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Tax bothers me so much. How can I deal with it?

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I often start to imagine all the ways I will make money and then remember that if I'm successful so much of it will be taken away. How do productive people continue to be feel motivated when 40% of their effort is stolen from them?

 

This may just be a psychological issue with me. Should you just focus on the productive process and be content with what you do get? In effect, if I don't do stuff because of the high tax rates, I am letting them win. I know Rand did not agree with actually going galt in this world.

 

Money helps you be freer but in the process of getting it you must feed the beast.

 

I think I recall someone says that the more money the government gets the quicker it will implode. Morality is practical, so I suppose taxes are toxic to the government and those who receive welfare in the end. Metaphysical justice.

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I think I recall someone says that the more money the government gets the quicker it will implode.

 

Stefan Molyneux?

 

 

I often start to imagine all the ways I will make money and then remember that if I'm successful so much of it will be taken away. How do productive people continue to be feel motivated when 40% of their effort is stolen from them?

 
Perhaps they change the order of thinking how to avoid theft by taxation and thinking how to get rich. But I wouldn't know.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thomas jefferson said "The power to tax is the power to destroy" 

 

Its gonna happen but until then be tactful on what you get that is taxed, obviously income tax cant be avoided but some other taxes are. Taxes are a fact of life, and just look at other forms of govt where you dont actually get anything at all except if your lucky enough to live off of. Thinking of that is how i deal and now i make alot less than i used to pay out in taxes every 2 weeks before that crash of 08

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Peter Morris, on 10 Apr 2014 - 8:43 PM, said:

I often start to imagine all the ways I will make money and then remember that if I'm successful so much of it will be taken away. How do productive people continue to be feel motivated when 40% of their effort is stolen from them?

 

The most productive people I know are not motivated solely by money. No, we shouldn't condemn people who are, but money is a means to value, not a value in itself. There is intrinsic value in work that cannot be taxed, and it is the intrinsic value that motivates workers who truly enjoy their job. It's unfortunate if you haven't found that yet.

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The most productive people I know are not motivated solely by money. No, we shouldn't condemn people who are, but money is a means to value, not a value in itself. There is intrinsic value in work that cannot be taxed, and it is the intrinsic value that motivates workers who truly enjoy their job. It's unfortunate if you haven't found that yet.

Taxation diminishes people's ability to do proper work. It takes away most of the money that would've been re-invested into furthering an enterprise, and only leaves enough for people to scrape by.

So it affects the "intrinsic" (I disagree with the use of the word, but I get what you mean) value of the work as well.

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Human motivation is a touchy subject. For some folks money is a motivator, while for others it is only feed-back from action. Money is most useful only as a score-card and a liquid resource for additional action. I would suggest you simply use post tax net in your ROI calculations and stop worrying about things you cannot change. Just do those things that return a combination of satisfaction and ROI (profit) that make you want to do it again. If the whole tax thing is such a de-motivator for you, try to confine your economic activity to the 'underground' economy.

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Nicky, on 01 May 2014 - 08:52 AM, said:

Taxation diminishes people's ability to do proper work. It takes away most of the money that would've been re-invested into furthering an enterprise, and only leaves enough for people to scrape by.

So it affects the "intrinsic" (I disagree with the use of the word, but I get what you mean) value of the work as well.

 

Taxation as a concept does not include things like diminishing the ability to do proper work ("proper" by whose standards?). Taxation is in fact necessary to maintain the services of a government to protect individual rights. We as citizens can't expect police, fire, and medical services to appear from nowhere. It's when taxation extends beyond what is necessary at a basic level to maintain a government that upholds individual rights when it becomes a problem and a rights-violation as such.

 

I agree that high taxes do limit the ability for entrepreneurs to open new businesses or for individuals to spend money they fairly earn as they see fit, but I don't see that as a property of taxation itself; rather, it's a problem in how it is carried out.

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Taxation as a concept does not include things like diminishing the ability to do proper work ("proper" by whose standards?). Taxation is in fact necessary to maintain the services of a government to protect individual rights.

We have some threads on this already, but taxation is coerced and thus contrary to the very individual rights it is supposedly taxed to protect.
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I guess the book on taxation is closed then, since it's already been discussed elsewhere. Oh, well...

It's not closed, but you can't just walk into a forum filled with people who have just spent 10 years discussing Objectivism, and state as a fact that taxation is necessary for maintaining the government.

It's a statement that's been disputed a million times on this forum. If you really want to debate it for the million and first time, at least try and find the end of one of those million conversations, and pick up the debate from there. Don't make us start from scratch again. Discussing the same thing over and over again is terribly boring.

P.S. There is at least one member whom I respect, on this forum, who maintains that taxation isn't always a rights violation (Grames). So I definitely don't think the book is closed on the issue. But there is a book on it, and if we're gonna discuss the subject I'd rather we don't ignore that book.

Edited by Nicky
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I guess the book on taxation is closed then, since it's already been discussed elsewhere. Oh, well...

The OP is asking for advice on how to cope, so it's not the same as the other threads. I suppose he could take a cue from Howard Beale:

More seriously, I suggest he reflect on the fact that we don't have a military draft at present. Things have been worse. And they might get better, even much better, not immediately but well before the far distant future.

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Taxation violates man's rights. It's both immoral and impractical.

 

But that was not my question. I was wondering how people cope with it.

 

If taxation was 10% flat, it would be immoral but not a large problem on my life, but taxation is increased with increased earnings and tops out at 45% (in Australia). It is demotivating to see 45% of it taken away.

 

I guess I'll just enjoy what I keep, and enjoy producing.

 

It infuriates me though. I do not take kindly to being considered a slave to society. I do not accept life by sanction of society! I am an end in myself.

 

Rights are the moral sanction to action. The rights man has by virtue of being born a man. Survival of man is necessitated by these rights. Any violation hurts both the man, and the evil doers, and those who supposedly benefit from it (welfare recipients, public services) by trying to live by force and not by mind. One harms the motor by which one hopes to live.

 

If you live by the sanction of society you are not a free autonomous human being, you are a slave. If a slave is allowed to go out, find his own employment, spend his free time as he wants, earn money and keep some of his money by sanction of the slave master, he is still a slave. It’s just a much more efficient way of extracting slave labour. There’s a lot less resentment and resistance from a slave when he is not aware he is a slave. There's a lot less productivity when he doesn't like doing his work. Taxation is advanced slave keeping.

 

It is even more an insult to me that the more productive you are the less worthy you are of keeping each additional dollar you earn. All because that dollar is claimed by virtue of another persons inability to produce it, because that dollar would be worth so much to someone with very few dollars, so could for instance go to feed such an unproductive person. But you already earn enough to eat and be comfortable. What you would want to do with the dollar is of much less 'utility' to society as a whole.

Edited by Peter Morris
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But that was not my question. I was wondering how people cope with it.

[...]

I guess I'll just enjoy what I keep, and enjoy producing.

 

It infuriates me though.

This about sums it up for anyone who is actually bothered by taxes, I think. When I first learned about even the basic facts and effects of government wealth expropriation, it also made me angry, for a year or two. Eventually, though, you see that the system is not going to change very much or very soon. So, it might become helpful to treat taxes like the saying goes, "Nothing is certain but death and..." Don't treat it exactly the same, of course, because taxes aren't necessarily certain. But, practically speaking, they will be certain for a long while, and there's not much you can do about it. Laws are difficult to change, people aren't that put-off by taxes, people aren't willing to speak up, people don't understand the situation very well, you're going to jail if you don't pay, etc. etc. You could easily dedicate your life to changing tax law and still not get anything changed.

 

I think of taxes like I think of any stupid human behavior. It's a mix of bad ideas and lazy people. But, there are a lot more things that you can blame on lazy people with bad ideas. If you were to get angry and bothered by every stupid thing people do and its affect on your life, you'd be angry all day, every day. If I were to sum it up as a principle, it might go something like, "Don't let bad/stupid shit make your life worse than it needs to be."

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  • 2 weeks later...

How do productive people continue to be feel motivated when 40% of their effort is stolen from them?

"Make whatever laws you feel necessary; I will obey those which I agree with."  Robert Heinlein.

 

Some of the people in the world can still be reached, but not all; most are beyond all hope, because of their own choices.  Those people which are beyond all hope are the ones primarily driving the world's downward march.  Those which will never again be able to see the truth; which are no longer capable of changing their ways; in a sense, they have given up their own volition.  They can no longer be held to truly human standards.

 

When you have to deal with such people, treat them as what they've chosen to become; metaphysically given.

 

Let them have their nonsense.  Let them pass whatever laws they insist on passing (because if they're the sort behind these laws, they'll pass them regardless); just do whatever you can to prevent it from interfering with your life, as much as possible.

 

Like a natural disaster, most of these things are beyond your control.  But just like natural disasters, you can control their ability to hurt you; you can keep them at arm's length.

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Sorry for straying from the OP slightly, but as this applies to taxes, pay the smallest amount which still ensures your own safety.  Don't lie about it, of course. . .  Unless you can get away with it.

The broader principle is to accept the unpleasant facts involved and then figure out exactly how much of it can be avoided.

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"Make whatever laws you feel necessary; I will obey those which I agree with."  Robert Heinlein.

 

Some of the people in the world can still be reached, but not all; most are beyond all hope, because of their own choices.  Those people which are beyond all hope are the ones primarily driving the world's downward march.  Those which will never again be able to see the truth; which are no longer capable of changing their ways; in a sense, they have given up their own volition.  They can no longer be held to truly human standards.

 

When you have to deal with such people, treat them as what they've chosen to become; metaphysically given.

 

Let them have their nonsense.  Let them pass whatever laws they insist on passing (because if they're the sort behind these laws, they'll pass them regardless); just do whatever you can to prevent it from interfering with your life, as much as possible.

 

Like a natural disaster, most of these things are beyond your control.  But just like natural disasters, you can control their ability to hurt you; you can keep them at arm's length.

Harrison,

 

What you say here captures much of a personal sentiment that I do not like when I notice it within myself. It strikes me as malevolent universe premise,  in principle. Plato's notion of "the incurably ignorant". reigning 'en-mass'.

 

"treat them as the metaphysically  given"  . . .

 

Isn't this essentially telling them "Thank you for supporting your paternal kleptocracy"?

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What you say here captures much of a personal sentiment that I do not like when I notice it within myself. It strikes me as malevolent universe premise, in principle. Plato's notion of "the incurably ignorant". reigning 'en-mass'.

 

"treat them as the metaphysically  given"  . . .

 

Isn't this essentially telling them "Thank you for supporting your paternal kleptocracy"?

I should specify that I mean this only about those people who can no longer grasp the truth, at all.

We all know that sometimes, no matter what you say, you simply cannot show someone the truth; we've all seen it on this very forum.  Given that knowledge, whose interests are served by taking the time and energy to syllogize for them?

 

"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."  Also Robert Heinlein.

---

Edit:

 

It occurs to me that the essence of your objection may be that to call someone 'not worth saving' implies a profound contempt for them.  If so then you'd be right (although, again, this does not apply to most people).

 

The way I look at it is that whoever cannot grasp the truth, doesn't deserve it; they deserve to live with the consequences of whatever falsehoods they happen to cling to.

That's what I mean when I tell people to "live long and prosper"; the implicit part is the source of man's life and prosperity.

 

So yes, it is a horrendous and dehumanizing thing to think of someone, but nonetheless a factual observation.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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Morality is practical, so I suppose taxes are toxic to the government and those who receive welfare in the end. Metaphysical justice. 

The metaphysical justice is there, but not in that way.

When statists talk about "greed" what they mean is ambition; pride; love of yourself and your own life.  They absolutely cannot stand those things which you and I know to be our greatest virtues; that is the motivation for every variety of collectivism.

 

Monetarily, the looters and the moochers may seem to profit from collectivism, but "profit" means something unique to each individual; that's where the metaphysical justice is.  They hate desire, they hate achievement, they hate thought; on a fundamental level they hate consciousness.  So how much money would it take to make them happy?

If you stop and imagine what it must be like to live in such a mind then you'll see the metaphysical justice.

 

Man is a being of self-made soul and for this reason, every collectivist lives in a very personal sort of Hell.

 

Just smile, tell them to "live long and prosper" (knowing full well that they're incapable of it) and do whatever you can to keep them out of your life because, while they may take your money, they can never take the thing that counts.  :thumbsup:

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