Taxation is theft
Debate Rounds (4)
I will be taking the position that taxation is theft.
Tax: A compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.
Theft: The action or crime of stealing.
Compulsory: Required by law or a rule; obligatory
C1: Money earned is the private property of an individual.
Money is a tool used in most societies but especially those that are capitalist or capitalist leaning as a substitute for barter or in kind exchange. Money or currency acquired can be used to obtain real or chattel property or to employ services. Therefore, money is tantamount to private property. It is the same as if you acquired goods or services directly though barter or exchange. Legal systems around the world recognize money at private property. Yes, some do not however that does not change the fact that money can be used to obtain property and thus should be treated as property both legally but also and more importantly morally.
C2: Government action requires the initiation of force against individuals
We in society have generally been taught from an early age not to initiation force against others, in other words don't hit people or take their stuff. Government necessarily to survive and maintain its dominance requires initiation of force. If compliance with a state is voluntary then it would cease to be a state as it would have no wait to maintain dominance over a territory. Max Weber recognized this in his definition of the state that the state is a monopoly on force. George Washington is also said to have recognized the state as force along with several others.
Many would argue that government is not force because of social contract theory. That is the idea that inhabitants of a geographical area consent to be governed by democratic or other citizen participation means. This identifies a question of whether or not humans have a natural right to impose force on other humans? How can a person or group delegate rights they never had morally to a state?
C3: Argument for compulsory taxation based on the idea of social contract theory means that taxation is theft.
Imagine you moved onto my street and I started cutting your grass every week. At the end of the month, I placed a bill on your door for my grass cutting services. I then show up with a baseball bat to collect on my bill. You explain that you never asked for the services or agreed to pay them, and I explain that you consented to pay for the service simply by being in MY neighborhood. If you don't comply with my billing I will lock you in my closet.
I ask how is that scenario any different from taxation? You may say that one would be free to leave the neighborhood(or country) however, in the case of states you would be forced to be subject to similar force in another state in a practical sense.
If theft morally unacceptable, which is generally accepted then the concept of taking private property from individuals by a state is also morally unacceptable regardless of the purpose.
This a list of things that taxes go to. If you don't like taxes, don't pay them. Of course, you also can not:
Use the roads,
Own a home,
Call the police when you get robbed,
But maybe, just maybe, if no one is looking, you might be able to cross the street.
And, by the way, in cases of theft, you don't gain anything. In paying taxes, you are not a troglodyte.
One could choose non compliance with taxation as a form of civil disobedience in theory however it ignores reality. The reality is that most people in an employment situation will have taxation taken from pay automatically, it also doesn't address all other taxes that are not avoidable such as when purchasing goods. Con also ignores the violent nature of the relationship with the state. That is that if you don't comply with the state demands you will face increasing forceful actions of the state up to and including death in the extreme if you physically resist the actions of the state. Con implies that taxation is a voluntary arraignment when the fact that taxation is compulsory is inherent in the definition. Physical force, fraud, or stealth designed with the intent of depriving one of property is theft.
In a modern society, it is impossible to function and avoid all government services. I ask con, if a slave accepts a meal from his master does the situation of slavery become voluntary. I would say that most reasonable people would disagree with that premise. Also there is nothing inherently special about the items that con mentions(roads, police/protection services, water service etc..) that require a state. Most services or functions of the state would be provided for in the general marketplace through voluntary trade if society desired them and the state did not exist.
Finally here, con argues that in theft you don't gain anything which is absurd. If I rob your house and take your XBOX, I just gained an XBOX. I think con is trying to argue that you get services in return for taxation however, based on the unsound nature of social contract theory it can be concluded that one's relationship with the state is not consensual or voluntary.
Second of all, the victim in a crime doesn't gain anything, which I didn't explain because I thought it was understandable.
Thirdly, if taxation is morally wrong, how is there a way to pay for public services ethically?
Lastly, your analogy about the slave and his/her master is a horrible analogy. You are saying that governments that house us, protects us and looks out for our interests are immoral slaveowners. If you really believe that, you are an anarchist.
So to recap,
1) You are wrong.
2) You misunderstood me.
3)You have no solution to your problems, so don't complain if you can't think of anything better.
4)You need to work on your analogies about the government. You sound like a anarchist who opposes all forms of government.
Con states that it is possible live without government services in modern society but provides no evidence of how that would work.
Con in round 3 changes wording to insist that in cases of theft the victim does not gain anything yet con never mentioned victims before.
Since the relationship of a citizen or subject to a state is compulsory and not voluntary and since the citizen produces and the state forcefully takes a portion of that production it is indeed analogous to slavery. If someone taking 100% of your production is slavery, then at what percentage is it not slavery?
Con further asked how services would be paid for without taxation yet I addressed this in my remarks in round 3. The goal of any society that desires common goods or services is to provide the service. There is nothing inherent about protection services, roads, education, water/sewer or other service that the state provides that would prohibit them from instead being provided by a free market. I would refer con to the works of Auberon Herbert, Stefan Molyneux, William Lloyd Garrison and others to get a sense of how a society could organize without forceful taxation. Many philosophies exist regarding this topic.
The four points con makes at the end of a short 'rebuttal' lack substance and depth:
1) "You are wrong"
This is of no value and is simply an attack without any attempt to expand on why I could be wrong. There is no counter argument to any of my previous deeper discussion.
2) "You misunderstood me"
At no point did con make a clear point or empirical argument against my points. Con did not have depth in a previous point and when that was attacked added a word to be able to say that I didn't understand.
3) "You have no solution to your problems, so don't complain if you can't think of anything better"
I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean. The question was to demonstrate that taxation is theft it was not to propose any alternative. In response to con previously, I did propose and brief overview of an alternative market based approach and referred con to theorists who expand on the principle.
4) "You need to work on your analogies about the government. You sound like a anarchist who opposes all forms of government."
Above I have previously addressed how my analogies(specifically the only one con directly addressed) are germane to the topic. The goal of the debate was to demonstrate that taxation is theft only, not to get into a broader discussion about the existence of states in any form although an argument can be made that without taxation there could be no state in the modern sense, but that was not the topic of the debate.
Regardless of you personal feelings about whether or not you think taxation is theft I believe the depth and breadth of the case I have made has been far superior to that of con as con failed to make any empirical or formal argument against my claims. As such I should be awarded points and determined the winner.
YOU NEED TAXES, AMERICA!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Tree_of_Death 4 weeks ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
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