Welcome to the Free Talk Live bulletin board system!
This board is closed to new users and new posts.  Thank you to all our great mods and users over the years.  Details here.
185859 Posts in 9829 Topics by 1371 Members
Latest Member: cjt26
Home Help
+  The Free Talk Live BBS
|-+  Free Talk Live
| |-+  General
| | |-+  Childless Tax
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 9   Go Down

Author Topic: Childless Tax  (Read 47764 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

kalmia

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 385
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2009, 01:55:16 AM »

open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan would need to import almost a billion people (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.


We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.  There are many that would come if aloud (and possibly funded).  Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.  We could take them, and they would eventually benefit us.

Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith)

  • A Cut Above The Rest
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8299
  • If government is the answer, the question is stupi
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2009, 02:32:53 AM »

open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan would need to import almost a billion people (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.


We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.  There are many that would come if aloud (and possibly funded).  Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.  We could take them, and they would eventually benefit us.

I think they could immediately benefit us...  :mrgreen:
Logged
"Do not throw rocks at people with guns." —Hastings' Third Law
"Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today." —Herman Wouk 

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

atomiccat

  • FTL AMPlifier
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1142
  • Anarchy will Reign when pigs fly... Look a pig!
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2009, 04:01:50 AM »

open immigration [...]

This problem isn't national, in fact the United States is faring better than just about any other first world nation.  (Except Israel, if you can call it that, and them oily emirates.)  Aging Japan would need to import almost a billion people (no, that's not a typo) to keep the same worker-to-retiree ratio!  :shock:

And, like I said've above, you can't import people from outside this planet - there just aren't any.  Fertility rates are declining everywhere: Mexico is down to 2.37 kids per woman (and you need more than 2.15 there to break even due to higher mortality), Muslim Turkey is down to 1.87, Iran down to 1.71, etc.


[...] polyamory [...]

I support that, and I've always stated that less government intervention in family life would cause the birth rates to increase.  There's a certain psychological value of being a king of one's castle that encourages people to have children and more children, while having social workers poke around and second-guess your authority diminishes that.  But that may not be enough.  As the world becomes more secular and more urban, birth rates will be in free fall.

It's a huge problem, and people who understand it are thinking "it's a huge problem, but let someone else take care of it".  Thus the unfortunate need for government violence that I am here trying to minimize.


We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.  There are many that would come if aloud (and possibly funded).  Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.  We could take them, and they would eventually benefit us.

I think they could immediately benefit us...  :mrgreen:

I'll take a few

Richard Garner

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2009, 06:43:10 AM »

Not mute, it is an actionable idea for a Minarchist government program to take away state altruism without taking away its natalist effect (and possibly increase / decrease it depending on current birth rate statistics).  We're talking about a tax that would only apply to individuals who have / adopt less than 2 children, only after a certain age, and only if the national birth rate is too low.  And that tax can be paid to a reputable orphanage / charity of your choice.  Isn't that an improvement over the current system?

Its a slightly smaller injustice than the present injustices.
Logged

Richard Garner

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2009, 07:22:10 AM »

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.

(A) I didn't say you have to have kids yourself, I've said you have a moral obligation to contribute to the next generation.  You can pay others to fulfill this obligation for you.

No, you didn't simply say that I had a moral obligation to contribute to the next generation. You said I have an enforceable obligation to contribute to the next generation. I have a moral obligation to save a person drowning in a river when I can, or to protect a person from assault when I can, or to contribute to those who really can't support themselves when I can. But none of these are enforcable obligations, because enforcing them violates moral obligations I hold against others, correlative to rights - rights against theft, rights against forced labour, etc.

Quote
(B) You don't benefit from repaying debts, you've benefited from debts when you acquired them, which in this case was when you were born.

I'm not sure what this relates to. I never said that I benefit from debts, and it is plain that I don't benefit from all debts (if I crash into your car, I gain a debt to you to pay damages, but I don't benefit at all). I said that your argument is that because somebody has provided me with a benefit, life, I have a debt to them. And this is plainly false - merely recieving a benefit from somebody is clearly not sufficient to have any debt to them (as the example of your neighbour having a well maintained yard, or the guy you are crushed against in a crouded subway using deoderant show), nor is it necessary (as the case of the car crash shows.)

Given this, recieving benefits from somebody is utterly irrelevent as to whether I owe them anything, whether I have a debt to them.

Quote
Define "harm."

Damage or injury.  In this context we are talking about an unnatural action that causes damage or injury to the rights of other entity or entities that possess natural rights.  In this case "unnatural" means: contrary to the reality of being prior to your intervention.

Well, it is plain that my neither having kids nor contributing to anybody else doing so does not damage the rights of anybody else. Your person and property remain as intact as ever.

Quote
If I didn't have a shotgun wound in my head and your actions caused me to have one, then you have violated my right to life, even if your shotgun went off by accident.  If a million people didn't have pollution in the water on their property and you put it there, then you've violated their right to property, even if it was through inaction, like failing to re-enforce storage containers containing nuclear waste that deteriorated over time.  Etc.

But failing to have or contribute to others having kids is not like any of those things. Shooting you in the head, accidentally or otherwise, damages your property, i.e. your head. Not having a kid or not contributing to others having kids doesn't. Polluting the water on your property damages your property, or trespasses on it. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others doing so, doesn't. Failing to reinforce containers of nuclear waste allows decomposing atomic molecules to enter your property, or increases the risk of their doing so. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others having kids, doesn't.

Quote
Reproduction is a fundamental part of human nature, and your existence is a consequence of millions of your ancestors who've acted on this nature.  Your unnatural failure to perpetuate this cycle of life causes economic damage that grows over time.  It is comparable to hiding a robot somewhere underground that is programmed to activate sometime in the future, dig itself out, and release a virus or otherwise do light economic damage to a large quantity of people.

No it isn't comparable. The Robot example involves causing economic damage by violating people's property rights. thrity percent of the population deciding to take an extra day's weakened cause economic damage without violating anybody else's property, and so does failure to have kids.

Quote
Only presuming we have a duty to reproduce at a certain rate that can be enforced.

Look at history.  You will see this duty encouraged (and at times violently enforced, but that's really not necessary) through cultural values in Christianity, Confucianism, and other cultures that have stood the test of time.  And you will see the failure to enforce those values in cultures that have collapsed.  The same argument that backs the triumph of capitalism over socialism also backs the triumph of rational natalism - a culture that discourages willful failure to reproduce.

I see a bunch of people who believe we have an enforcable duty to reproduce. I don't see why your telling me that they believed this to be the case is supposed to prove that their belief is correct. Especially when it comes from ridiculous premises such as "a big, all powerful invisible dude said 'go forth and multiply,' so that is why we have a moral duty too."

Quote
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.

Imagine a socialist saying: "Property rights do not exist.  It may be charitable for me to respect your property if I like the way you manage it, but forcing me violates my right to access the same property, which is an injustice."  :roll:

I would simply point out that since his possession of a right to access the property is incompossible with my also having a right to access the property, it is plain that both rights cannot simultaneously exist, and so, if I have a right to access the property, he has no such right, so preventing him does not violate any such right.

Quote
You can't make an effective argument by just stating your opinion, you have to demonstrate the rightness of your argument by objective means, like through a valid experiment.  Unfortunately in our case a complete experiment would have to last hundreds or even thousands of years, so we have to extrapolate from smaller observations, historical examples, and common sense.  You would have to refute the following claims:

  • At this time human beings are still mortal, and new human beings can still only be created through biological reproduction, which requires a particular effort, discomfort, and risk on the part of the mother.  Furthermore, effective transition of newborn infants into adulthood requires a substantial commitment of time and money by someone (i.e. parent or guardian).

True.

Quote
  • Fertility rates are declining in all parts of the world, currently averaging 2.61 worldwide but falling quickly.  For now the biggest problem resulting from this is a demographic-economic paradox that results in decline of average human IQ rates and other negative consequences.  In the future, it will also result in the decline of the total human population.

Maybe true.

Quote
  • Declining population is causing measurable economic harm in places like Russia, the rest of Europe, and Japan.  Some of those harms are mitigated through import of goods, services, and immigration of people, but (unless we discover an extraterrestrial civilization) that would not be possible once world population as a whole begins to decline.

Possibly also true.

What is all the above supposed to show?

Quote
If I don't reproduce, on the other hand, nobody's rights are violated.

What about the "suckers" who do reproduce: they spend a huge fraction of their time and money to have children.

So what? How does that mean that I, by choosing not to reproduce, have violated their rights. That's like saying that, because everybody else spends huge fractions of their time and money maintaining their yards, and thereby improving the appearance of, and values of the properties on my street, that if I fail to do likewise, I have somehow violated their rights. They choose to use their time and money that way. I didn't force them, or even ask them to. Same goes for other people having kids.

Quote
The vast majority of people who reproduce in the first world do so out of a sense of obligation that you do not share.

Bollocks, they had kids because they liked the idea of having a family with somebody they loved. Nobody, except members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints sits down and says "I feel I have a duty to reproduce, so let us have no fewer than 2.2 kids, to do our part." People talking about plans for the future (I am reminded of the song in Little Shop of Horrors where they are planning their future) talk about how it would be nice to have kids, maybe a girl and a boy, or two boys and a girl, or something. That is why they do it. responsible people do it because, and when, they can afford to have this thing they think it would be nice to have. Irresponsile people do it because the welfare state makes it easier to afford to do so.

Quote
Most of this ideology is religious and is in decline, along with the birth rates.  And survival of everyone does depend on people continuing to have children.  You were born, and so was everyone you've ever done business with, directly or indirectly.

Willful failure to reproduce is harming the human species as a whole.

Only if enough other people fail to reproduce.

Quote
I know this sounds like an appeal to altruism, but it isn't - altruism is economically harmful, while rational natalism is economically beneficial, perhaps even essential.  I know this sounds like an appeal to collectivism, but collectivism is beneficial in some particular cases, and this is one of them.

I am not an Objectivist, so appeals to altruism do not bother me much.

Quote
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.

People who don't exist don't have rights.  (Duh!)  I fully support the right of contraception, vasectomy, abortion, etc.  But you are obligated to pull your own weight, economically and biologically.  To live and to refuse to reproduce, expecting others to reproduce for you, is theft!

No it isn't. Forcing them to reproduce is theft, or forced labour. But the only person talking about forcing people to reproduce here is you!

Quote
It is no different than a government "welfare" program that is funded through inflation: everyone experiences economic harm for the benefit of the lazy.[/b]

The wrong of inflation is not that the value of everybody's money goes down, but that everybody is forced to use the inflated currency, and that promises are made for a certain amount of gold that won't be honoured. If somebody inflated a currency nobody had to hold, then people would simply stop trying to hold assets in that currency when they saw its value decline and switch to another one. You do not have a right that people value your property at one price rather than another, so reducing the value of that property of yours which is money doesn't violate your rights.


(Gotta start dinner, will reply to the rest in a little bit.)

Logged

Richard Garner

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2009, 07:52:59 AM »

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.

(I'll assume the word "not" I highlighted in red should be ignored.) 

Yes, my mistake. I shall drop this argument, anyway, since I have already established that benefitting is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish a debt to the person providing a benefit.

Quote
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'm sorry, but you fail to understand the very nature of human rights.  Hurman beings don't have rights because we want to have rights, human beings have rights because they provide a competitive evolutionary advantage.  Empirical evidence shows that a society that denies all human rights will not evolve past the hunter-gather stage of human civilization.  A society that denies fewer rights has an advantage over a society that denies more rights.  Etc.

This presumes that evolution is a moral goal, that, when asking what would be the right, or good thing for me to do, I should ask what furthers or is inaccordance with human evolution. I can't see why evolution is good in itself, or why it trumps other concerns, especially self-interest. Libertarian rights as being mutually advantageous, as argued for by eg Jan Narveson, does reconcile this.

Quote
I benefit somebody everytime I deoderise before riding a crowded subway train.  [...]

Is your body odor strong enough to kill, or cause the decline of human civilization?

Ah, so now it is not that I have beneffited from other's choice to bring me into existence that creates this supposed debt, but that I have benefitted in a certain way or to a certain degree?

Quote
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?

Your debt is not from your parents to your children, it is to the human civilization as a whole.  Especially the guy you see driving a minivan full of noisy kids.  You owe him.

Why? I didn't make him have kids, or even ask him to. He chose to.

Quote
And if you don't pay him, pretty soon guys like him will stop having kids, eventually leading to the world populated entirely by old people fighting over insufficient resources they don't have the manpower to renew.

Nonsense. I am aware that welfare queens may have kids only because people are paying them to, but I doubt that most people do this, and, besides, it has created children that are unsustainable, anyway. Most people have kids because they want to have kids, not because somebody is paying them to.

Quote
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.

What's the difference?  (And note that I'm not talking about causing an economic collapse by publishing some information that will cause a panic, that only exposes the weaknesses and errors already inherent in some forms of speculative investment.)

The difference is that in one case a negative economic effect was caused by violating rights, whilst in the other case a negative economic effect was not cause by violating rights, but by excercising or choosing not to excercise one's own rights.

Quote
Sometimes it is possible to cause harm through inaction, like in the "decaying container with nuclear waste" example I've mentioned previously.  Reproduction is a unique duty that must be required or at least encouraged from all, without it civilization collapses.

Right, but as I said, a decaying nuclear container doesn't just threat harm, it threatens, or involves, rights violations. Thats why I said a better analogy to failure to reproduce would be if, say, forty percent of the working population decided they would take a pay cut in exchange for an extra day holiday. Productivity would decline, prices would go up (or fall less quickly) for everybody, savings would fall, so the capital base decline, whether or not they were part of that forty percent. But choosing not to work X number of days a week is not a violation of rights. It has caused economic damage, but it has not done so by violating rights. And, in this case, preventing economic harm would require forcing that forty percent of the working population to work a day more than they want to. Forced labour is a violation of rights.

Quote
[...] 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.

No, your example doesn't compare.  There is a direct incentive for people to work, and it is their right to quit working entirely and beg for bread and water if they so choose, but they don't have a right to force others to feed them.  Failure to pull your own economic weight and forcing others to do it for you is called theft, but how is failure to pull your biological weight any different?  It isn't.

Because "failure to pull your biological weight" doesn't involve forcing others to do so. Somebody who chooses not to have kids is not forcing other people to do so.

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

It is THE basis for rights.  Sometimes it is expressed through other words, like God or Nature, but it's really the same thing.

I can't see why people should only have rights if their having that right contributes to human evolution, sorry.

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

I said a Minarchist would advocate this as a coercive tax, and it would be an improvement over the current system that is at least intended to have a similar effect (i.e. free schools, child tax credit, etc).  I'm both a Minarchist and an AnCap - the former is a stable version that can be used now, the latter is a beta-testing version with new features but not yet ready for general use.  In the meantime, why let "great" be the enemy of "good"?

Because you are not advocating a means to provide particular services the state supplies, and which we would want it to continue providing in a transition to anarcho-capitalism. You are advocating a means of forcing people to either have kids or provide for other people to have kids. There are plenty of other ways to get the "good."
Logged

Richard Garner

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2009, 07:58:27 AM »

Your inability to support the foundational claim of your argument is not my problem.

I did.  Which of my points do you challenge?


[...] I'm done talking to you about this stupid topic.

It's not a "stupid topic", it is a powerful argument that conservatives / minarchists make in defense of the state.  If everyone had as many children as Ayn Rand or Ian Freeman (presuming he doesn't rewire his plumbing back the way it was, etc) - the human race would go extinct in one generation, and its last years on earth would not be very comfortable. 

But the idea that everybody will have as many kids as Rand or Ian is not remotely plausible.

Quote
Someone has to breed, and breed enough to prevent economic collapse like in Japan - what's their incentive?

That somebody has to breed for the human race to continue is not what is being denied. What is being denied as that this gives anybody a right to take my property off me if I choose not to breed, or contribute to those breeding.

And, the incentive is the same incentive anybody who has kids has. Hardly anybody has kids just because they are being paid to. Even welfare queens. They just cross out a few "cons" from the "pro/con" comparisons when deciding to have kids.
Logged

Alex Libman

  • Guest
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2009, 08:37:37 AM »

We can move to New Hampshire and secede.  Then open up immigration.

Ignoratio elenchi.  Climbing to the very top of Titanic will not keep you from sinking, at best it may delay the inevitable.

(An unrelated factoid: the birth rate in New Hampshire is currently 3rd lowest in the nation, ahead only of Maine and Vermont.)


Some Asian countries have many unwanted girls.

I'm a very big fan of South Asian girls, but it takes at very least $10,000 a year to raise a child (including education).  I don't think this problem can be solved by a few rich guys taking on some third world wives.


Its a slightly smaller injustice than the present injustices.

Thank you for supporting my idea!  That is the greatest compliment any collectivist action ever deserved!   :D


[...]  You said I have an enforceable obligation to contribute to the next generation.  [...]

That's the difference between transitional Minarchism and perfect Anarcho-Capitalism.  The former is an improvement on the current system and presents ideas that can be applied today.  The latter is an unproven theory that I like but in reality we are very far away from.  You have to crawl before you can walk before you can run.  (Yes, I'm trying to "have my cake and eat it too" by jumping between Minarchism and AnCap arguments, but in this case I can - deal with it.)

And, once again, you're making arguments about rights while ignoring the nature of rights.  Those arguments are irrelevant.  The survival of the species comes first.

(I gotta go - will finish replying later.)
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 08:52:09 AM by Alex Libman »
Logged

Richard Garner

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2009, 08:55:47 AM »

Its a slightly smaller injustice than the present injustices.

Thank you for supporting my idea!  That is the greatest compliment any collectivist action ever deserved!   :D

[...]  You said I have an enforceable obligation to contribute to the next generation.  [...]

That's the difference between transitional Minarchism and perfect Anarcho-Capitalism.  The former is an improvement on the current system and presents ideas that can be applied today.  The latter is an unproven theory that I like but in reality we are very far away from.  You have to crawl before you can walk before you can run.  (Yes, I'm trying to "have my cake and eat it too" by jumping between Minarchism and AnCap arguments, but in this case I can - deal with it.)

Well, I suspect that a voucher system may be a good transitional method between full state schooling and free-market schooling, but that doesn't mean that I am going to argue that justice requires that people pay taxes to fund the school vouchers.

Quote
And, once again, you're making arguments about rights while ignoring the nature of rights.  Those arguments are irrelevant.  The survival of the species comes first.

(I gotta go - will finish replying later.)

I'm not sure that mere survival is normatively attractive. What is great about merely surviving? The reason to live cannot be to live.
Logged

NHArticleTen

  • Guest
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2009, 10:26:50 AM »


...

I'm a very big fan of South Asian girls, but it takes at very least $10,000 a year to raise a child (including education).  I don't think this problem can be solved by a few rich guys taking on some third world wives.

...


substantiate your claim without using ANY gooberment lies...

fail

Logged

davann

  • Guest
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2009, 10:53:59 AM »

I see what Alex is pushing for here. He wants a larger population of children to chose to abuse from. Maybe, just maybe with all these new children running around he can find that magical one that does not mind the abuse.
Logged

atomiccat

  • FTL AMPlifier
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1142
  • Anarchy will Reign when pigs fly... Look a pig!
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2009, 01:27:36 PM »

I see what Alex is pushing for here. He wants a larger population of children to chose to abuse from. Maybe, just maybe with all these new children running around he can find that magical one that does not mind the abuse.

This, everyone else seems to be against his eugenics/ Invisible Social contract

Alex Libman

  • Guest
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2009, 01:36:38 PM »

[...] I said that your argument is that because somebody has provided me with a benefit, life, I have a debt to them. [...]

This would have been relevant if I had advocated the parents' right to force their child to work for their benefit, and even to "tax" their children's income well into adulthood.  That would be a less collectivist remedy to the population crisis, but still coercive (even more so, since you don't choose your parents) and probably far less effective.  One of the reasons why I'm not making that argument is because having children would still not be an objective benefit and not always make sense financially even if they are a financial asset - it's not a business venture, it is an obligation.


Well, it is plain that my neither having kids nor contributing to anybody else doing so does not damage the rights of anybody else. Your person and property remain as intact as ever.

No, I am injured through your inaction, and so is every member of the human race.  If you have a right not to reproduce (and to not pay for others who must pull your demographic weight for you), so does everyone else - then civilization fails.

Your concept of rights exists in the context of human civilization, which cannot exist without sufficient reproduction - rights have no validity outside that context.  Your willful failure to pull your demographic weight (and fulfill your natural biological imperative) constitutes a crime.


[...] Failing to reinforce containers of nuclear waste allows decomposing atomic molecules to enter your property, or increases the risk of their doing so. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others having kids, doesn't.

You don't have the right to damage the property of others through inaction, thus you have an obligation to take action to prevent that.  If you fail in this obligation, and I have evidence that something on your property will very likely go boom and cause damage to my property, even possibly kill me, your rights to your property must yield.  Your failure to have kids is exactly the same.


Thrity percent of the population deciding to take an extra day's weakened cause economic damage without violating anybody else's property, and so does failure to have kids.

Even if 90% of the population decides to only work 1 day per week, it does not constitute a threat to human civilization.  There will be severe economic decline, sure, but the natural system of incentives remains in place - the lazy will suffer from their refusal to work, the 10% that continues to work will come out on top, and this stupidity will eventually be phased out as more and more people see the wisdom of working more.  A planetary decline in birth rates, like is already happening in Japan, does in fact constitute a clear and imminent global threat, necessitating use of violence to stop it.

Fruits of your labor are your absolute property, which gives you the freedom to create or not create them as you see fit.  Your children are not your absolute property, they are a "white elephant" that requires a lot of effort for little objective gain.  Throughout the history of the human species, either ignorance or coercion has played a role in encouraging people to reproduce.  When that ignorance and coercion is reduced just a little bit (i.e. modern Japan, which still has lots of traditionalists and even Christian converts with large families), you end up with a demographic collapse.  People in Japan aren't stupid, they believe that other people should be having more babies - just not specifically them.


I see a bunch of people who believe we have an enforcable duty to reproduce. I don't see why your telling me that they believed this to be the case is supposed to prove that their belief is correct.

Because that belief is a necessity for survival.  If all irrational and coercive pressures went away, what would human fertility be like?  Less than in Japan or Singapore, clearly, because that pressure is still very strong there.  We're talking about less than 0.5 children per living person.  (Comparable to Ian & Julia not having kids, and Mark and his wife stopping at one.)  The population pyramid in that scenario is terrifying: more people over 70 than under 50!

Robots can't do everything.  Productivity will decline.  Prices will skyrocket, as will crime.  Richer but older nations will not be able to defend themselves militarily from poorer but younger nations.  Old people who can no longer afford to buy medication or even food will demand a government solution, but there will simply be no one left to tax.


Especially when it comes from ridiculous premises such as "a big, all powerful invisible dude said 'go forth and multiply,' so that is why we have a moral duty too."

That fiction is what kept the human civilization reproducing up till now, and now that big powerful dude will have to be me, acting in my own enlightened self-interest, and others who also understand the economic reality of human existance.  I'm not going to watch my civilization decline and not do what is necessary to stop it, even if it does require institutionalized violence on a massive scale.  

If I was on a life-board in the middle of an ocean, and one of the other people on that boat was hysterical and trying to flip the boat over, I would deprive that person of his rights by force in the interest of my own survival.  If that boat had leaks in it and our mutual survival depended on everyone holding those leaks closed and pumping the water out to keep the boat afloat, and the hysterical person refused to help - I would hit that person with a stick or use whatever means necessery to get that person to cooperate.  Taxing people to ensure adequate birthrates is no different.  I just need a big-enough stick - and that's one of the very few things for which government may still be useful.


[...]  Maybe true.

[...]  Possibly also true.

Why "maybe" / "possibly"?  Do you disagree with the cause-and-effect relationship of declining birth rates and the consequences I've mentioned, or do you believe that birth rates will correct themselves without coercion?  If the former, please explain why.  If the latter - I too wish that was possible, but how?

Drastic reversal of those kinds of trends don't happen just by themselves randomly.  If you have a particular theory on what would reverse them, I would gladly agree that the need for coercion is not justified based on the merits of that theory.   Coercion should only be used as a last resort.


What is all the above supposed to show?

Justified use of force.


[...] I didn't force them, or even ask them to. Same goes for other people having kids.

You're still thinking in terms of negative rights.  This is an issue of positive rights, which require an obligation of others.  Just because 99% of positive rights you hear about are socialist bullshit doesn't mean the other 1% is not valid and essential.  They are based on the same rational foundation as the negative right of self-ownership (life, liberty, property).

For example, you didn't ask for my plane to malfunction and crash on your property, but it was an accident.  You have an obligation to facilitate my right to free exit, even if that infringes on your right to your property for a little while.  Failure to do so would constitute wrongful imprisonment.  Air travel would be downright impossible if making an emergency landing or parachuting meant you could become the slave of whoever owns the property you land on.

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, which would probably take up quite a bit of your time.  Without the ability to subpoena people to court, coercively if necessary, no justice system would be possible, even one that is decentralized and entirely based on fundamental natural rights.

In those two examples, your negative rights are violated "for the greater good".  Just because this concept is most often used erroneously by altruists doesn't mean it does not exist.  The same applies to coercive incentives for reproduction.


Bollocks, they had kids because they liked the idea of having a family with somebody they loved.

People's motivations to have children are complicated and affected by their subconscious, so we can never know for sure what fraction recognize it as an obligation, but some do.  More people will recognize this fact if more people study basic population economics, and if they also study game theory they will see the need for coersion to get people to reproduce, and if they also study philosophy they will see that it is moral to do so.

You want the cost of raising children to be individual, but the economic benefit to be shared, as it naturally is - that's theft.  Having children is the only economic activity this applies to: you may be able to avoid other shared economic benefits by living in isolation, but the only way to stop benefiting from the fact that you were born into the human race is suicide.


No it isn't. Forcing them to reproduce is theft, or forced labour.

Like I already said, your failure to recognize the obligation to reproduce is no different from failure to recognize property rights.  Imagine that you suffer some sort of an accident that requires you to pay $20,000 a year in medical bills: is someone else obligated to pay those bills for you?  It wasn't your choice to suffer this accident, but it is a reality you have to deal with in order to live.  Same is the reality of human reproduction.  You are a human being.  You were born.  You are naturally indebted to reproduce.  If you willfully refuse then everybody suffers, same as if you were forcing them to pay for you medical bills through inflation or taxes.


The wrong of inflation is not that the value of everybody's money goes down, but that everybody is forced to use the inflated currency  [...]

Force can be natural or artificial.  You are a part of the human race.  Is that force?  
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 01:56:31 PM by Alex Libman »
Logged

Richard Garner

  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 303
    • View Profile
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2009, 02:53:00 PM »

[...] I said that your argument is that because somebody has provided me with a benefit, life, I have a debt to them. [...]

This would have been relevant if I had advocated the parents' right to force their child to work for their benefit, and even to "tax" their children's income well into adulthood.  That would be a less collectivist remedy to the population crisis, but still coercive (even more so, since you don't choose your parents) and probably far less effective.  One of the reasons why I'm not making that argument is because having children would still not be an objective benefit and not always make sense financially even if they are a financial asset - it's not a business venture, it is an obligation.


Well, it is plain that my neither having kids nor contributing to anybody else doing so does not damage the rights of anybody else. Your person and property remain as intact as ever.

No, I am injured through your inaction, and so is every member of the human race.  If you have a right not to reproduce (and to not pay for others who must pull your demographic weight for you), so does everyone else - then civilization fails.

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

Secondly, whether or not you are injured by my inaction is irrelevent: You have no right to my action, because you don't own me, I do. You would be harmed by my, and other people's inaction, if a sufficient number of people took an extra day's weekend. 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.

Quote
Your concept of rights exists in the context of human civilization, which cannot exist without sufficient reproduction - rights have no validity outside that context.  Your willful failure to pull your demographic weight (and fulfill your natural biological imperative) constitutes a crime.

Rights don't only in the context of civilisation. One caveman raping a woman from a different tribe is still violating her rights.

Quote
[...] Failing to reinforce containers of nuclear waste allows decomposing atomic molecules to enter your property, or increases the risk of their doing so. Not having a kid, or not contributing to others having kids, doesn't.

You don't have the right to damage the property of others through inaction, thus you have an obligation to take action to prevent that.  If you fail in this obligation, and I have evidence that something on your property will very likely go boom and cause damage to my property, even possibly kill me, your rights to your property must yield.  Your failure to have kids is exactly the same.

How is failure to have kids the same?

Quote
Thrity percent of the population deciding to take an extra day's wekened cause economic damage without violating anybody else's property, and so does failure to have kids.

Even if 90% of the population decides to only work 1 day per week, it does not constitute a threat to human civilization.  There will be severe economic decline, sure, but the natural system of incentives remains in place - the lazy will suffer from their refusal to work, the 10% that continues to work will come out on top, and this stupidity will eventually be phased out as more and more people see the wisdom of working more.  A planetary decline in birth rates, like is already happening in Japan, does in fact constitute a clear and imminent global threat, necessitating use of violence to stop it.

Again, the difference simply seems to be one of degree, so the implication of your argument still seems to be that it would be OK to force people to work more than one day a week if their failure to do so causes economic decline.

Quote
I see a bunch of people who believe we have an enforcable duty to reproduce. I don't see why your telling me that they believed this to be the case is supposed to prove that their belief is correct.

Because that belief is a necessity for survival.  If all irrational and coercive pressures went away, what would human fertility be like?  Less than in Japan or Singapore, clearly, because that pressure is still very strong there.  We're talking about less than 0.5 children per living person.  (Comparable to Ian & Julia not having kids, and Mark and his wife stopping at one.)  The population pyramid in that scenario is terrifying: more people over 70 than under 50!

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?

Quote
Robots can't do everything.  Productivity will decline.  Prices will skyrocket, as will crime.  Richer but older nations will not be able to defend themselves militarily from poorer but younger nations.  Old people who can no longer afford to buy medication or even food will demand a government solution, but there will simply be no one left to tax.

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.

Quote
[...]  Maybe true.

[...]  Possibly also true.

Why "maybe" / "possibly"?  Do you disagree with the cause-and-effect relationship of declining birth rates and the consequences I've mentioned,

No, thats why I said "maybe," and "possibly" rather than "no."

Quote
or do you believe that birth rates will correct themselves without coercion?  If the former, please explain why.  If the latter - I too wish that was possible, but how?

By people deciding to have kids.

Quote
Drastic reversal of those kinds of trends don't happen just by themselves randomly.  If you have a particular theory on what would reverse them, I would gladly agree that the need for coercion is not justified based on the merits of that theory.   Coercion should only be used as a last resort.

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

Quote
What is all the above supposed to show?

Justified use of force.

It doesn't at all explain why it is justified.

Quote
[...] I didn't force them, or even ask them to. Same goes for other people having kids.

You're still thinking in terms of negative rights.  This is an issue of positive rights, which require an obligation of others.  Just because 99% of positive rights you hear about are socialist bullshit doesn't mean the other 1% is not valid and essential.  They are based on the same rational foundation as the negative right of self-ownership (life, liberty, property).

There are no positive rights. They are inherently contradictory, generating incompossibility problems, both with negative rights, and with each other. 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.

Quote
For example, you didn't ask for my plane to malfunction and crash on your property, but it was an accident.  You have an obligation to facilitate my right to free exit, even if that infringes on your right to your property for a little while.

The presence of an obligation to do so does not imply that there is a right that that obligation correlates to.

Quote
Failure to do so would constitute wrongful imprisonment.

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

Quote
Air travel would be downright impossible if making an emergency landing or parachuting meant you could become the slave of whoever owns the property you land on.

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.

Quote
which would probably take up quite a bit of your time.  Without the ability to subpoena people to court, coercively if necessary, no justice system would be possible,

It is certainly logically possible. I'm sure you meant probable.

Regardless, witnesses even today don't have to testify. And even if they turn up, aren't obliged to take the oath, and are entitled to exercise their miranda rights and remain silent.

Quote
even one that is decentralized and entirely based on fundamental natural rights.

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.

Quote
Bollocks, they had kids because they liked the idea of having a family with somebody they loved.

People's motivations to have children are complicated and affected by their subconscious, so we can never know for sure what fraction recognize it as an obligation, but some do.  More people will recognize this fact if more people study basic population economics, and if they also study game theory they will see the need for coersion to get people to reproduce, and if they also study philosophy they will see that it is moral to do so.

Game theory doesn't come into it. You are suggesting that this is like a free rider problem, because having kids is a public good. But the production of just about any good has positive externalities, many of which are non-rivalrous. Moreover, not all public goods involve public goods problems, since they are not all free rider problems. Many a chicken games rather than prisoner dilemma games, under which the costs of being a victim of free-riders is much less than the cost of nobody co-operating, so mutual defection will be less common than under a prisoners dilemma. Some are assurance games, when the costs of co-operating are vastly lower than the benefits. For instance - actually, I don't know if you have them in the US - but in the UK we have pelican crossings, where pressing a button sets off a timer at the end of which the lights will change colour and allowing pedestrians to cross. Anyway, if there is a crowd of people at the crossing, they all benefit if somebody presses the button, and pressing the button means going out of one's way, over to the light post, and pushing it. But free-riding doesn't happen, since it doesn't cost that much to go over and press the button.

The same can be said of having kids, but in this case it is the benefit: The benefit of free-riding from other people's reproduction is so insignificant that nobody is going to do it. I mean, how much to you gain from somebody 3,000 miles away dropping a sprog?

Quote
You want the cost of raising children to be individual, but the economic benefit to be shared, as it naturally is - that's theft.

No it isn't. Are you seriously saying that benefitting from other people's spending without spending yourself is theft? So that, if you enjoy the sight of a well maintained yard, and your neighbour spend on maintaining his yard, but you don't pay him for doing so, you are stealing from him?

Quote
Having children is the only economic activity this applies to: you may be able to avoid other shared economic benefits by living in isolation, but the only way to stop benefiting from the fact that you were born into the human race is suicide.

Benefitting from people is not sufficient to claim that you have stolen from them.

Quote
No it isn't. Forcing them to reproduce is theft, or forced labour.

Like I already said, your failure to recognize the obligation to reproduce is no different from failure to recognize property rights.  Imagine that you suffer some sort of an accident that requires you to pay $20,000 a year in medical bills: is someone else obligated to pay those bills for you?

Possibly. Charity is a virtue. Helping those in need who can't support themselves is a good thing.

I just don't have a right that they help me. Which is the same as saying that none of their obligations to pay my bills correlates to a right.

Quote
It wasn't your choice to suffer this accident, but it is a reality you have to deal with in order to live.  Same is the reality of human reproduction.  You are a human being.  You were born.  You are naturally indebted to reproduce.

I have no such debt.

Quote
If you willfully refuse then everybody suffers, same as if you were forcing them to pay for you medical bills through inflation or taxes.

It is not just the same as if I forced everybody to pay my bills. If I (and sufficient others) do not reproduce, everybody suffers. But this suffering is not cause by our violating rights, any more than the suffering that everybody experiences when forty percent of the population decides to only work one day a week is a result of a violation of rights.

Put simply: Not all suffering is a result of a violation of rights, and some of it can be cause by the exercising of rights. Your arguments almost appear to be saying that we cannot have rights whose exercising would harm others or cause suffering.

Quote
Quote
The wrong of inflation is not that the value of everybody's money goes down, but that everybody is forced to use the inflated currency  [...]

Force can be natural or artificial.  You are a part of the human race.  Is that force?  

Huh?
Logged

Alex Libman

  • Guest
Re: Childless Tax
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2009, 04:01:38 PM »

[...]  I shall drop this argument, anyway, since I have already established that benefitting is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish a debt to the person providing a benefit.

That isn't the core of my argument, just a side-argument showing some of the consequences of this paradox.  The matter of human reproduction is different from all other economic action.  We're not debating whether a bum can wash your windshield at a red light without your consent and then expect you to pay him - he's clearly wrong.  Nor are we debating whether Superman can send Lois Lane a bill for saving her - he has no natural obligation to go around saving people, and no right to assume their consent to be saved.  But human beings do have the natural imperative to reproduce - that is an empirical fact.  We wouldn't be here if we didn't.


This presumes that evolution is a moral goal, that, when asking what would be the right, or good thing for me to do, I should ask what furthers or is inaccordance with human evolution. I can't see why evolution is good in itself, or why it trumps other concerns, especially self-interest. Libertarian rights as being mutually advantageous, as argued for by eg Jan Narveson, does reconcile this.

Your failure to understand evolution is very significant, because it is the basis of all other aspects of human experience.  Without basing our philosophy on evolution, we are reduced to to nihilism or blind faith.  From evolution we derive the logical foundation that later leads to higher-level concepts such as individual rights on the basis of them being a competitive advantage.  Or did you think rights came from pixie dust and wishful thinking?


Ah, so now it is not that I have beneffited from other's choice to bring me into existence that creates this supposed debt, but that I have benefitted in a certain way or to a certain degree?

Yes, once again: your own survival constitutes a moral imperative to use force.  The survival of human civilization constitutes the moral imperative to use force on a broad scale, like this "childless tax", which we sort of already have.  A minor inconvenience like someone's body odor does not constitutes a moral imperative to use force.


Quote
Your debt is not from your parents to your children, it is to the human civilization as a whole.  Especially the guy you see driving a minivan full of noisy kids.  You owe him.
Why? I didn't make him have kids, or even ask him to. He chose to.

OK, that was a side-argument again - couldn't resist.  In fact, I still can't.  Let's have a moment of silence for the sucker in a minivan full of kids ... ... ... ...  :|  ... ... ...

Now, yes, he chose to have kids, and we cannot know for sure to what degree coercion played a role in his decision.  The reality is that people are choosing to have fewer and fewer kids - which is a problem that threatens the Anarcho-Capitalist argument that all government action is undesirable.  You cannot force people to think, but you can force them to breed, which is what coercive institutions have been doing since the dawn of recorded history.  To remain an Anarcho-Capitalist in spite of that fatal flaw is to advocate economic collapse and all other horrors of a severe demographic crisis.


Nonsense. I am aware that welfare queens may have kids only because people are paying them to, but I doubt that most people do this, and, besides, it has created children that are unsustainable, anyway.  Most people have kids because they want to have kids, not because somebody is paying them to.

Financial factors do enter into the decision, and the government does redistribute wealth from non-breeders to breeders.  Religion is probably the greatest factor encouraging people to breed, but throughout history it has been kept in place through coercion and is now running on fumes - thus the falling birthrates.  In a secular government-free society, the birth rates would fall even faster, and the economic consequences would be more detrimental.


The difference is that in one case a negative economic effect was caused by violating rights, whilst in the other case a negative economic effect was not cause by violating rights, but by excercising or choosing not to excercise one's own rights.

You're making a circular argument about rights again.  Think about it.

"Where does your right not to reproduce come from?  Self-ownership.  Where does your right to self-ownership come from?  Human nature.  Where does human nature come from?  Evolution.  Where does evolution come from?  Perpetuation of life through variation and natural selection.  Where does the perpetuation of human life come from?  Reproduction.  Oops."


Because "failure to pull your biological weight" doesn't involve forcing others to do so. Somebody who chooses not to have kids is not forcing other people to do so.

Well, the hysterical lunatic on my life boat isn't forcing us to do anything, but his willful inaction will kill us all unless the rest of us force him.  In fact some other people on the boat are saying, "why should we work if he doesn't have to?"  If we use force, we survive.  If we don't, we all die.


I can't see why people should only have rights if their having that right contributes to human evolution, sorry.

All natural rights are ultimately based on evolution and nothing else.  I'm sorry if your beliefs failed to recognize that fact, but there is no other objective arbiter in the universe (at least there doesn't seem to be any evidence for one at this time).  There is no good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral - there are just consequences of your actions, which can be individual or collective.  And the consequence of your failure to reproduce is declining birth rates, which is measurably very bad.

Natural rights are not a matter of opinion, they are a natural force, like gravity.  You can't have an argument with a rock that is about to fall on your head, crushing you.  You can't beg or trick that rock to stop falling, you have to counter the force that propels it, deflect its vector away from you, or get your ass out of the way.


Because you are not advocating a means to provide particular services the state supplies, and which we would want it to continue providing in a transition to anarcho-capitalism. You are advocating a means of forcing people to either have kids or provide for other people to have kids. There are plenty of other ways to get the "good."

I've previously mentioned a number of reasons why birth rates should increase (or decelerate their descent) as a society transitions toward Anarcho-Capitalism: polygamy, parents' rights, absence of anti-growth socialist stupidity, and so on.  I have also stated that I for one hold reproduction as a moral value and voluntarily donate my time and money for this purpose, which includes educating others about the negative consequences of low birth rates.  Etc.  If you have other ideas for how to encourage sufficient birth rates without coercion, I'm all ears.

Anarcho-Capitalism is a nice theory.  I love it.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out.

In the meantime, however, minarchist coercion is justified.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 04:09:05 PM by Alex Libman »
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 9   Go Up
+  The Free Talk Live BBS
|-+  Free Talk Live
| |-+  General
| | |-+  Childless Tax

// ]]>

Page created in 0.034 seconds with 33 queries.