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Author Topic: Childless Tax  (Read 47765 times)

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Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #60 on: April 22, 2009, 10:46:13 PM »

I'm not a statist, and I'm not in anyone's way.  I am simply pointing out basic economic reality here.  Don't shoot the messenger.  I know life would be easier if 2 + 2 didn't have to add up to 4 sometimes, but it still does.

Pal, you're not a messenger bringing the word of some 21st century version of "new math" to the ignorant masses, you're advocating using the full force of government to herd people into a rigged game of poker. Do you work in the divorce industry or just get off using kids to control others? Gotta hand it you you, you've taken "...for the children" to an entirely new and twisted level.

Where do I advocate increasing government force?  I advocate decreasing it, and I propose specific ideas for doing just that: decentralized and possibly enforceable through culture alone (i.e. mere ostracism of people who don't pull their demographic weight and don't pay their "childless tax" to a reputable charity).

And I never said it's for the benefit of children who wouldn't otherwise be born, it's for the benefit of the human race as a whole.  Demographic collapse is like hyperinflation: it hurts everyone.
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Richard Garner

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2009, 07:59:53 AM »

I'm not a statist, and I'm not in anyone's way.  I am simply pointing out basic economic reality here.  Don't shoot the messenger.  I know life would be easier if 2 + 2 didn't have to add up to 4 sometimes, but it still does.

Pal, you're not a messenger bringing the word of some 21st century version of "new math" to the ignorant masses, you're advocating using the full force of government to herd people into a rigged game of poker. Do you work in the divorce industry or just get off using kids to control others? Gotta hand it you you, you've taken "...for the children" to an entirely new and twisted level.

Where do I advocate increasing government force?  I advocate decreasing it, and I propose specific ideas for doing just that: decentralized and possibly enforceable through culture alone (i.e. mere ostracism of people who don't pull their demographic weight and don't pay their "childless tax" to a reputable charity).

I don't think it is accurate to call a charitable donation a tax. You don't hear charity workers say "would you care to pay a tax, sir?" Now, you have, in the course of this discussion, defended what is less ambiguously a tax - a coerced transfer of income or property from anybody who has failed to have more than a pre-established number of children.

On your "gradualism" argument. Gradualism is all well and good, and I am not throwing it out and saying that anything we get tomorrow that is not anarchism should be rejected. However, the gradual abolition of the state implies the gradual removal of the powers and functions a government has. Here, whilst you may also be defending the removal of some powers of functions that the government has, you are also advocating adding some to them. That is not the same as gradualism.

Quote
And I never said it's for the benefit of children who wouldn't otherwise be born, it's for the benefit of the human race as a whole.  Demographic collapse is like hyperinflation: it hurts everyone.


True. But it doesn't hurt everyone by violating their rights, and preventing people being hurt in this way may violate rights.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2009, 11:15:57 AM »

I don't think it is accurate to call a charitable donation a tax. You don't hear charity workers say "would you care to pay a tax, sir?" Now, you have, in the course of this discussion, defended what is less ambiguously a tax - a coerced transfer of income or property from anybody who has failed to have more than a pre-established number of children.

I don't want to sugarcoat anything, so I wanted to use the harshest terms that are applicable.  I believe this is one of the ways Minarchist government thugs should distinguish themselves from other types of government thugs.  Maybe I should have gone one step further and called it "coercive redistribution of wealth from non-breeders to breeders to compensate for the redistribution of demographic benefits", but that's a mouthful.

The word "tax" has been used in regard to some "religious duties" (zakat, khums, huqqu'llh, etc) that are not strictly enforced the way socialist taxes are, but are nonetheless strongly encouraged through social pressure.  Even in those flexible circumstances, poor people still often initiate aggression against rich people who don't "pay their fair share".  Religious institutions don't openly encourage this violence, but are still like, "see, this is what happens to greedy people".  :x

The word "charitable" might be applicable because you have a choice: you can have children yourself, you can adopt children, or you can pay the "tax".  In the beginning there may be just a few government-certified charities to choose from, but this will improve gradually as the market matures and government power fades away.  Eventually all reputable child-related charities should be considered acceptable, and even donating the money to someone you know who has more children than income may be sufficient (subject to public transparency and/or review by a reputable auditing firm).  Local schools may offer workshops where people can "volunteer" in exchange for "childless tax credits", because they will pass the labor cost savings to the parents.  Businesses will be incentivized to provide child care benefits.  Etc.


On your "gradualism" argument. Gradualism is all well and good, and I am not throwing it out and saying that anything we get tomorrow that is not anarchism should be rejected. However, the gradual abolition of the state implies the gradual removal of the powers and functions a government has. Here, whilst you may also be defending the removal of some powers of functions that the government has, you are also advocating adding some to them. That is not the same as gradualism.

Minarchists believe that all government altruist programs should eventually be abolished, and I obviously agree with them.  Natalism isn't altruism, however - it is a reward for a productive effort (having and raising children) that is absolutely essential for the survival of the human race.  Altruism harms the economy, natalism keeps it from collapse.

In every society that was smart enough to figure out effective-enough contraception (or wide-spread homosexuality, or abortion, etc), only social pressure has kept human beings reproducing at a sufficient rate.  Societies that fail to keep their birthrates stable go the way of Ancient Rome: into a dark age.  The reality of this situation presents a moral imperative for the use of coercion, but if this problem can be solved without coercion that would obviously be better.

Some Minarchists will argue that other moral imperatives exist, like at a time of a defensive war, when not enough people are willing to fight because they don't have to, and forcing them to fight would make the difference between victory and defeat.  I don't agree with that logic because it assumes that fighting is in everyone's best interest: the conquering government could be just as bad or better.  Even in a Battlestar Galactica type situation, some may argue that Cylons aren't really that bad, and any claims that the enemy is 100% guaranteed to kill you could be a lie - whether it is in your best interest to fight or not is a subjective decision.  When it comes to the battle against demographic collapse, however, you naturally don't have a choice - you already are born into the human race, you can't choose to be born into a different race on another planet somewhere.  The only alternative is death, and you chose not to kill yourself, thus your natural biological imperative to reproduce is your moral imperative as well.

Others can collectively "volunteer" to pull your demographic weight for you, but if the fertility rates are negative then this hasn't been the case.  Your duty to this moral imperative can be transferred, by encouraging someone else to have more children and/or raise them better than they otherwise would have, but it doesn't just go away if you ignore it - it becomes an act of theft.

Yes, it may be possible to apply sufficient societal pressure without government force - but only in theory.  If a state of pure Anarcho-Capitalism is successfully reached, various competing authorities will have various different standards that are encouraged by the marketplace.  Enough soccer moms will refuse to shop at stores that hire employees that have low "natalist karma" (past the average age to have kids, but chose not to, and not donating enough for the benefit of the breeders).  Etc.  But we don't know if AnCapIsm works in practice - we'll have to conduct voluntary experiments (i.e. secession or seasteading) to learn more.  In the meantime, coercion is better than blind faith.


True. But it doesn't hurt everyone by violating their rights, and preventing people being hurt in this way may violate rights.

Once again, in order to logically prove that human beings have rights, you have to base your argument on nature, that is evolution, and the very same framework also imposes natural obligations (i.e. "positive rights").  The vast majority of "positive rights" you'll hear about are altruist bullshit, but that doesn't prove that all of them are.  As Anarcho-Capitalist philosophers, our job is to study those positive rights and find ways to fulfill them without the use of centralized force - simply ignoring them would lead to disaster and only discredit our beliefs.

The right to liberty creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual liberty - do not enslave others, do not brainwash your dependents (i.e. children) so as to prevent them from being emancipated from you, do let a harmless lost hiker leave your property unharmed (positive right to free exit), do follow reasonable guidelines with people who owe you restitution (indentured servants?), etc.

The right to property creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual property rights - do not steal from others, do not destroy the property of others, do provide the information to prove how you got your property and what its boundaries are, do not secretly bury nuclear waste that may hurt someone someday, do not bare false witness during property disputes, etc.

And the right to life creates the obligation not to interfere with the system that enables mutual human life - do not kill, do defend yourself if someone is trying to kill you against your will, and do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce (that is - do, like your ancestors before you, contribute to the demographic stability of the human species).
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 11:56:56 AM by Alex Libman »
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Richard Garner

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #63 on: April 23, 2009, 11:35:26 AM »

I don't think it is accurate to call a charitable donation a tax. You don't hear charity workers say "would you care to pay a tax, sir?" Now, you have, in the course of this discussion, defended what is less ambiguously a tax - a coerced transfer of income or property from anybody who has failed to have more than a pre-established number of children.

I don't want to sugarcoat anything, so I wanted to use the harshest terms that are applicable.  I believe this is one of the ways Minarchist government thugs should distinguish themselves from other types of government thugs.  Maybe I should have gone one step further and called it "coercive redistribution of wealth from non-breeders to breeders", but that's a mouthful.

The word "tax" has been used in regard to some "religious duties" (zakat, khums, huqqu'llh, etc) that are not strictly enforced the way socialist taxes are, but are nonetheless strongly encouraged through social pressure.  Even in those flexible circumstances, poor people still often initiate aggression against rich people who don't "pay their fair share".  Religious institutions don't openly encourage this violence, but are still like, "see, this is what happens to greedy people".  :x

Sure, many churches have tithes. But I think most people would not call tithes taxes, or taxes tithes.

On your "gradualism" argument. Gradualism is all well and good, and I am not throwing it out and saying that anything we get tomorrow that is not anarchism should be rejected. However, the gradual abolition of the state implies the gradual removal of the powers and functions a government has. Here, whilst you may also be defending the removal of some powers of functions that the government has, you are also advocating adding some to them. That is not the same as gradualism.

Minarchists believe that all government altruist programs should eventually be abolished, and I obviously agree with them.  Natalism isn't altruism, however - it is a reward for a productive effort (having and raising children) that is absolutely essential for the survival of the human race.  Altruism harms the economy, natalism keeps it from collapse.[/quote]

Of course, Bush, Obama and Brown also argued that bank bailout keep the economy from collapse. This would mean, then, if they were correct, that the bailouts, in your view, are justified.

Other things you say are interesting, but I still don't see an explaination as to why what you are proposing is not adding a new power to the government rather than being a scheme for the gradual abolition of government. Until you do that, you can frame this as being part of a policy of gradualism.

Quote
True. But it doesn't hurt everyone by violating their rights, and preventing people being hurt in this way may violate rights.

Once again, in order to logically prove that human beings have rights, you have to base your argument on nature, that is evolution,

Why? I would say I certainly wouldn't, because I would run the risk of committing the naturalistic fallacy. I would, instead, take a different tact, arguing that libertarian rights are mutually advantageous, or that they capture important intuitions that people hold.

Quote
and the very same framework also imposes natural obligations (i.e. "positive rights").

This is an error already, since not all moral obligations correlate need to rights, so even if it is true that the needs of evolution (which is not a good, per se) generate obligations, it doesn't follow that it generates rights.

Quote
The right to liberty creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual liberty - do not enslave others, do not brainwash your dependents (i.e. children) so as to prevent them from being emancipated from you, do let a harmless lost hiker leave your property unharmed (positive right to free exit), do follow reasonable guidelines with people who owe you restitution (indentured servants?), etc.

The right to property creates the obligation not to interfere in the system that enables mutual property rights - do not steal from others, do not destroy the property of others, do provide the information to prove how you got your property and what its boundaries are, do not secretly bury nuclear waste that may hurt someone someday, do not bare false witness during property disputes, etc.

And the right to life creates the obligation not to interfere with the system that enables mutual human life - do not kill, do defend yourself if someone is trying to kill you against your will, and do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce.

Everything here made sense, except this "do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce." If I were to interfere in all the other things you mention, like the means by which people protect their property, I would violate their rights. But interfering in my own biological imperative to reproduce seems to be violating my own rights. But that makes no sense!
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Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #64 on: April 23, 2009, 06:09:04 PM »

Sure, many churches have tithes. But I think most people would not call tithes taxes, or taxes tithes.

Use of language can be subjective, and the word "tax" means different things in different societies / contexts, as it does in Islam or the Baha'i religion that I've referenced.  Besides, we're still talking about the Minarchist context, at least for the near future, so we are in fact talking about something imposed by the government.  If/when we find ourselves in an Anarcho-Capitalist utopia where people maintain stable fertility rates without coercion, then we can call it something else.


Of course, Bush, Obama and Brown also argued that bank bailout keep the economy from collapse. This would mean, then, if they were correct, that the bailouts, in your view, are justified.

When someone claims to have a moral imperative for justified use of force, the burden of proof is on them.  If you kill someone in self-defense, you still have to prove that the perp represented clear and present danger (being on your property in the middle of the night and refusing to cooperate is probably proof enough).  Etc.  I believe those government bailouts do a lot more harm than good, and proving that would be beyond the scope of this thread.  The necessity of reproduction is much more straightforward.

It is also essential to keep in mind that defense of a dysfunctional and immoral system is not a moral imperative!  Even if those bailouts were a net benefit, which they aren't, they nonetheless are a side-effect of government's past interventionism in the market place.  The government interfered with natural market signals by manipulating interest rates, the currency supply, redistributing wealth, providing financial institutions with a safety net, forcing them to provide bad loans (i.e. "ownership society"), monopolizing mechanisms of disclosure and oversight, and so on.  That system is not worth saving, because its collapse would eventually lead to a better one.  The need for human reproduction, on the other hand, is a consequence of nature - that is the path that evolution has taken billions of years ago, and we all exist as a consequence of that fact.  One can't choose to live, claim natural rights, and at the same time believe that the natural system that created him is immoral or does not constitute an imperative value!

Furthermore, there's the severity factor - the "economic collapse" the defenders of those bailouts claim they prevent would have been small and brief compared to the consequences of the demographic collapse we're heading toward.  Their worst (some would say insane) fear-mongering sees the world economy decelerating its growth from 5% to 3% for a decade.  Compare that to what would happen if the global fertility rates would stabilize at 1.5 children per woman (i.e. same as Canada today) - we're talking about the population shrinking from 6.5 to 4.4 billion in one generation, 3.0 billion in the next, 2.1 billion in the next, 1.4 billion in the next - indefinitely.  The effect of having so many old people and so few young people becomes a big problem.  The dysgenic effect of poorest people having the bulk of those children that are born is probably even more significant.

If birth rates are not falling below sub-replacement levels, if the economic consequences of that are not as bad as I describe, or if there is a way to fix this problem without use of force, then my justification for use of government force in this case is wrong.


Other things you say are interesting, but I still don't see an explaination as to why what you are proposing is not adding a new power to the government rather than being a scheme for the gradual abolition of government. Until you do that, you can frame this as being part of a policy of gradualism.

Like I've said, it would help replace many existing government programs that perform a similar role more altruistically / less efficiently: welfare for people with children, health care benefits for children, public schools, and so on.  An effort to take those programs away would otherwise be shattered with the argument that: "Sure, people should pull their own economic weight and all that, but what about idiots who have too many kids?  And if having children becomes more expensive, fewer people will have them, and then the Muslims will just move in and take over."  :roll:

Furthermore, this government program would preempt the efforts of the "Christian right" to use the government to legislate their morality: a prohibition on abortion, suppression of "gay rights", and so on.  Natalism is at the core of what they are pushing, but they are doing it through irrational, immoral, and ineffective means.  Their subconscious mind is telling them: "I do a lot of hard work by having and raising children, others should suffer the same plight as well".  By commoditizing this responsibility, abortions and gays no longer matter as much.  Sure, some intolerant religious bullshit will persist, but fewer reasonable people will be willing to side with them.

There are no down-sides to people choosing not to have children themselves and paying others to have larger families, and many up-sides.  People will specialize either on their careers or on their children instead of trying (and most often failing) to juggle both.  A large family getting an income for every child after the second one means one of the parents can stay home, which has certain developmental benefits for children and also facilitates use of homeschooling.  More people will have grown up with siblings, which statistically tends to increase one's social skills, sense of responsibility, and so on.  Many gay and otherwise childless individuals come to feel (or are made to feel) guilty that they did not have children - now they would have an institutionalized framework through which they can constructively rid themselves of that guilt while helping others.  Since families will compete for the best childbirth grants from the best charities, it means more children will be born to better parents and fewer to worse parents, putting natural selection back on its track.  And since people born into large happy families are more likely to start large happy families themselves when they grow up, there is a good chance this program can be phased out after a couple of generations because it would perpetuate itself naturally!


Why? I would say I certainly wouldn't, because I would run the risk of committing the naturalistic fallacy.

I am arguing that an "appeal to nature" is an appeal to reality, and does not constitute a fallacy of relevance (Wikipedia has a socialist bias on this).  It should be distinguished from fallacies like chronological snobbery, appeal to tradition, primitivism, and so on.  Evolution is a part of nature, and so are the human beings and the things they do and create for their benefit.

I never said that the human race should abandon its attempts to solve the problem of falling birthrates through other means: robotics, human cloning, life extension, mind-to-computer uploading, etc, etc, etc.  But we cannot count on those alternatives to save us in time, and as the economy begins to decline due to the demographic crisis so will our ability to pull ourselves out of it.  In the meantime, the old-fashioned biological reproduction is still a moral imperative.


I would, instead, take a different tact, arguing that libertarian rights are mutually advantageous, or that they capture important intuitions that people hold.

How do you validate the value of "intuition"?  How do you decide whether something is "advantageous" or not?

The question of the origin of natural rights is very important.  Just to accept an answer that sounds good to you, or to the majority of your audience, is to gamble on your irrational whim, subjecting all your subsequent judgments to an erroneous foundation that cannot be tested objectively.  This is what religions have done for thousands of years, but we are challenged to try to do better.

To pursue an effective answer to those questions would require analysis of the broader context in which rational thought can take place: how do you know if something is true or false?  The most objectively effective method of reasoning ever discovered by man is empirical science, which puts a hypothesis through experiments and thorough testing, but how do you test the proposition that human beings ought to recognize specific rights in other human beings?  How do you tell if the hypothesis you have is valid?  The answer to that is competitive advantage: the best hypothesis is the one that will produce measurable results that are more desirable than any other hypothesis you (or anyone else) can think of and test.

Everything is relative.  Whether something is "mutually advantageous" or "captures important intuitions that people hold" are just two out of countless different aspects of whether a particular social theory represents a competitive advantage over others.  The importance of those attributes compared to other attributes is speculative until a system is tested as a whole.  Whoever invented the popular religions came up with brilliant and useful systems, but their contradictions and falsehoods make them incompatible with modern scientific thought.  Communists claimed that their theories made sense on paper, and certain aspects of their theories certainly are well thought-out (i.e. how to make central planning work) and very popular (i.e. equality, altruism, etc).  And yet when it was implemented in practice and compared to other countries that were more capitalist - Communism was a clear failure every time.  It's the end result that matters!

Our capacity for experiment is very limited obviously, we can't put a significantly-identical societies in different petri dishes, have each base its dominant social philosophy on a particular hypothesis, and then numerically measure the results through a microscope.  (And those tests would need to be done millions of times to take random variation into account.)  Thus nothing in social philosophy is bulletproof, but we must nonetheless base our arguments on the basis of competitive advantage as empirically as possible.  We can take examples from history, conduct small-scale experiments, apply deductive /  induction / abductive reasoning, and so on.  Which is what we are doing here.

And thus I am asking you to contemplate two identical societies that take on two different social philosophies.  The first, the one you seem to advocate, would be based on blind faith in "individual self-ownership".  The second, the one I advocate, would base its moral philosophy on doing whatever it takes to achieve objective success, in other words evolution.  The first society will pay any price, bare any burden to keep its ideology pure - no surrender, no retreat, no compromises, no exceptions.  The second society too will discover "individual self-ownership", and if that's what works then that's the system it will use - for as long as it makes the most sense.  The second society recognizes the need for moral imperatives to compromise with its mundane principles, the first one does not.  Then both societies face a challenge: threat of economic decline due to falling fertility rates.  You can see where this is going.

The philosophy that values success itself and keeps an open mind will succeed, while any specific dogma, no matter how brilliant, will eventually become a liability.  No, this is not circular logic, this is self-validation.  The most successful social philosophy is the one that most effectively applies rational thought to adapt its goals to the most valid evaluation criteria - the principles of evolution applied to social philosophy!


This is an error already, since not all moral obligations correlate need to rights, so even if it is true that the needs of evolution (which is not a good, per se) generate obligations, it doesn't follow that it generates rights.

No, evolution is indeed the highest value that trumps all others (see above), and that expresses itself in perpetual metabolic, demographic, and eventually economic growth.  In absence of God, what other means of objective value judgments can there be?


Everything here made sense, except this "do not interfere with your biological imperative to reproduce." If I were to interfere in all the other things you mention, like the means by which people protect their property, I would violate their rights. But interfering in my own biological imperative to reproduce seems to be violating my own rights. But that makes no sense!

All rights exist on the basis of net benefit to civilization (see above).  They (especially negative rights) apply to a specific individual, but their benefit and purpose don't stop there.

The moral imperative to catch and prosecute a killer, which would trump your right not to testify at his trial, doesn't come for the benefit of the person who died (who no longer has rights and might have no friends or family to press his interests) nor for your own safety (you individually might be so able to defend yourself that killer is not a threat), but because murder is harmful to the economy.  If one murderer can get away with it, it will encourage others.  As the murder rate goes up, so does the cost of protection, eventually making civilized society downright impossible.

The positive right to free exit makes travel less dangerous for everyone, bringing down the cost of a pizza you order delivered because the driver's salary would be negotiated in knowing he isn't likely to get shot if he parks next to the wrong house.  And, once again, the example of secretly burying nuclear waste: harm is created without specific victims being known, they might not be born for another 10,000 years!

And if you base a moral system on reciprocity alone, then people who are willing to refuse certain rights are free to violate that right in others.  (And if you don't have the right to consent to a violation of your right then it's not really a right, now is it?)  A person who decided to swear off property ownership and give all his stuff away for ideological reasons, a person who is signing himself over into indentured servitude, or a person who is about to kill himself still have an obligation to respect the rights to property, liberty, and life in others.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 06:32:01 PM by Alex Libman »
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Karrde188

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #65 on: April 24, 2009, 04:38:18 PM »


This was probably mentioned already. I just don't have time to read every post in this thread to find it. But Mankind's population is growing; not shrinking. Sure, The birthrate in the U.S. & most other developed nations is stagnant, but we got all those 3rd world countries making babies at a geometric rate. Besides, there are environmental benefits to lower populations.

Less people means...

* less gridlock traffic & quicker commutes

* shorter lines

* less crowding (like say in NYC or Hong Kong, for example, where people are pushing each other around trying to get from point A to B).

I don't know about you, but I get claustrophobic in big crowds.

Besides, Dan Carlin addressed this in his "Population is Destiny" episode, citing that our lack of population growth is due to our prosperity.
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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #66 on: April 24, 2009, 05:45:32 PM »

This is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.  People without children pay property taxes (which mostly fund schools) and pay much more in income taxes than people with children.  So they already pay more taxes even though they use far less government services.
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Karrde188

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #67 on: April 24, 2009, 09:43:30 PM »

This is one of the silliest things I've ever heard.  People without children pay property taxes (which mostly fund schools) and pay much more in income taxes than people with children.  So they already pay more taxes even though they use far less government services.

This.
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Luke Smith

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #68 on: April 24, 2009, 11:16:17 PM »

This is something a rational minarchist might advocate to solve the one fatal flaw of secular libertarianism: inevitable cultural and/or economic collapse due to very low birth rates.

Here's how it would work: each person is responsible for fathering / birthing and raising two children (unless you have a good medical excuse of course, but being gay ain't it).  If you fail to have your first child by 30 and second child by 40, you pay a hefty tax until you do.  The money would be used to care for orphans, expand free / "open source" educational resources for children, and help poor people with lots of kids.  It can be facilitated like Islamic taxation: forced through violence, but you can pay it to any valid cause, avoiding centralized government: reputable charities / orphanages or directly to people who have / adopt lots of kids, and so on.

Brace yourselves.  If by mind can conceive of such evil, so can others.

And start having babies!  I mean it!

And I'm totally going to impose this on myself when I turn 30.

Wow. And people here call me the statist.

First of all, we already have a childless tax. People with dependent children get child credits against the income tax, meaning that the rest of us pay at a higher rate than they do, assuming the same income.

You are right that secular people tend to have less children than religious people. But another big factor in low birthrates is all the welfare state socialism that is going on in this country and in Europe. Before we had social security and medicare, people who wanted a "social safety net" during old age looked to their children to provide it. Now what we're stuck with is low birth rates and all sorts of old people who are getting social security checks every month and medicare but are living lonely lives with nobody to really take care of them because so many of their families just don't care and don't feel the need to care.
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Ghost of Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2009, 08:06:16 AM »

I've already addressed all of those.

I hope someone else will come along and debunk me.

Until someone does, this goes on my "why Anarcho-Capitalism won't work" list.

Blind faith sucks.
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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2009, 02:35:10 PM »

if people are too stupid to make enough babies for the human population to keep growing, (when its needed) Then let them die, ill be happy to become a polygamist to help populate the world :P and I bet there are plenty of others who would to, to keep up the slack from other non baby makers and sterlie people

Ghost of Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #71 on: April 25, 2009, 03:15:23 PM »

"Let them die" doesn't apply.   Human beings will always be around in one form or another, but what this crisis means is that world economy will be in perpetual decline, causing a "negative feedback cycle" of instability.  And we need it to go up up up, ya know, to cure cancer and make better iPhones 'n stuff.

It's not just a matter of fathering children, it's a matter of convincing women to have them, raising those children, paying for their needs, and so on.  Religious brainwashing is fading away, and rational people (on average) don't breed very well...



Oh, and ...

... here's what you append to all your forum posts if you want every person viewing them to hammer maqs.com for ~8MB of bandwidth: 




:twisted:
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 02:02:58 PM by the ghost of Alex Libman »
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Ghost of Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #72 on: April 26, 2009, 11:35:14 AM »

(I'll now be catching up replying to the gap I've created when I couldn't keep up and then started replying to newer posts.)


Firstly, civilisation would only fail if everybody exercises this right. But that is not plausible.

No, average global fertility rates falling below 2.1 children per woman is not only plausible, it's pretty much guaranteed unless something is done.


Secondly, whether or not you are injured by my inaction is irrelevent:  [...]

In a free society, statements like this would have very serious consequences to your reputation.  You are responsible for the harm you cause, whether it is through action or inaction.  If you store tires on your property, it is your obligation to make sure they don't catch on fire and pollute your neighbors.  If you promise to spot someone while he's bench-pressing, that creates an obligation to at least try to help and not leave that person trapped under a barbell.  Etc.  And there are some natural obligations you are born into, the foremost of which is to reproduce.


[...]  But that doesn't mean that taking an extra day's weekend is a crime, or a rights violation, because you have no right that people work when they have not agreed to.

Nature does not dictate how many hours people should work, that is an individual decision incentivized by the reward you get in exchange for working.  We have a little thing called money to make sure everyone pulls their economic weight.  

Nature does dictate the realities of reproduction, there is no sufficient reward for it.  That's why we need to create a means of exchange to encourage people to pull their demographic weight.  Failure to do so is demographic communism, and that simply does not work - the lazy benefit from the hard work of others, the incentive to be productive declines, and so does the output.


Food production is necessary for survival. Self-owners may well decide not to produce any more food. Civilisation would collapse, and humanity die out. Does that mean that it would be OK to force people to work on plantations?

That cannot happen - when the price of food goes high enough, more people will be willing to produce it.  And individuals can grow their own food for their own benefit.  Those market signals don't exist for reproduction - and they should.  The demographic crisis affects everyone, you can't make yourself immune to it by having enough children yourself.


Yes, all these terrible things could happen. But that still doesn't alter the fact that forcing people to have kids, or provide for those that are having them, is a violation of their rights.

Could?  Given the current trend, what would prevent them?

And the arguments you are making are identical to the arguments of the people who fail to recognize property rights.  "Boo hoo hoo, forcing us to work for our money and pay for stuff is theft."  They fail to understand the incentives behind economic production, and you fail to understand the incentives behind biological reproduction.  


People have kids now without having to be coerced into it.

It's not just a matter of having kids, it's a matter of having enough kids - and raising them, and paying for them.  Most kids who are born in this world now are born as a consequence of poverty or ignorance.  The world continues to become more secular, more individualist, more urbanized, etc.  Your blind faith that some solution you can't even imagine will just fall from the sky is very disturbing.


There are no positive rights.

Only if you base your understanding of rights on wishful thinking rather than reality.


They are inherently contradictory, generating incompossibility problems, both with negative rights, and with each other.

Failure to comply with your wishful thinking is not a contradiction.  Failure to comply with the reality of nature is.


They also can only exist at a given time and under given circumstances, and so cannot be considered human rights, as they cannot exist at all times and places that humans can exist.

Says who?  Just because a certain circumstance isn't perpetual doesn't mean it isn't a part of human nature.  Emergencies happen.  Things change.  And don't forget that on a long enough time-line, there's no such thing as human nature.  We evolve.  Things that are true of us aren't true of primate ancestors, or of the primordial goo from which we ultimately originate.  Absence of rights among monkeys is what made it possible for them to compete and evolve into man!

Rights are based on the collective competitive advantage that arises from cooperation - which is only true once a certain level of civilization is reached.  The cavemen, who could not possibly grow enough food for everyone, did not have rights as we do today, even though they were almost identical to us genetically.  If a hypothetical a super-human force were to put human feral children onto an other Earth-like planet, thus creating an isolated culture of human beings whose level of development is similar to cavemen, the reality of their existence would make rights harmful and unnatural.  They'd need to figure out how to build simple tools, hunt, domesticate animals, grow food, utilize fire, and all other civilization advances from scratch, which won't happen overnight.  In the meantime, every day will be a struggle for survival.  They would have the opposite situation with birth rates than we're having, more children than can possibly survive, thus creating competition within the species for the limited resources available.  This competition, which initially is very violent, is what drives civilization forward.

When all human beings lived in tribal "gift economies" there was no need for money, but that need gradually emerged as societies became more sophisticated, and it is downright impossible to have a stable society beyond the hunter-gatherer level without explicit "property rights" and some recognized means of exchange.  The same applies to post-industrialized societies and the "childless tax".


No. Actively preventing you from leaving would constitute false imprisonment. Failure to help you leave wouldn't.

That's kind of like putting a plastic bag over someone's head and saying "you have the right to live, but not to breathe the air on my property".  That isn't to say that you'd owe me a limo ride off your property, I may have to call someone or pay for the taxi myself, but then you'd be obligated to let that taxi get to me and leave with me on board, which is still a limitation of your property rights for the sake of my positive right to free exit.  And you could be asked to yield your property rights further by a subpoena duces tecum, so that evidence about that plane crash can be effectively gathered.


Quote
You didn't ask some retard to rob a convenience store, killing the clerk and leaving you as the only witness, yet you have an obligation to appear at his trial,
I certainly do not. Forcing me to do so would be forced labour.

Yes, forced labor.  Which I'm in favor of in this circumstance, just like I'm in favor of a person with no money naturally being "forced" to work if no one is willing to feed him for free.  You can always choose death, but if you choose to live then you must live within the context of reality and its requirements, both individual and collective.


A legal system that forces people to turn up in court is not based on fundamental natural rights, but on violating them. You will find precisely this issue discussed in Rothbard's For a New Liberty.

I'm a huge fan of Rothbard's theories, but they're just that - theories.  Capitalist Minarchism is pretty much a proven fact at this point, but Anarcho-Capitalism still needs to be experimented with, and that won't happen overnight.  We need to take one step at a time, conduct voluntary experiments, and adjust our theories as needed.  If we fail to apply rational fallibilism to our ideas, then we're hardly much better than Marxist thugs or Jihadists!


(Gotta go, will continue replying later.)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 05:39:11 PM by the ghost of Alex Libman »
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Harry Tuttle

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #73 on: April 26, 2009, 01:09:27 PM »

Alex, you know nothing about the complexities of humanities interactions and what the potentials are for what humanity can achieve. Neither do I, only I actually know it. Taking a few figures, calling them trends and announcing some great revelation does not signify anything. Your bad habit of trying to get everyone together to solve one of humanities problems is exactly why liberty has such a hard time. 

Suggesting a threat of demographic winter is crap. Libertarians do not need to know the alternative solutions to every "problem" that the statists claim to solve for two simple reasons.

1) The statists do not have those answers either
2) More proplems are caused by statists than they would have us believe they are curing

Social engineering = FAIL!  You are the Al Gore of the FTL BBS.

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"If you're giving up your freedom to have freedom you don't have freedom, dummy."              - Mark Edge (10/11/08 show)

Rillion

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #74 on: April 26, 2009, 01:17:54 PM »

Libertarians do not need to know the alternative solutions to every "problem" that the statists claim to solve for two simple reasons.

1) The statists do not have those answers either
2) More proplems are caused by statists than they would have us believe they are curing

Maybe it's not the best analogy, but that reminds me of people who ask atheists who they worship since they don't believe in God-- what fills the "god-shaped hole" in their hearts, and answers the questions of meaning about the universe which God used to do.  That god is called the God of the Gaps.

I think you've just named the Government of the Gaps.   :)
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