Libertarianism -- I don't understand

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bobber205, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #1
    Libertarianism

    To be more specific I understand the basics of the party.

    They're basically for lower taxes and more social freedom. I agree mostly with the social freedom side of their agenda. But seriously. Taxes are stealing?

    How does this make any sense? I have a friend whose is a libertarian and I just don't get him. He claims Libertarianism claims taxes is stealing. :confused:

    I guess this is a general question to libertarians and conservatives in general.

    If you want lower taxes, how do you propose we do it? I am all for cutting waste but where does that end? After a point what determines waste? Again, this is only from my friend and others on this forum and not the party as a whole, but I've heard argued getting rid of basic services like public schools.

    I don't understand how a party ever intends to get elected when their end goal is a large change of how our basic society functions.

    What do you guys think of libertarians?
     
  2. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #2
    I think that argument can be handled with they think it will better our society. I strongly disagree, but that said, my issue with their ideas aren't that they are hard to get done(certainly, thats something to think about), but the large point you raised, they just aren't good ideas. I think in moderation, some of the ideas are decent, but Libertarians tend to be a bit more extreme(same thing with Socialists for me)

    (I'm speaking more on economic ideas here, their social ideas are all semi reasonable, although the removal of programs which help those with disadvantages don't seem a good idea to me)



    Also I think in general, basing your ideas only on a political party or idea is foolish, we should support what works. (Admittedly, there is some room for political ideas, because "working" is up to ones person thoughts...should be going for economic power, personal freedom, etc....I'm speaking more on government run health vs private run...if one is lower cost, more effect..those types of arguments
     
  3. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #3
    It seems like to me that 3rd parties deal, most of the time, solely in ideals, while Democrats and Republicans (much more so Democrats) since they are the "ruling" parties have to deal with reality.
     
  4. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #4
    Regarding taxation and theft, this particular video makes about as simple of a case as can possibly be made. It's a bit 'elementary' but I think it's an important video for many.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eBo-aTqO7g&feature=player_embedded#t=303





    FYI - not all libertarians believe that taxation is theft. Those who don't, pretty much universally believe in more fair taxes such as very low flat consumption based taxes... but, and here is the KEY, none of this matters UNLESS spending is cut along side it. Libertarians believe that the vast majority of government taxation is unconstitutional (and it is based on statements directly from those who wrote the constitution). Many of the things we're spending money on now have been sidestepped in to legality by incredibly loose and generic readings of the constitution. Even though the framers went to great lengths to give the congress only specifically enumerated powers, as Judge N. discusses here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWCQhAx_U38

    There is so much truth here in what Judge N. is saying, but in my experience people really don't care. Policies which should require a amendment of the constitution are passed anyway, without regard for our founding documents. What do you think? Do the ends justify the means? Do you care about the constitution? Do it's words matter in today's society? Is it OK to just pick and choose when it applies to you?



    For the record... Here is what the constitution says the congress CAN do:
    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A1Sec8


    And... Here is what the constitution says the congress CAN'T do:
    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am10



    And in case you don't believe me, here it is direct from the framers' mouths:


    So, if we determine that much of what we're spending/wasting our money on now is both unconstitutional and as many would argue... detrimental to society in the long-run... it's pretty easy to say that many taxes could be completely eliminated and that many taxes represent a type of unfortunate legalized theft.
     
  5. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #5
    As someone who holds many libertarian ideals, it seems you didn't read the first paragraph of section 8.

    "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States"

    Under the general welfare wording, the Congress is pretty much legally justified to tax and spend on anything that doesn't violate individual constitutional rights.

    Providing for general welfare is an enumerated power. Yes, it's very broad, but I just don't see what you're getting at.

    So we need 100% population approval to determine what is beneficial to our society? This is the point of the political process: to argue back and forth on how you can improve the general welfare.
     
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #6
    I don't think any libertarians advocate no taxation at all, they realize that certain infrastructural needs are to be met. Debate is probably surrounding which of those are needed to be included.

    In general people like things to be treated fairly. In cases except for general infrastructure I believe that I can make a better decision as to where my money goes than the government can.
     
  7. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Libertarianism is like conservatism in their views on government, spending, and guns. They take a cue from the left when it comes to social issues. Their main focus is on SMALL government. Party Republicans these days claim to want small government, but end up spending just as a badly as the Democrats. I would say Arnold Schwarzneger's views match Libertarianism.

    Personally I'd vote for whichever party can successfully eliminate income tax. Taxation should be on consumer SPENDING. Not on INCOME. The Europeans have it right in this regard.
     
  8. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #8
    If taxation is based on mostly consumer spending, then the amount of money/income the government has every year can vary wildly and go down drastically when times are bad.

    And consumption taxes hurt the poor the most since they spend *all* of their income versus "the rich", which want consumption taxes so they have more to stick in a bank somewhere.
     
  9. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #9
    bobber205, did that video I posted help answer your question? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eBo-...embedded#t=303

    You don't have to agree, just wanted to see if I had cleared up why some Libertarians feel that certain taxation is 'theft'. I want to make sure you can better understand the friend you mentioned.
     
  10. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

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    #10
    I completely agree with you. Let's all remember that Income tax was only supposed to be temporary to fund the war. People may start saying it hurts the poor more than the rich because the rich can afford that extra tax on goods and stuff, but then again...you have to think. Rich people have more money to spend, so by spending more, they will also be paying A LOT more than the average person in taxes.

    This SPENDING tax is a great way to also encourage people to save a little bit, which many don't or can't really do right now. But then again, you don't want people saving too much, so picking the right tax percentage on spending would be tough. But I definitely think it's the best way to go.
     
  11. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #11
    They probably just want a fair shake instead of getting raped on income taxes every year.
     
  12. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #12
    Your argument assumes the government actually a gives a damn about staying out of the red.

    Most consumption tax plans have built in exemptions that cover the first X thousand dollars of spending. You can rest assured that if we were to change tax plans overnight (these are designed to replace rather than augment the income tax mind you), the lowest incomes still wouldn't be paying anything.


    Come on ZA, don't you get it? If you're rich*, you're a Bad Person. Besides, you can afford it...you're rich.

    *Rich in this context means that you have more money than someone else (who generally has much less than you and is envious) has determined you need, and you won't share in the way that they have determined is socially acceptable.
     
  13. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #13
  14. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Okay, but if you might have noticed: we're at war - and the cost of it needs paying.
     
  15. bobertoq macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I'd probably consider myself libertarian but I don't necessarily see taxing as theft, but for instance, doing something like taxing someone who works hard almost 40% is kind of ridiculous. An example of tax-payers money being wasted would be the wars.
     
  16. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #16
    What about taxing people that haven't worked "hard". What about those that just got "lucky" with their wealth?
     
  17. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #17
    Besides winning the lottery you very rarely get "lucky", someone in your family had to break their back to provide for their family with a great future.
     
  18. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

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    #18
    I'm sorry. I thought you knew which war I was talking about. It was the one that happened almost 150 years ago...the Civil War. I'm still paying for that? Even if we needed income tax to pay for the current war, I think all the income tax collected for all the years not at war should cover it.
     
  19. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #19
    Thank you.

    I disagree with this. The median income in the United States is ~$51,000 per household, so we can reasonably infer that this is the middle-range of income. A family surviving on 1/10 of that amount could reasonably be called poor and someone making 10x that amount could be considered well-off.
    There can be disagreement about how much of each person's income we should collect, but I think we can reasonably make judgments about who is wealthy.


    This is very interesting.
     
  20. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #20
    I guess I should have made my point this way: Millions of people work extremely hard every day and don't make much at all. What about them?

    Working hard != wealth is all I'm trying to say. :)
     
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #21
    Yes, raped by taxes:rolleyes:
     
  22. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #22
    Working hard at a job that has no prerequisites isn't the same as working hard at a job that you had to invest $50k+ and 4 years of your life to go to college to obtain. You get what you put in.

    Because taxes are unduly unfair to the rich and they are getting the raw deal.
     
  23. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #23
    Teachers were I used to live (Kansas) have a similar education requirement. They make starting salaries of 32K going up to 35k or so.

    And they work very hard (duh). Shouldn't they deserve to be wealthy as well?
     
  24. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #24
    There is not a strong relationship between the effort you put in and the financial rewards you receive in either education or work. Which is a confronting thing for a libertarian to hear because they all perceive themselves to work incredibly hard.
     
  25. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #25
    In general the harder you work in school the better you do.

    In general the more qualified (pre-required hard work) the better chance you have of getting a higher paying job.

    So to answer the original question as to why a janitor and an accountant shouldn't get paid the same for the same "effort" its because the accountant spent 4+ years in school and paid thousands to get the education. Added to the fact that the supply pool of janitors is rather high while accountants are more scarce.
     

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