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Of course the principled approach of either an individual or a business owner would be to say "I'm going to donate 10% of my disposable income to the state because I live here and I value living in a free laissez faire society."

I'd rather buy a lottery ticket and purchase contract insurance.

Just because you value having a computer doesn't mean you're going to send a cheque to Bill Gates (or whomever) each month as a donation. Would you add another $10 to your Bell Sympatico bill out of gratitude for having the Internet? Why take that tack with respect to proper government?

I think there's room for all kinds of approaches once the coercive element is removed. If you feel happier making donations, go for it.

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I'd rather buy a lottery ticket and purchase contract insurance.

Just because you value having a computer doesn't mean you're going to send a cheque to Bill Gates (or whomever) each month as a donation. Would you add another $10 to your Bell Sympatico bill out of gratitude for having the Internet? Why take that tack with respect to proper government?

I think there's room for all kinds of approaches once the coercive element is removed. If you feel happier making donations, go for it.

Your analogies are out to lunch. Bill Gates is not going to help me when my home is broken into. His operating system will not prosecute a pedophile and keep him off the streets, bell sympatico (which I dumped years ago for crappy service BTW) is not going to ensure that no one invades my country.

Do you really equate the services rendered by a proper government as no more important or worthwhile than cheap internet service? :o:lol:

Edited by Zip
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It seems to me that in a free market, it's the market that would decide how people would pay and what they would get in return. There's no need to figure it out in advance; there are hundreds of different ways it could work. Insurance companies, pay-as-you-go / fee-for-service, pass-through costs on various transactions, etc, etc. -- maybe a little bit of everything.

It's the underlying principal that's important: people shouldn't be forced to pay. It should be a choice.

There's an important corollary, though. Government shouldn't be able to fund itself, which includes being able to borrow and to print money. If it doesn't raise enough money, it should be forced to down-size accordingly.

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Your analogies are out to lunch. Bill Gates is not going to help me when my home is broken into. His operating system will not prosecute a pedophile and keep him off the streets, bell sympatico (which I dumped years ago for crappy service BTW) is not going to ensure that no one invades my country.

But I'm not paying them to do those things! Why should they? My point is, I don't want to pay more for proper government services than I have to. I want value for money, and just the joy of knowing the police are there is not worth 10% of my income. It's not the way to go about it. Government in a laissez-faire economy should be striving to offer value for value just the same as any business. It won't hurt, that's for sure.

Do you really equate the services rendered by a proper government as no more important or worthwhile than cheap internet service? :o:lol:

I really do. Neither more important nor less. It has its proper place, and it's about time it discovered it.

We have seen the results when government services are accorded more importance than anything else. They've been made so much of that they're the problem now. They're thought to be so important that the very lawfulness they are supposed to be implementing is being violated and destroyed for their sake. How does that even make sense? That's the irrationality, injustice and immorality of the tax system.

The point of the analogy is not that I'm paying Bill to protect my home. It would be as if I would send Bill another $10 for my computer just because I love it so much. Loving freedom doesn't mean that you want to agree to pay 10% of your income to pay for it. You still want to get the best service for the lowest cost. You still want to get value for your money. Or you should.

It's another reason that contract insurance is so brilliant. It sets it up where people can both buy something of value in the form of peace of mind from knowing the money will be there in the event it's needed, together with knowing that a portion of that premium is going towards the costs of proper government. That is how you achieve efficiency in government. I'd like to tell you it will take a few weeks to get going. And, I reckon it will. After however many years it takes to convince everyone here :lol

Edited by AllMenAreIslands
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My point is, I don't want to pay more for proper government services than I have to. I want value for money, and just the joy of knowing the police are there is not worth 10% of my income. It's not the way to go about it. Government in a laissez-faire economy should be striving to offer value for value just the same as any business. It won't hurt, that's for sure.

Okay so you value a proper Laissez Faire capitalist government only as much as any other commodity you purchase for use. So just what is your freedom worth?

If your country is not being attacked you see no reason to fund it's military, after all it's a service you don't need right now. Since you haven't been attacked or robbed you don't need to fund the police or courts for the same reason.

I really do. Neither more important nor less. It has its proper place, and it's about time it discovered it.

So freedom is an equivalent value to your Compaq Pressario and high speed dial up. Man we're fucked if the majority has the same hierarchy of values as you appear to.

We have seen the results when government services are accorded more importance than anything else. They've been made so much of that they're the problem now. They're thought to be so important that the very lawfulness they are supposed to be implementing is being violated and destroyed for their sake. How does that even make sense? That's the irrationality, injustice and immorality of the tax system.

Now hold on, where did I say that the government was worth more than any other value. I specifically said a percentage of my disposable income. Not off the top, before I had looked out for me and mine, but a percentage of what was left over. And that would obviously be a choice, one I consider a principled one.

The point of the analogy is not that I'm paying Bill to protect my home. It would be as if I would send Bill another $10 for my computer just because I love it so much. Loving freedom doesn't mean that you want to agree to pay 10% of your income to pay for it. You still want to get the best service for the lowest cost. You still want to get value for your money. Or you should.

What I'm saying is that my love of freedom and the value I place on living in a LFC nation would easily be worth 10% of my disposable income. n

It's another reason that contract insurance is so brilliant. It sets it up where people can both buy something of value in the form of peace of mind from knowing the money will be there in the event it's needed, together with knowing that a portion of that premium is going towards the costs of proper government. That is how you achieve efficiency in government. I'd like to tell you it will take a few weeks to get going. And, I reckon it will. After however many years it takes to convince everyone here :lol

I never suggested that this was not also a good way to fund government but the vast majority of things we purchase don't require contract insurance and I am personally doubtful that that would be able to fund the proper functions of government all on its own.

Let me give an example. When people come up with how much things cost they normally name big ticket items, but really how many times in a year does the government need to buy a B2 bomber. Here's a better example.

A training round for a modern tank costs about $1500 each. In a days training on a range an average gunner of a tank fires at least 15 rounds. That's $22,500 in a day. A gun camp normally runs for at least three days... $67,500 for one gunner. 16 gunners in a Sqn = $1,080,000... 4 Sqn's in a Regiment = $4,320,000 in three days. that figure is for training rounds only, does not include meals, gasoline, parts, wages, range supplies, and the myriad of other costs. so you could easily run up at least half again that amount $6, 480,000 in 3 days. Oh, and this is done two to three times every year and is only a small part of the training budget of an Armoured unit.

If the idea is to have a modern well trained 1st world military capable not only of protecting the nations borders but of ensuring that threats to the security and safety of the nation can be dealt with as necessary outside of those borders you are going to need billions, hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions depending on the size and scope of your nation...

That's per year just to operate/keep an established military and that's only one part of the big three (Justice, police and military). Artillery is even more expensive, never mind training a single pilot, much less effectively being able to patrol your own nations skies and scramble jets where and when required.

R&D lol, the new F22 Raptor's cost is now approaching 1 trillion dollars. And time isn't just money to a modern military it is also effectiveness. If you can't afford to get it done in a timely manner expect for your kit to be obsolete when it comes off the production line.

Anyway, I've sidetracked myself. All that to say that you need a whole host of ways to pay for government. I think that donations on principal, in appreciation of the value a proper government gives is as good a way to do it as any other.

I'd do it.

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Um, why? What social network is required to "manage" people who don't financially support the police? They live in the same geographical area so the laws still apply to them. They basically get the service gratis. This is not an anarchist version of government where the gov't serves a population of people--a proper gov't covers a geographical area. The size and scope of that government are limited by a.) the extents of the property of the people who become citizens of that gov't, and b.) what those citizens can afford. It's not necessary to *do* anything to people who don't pay in money. Most of them are honest citizens and not a bother to anyone, they just have limited financial resources.

"Free riders" are not a problem in an Objectivist society because there's no arbitrary rule out there that says everyone must pay cash for every conceivable benefit they receive. It's like a loss leader in marketing--not everyone you give free samples to is going to buy your product, but enough do that it's worth the money you spend on free samples.

There's no reason why the gov't has to rely on donations, either. Ayn Rand's proposal of viewing the gov't as a *paid* agent works fine for me--people pay a fee for services that are a matter of personal choice, like gov't backing for contracts. You can just rely on a handshake agreement if you want, but then if someone breaks the agreement, you can't litigate. So, in essence, credit card companies (and similar stuff) wind up financing the gov't, and everyone with a credit card pays a little. In the U.S. today, that's just about EVERYONE. Would you want to purchase insurance of any kind without knowing that you could litigate if the insurance company dumps you? Heck no. There's another source of gov't financing. The gov't could hold a lottery or something along the lines of a 50/50 raffle.

People in this country give away embarrassing amounts of money. The financing of a proper gov't is not a problem.

Nacirema - by the big 3 - can you clarify what you mean?

If someone can explain the merging of regional communities within each country for the maintenance of a cohesive national function, I'd love to hear it. Not in utopia, but using an evolutionary model starting with today. I get the Oism view, but I need a path, including the complicated social, financial, community infrastructure in place, or that could be evolved from where we are.

Now, things such as the following, in my opinion, should rely on being run by representatives of a population/community (government) of a region/country in a regional or global context:

-Passport/citizenship documentation

-Currency (not banking)

-Public Health and safety (disease tracking/isolation/quarantine/vaccination)

-Water distribution and safety

-standardization of essential electical/scarce resource management

-management/care of the abandoned mentally/physically

Since Rand evolved her philosophy (note the word evolved), the world has evolved across many areas including our understanding of medicine, ethics, etc. To think that her philosophy wouldn't evolve may be as narrow minded to think we won't continue to understand human conciousness with the furthering our understanding of brain function. Our understanding and application of such will continue to grow, mature, evolve and be applied.

As individuals we live within a functioning, civil society, with scarce resources, including limited time. We need officials to manage our community interests. It aint nice, but a necessary evil. Are you willing to take in someone that is abandoned and so mentally or physically ill that they are wreaking havoc or consuming resources from your community? What is your suggestion to care for these individuals that cannot care for themselves - perhaps the approach may be similar to the inuit of the north, or other primitive societies that simply leave those unable to care for themselves out to die? Compassion - it's not a biological attribute, but an innate level of emotional response that without it would make us, well, unhuman.

Perhaps some may say charities, well, I say, with guys like madoff out there, the level of philanthropy may be on the decline - as the level of trust we put in others to manage our resources may be diminishing.

And you're misunderstood, there's no theory to gravity, it's a law - it doesn't change - it is a physical result of the way the planet earth is positioned within the solar system. On earth, objects travel at 9.8 m/s/s - external forces affect that speed (friction/wind/lift/etc) - but gravity is always functioning, on earth, at 9.8 m/s/s - your body is held on the ground by gravity, rotational force, etc. Not a theory, a law.

The theory of evolution is a gross explanation of the molecular mechanisms resulting from millions of years of the accumulation of mutations in DNA resulting in new organisms, adaptations, etc. The starting point is up for (scientific) debate, not the process of evolution - the best understanding of evolution comes from single cell organisms live bacteria and viruses - as small changes in their nucleic acid sequence have big changes in their resultant functioning, virulence, etc. The theory of "human evolution" will always be that, unlike the law of gravity (see Newton).

Edited by watson
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Now, things such as the following, in my opinion, should rely on being run by representatives of a population/community (government) of a region/country in a regional or global context:

-Passport/citizenship documentation

-Currency (not banking)

-Public Health and safety (disease tracking/isolation/quarantine/vaccination)

-Water distribution and safety

-standardization of essential electical/scarce resource management

-management/care of the abandoned mentally/physically

Some of these could be folded into police, courts, or national defense. A CDC type organization (through the military) would exist as a matter of national defense, either from man made threats or natural ones. If a giant lizard rose out of the Pacific ocean, our military would respond. :( Should the disabled have a right to the money of the able bodied? As someone with some knowledge of this situation, I can assure you government does much, much more harm to the disabled than it helps. Without being forced to pay people could develop empathy and real charity could occur. When forced to pay for the disabled all that exists is loathing, distrust, and cynicism.

Since Rand evolved her philosophy (note the word evolved), the world has evolved across many areas including our understanding of medicine, ethics, etc. To think that her philosophy wouldn't evolve may be as narrow minded to think we won't continue to understand human conciousness with the furthering our understanding of brain function. Our understanding and application of such will continue to grow, mature, evolve and be applied.

The word "evolve" here sounds a lot like "compromise". We don't naturally increase our understanding of medicine or science and yet people seem to think we naturally, magically advance ethics. Advancing ethics takes work just like advancing anything takes work. I'm not sure how our understanding of medicine or how the brain works can change philosophy. Knowledge trickles down from philosophy, not the other way around.

As individuals we live within a functioning, civil society, with scarce resources, including limited time. We need officials to manage our community interests. It aint nice, but a necessary evil. Are you willing to take in someone that is abandoned and so mentally or physically ill that they are wreaking havoc or consuming resources from your community? What is your suggestion to care for these individuals that cannot care for themselves - perhaps the approach may be similar to the inuit of the north, or other primitive societies that simply leave those unable to care for themselves out to die? Compassion - it's not a biological attribute, but an innate level of emotional response that without it would make us, well, unhuman.

What are "community interests"? Who owns them? Individuals own property, what they wish to do with it is their concern, not a community's. (unless they initiate force of course) If someone is wreaking havoc and breaking the law, they should be arrested, just as they are now. Maybe that means jail or maybe they go to a mental ward. As far as "consuming resources from your community", again, whose resources? Are they stealing from an individual, company, or nonprofit group? Those who are unable to care for themselves would rely on charity. There is no compassion in stealing money from one person and giving it to another. Only when rights are respected can charity and compassion really exist.

Perhaps some may say charities, well, I say, with guys like madoff out there, the level of philanthropy may be on the decline - as the level of trust we put in others to manage our resources may be diminishing.

There is still charity on the personal level as well as many legit, well managed charities out there. Without insane taxation, uncle Johnny could afford to help his sick nephew Jimmy out. Right now uncle Johnny instead is having his money stolen and given to labor unions via GM.

The heart of the matter is initiation of force or coercion by government. I want children and the disabled to have a good life as much as anyone, but they cannot make a claim on another person's property at gunpoint.

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Some of these could be folded into police, courts, or national defense. A CDC type organization (through the military) would exist as a matter of national defense, either from man made threats or natural ones. If a giant lizard rose out of the Pacific ocean, our military would respond. :( Should the disabled have a right to the money of the able bodied? As someone with some knowledge of this situation, I can assure you government does much, much more harm to the disabled than it helps. Without being forced to pay people could develop empathy and real charity could occur. When forced to pay for the disabled all that exists is loathing, distrust, and cynicism.

I see what you're saying here, but what you are spelling out is the growth of particular branches of "government" - which is exactly what transpired - albeit not effectively or efficiently, where experts in each individual area would be responsible for things like CDC, etc. Okay, so they're part of the military, but not for civil defense. Unfortunately, there are individuals in our society that have noone else to rely on. There are many of these types, more than you think, probably. The government may the lesser of two evils, sometimes. The "ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" expression pops into mind. At somepoint, individuals unable to care for themselves, and left to themselves can't and won't just throw themselves into the river, or go peacefully into the good night. They will do anything they can to survive (innate). We are not lions or other primitive animals that just leave the wounded to die in the fields to be eaten by scavangers. I would love to hear your example of the harm to the disabled that you speak of (don't mention Obama's "special olympics" comment from last night :P )

The word "evolve" here sounds a lot like "compromise". We don't naturally increase our understanding of medicine or science and yet people seem to think we naturally, magically advance ethics. Advancing ethics takes work just like advancing anything takes work. I'm not sure how our understanding of medicine or how the brain works can change philosophy. Knowledge trickles down from philosophy, not the other way around.

Hmm. I don't agree with you here. Knowledge can trickle down from curiousity to answer the unknown. Im not sure how our knowledge of neuronal functioning trickles down from philosophy. Or how deciphering or furthering our understanding of lipid metabolism is based in a philosophical tenet. The search for the truth - perhaps that is a philosophy - but I would say there are many things driving our understanding of medicine and science, including profit, quality of life, and a true scientist (like myself) would say that a basic curiousity of advancing scientific knowldege would drive many to scientific and medical discoveries. Octomom? Abortion of genetically mutated fetuses diagnosed through amniocentesis?

What are "community interests"? Who owns them? Individuals own property, what they wish to do with it is their concern, not a community's. (unless they initiate force of course) If someone is wreaking havoc and breaking the law, they should be arrested, just as they are now. Maybe that means jail or maybe they go to a mental ward. As far as "consuming resources from your community", again, whose resources? Are they stealing from an individual, company, or nonprofit group? Those who are unable to care for themselves would rely on charity. There is no compassion in stealing money from one person and giving it to another. Only when rights are respected can charity and compassion really exist.

Well, I live in a community, i share the roads, shopping malls, police force, utilities, etc. with my neighbour. Sharing resources (water/electricity/natural gas/etc). Enless you have your own wind turbine and exist completely "off the grid", you will require to share some limited resources or resources that are difficult to acquire without significant investment that individuals just don't have. I respect and understand the "stealing money from one and giving to another" philosophy, I don't have the time, resources (financial or otherwise) to put toward maintaining myself as an island.

There is still charity on the personal level as well as many legit, well managed charities out there. Without insane taxation, uncle Johnny could afford to help his sick nephew Jimmy out. Right now uncle Johnny instead is having his money stolen and given to labor unions via GM.

The heart of the matter is initiation of force or coercion by government. I want children and the disabled to have a good life as much as anyone, but they cannot make a claim on another person's property at gunpoint.

I guess my view is that the cost of entry into a civilized, compassionate and productive society is "give and take". Plus, at this point in history, the complex integration of a variety of global cultures, economies and societies it is imparative that we have representation by elected officials to manage things that impact us either directly or indirectly. Even without taxation uncle johnny could NOT affort to help out jimmy, as uncle johnny would have to build his own way to pay for his own health care, house, car, water, electricity (economies of scale come in to play here) - trickle down economics perhaps?

Now that we are where we are in history and industrialization, how would you envision getting to a place where we could exist as individuals, without the governments role in some areas? Are you going to be able to make enough money at your job to raise your kids, source your own water/energy/food safety/etc at a unit price, where as a community (county/city/state/nation) can make it affordable by buying large amounts of services and products from the private sector for you to focus on raising your family?

Perfect? No!! Logical? Perhaps!! Executed efficiently and effectively in today's world? No way!!!

If I chose to live in an area serviced by government services, yes, I should expect to pay for the services I use today, or perhaps in the future. I don't have kids, but am willing to pay for the education system because without an educated society we'd be in even bigger trouble. I'm in Canada, am I willing to pay taxes for a health care system that will allow me to not worry about going bankrupt if I get sick, yes. Sure, there are problems here in the health care system, but to be honest, I bet the cost of your monthly health insurance plus on top of your taxes is not that far off what I simply pay in taxes - plus there's no real worry about what is or is not covered by my health coverage - i can chose the doctor I go to, and there is no government offical monitoring my care or making decisions for the doctor - contrary to what i think is presented in the US press. I digress, this isn't a thread about health care - so lets not go there.

I get both sides of the tax thing. And when there is something that offends me to the point of disgust, I am the first either on the phone or writing a letter to my representative at the local/city/provincial/federal level. Alas, it appears noone is listening!

;)

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Too tired to debate, so I'll just answer the question.

The roles and how they would relate to our current branches

Big 3: 1.) Write minimal, objective laws ("Congress")

2.) Ensure the law is carried out [though there's a better wording for that] ("judicial")

3.) To protect citizens from domestic and foreign threats ("executive", a la the police for local and the military for international)

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Getting from there (the current welfare state) to here (Laissez Faire Capitalism and a miniarchy)

Step #1 - A fundamental philosophical shift (the hardest part) The pessimist in me says that this is going to be almost impossible in a country the size of the USA without a smaller functioning example that right minded people can point to and say "Look, see there... It does work."

Step #2 - Ensure that this philosophical shift is reflected in the body politic i.e. change the constitution to properly limit the power and scope of government. This would be the wellspring of Objective Law.

Step #3 - If government owns it now and shouldn't own it sell it. Sell all the infrastructure, (roads, railways, hydro dams, federal land) whatever the government currently "owns" to private interests. Use the cash generated to pay down federal debt. Any surplus could be placed in private banks to collect interest and help pay for future legitimate government expenses.

I wonder how much of an economic boom a sell off like that would generate.

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One method of ensuring a reasonably representative spectrum of donation is a sort-of rating system. Those who pay yay much per year to government get to advertise that fact, and everyone else gets to include their consideration of that when they are contemplating whether or not to trade with someone. The more they pay, the higher the rating they get to trumpet. Those who do not want to pay a single cent will not be forced to do so - but they have no right to complain if others respond in kind by refusing to trade with them or demand higher contribution rates as a condition of trade, and so on.

The issue after that is how to determine what is an appropriate amount. I suspect that a good proportion of a politician's time - when not being an actual representative of constituents in their dealings with government issues, as should be the bulk of a politician's job - will be spent arguing that issue in session; probably 10-20% at least, given that it will be conjoint with discussion on expenditure of the amounts thus raised. When they've worked out what they have to say etc, I would say that once a month (or perhaps a quarter) the executive and legislative bodies would publish their respective reasoning & recommendations, and then individuals would make their own judgements on that and act accordingly. I can think of a variety of mechanics for this, all pefectly viable and reasonable.

On top of that, I also think that a bare minimum donation level should be requisite for maintaining one's electoral franchise. That minimum wouldn't be much, say of the order of half an ounce of gold per year. Even the proverbial pimple-faced kid with a fast-food job could pay that without difficulty in an LFC country. The main intent is to open the door for the other mechanisms, both physically and pschologically. Call it a citizenship fee - those who don't want to contribute even that small sum don't get to call themselves citizens. It would not affect how the government otherwise defends the non-citizen resident's rights, though. The police, for instance, would still do everything in their power to uphold the rights of non-payers as payers, and wouldn't even be allowed to enquire into citizenship status (residential status when there is reasonable cause is another matter).

One thing I am certain of is that the tax-free world is perfectly reasonable. Those who harp on to the contrary are actively avoiding thinking about how.

JJM

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I wonder how much of an economic boom a sell off like that would generate.

The boom in the short run would come from the better use of the resources by the buyers, not what the government does with the cash. The boom, then, would be dependent on what sort of uses could be had with those resources, eg how someone could use umpteen thousand acres of Nevada desert, how someone could make an existing hydro dam work more efficiently etc. I expect that it will initially predominantly take the form of lower prices paid for those existing services (eg lower electricity tariffs, lower freight charges meaning lower prices of goods), which then frees up cash for investment and consumption elsewhere. Then after that we could see new developments in Nevada etc.

As to the money raised, the money itself would just be moved from one set of bank accounts (the private buyers) to another set of bank accounts (the selling governments). It would then move again from that second set of bank accounts to a third set when the government paid off debt with it. In the longer term the government's reduced need for expenditure would open the door for the abolition of many taxes, which will firstly be felt more in the elimination of administrative overhead as much as a reduced liabilities burden.

JJM

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Okay so you value a proper Laissez Faire capitalist government only as much as any other commodity you purchase for use. So just what is your freedom worth?

At the moment I don't have it. I'm just feeling attacked.

If your country is not being attacked you see no reason to fund it's military, after all it's a service you don't need right now. Since you haven't been attacked or robbed you don't need to fund the police or courts for the same reason.

I did not say that. And please. The possessive form is "its" - no apostrophe.

So freedom is an equivalent value to your Compaq Pressario and high speed dial up. Man we're fucked if the majority has the same hierarchy of values as you appear to.

We're fucked now in case you hadn't noticed.

Now hold on, where did I say that the government was worth more than any other value. I specifically said a percentage of my disposable income. Not off the top, before I had looked out for me and mine, but a percentage of what was left over. And that would obviously be a choice, one I consider a principled one.

And I am saying that it's just more of the same - putting a percentage on it rather than offering value for value. And no, the open-ended, blank cheque concept has been abused too much for me to find value in it. I'd rather be buying a service or even having a million-to-one shot at a windfall.

What I'm saying is that my love of freedom and the value I place on living in a LFC nation would easily be worth 10% of my disposable income.

If you care to designate a percentage of your gross, your net or whatever set amount you wish, as the "proper" amount you would be happy spending on government, that's fine. MY point is that it's not something to be forced on people. Perhaps I'll feel differently when we actually have a proper government. At the moment I am sick to the teeth of war, and military and idiots wasting money they have no right to. I am concerned that the concept of making donations is more likely than not to end up being abused as well.

I never suggested that this was not also a good way to fund government but the vast majority of things we purchase don't require contract insurance and I am personally doubtful that that would be able to fund the proper functions of government all on its own.

And I happen to think that contract insurance is very under-estimated. Perhaps you would feel differently once you know that unless YOU provide a safety net for yourself, there won't be one. You might think a lot differently about your weekly grocery expedition. Every time you spend money you would think about the insurance, even if you didn't purchase it each time. In addition, you might find that buying a blanket coverage would work for most of your purchases.

But in any event, thinking about these matters from the perspective of the single individual or even the single family isn't going to help you to see the bigger picture. Corporations - they will end up spending the most on contract insurance, and it will still be a huge reduction over the taxes they were forced to spend before.

Let me give an example. When people come up with how much things cost they normally name big ticket items, but really how many times in a year does the government need to buy a B2 bomber. Here's a better example.

A training round for a modern tank costs about $1500 each. etc...

Those prices come with a hefty dose of tax built in. So I would not be basing estimates of the proper budget required to fund a proper government on today's idiotic prices.

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No, taxation wouldn't be fine. It's really not a fatal problem if there are a few moochers, so government financing would not need to be achieved by force.

Do you really think it would stabilize like that? As evolution in the physical sense, social evolution also would find it's own equilibrium. When you leave the choice to the people, these "few moochers" would profit while comparatively the honourable and loyal (to society) would take a loss. The social structure would not stay stable, while favouring mooching yet punishing loyalty. These moochers would grow more numerous as they have more resources to expand themselves social and physically. Thus they will being to have more "pull" in a social sense. They will influence others, with ease, using their own objectivist teachings of self-interest and self virtue.

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Do you really think it would stabilize like that? As evolution in the physical sense, social evolution also would find it's own equilibrium. When you leave the choice to the people, these "few moochers" would profit while comparatively the honourable and loyal (to society) would take a loss. The social structure would not stay stable, while favouring mooching yet punishing loyalty. These moochers would grow more numerous as they have more resources to expand themselves social and physically. Thus they will being to have more "pull" in a social sense. They will influence others, with ease, using their own objectivist teachings of self-interest and self virtue.

How is the voluntary funding of government a punishment? I value and spend money on my children, is that "punishment" too?

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Do you really think it would stabilize like that?
Yes. If the members of society are generally rational enough that we can actually have a government that is limited to its proper function and is supported by voluntary contributions, then the presence of some evaders would not have a significant effect. "Social evolution" works against range-of-the-moment thinkers who evade recognition of facts of reality, and they would not flourish in a free society (although certainly they could exist). The apparent profit of not paying for garbage collection, house or medical insurance, or paying to have your rights protected by the government, is illusory. In the case of personalized services like garbage collection or insurance, the consequences of evasion are concretized very quickly, whereas evading the fact that rights-protection must be paid for will be concretized only when society at large shifts from "acting rationally" to "acting irrationally".

I don't want to imply that once people's philosophy has been changed to a rational one, that no further effort is necessary to maintain that philosophy (which is a prerequisite to a truly free society). It will always be necessary to teach the need for rationality; it's just that a few irrational men do not automatically cause society to collapse.

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As evolution in the physical sense, social evolution also would find it's own equilibrium....These moochers would grow more numerous as they have more resources to expand themselves.

That would probably be true in a zero sum game. If team X holds on to what they have, and team Y gives some of it away every year, team X will eventually win.

But it's not true in a positive sum game, where everyone is producing. The irrational moochers would not be producing more than those who contribute to society, so they would not have more resources to expand themselves. In fact they will likely have fewer resources, since their short-sightedness and irrationality will likely lead to disaster in their personal affairs. The tiny disadvantage those who contribute to society would have is nothing compared to that.

Of course, if you're suggesting that the rational people would be moochers, then the fact that you're predicting the demise of a society of moochers contradicts that. The choice which leads to your long term destruction is not the rational one.

If this is what you're saying, you're confusing pragmatism for reason.

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How does one respond when one is told that taxes are voluntary, because you can just leave the country?
The same way I would respond if someone said "There is no theft, it's all voluntary donations to the robber, because you can just refuse to hand over the wallet". A voluntary act is one that is not done in response to the initiation of force, and the test is, will they leave you alone if you refuse?
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  • 2 weeks later...
Do you really think it would stabilize like that? As evolution in the physical sense, social evolution also would find it's own equilibrium. When you leave the choice to the people, these "few moochers" would profit while comparatively the honourable and loyal (to society) would take a loss. The social structure would not stay stable, while favouring mooching yet punishing loyalty. These moochers would grow more numerous as they have more resources to expand themselves social and physically. Thus they will being to have more "pull" in a social sense. They will influence others, with ease, using their own objectivist teachings of self-interest and self virtue.

What are you basing this ridiculous set of assumptions upon?

How would mooching be profitable or favored in a system of contract insurance? If two (or more) people enter a contract, shake hands on it, and conclude the contract successfully, there is no mooching. If the transaction runs into difficulties, the injured party can still sue (it would just cost more to do so.) The alternative is to lose out completely. It doesn't have to involve others.

Perhaps you are thinking of police, armed forces to protect the country and so on. I think you under-estimate the value to the majority, who would elect to do something to contribute to the costs. Worrying about a handful of "moochers" who would not contribute even after having their lives saved by police is putting too much emphasis on such people.

I think if you treat people as having the basic ability to understand the value of proper government services, the vast majority would want to do their bit to help cover the costs. Those who would never choose to do so are probably criminals anyway. Just because society today seems full of moochers does not mean that most people would behave badly GIVEN A CHOICE.

Put it this way - the choice to pay for government services MUST be left to the individual citizens. There is no rational alternative.

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What are you basing this ridiculous set of assumptions upon?

The assumption is built, in my opinion, on the basic premise of the collectivist/socialist/statist/theologist, and yes at their root they are all the same.

The premise is this. Man is a cruel brutish animal incapable of any reason or control if left on his own and to his own devices. Therefore he must be controlled, he must be chained and his individuality must become subservient to the will of the collective/the people/the state/god.

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  • 2 weeks later...
What are you basing this ridiculous set of assumptions upon?

How would mooching be profitable or favored in a system of contract insurance? If two (or more) people enter a contract, shake hands on it, and conclude the contract successfully, there is no mooching. If the transaction runs into difficulties, the injured party can still sue (it would just cost more to do so.) The alternative is to lose out completely. It doesn't have to involve others.

Perhaps you are thinking of police, armed forces to protect the country and so on. I think you under-estimate the value to the majority, who would elect to do something to contribute to the costs. Worrying about a handful of "moochers" who would not contribute even after having their lives saved by police is putting too much emphasis on such people.

I think if you treat people as having the basic ability to understand the value of proper government services, the vast majority would want to do their bit to help cover the costs. Those who would never choose to do so are probably criminals anyway. Just because society today seems full of moochers does not mean that most people would behave badly GIVEN A CHOICE.

Put it this way - the choice to pay for government services MUST be left to the individual citizens. There is no rational alternative.

Well i think you are making assumptions, that are not proven either.

Why do you think that it that there will be enough to guarantee legal security?

Right now people might donate enough money for it to work, but people don't donate money to help disabled people or children in africa to increase or secure their own wellbeing but because of their conscience resulting from our current "morals".

These morals might very well change. Looking through history one can find very different sets of ethics and morals. Donating for charity is considered a good thing today, but it doesn't mean it will stay that way. Especially an objectivist society, that promotes egoism, could change these current morals, that it relies on.

A reasonable man, who thinks that other people will donate enough or that if they don't his own contribution will not change it anyways, might not pay, since a new car will increase his personal happiness more than a payment to the government.

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Zip, I think you're partly right, but it's perhaps more that because some people would not make choices in accordance with a particular agenda, everyone has to be forced.

Well i think you are making assumptions, that are not proven either.

Why do you think that it that there will be enough to guarantee legal security?

Right now people might donate enough money for it to work, but people don't donate money to help disabled people or children in africa to increase or secure their own wellbeing but because of their conscience resulting from our current "morals".

These morals might very well change. Looking through history one can find very different sets of ethics and morals. Donating for charity is considered a good thing today, but it doesn't mean it will stay that way. Especially an objectivist society, that promotes egoism, could change these current morals, that it relies on.

A reasonable man, who thinks that other people will donate enough or that if they don't his own contribution will not change it anyways, might not pay, since a new car will increase his personal happiness more than a payment to the government.

Crizon, my assumptions are borne out by the behavior of corporations, which seek to protect themselves by buying insurance of many kinds, by hiring lawyers to represent their interests, just for a couple of examples. Companies will buy the insurance if they understood that it is cost-effective to do so, for example, in order to fast-track their route thru the courts in the event of a dispute. Individuals are just as welcome to protect their interests this way. Making it desirable for individuals & companies/groups to buy court/contract insurance is how government can properly provide itself with funding.

Don't forget - a rational government is one that is involved in the retaliatory use of force. A proper government is not involved in the provision of health, education, social security, road building/maintenance and so on. There's no need for a proper government to raise funds to provide those services because that is not the proper job of government.

In any event, the onus to sell the concept of government services is on those who are going to provide the services. The root problem with today's government systems is that that step is not just ignored, it's completely thrown out. Government is permitted by law to steal from the citizens, to take its funding by force.

Your "what-if" scenarios of morals changing or people preferring to spend their money in "other ways" are irrelevant. Even if it were true that all of a sudden, people would change how they live their lives, that is no justification for government initiation of force.

Government is going to have to make do with what funds it can raise by voluntary means, whether by offering services at a reasonable price, or by enticing people to buy government lottery tickets for a particular purpose, or by simply asking for donations. People are capable of rational decisions and if those decisions aren't resulting in revenue for the government, then the government has to re-think its strategy. The only thing government cannot have the right to do is initiate force. It cannot compel people to support it, for that is what's wrong with the system now.

Edited by AllMenAreIslands
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Well i think you are making assumptions, that are not proven either.

Why do you think that it that there will be enough to guarantee legal security?

Why do you think people are voting to have taxes as high as 50% of their income today?

People act in accordance with their morality, despite your claim that they don't.

Donating for charity is considered a good thing today,...

So why aren't people donating?

Oh they're selfish?

Well, if they're selfish, that literally means they think it is not a good thing to give crap away to strangers for no good reason, so who exactly are these "they" , thinking that donating to charity is a good thing?

How do you explain this discrepancy between ethics and what people do? Why would someone do something contrary to their own ethics, if they were honest about it?

A reasonable man, who thinks that other people will donate enough or that if they don't his own contribution will not change it anyways, might not pay, since a new car will increase his personal happiness more than a payment to the government.

A reasonable man would adopt an ethical system that makes possible his long term survival and happiness, and act in accordance with it. A reasonable man would have no trouble understanding why he cannot expect from others what he isn't prepared to do himself. A reasonable man would be proud of not being a moocher-that would be a much greater source of pride for him than another fancy car. (obviously, the defense and law enforcement budget of this country wouldn't require people giving up their one and only car, it would cost a small percentage of what we pay today, nowhere near the price of a car for a person of average income--your example, of a person paying the price of a car, implies that they're rich, and already have a car)

It would take a particularly despicable and irrational man to try and ignore his own role in society and dismiss pride as a whim, choosing to rely on other people's work and virtues for his safety, rather than his own. Such a man would not be caught paying taxes either, or working for a living in today's society, he would instead be suckling on the end of a welfare check, or at the helm of our government enjoying his day in "power":

geithner-testifying.jpg

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