The Benefits of the Fair Tax
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26-02-2014, 01:12 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  If you think little government involvement is the key to wealth, let's look at banana republics, eh? With small flat taxes, ding ding ding...COSTA RICA. 15% flat income tax, and property tax. That's it. That's all she wrote.

Why is that country still considered 3rd world?

You've got it completely backwards. The failure of these banana republics proves it.

I have NEVER said the key is no/little government. I'm VERY strongly pro-government, and think the government plays a critical role. What we're debating is what role it is. This is a black and white distinction:

1. Government's role is to BLOCK coercion and the use of force, defending individual liberty so that every individual may exercise free will. Government uses force only to block force, and, with an unbiased independent judiciary, make sure that everyone honors the voluntary contracts they have willingly entered into.

2. Government's role to CREATE coercion, to pass laws telling people what they have to do and using the police to force compliance. Government thus picks winners and losers.

Every time you defend #2 and I push back against it, you keep saying that means I'm anti-government. It's like the whole concept of #1 just goes over your heard, and you can only grasp #2 and anybody who does not agree with you MUST be against the whole concept of government altogether.

Now, back to the banana republics, Somalia, etc. Did they do #1, like Friedman and I advocate? Where their citizens able to exercise free will without fear of force? Was there a fair, independent judiciary that enforced voluntary contracts? No, it's the opposite. Those countries are actually on YOUR side. They DID practice #2. Corrupt police DID initiate force against the people. The government and courts DID pick winners and losers. Sure they had low tax rates. But that is NOT what I, nor Friedman, are talking about. That is a complete strawman.

I challenge you to find one example of a country that actually did #1 and was NOT successful. The examples you gave are of countries that were on YOUR side of the debate, they were doing #2, they were just doing it poorly.
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26-02-2014, 01:22 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  
(25-02-2014 09:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And P.S., your quote from Friedman proves my point about his humility.

Name one other economist that has done that?

Uh, every hear of a guy, only mildly famous, named John Nash?


I notice that when you pose a rhetorical question to make a point, and I answer it, thus proving you wrong in the process, you completely gloss over it. Now why is that?

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26-02-2014, 01:35 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 01:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  1. Government's role is to BLOCK coercion and the use of force, defending individual liberty so that every individual may exercise free will. Government uses force only to block force, and, with an unbiased independent judiciary, make sure that everyone honors the voluntary contracts they have willingly entered into.

Fine..Mr. Ridiculous question guy, What happens if both sides of a disagreement have a valid argument but whose interest are in direct contradiction of each other?

Case in point. Smoking in restaurants. I have just as much as a right to breathe in carcinogenic free air, as the guy next to me does to smoke. Its my free will to be exercised not to breathe in second hand smoke, its his free will to smoke. True, I could go to another restaurant, but then again, so could he.

Which liberty will be defended here?

Quote:2. Government's role to CREATE coercion, to pass laws telling people what they have to do and using the police to force compliance. Government thus picks winners and losers.

uh huh. I guess you are going to appreciate that coercion when you are now able to set your tap water on fire.





since it is clear that more often than not, money does not compel any companies to be ethically responsible, what other choice is there? And the court system cannot handle each and every violation, nor can the majority of people pay the court costs to take something like this to trial.

So what system do you propose where the poorest of individuals can hold the richest individuals accountable for any damages? Given the sheer number of environmental damages and disasters, thats one big court system, that would take lifetimes to ever see their day in court.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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26-02-2014, 01:51 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 01:22 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  
(26-02-2014 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Uh, every hear of a guy, only mildly famous, named John Nash?


I notice that when you pose a rhetorical question to make a point, and I answer it, thus proving you wrong in the process, you completely gloss over it. Now why is that?

Sorry. I don't know John Nash, but I'll take your word that, like Friedman, he was willing to admit he was wrong. And I will stop saying Friedman is the only economist willing to do that, and just say "he's one of the few". Happy?
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26-02-2014, 01:55 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 01:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(26-02-2014 01:22 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  I notice that when you pose a rhetorical question to make a point, and I answer it, thus proving you wrong in the process, you completely gloss over it. Now why is that?

Sorry. I don't know John Nash, but I'll take your word that, like Friedman, he was willing to admit he was wrong. And I will stop saying Friedman is the only economist willing to do that, and just say "he's one of the few". Happy?

You don't know John Nash...the person responsible for that global trade theory ya'll seem to be so fond of.....

I guess I should consider that surprising, since all you do is talk about pretty much his theories..yet you don't know who the man is, but I guess on the other hand, when your economic education is limited to wikipedia, I can't blame you.

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26-02-2014, 02:12 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 01:35 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  What happens if both sides of a disagreement have a valid argument but whose interest are in direct contradiction of each other? Case in point. Smoking in restaurants.

Look, I am fiercely anti-smoking. I have never touched a cigarette, I find them totally disgusting, and it baffles me that people would choose to reek of such a foul stench and take on a habit that has no positives. And, in fact, my #1 gripe in Switzerland is that so many people smoke. It boggles my mind in such an obsessively health-conscious society, and it ruins my ability to enjoy good restaurants because I refuse to each in a place that has smoking. But, even though my life would have been more enjoyable if the Swiss had anti-smoking laws, I STILL would oppose laws telling people what they can and cannot do on private property. If you own a restaurant, it is YOUR decision if you allow patrons to smoke or not. So, I would still oppose such laws on moral grounds that I have no right to force other people to change their behavior. Now, if the smoking is so heavy that the pollution leaves the confines of your restaurant and pollutes neighbors, THEN, they have a right to go the courts. Similarly, if a space is owned by the state (like a library, convention center, etc.), then obviously the state (or voters), like any property owner, can dictate what people can and cannot do inside.

(26-02-2014 01:35 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  uh huh. I guess you are going to appreciate that coercion when you are now able to set your tap water on fire.

Yes, that's property damage.

(26-02-2014 01:35 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  since it is clear that more often than not, money does not compel any companies to be ethically responsible, what other choice is there? And the court system cannot handle each and every violation, nor can the majority of people pay the court costs to take something like this to trial. So what system do you propose where the poorest of individuals can hold the richest individuals accountable for any damages? Given the sheer number of environmental damages and disasters, thats one big court system, that would take lifetimes to ever see their day in court.

YES!!! I agree 100%. The government is failing to do its job of providing a fair, efficient judicial system that is available to everybody regardless of their means to quickly get justice.

But what I'll throw back at you is that IF the courts and law enforcement focused their energies on these legitimate efforts, then they could do a much better job of filling this critical role of government. IMO, the reason WHY the court system is so inaccessible, inefficient, costly, and people are suffering with burning water and can't get justice is BECAUSE the courts put all their efforts into initiating coercion. Most of the people in jail are for drug-related offenses. And 99% of the laws on the books initiate coercion, rather than blocking it. So I'd argue the reason for these problems you cite is BECAUSE we have the #2 system where the government spends all its resources trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives and force it to do things against their will, instead of the #1 system where the government puts all its efforts into blocking coercion and providing a fair, efficient judicial system.
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26-02-2014, 02:55 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 02:12 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Similarly, if a space is owned by the state (like a library, convention center, etc.), then obviously the state (or voters), like any property owner, can dictate what people can and cannot do inside.

How is this any different than the government deciding who can and cannot operate a vehicle and the minimum safety requirements of that automobile? After all, those roads are not private, they are the property of the municipality or state. Or the state parks coercing you to not exercise your free will to leave your trash on the ground? Either the government owns it and therefore can dictate the rules, or they can't. Make up your mind.

(26-02-2014 01:35 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  uh huh. I guess you are going to appreciate that coercion when you are now able to set your tap water on fire.

Yes, that's property damage. [/quote]

No actually, its not. The water is still drinkable.

(26-02-2014 01:35 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  since it is clear that more often than not, money does not compel any companies to be ethically responsible, what other choice is there? And the court system cannot handle each and every violation, nor can the majority of people pay the court costs to take something like this to trial. So what system do you propose where the poorest of individuals can hold the richest individuals accountable for any damages? Given the sheer number of environmental damages and disasters, thats one big court system, that would take lifetimes to ever see their day in court.


Quote:But what I'll throw back at you ...

don't throw anything back to me. Answer the question I actually asked.

Quote:IMO, the reason WHY the court system is so inaccessible, inefficient, costly, and people are suffering with burning water and can't get justice is BECAUSE the courts put all their efforts into initiating coercion.

Do you have any concept that initial coercion might just prevent the need for retribution later on by preventing the incident to begin with? You brought up drugs. Is it a coincidence that robbery, grand larceny, assault and murder during the commission of a crime are more likely to be committed while under the influence of a drugs? Consider I guess its impossible to measure the amount of larceny that normally would have been committed but wasn't because the individual that usually did that was incarcerated on possession charges?

drug use doesn't occur in a vacuum. An increased drug culture seems to coincide with a higher unrelated crime rate....

what say you about that?

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26-02-2014, 06:28 PM
RE: The Benefits of the Fair Tax
(26-02-2014 02:55 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  How is this any different than the government deciding who can and cannot operate a vehicle and the minimum safety requirements of that automobile? After all, those roads are not private, they are the property of the municipality or state. Or the state parks coercing you to not exercise your free will to leave your trash on the ground? Either the government owns it and therefore can dictate the rules, or they can't. Make up your mind.

Huh??? Have you read anything I wrote? I have been crystal clear that if the state owns roads, the state has every right to dictate the terms of use, like speed limits, seat belts, etc. If the state owns a park, same thing. I was very clear the ONLY time I'm pushing back is when the state (ie some voters) tell other people what the latter can do with their private property. I gave the specific example of speed limits: Speed limits on state roads. OK. It's a voluntary contract. Don't like it, don't use the state roads. Speed limit on a private road on my own property. Not OK. That's coercion.

Copy/paste one time when I have EVER said anything different or rescind your silly "make up your mind."

(26-02-2014 02:55 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Do you have any concept that initial coercion might just prevent the need for retribution later on by preventing the incident to begin with? You brought up drugs. Is it a coincidence that robbery, grand larceny, assault and murder during the commission of a crime are more likely to be committed while under the influence of a drugs? Consider I guess its impossible to measure the amount of larceny that normally would have been committed but wasn't because the individual that usually did that was incarcerated on possession charges?

drug use doesn't occur in a vacuum. An increased drug culture seems to coincide with a higher unrelated crime rate....

what say you about that?

I say the historic facts prove you wrong. The US has the harshest drug policy in the Western world. Yet, it also has the highest rate of incarceration, and is the murder capital of the developed world, with violent crime rates MUCH higher than elsewhere. And it hasn't even worked--the US also has much higher rates of drug usage than other countries. Even in Holland, where pot is legal, the % of pot users in the population is less than in the US where people get thrown in jail for it.

Switzerland has a very light drug policy. They even used to give junkies heroin and needles and a safe haven to shoot up, with police PROTECTION. Not coincidentally they also have extremely low rates of violent crime, theft, etc.

IMO, the facts are clear. Violence begets violence. When the government is violent against the people, like the drug war, the people themselves become violent. When you have a peaceful government that never goes to war and defends individual liberty, you have a peaceful population.
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