The Instigator
RonPaulConservative
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Capitalistslave
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Taxation should be abolished:

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2017 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,060 times Debate No: 99705
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (20)
Votes (0)

 

RonPaulConservative

Pro

The resolution is that we should abolish taxation. Con will provide the first argument as to why taxation shouldn't be abolished, after which Pro will make the case as to why it should be ablished, and in a separate part respond to Con. After this the debate will consist in formal responses and refutations.
Capitalistslave

Con

1A) Taxation is necessary to protect rights
Without at least minimal taxation, it would be impossible for the government to protect the rights and liberties of the citizens. For example, one way in which the government protects rights and liberties is through funding the military. A military is necessary in order to protect against potential nations who will threaten us, and possibly take us over, and said country may be one which doesn't recognize the rights that we do, and thus they may take away these rights.

Without taxes, there is no way for the government to fund the military, thus no real way for them to make sure foreign nations can't take us over and take away our rights.

1B) Potential argument against this:
"A military is not necessary because the people themselves can form a militia to protect their liberties"
If history has proven anything, it's that every country who has relied on voluntary militias to protect themselves, failed in the long run and was taken over by another country. I know of no country which was able to survive for an extended amount of time in history without a formal military. A couple of examples of countries which didn't have formal militaries, but instead relied on militias, would be Revolutionary Catalonia and the Free Territory of Ukraine. Both were anarchist societies, so neither would have had a government-funded military, or would have had a very poor one. Both were quickly taken over by countries which did have formal militaries. You can read a little about both countries in my first two sources, and you'll see neither had a formal military.

2A) Taxation funds programs the people desire
Now, it would be a completely different debate over whether the federal government or local governments should be providing social programs such as social security, welfare, public education etc. I would personally believe these things should be up to local governments. Nonetheless, if the people decide that they want the government to provide these social programs, taxation is necessary in order to pay for these things, whether the taxation be on the local level or a national level. There is no other way for the government to collect revenue except through taxation, unless you had state ownership of the means of production(state capitalism). However, I am pretty sure pro wouldn't be arguing in favor of state capitalism, since I know they are in favor of laissez-faire economics, based on debates with them in the past, so we can probably dismiss state capitalism as an alternate way instead of taxes for the government to collect revenue.

2B) Potential argument against this:
"It is no business of the government to provide these social programs in the first place"
If democracy is something we value, then the majority opinion should be represented in the government. If the people consent to the government providing these social programs, then I see no reason why it's not the government's business. Again, I would argue that it is better for these things to be decided on the local level. The benefit of local government providing these things, is that it's easier to move from one city to another, so if a city is doing something you don't like, just move to a neighboring city that doesn't have that policy. Whereas, if it's the federal government who is providing these programs that you disagree with, you don't have much choice since it's tougher to move out of country than from one city to the next. Additionaly more people will have their opinion represented in government if local governments were empowered and the federal government was weakened. The reason this works out this way is because cities rarely have the demographics that the entire nation does, so cities are more likely to have a vast majority of the people in them be right-wing or left-wing. The nation does not have a clear majority of either, so when right-wing policies or left-wing policies are implemented on the federal level, there are more people who are misrepresented by that than who would be on the local level. This is getting a little off-topic, but nonetheless, I don't see why if majority of people in a city wants that city to offer social programs, why it shouldn't and why it's not its business to do so.

3) General potential arguments:
"Taxation is theft, as it steals from people without their consent"
The problem with this argument is that everyone is represented in a democracy. Additionally, if we go back to the idea that cities should be the ones who tax for all of the programs the federal government provides, then it would be easier to move to another city and live somewhere where such taxation doesn't occur. I can see problems with the federal government taxing the people, but if cities are doing so, I don't think that is a problem.
"Taxation isn't necessary because the government could raise funds from people voluntarily to pay for the military and other programs"
I doubt that they would raise enough funds. Charities typically can't raise enough funds to get rid of poverty, I doubt the government would be able to do it for a necessary military or other programs. I know of no country that has attempted this, there is likely a good reason why countries don't do this and instead rely on taxation. If pro were to argue for this point, I think it would be fair to ask them to provide an example of a nation being able to provide a good enough military with raising funds voluntarily from the people.

Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
RonPaulConservative

Pro

First of all, taxation is theft- and that the government is controlled by the majority doesn't change that- if 2 people decide to mug 1 person, is this somehoe not theft just because the majority says so?

Second of all, the military and police can be funded through voluntary fund-raisers. With the military, for example, we can just make giant cookie factories and have the military work in them, then we can sell marine scout cookies with canibis in them and they'd make a lot of money off this. We can also raise funds by donations and whatnot.
Capitalistslave

Con

I already addressed both of these issues my opponent came up with in round 1, when I addressed potential counter-arguments.

Nonetheless, I suppose I will address this again, with a different angle.

Quotes from my opponent will be italicized.

if 2 people decide to mug 1 person, is this somehoe not theft just because the majority says so?
Alright, let's define theft. Theft is "The action or crime of stealing"[3] This may not be too helpful, as now we need the definition of steal. To steal is defined as "Take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it:"[4] Thus the full definition of theft is "The action or cime of taking (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it"

I want to stress the "legal right" part of this. The government has legal right to tax us, as agreed upon by the law of our government which is created by representatives of the people. Thus, it's not theft for the government to tax us since the government has legal right to tax us.

we can just make giant cookie factories and have the military work in them, then we can sell marine scout cookies with canibis in them and they'd make a lot of money off this.
Are you being serious here? This doesn't sound serious, and I feel like this might be trolling now.



Sources:
[3] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
[4] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 2
RonPaulConservative

Pro

First of all, the German Government in the 1930's and 1940's had "legal right" to murder 12 million Jews, but this doesn't make it somehow not murder. Also we mus consider what defines legal right- what makes one government more legitimate than an other? Better yet, what makes any form of government legitimate at all?Just because the law says something doesn't mean it's right- the law used to say that enslaving black people was fine-but this didn't change the fact that it wasn't.

Second of all, I am serious- we can host fundraisers and sell drugs, this is guarenteed to get enough money for a military.
Capitalistslave

Con

Re: German government having legal right to murder Jews
Technically, according to the German government, this was not murder, as murder is usually defined as the unlawful killing of one human by another human. It wasn't unfawful under German law. However, for nearly every other country out there, it was unlawful, so for international law, and the league of nations that existed during the time period between world war 1 and 2, it was unlawful.

So, the Germans may have had legal right according to their own laws, but they didn't have legal right to kill Jews according to international law. Taxation has legal right both in national law and international law, thus it's not stealing. Similarly, it wouldn't be murder if Germany killing those Jews wasn't against international law. It would be killing, but it wouldn't be murder.

Selling drugs to obtain funding for a military
Well, it's just a claim that selling drugs would be able to afford the current military budget. Can selling drugs really lead to almost 600 billion dollars a year in revenue to pay for our military? Here's a source for the 600 Billion dollars that we almost spend on the military currently[5]

Sources:
[5] https://www.nationalpriorities.org...
Debate Round No. 3
RonPaulConservative

Pro

THE MORALITY OF TAXATION
My opponent claims that taxation is not theft because it is legally sanctioned, and I responded to this by asking him if the Nazis butchering of 12 million Jews was still murder even if it was legally sanctioned. He responded to this by saying that the holocaust was not legally sanctioned by international law, and is therefore murder. However, he still hasn't answered me how one government is more legitimate than any other government, or how any government is legitimate at all. What gives international law precedence over German Law? And what gives a government its authority in the first place?

It seems that statism relies on the notion that the government defines morality- when in reality morality exists separate from any supreme being. It is natural law that defines morality, not state law- which ultimately is illegitimate in its relation to morality.

As the government is not exempt from morality, as it would have us believe, we must hold it to the same standards as everyone else- and even if we assume, for cause of definition, that taxation is not theft, it is still coercion, which is wrong, and which is defined as:
"the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats."

THE NECESITY OF TAXATION
We can raise money for the police and military through voluntary donations, requests for money, or by selling cookies. There are millions of ways to make money and any of them could be used to fund our military. We could buy 4.8 Trillion in stocks, and at the standard profit to value margin of 8:1, this would get us enough to fund the military.

Better yet, we could go the completely different route of privatization- historically speaking mafias and Italian gangsters have offered much better protection than a police force, so I see no reason why we can't just have the Italian Mafia back in charge and provide us with national defense as well.

I'm just thinking of ideas, but any of these would work, and though selling girl scout cookies might not seem very appealing, it's better than raising funds through coercion and theft.
Capitalistslave

Con

Morality of taxation
A government is legitimate when it has consent of the governed. As long as the people are represented, it is a legitimate government.

While taxation might be coercion, so is forcing someone to pay for a product you provide them. The government provides us with roads, a military, social seurity, and a myriad of other things. For us to use these things without paying for them would be the immoral thing, as this is stealing. This is why taxation is not theft as well, for if we just took these things from the government without paying for it, that would in itself be theft.

The necessity of taxation
As I said I was going to do this round in comments, I was going to point out the other problem with relying on selling drugs for government revenue. It wouldn't be enough, even if we completely nationalized the drug trade. The total revenue for drugs being sold is around 400 billion[6], not quite enough to pay for our military. And that's assuming that the government will take on 100% of the drug market for themselves.

Now, the problem with what my opponent is saying is this:
People would be able to freeload off of the government's work. Suppose some people choose not to give funds to the government, then they get to have the military protect them for free, they get to use roads for free. This is stealing in and of itself, as they are using things that they didn't pay for.

As for the mafia point, I think the argument I had against militias above stands. No country without a formal military was able to survive that long.


Sources:
[6] http://www.worldometers.info...
Debate Round No. 4
RonPaulConservative

Pro

First of all, the government is forcing us to use these "services," and so we do not have an oblegation to pay for it. We honestly don't need a government for any of this. We can privatize roads, the military, social security, and the police. The Italian Mafia can do all the policing in America for a price, and the military can be funded through donations or by selling cookies.

Second of all, taxation isn't consentual- otherwise force wouldn't be necesary. It may be the will of the majority to impose taxes, but I refer to round 2- if 2 people decide to mug 1 person, it's still mugging, and those 2 muggers don't get to "consent" to mugging the 1, as they are not him.
Capitalistslave

Con

I'm not sure how the government is forcing us to use these services as my opponent says. It's up to everyone whether they use public roads, among other things.

It may be hard not to use these products, but it's still possible if you were to, say, go live in the wilderness on your own. Part of being part of this society means paying for what we use and want. I would imagine almost everyone wants to have public roads and other services. Those who don't, well, they can go live somewhere else.
Debate Round No. 5
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
Me and a giant militia
Posted by BAM1979 1 year ago
BAM1979
The "left/right" game does nothing but claim casualties.
Posted by BAM1979 1 year ago
BAM1979
@RPC

Who is this "we" you reference, assuming there is no state? Your community? Sure! A few people could want to "ban Islam" , from your community, but that's a very broad use of the word "ban", and realistically, you can't ban an idea.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
Ban Islam and the Government. We can have no state and still ban Islam. Better yet, form a giant military and go to war against the Muslims.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
Now that's weird, in one moment you were arguing for anarchy, and now you think the government should ban Islam? Is this not conflicting?
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
@capitalistslave
Yes, but we should still ban Islam.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
That was completely random.

Anyways, would either of you two(RonPaulConservative or BAM1979) be interested in debating the current debate challenge I have going? It's here: http://www.debate.org...

I know RPC wouldn't be able accept it until we finish this debate, but perhaps they would like to when we are done here, which should be soon.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
Ban islam.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
As a libertarian socialist, I do often find myself sympathizing with anarchists, well, left-wing anarchy anyways. I am still of the opinion we need a minimum amount of government to provide basic things which preserve liberty. That's where the libertarian part comes in: I would be opposed to the massive amount of power that the government currently has.

While I would think anarchy would be ideal... I just don't see it as viable.
Posted by RonPaulConservative 1 year ago
RonPaulConservative
@capitalistslave
And what do we have under our current statist system? Only as much justice as your money can buy. At least in anarchism you aren't forced to pay for a justice system that doesn't preserve your liberty, instead there's competition, and you can preserve your own liberty through the ownership of firearms.
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