On Income Taxation

Today, I happened across this post by Hessianwithteeth, and thought it was worth a rebuttal.  So:

The real issue is not ‘taxation.’  The real issue is the “income tax”.  I’ve never come across anyone seriously arguing against sales taxes, they just specialize the use of the word ‘tax’ to refer to “income tax”.  The reason that the “income tax” is objectionable is the same reason that I put it in quotes: it isn’t a real tax.  A tax, you see, is a cost added by the government to a voluntary economic transaction.  I was going to illustrate this with dictionary entries about the differences between tax, excise, levy, etc.; but the online dictionaries have actually re-defined the word ‘tax’ so that “income taxation” is not only included, it is written as the primary entry.  Go figure.

In a free society, money represents the value of work performed for another person, and is given in the form of a wage (for this article, “salary” shall be considered the same as “wage”).  The only alternatives to earning wages in a free society are 1) being entirely self-sufficient; 2) living entirely on the charity of others (inheritance would be self-sufficiency); or 3) starving to death.  Earning wages, therefore, is not a ‘voluntary economic transaction’; it is necessary to continue living until self-sufficiency is achieved.   Buying a car, on the other hand, is a voluntary activity; one can simply walk wherever one needs to go.  Therefore, it is legitimate to tax purchases (or even real property, since one could avoid the tax at any time (and retain the value of the property) by selling the property.

But consider the implications of a third party laying first claim to the value of the work which you perform.  The actual percentage taken in the “income tax” is irrelevant; once any other party (such as the Federal government) has established that they have a claim to your wages which supersedes your own claim, then they OWN your wages.  They can take as much as they want, whenever they want.  QED: the “income tax” today is many times higher than when it was established.  To be blunt, a system in which someone else owns the value of your labor, whether they *allow* you to retain any portion of it or not, is properly known as “serfdom”.

As for the argument from consequence (“Can you imagine a world where everyone had to make their own piece of road?”), the United States of America functioned quite well from the founding of the first colonies until 1912—several hundred years—paying for everything with legitimate forms of taxation.  We had schools, roads, a functional standing military, and everything else that a nation needed—all without imposing the condition of de facto slavery upon the population.  Really, *what government revenue is used for*, while also worthy of serious examination, is a completely separate issue from *how that revenue is collected*.

Further, it is disingenuous to refer to “wealth redistribution” as if it were some modern form of charity or “giving to the community”.  One cannot be charitable with someone else’s money.  Nor is having something taken from you by force (try opting out of your “income tax”.  It doesn’t work unless you’re Al Sharpton.) a form of “giving.”  Charity is deliberate and personal donation of your own property to someone else.  It is diametrically opposed to government social programs.

In short, anyone who says “I shouldn’t have to pay taxes” is wrong.  However, so is anyone who supports the confiscation of earned wages under the false premise that it is “taxation.”  The “income tax” was not established to strengthen the United States, nor to help any of its citizens; it was established to create a foothold for the politics of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and their ilk in the United States.  It is the least efficient, least ethical, and most onerous method of generating revenue by design; and we should replace it with a valid system of taxation immediately.

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14 responses to “On Income Taxation

  1. Hmmm. No. Your argument has a fatal flaw. It’s here: ‘In a free society, money represents the *value of work* performed for another person…’

    So how is work valued, I wonder? What is it that makes it OK for the lavatory cleaner to work all day every day, whilst barely earning enough to live on, when a top executive can earn enough to pay for a mansion and several fast cars? How do you justify the vast difference in their income, when it is paid for the same number of hours of necessary work?

    In my view, there is no justification for such inequality. So, if one wants to remove the ‘burden’ of income tax, then one must also think about paying people more fairly. Good luck with persuading the top executives to do that.

    Unfortunately, charity only works if people are willing to give. Mostly, they are more inclined to find reasons not to give. Something to do with the poor and dispossessed not being worth their notice…

    • Hmmm. No. Your argument has a fatal flaw. It’s here: ‘In a free society, money represents the *value of work* performed for another person…’
      So how is work valued, I wonder?

      Quite easily: by mutual agreement. The person who needs work done offers a rate for which he is willing to reimburse potential employees; if he does not get enough (or good enough) applicants, then he must raise his offer to attract what he wants. If he gets too many applicants, he is free to lower his offer until he finds the correct range. Similarly, it is up to job-seekers to find a job which pays them what they deserve. If no job for which they qualify offers the reimbursement that they want, then they are simply not worth that wage. It is upon them to live with what people are willing to pay them, or to improve themselves to be a more attractive employee.
      Or to go into business for themselves.
      —–
      What is it that makes it OK for the lavatory cleaner to work all day every day, whilst barely earning enough to live on, when a top executive can earn enough to pay for a mansion and several fast cars? How do you justify the vast difference in their income, when it is paid for the same number of hours of necessary work?
      Because the company values the job of the executive more. Firstly, a lavatory cleaner should be an entry-level job: if you are still a lavatory cleaner after several years of employment, that is your own fault, and not the companies. If you want more money, you should be seeking promotion to positions of greater authority and responsibility.
      Which, by the way, is why the company values executives more. A lavatory cleaner has very little responsibility, while an executive can be called upon to make decisions which affect not only the revenue of the company, but the livelihood of everyone under them. Moreover, they are generally on salary, meaning that unlike the lavatory cleaner, they can be called upon at any time. But that’s really irrelevant; the important point is mutual agreement. In a free society, if the lavatory cleaner believes that his work is worth more money, then he is free to pursue a raise. Or pursue employment at another company with better wages.
      —–
      In my view, there is no justification for such inequality. So, if one wants to remove the ‘burden’ of income tax, then one must also think about paying people more fairly. Good luck with persuading the top executives to do that.
      Well, your view is called “slavery”, so I don’t believe that I’ll buy into it. If you tell a doctor that all of his years of hard work in college and medical school, and the pressures of making life-and-death decisions every day, is worth no more than a part-time high school student working for mall money, you are going to get exactly the quality and quantity of doctors you deserve.
      —–
      Unfortunately, charity only works if people are willing to give. Mostly, they are more inclined to find reasons not to give. Something to do with the poor and dispossessed not being worth their notice…
      That is the excuse of selfish people. The streets were not lined with the dead before the advent of income confiscation and it’s use to buy votes. It is more difficult to provide charity as the selfish take more and more income by force of government, but there are always people giving it.

      • ‘Quite easily: by mutual agreement.’

        You what?! Clearly, you don’t live in the real world! Have you ever looked into how much children were paid for the work they did in the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain? Have you ever looked into why workers’ unions were formed? Mutual agreement, indeed! It was all about profit, profit, profit – at the expense of those who had no power. It’s not the workers who set the wages, it’s the company managers. And they set them to maximise the profits for themselves.

        ‘Because the company values the job of the executive more.’

        Exactly. But is the *person* of more value? Of course not! So why should they be given so much more to live on than others who work equally hard?

        ‘If you want more money, you should be seeking promotion to positions of greater authority and responsibility.’

        And what if you can’t do that? What if you have a learning difficulty? Or what if there are no such positions available and you *have* to take a lower paid job regardless of what qualifications you have? What then? How is it *your* fault that other people don’t value what you do?

        ‘If you tell a doctor that all of his years of hard work in college and medical school, and the pressures of making life-and-death decisions every day, is worth no more than a part-time high school student working for mall money, you are going to get exactly the quality and quantity of doctors you deserve.’

        Or I might end up with doctors who genuinely care about their patients, rather than those who are in it for the money…? Certainly, that’s why I went to medical school. But surely the real question isn’t how much we value what a doctor does. That goes without saying. Perhaps the real question is how much we value the shop worker? Just imagine for a moment how much difference it would make in the world if we started treating shop workers with the same level of respect that we show to a doctor?

        ‘The streets were not lined with the dead before the advent of income confiscation and it’s use to buy votes.’

        Hmmm. Like I said, you clearly don’t live in the real world. I think you will find that there were plenty of dead people lining the streets of Britain before the advent of income tax. Wasn’t that why some folks took off to America in the first place – because they didn’t want to end up that way?

        ‘That is the excuse of selfish people.’

        Indeed. And most of us are just that – selfish. It has long been argued that the poor are poor either because God willed it that way (see verse 3 of All Things Bright and Beautiful) or because they deserve to be (see Charles Dickens). Whilst we rarely hear the first argument these days, the latter one is very, very far from being dead. Indeed, it’s been plastered across British newspapers on a fairly regular basis over the past 5 years that ‘benefit scroungers’ don’t deserve to be given hard-earned taxpayers’ money. And large sections of the British public lap it up because it suits them to. Yet you only have to go out and start talking to these so-called ‘benefit scroungers’ to find out that the vast majority of them don’t fit that description at all. They are simply ordinary people who have fallen on hard times. People like me… and you. But painting them as scroungers helps us to deny that we have any responsibility for them. They continue to be seen as undeserving of our help, just as they always have been. As a result, we are no more willing to give voluntarily to support them than we are to pay taxes to support them. We don’t want to know the truth because it doesn’t suit us to know the truth. People are selfish. They just are. And, as history makes abundantly clear, the only way of countering that selfishness is through legislation. It was necessary to end slavery. It was necessary to end child labour. It was necessary to provide decent working conditions for those without the power to insist upon them. And it continues to be necessary to provide support for those who fall on hard times. The great American dream of ‘freedom’ is and always has been nothing more than an illusion. It can’t be done without dead people lining the streets…

      • Your vision of a ‘free society’ appears to be one in which there is no income tax. I was pointing you to what that might look like. Child labour existed in Britain (and indeed the US) well before the advent of income tax. It was the direct result of poverty vs the company manager having the ‘freedom’ (provided by wealth and station) to hold all the power in the relationship. Whilst workers do have more rights now, that power differential is still very real. The employer chooses the level at which wages should be set, not the employee. The choice the employee has is to accept the pay s/he is given or to go hungry. I’m really not sure how that is any different to the employer then having to bend to the will of the tax man? Certainly, it doesn’t speak to me of the freedom to choose. But perhaps, to misquote Orwell, you believe in a society in which, ‘All animals are free, but some animals are more free than others?’ Certainly, that seems to me to be the end result of the belief that doctors and company executives somehow deserve to have more assets than loo cleaners…?

  2. Okay so there is a lot to respond to here, so I may not hit every point I want too.

    So First is very clear the crux of your argument is income tax is bad, flat sale taxes (or some other kind of tax you can hypothetically avoid, such as tariffs). And that income tax is bad (or illegitimate) because it means someone else “owns” your wages which is, but you account, effectively serfdom.

    Further one problem with how you define taxes is that there is a voluntary component to them. You can claim that, but it seem from both my experience and how the word is typically defined. Most put the word “compulsory” in there. You can define tax as you will, but taxes are much broader in nature then you out line here. What I think you mean to say is that you only consider taxes “legitimate” when they can be avoided is some manner.
    You talked about how prior to income tax. You claim 1912, though a cursory internet search shows income taxes starting in 1862 to support the US civil war. Though it was then deemed unconstitutional in 1872. Though you where close with 1913 being when the USA federal government amended the US constitution to allow for income taxes. There seems to be strong link between income tax and war.

    Though where this is leading is to your romantisization of US history, you seem to think that prior to 1912 things where golden. Perhaps you only meant in regard to taxes, but given your relating thing to serfdom it’s find of tactless give when explicit serfdom and slavery was going on through much of that time. Worse effective serfdom actual happens, at it’s not because the government demand a fraction of your income. Not only illegal immigrant, but with extremely low wages in certain area which are otherwise lacking in opportunity poor people often find themselves as wage slave trying to get out of debt while also be subsidized by the government. Generally when face with this most libertarians either making excuses, or just accepting that as okay, and the market will one day magically fix itself. I don’t know how you’ll answer it, but perhaps you have answer.

    Now I don’t agree with how you’ve frame freedom=you don’t have to pay taxes. Now I understand you fine with paying taxes, but it’s only legitimate if you conceivably don’t have to pay taxes. Except what you’ve presented I don’t isn’t truly conceivable. People are going to pay taxes anyway, and further you can still avoid taxation, although you have do so in way that boarder line illegal, but if you’ve got a cabin deep in the woods, you unlikely going to be bother by anyone.
    I don’t see how being part of a system where if you want to be an active member and not a hillbilly, you have to pay taxes. Moving it from a flat tax to an income tax doesn’t change the reality that you have to pay. All it changes is how and when you pay.

    More you talk about the government being able to take away all you money at any time it likes, well sure if you live in an autocracy, but either of us do. You live in a plutocratic republic and I live in a Welfare capitalist (aka socialist) parliamentary democracy. There do exist checks and balances so things are not just suddenly going to go to hell in a hand basket. What you doing by implying that if the government has any control over your wages that they have or will have, or can take at any time complete control of your wages is making a slippery slope fallacy. You’ll need to show how with good evidence that this control can be asserted so rapidly with in the current system. You may focus on your own government, although we already know this isn’t the case elsewhere. The Nordic countries being the most obvious examples. Though given that most developed countries make use of income taxes I think you’ll be hard pressed to defend your slippery slope.

    I did not call wealth redistribution a modern form of charity, and if I ever do it would be a mistake on my part. In this case you seem to be putting words in my mouth. Wealth redistribution is a necessary part of having a society with social mobility. However, I have a post planned on the topic of why the rich ought to pay more taxes and we can carry on this part of the conversation then.

    Your final paragraph is composed of bold assertions, ones you’d be hard pressed to defend anywhere except in a room full of libertarians. To say: “The “income tax” was not established to strengthen the

    United States, nor to help any of its citizens; it was established to create a foothold for the politics of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and their ilk in the United States.”

    That is a flatly incredible claim. Which is almost certainly born of the red scare which somehow still has a foothold in conservative America (Even here in Canada, although to a far lesser extent). Allow me to pose a much more plausible account for why your federal government changed it’s constitution in 1913 to allow for an income tax. To raise revenue.

    • Okay so there is a lot to respond to here, so I may not hit every point I want too.
      So First is very clear the crux of your argument is income tax is bad, flat sale taxes (or some other kind of tax you can hypothetically avoid, such as tariffs). And that income tax is bad (or illegitimate) because it means someone else “owns” your wages which is, but you account, effectively serfdom.
      Close, but not exactly. My argument is that there is no such thing as an “income tax.” The correct term to apply to this system is “penalty for earnings.” And yes, if someone can claim as much of your income as they want before you every receive it, then they own your wages—you only get what they ALLOW you to have. And that is serfdom.
      —–
      Further one problem with how you define taxes is that there is a voluntary component to them. You can claim that, but it seem from both my experience and how the word is typically defined.
      In English, the word “theatre” is usually defined as a place where people watch movies. However, that is actually a “cinema.” I have no interest in “typical” definitions, only in correct ones. That being said, taxes themselves are not voluntary—but they are placed on voluntary economic transactions. If there is a tax on cigarettes, I can simply not buy cigarettes and not pay the tax. However, I cannot buy the cigarettes and simply choose not to pay the tax, anyway.
      —–
      Most put the word “compulsory” in there. You can define tax as you will, but taxes are much broader in nature then you out line here. What I think you mean to say is that you only consider taxes “legitimate” when they can be avoided is some manner.
      Taxes are legitimate when they are actually taxes. Levies are levies, fines are fines, tariffs are tariffs, and taxes are taxes. Taxes cannot be applied to production; taxes are applied to consumption.
      —–
      You talked about how prior to income tax. You claim 1912, though a cursory internet search shows income taxes starting in 1862 to support the US civil war. Though it was then deemed unconstitutional in 1872.
      Which is why no one counts that period as the establishment of income tax.
      —–
      Though you where (sic) close with 1913 being when the USA federal government amended the US constitution to allow for income taxes. There seems to be strong link between income tax and war.
      Yes, the income tax was established in 1913, which is why I used inception-to-1912 in discussing the US without income tax. I’m not sure where the confusion arises. And yes, warfare is the usual excuse used by politicians to start confiscating other peoples’ earnings.
      —–
      Though where this is leading is to your romantisization (sic) of US history, you seem to think that prior to 1912 things where golden. Perhaps you only meant in regard to taxes, but given your relating thing to serfdom it’s find of tactless give when explicit serfdom and slavery was going on through much of that time. Worse effective serfdom actual happens, at it’s not because the government demand a fraction of your income. Not only illegal immigrant, but with extremely low wages in certain area which are otherwise lacking in opportunity poor people often find themselves as wage slave trying to get out of debt while also be subsidized by the government. Generally when face with this most libertarians either making excuses, or just accepting that as okay, and the market will one day magically fix itself. I don’t know how you’ll answer it, but perhaps you have answer.
      Most, if not all, cultures have practiced slavery at some point. However, notice that it is actually more correct to say that the United States of America WENT TO WAR TO END SLAVERY, with the short-lived Confederate States of America. That is irrelevant, however; you cannot use the fact that slavery existed a hundred and fifty years ago as an excuse to place people in a system of serfdom now. Using that logic, rape, robbery, and murder are all completely justified: other people have done them before.
      —–
      Now I don’t agree with how you’ve frame freedom=you don’t have to pay taxes.
      I never said any such thing. But I will state that if a third party owns the value of the work YOU produce, you are not free.
      —–
      Now I understand you fine with paying taxes, but it’s only legitimate if you conceivably don’t have to pay taxes. Except what you’ve presented I don’t isn’t truly conceivable. People are going to pay taxes anyway, and further you can still avoid taxation, although you have do so in way that boarder line illegal, but if you’ve got a cabin deep in the woods, you unlikely going to be bother by anyone.
      I don’t see how being part of a system where if you want to be an active member and not a hillbilly, you have to pay taxes. Moving it from a flat tax to an income tax doesn’t change the reality that you have to pay. All it changes is how and when you pay.
      Actually, there is a proposed bill called “FairTax”, which would move the U. S. entirely to actual tax revenue (that is, sales and real estate). In this bill, every month each head-of-household receives a check for the expected cost of taxes to be paid on food and medicine. Furthermore, sales tax is only levied on new items. So, if you only bought food, medicine, and used items, you would pay no tax at all. It also removes an entire branch of the Federal bureaucracy (the IRS), and every minute and penny that would otherwise be spent calculating “income taxes”.
      So no, not everyone would have to pay. And yes, it is very important to change when and how taxes are collected. It is the same difference as between buying a lunch for two people, and having your wallet stolen (with enough money to pay for two lunches). Even if the thief buys you lunch, it’s still theft.
      —–
      More you talk about the government being able to take away all you money at any time it likes, well sure if you live in an autocracy, but either of us do. You live in a plutocratic republic and I live in a Welfare capitalist (aka socialist) parliamentary democracy. There do exist checks and balances so things are not just suddenly going to go to hell in a hand basket. What you doing by implying that if the government has any control over your wages that they have or will have, or can take at any time complete control of your wages is making a slippery slope fallacy. You’ll need to show how with good evidence that this control can be asserted so rapidly with in the current system. You may focus on your own government, although we already know this isn’t the case elsewhere. The Nordic countries being the most obvious examples. Though given that most developed countries make use of income taxes I think you’ll be hard pressed to defend your slippery slope.
      It doesn’t matter if it happens rapidly, or if it happens at all. The system has been established by which they have first claim to what you earn, and they can at any time—and historically have—increase the amount that they take. It doesn’t matter if you are the one who brought the ball to the playground; if someone can play with it whenever they want, and take it home if they like with no one to stop them, then they own that ball.
      —–
      Your final paragraph is composed of bold assertions, ones you’d be hard pressed to defend anywhere except in a room full of libertarians. To say: “The “income tax” was not established to strengthen the United States, nor to help any of its citizens; it was established to create a foothold for the politics of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and their ilk in the United States.”
      That is a flatly incredible claim. Which is almost certainly born of the red scare which somehow still has a foothold in conservative America (Even here in Canada, although to a far lesser extent). Allow me to pose a much more plausible account for why your federal government changed it’s (sic) constitution in 1913 to allow for an income tax. To raise revenue.
      We already had a system to raise revenue. If more revenue was necessary, then the current tax system could simply have been increased. The “progressive income tax” comes straight from writings of Marx and Engall; the people who put it in play were the Progressive party who seek to establish Marxist principles in the United States. Have you read the Communist Manifesto? Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals? The writings of early Progressivists (like Woodrow Wilson)? Obviously not. The ONLY purpose of the “income tax” is economic destruction. It is a penalty for being productive, and it is meant to be. It grinds the wealthy down to poverty, and incentivizes the poor not to work, until the economy collapses and can be replaced with a Glorious Communist Revolution (after a few million executions).
      You have some reading to do.

      • “It grind the wealthy down to poverty.”
        This isn’t eastern Europe and the Bolshevik’s are not coming to burn down your vineyards and take the state houses. (They did to my great great grandparents when why they died in Canada and I exist) It’s not like the rich are without power and will be taken from their pedestal and ground down for their capital. Well At least shit would have to get really bad before us citizens and pros get that antsy.

        ” It grinds the wealthy down to poverty, and incentivizes the poor not to work, until the economy collapses and can be replaced with a Glorious Communist”

        I think you been reading those texts a little to much like they are inerrant texts. There is no and never will be a communist state, it’s pure fantasy. Just as democracy doesn’t truly exist. We have systems with are a hodgepodge of different system with different qualities. Though some are far more practical then others to implement. I’m a big fan of socialist systems with a regulated market and high taxation with guaranteed (if low) quality of life, post secondary for any who want it. This is basically the antithesis to much of what you’ve been saying, yet it works fine in the Nordic countries.

        Though returning to fantasy, I suspect, your conclusions of income tax. You seem to think any kind of socialism, or collectivization on income and wealth leads down this previous path. A slippery to a communist dystopia.

        Fair Tax? Okay So I’m looking at it, and it has good ideas, expecpt is regressive putting the majority of it’s burden on the poor and the middle class. It allows for rich dynasties to be formed and never touched let alone be taxed. The rich benefit the most from a stable society and are far better equipped to reap benefit from the system. Why should they be allowed to take but not give back?

        However could it work? Maybe. Will it provide all the solutions people think it will no. It require high spending with encouraging a drop in spending so that could be a problem.

        Besides it does change the fact that the real problem in us politics are that corporations are people with extra rights, money is free speech, so bribery is legal. You can’t have a fair system when the federal government doesn’t respond to their constituents.

      • Now that I’ve sat and thought I have change my stance a little, so take the pervious comment and it mediocre quality in that light, but here is what I figure is the problems I have with what your saying.

        First you given me no adiqute justification fo claims like ” The ONLY purpose of the “income tax” is economic destruction.”

        Perhaps that was the original intent when income tax was thought up by proto-communists in Europe. Though if your going to claim that how it’s used and what it does show me the evidence or I’m going to continue to think your being silly. Genuinely your position to me seems little more then a strawman, an illusion created by framing the issues under a certain light. Though if you can show me compelling evidence for how it is that income tax brings about inherent lost of value from a political system, cool. If you can elucidate some mechanism I’d be happy to consider them.

        Which bring me to the second point, I only really care, at least to the heart of matters, about the ideological differences. In fact while I’m not immune to the allures of ideology at the end of the day I don’t care if my personal ideology (not really defined as I avoid such framing where I can) wins out. I care about results and finding better paths.

        And currently I have not be impressed by the explanations for why income tax is illegitimate. Your argument seems to me, perhaps unfairly, to be naive notion of freedom tinged with fear that still persist from the red scare.

        Now is it that the goerment claiming of percentage of your income is some how limiting your freedom. IN simplest terms use you have less money, and you can’t avoid it with out suffering stiff legal consequences, but this does not exist in a vacuum. You gain benefits from those taxes which you hand over, and if nothing else you gain from the stability offer by your governance.

        I do not seem this compelling gain in moving things over from income tax to a pure sales tax. All I see in the long run is a system easier to abuse with favors the wealthy and penalizes the poor. Now I could be wrong and I’m not opposed to experimentation. Though your not suggesting simple experimentation you suggesting a solution like you know it will work, but I remain unmoved due to a lack of compelling arguments.

        Why does the burden put on the citizen of a income tax harsher/worse then that of a sales tax?

        What does freedom entail? How you your measure it and it’s benefits? Why in particular should we strive for your version of freedom? What gives it value, or what value does it bring? How does removing income tax increase freedom? (I’m not saying freedom doesn’t have value, but the above are questions that should be answered particularly since freedom is an important part your argument)

        Do you have clear examples which you can provide that support sale tax dependent systems? Or are your propositions hypothesis which need testing?

        Do you have evidence to support your claims that income tax does harm? Can you draw a causal link or can you only correlate harm with income tax?

        If you can give some good answers to some of these questions it will be far easier for me to take your position more seriously, and will strengthen your arguments.

      • I have deleted some of your questions, because I felt I had dealt adequately with them in previous answers. If not, feel free to let me know.

        First you given me no adiqute justification fo claims like ” The ONLY purpose of the “income tax” is economic destruction.”
        http://www.amazon.com/Communist-Manifesto-Karl-Marx-ebook/dp/B00JOH5O4C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428493979&sr=1-1&keywords=communist+manifesto
        —–
        Perhaps that was the original intent when income tax was thought up by proto-communists in Europe. Though if your going to claim that how it’s used and what it does show me the evidence or I’m going to continue to think your being silly.
        I’m not sure what sort of evidence you’re looking for? Barack Obama looking into a television camera and cackling about destroying the nation’s economy on live television? Even Hitler knew to pander to his subjects (by playing Christian) in public. The fact is that everywhere an income tax is instituted it results in greater proverty. Nor can there be any other possible outcome for penalizing people for working—especially when this is usually accompanied by paying people NOT to work. One may look at any Communist country—in which the State claims all production, rather than “allowing” individuals to keep a certain portion of what they have produced—and see that they are, without exception, vile totalitarian cess-pools. No one who looks to the authors of such policies for inspiration can have any good motive.
        —–
        Genuinely your position to me seems little more then a strawman, an illusion created by framing the issues under a certain light. Though if you can show me compelling evidence for how it is that income tax brings about inherent lost of value from a political system, cool. If you can elucidate some mechanism I’d be happy to consider them.
        Well, that’s simple enough. I can give you multiple vectors, in fact: First, is the loss of moral value; you spend your entire life having your earnings stolen from you. You can say ‘it’s not theft because it’s legal’ if you like, but the fact is, someone takes a percentage of everything that YOU earn, every time you earn it. And if you try to say “Actually, I’ll hold on to it this time,” they will come with guns and send you to prison. Or worse; cf Waco, TX. The second is the loss of production as a whole. You are penalizing people for working hard (“Got a raise? Well, you also got a new tax bracket!”), at the same time that you are literally paying people NOT to work. Admittedly, government spending is technically a separate issue from revenue generation, but in this case they work in hand. There are many jurisdictions in the U.S. where welfare checks pay more than full-time entry-level employment (and you don’t have to pay tax on them…).

        Also consider: group A works 40 or more hours per week, and sees 25% or more of the value of that work confiscated by the government before it gets to them. They have no say in this. Group B does not work at all, but lives in housing and eats food paid for by group A. How do you suppose this affects society as a whole? Historically, Group A feels both resentful of and superior to Group B, who after all, are living on money which Group A actually earned and had taken without their consent. Group B, on the other hand, will feel entitled to everything that they are receiving; after all, “the government” is providing it. And they will feel threatened by and hostile to anyone who suggests that their welfare “income” isn’t legitimate. That is not a good state of affairs for any nation.
        —–
        And currently I have not be impressed by the explanations for why income tax is illegitimate. Your argument seems to me, perhaps unfairly, to be naive notion of freedom tinged with fear that still persist from the red scare.
        You are confusing why the confiscation of earnings is not a legitimate tax, with why the confiscation of earnings is ethically objectionable. These are two different points. The ‘income tax’ is not legitimate because it is an oxymoron. Confiscating the value of production is not a tax. Also, you can throw around the term “Red Scare” as much as you want; the fact is that Communism is a reprehensible system which was responsible for more than 100,000,000 deaths in the first century of its existence, and certainly has not stopped. Nor is anyone risking their lives to flee INTO Communist countries.
        —–
        Now is it that the goerment claiming of percentage of your income is some how limiting your freedom. IN simplest terms use you have less money,
        The money is not the issue. The issue is the fact that someone else owns the value of what I produce with my own hands. Look at it this way: the ‘income tax’ is actually a debt. It is a debt that no one has done anything (except try to feed themselves) to incur, which cannot be escaped (except by giving up all forms of employment or savings), and cannot ever be paid off. A person in debt is, by definition, not free.
        —–
        and you can’t avoid it with out suffering stiff legal consequences,
        Exactly. Wait, doesn’t that mean that I have less freedom?
        —–
        but this does not exist in a vacuum. You gain benefits from those taxes which you hand over, and if nothing else you gain from the stability offer by your governance.
        None of that is gained from confiscation of income. The so-called income tax does not provide anything—it is a taking, not a giving. If you wish to argue the benefits of Federal spending, that is, as I said earlier, a separate point from the collecting of revenue. And everything you have listed existed—in some cases, in better condition—prior to the 16th Amendment. Besides, it is hardly a compelling argument to say, “look at what I bought you with all of that money I stole from you. After I gave half of it to my buddies.”
        —–
        I do not seem this compelling gain in moving things over from income tax to a pure sales tax. All I see in the long run is a system easier to abuse with favors the wealthy and penalizes the poor.
        As for “penalizing the poor,” I’ve already explained that food and medicine are effectively not taxed, nor are used items. So it is quite simple for “the poor” to avoid the tax altogether. It will be paid almost exclusively by the wealthy, who favor luxury items. As to your other point: you do not see a difference between giving money voluntarily, and having it taken by force? Well, let me give you something more concrete:
        -6.1 BILLION hours per year are spent calculating American ‘income taxes’. I hesitate to guess what that translates into in wasted money.
        -An entire department of the Federal government, the IRS, would cease to exist. This is one of the most expensive and wasteful government agencies around; the savings would be enormous.
        -We would immediately become the most business-friendly nation in the world. Instead of American corporations constantly outsourcing entry-level jobs to cheap labor overseas, foreign companies would be LINING UP to do business here. Not only would there be no confiscation of earnings by the government, but you wouldn’t have to have an entire office devoted to figuring out how much of your employee’s earnings they are actually ‘allowed’ to keep.
        -It closes EVERY TAX LOOPHOLE. “This guy should have paid $500,000 in taxes, but because he actually read the law, he only paid $450,000. Now we’re going to have to borrow money to pay all of these people for not working!” Well, guess what? There’s no way to hide. The tax is built right in to the cost of end-sale items. Got an off-shore account? That’s fine—that’s not how we raise revenue.
        -Everyone gets to keep everything that they earn. That means that even the lowest-earners who are actually EARNING, get an immediate effective 15% pay raise.
        -Everything immediately becomes less expensive to make; therefore, by the nature of business competition, everything will become less expensive to buy.
        -It removes the majority of problems which keep capable people from actually going into business for themselves.
        —–
        Now I could be wrong and I’m not opposed to experimentation. Though your not suggesting simple experimentation you suggesting a solution like you know it will work, but I remain unmoved due to a lack of compelling arguments.
        ‘Income tax’ is the experiment, and it has failed miserably (well, actually it has succeeded at its goal, but its goal is economic destruction). Legitimate, consumption-based taxation has worked for thousands of years. The FairTax in particular has also been the subject of one of the most thorough economic studies ever undertaken.
        —–
        What does freedom entail?
        Well, it entails freedom. The maximum possible personal liberty, accompanied by complete individual responsibility (for competent adults).
        —–
        How you your measure it and it’s benefits?
        Benefits really have nothing to do with it. But if you want an example, compare living conditions in inland China to those of the free-market protectorate of Hong Kong. The differences are pretty shocking—if you don’t already know what’s driving them. You might also look into a phenomenon called “the tragedy of the commons”.
        —–
        Why in particular should we strive for your version of freedom? What gives it value, or what value does it bring?
        Because it is the only version of freedom, and without freedom, nothing else has any value at all.

      • Well one you think actual communist countries exist and are complete cesspools.
        While I wouldn’t want to live in most communist countries Cuba isn’t too bad, China’s shitty, but they have a strong emerging middle class.

        Though the problem is that neither are actually communist.

        Also comparisons like.
        “…compare living conditions in inland China to those of the free-market protectorate of Hong Kong.”

        Are nonsensical, it’s like comparing Moscow to rural America. Besides it ignore other contextual information. I’m not saying you can’t have a point with that, but it’s not so cut and dry.

        “and you can’t avoid it with out suffering stiff legal consequences,
        Exactly. Wait, doesn’t that mean that I have less freedom?”

        You can’t kill some one either. That limits your freedom, though the protection from murder make everyone more free. The question becomes does paying your income tax actually reduce your freedom when compared to a sales tax system. It certainty would increase the freedom of the wealthiest, but I am more hesitant to say it increases total freedom for everyone. Maybe in the perfect system, but I remain skeptical.

        But anyway I think I can say I’m done discussing your vendetta against income tax. Fair tax looks kinda neat, but some of the things your saying it will solve I just don’t buy.

        Thanks for your long responses.

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