[ExI] the formerly rich and their larvae...

Tom Tobin korpios at korpios.com
Wed Feb 13 19:53:07 UTC 2008

On 2/13/08, Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 13, 2008 10:55 AM, Tom Tobin <korpios at korpios.com> wrote:
> >
> > A job is what I'll be spending 1/4 of my life doing (approaching 1/3,
> > if you only count waking hours); I damn well *better* enjoy it, lest
> > it aggravate and depress the hell out of me.  I've been fortunate
> > enough to (mostly) enjoy my current and previous jobs (web-oriented
> > programming using open source tools), but the salary demon keeps
> > haunting me due to my debt.  If not for the debt, I could stop chasing
> > money — I'm perfectly content with a handful of gadgets (laptop, etc.)
> > and renting apartments indefinitely.
> ### Yeah, I agree that since you don't feel like making money,
> spending it wasn't a good idea.

Debt isn't a good idea, period.  No arguments there.  I was stupid.

> > I don't quite get how taxes make me a "slave" to others; I appreciate
> > many of the things that taxes accomplish, even if I wince at many
> > others.  I've never bought into the libertarian "taxes are the root of
> > all evil" argument; hell, without public roads, libertarian property
> > interests could keep me physically boxed into one area, unable to
> > move, forever.  :p
> ### Taxes mean you are forcibly deprived of the resources you could
> use to attain your goals - obviously, right?

Err, no, not "obviously" at all.  Leaving my society is always an
option; taxes happen to be part of the ruleset of this society, same
as any corporation-state might impose.  If I really want to leave, I
can; I had better not try to come back, of course.

> Slavery is being forcibly
> deprived of the use of all your resources (body and mind). In both
> cases the resources taken from you are used by others to achieve their
> goals, which frequently may be immoral and repugnant on their own
> (like slaughtering brown people, jailing drug sellers).

All too true; if that's *all* taxes got me, I wouldn't be sticking around.

> There is only
> a difference of degree, since a slave is wholly owned, while I am
> owned only during about 40% of the time I spend working for money.

You're "owned"?  Really?  Your boss can kill you with impunity?

> I
> wonder what would you say about taxes if they took not 20% but 80% of
> your income? You presumably wouldn't be able to afford your laptop,
> among other things. Would that change your POV?

From my point of view, if all my basic needs are taken care of, and
I'm not looking to obtain anything else (like ::cough:: children,
which I remain convinced are the ultimate luxury items), I damned well
could afford that laptop, that cellphone, and connectivity.  And I'd
be perfectly content, since that's *all I'd need*.

> In general, since as you say you are not interested in making money on
> your own, I am surprised you show interest in monies belonging to
> others. If you really don't care about money, don't ask (or force)
> others to give it to you.

Money is a product, one of the glues, of society; it doesn't have any
value on its own.  I don't why libertarians haven't figured out that
the only way they can obtain resources as efficiently as they do is
because we have a framework to do it with.  (Don't get me started on
the joke of "natural rights", either.)  ^_^

> As an aside, this public roads argument is an old canard - of course
> you don't need taxes to have excellent, widely accessible roads. The
> theory and practice of non-state road ownership are/were
> well-established. If you think that your taxes efficiently accomplish
> many of the things you appreciate, you may be a victim of political
> salesmanship.

What I meant is this: under, say, an anarcho-capitalism scheme, I
could own a piece of land which is then surrounded by land owned by a
malicious entity.  Said entity won't let me cross its land.  How do I
get out?  A libertarian would claim that the entity was completely
within its rights to restrict me from crossing, and perhaps even to
attack me if I tried.

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