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Poll

If you had to choose...

Childless tax (see here)
- 0 (0%)
Parents tax (see below)
- 8 (25.8%)
Let civilization collapse
- 17 (54.8%)
Ian's magic wand
- 6 (19.4%)

Total Members Voted: 21


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Author Topic: Parents Tax  (Read 24967 times)

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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2009, 11:38:29 AM »

You don't consider incomplete self-ownership (i.e., "partial slavery") to be a violation of individual rights?

You are like a "libertarian socialist" arguing that "private property, as opposed to communal property, violates the individual rights of everyone but the owner".  :x

Theories for social rulesets need to be tested objectively, not based on wishful thinking.  Private property represents a competitive advantage for a civilization, and so do parents' rights.  The need to pull one's demographic weight (i.e. Childless Tax) or pay back for your parents pulling theirs (i.e. Parents Tax) isn't any different than the need to pull one's economic weight, except that you didn't have a conscious choice in being born.  (And, sad as that would be, I do recognize your right to suicide if you find that arrangement undesirable.)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 11:47:17 AM by Alex Libman »
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gibson042

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2009, 01:02:53 PM »

You are like a "libertarian socialist" arguing that "private property, as opposed to communal property, violates the individual rights of everyone but the owner".  :x

You are arguing that proverbial Alice's parents have a higher priority claim to a fraction of her voluntarily acquired property than does she, making her a "partial slave" to them—an implicit rejection of private property (though ironically, you claim to defend that very concept).  You justify the position with...

Quote
Theories for social rulesets need to be tested objectively, not based on wishful thinking.  Private property represents a competitive advantage for a civilization, and so do parents' rights.

...an argument based on consequences rather than ethics/first principles.  And not only have you failed to provide sufficient evidence that parental tribute actually can increase overall societal productivity, or a formula for determining amounts of tribute that realize the gain (because surely a universal 100% would not), you have also failed to demonstrate how convince me personally that the increase in productivity would be worth the decrease in liberty.

Quote
The need to pull one's demographic weight (i.e. Childless Tax) or pay back for your parents pulling theirs (i.e. Parents Tax) isn't any different than the need to pull one's economic weight, except that you didn't have a conscious choice in being born.  (And, sad as that would be, I do recognize your right to suicide if you find that arrangement undesirable.)

I recognize no need for anyone to pull their own weight, either economic or demographic.  Failure to produce economically forces one to dependence, thievery, or death, but two of those are viable (if undignified) options and the third eventually reduces to them.  Failure to produce demographically incurs no personal losses that I can identify, unless you or some other external agent interferes.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 03:01:18 PM by gibson042 »
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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2009, 04:14:49 PM »

You are arguing that proverbial Alice's parents have a higher priority claim to a fraction of her voluntarily acquired property than does she [...]

Yes, I am.


[...] making her a "partial slave" to them - an implicit rejection of private property (though ironically, you claim to defend that very concept).

A government income tax can be called "partial slavery" (even though one may survive without making an income), because the government has no legitimate claim to any of your money.  Alice's parents -- who created her -- do.

People have a right to enter into a contract where they owe someone X% of their income.  Helpless fetii / babies cannot make that contract consciously, but there is such a thing as "implied consent" for issues of life and death.

There must be a reasonable balance between the rights of the individual and rights of his parents.  Giving the parents too much right over their children results in a static and tyrannical society, which is not very economically competitive for a very long list of reasons, some of which are obvious.  Giving the parents too little right over their children results in lower birthrates and greater poverty among the elderly, the latter being an excuse that socialists love to use to justify government force.


You justify the position with [...] an argument based on consequences rather than ethics/first principles.

Yes, it's called empiricism (i.e. the scientific method), and the only first principle that can apply to politics is "evolutionary pragmatism": the social ruleset that produces the greatest total economic benefit is the most ethical.


And not only have you failed to provide sufficient evidence that parental tribute actually can increase overall societal productivity [...]

We do have sufficient evidence that low fertility rates lower societal productivity - you can't be productive if you're not born.  I have introduced two theories that could solve this problem, and I am trying to compare the two, seek out better solutions, and persuade people of their merits.  The proof that either a "childless tax" or a "parents tax" would be effective cannot come without trying those theories out on a broad-enough scale, as is the case with the rest of Anarcho-Capitalist philosophy.


[...] or a formula for determining amounts of tribute that realize the gain (because surely a universal 100% would not)  [...]

With the "Parents Tax" theory it would be based on contract law and polycentric arbitration, which would eventually lead to reasonable standards for determining specific percentages.  I think 20% total would be reasonable.

With the "Childless Tax" theory it would be based on supply and demand - the competitive cost of paying someone else to have and raise an extra child to pull your demographic weight for you.  This can be commoditized in a number of ways, including by donating assets (money or even your time) to a poor family you know, an orphanage, etc (see other thread).


[...] you have also failed to demonstrate how convince me personally that the increase in productivity would be worth the decrease in liberty.

Like I've said, some people would say the very same thing about private property, which they see as a decrease in their liberty.  Evolutionary pragmatism is the only system of epistemology that makes rational sense.


I recognize no need for anyone to pull their own weight, either economic or demographic.  Failure to produce economically forces one to dependence, thievery, or death, but two of those are viable (if undignified) options and the third eventually reduces to them.

There is no need to pull one's demographic weight either.

Under an Anarcho-Capitalist system failure to do that would result in ostracism.  Once this idea becomes widespread, most people age 40 to 140 will be very much interested in its proliferation.  ;)

Under a Minarchist system failure to do that would also result in measures instituted through government force, enforced in a way that's similar to the way income tax is enforced today.


Failure to produce demographically incurs no personal losses that I can identify, unless you or some other external agent interferes.

And I'm arguing why external agents should interfere.
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gibson042

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2009, 10:05:46 PM »

A government income tax can be called "partial slavery" (even though one may survive without making an income), because the government has no legitimate claim to any of your money.  Alice's parents -- who created her -- do.

Saying "we'll all be better off if Alice recognizes an obligation to pay her parents in perpetuity" does not make the claim legitimate.

Quote
People have a right to enter into a contract where they owe someone X% of their income.  Helpless fetii / babies cannot make that contract consciously, but there is such a thing as "implied consent" for issues of life and death.

I cannot find this anything other than repugnant.  If I push a man out of harms way, not only does he not have a responsibility to compensate me, but he could (if he were exceptionally rude and ungrateful) insist that I cover the expense of treating injuries caused by my push.  There is no contract without explicit voluntary consent, and no obligation without contract or infringement.

Quote
Yes, it's called empiricism (i.e. the scientific method), and the only first principle that can apply to politics is "evolutionary pragmatism": the social ruleset that produces the greatest total economic benefit is the most ethical.

No, the most ethical social ruleset is one recognizing first that individuals have complete ownership of their own bodies (as their sole inhabitants); second—and more generally—that ownership of particular use of resources goes to the latest descendant in title from whomever originally homesteaded them out of a natural state (everyone else being latecomers).  All other systems arbitrarily award ownership to those with no special claim of it... yours, for instance, to parents rather than all ancestors (or even "society at large").

Quote
We do have sufficient evidence that low fertility rates lower societal productivity - you can't be productive if you're not born.

You stop short of claiming that everyone should breed to the greatest extent possible, yet insist that they are not qualified to decide on their own an optimal number of offspring.  And although all else being equal, larger populations are more productive, that very important condition is not true here.  It is entirely possible that some people could better increase society's productive potential by spreading ideas farther or charitably directing resources towards others for optimal use, but your "parent tax" changes their incentives sufficiently to effect the suboptimal decision of raising a family.

At any rate, I think we both understand each other just about perfectly.  This seems to be the point where we agree to disagree.  I leave you with one final sentiment:

Quote
With the "Parents Tax" theory it would be based on contract law and polycentric arbitration, which would eventually lead to reasonable standards for determining specific percentages.  I think 20% total would be reasonable.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.
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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2009, 11:29:26 PM »

Saying "we'll all be better off if Alice recognizes an obligation to pay her parents in perpetuity" does not make the claim legitimate.

Yes, it does - evolutionary pragmatism.  The social ruleset that produces the greatest economic growth is the most desirable.  That is the basis of all natural rights.


I cannot find this anything other than repugnant.

You are still just expressing your subjective opinion.  How are parents' rights different from property rights?  Children have a natural rights to life and to emancipation, but the latter need not be a matter of absolutes.  Full self-ownership ignores the fact that you didn't create yourself - your parents did.


If I push a man out of harms way, not only does he not have a responsibility to compensate me, but he could (if he were exceptionally rude and ungrateful) insist that I cover the expense of treating injuries caused by my push.  There is no contract without explicit voluntary consent, and no obligation without contract or infringement.

That's because you didn't create that man's life, you've merely provided a service, and the value of your service cannot be assumed.  And if I was on a jury trying to establish your reward or liability for pushing that man, I'd vote $0.

The value of creating your life is objective, based on the self-evident fact that you didn't choose to kill yourself thus-far, and that wealth is being created as a consequence of your actions, which in turn is a consequence of your parents' actions.


No, the most ethical social ruleset is one recognizing first that individuals have complete ownership of their own bodies (as their sole inhabitants); second—and more generally—that ownership of particular use of resources goes to the latest descendant in title from whomever originally homesteaded them out of a natural state (everyone else being latecomers).

That is your subjective opinion.  How do you empirically prove that it is more valid than the opinion of some socialist who doesn't recognize your property rights, and might even have the public opinion on his side?


All other systems arbitrarily award ownership to those with no special claim of it... yours, for instance, to parents rather than all ancestors (or even "society at large").

All of your ancestors or "society at large" didn't make the decision to create you, only your mother did, and hopefully your father had some sort of a contract with her that ensured his rights as well.  Your parents owed their existence to your grandparents, but you don't, with implicit parents' rights only traveling one link in the chain.


You stop short of claiming that everyone should breed to the greatest extent possible, yet insist that they are not qualified to decide on their own an optimal number of offspring.

Breeding "to the greatest extent possible" would be a disaster too, but one that we don't have to worry about, because the free market capitalist system would naturally raise the price of resources as they're becoming scarce, thus putting a limit on how many children people would choose to have.  On the other hand, there's no currently-recognized free market mechanism for preventing birth rates that are too low to prevent economic collapse - in absence of the natural solutions I'm hereby advocating.

I am not advocating dictating how many children people ought to have, I am advocating people pulling their demographic weight, just as the free-market capitalist system doesn't dictate how much you work or spend, just that you pull your economic weight (i.e. pay for what you buy).  Furthermore, pulling one's demographic weight doesn't necessarily mean everyone having at least 2.1 kids, because that obligation can be transferred to others (Childless Tax) or merely incentivized through greater recognition of parents' rights (Parents Tax).


And although all else being equal, larger populations are more productive, that very important condition is not true here.  It is entirely possible that some people could better increase society's productive potential by spreading ideas farther or charitably directing resources towards others for optimal use, but your "parent tax" changes their incentives sufficiently to effect the suboptimal decision of raising a family.

It's all true, but having a sustainable (or at least slow-shrinking) population is a prerequisite for all other economic concerns.  People are still failing to understand just how low voluntary fertility rates can fall, and how economically devastating a rapidly shrinking and aging population would be, triggering a negative feedback cycle of societal collapse (see other thread).  You really need to think about this, hard.


Be the change you wish to see in the world.

I may be a hypocrite on this particular issue, but that doesn't make my ideas wrong.
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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2009, 12:04:28 AM »

Sperm counts are dropping rapidly amongst the male population.Pretty soon humans will be physically unable to procreate.Then the argument will be mute.The only way there will ever be no state is when there are no humans ....so be it.
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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2009, 12:34:43 AM »

Sperm - who needs it? 

(But let's keep this thread on topic, please.)
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gibson042

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2009, 12:41:47 AM »

Apparently we do not fully understand each other.  Hopefully this will clear things up.

How are parents' rights different from property rights?

Property ceases to be property upon assertion of self-ownership.

Quote
That's because you didn't create that man's life, you've merely provided a service, and the value of your service cannot be assumed.

My parents did not create the life I now experience, they created a nascent human that is now long gone and then unilaterally provided the service of allowing it to develop into an independent entity.  The value of that service cannot be assumed, nor an obligation for compensation enforced.

Quote
That is your subjective opinion.  How do you empirically prove that it is more valid than the opinion of some socialist who doesn't recognize your property rights, and might even have the public opinion on his side?

I empirically prove complete self-ownership by the trivial ease with with a body's inhabitant can control it, which can only be approximated by a non-inhabitant (and crudely at that) through overwhelming force.  I prove ownership of property as deriving from homesteading through pure reason; no other system can be internally consistent because any ownership assignment to a latecomer could be immediately replaced in favor of still another latecomer.  And since ownership is just control of excludable ("scarce") resources, it is not possible to deny the concept without self-contradiction.

Quote
All of your ancestors or "society at large" didn't make the decision to create you, only your mother did, and hopefully your father had some sort of a contract with her that ensured his rights as well.  Your parents owed their existence to your grandparents, but you don't, with implicit parents' rights only traveling one link in the chain.

That is your subjective opinion.  And also a frightening biological pyramid scheme.

Quote
On the other hand, there's no currently-recognized free market mechanism for preventing birth rates that are too low to prevent economic collapse - in absence of the natural solutions I'm hereby advocating.

Other than the pro-breeding phase change that any society approaching that state would inevitably experience.  Which doesn't require taxing anyone's existence.

Quote
It's all true, but having a sustainable (or at least slow-shrinking) population is a prerequisite for all other economic concerns.  People are still failing to understand just how low voluntary fertility rates can fall, and how economically devastating a rapidly shrinking and aging population would be, triggering a negative feedback cycle of societal collapse (see other thread).  You really need to think about this, hard.

I have.  And I see the long time frames of child rearing and aging providing a sufficient buffer (that scales with technology, probably explaining the birth-rate decline on its own) for built-in correction mechanisms to work.
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Diogenes The Cynic

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2009, 01:02:25 AM »

Why don't we just start a Brave New World?

Its not as fun to make test tube babies.
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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2009, 01:29:54 AM »

Why don't we just start a Brave New World?

Its not as fun to make test tube babies.
Hey they got to have just as much fun, just without the remorse.
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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2009, 02:20:19 AM »

Property ceases to be property upon assertion of self-ownership.

Yes, and any agreements or memberships that your parents might have entered you into (ex. religious commitments, child marriage, etc) become null and void unless confirmed, etc.  But, in spite of your emancipation, your identity doesn't change, and your demographic debt is a part of that identity.

Furthermore, unlimited self-ownership without consideration of the circumstances of one's creation would also have far-reaching implications in the field of Artificial Intelligence, but that's a topic for another thread.


My parents did not create the life I now experience, they created a nascent human that is now long gone and then unilaterally provided the service of allowing it to develop into an independent entity.  The value of that service cannot be assumed, nor an obligation for compensation enforced.

Yes, but they nonetheless made your existence possible.  That does have value.


I empirically prove complete self-ownership by the trivial ease with with a body's inhabitant can control it, which can only be approximated by a non-inhabitant (and crudely at that) through overwhelming force.

A powerful gang of thugs may be able to steal your property with "trivial ease".  Might does not make right.


I prove ownership of property as deriving from homesteading through pure reason; no other system can be internally consistent because any ownership assignment to a latecomer could be immediately replaced in favor of still another latecomer.  And since ownership is just control of excludable ("scarce") resources, it is not possible to deny the concept without self-contradiction.

Yes, but you still have to pull your demographic weight.


That is your subjective opinion.  And also a frightening biological pyramid scheme.

It's not a pyramid scheme because rights only go down one level, and this system only recognizes the reality that already exists in nature - parents must be incentivized to produce offspring.


Other than the pro-breeding phase change that any society approaching that state would inevitably experience.  Which doesn't require taxing anyone's existence.

That is speculative.  It isn't happening in Russia or Japan.  And turning around a society that is experiencing a demographic collapse is extremely difficult due to the shortage of people of reproductive age and their already-overstretched work schedule, and for other reasons as well.  Furthermore, you have the "free rider" problem - everyone agrees in principle that people ought to be having more kids, just not them.


I have.  And I see the long time frames of child rearing and aging providing a sufficient buffer (that scales with technology, probably explaining the birth-rate decline on its own) for built-in correction mechanisms to work.

If you're not panicking, then your math is wrong.
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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2009, 05:02:21 AM »

Why don't we just start a Brave New World?

Its not as fun to make test tube babies.
Hey they got to have just as much fun, just without the remorse.

This thread makes me think of how many children I will probably have.

I thought I could handle six or seven, but a girl I recently dated wanted more.
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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2009, 06:16:16 AM »

Why don't we just start a Brave New World?

Its not as fun to make test tube babies.
Hey they got to have just as much fun, just without the remorse.

This thread makes me think of how many children I will probably have.

I thought I could handle six or seven, but a girl I recently dated wanted more.
I plan on at least four.  Of course I have 3 siblings, so that makes sense.
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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2009, 08:03:48 AM »

My parents did not create the life I now experience, they created a nascent human that is now long gone and then unilaterally provided the service of allowing it to develop into an independent entity.  The value of that service cannot be assumed, nor an obligation for compensation enforced.

Yes, but they nonetheless made your existence possible.  That does have value.

Great! Thanks for finally conceding my main point.

Quote
A powerful gang of thugs may be able to steal your property with "trivial ease".  Might does not make right.

  • A gang may not steal my property without the non-trivial amount of force required to do so. Which is precisely what is meant by calling them "powerful".
  • I thought you were an empiricist.  If you want a principled argument for complete self-ownership, I would point to the impossibility of a consistent original assignment of any fraction of a body to anyone other than its inhabitant, because any claim by one non-inhabitant would have no defense against a conflicting claim by a different non-inhabitant.
  • And since we're talking about empiricism again, on what basis did you determine that it was the best method of determining social rules? I guarantee that judgment was not made empirically.
  • You seem to have accepted my argument for property ownership derived from homesteading. Thanks, and please note that it also defends complete self-ownership when applied to bodies.

Quote
Yes, but you still have to pull your demographic weight.

There is no need to pull one's demographic weight either.

Which is it?

Quote
It's not a pyramid scheme because rights only go down one level, and this system only recognizes the reality that already exists in nature - parents must be incentivized to produce offspring.

Those are two of the most asinine statements I've ever encountered. If parents required extra incentives to produce offspring, none of us would be here. And I'll leave the preceding claim to fall on its own.
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Alex Libman 15

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Re: Parents Tax
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2009, 12:58:15 PM »

This thread makes me think of how many children I will probably have.

I thought I could handle six or seven, but a girl I recently dated wanted more.
I plan on at least four.  Of course I have 3 siblings, so that makes sense.

Nice to know at least the Jews get it.  That's 0.013 billion people we don't have to worry about.  :roll:


Great! Thanks for finally conceding my main point.

I concede nothing.  Shuddup and pay your Childless / Parents Tax, or else.  ;)


(Don't have the time right now to debunk any more appeals to blind faith in the supposed self-ownership axiom, which in reality isn't an axiom but a construct based on evolutionary pragmatism, as is the moral imperative to provide incentives for people to pull their economic weight, that is private property, and as is the moral imperative to provide incentives for people to pull their demographic weight, like this "tax".)


Which is it?

That depends on what the meaning of "need" is.  (Clinton'd)


(See, and I thought I was going to waste half an hour catching up with this thread.  Now I have time to eat lunch!)



Oh, and here's something to finish off the page:


« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 02:26:02 AM by Alex Libman »
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