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In light of the recent news about how Mr. Eduardo Saverin, one of the founders of Facebook, renounced his US Citizenship to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the sale of his Facebook stake.

Mr. Saverin has 4% stake in Facebook making his stake worth about 4 Billion.

Great Article by +Farhad Manjoo
Details: http://pandodaily.com/2012/05/12/what-eduardo-saverin-owes-america-hint-nearly-everything/

Thanks to +Mike Elgan and +Dan Gillmor for a lively discussion and to +Andi Drew for sparking the thought in my head for this petition.

Also, h/t +Wayne Radinsky for bringing this to my attention (stream).

via +Christian Reyes Here is how it works right now. http://renunciationguide.com/Residents-Non-Resident-Citizens-and-Non-Citizens.html

More info via +Douglas Simpson : Renouncing US citizens used to have to pay capital gains for ten years before it was changed.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p519/ch04.html#en_US_publink1000222368

So it appears we are about to witness a mass Exodus of all Billionaires to Singapore, Cayman, etc. Repeal it. Unbelievable!
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John Rakestraw's profile photoPhilip Thrift's profile photoJason Falter's profile photoNoel Yap's profile photo
129 comments
 
Maybe he should join Amway and buy an island.
 
In Singapore you have to obey the law. On Amway Island you are the law.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , can you explain how he is the one doing the stealing? If it's not his money, how did he come to having it in the first place?
 
The stealing is done by the US government. He is only safe guarding his earnings. The government did not earn, risk, or put anything into making that money.
 
+Jason Falter , I completely agree. And if the bet went the wrong way, as it does for countless numbers of investors, society thinks nothing of it. Most importantly, society thinks it doesn't owe them anything for risking their money the way it thinks they owe society if the bet pays off.
 
+Noel Yap It's like early retirement for women so if you're the right age but unfortunately male, you declare yourself female to get the social benefit. It's social cheating. Not illegal at all.

The more normal way to do this would be to create multiple trusts in other countries that have shares of ownership and when a sale goes through, a trust takes the money and you go there to spend it. I suspect there are banks that will do it for you for a fee - probably in the Cayman Islands or some such place.
 
Society encourages the punishment of success through government thievery. Like I've been saying for awhile now... those that crave "government services" are the real greedy ones.
 
+Bob Calder , social cheating? Saverin doesn't know me at all. Why should he owe me anything?

And if social cheating isn't acceptable, why should that moral end at national borders? Heck, the entire US population is in the top 5% globally. Shouldn't that mean much of the rest of the world ought to be able to take from everyone in the US?
 
WOW!!! Social cheating? Really?
Dude, are you that greedy that you call it that?
Saverin is an individual and he not beholden to any one. No one is beholden to any one or group.
If that is the sentiment from people then the successful should just pack up and leave. Why be harassed for "social cheating".
Who sets those amounts? The "fair government"?
This is really sad.
 
+Jason Falter , I recently witnessed a child that exclaimed, "She's not sharing!" each time he wanted a toy another was using (regardless how long the other has been playing with the toy). "Social cheating" sounds similar to me.
 
People who demand "free services" by using the guns of government to rob the successful of their not only money but success itself are the people that are green with envy and greed.
Unfortunately over half the population has learned that they can vote in people that offer free services and thereby drain the treasury leading greedy politicians to work on behalf of the greedy parasites to steal and rob from those who have become successful in order to maintain that cycle.
 
+Bob Calder , you sound pretty religious in your beliefs. Logic and rationality don't have any effect on them.
 
A question for the parents out there: Do you teach your children to take from others especially if the other person has more (and keep in mind that anyone who has anything the child wants has more than that child)? Why or why not?
 
"Will prevent Eduardo Saverin's of the world from paying their due share in taxes."

should be

"Will prevent Eduardo Saverin's of the world from not paying their due share in taxes."
 
+Noel Yap There is some very good research on that. Maybe if you have to find it and read it yourself you will believe it. Anecdote isn't data.
 
+Bob Calder , research on what? Why it's OK for adults to take from others, but not OK for children to do so?
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , if you and I were friends or were in some other type of relationship and I kept mooching off of you and taking things from you, do you think the long term effect would be to strengthen that relationship? Or do you think at some point you would somehow end that relationship?
 
The people of the United States, in the form of our government, have provided generations of legal framework and protection for the establishment of enterprises, and also established substantial precident for taxation of gains on enterprises. What? Facebook doesn't appear in a vacuum of lawlessness? Imagine that!
 
+John Dempsey , the US owes a lot to Europe and Asia so they ought to be able to take from us. The world owes a lot to Google so Google ought to be allowed to take from others. Yes?
 
We all hold a debt to Linus Torvalds, but I don't send a check. Most nations you've mentioned are current in accounts. Greece is one exception, and yes, they're being taken.
 
+John Dempsey , so you make the decision whether or not Torvalds gets any of your money, not the person who has contributed to you? Your rationale supporting government taking money, if applied consistently would justify Torvalds taking your money.

'Debt' to society can never really be repaid because society keeps forcing gifts upon people. For example, if I gave some idea away, how much would society owe me? Who gets to set that price? The contributor our the receiver?

When it comes to Torvalds and yourself, you seem to think it ought to be the receiver. But when it comes to Facebook and government, you seem to think it ought to be the giver. Why the inconsistency?

Also, according to your rationale, my parents owe a lot to their homeland (actually, to other family members) and, transitively, the US owes a lot to those who have helped out my parents as well.

Oh, and IIRC, 25% of entrepreneurs (or was it CEOs or executives) are immigrants so the US still owes a lot to Europe and Asia. For example, Sergey Brin immigrated from Russia.
 
This is basically a loophole in the tax code that needs to be closed. Now if we decide to completely get rid of the dividends and cap gains tax, that is a different story. For now since we have cap gains, this loophole needs to go. He can renounce his citizenship. Just needs to wait 10 years before his cap gains tax obligations in the US go away.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , hmm, so if a robber said he would take 35% of someone's earnings then took only 25%, the robber is entitled to take the addition 10% because of some mistake in the rules laid out by the robber?

BTW, IIRC, those relinquishing their citizenship used to have to pay taxes for another 10 years. That rule was explicitly eliminated. But now you want to bring it back, or have it apply to other portions of someone's earnings. Why? Why do you want to take someone else's money? Do you think those magnitudes poorer than Americans ought to be able to vote to take Americans' money?
 
Bingo! It used to be so before? Really? +Douglas Simpson did you know? I did not. Was it Reagan or Bush or Nixon who got rid of it?
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , IIRC it was very recently removed so it would either be W or Obama who did it.

So, you agree that a robber is entitled to demand 35% of your earnings? Do you teach your children that it's OK to take from others? How about answering my other questions?
 
The discussion here is about closing tax loopholes. It was not enough that W lowered the cap gains to 15 but also gave a backdoor to zero. Now +Jason Falter 's fair tax code of 23% national sales tax to replace all tax is a different argument. Right now, the thieves are those that are given these back door loopholes to zero rates. This is not the only loophole. There are several more.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , why is that necessarily the discussion? Why shouldn't the discussion be about decreasing everyone's taxes to zero?

You bring up a good point, though. Those that are most influential to government are going to be the ones who will be best able to wield its force.

Let's say you get what you want, close the loopholes, and the government gets more money. Who do you think will get that money? Most likely it'll be the Military Industrial Complex (to wage more wars and kill more people), corporations (so they can get bailed out or patent IP and sue the small guys), unions (so they can keep prices artificially high by eliminating competition), etc.
 
Like I said, different topic. Cut spending, reduce tax rates, tax consumption, encourage savings. 1 Trillion on defense every 18months more than all other countries combined is ludicurous. Supercommitte failure was supposed to cut defense.
 
In 2008 by W. So it appears we are about to witness a mass Exodus of all Billionaires to Singapore, Cayman, etc. Repeal it. Unbelievable! The masses appear to be busy with the cat gifs in the hot stream and Avengers. Suits them well I suppose.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , think about what you're saying for a moment. Let's say these people are the ones taking from society. Why, then, would society have to put up laws in order to make it more difficult for them to stay? If they were, in fact, taking from society, wouldn't they want to stay? OTOH, if society were the ones taking from them, wouldn't society itself erect barriers to leaving, to disintegrating the relationship?
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , the way to cut defense is to stop government from taking our money. Once government takes our money, they are the ones to decide how it is spent. And, like I said earlier, the ones who are most influential to government are the ones who will receive that money.
 
How about the gold standard? Should we go back to the gold standard?
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , and how will those bonds be paid off? I suppose they could sell even more bonds. At some point, though, reality will catch up. The ones holding the hot potato will be the primary banks (who are required to purchase a certain amount per auction). Then another round of bailouts will have to be decided.
 
+Bob Calder , I would rather have competition in currency. Let the market decide what it wants.
 
+Bob Calder no one is on the gold standard anymore. Not feasible. US treasury bills are a close proxy.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , that's what allows government via inflation to take wealth from the poor and transfer it to the rich.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , everyone ought to get zero tax.

You're saying that the solution to the problems caused by government is to have more government. That doesn't make much sense to me.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , can you explain how that makes sense to you especially given that those most influential to government will be the ones most benefited at the expense of those less influential?
 
They already have zero tax because of all the loopholes. As you pointed out, the inflation (created by the Fed) benefits those that own assets (the rich) over those that are on fixed income (the poor). So we need to close the loopholes and those that benefit disproportionally need to pay more. Buffett rule. Progressive taxation.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , how will that benefit the poor? It sounds like you just want to hurt the rich.
 
Loosey-goosy insanity marching around like it makes sense. But if all taxation is theft, then by gosh, this taxation is theft. And Socrates is a man!
 
+Steven Sudit , is it OK to take from some in order to lessen suffering? If you could take from some to end generational poverty, would you do it?
 
+John Dempsey , what doesn't make sense to you? What do we teach our children? That taking is OK? Are we teaching incorrect morals to our children? Or are we simply not following correct morals?
 
You've got so many shifting meanings for debt. Torvalds, for example, contributed something to the world free-of-charge. I mentioned him to illustrate how we owe debts of many kinds to contributors. Most notably, the debt we hold to philosophers comes to my mind. But if you give something away, society doesn't owe you anything. I thought it was pretty clear what I meant. I was terse but being verbose won't help.

So... you fashion up some kind of stunning critique... comparing Torvalds:me to Facebook:government. Torvalds pays tax on income from his job with his employer. Facebook seeks profit and pays tax on gain. So they both pay tax on their income. Aside from seeing them in very different positions, I don't see the chasm you're gaping at. I owe Torvalds philosophically, not in a dollar sum. I don't owe Facebook philosophically, but their advertisers owe them in dollar sums. Is this comparason really fruitful to you? Seems bonkers to me.

The fact you don't think taxation is legitimate is probably the most interesting chasm between us, yet it's a boring chasm to me. It makes me weep for the internet that this is the debate available to me here today. But crazies and buffoons love to debate on the internet and will hustle hard to do it. So maybe I'm one of those.
 
+John Dempsey , people can't read minds so elaborating as you just did does help. If I had simply said, "Taxation is theft," you would likely just have dismissed my comment. But since I gave examples, we're now having a conversation and digging deeper.

Government gives things away so in that way it's very similar to Torvalds. I agree that there isn't that much difference, but you seem to think government is justified to take money from people because of its contributions. Why is that?

Why do you think that taxation is OK? Either you think that taking from others is OK or that it's OK only for government to do. Why is that?

If it's not OK for Facebook and Google to take money for its free services because they make a profit, why shouldn't government make a profit, too, so that it no longer needs to take money from people?

I don't understand what you mean by 'weeping for the Internet'. Can you elaborate? Do you mean that without taxation, the Internet wouldn't exist? If so, it likely wouldn't exist in the way we have it today, but considering what companies like AOL and Prodigy were doing, we would still be connected in some way. Also consider that the development of the Internet was through military funding, that its creation meant the death of thousands, if not millions, of people. IMO, if you're going to weep, you should be weeping for the families of those people, but perhaps you care more about being able to have these kinds of conversations than you do about people thousands of miles away.

If you don't like these kinds of conversations, don't participate. G+ allows you to block those like me who try to present topics that you don't like. Blocking for this reason, though, would likely limit your exposure to information that challenges your current knowledge and will lead to a more closed world view.
 
Government and Torvalds give in exceptionally different ways. Some, though not all value provided by government, is similar to value provided by Torvalds (in the specific form of Linux). How is funding a war the same as contributing an O.S. for free use? What a whopper to toss in without any substantiation.

Taxation is ok because it is the orderly and democraticly determined taking of funds to perform governance functions as (again) determined democraticly.

Facebook and Google are more than welcome to charge for their services, and charge for many.

The government, almost by definition, is not a profitable business, and could not be.

Actually it's also true that the Internet would not exist without taxation and government infrastructure, nor are AOL or Prodigy suggestive to me that a TCP/IP stack would just appear from private efforts. Open standards were just about as far from these enterprises as I can imagine. As for equating military funding with the death of millions, i don't think that's representative of either DARPA or the military, nor does the position represent a fatal appraisal of military-by-democracy. Suggesting I don't care about victims of violence is, I'm learning, all part of your style.

You have not exposed me to new knowledge and I've argued with manifestations of you since I realized unlimited supplies of buffoonery debates are provided by the internet free, over 20 years ago. What makes you think you've exposed me to additional information about the world we share?
 
+John Dempsey , you claim it's OK for government to take our money. Once government takes our money, it decides how it is used, including to fund wars.

If a government democratically voted to sterilize those in generational poverty, would that be OK? If not, why then is it OK when a government democratically votes to take money away from people?

Are you saying Facebook and Google are welcome to take away money from people even if the people don't want to fund them?

Like I said, the Internet wouldn't be the same today -- most likely TCP/IP wouldn't exist in the way that it does. But connection would exist. Who cares how it's done? (BTW, you might want to take a look at openflow.org -- Google has actually gone beneath the TCP/IP stack in order to gain better throughput in data transfers). When you claim that such connection wouldn't exist if it weren't for government, you might as well claim that toilet paper and food wouldn't have existed in the USSR when its government was responsible for those goods.

If you care about the victims, you should promote not funding such wars. Again, if you promote government taking our money, you, even though indirectly, promote such funding because government is the one deciding how that money is used (and those most influential to the government (eg the Military Industrial Complex) affects those decisions more than you do).

You close your mind to new knowledge (eg not even considering the wrongness of taxation). If you are really open, how about answering my questions (including those I've asked of Shaker)? If government has actually been the one giving and the Saverins of the world the ones taking, why is it that people want to make it more difficult for the Saverins of the world to end the relationship? Doesn't it make more sense that those benefiting more from the relationship would raise the barriers to end that relationship?

In the end, the only reason one can justify taxation is when one realizes one gets more from others, through force, than one would get through voluntary transactions. It is not mutual benefit one seeks, it is one-sided benefit. If one doesn't believe that, one ought to promote voluntary funding of projects such that only those who want those projects funded would fund them with their own money. One who likes taxation will quickly object claiming that the projects they like will become underfunded completely ignoring the desires of the true owners of that money and how they would rather use it. That is true greed, the greed of wanting to take from others, not of wanting to decide how one's own money is used.
 
+John Dempsey , in addition to my questions, there're a bunch of points you haven't addressed (eg debt to Europe and Asia in terms of contributions by immigrants).

Oh, and WRT meanings of 'debt', I'm not the one who introduced the concept 'debt to society' into the conversation.
 
+Steven Sudit , define plausible. Do we teach our children to take from others? Or do we teach them not to take from others even if the would-be victims have more than they do?

If someone kept taking from you, is it more likely that they would be the ones to try to end the relationship or for you to try to end the relationship? Would they be the one trying to increase the barriers to end the relationship or would you be the one trying to do that?

I'm asking questions to try to establish what your thinking is on these topics. If we find common ground, that's great.

I just noticed you had answered one of my questions and I missed it. Sorry about that. So, you would be for taking away reproductive rights from those in generational poverty in order to end it?

And you would be for taking away from every single American, including the poorest, in order to decrease the suffering in the rest of the world? Note that likely we would end up with no computers if this were done. Note also that this was done in Zimbabwe.
 
Yes, we teach our children to take from others. At yesterday's mom bbq, I enforced socialistic policies on my child. (I insisted she offer a candy to her cousin.) I did not inquire as to whether the child already had candy, however. Finally, what is the matter you've described in Zimbabwe? And was this written by bot?
 
+John Dempsey , it sounds like you're confused with 'take' versus 'give'. I didn't ask about sharing. I asked about taking. Did you or any other parents encourage the cousin to take, without permission, the candy from your child? What would you or the other parents have done if the cousin actually tried to take the candy?

FWIW, I, too, encourage my child to share (one is still too young). I also teach him it's the owner's decision whether or not to share (ie not to take when another is not sharing) and when to share and teach him the consequences if he doesn't share. I don't know if you saw my post about witnessing recently a child who exclaimed his sister wasn't sharing whenever he wanted to play with a toy she was currently using. How do you think that analogy applies to Saverin, his money, and the petition to take that money?

Land was taken from landowners and given to the people in Zimbabwe.

No, I am not a bot.

How about (really) answering my questions and addressing my points?
 
We'd defend decorum, and even endanger the whole edifice of meriting candy at all, should the hoodlem catch to snatching. I've seen many land redistributions and they're perilous with rare success, notably Nicaragua. How about (jerk!)

But the government takes. Because the government gives. It is an often-imperfect necessity of modern living which gives and takes on my behalf and with my money. While I often disagree with my government, I accept its legitimacy to levy taxes. On occasion when those taxes onerously harmed me, i have sought and found redress. I hate wars and bad leadership, but I accept my role as a citizen of my country.
 
+John Dempsey , there've been situations of land taken in the US. Most notably:
* when highways were built cutting across sections of the Bronx and destroying local economies.
* national parks in which indigenous people were killed so we can enjoy the landscape without them

Yes, the government gives, but that doesn't justify taking. I've already provided the examples of Facebook and Google. You said that's OK because they make money some other way. Doesn't that mean that government ought to find other means to make money? Or if, for whatever reason, FB, Google, and any other business stop making a profit, they ought to start taking money from people they claim they benefit? How about, instead, people decide how much government, FB, Google, etc benefit them and decide for themselves how much to give just like in any other voluntary transaction that creates wealth for both parties?

Also, as government gives to us, it takes lives from others. Again, if people voluntarily funded those projects they want, there'd be fewer and smaller wars.

Why do you accept the legitimacy of the government to take money and believe that it's wrong for any other entity took without permission? What's so special about government?

What redress do those killed in our bombing have? They certainly can't vote.

Why is your role as a citizen of your country special? Aren't we all human beings? Why prop up some artificial barrier to define 'us' versus 'them'?
 
+Steven Sudit , what's the difference between taking and theft (since you know more than I)?

What's a zero-sum fantasy? If you're talking about wealth generation, it's not zero sum. Wealth is related to happiness (the two words share the same etymology). When people enter into voluntary transactions, they aim to increase their wealth/happiness. If this weren't so, one or both of the parties wouldn't enter into the transaction. This means that if the transaction happens, it's more likely that both parties end up in a better situation than they were before the transaction than if one or both of the parties were forced into the transaction.

Again, define what you mean by 'plausible'? You haven't answered my questions so I don't see how you can claim I've said nothing plausible.
 
Justification of government action only arises from the important and legitimate task of codifying human rights and good civil living. The government provides so many necessities of commercial prosperity as to fairly be a partner to advanced capitalism. Government is, indeed, a special party. And their legitimacy flows from, well, their legitimacy in your eyes and my own. Even as yes, they possess unusual powers to curtail our surplus production, even our very lives! What makes them this way? History is a huge part of the answer.

This discussion is about a guy who denounced his citizenship. Apparently we aren't all simply human beings, but human beings on a single planet that is divided into nations. While an artificially constructed entity, our citizenship has a rather enormous impact on us as human beings, for some of the reasons we've discussed today.
 
Government can coerce entrance into the transaction. That's the singular reason it's so incredibly dangerous.
 
+John Dempsey , you assert that government is special but don't explain why it ought to be special.

If I don't think government is legitimate and defend my money from being taken by government, what do you suppose will happen?

Slavery was a huge part of history. That doesn't make it OK.

No, this discussion is about taking money from a guy who denounced his citizenship (presumably so he can avoid more money from being taken). Yes, today we have citizenship, but why should we simply accept things as they are and not work towards something better? Isn't that how the US was founded in the first place, by people who wanted to work towards something better?
 
+John Dempsey , yes, government is dangerous in that it can coerce participation in a transaction. It's also the lure that attract people to want government, in the hopes that they may use it to coerce others. Government's granted monopoly on the use of force and coercion lowers the barrier to use those things. And in practice, those who are most influential to government are the ones most able to wield them and benefit most from them at the expense of those less influential. Are you and +Steven Sudit in the more influential camp or the less influential camp?
 
Since the first caved in skull by a repeat offender, coercive power is necessary. It is necessary to codify and protect and necessary functions of government, which include coercive power, in a way that ensures opportunity, liberty, and justice for citizens, so that we may form a more perfect union. Yep, it's all there.
 
+John Dempsey , humanity is much less violent today than it was a millennium or even centuries ago. We certainly still have some way to go, but that's no reason to believe that government will always be needed. I actually think it's contradictory to think that government, comprised of people, can be trusted not to abuse its power and, even if the people in it can be trusted, those influencing government cannot.

IOW, we as a species need to mature more so that we can live peacefully among each other without (thinking) we need government in order to do so. And as we mature and are able to control our more primitive instincts (eg to take from others), we need government less. But take a look at this discussion that was inspired by wanting to take from another. If government weren't there, would +Shaker Cherukuri use his own resources to try to take that money? Only he can answer that, but my guess is that he wouldn't. But since he's allowed to try to influence government to use force to take that money, he does so. If a child knows they can get parents to take from others, what do you suppose the child will do?
 
I think it's great the day government is not needed. Fine with me.
 
+John Dempsey , awesome, we agree on something, a goal, perhaps. How shall we work towards that goal? Can we do so by granting government more and more power? Can we work towards the goal while using its power at the expense of some? If we do this, we'll have to accept that others will be doing the same at our expense and everyone loses in the end (except perhaps those most influential to government).
 
+Steven Sudit , if a child's calculator is taken away during an arithmetic test:
* the calculator is eventually returned to the child
* the child is punished for cheating
* something's wrong with the school in that it needs to have tests for children to know whether or not they are learning. Do you routinely give (written) tests to your children in order to know whether or not they're learning?
* assuming parents have a choice, they can move their child to a different school which doesn't take property away.

Adult libertarians don't try to get the benefits of government. Those 'benefits' are handed to everyone regardless whether they're wanted or not (in this way, Monsanto suing small farmers after the former 'gave' the latter the 'benefits' of patented DNA of the former's GMO crops is a good analogy). The free market, too, provides benefits to everyone regardless whether they are wanted or not (eg lower prices). The difference is that the free market doesn't demand payment.

Let's address the 'free rider' situation. Again, Saverin wants to end the relationship with the US. If he were the one getting a free ride, why is it then everyone else that's complaining that he's leaving?

The fact is that everyone, in one way or another, is a free rider of some sort (eg free markets tend to drive prices lower and everyone benefits with greater purchasing power). IOW, it's really not a problem.

How would a libertarian handle taxation? Those that want to pay for services can pay for them. Those that don't want to pay for services don't have to pay for them. No theft is necessary. Oh, you haven't actually explained the difference between taking and theft since your scenario above isn't applicable (ie those whose money is taken don't get that money back).

You also haven't answered a bunch of other questions I've asked. Since you said it's OK to take from people in order to end generational poverty, you should be OK with taking away reproductive rights from those in generational poverty, right? And you should also be OK with taking from every single American, including the poorest, in order to support much of the rest of the world, right?
 
We had the same thing here in the USA from one State to the other State... in the 1980's and 1990's many people made a killing with their home buying in California, they bought low in the 1970's and sold high in the 1980's. Many moved up to Washington State where they could get the same kind of house and lifestyle for pennies! If you could sell for $800,000 and buy the same for $300,000 and have $500,000 left over... well that's business! It killed California in the 2000's though. We all looked the other way when big business moved their money over sea, yet we call this guy (rightly so!) morally reprehensible and a parasite! I'm just wondering what we have to do as a country to keep investors here and not jumping ship. We need to make the USA a great place to bank and hold your assists. We need to become the next Swiss banks and Cayman Islands.
 
+John Rakestraw , the way to keep investors here is not to take their money.

The Swiss and Cayman protect their clientele's privacy. That won't happen in the US while the Patriot Act is around.
 
+Steven Sudit , can you give a better example in which property rights ought to be balanced with other things? What other things?

Why does taxation not fall under the category of taking property away? Whose money is it in the first place?

Who said anything about, "Mine, mine, all mine"? Take a look at what I've written about voluntary transactions. Also read what I wrote about true greed, the greed that would have one take from another because they want to. But if you really believe that you shouldn't control your money, by all means, send it to my extended family who are magnitudes worse than anyone in this country.

Somalia is much better off without their effective government: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fpeterleeson.com%2Fbetter_off_stateless.pdf. The quality of a society is due to their people, not due to their government.

And since you're suggesting I move to some place that you think is a paradise for libertarians, might I suggest you move to North Korea which I think is a paradise for statists? Oh, but that won't make for a constructive discussion, would it? How about you actually answer the questions I've asked? Wouldn't that be more constructive?

And you say people are allowed to vote with their feet yet look at this entire discussion predicated on making it harder to do just that. Yes, and if someone didn't want to participate in the market, they can opt not to. OTOH, if I decide not to participate in the government, I'm still forced to donate towards it.

I already addressed the rationale that Saverin didn't make all his money all by himself. The US didn't get to where it is today by itself. Tons of immigrants helped. Does that mean those immigrant's countries ought to be able to take money from the US?

I've also addressed the free rider 'issue'. It's not really an issue.

I never inserted words into your mouth. I was asking. You gave rationale to support your beliefs. I gave examples that fit that rationality and asked if you conclude the same thing. It's unlikely that you do in which case you need to explain why your rationale doesn't apply to those examples. Instead, though, you just continue justifying what you think is right just because you think it's right.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , I'm for 0% taxation. If pressed for a more short-term solution, I'm for a Negative Income Tax, a type of flat tax, whose rate is set depending upon the income distribution in the US and the amount of money it takes to buy food, shelter, and clothing for survival.
 
+Steven Sudit , you keep using that term freeloader. I keep proposing people voluntarily pay for the stuff they want. Why are you opposed to that? Because the stuff you want won't get enough funding?

I'm all for the right to associate and not associate with whomever anyone wants. Should G+ force people not to block, say, black people, gay people, atheist people, etc? Should you be forced to hire a landscaper, haircutter, mechanic, etc due to some law that prohibits you from choosing based on whatever criteria you use?

Taxation is completely arbitrary. How much should be taken from someone making the amount that you do? How much should be taken from someone making twice as much? Why do tax laws change constantly? It's certainly not because they're objective (although the Negative Income Tax I outlined would be much more objective than what we have today).

Again, you claim taxation is OK but provide no real rationale to back that claim.

Discrimination laws are themselves discriminatory. Why not protect smokers against discrimination? Why allow churches to discriminate based on religion or strip clubs to discriminate based on gender? Etc.

Also, businesses tend not to want to discriminate (it costs more to maintain separate restrooms, water fountains, etc; it creates artificial criteria that don't contribute to the bottom line; etc). Jim Crowe laws originated because others wanted to force businesses to discriminate. We're seeing similar things today WRT gays and gay marriage. At the root of it is the desire to impose or force one's beliefs upon others, just as you want to impose or force your beliefs WRT taking my money on me.

See the update I made in my last post: And since you're suggesting I move to some place that you think is a paradise for libertarians, might I suggest you move to North Korea which I think is a paradise for statists? Oh, but that won't make for a constructive discussion, would it? How about you actually answer the questions I've asked? Wouldn't that be more constructive?

Why should I have to move in order not to pay taxes? Oh, because like Monsanto, government gives me something and forces me to pay for it? Why are you so opposed to voluntary funding of projects? Why must you force people to abide by what you think is right? In this sense you're no different from Bible-thumpers who don't want to allow gays to marry.
 
+Steven Sudit , some stuff I've done voluntarily:
* taught third graders programming skills
* taught sixth graders basic cryptography and the mathematics underlying it
* helped countless people as a member of an emergency response team
* participated in community service
* donated blood (over two gallons so far)
* registered for bone marrow doner
* spread the word about non-violent communication
* donated to public radio (and, no, I don't care about all those people who aren't donating and are able to listen due to my payments because I'm still able to listen)

Please stop being so prejudiced as to call me a freeloader. Since you don't like freeloaders, I'm assuming you've done similar things, perhaps even more than what I've listed above?

Some stuff I would pay for voluntarily:
* the roads I use
* the bike paths and parks I use
* protection services
* national defense (and I would decrease or stop payments if it involved wars I don't support)

But you don't even want to allow me to pay for these things voluntarily. You want to maintain a system which takes my money so that the takers are the ones who choose how that money is spent (including to fund wars that kill millions of people). Why is that?
 
You are about 200+years late +Noel Yap. The colonies decided to unite and form a government. Taxation came into the picture first to fund the civil war that freed the slaves. Not having any taxation is not realistic at this point. Why don't you publish your proposal in a website? Like the fair tax proposal.
 
+Steven Sudit , also listen to how angry you're getting. All because I don't want to 'share' my money with you. Shouldn't I be the one getting angry because you want to use my money for your own? Think about it. You're so angry that you want me to die. That's pretty much against your goal of decreasing suffering, isn't it? Or does that goal apply only to poor people (which means that you should increase your own suffering since obviously you're not poor considering you have a computer with which to have this conversation)? Even then, wealth creation through my labor decreases suffering in general (especially considering the volunteer work I've done) so my death will achieve only your satisfaction, but actually moves away from your goal.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , like I said, humanity was much more violent even a couple of centuries ago. As we mature and become less violent, there will be less (perceived) need of government, including taxation.

Slavery, too, was around when the government was formed. At some point we realized it was wrong and did away with it (some countries did a better job of doing away with it than others).

Milton Friedman was a very big proponent of the Negative Income Tax. Lots of people already know about it.

I'm pretty cynical about the tax code getting simplified. A complex tax code supports lots of CPA jobs. The same goes for legal complexity which creates lots of legal jobs. Both, especially lawyers, have much more influence over government than I do.
 
"But you don't even want to allow me to pay for these things voluntarily. You want to maintain a system which takes my money so that the takers are the ones who choose how that money is spent (including to fund wars that kill millions of people). Why is that?"

The creepy illogic in this rhetoric is a basis for legitimate annoyance. There's a social contract you claim no awareness of. You would have loved being subject to warlords. Now those guys knew how to tax (at whatever rate amused them that day) and spend (for grog but not for your daughters. just take those). In your view, nothing's changed. In the view of everyone else here, a lot has changed, for the better. So don't abuse them for their annoyance. And don't misrepresent why they're annoyed with you.
 
Buffett rule is great in that regard. First million, keep your current tax code. anything above that, is ordinary income taxed at top marginal rate which is 35% right now. I would propose that top rate above 10 Million should be 42.5% and above 20Million should be 50% (with Buffett Rule).
 
first million you pay what you pay today (OI, CG, div etc) above that everything is OI (even if it is CG, div etc or carried interest).So it gives everyone an incentive to be entrepreneurs and investors to get to that 1 Million income level. Only 85K of the 100MM households in the US reported 1MM income in 2010. That is less than 0.1%
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_income_tax. While NIT still takes away the freedom of the true owners of the money to decide how that money is used, at least it provides more freedom to the receivers, the new owners, of the money to decide how it'll be used.

IMO, though, so long as government is granted the right to take money, even if NIT were passed, someone will come along and claim that they need to be able to support their pet project X. And someone else will come along and claim that they need to be able to support their pet project Y. And so on, and so on. In fact, this is pretty much what happened when Friedman made headway selling the idea. It happened so fast that the tax scheme was no longer a NIT and never passed.

Also watch Praxeology: The Austrian Method | Hans-Hermann Hoppe WRT conclusions being drawn about marginal tax rates and booms.

Why $1MM? Does that number change with inflation? Or will more and more people fall under that rule as government prints more money?

Since less than 0.1% of the population is affected, it's OK to take more from them? Why not put the bar at 5%? Why not allow the rest of the world to take from the US? If less than 0.1% of the population is in generational poverty, would it be OK to take from them?
 
Like I said, put forth a proposal Noel. Saying Zero for all is not realistic.
 
The corollary to that causation argument is that raising top marginal rates will kill the economy is a fallacy.
 
+John Dempsey , the social contract I'm aware of are between me and people close to me (whether physically, emotionally, professionally, etc). To me, there can't be a social contract between me and someone I know nothing about. Why do you claim there's a social contract between Americans but not among Americans and Africans? Whose social contract wins out when one is an American and has family (near starving) in the Philippines? Who creates the stipulations in this social contract? In every contract there is, except the social contract, all parties involved can agree or disagree to the contract. If there's disagreement, no contract is signed. But you claim there's this thing called a social contract in which others may impose their belief onto others. Why is that?

Why should anyone base what we have today and what goals we ought to strive to achieve based on how bad things have been in the past or how bad they can be? Should we aim for just a notch above what a warlord society would have? Or should we aim for something much better?

In my view, lots have changed. I even said we're much less violent today than we were only centuries ago. The less violent we become, the less (perceived) need we'll have for government. I thought you and I were in agreement that ending government would be a good thing.

I don't think I've misrepresented at all why others are annoyed with me. They want my money. I want to decide how to use my money. Ironically, when pressed, they say they want to decide how to use their money, too (eg they don't want someone outside the country demanding they fulfill some non-existent social contract simply because they're of the same species). While I'm willing to let them decide what to do with their money, they're not willing to let me decide what to do with mine. So, please, why are they so annoyed with me, again?

Again, to me, they behave no differently than that boy who demanded his sister share with him. And, again, it is this immaturity that we need drastically to decrease in order to move towards a society that uses much less force against one another.

Also, I don't do rhetoric. If someone wants to call me on the contents of what I've written, they should do so. They should also be prepared to answer my questions and explain what seem to me to be contradictions (either in their rules or in their application of rules) aren't really contradictions.
 
Like it or not, there are social contracts between you and people you know nothing about. And indeed there are a number of contracts across humanity. Apparently the Facebook founder disagreed with the contract of citizenship and nullified it. Some of these contracts are more precisely contracts, and others are more like widely-understood conceptions of human life on earth.

You're willing to disband government and eliminate taxation. You are relatively isolated in this view. The resulting hegemony against you is called taxation. If theft, it is the most democratic theft the world has seen. I personally support the government's role and right to tax me, you, and all citizens to fund necessary government functions. I find discussions with those who hold views that radically diverge from this position to be ponderous and unfulfilling.
 
+John Dempsey , "Like it or not, we live in a monarchy", "Like it or not, we have slavery", "Like it or not, wars are waged and funded with our money", "Like it or not, gays aren't allowed to marry", etc. Any of these can be said at different times in our history and some can be said today. Like you said earlier, people can change and they can change their surroundings.

I'm not at all against the notion of a social contract. All I'm saying is that those participating in it are doing so voluntarily. Do you agree that voluntarily relationships are a good thing? That no one ought to be forced into social contracts?

People who thought abandoning a monarchy as a form of government used to be isolated. People who thought gays can be accepted in society used to be isolated. Isolation isn't a valid reason not to strive towards a goal.

Why do you find discussions that are very different from yours to be ponderous and unfulfilling? IMO it's a flight response by your brain since it feels you're being attacked -- brains treat challenges to one's beliefs to be physical attacks and responds with fight-or-flight. I would imagine that you would look down upon people who aren't able to control this response so much that they lash out physically and violently to the challenger. It's great when people are able to control that physical response. It's even better when people are able to recognize and control the underlying response of the brain itself.

What views would you have held when slavery was an accepted form of labor? Heck, it seems in your view if government enslaved its people, that would be OK. How do you feel about the US government when it had conscription, a form of slavery? How do you feel about governments today that have conscription? If government takes a third of my earnings, doesn't that mean that four months out of the year I'm working for government and, hence, it's a form of slavery?
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , I agree it'll take some time. It won't happen by itself, though. It'll take people working towards that goal. Do you want to be one of those working towards the betterment of society or someone accepting the status quo (which, as we've seemed to have agreed, benefits those most influential to government at the expense of those less influential)?
 
Ok. Layout a timeline +Noel Yap for staged transition. Now. 100 years. 1000 years. And proposal(s).
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , why must there be a timeline? If a child hasn't learned the pre-requisites to move up a grade, just because the timeline says so, does that mean the child ought to move up?

Also, if I make such a timeline, I'm putting myself in the same role as government, a supposedly omniscient being able to make such predictions and claims for all of society.

Anyway, I think we're at the bottom of the S-curve at this time, but it's building up steam. http://www.seasteading.org/ and http://reason.com/blog/2011/12/06/seasteaders-take-to-the-land-in-honduras are signs of this as well as Ron Paul's growing popularity.
 
While people can change their surroundings, incredibly few think citizens can live without government. And your argument for abandoning government--that it violates some principles you cherish? that it isn't as needed as it once was?--are not changing my view.

And no, the social contract of citizenship is not voluntary. Or perhaps it is: Denounce your citizenship and GTFO if you want. While essentially voluntary, the terms are strict.

I'm annoyed by the lack of intellectual rigor, coupled with the stridency and persistency of the messaging. You're consistently sure it's reasonable to compare modern government to slave ships, and you want me to think that's an attack causing me fight-or-flight? No, it's a force that compels me to sigh. There are legitimate and illegitimate roles of government. Tyranny by government is the worst form of tyranny. But the money you earn here is not stolen in a tyrannical theft. If you don't agree with taxation, g.t.f.o. to the golden paradise land you prefer. I'm sure a few have no personal income tax or capital gains tax. Maybe they're on tundra. But you can go there and abide by whatever rules they've got. If government takes 1/3rd of your income, then 4 months of the year, you work for government services, which you use 12 months of the year. Good god is that really so complicated that you concoct fight-or-flight? Cognitive dissonence is a much keener explanation!
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , why have I lost all credibility in your book? Have I contradicted myself in any way?
 
+John Dempsey , yes very few today think we can live without government just as few think we can live without religion.

My argument is to work towards a society that doesn't need government. You yourself said you would like for such a society to exist. Accepting the goal doesn't mean government must be abandoned overnight.

If the social contract isn't voluntary, those in Africa can demand the poorest in the US to give to them.

Again, why should I have to leave?

I never compared government to slave ships. I said some things it does is comparable to slavery. Why do you think these actions are not comparable?

Here's another comparison, government is like organized crime. They both use force to get what they want; they both 'give' protection then demand payment.

What are the legitimate roles of government and why do you claim that they're reasonable?

Like I said, I'm all for voluntary payments for government services. Would you support that?

I haven't concocted fight-or-flight. It's pretty recent brain research.
 
Sure, I'm happy to work toward a society that does not need government. It might not be an attainable goal. The legitimate roles of government are codified in a number of anayses and key documents. I do not support voluntary payment. Well, I'd support it if it was plausable, but don't think it is.
 
+John Dempsey, as a common rule of thumb, do you think the use of force is a good thing or a bad thing? If, as a common rule of thumb you think the use of force is a bad thing, why do you think the use of force by government is a good thing? Are the rationale you provide to justify government's use of force simply rationalizations? Can those rationale be applied to other forms of human organization (eg organized crime)? Why or why not?

There're a bunch of other questions you haven't answered (eg conscription). Why haven't you answered those? How are you so sure it's not due to your brain's fight-or-flight reaction?

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/ seems relevant. I'm looking for articles that talk about the brain's (more specifically, the reptilian brain's) fight-or-flight response when it comes to ideas being challenged. There might not be such articles -- what I've learned about this has been from @Google Talks by neuroscientists, etc.

From http://stresscourse.tripod.com/id11.html: "The brain cannot distinguish between a real or potential threat. It can only respond to both, by triggering the fight/flight response. For example research has shown that our levels of stress hormones rise when we watch a horror film even though we are not physically experiencing the stressor."

From http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney: "The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call "affect"). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we're aware of it. That shouldn't be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It's a "basic human survival skill," explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself."
 
Force is divided into commonly-considered legitimate vs. illegitimate force, i.e. police vs. terrorists or insurgents. In general and with exceptions I think the government's use of force is better than the alternative.

I'm really not on internet to answer the vast set of bi-polar questions you produce. No one on internet is apparently here to talk just with you, and re-discover your apparent forgone conclusions with you, step by spoon-fed step. So lots of your comments get lost in the noise. For example, a discussion about the legitimacy of government has skewed into adrenal response and fight-flight science. At some point we exceed interdisciplinary discussion and become retarded discussion.
 
+John Dempsey , how could there be a society without government and involuntary payments?

How does one differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate use of force? Simply stating that police force is legitimate isn't saying much. What qualities does the use of force have to possess for it to be legitimate?

Also, you presume that elimination of police, etc will bring about terrorists, etc. Like I said, the goal is to improve the maturity of the human race such that that wouldn't happen.

You commented saying my comment about fight-or-flight was concocted and you also asked about it. I provided info.

I don't expect your internet time to revolve around this discussion, but if you're going to respond (which means you're spending time on the discussion already), it would be more constructive to answer questions and address points. Isn't that how conversations go? Isn't ignoring these things how adrenal response, fight-or-flight response goes?
 
+Steven Sudit , I looked through my records and found our conversation. You started acting like a child calling me stupid, etc. You wasted time because you didn't mature.

I've been asking questions. If you really think you're smarter than a stupid person, you should be able to answer them with ease. But as it is, each time you provide an answer, this stupid person finds huge flaws in them. A mature person listens to what has been said, tries to understand it, then responds; an immature person ignores what's been said, concocts something in their head, then responds. A mature person would deal with those flaws; an immature person attacks the person who found the flaws. You might want to take a look at the stuff I posted about the brain to gain an understanding of what's happening.
 
+Shaker Cherukuri , barring productive people from re-entering the country is at best childish and spiteful. Google routinely rehires people. Not many would say that Google leaders are dumb.
 
Noel, you might want to read the Wall Street Journal every day for ten years.
 
+John Dempsey , Milton Friedman on Libertarianism and Humility! talks about the use of force and why we should avoid its use. In essence, the basis is humility.

What does the WSJ have to do with that video and/or the long-term goal of eliminating government? You and I agree that eliminating government would be a good thing. That video series provides one way a civilized society can exist without government and without having involuntary payments.
 
oh i dunno people study enormous mounts of diverse information over decades and other people watch youtube videos.

i was in court a month ago and did particiate in both voluntary arbitration and a case before the court. ben, the neutral third party, is not a trained judge. he cannot create laws because his "laws" only apply voluntarily. the arbitrators in my case did not make judgements, but tried to bring me and the guy i was suing to an agreement. it didn't work, so the judge did it. it was just, it followed the law, the law was wise, and i'm glad the law was in place. i strongly suggest you attend law school and stop trying to pursuade me with videos like this. the video, and you, miss incredibly astute aspects of good law. if law only elevated little blue tyrant dictators, i too would oppose it. but no, this video does not show a model i'd prefer!
 
+John Dempsey , then don't follow it. Just don't force those that don't want the existing system to use it and fund it.

I think it's very strange to be so anti-choice, that one would want a court system chosen for them without any voice in the matter except perhaps one that's tied to their residence. Even stranger is wanting to impose that desire on others.

And don't complain too much of stuff like DOMA, NDAA, the Patriot Act, SOPA/PIPA/ACTA, etc pass since you've bought into a system that rewards more those most influential to government.
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