Re: Property and the Law, and is it a priority?

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jul 31 2001 - 08:59:12 MDT

Technotranscendence wrote:
> On Monday, July 30, 2001 8:04 AM Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > > > Taxation, in my mind, is only NOT theft when the individual is free to
> > > > choose what government services they wish to pay for and which not to
> > > > pay for.
> > >
> > > If by this, you mean, individuals would also be able to choose not to
> buy
> > > any government services at all, then why even call if "taxation"? It's
> not
> > > taxation if it's chosen. E.g., I'm not taxing my employer when I get
> paid
> > > for my work. To define it otherwise would seem to me to be changing the
> > > term beyond any useful meaning.
> >
> > Not really. You pay a gas tax when you buy gas. If you don't buy gas,
> > you pay no gas tax. This applies to all sales taxes. Tolls paid at
> > highway toll booths are similar: they are use based taxes, and you can
> > choose to not use that which the tax is levied on. The registration fees
> > for your cars, boats, etc are also use based taxes.
> I don't disagree that these taxes exist now, but that they are not
> voluntary. Surely, I can choose not to buy a boat. I can also choose not
> to own a house to avoid direct real estate taxes, not to work to avoid
> income taxes, not to buy or sell to avoid transaction taxes, not to invest
> to avoid... You get the picture?
> A libertarian take on this is it's still initiating force. I can't choose
> to buy tax free gas. I can't choose to own real estate tax free. Etc. At
> least, I can't avoid these things in any nontrivial sense. (Yeah, I can
> avoid doing these things or I can do them and risk police action.)

Actually, it is totally libertarian to pay such taxes, but only if they
properly reflect the externalities created by use of said items.
Refusing to pay your externalities is not libertarian, and IS imposing
force on others.

> > A libertarian government properly focuses its revinue gathering on use
> > based taxation, while fascist governments focus on confiscatory
> > taxation.
> A libertarian government would not be able to tax period. It might be able
> to charge user fees, but these would be for services the government actually
> delivers. A government doesn't deliver a service by forcing people to pay a
> tax. This would include registration fees. What if I don't want to
> register? (A libertarian government might disavow protecting, say, my car
> against theft or vandalism if I don't register it, but it would not be able
> to use force to make me register.)

A libertarian government would impose taxes to account for
externalities, and would properly funnel those externality fees to
mitigate the damage created by those externalities.

> In this light, all taxation is confiscation. It doesn't matter if it's a
> tax labeled a fee or not. The deciding factor between a tax and an actual
> price (the market word for what people pay for something) is whether the
> initiation of force is involved.
> That said, your semilibertarian -- and it is that: only partly
> libertarian -- government might be better than what we have now in any place
> on Earth, but it falls short of the principles you claim to be upholding.
> It mgiht be a good interim setup, between today's welfare state and
> tomorrow's libertarian society, but it should not be the goal.

SOrry, a society that does not create some means of properly mitigating
externalities is not, and cannot hope to be in any way, libertarian.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:59 MDT