Straight Out of Atlas Shrugged

VSD's picture
Submitted by VSD on Wed, 2019-02-06 13:38

https://de.reuters.com/article...

just two sentences to highlight:

"Technical and business geniuses are unlikely to slack off thinking that their old $11 million after-tax income will fall to $10.6 million."
=> so we will keep thinking and producing for them even during a moratorium on brains?

"The most likely alternative to a stronger social contract is more social discord – even violence. Better to pay a bit more now than to face a bloody revolution later."
=> pay up or I kick the shit out of you and destroy your home and all you created?

Chilling what people have the temerity to write and say these days and even get applauded for it ... time to leave (even further away) - humanity is really really really (sic) sick ...
VSD


Defensement Fees -- Not Taxes

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Vera -- Are you an anarchist? If so, that's fine with me. But...you may or not receive gov't protection from any given state if you decline to pay for gov't services. You might have to defend your person and property on your own.

Nothing about a liberal state is coercive. No-one is ever required to join. Indeed, if you don't freely sign the defensement (gov't) contract, you can't join. No-one ever has to acknowledge its power. You just have to refrain from attacking it or its citizens.

Liberal states don't claim to have a monopoly on the use of force. Ayn Rand was quite wrong about that. No taxes or regulations ever occur in a free state.

Yes, it is sad that a handful of people tend to be criminals. Thus defensement is necessary. So are locks on doors and windows. So are combinations on safes.

But isn't almost everyone a criminal at some point? Wouldn't almost 100% of mankind be tempted if they saw a billion dollars quietly fall out of the pocket of Jeff Bezos? I don't condemn mankind very much for that. I have maybe a hundred other stronger complaints. I find everyone I meet a liar, coward, hypocrite, weakling, and lowlife. This includes AR. This is my lament.

Please note: defensement/protectment fees aren't anything like taxes. They're like paying money to hire a bodyguard -- or maid.

Contradiction in terms

VSD's picture

voluntary government is a contradiction in terms - just like state-run companies ... either i'm a government and force everybody to acknowledge my power or i'm a free company and the state has no saying in my running ... look at what German Rail has gone through since it was 'privatized' but is still owned by the state - back to AS book I: Non-Contradiction - check your premises

paying for protection services implies two things i disagree with:
- there is a constant threat that my fellow human beings wish to steal from me - what a wonderful society we live in where the threat of property, life and freedom has to be defended against constantly - and government claiming that power of defense as a monopoly
- you imply that 1 million is harder to defend than 1 dollar - you'll find it much harder to defend that one dollar from governments and moochers and much easier to defend 1 million once you've successfully defended that first dollar

you assume that justice is obvious to everybody, while it's quite obvious that justice is whatever it means in the current political and societal climate - not even our most exalted texts of justice (i.e. law) are exempt from this misconception of justice ... you are so indoctrinated by todays climate that you cannot even imagine a human society that can live without any tax at all - you are already happy to have a simplification of tax instead of abolishing it as the horrendous fraud against individuals that it truly is - not to mention that many (most?) people have not been too much inhibited by justice (or laws) when it came to claiming 'their rightful slice of the pie'

VSD

Gov't Fees

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Vera -- What's wrong with voluntary gov't fees for services rendered (for the worthwhile protection of people and property)? You don't have to pay if you don't want the protective service. Coercive gov't taxes are morally and practically wrong.

One key to all this is justice -- or a fair price for services rendered. If you have property worth one million Euros then it seems only fair that you pay about ten times as much in gov't fees to have your property protected from local thieves and international invaders. The obvious lack of justice in America and elsewhere is a large part of what drives the current cry for taxing the hell out of the rich.

However jealous people may be of those wealthier than them, they will be heavily inhibited from trying to overtax the rich if it's obvious to all that this is unjust. One important point, as you mention, is recognizing the individual rights of all -- however rich or poor they are. This is why I advocate "tax" simplification and a universal standard for all. Current libertarians and Objectivists -- with all their fatuous and depraved cries for tax cuts -- never seem to mention this.

I'll make you a bet

VSD's picture

Starting tomorrow everybody will be equal, everybody will have the same of everything and will be paying exactly the same for your gov't fees (though I already dislike that part but still), no more disappointing Ls and Os and As or pick-your-letter-in-the alphabet but only fairness and goodwill towards all.
Exactly one second after tomorrow, some individuals will have produced more, gained more value in trade for their production, made better deals with like-minded producers and two seconds after tomorrow the same majority-of-the-masses will look on with extreme jealousy, feeling slighted and discriminated, cheated out of their bigger slices of the pie, calling exactly the same slogans they do today.
I'm betting my last year's earnings against yours ; )
It's not about fixing the ls and os or ts for gs - it's about recognizing that any form of society can only function when they recognize the rights of the individual. You lose that you lose the whole pie and it does not matter which puppy-love fan club is clamoring loudest for the crumbs left.
VSD

Getting the Rich to Pay Their Fair Share of Gov't

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Thank you for all that, Vera. Nevertheless, I'm sticking to my guns. I still blame the libertarians and Objectivists. I still find them highly incompetent on this issue.

First off, Ayn Rand utterly failed to solve the how-to-fund-the-gov't, or coercive taxation, problem. That's okay, because she solved so many others. I find her about as great as Bacon, Locke, Smith, Voltaire, Jefferson, Mises, and Hayek combined -- which is stunning. But she didn't figure out that we need a contract between the gov't and people in which they voluntarily agree to pay a certain tiny amount of gov't fees for the protection of their liberty, i.e. to defend their persons and properties.

The bozo incompetent Ls and Os never shut their traps about cutting taxes (which is tyrannical and evil). We need to SIMPLIFY taxes. We need to cut SPENDING. We do NOT need to cut taxes and bankrupt the current gov't so that a new and more totalitarian one replaces it.

All of this recent horrific proposed usury taxation for rich people would fade away if everyone paid the same level of ultra-simplified "taxes": maybe 3% of income or half of 1% of net worth, whichever is higher. "Soak the rich" is evil, and generally an attack upon wealth and success -- but it's somewhat understandable too. The Ls and Os are gigantic FAILURES in the way they advocate liberty on this issue.

Amazon is evidently getting away with murder (as noted by me four comments previously here: https://www.chicagotribune.com...) on taxes. So too much of the 1%. This problem has to be noted and solved by society -- including, and especially, by the supposedly politically ingenious Ls and Os.

I hope I've addressed many of your points, Vera! But, if not, I've made some of my own. Smiling

Amazon again

VSD's picture

as i already said: i'm not trying to defend the currently rich (most are playing the same game) - just trying to point out that 'the masses' forcing 'the rich' to pay for them is a ridiculous endeavour ...
and i think companies should pay ZERO taxes - they should only pay for the infrastructure they use (e.g. powerplants) - their workers should pay for their required infrastructure to be able to do their jobs (e.g. transportation) - the workers families should pay for their necessities (e.g. hospitals and schools) and so forth - you'd be suprised how much is covered with direct responsibility and at a much higher quality if someone is directly responsible and directly benefits from that responsibility ...
i'm rich compared to most of my neighbours or colleagues but i worked for every penny of it and will not consent to give a single penny more than they can coerce me by government armed force - as a freelancer i'm also paying less taxes and social security (down from 74% to 15% combined) than an employee in Germany, which was a major reason to become a freelancer - i'm 'paying' for those savings by being responsible for myself, paying my own transportation, healthcare, even my own (sometimes missing) food, especially at times when i do not have a customer - everybody should only have to pay what they are using, not what someone else thinks they are entitled to, making the rich pay for this fantasyland simply because they are the only one's who actually have the resources and more importantly the productive capability ... why should we? because we can't help but keep working even if they make it impossible? you'll be in for a surprise ; )
how about producing your own riches (and keeping them), instead of whining about the 'unfair ultra-rich' or wasting what little you do produce on the Kardashians and social therapy on FaecesBrook?

the separation of the paragraph was probably not too clear

VSD's picture

Kyrel: you've concatenated two paragraphs that do not belong together ...
- the redressing of imbalance via tax shelters is far too little and far too superficial to solve this imbalance - if you solve the actual problems of this imbalance the tax shelters will melt like our snow here does in the sunshine - you can keep shoveling tax issues until you're dead or you can melt the tax problems with sunshine ; )
- i am mimicking AS (not you) and i'm getting it ass-backwards, as i do not start at the bottom and work my way up to A is A but start at the top and break it down into smaller principles - i could go on for more chapters but why bother with the nitty-gritty if you don't even have the three basics right?
that's probably the real reason why i'm mostly ignored by our current worldsavers: they are more interested in fixing (or more accurately: complaining about) the nitty-gritty because it is so much harder to just hammer in the basics and let the rest take care of itself ...
Vera

Tax Shelters for the Ultra-Rich

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture


Vera -- I don't follow some of your logic. I agree with almost everything you wrote. But not this:

"You want to redress that imbalance by pointing out tax shelters? Mimicking AS to resolve this current societal mess, though getting it ass-backwards again. Eye "

How is it ass-backwards? It seems like a germane and important point. People seem to hunger for usury taxation, as far as I can tell, because they don't know the proper (capitalist) alternative.

I'm also not sure how I'm mimicking Atlas Shrugged.

Amazon Pays ZERO in Taxes

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

https://www.chicagotribune.com...

Excerpt from article:

Amazon paid no federal taxes on $11.2 billion in profits last year, according to group's analysis

"Amazon, the e-commerce giant helmed by the world's richest man, paid no federal taxes on profit of $11.2 billion last year, according to an analysis of the company's corporate filings by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a progressive think tank.

"Thanks to a variety of tax credits and a significant tax break available on pay handed out in the form of company stock, Amazon actually received a federal tax rebate of $129 million last year, giving it an effective federal tax rate of roughly -1 percent."

Another excerpt:

"From 2009 to 2018, the company earned roughly $26.5 billion in profit and paid approximately $791 million in federal taxes, for an effective federal tax rate of 3.0 percent for the period, according to ITEP's analysis. That is well below the statutory 35 percent corporate tax rate in effect for most of that period, as well as the 21 percent rate ushered in last year with 2017′s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

"Like many other large companies, Amazon reduces its effective tax rate each year using a variety of credits, rebates and loopholes. For Amazon, the most lucrative of those was a tax break for pay given out in the form of stock options, which allowed the company to shave roughly $1 billion off its 2018 tax bill, Gardner said. That would represent nearly half of the total federal tax bill levied on the company's profit of $11.2 billion, he said."

Pondering

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Vera -- Well, I gotta think about all that! Smiling

I blame each and evey individual who is not productive

VSD's picture

taxing the wealthy or abolishing tax shelters are only two sides of the same coin (and just a miniscule drop in the ocean of wrong with this society)
everybody is scared chickenpoop that the poor uneducated immigrated masses are voting themselves bigger slices of the pie, everybody points to the richest getting richer, in your case you citing tax shelters, as a reason for this 'redressing the balance'
then why don't all these newly voted smart popular politicians abolish tax shelters? why to do they instead clamor for usuary taxes? simple: they just want a bigger slice of the pie, not redress an imbalance
everybody who is productive can get a job to sustain him - everybody who feels cheated by his employer can look for another job - everybody who thinks someone gets rich off his production can vote for a government that does not redistribute his production by some hairebrained scheme
again a quotes from AS - Dagny: "you want me to provide jobs but want to make it impossible for me to provide them"
every x-mas I laugh my head off when our local unions start striking in Amazon distribution centers across Germany and every x-mas Amazon only issues a brief statement that all packages will arrive before x-mas, barely even mentioning the strike - this charade has been going on for 10 years now : D
I'm not defending the currently rich and powerful - they are (mostly) just players in the same game of power redistribution - I'm saying each and every individual has a choice to determine what happens with his production and the majority of those individuals prefers the current system of redistribution via clamoring for bigger slices - no one leaves their job when they feel exploited, everybody makes the Kardashians rich and FaecesBrook is still the 'most valuable company' - and you want to redress that imbalance by pointing out tax shelters?
mimicking AS to resolve this current societal mess, though getting it ass-backwards again ; )
rule I: each and every individual is completely and fully responsible for his own life - no other individual can infringe on his life nor can he relinquish that responsibility to another individual
rule II: a group of individuals pursuing same or similar interests can not by any majority but one make decisions for other individuals
rule III: no individual or group of individuals is entitled to dispose of another individuals production and property against his free will for whatever reason
all that paranoia about the finger-counters drying up your tax shelters are just a smoke screen to fool those finger lifters into believing a usuary tax is better than abolishing idiotic taxes (and their shelters, which I actually admire: they were smarter that those who made those stupid tax laws ; )
VSD
who's possibly bypassing the strike and going into (very) early retirement ; P

Taxing the Wealthy

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

I blame the libertarians and Objectivists for this. We live in a world where Big Business and the 1% pay an increasingly small percentage of the taxes via all those new, complex, and sneaky tax shelters and loopholes. Yet the libertarians and Objectivists hardly ever mention this. They want to brutally cut back on welfare for poor people -- but almost never for rich people. So, in context, the above wanton evil makes sense.

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