• @hperrin
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    4130 days ago

    What he could’ve made if there were no taxes? I doubt he’d be making as much if there were no government.

    • @einlander
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      2430 days ago

      Should be more mad of what isn’t being done with all the taxes being taken out.

      • @Frozengyro
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        1330 days ago

        He’d be really upset if he knew what is being done with his taxes.

    • @UnderpantsWeevil
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      30 days ago

      Argentina gutted its tax system and now certain people are making a lot more money. Its just that the state currency is increasingly worthless, as the biggest consumer of notes no longer wants them.

      • @hperrin
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        130 days ago

        Those certain people probably wouldn’t include this guy. Nothing against him, he’d just be playing an odds game and the odds would not be in his favor.

    • @[email protected]
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      129 days ago

      As a libertarian I try to make it clear that free markets can’t exist in the modern world without government activity.

      In the prehistoric world, a person with something to sell or trade could mostly do so without interference, because everyone had similar physical power, making robbery more dangerous than it was worth.

      But once power structures started accumulating: armies, governments, powerful families, etc, the only way to maintain free trade is via government actively maintaining that secure market space.

      So the natural deterrent of coercive economic interaction (get injured when target defends their stuff), got replaced with the artificial deterrent of law enforcement (go to jail when target reports your theft).

      Free markets need to be level and fair, and it takes government firepower to counter all the other firepower and level the negotiations out. When people can negotiate without fear of violence reprisal, they can freely enter or not enter whatever set of economic arrangements are best for them.

      Free markets mean people can enter the market and do whatever kind of business they please so long as someone else is willing to take that deal. You can’t do that without a large effort to keep the space clear of criminal coercion.

      • @hperrin
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        729 days ago

        That’s an extremely simplistic view of commerce and human history. Robbery was very common before government. Robbery is still very common, but less so.

        Fraud and dangerous products run rampant without government intervention. Basically, without a government to protect you, the likelihood that a mega corp will sell you something that will kill you is super high. Just look at how much regulation has improved auto safety in the last 70 years. And appliance safety, medical safety, travel safety, food safety, etc.

        The kind of world that libertarians pine for is the kind of world that would kill them in a month.

          • @hperrin
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            29 days ago

            I was responding to this:

            In the prehistoric world, a person with something to sell or trade could mostly do so without interference, because everyone had similar physical power, making robbery more dangerous than it was worth.

            And this:

            Free markets mean people can enter the market and do whatever kind of business they please so long as someone else is willing to take that deal.

  • @Cryophilia
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    3230 days ago

    Anyone who hates the concept of taxes should be barred from voting. Clearly, you’re too stupid to be allowed to participate.

    • @ThatWeirdGuy1001
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      1729 days ago

      I don’t hate the concept of taxes. I hate the concept of my taxes not actually going back into the community I live in and instead being used to line pockets and blow up middle eastern people.

      • @Cryophilia
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        429 days ago

        That’s fair, as long as you realize that some of it DOES actually go back to your community.

        • @[email protected]
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          629 days ago

          Then let’s only pay the portion that does go to the community or necessary public services

          • @Cryophilia
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            129 days ago

            Well you can’t just support your community. There’s a whole nation of communities. And you’ll need some sort of military to prevent others from coming and exploiting you.

    • MacN'Cheezus
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      -230 days ago

      I’ll take that deal, but only if I’m also relieved from paying taxes.

      • @Cryophilia
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        830 days ago

        You can be relieved of taxes as long as you’re barred from using anything paid for with taxes. No FDA regulations for you!

          • @orrk
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            128 days ago

            [starts to stretch insulin with paint thinner]

            every day it seems like people forget what things like the FDA are for, but hey, the snake oil salesmen love this state of affairs

            • @[email protected]
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              128 days ago

              If I need testing for someone else’s insulin, I can get that for cheaper than the regulatory capture insulin. They don’t work for us.

              • @orrk
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                128 days ago

                ah yes, use the totally legit bio-med test service down the road, due to the FTC not being a thing they can totally and without any repercussions just lie to you because they have a deal with the person selling you the insulin.

                Then again, you have been hoodwinked into some “regulatory capture” bullshit, in reality, insulin is so expensive in the USA because no one has the capital wants to sell it cheap, it’s a risk for minimal rewards, the demand is literally your life, so the cost can be as high as anyone wants it.

                as for the whole “but the free market” and “supply/demand”, do you think the people setting these prices don’t know what the prisoner’s dilemma is?

                • @[email protected]
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                  28 days ago

                  There is just so much going on here.

                  Are we discussing a situation in which only the FDA is gone, or complete anarchy?

                  Do you believe that regulatory capture is bullshit?

                  People knowing about a prisoner’s dilemma doesn’t make it go away.

        • @hark
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          -130 days ago

          Many more tax dollars are poured into the military industrial complex than actual regulation.

        • MacN'Cheezus
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          -230 days ago

          Works for me! As long as Amazon will still deliver to my address, you can find me homesteading at my Uncle Ted cabin sending virtual mailbombs to fiat currency enthusiasts. Don’t come visit without an appointment though or you’ll be leaving in a box.

          • @Soggy
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            329 days ago

            They won’t, those roads are maintained by taxes and the internet infrastructure is subsidized.

            • MacN'Cheezus
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              129 days ago

              There goes my dream of being self sufficient. My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.

              I hope you’re happy.

          • @Cryophilia
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            129 days ago

            The FBI has more guns than you lol

            • MacN'Cheezus
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              229 days ago

              I didn’t do anything wrong though. No vote, no taxes, no use of publicly funded infrastructure, that was the deal. Amazon is a private company, they do pay taxes, so they can use the roads on my behalf.

                • MacN'Cheezus
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                  229 days ago

                  Well, I’m certainly not a fan of big government if that’s what you mean.

              • @Cryophilia
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                129 days ago

                That’s the fun thing though, taxes pay for the legal system that protects you from both the state and other people. So you don’t get that either. Anyone including the FBI can roll up and smoke your ass and there’s nothing you can do about it.

                And I dunno what a virtual mailbomb is, but it sounds like something the FBI would care enough to stop.

                • MacN'Cheezus
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                  29 days ago

                  And I dunno what a virtual mailbomb is, but it sounds like something the FBI would care enough to stop.

                  It’s just a funny word I made up for inconvenient free speech. Because it is my experience that right (or wrong, depending on your perspective) words at the right time can literally make a person blow up LOL

    • @UnderpantsWeevil
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      30 days ago

      Taxation is only necessary in a country with a heavily privatized and widely stratified property distribution. The whole purpose of the tax system is to redistribute money between groups, by way of state spending. But if you don’t have these enormous strata to begin with, you don’t need crazy high tax rates to handle the rebalancing.

      Cuba and Laos has a very modest 20% top tax rate. Vietnam has the same top rate as the US, at 35%. North Korea doesn’t have any income tax at all. It’s countries like China and Japan and Germany (top rate 45% with a 20% cap gains rate) and the US (top rate 37% with a 15% cap gains rate) that need these higher brackets, because they’ve got these bloated upper classes.

      I could easily argue that taxation is just another kind of rent, and states are just another kind of landlord, in a country where the working class has no legal claim to any of the property it occupies. And that an ideal society would have many more free-at-point-of-service public utilities, such that cash (and the taxing thereof) had a diminished purpose.

      In a country where you’re compelled to chase a wage in order to have any kind of legal right to exist, the taxation of working-class wages really is awful and nobody should be punished for saying so. I’m all on board with eliminating taxation for anyone earning below the living wage. And I might go further, arguing for the abolition of private taxpaying businesses that depriving people of survival necessities.

        • @UnderpantsWeevil
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          -230 days ago

          You’d hardly be the first guy who thinks only landlords deserve a vote.

  • @[email protected]
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    1230 days ago

    We need to find an argument, which is convincing to billionaires, that the world will be better for them if they and all other billionaires pay their full share of taxes.

    Government can be a win for the individual, if all the other individuals are also making the same sacrifice.

    So like if Joe gets taxed some of his money and he’s the only one, then Joe loses because Joe’s money can’t serve him any better being spent by someone else.

    But if Joe gets taxed some of his money and so does everyone else who Joe lives with, then Joe can win by this because the effect of the commonwealth generated can benefit him more than the money would have in his own account.

    Like, I’m happy to pay taxes in order to live in a society of laws and security and free open markets where I can trade with people to get things I can’t provide myself.

    By giving up that 10% of my money, I’m gaining all this other wealth in the form of a stable society.

    So we need to articulate how the global benefits of those billionaires’ tax money being pooled and spent on commonwealth, is better even for the billionaires than if they’d each individually kept that money.

    Am I being clear here? I feel like I’m not.

    Like if we went after Elon Musk and only Elon Musk for back taxes, then Elon Musk loses.

    But if we go after all the billionaires for their back taxes, then the billionaires can win too, by benefitting from the overall societal improvements.

    And so long as the other billionaires are also taking financial hits, any given billionaire isn’t slipping in their billionaire-vs-billionaire game of status. They’re all losing money equally across the board.

    The reason to go looking for an argument that takes the billionaires’ benefits into account, is that billionaires are the only ones who can make this tax thing happen. Their influence is too great to do it against their will.

    • @[email protected]
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      729 days ago

      I think it is a net positive like you say, but also some people really think they know better, and also don’t like their impact of politics being reduced to that of their fellows.

      Can you imagine what it’s like to actually be able to influence policy workout having to vote, or even to take part in collective action with other people?

      It can’t be good for the soul, but it’s got to be habit forming.

      • @[email protected]
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        429 days ago

        That’s the thing man. There are enough billionaires that they have a society. Being a billionaire no longer means unilaterally changing the world, because other billionaires won’t cooperate if you’re going against their wishes.

        So billionaires are no longer “above” society. They just live in a new stratum of society, but they still have to deal with the existence of their peers.

    • @[email protected]
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      729 days ago

      So we need to articulate how the global benefits of those billionaires’ tax money being pooled and spent on commonwealth, is better even for the billionaires than if they’d each individually kept that money.

      If they pay their taxes we don’t feed them to pigs. How’s that for a benefit?

        • @[email protected]
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          128 days ago

          Okay, here’s my suggestion for plan A: We feed them to pigs and take it all. Regardless of the tax situation.

    • @EnderMB
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      129 days ago

      I can’t remember who suggested it, but they framed the question differently around taxing billionaires.

      Instead of making it a negative thing, they said it should be framed as a great honour to pay these “special” taxes. The billionaire tax should be kept separately from all other taxes, it should be pooled into a limited fund that they own, and should be distributed to areas where they want it to make a real impact. They should then be given additional benefits in society based on the impact generated by their fund. It notes that capitalism isn’t necessarily about accumulation of wealth, but profit, and that wealth should be taxed.

      For example, if Elon Musk were taxed 50% as a wealth tax, he is personally invited to the White House to discuss his plans with the tax authorities and the president. He gets to attend specific meetings to see where his money has gone (let’s say to hospitals), and gets public praise for pumping several billion into public healthcare initiatives. Wealth is reframed into an opportunity to help society, whereas capitalism pushes profit.

      While I don’t really like the idea of billionaires choosing where taxes go, if improvements are measured on societal impact it’s still better than before where they just hoard wealth.

      • @[email protected]
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        229 days ago

        I think that billionaires gain their wealth by gaming the system, and it seems foolish to expect them to not continue to game any new system that they’re a part of. Especially given the degree of control you’re suggesting.

        Idk, maybe it could work. Seems like there’s a lot that hinges on billionaires doing the right thing, and I’m skeptical that they would.

        • @EnderMB
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          229 days ago

          In many ways, it is an obscene amount of control, and I don’t disagree that this degree of wealth isn’t ethical - even examples like Taylor Swift aren’t from “hard work”, but rather backroom deals, undercutting other artists, etc.

          IMO, the best alternative is going entirely the other way. Tell all billionaires in the US that they are subject to a wealth tax, and attempts to fight it will result in freezing assets, expulsion from the country, executive removal, etc. Drive all billionaires out of the country, and let them set up shop elsewhere (they won’t).

          It’s a punishment, though. Perhaps they should be punished, but IMO an easier approach is to say “well done” and to tell them that as long as this money goes somewhere for societal gain it doesn’t really matter if they decide to pump tens of billions into making public roads the best roads in the country, it’s better than them just having that money in a fund somewhere.

          Where this will likely get dicey is in ensuring that this money stays in home accounts, and in defining what is taxable wealth, and fighting avoidance. That’s where the system will be gamed, but ultimately it’s different to avoid tax that goes somewhere to avoiding your money being spent by you for public good.

      • @[email protected]
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        129 days ago

        Instead of the $1 menu (wait does that still exist?) they get to choose from the billionaire menu except it’s required…as long as they can’t lobby for the billionaire menu items which is a dream too. It would have to be programs that actually show they help people in easing financial needs of course.

      • @[email protected]
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        129 days ago

        Thing is, this already happens, it’s just currently more in the billionaire’s favor because instead of tax it’s a “donation”. You’re proposing the same system that already exists with lobbyists and Super PACs, just more enforced. No one is going to bite that bait when they can just pay Scheister and Swindel, Attorneys at Law, to cut a private deal with the CEOs and senators of their choice, be completely unbeholden to public opinion about it, and not be required to do it again next tax season if it’s not profitable to do so.

        Besides, I’ve had quite enough of rich assholes deciding that this year they’re going to donate $80m to exterminate the gays / to shut down solar startups / to arm all the cops with rocket launchers. In every situation, given the choice, they will always invest their money into whatever is most immediately profitable to them, morals or longevity be damned. This would cause our already easily-purchased politicians to be even more easily purchased and with semi public approval, as Elongated Muskrat now has a legal right to billionaire hero-worship? No thanks.

        The special billionaire tax isn’t an awful idea. The perks attached to it are most definitely an awful, no good, very bad idea. If something like this did get implemented it would be an absolute requirement that the investor have no say in where these taxes are spent. They may advise in certain directions, but final say should be up to a jury of some sort.