we own should belong to the society.
On the contrary, because we are all part of the society, the society would be nothing without us and has to feed us.
We should pay 100% taxes, but therefore get everything for free.
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Old 07-21-2013
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It would be a crime not to order taxes. Everything in our possession we got through luck and/or our environment. We are nothing without the people around us or in other words, we are not alone, but part of a society. Because we got everything eventually through our society and are part of our society, everything we own should belong to the society.
On the contrary, because we are all part of the society, the society would be nothing without us and has to feed us.
We should pay 100% taxes, but therefore get everything for free.
I agree. Now give me everything you own. Also I don't work so I don't have to give you anything.
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Old 07-21-2013
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I agree. Now give me everything you own. Also I don't work so I don't have to give you anything.
apparently you didn't read what I said. you are not supposed to give everything to one, but to everyone and in return get everything yourself.

Your argument is one of the weakest I ever heard. Let's assume there were people who would stop working even though in a system like that there would be laws against being unemployed on purpose:
yes, those very few would get something without doing anything for it (which would be no problem, because with all our machines, we can produce more than we need so we can feed some unemployed.), but that is much better than having many many people not gaining anything even though they work, while other hoard more than they could ever spend.
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Old 07-21-2013
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apparently you didn't read what I said. you are not supposed to give everything to one, but to everyone and in return get everything yourself.

Your argument is one of the weakest I ever heard. Let's assume there were people who would stop working even though in a system like that there would be laws against being unemployed on purpose:
yes, those very few would get something without doing anything for it (which would be no problem, because with all our machines, we can produce more than we need so we can feed some unemployed.), but that is much better than having many many people not gaining anything even though they work, while other hoard more than they could ever spend.
Not willing to give me what you own?

Capitalist pig.
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  #20  
Old 07-22-2013
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could you please be serious?

I couldn't give you what you want, because I wouldn't own anything.
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  #21  
Old 07-22-2013
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could you please be serious?

I couldn't give you what you want, because I wouldn't own anything.
You own your organs, don't you? Gimme your organs.
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Old 07-22-2013
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You own your organs, don't you? Gimme your organs.
again, why should I give them to you?
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  #23  
Old 07-22-2013
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again, why should I give them to you?
If you have that many organs and I'm missing one I deserve it by my birthright. Unless you believe in a class structure wherein you, the upper class, are allowed to have all the organs you want whereas me, the organless minority, am not allowed it.

Again, capitalist pig. Gimme your organs. Or I'll occupy your home until you do. Speaking of which, mind getting some corn flakes? I like that cereal.
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Old 07-22-2013
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If you have that many organs and I'm missing one I deserve it by my birthright. Unless you believe in a class structure wherein you, the upper class, are allowed to have all the organs you want whereas me, the organless minority, am not allowed it.

Again, capitalist pig. Gimme your organs. Or I'll occupy your home until you do. Speaking of which, mind getting some corn flakes? I like that cereal.
I have not more organs than I need. however, you might have a kidney if you need one.
giving you all my organs would make me the minority. you would have to give them back according to your twisted logic. so there isn't any point in giving them to you in the first place.
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  #25  
Old 07-22-2013
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I have not more organs than I need. however, you might have a kidney if you need one.
giving you all my organs would make me the minority. you would have to give them back according to your twisted logic. so there isn't any point in giving them to you in the first place.
So you would let me die because of your greed.

We should be equally poor. OCCUPY KRONUS'S HOME! (ps where the fuck are my corn flakes)
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  #26  
Old 07-22-2013
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There are two constants in life, Death and Taxes.
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  #27  
Old 07-22-2013
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So you would let me die because of your greed.

We should be equally poor. OCCUPY KRONUS'S HOME! (ps where the fuck are my corn flakes)
the alternative would be me dying. In either case a human dies, but when I keep my organs, it is more likely that at least one survives.
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Old 07-22-2013
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So you would let me die because of your greed.

We should be equally poor. OCCUPY KRONUS'S HOME! (ps where the fuck are my corn flakes)
Do you even have an argument or do you just enjoy being disingenuous?
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  #29  
Old 07-22-2013
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the alternative would be me dying. In either case a human dies, but when I keep my organs, it is more likely that at least one survives.
So you're saying that one person profiting over another is better than both being harmed.

Therefore, a failed capitalist economic structure is superior to a failed communist economic structure.
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Old 07-22-2013
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So you're saying that one person profiting over another is better than both being harmed.

Therefore, a failed capitalist economic structure is superior to a failed communist economic structure.
you are getting close to it.

what I was saying is actually 1>0
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