Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

Can You Be Libertarian and Not A Hypocrite?

August 4, 2017

I have often heard that Libertarians and Objectivists are hypocrites, as they use tax-funded services, even though they denounce taxes.  After all, most Libertarians drive on tax-funded roads, are protected by tax-funded police and military, get their weather from a tax-funded National Weather Service, and so on.  Shouldn’t a true, non-hypocritical Libertarian abstain from using tax-funded goods and services?

As part of my daily commute, I use two separate city bus systems, as well as a commuter
train.  I watch the weather carefully (I have one degree in meteorology), so I use the National Weather Service, Storm Prediction Center, and plenty of weather satellites, indirectly.  I did my K-12, and all three college degrees at public schools, and paid for them with federal student loans.  Now, I work in public schools and a public college, funded by your tax dollars.

How then, could I be an advocate for eliminating taxes?  Isn’t that hypocritical?

No.  I was going to pay for these things anyway.  Whether or not I partake in public education has no influence on whether or not my taxes change.  Whether or not I check the weather forecast, I will pay for the weather service.  Whether or not I take public transportation, I will pay for it.

Unlike the free-market, my lack of participation in a service does not exclude my paying for it.  In the free-market, I don’t pay for things I am not using.  If enough people decide not to pay for this product, the company will either change its service, or go out of business.  Either way, I don’t have to pay for a service I do not want.

In public works, I pay either way.  And, because these services do not HAVE to make money, my choice to use the service or not has no influence on the service, or my checkbook.  Case in point:  our train is used by so few people.  There have been many train rides where I am the only occupant of my car.  A business would have to figure out what to do about this.  However, the public train keeps running.  It never actually runs out of money, as more appears from tax dollars, regardless of financial performance.  Therefore, you can run a train from Santa Fe to Belen with one rider, paying a few dollars.  The difference – my few dollars versus the diesel, engine maintenance, track maintenance, salaries, and so on – comes from everyone else.

This is why boycotting a government service on moral grounds is a losing battle.  Unlike boycotting a business, where they stand to go out of business if the boycott is large enough, a government service will continue to run in the red for a long time until the tax payers finally opt to get rid of it through legislative means.

You vowing to never drive on a public road will limit your future and your potential employment and entertainment opportunities, and you’ll pay for the road anyhow.

However, to be consistent, one must still reject the notion of a government service on the principle that you should never have to sacrifice your efforts for a “common good.”  What you cannot do, and claim consistency is to explain why your government service is necessary and moral, while another government service is not.  They are all immoral from principle.

Thank you for reading my post.

Advertisements

Taxes

February 26, 2016

I completed my taxes this week.  No, I don’t feel patriotic.  Thankfully, I’ll get a refund this year.

Am I being hypocritical by working in the public sector and then denouncing taxes?  Isn’t that biting the hand that feeds me? No.  I am morally opposed to taxes.  However, they are not going away any time soon, especially not because I am posting on my own politics blog.  Because of this, it is my job to turn those tax dollars into the best investment I can in my power.  I consider myself very good at my jobs.

Furthermore, the problem of tax-funded industries (such as education and transportation) often leads to other problems.  Instead of running an efficient business, one where inefficiency is punished by a decreased bottom-line, and perhaps the failure of the business, a tax-funded business is allowed to run at a loss.  For example, the schools are expected to run at a loss; and nobody cares. Instead of finding ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education, we are allowing it to stagnate by letting it run at a loss.

In the case of transportation, I hear plenty of people discuss privatized roads as a total disaster, full of inconvenient and expensive toll-booths and so on.  In reality, the many toll-booths, inefficiencies in traffic laws, poor maintenance of too many roads, and so on is really only possible in the subsidized economy.  A private company would see a ton of toll booths as a giant expense.  Perhaps instead, they would come up with some other way of tracking your usage of the road, or perhaps go to a subscription-based program.   I admit that I am not an entrepreneuer in this field, so I don’t know what is the most efficient way.  I do know that the days of repairing the same roads over and over again (regardless of their conditions), the days of toll booth operator unions defending drunk toll booth operators, and so on would not be permitted by a free economy.

Thank you for reading my late-night rant.

Seizing Guns After a Death

November 16, 2014

I am basing this post on the following article: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/11/14/buffalo-police-search-for-firearms-at-home-after-funerals/

The general idea is that in order to prevent guns from falling into “the wrong hands” (i.e. family members), guns are confiscated soon after a handgun permit holder has passed away.

Think about this for a second, just in terms of property rights. Your grandfather has collected guns his whole life. He has 30 or 40 guns that have safely gathered dust in his gun safe. Soon after his death, while you and your family are trying to manage his estate, armed men show up and demand his guns. They inform you that they need to take them for “safe keeping.” Perhaps each gun has a value of $400, times 30 guns is $12,000 that they get to take from you, according to this “law.” It is a clear violation of property rights.

Distance yourself from the fact that they are guns, and perhaps you don’t like guns. Pretend your grandfather collects classic cars. He had some nice showpieces, some all original, some rare. When he passes away, armed men show up at your door and say that the cars are now theirs. What do you call those men? You would call them thieves. Pretend now that they have badges, and say “we are making sure that no drunk drivers buy them.” Are they now justified, or are they still thieves?

Having good intentions, claiming to prevent guns from falling into the “wrong” hands, does not justify stealing property from a citizen.

I guess we can expect more of this type of behavior as states require “handgun licenses.” I guess we are supposed to let the authorities do whatever they’d like to do, as long as they can claim there are good intentions.

I’m not buying it. Stay out of my gun safe, even after I’m dead. What my family does with my gun collection when I am gone is their business.