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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. Is the problem that it's 'wrong' or that it doesn't work ? I think the choice of whether it's right or wrong is a personal one. If you think it's wrong, all I can submit to you is that (as I think I said) extrapolating personal decisions of morality to large ethereal organizations such as government or corporations is fraught with pitfalls. Ok. I'm willing to concede that I was wrong that taxes haven't existed before. I was thinking of income tax, graduated taxes and so forth, which I believe are recent. But we've had similar situations in the past, be they low tax or no tax, and pity the weak in those societies. I personally think that many of the constructs that we view as part of nature, are artificial and may well be doomed with new technology anyway. Things such as laws, property and even money are only constructs of human nature. Our society is reaching its limits of what these systems that we've been building for two hundred years or so can do, and something new should probably happen soon. I wish I had more time to devote to this thread...
  2. Renegade: But why pick on taxation ? My country can declare war on my former countrymen for no good reason and I can't do anything about that either. And weren't you comparing it to slavery a few posts back ? In other words, cheating. Well, how are you going to fix that ? Laws don't change themselves - people do it. If you make things work faster and more easily, there's the danger of abuse... Not all laws are designed to protect us from others either. Some protect us from ourselves, and others foment social peace.
  3. Are you doubting that a publicly funded education system would provide more education than a voluntary private education system ? Do I really need to prove this to you ? Are you doubting that roads paid for by voluntary donations would have less funds at their disposal than roads paid for by mandatory taxation ? It's not required, but if research is heavily funded from forced taxation, then there will be more of it. Ok. Are the taxation systems of the middles ages relevant to this conversation ?
  4. A public system provides education to pretty much 100% of the nation's children. That provides a wider talent pool for the nation as a whole. More roads and better roads. How about the microchip ? Sorry, but I didn't do this. Maybe you can provide a source for this statement, which I find hard to believe: "Taxation has always existed. "
  5. I would say that that's true, yes. The US wouldn't have been able to build its education systems, roads, military or the space program without adequate funding. All of that happens due to an absence of law, which is what you're advocating.
  6. Fair is a subjective term. Those at the top of the economic ladder derive great benefit from their relationship to the society as a whole. Extrapolating personal matters of right and wrong over the entire economy is a philosophical exercise only. And no one has responded to the point I've made that this system existed in the past, and was eventually eliminated in favour of our current social arrangement. The very systems that you're decrying were in place in every country that prospered, and generated wealth for all of its citizens. If you want to see how the systems you're proposing work in practice, look at the third world.
  7. You have to decide if you're talking about some sort constitional "rights" to 0% tax - an unlikely situation - or just a change to the existing tax laws. Your 'tough luck' for the minority comment makes me think you don't understand the distinction there. And despite the fact that the constitution hasn't changed since the early 1980s, homosexuals still had to wait until the politics gave them the momentum to push it through in the last few years. If you had anything close to 40% of people believing there should be no taxes, then you'd see some progress on your issue on the political front. As I suspect, you're equating paying "forced" taxes - any tax - with slavery. And the only thing they have in common is that coercion is present, which is the case with any enforced law. So the inequity is that we live in countries which forces us to do things by law. The only truly equitable nation would be lawless, then, right ? Well, that's where I thought you stood on this. You haven't convinced me, but there's 30,000,000 more out there you can try this argument on.
  8. Well done ! I should have used a better phrase... Also "other groups", which was read in to include homosexuals. They can believe whatever they want. I would bet 99% of them accept the idea of taxes. What inequities ? It's a bad analogy to slavery because a person is either a slave or they're not. A taxpayer, on the other hand, is a taxpayer whether they pay 1% or 100%. If you want to guarantee property rights in the constitution then fine, but that only acts as a paper-thin safeguard against totalitarian communism.
  9. Because a slave is robbed of all their rights. We sell our services. It's a big stretch to equate that to slavery. I agree with you. The groups aren't named in the Canadian document, which is the source of a lot of debate. And, nothing prevents a 100% tax system. By the majority's standard of fairness, or mob rule. The payoff is social stability. There's a tendency, I've found, to extend personal morality far into the dealings of the political economy. Sometimes it's valid, sometimes it's not.
  10. Renegade, Slavery is not wrong simply because it is coerced. If people willingly sold themselves as slaves, it would still be wrong. Your analogy seems to follow the logic that because the US had slavery, majority rule is wrong. In my opinion, your example shows that majority rule isn't perfect - that gross transgressions still happen. That is why we have a constitution to counterbalance the majority. Is it still perfect ? No. But we need to come up with something better than going back to the 19th century. Although I don't agree with Charles' general thesis, I do think that examining where money is spent would be an excellent exercise. There are, in my opinion, many corners of the bureaucracy that can be eliminated and probably many that could use more support.
  11. I agree, Jerry. And those of 'substantial financial means' have earned it within this system so I'm comfortable with the idea of paying back. This just means "let's cut taxes". I doubt if the current government will even convince the public to approve large CBC cuts, so 0% is indeed a tough target.
  12. Charities have indeed been accused of mismanagement and waste. I'm glad you have faith in your fellow man, but do you think they'll contribute equal amounts of tax to charity to help the needy ? The military, physical infrastructure, and the like are to be supported by charity ? I'm sure things will be as great as they were in the middle ages. You're proposing drowning the baby in the bathwater.
  13. Your opening question indicates that you wish to get into the minds of those who hate Israel. Yet your entire line of discussion takes a pro-Israel perspective. There are some legitimate grievances around this issue but you don't mention them. So ... you ask 'why' is this the case, then answer in such a way so as to paint anybody who feels that way as a crazy idiot. Why would you make such a posting ?
  14. Don't say that it's clear - prove it. What do we do about it ? What we already do: engage in law enforcement and intelligence projects to root it out. What else do you propose ?
  15. Charles, You say, roughly, that believing the current system works is hopelessly naive and foolish yet you submit a 'zero tax' plan that you think would solve our problems. That is much more naive and foolish. The system you propose has already been tried. Power (money) accumulates and the 'choices' of those who don't have it becomes very limited. You're apparently unhappy with the tax system so you would throw us back to the 1600s, and wreck many lives, to save yourself some money. People complain about decreasing services. Are services decreasing ? If so, what are the reasons ? What can be done ? There are working poor in Canada. Do they not benefit from government services such as EI and nationalized healthcare ? If I haven't given the entire picture, it's because we live in this picture and we're aware of its shortcomings and benefits. Your picture is drastically different than anything we've seen in centuries. I doubt you could anticipate the full effects of your proposal so I won't ask you to paint it for us.
  16. Charles, jdobbin makes some good points. Being part of a country means that one is 'forced' - for the most part - to obey the rules set by the majority. If you're going to use the term 'force' to describe the state of citizenship, then go ahead but it's seems like philosophical grandstanding to me - the system works, it's proven, and if you have something better, then put it forward.
  17. Your post sidesteps the point I made. How exactly can he keep Quebec and Alberta happy ? Do you think he's planning to ditch the program, and push power (including taxation power) to the provinces ?
  18. It's imagine to see what Mr. Harper has in the bag for this issue. All the solutions that I can conjure up are zero-sum: one province gains, another loses. If he thinks that he's got enough credibility with westerners to buy votes in Quebec, he's probably wrong.
  19. I don't see it. The conservatives that post here do often express concern about the state of the nation, or the community so to give a blanket statement that they are equating self-interest with moral good needs more evidence. On the social side, conservatives are associated with traditional values, with opposing abortion and gay marriage. How is that a self-interest for them ? On the fiscal side, I have known a few conservatives that were under the poverty line. There are some people who vote in their self-interest, but I haven't known any of these people. Most vote as an exercise in identity, and to promote their world view through the ballot box.
  20. So Falwell doesn't figure into it then ?
  21. And how does Falwell figure into it ?
  22. I'm not sure what kind of response you're looking for. It seems that this was a hate crime, an onerous thing. If one personally feels outrage at these kind of crimes, then one can post a lament, an emotional outcry - but beyond that what can one say ?
  23. We're talking about the benefits of bureaucracy, for what there are of them, and that's an organizational issue that applies across the board. Canada still provides individual aid to nations as well, so I'm not sure what the problem is. The UN provides coordination for areas that need coordination.
  24. We're discussing the things that a UN could possibly bring to the table, not what they're good at now. If they're an inefficient bureaucracy, it doesn't necessarily follow that NO bureaucracy is better.
  25. If they ask you to do it, then what's wrong with it ? United Way, for example, is an umbrella organization for a host of charities that don't want to expend the effort to raise funds.
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