“I am physically sick of feeding money to the state. I am tired to my bones of contributing to wars, entitlements, public servants, crony capitalists, and social programs like public schools. I am being forced to contribute to the destruction of everything I value”
“A free, competitive market economy is always rewarding successful entrepreneurs with profits for having made new, better and less expensive goods to earn consumer business. Thus, the normal trend in a free, competitive market is a world of gently falling prices as innovative businessmen bring improved and less expensive goods to consumers.
A truly free market economy, therefore, is one that tends to have the “good deflation,” and we should look forward to it, if only government intervention and central banking would get out of the way.”
“The pro-censorship feminists cannot have it both ways. If, as they contend, governmental power is inevitably used to the particular disadvantage of relatively disempowered groups, such as women, it follows that women’s rights advocates should oppose measures that augment that power, including Dworkin/MacKinnon-type laws.”
“If the state protects property by state police, it requires taxes. However, taxes are expropriation. The state thus becomes an expropriating property protector. And a state that wants to maintain law and order, but can itself issue laws, is a law breaking law maintainer.”
Contrary to popular belief, the richest 1 percent of Americans have not gotten richer during the past decade — as the chart below, showing after-tax income changes, shows. In fact, by Burtless’s calculations, the richest 1 percent of Americans are the only group whose incomes shrunk, falling by an average of 4 percent.
The incomes of all other groups have grown during this same period, and in fact the incomes of the lowest quintile have actually grown the most, at 20 percent. All other income quintiles or percentiles grew by 8 to 13 percent during the first decade of the new millennium. According to Burtless, this can be explained by the fact that, while everyone was affected by the 2008 recession, the richest 1 percent of Americans were hit the most (mostly because they derived a larger share of their incomes from investments than other income groups).
Looking at the 1979 to 2010 period, one does see inequality rise, but only between the 1 percent and the rest. The average incomes of all other quintiles did grow healthily (by between 36 and 49 percent):
One reason why so many Americans believe that the average incomes of middle- and low-income Americans have stagnated and that the average incomes of the top 1 percent always rise is the commonly cited income statistics from the Census Bureau – which only consider before-tax income. This approach understates the well-being of Americans who receive income-tax subsidies and overstates the well-being of Americans whose incomes are taxed at higher rates. Analyzing after-tax income levels provides a clearer picture of income trends in the United States, particularly as the tax code is frequently employed to redistribute income as a matter of policy.
kr-studios asked: Did you end up reading my response?
The post in question is here and kr-studios’ response is here.
Yeah and I saw nothing new. You act like your objections to his claims are new and revolutionary when gallons of ink have been spilled filling numerous tomes of literature on the topic. Saying that we don’t want the government to do something doesn’t mean we don’t want the something to be done at all. Education is a classic example. You act as if public education weren’t a thing then we’d all be illiterate imbeciles walking around without the ability to wipe our own ass. It’s nonsense. When you look at education spending in the U.S. and you see that as spending goes up and test scores flatline you see that there isn’t a correlation between funding and results. Economics tells us to judge a policy by its implications, not its intended results. If government procurement of services was directly correlated with societal progress then you would expect the U.S. to be churning out brilliantly educated individuals when that’s clearly not the case. The U.S. lags behind other developed nations in reading, math and science.
Then you move onto the same old tired arguments about the government “helping” the poor by stealing from others. Sure the people who receive the welfare check from the government are better off but that money doesn’t come from a magical money tree. Someone had to work for that money and when the fruits of their labor are taken from them it diminishes their incentive to work. Not only that but subsidizing people to not work eliminates their incentive to work and elevate themselves out of poverty. It creates a class of people who are dependent on the government for their lifestyle, not because they’re lazy but because they’re incentivized to continue to collect benefits. A government that takes from Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul. It makes sense for the government to create a class of people who are dependent on its subsidies because it creates a demand for politicians to reallocates resources to them. Wealth isn’t created, it’s moved around. That’s what Art Carden was getting at in his column.
The social contract is a nonexistent, abstract, continuously changing “document” that no one explicitly agreed to. To that effect it’s not a contract because a contract requires expressed consent in order to be valid. I can’t be held responsible for a contract by mere virtue of my birth. And again, there is an endless amount of literature written on the topic of the invalidness of the social contract. One good place to start is Lysander Spooner’s “No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority.” It’s very American centric but if you replace the Constitution with the social contract the point still stands:
So it was with those who originally adopted the Constitution. Whatever may have been their personal intentions, the legal meaning of their language, so far as their “posterity” was concerned, simply was, that their hopes and motives, in entering into the agreement, were that it might prove useful and acceptable to their posterity; that it might promote their union, safety, tranquility, and welfare; and that it might tend “to secure to them the blessings of liberty.” The language does not assert nor at all imply, any right, power, or disposition, on the part of the original parties to the agreement, to compel their “posterity” to live under it. If they had intended to bind their posterity to live under it, they should have said that their objective was, not “to secure to them the blessings of liberty,” but to make slaves of them; for if their “posterity” are bound to live under it, they are nothing less than the slaves of their foolish, tyrannical, and dead grandfathers.
At the end of the day defending the social contract is defending the status quo of initiating force against peaceful people under the auspices providing the fabric for a moral and civil society. I can think of nothing more backward than the use of the monopoly on violence to impose “civility.” Without my consent the social contract is an initiation of violence. Just because I’m born in a particular geographic area does not mean that I implicitly agree to follow the rules of that area or to contribute a portion of my property to its maintenance. That’s just another form of slavery.
“Buried inside a Congressional Budget Office [CBO] report this week was this nugget: when it comes to individual income taxes, the top 40 percent of wage earners in America pay 106 percent of the taxes. The bottom 40 percent … pay negative 9 percent.
Egalitarians claim the government should tax the wealthy more (and more and more) in order to subsidize the less-wealthy. But the key moral issue is not who the government should force to subsidize whom; rather, it is that government ought not force anyone to subsidize anyone.
Each individual has the right to live by his own judgment, to work as he deems best, to trade freely with others, and to keep the product of his effort—whether that product is enormous or tiny. The government has no moral right to confiscate the wealth of the rich to subsidize others—as it has no moral right to confiscate anyone’s wealth.”