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Author Topic: Childless Tax  (Read 42469 times)

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Alex Libman

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Childless Tax
« on: April 19, 2009, 10:51:03 AM »

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.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 10:54:39 AM by Richard IV »
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Elitist Bitch

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 11:18:29 AM »

This is ridiculous. So how would it work in this scenario if I'm unable to have children for medical reasons and my husband is? Would he have to pay the tax if I don't find him some woman to knock up? Then would we have to pay to assist raising this child? What about single people? Will we start having mandatory marriage too?

I see two things happening in this scenario: A large number of doctors suddenly being able to afford 5 BMWs because they have the misfortune to have a lot of infertile patients, and a huge rise in child abuse and neglect because people are forced to have children they don't want. 

I hate the vast majority of children. They smell, they're loud, they're annoying and they're too much work. At least I'm smart enough to know that and not have kids anyway hoping that things will somehow change. That's how a whole carful of kids get drowned in a lake.

Ridiculous, as usual, Libman. I realize I just got trolled, but some things are just too stupid to not comment on.
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NHArticleTen

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 11:30:26 AM »

in the current "system" being able to claim some chitlins/dependents is an advantage if one is "in the system"...

I'd like to know if ANY of the "income tax" collected survives the massive amount of "earned income credit" checks that are sent out in the "rob peter to give to paul" "wealth redistribution more commonly known as the income tax"...

I seriously doubt that it does...

in fact, I'd be more inclined towards it being a negative sum after all the EIC checks go out and all the IRS hoards of bureaucrats and thugs are "paid"...

is it any wonder why it's the taxsters and their thugsters that are most often the desired targets of the tar, feathers, and pitchforks of the peasant slaves...

don't they know that they will "get" "theirs" someday!?!

do they really believe they will be able to loot and steal forever without getting their just rewards!?!

to wit, the very mobocracy that they looted for...that very mob...is going to come drag them and their families out of their beds and put them on spits...roasting them...and eating their very flesh for sustenance...

do they not understand that?

hmmm....

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Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2009, 11:58:44 AM »

So how would it work in this scenario if I'm unable to have children for medical reasons and my husband is?

It's not an idea that I like, I'm just making you aware of it.  Most liberal implementations of this idea might say "if there's only one wife in a marriage and she can't have children for a valid medical reason, then the first 3 of her husbands are excused from this tax".  Most conservative implementations might say: hey, if population declines we all suffer so pay up, no excuses.  It depends on how bad the birth rate gets.

Would he have to pay the tax if I don't find him some woman to knock up?  Then would we have to pay to assist raising this child?  What about single people?

Under more conservative implementations, that's the idea.  And single people are economic / demographic parasites unless they contribute to the next generation (i.e. raising your own kids or paying for someone else's).  Hey, it's not the government imposing some arbitrary socialist bullshit on you, it's a stone-cold economic fact.  Population matters.


Will we start having mandatory marriage too?

Those might be beneficial (not moral, but beneficial) in a Battlestar Galactica type situation where humanity was reduced to around 40,000 people left alive.


[...] people are forced to have children they don't want.

That's not accurate, people would not be forced to have children, they'd be financially encouraged.  Cases of bad parenting would in fact go down because there'd be so many people competing to adopt children, which would now be a financial benefit instead of a burden.

An average middle-class family, in this case one husband and one wife, might have to pay around $10,000 a year each (calculated as fraction of their average income) if they have 0 kids.  If they have 1 kid, now they're paying $5,000 each.  If they have 2 kids they break even.  And if the wife decides to quit her job and have / adopt 12 children total, that's a $100,000 a year income she'd be making, working from home, doing what nature intended her to do!  But that's a very conservative implementation, I think a more liberal one with lower childless tax rates would be sufficient to get the fertility rate out of the red.


I hate the vast majority of children. They smell, they're loud, they're annoying and they're too much work.

You may hate children, but you yourself were born.  See the economic paradox?

Through this system you can escape this paradox by paying someone else to have your children for you.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 12:04:36 PM by Richard IV »
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Richard Garner

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2009, 12:30:05 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.

I don't see either of these things as being iinevitable, or the problem as being likely.

Quote
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). 

Why? Who do I have this responsibility to? Sorry, I own myself, and so nobody has any right that I have a child.

Quote
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.


Here is alternative: Why not draft people into breeding factories, milk sperm from them constantly, and forcably artificially fertilise women, keeping them restrained until the baby is born, so it isn't terminated.

That sounds like a "libertarian solution" to this totally unlikely "problem" you have dreamed up!
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atomiccat

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2009, 12:53:45 PM »

No Taxes for ANYTHING, and there is no problem with low birth rates the government gives free money to poor people who shouldn't have children, and even if everyone only had 1 child and population declined slowly, advances in science would solve the Depopulation problems which we would have several generations to fix.

and of course there will be the Mormons who have like 10 kids to make up for the rest of the people

Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2009, 01:00:48 PM »

I don't see either of these things as being iinevitable, or the problem as being likely.

Can you name one secular individualist culture that has a positive fertility rate?

Some Muslim theocrat will have 7 children, 50 grandchildren, 350 great-grandchildren, 2,000 descendants in the 4th generation, 10,000 in the 5th, and so on.  (Note the declining rate of growth as some of them abandon radical Islam, but most won't.)  And pretty soon they'll come over and force Islam down your descendants' throats (if any), and I do hope life extension technology would progress enough for you to see that for yourself.

Our ideas have to work in the long term, which they do economically but not demographically.


Why? Who do I have this responsibility to?

Because you were born, which is a consequence of millions of your ancestors choosing to reproduce (and some of them had a far more difficult time with it than you would).  They may be dead, but it is the one natural responsibility that you inherit along with the benefits of life and civilization.


Sorry, I own myself, and so nobody has any right that I have a child.

You don't own yourself just because you WANT to own yourself, there is a rational foundation behind self-ownership: it works, in encourages people to produce and cooperate, it is precisely compatible with the natural principles of evolution.  But childlessness doesn't work - that's called extinction!

You own your life, but willful failure to contribute to human reproduction is an act of aggression against the broader system of life of which you are a part.


Here is alternative: Why not draft people into breeding factories, milk sperm from them constantly, and forcably artificially fertilise women, keeping them restrained until the baby is born, so it isn't terminated.

That's awful!  Like I said:  You own your life.  You just can't initiate aggression against others, which includes aggression against the mechanisms of life itself.

And the last thing we want is for people to reproduce at maximum capacity (do the exponential math), which would be an economic disaster and inevitably lead to the suffering and death of tens of billions (at least).

But no one wants to reproduce at their maximum capacity when given the freedom of choice.  Birth rates are declining all over the world, which will soon be a major economic problem, like it already is in places like Japan...


No Taxes for ANYTHING [...]

It doesn't even have to be a tax, as minarchists would propose - it could be a decentralized and flexible cultural value, like not torturing horses.  Like I've said, I'd be willing to donate to charity voluntarily.  Anyone know a good orphanage in New Hampshire?


[...] even if everyone only had 1 child and population declined slowly, advances in science would solve the Depopulation problems which we would have several generations to fix.

You can't "solve" an economic loss.  It's like a socialist saying "governments grew in the 20th century, and economic growth continued just fine" - yes, but the economic growth would have been far greater without government intervention.  It works the same way with population loss.


[...] and of course there will be the Mormons who have like 10 kids to make up for the rest of the people

Mormons have more like 4 kids on average, and they aren't particularly known for their libertarianism.  (Though still not as bad as Muslims, see above.)  They've recently ganged up against gay marriage, for instance, and the philosophical core of their position is precisely what I'm talking about here.  The solution I'm offering is far better, and would actually help legitimize homosexual and childless lifestyles.  Who cares if they have children themselves or not, they are still contributing to human reproduction.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 01:27:35 PM by Richard IV »
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Richard Garner

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2009, 01:27:55 PM »

I don't see either of these things as being iinevitable, or the problem as being likely.

Name one secular individualist culture that has a positive fertility rate?

What is a "positive fertility rate"?

I still notice that you don't explain the "economic and cultural collapse" thing.

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Why? Who do I have this responsibility to?

Because you were born, which is a consequence of millions of your ancestors choosing to reproduce (and some of them had a far more difficult time with it than you would).

So, because they chose to reproduce, I have a duty to? Why?

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They may be dead, but it is the one responsibility that you inherit along with the benefits of life and civilization.

Nonsense. There is no such responsibility.

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Sorry, I own myself, and so nobody has any right that I have a child.

You don't own yourself just because you WANT to own yourself, there is a rational foundation behind self-ownership: it works, in encourages people to produce and cooperate, it is precisely compatible with the natural principles of evolution.  But childlessness doesn't work - that's called extinction!

You said that self-ownership is "precisely compatible with the natural principles of evolution." If this is true, then it doesn't make sense to say that self-ownership should be violated, by punishing people with taxes unless they use their bodies certain ways, extinction will follow.

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You own your life, but willful failure to contribute to human reproduction is an act of aggression against the broader system of life of which you are a part.

Nonsense, who is the person I am aggressing against.

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Here is alternative: Why not draft people into breeding factories, milk sperm from them constantly, and forcably artificially fertilise women, keeping them restrained until the baby is born, so it isn't terminated.

That's awful!  Like I said - you own your life.  You just can't initiate aggression against others, which includes aggression against the mechanisms of life itself.

"Aggression against the mechanisms of life itself." There are no "mechanisms of life" I am aggressing against, and aggression is only wrong if it violates rights, and "mechanisms of life itself" have no rights.

Quote
And the last thing we want is for people to reproduce at maximum capacity (do the exponential math), which would be an economic disaster and inevitably lead to the suffering and death of tens of billions (at least).

But no one wants to reproduce at their maximum capacity when given the freedom of choice.  Birth rates are declining all over the world, which will soon be a major economic problem, like it already is in places like Japan...

No it isn't.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2009, 02:44:04 PM »

What is a "positive fertility rate"?

How many kids a woman must have to keep the population stable.  With modern first-world infant mortality and other death rates, I'd say 2.15 children per functional vagina on average ought to do it.


I still notice that you don't explain the "economic and cultural collapse" thing.

Declining population means some productivity gains are wasted on the necessity of the economy making do with fewer people, and if productivity doesn't increase fast enough then we have economic contraction and an actual decline in standards of living: work more hours, make less, be able to afford less stuff.

Aging population means higher cost of living (medical costs), slower adaption of new ideas and technologies (old people don't learn as fast), inflated cost of physical labor, inflated security costs (i.e. your neighbor can't defend himself because his hands shake), and so on.

Oh heck... ever see the film Idiocracy?  That's no joke!

And don't forget, we're talking about relative loss here.  It might be the difference between 1% and 4% yearly growth in the world GDP, over time it makes a huge difference.  And we're not just talking about money here, it could be a matter of life and death - someone curing your diabetes when you're 60, curing your cancer when you're 70, curing your heart disease when you're 80, making you look like Brad Pitt when you're 90, upgrading your brain capacity when you're 200, and so on.


So, because they chose to reproduce, I have a duty to? Why?

I am in the process of explaining why.  For the same reason why you have individual rights: the functional reality of human nature.  Reproduction is a self-evident evolutionary advantage.  You may not like the answer, but c'est la vie, you can't blame the universe for 2 plus 2 adding up to 4, it just does.


Nonsense. There is no such responsibility.

Yes there is.  You are responsible for the harm you do to others: murder, theft, wrongful imprisonment, property damage (like pollution), or demographic damage.  A crime that harms everyone a tiny bit is still a crime.

You are not responsible for working for society: presuming you don't initiate aggression then what you do for money is your own damn business.  You are not responsible for spending money on anything but your pleasure (once again, within the context of the non-aggression principle) - read Ayn Rand.  There is just one exception that Objectivist / Libertarian / Anarcho-Capitalist philosophers failed to understand - when it comes to reproduction, your life is not entirely your own.

No one consciously chooses to be born, but by doing so you nonetheless enter into biological debt.  This debt is not just to your mother - she may have consented to you being born by allowing that to happen, but she was fulfilling her own biological debt (as was your father).  You have to pay it forward - your biological debt is to the children that you would need to bring into this would to keep the process going beyond your own generation, no matter if you contribute biologically, financially, or both.


[...] who is the person I am aggressing against.

Image you're driving a car at high speed and suddenly you close your eyes and let go of the wheel - you crash into somebody's house causing property damage and physical as well as mental injuries.  The consequences of this crime are very direct: there's one criminal and a finite quantity of people in that house who are victims.  When you willfully refuse to reproduce, on the other hand, the consequences are delayed.  You benefit from the fact that your ancestors didn't fail to reproduce, but you don't pass that debt to the next generation.

Imagine you are a due-paying member of a club of people that has a couple billion members (not sure how many people willfully have less than two children, but that detail doesn't matter).  What this club does is release a virus into the earth's atmosphere that quickly infects every human being, regardless of whether they were members of that club or not.  That virus doesn't do anything for decades, but then it gradually starts to have a negative economic effect each person infected (which is everyone), same as a declining population has a negative effect.  Is that not a crime?


"Aggression against the mechanisms of life itself." There are no "mechanisms of life" I am aggressing against, and aggression is only wrong if it violates rights, and "mechanisms of life itself" have no rights.

I am hereby saying that they do, and I am basing that argument on the same rational basis as individual human rights.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:15:36 PM by Richard IV »
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Rillion

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2009, 03:33:48 PM »

Fuck no.  Next?
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Richard Garner

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2009, 03:41:05 PM »

What is a "positive fertility rate"?

How many kids a woman must have to keep the population stable.  With modern first-world infant mortality and other death rates, I'd say 2.15 children per functional vagina on average ought to do it.


I still notice that you don't explain the "economic and cultural collapse" thing.

Declining population means some productivity gains are wasted on the necessity of the economy making do with fewer people, and if productivity doesn't increase fast enough then we have economic contraction and an actual decline in standards of living: work more hours, make less, be able to afford less stuff.

Just as more mouths to feed means more hands to feed them, surely fewer hands to feed mouths means fewer mouths to feed. It balances out.

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So, because they chose to reproduce, I have a duty to? Why?

I've already explained why.  For the same reason why you have individual rights: the functional reality of human nature.  Reproduction is a self-evident evolutionary advantage.  You may not like the answer, but c'est la vie, you can't blame the universe for 2 plus 2 adding up to 4, it just does.

This still doesn't explain why I have an enforcable duty to have kids. It is for the good of the human race that some people reproduce, sure, but (a) why does that mean that that somebody should be me, and (b) I scarcely benefit from that anyway.

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Nonsense. There is no such responsibility.

Yes there is.  You are responsible for the harm you do to others: murder, theft, wrongful imprisonment, property damage (like pollution), or demographic damage.  A crime that harms everyone a tiny bit is still a crime.

Define "harm."

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You are not responsible for working for society: presuming you don't initiate aggression then what you do for money is your own damn business.  You are not responsible for spending money on anything but your pleasure (once again, within the context of the non-aggression principle) - read Ayn Rand.  There is just one exception that Objectivist / Libertarian / Anarcho-Capitalist philosophers failed to understand - when it comes to reproduction, your life is not entirely your own.

Only presuming we have a duty to reproduce at a certain rate that can be enforced. But that is precisely what is in question: There is no such duty. It may be charitable of me to reproduce 2.2 times in order to help ensure the survival of the species, but forcing me to violates my ownership of my body, which is an injustice.

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[...] who is the person I am aggressing against.

Image you're driving a car at high speed and suddenly you close your eyes and let go of the wheel - you crash into somebody's house causing property damage and physical as well as mental injuries.  The consequences of this crime are very direct: there's one criminal and a finite quantity of people in that house who are victims.  When you willfully refuse to reproduce, on the other hand, the consequences are delayed.  You benefit from the fact that your ancestors didn't fail to reproduce, but you don't pass that debt to the next generation.

Your speeding analogy is... well, not an analogy. I can't see any comparison. In that case there are identifiable victims of my actions. If I don't reproduce, on the other hand, nobody's rights are violated. It might not be nice for the people who would otherwise have existed that they are not going to now, but then they woon't suffer from that because, hey, they don't exist.

You claim that I benefitted from my parent's decision not to reproduce. But I didn't. There is no possible point of comparison: If they didn't, then I wouldn't have existed. How could that be a better or worse alternative? It can't be.

Then you say that because I benefitted I incur some sort of a debt. Why? Benefitting somebody does not automatically mean that they owe you something for it. I benefit somebody everytime I deoderise before riding a crowded subway train. They don't "owe" me for it, though. You benefit if your neighbour keeps a well maintained yard, but that doesn't mean he should charge his gardening costs to you. Benefitting from somebody doesn't create a debt to them, necessarily.

And that brings us on to the third point, you say that I should pass this debt on to the third generation. Why? In what way is my having kids a payment of the debt I supposedly owe my parents for their giving birth to me?

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Imagine you are a due-paying member of a club of people that has a couple billion members (not sure how many people willfully have less than two children, but that detail doesn't matter).  What this club does is release a virus into the earth's atmosphere that quickly infects every human being, regardless of whether they were members of that club or not.  That virus doesn't do anything for decades, but then it gradually starts to have a negative economic effect each person infected (which is everyone), same as a declining population has a negative effect.  Is that not a crime?

Is what not a crime? Causing a negative economic effect? Or infecting people with a virus? Infecting unconsenting people with a virus is the crime. Causing a negative economic effect is not.

You don't need to invent wild and confusing scenarios about viruses to set up a better analogy: You are saying that full self-owners may excerise their self-ownership rights in such a way - choosing not to reproduce - that causes a negative economic effect on everybody, even those that do choose to reproduce. Your virus analogy doesn't capture that, since it is not abour people exercising self-ownership, but violating that of others, which people who do not choose to reproduce don't do. So a better analogy would be this: If fifty million Americans decide that they would be happy to take a pay cut in exchange for an extra day's weekend, the result would be similar to what you are warning about reproduction: A negative economic impact on everybody. Now your argument is that these people should be punished in such a way as to give them an incentive to lose that extra day's weekend and work. But this amounts to forced labour and is a violation of forced labour.

Spreading a virus may be a crime. Causing a negative economic impact on others is not.

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"Aggression against the mechanisms of life itself." There are no "mechanisms of life" I am aggressing against, and aggression is only wrong if it violates rights, and "mechanisms of life itself" have no rights.

I am hereby saying that they do, and I am basing that argument on the same rational basis as individual human rights.

Assuming that people only have rights insofar as they contribute to human evolution. But that is not a very sound basis for rights.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2009, 03:44:41 PM »

Fuck no.  Next?

What, you're going to prevent me from voluntarily donating to an orphanage or an adoption charity, believing that it is my obligation to do so (contrary to my rejection of other forms of altruism), and encouraging others to do the same?
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Richard Garner

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2009, 03:49:29 PM »

Fuck no.  Next?

What, you're going to prevent me from voluntarily donating to an orphanage or an adoption charity, believing that it is my obligation to do so (contrary to my rejection of other forms of altruism), and encouraging others to do the same?


That's fine. Just don't encourage the use of violence and agression against peaceful people who refuse to do likewise.
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Rillion

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2009, 04:07:40 PM »

Fuck no.  Next?

What, you're going to prevent me from voluntarily donating to an orphanage or an adoption charity, believing that it is my obligation to do so (contrary to my rejection of other forms of altruism), and encouraging others to do the same?

Taxes = not voluntary. 
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NHArticleTen

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Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2009, 04:18:35 PM »


this thread=eyes bleeding

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