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Old School
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is an ant hill unnatural? A wasp's nest? What about a beaver dam?

My point being that we are not the only creature on this planet that rearranges space to fit our needs.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point. Beavers indiscriminately rape forests without concern for CO2 or the watershed. Must be OK, since it is natural.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
Good point. Beavers indiscriminately rape forests without concern for CO2 or the watershed. Must be OK, since it is natural.


Everthing is OK and natural, even if we fuck up the climate, its still natural, only we're gonna go the way of Dodo.

So when some smart lizzards evolve 500mil years from now, and dig out our fossiles, they gonna wonder why we are extinct and did we get hit by a meteor.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is wrong for you to steal my money via force, then there is no way for you to justify using a 3rd party to do the same.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
Actually, we still exist in natural environment. There is no other environment. The idea that we have somehow transcedended nature and are free from the toil of gravity and enthropy is as silly as idea of Santa Claus.

Being constrained by natural laws isn't the same thing as living in a natural environment. Cities and civil infrastructure didn't just sprout from the ground, all the game didn't scare itself away, and all the natural vegetation which we could forage around in when hungry didn't uproot itself. Our environment is artificial, we've crafted it over the millennia.
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you experience political reality dilation when travelling at american political speeds. it's in einstein's formulas. it's not their fault.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
mcgruff wrote:
Of course people have to work. The point is to run things to create the most benefit for the most people rather than the most benefit for the richest people.

Oh, that's "The Point", is it? Where is that written? Some kind of axiom, is that? (What does that fluff mean, anyway? Is that a "maximin" creteria? A minimax? Maximum with minimum regrets? And, who says so?) Also, what is that "the point" of (i.e., it's the point of what, generally speaking, and upon what is the existence of that justified)?

Sounds like a lot of bullshit to me -- a bunch of illogical newspeak to, as it were, "rationalize" theft.

Actually it's written into our DNA. Healthy human beings have the empathetic capacity and innate understanding of fairness which produces justice and morality. Healthy human beings help others who struggle with the implicit understanding that should they find themselves in difficulty others will repay the same kindness they've shown others. It's only when you get sociopathic doctrines like capitalism do you get that distortion of natural human behaviour. Being slightly less grossly better off to hugely improve the quality of life of hundreds or thousands of people is a small price to pay for huge good, while being way more grossly better off does little to improve the lot of the already rich, and certainly does nothing for those who have nothing, it's just hoarding and it's morally repugnant. It's a simple value equation for normal healthy people.
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you experience political reality dilation when travelling at american political speeds. it's in einstein's formulas. it's not their fault.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidanjt wrote:
Prenj wrote:
Actually, we still exist in natural environment. There is no other environment. The idea that we have somehow transcedended nature and are free from the toil of gravity and enthropy is as silly as idea of Santa Claus.

Being constrained by natural laws isn't the same thing as living in a natural environment. Cities and civil infrastructure didn't just sprout from the ground, all the game didn't scare itself away, and all the natural vegetation which we could forage around in when hungry didn't uproot itself. Our environment is artificial, we've crafted it over the millennia.


If you extend that, the spears didn't grow out of the ground, and flint axes didn't chip themselves into existance. Humans have manipulated environment before they were even homo sapiens. It is first with agriculture and monotheism that we began to imagine that we are somehow separate from nature. I argue that it is an illusion, and as such, it actually creates a lot of problems since we don't think that we are part of environmental loop and that we can overcome laws of nature with technology, and we are prepared to ignore clues that it is not so.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
If you extend that, the spears didn't grow out of the ground, and flint axes didn't chip themselves into existance. Humans have manipulated environment before they were even homo sapiens.

True to an extent. But at least back then with flint spearheads we'd merely refined our natural hunting and gathering abilities. Our dwelling still depended on natural formations, or at most, camps comprised of easily collapsed huts.

Prenj wrote:
It is first with agriculture and monotheism that we began to imagine that we are somehow separate from nature. I argue that it is an illusion, and as such, it actually creates a lot of problems since we don't think that we are part of environmental loop and that we can overcome laws of nature with technology, and we are prepared to ignore clues that it is not so.

Indeed. But none the less, our environment is of our own craft.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old School wrote:
Is an ant hill unnatural? A wasp's nest? What about a beaver dam?

My point being that we are not the only creature on this planet that rearranges space to fit our needs.


I am not sure why you all are getting side tracked by this natural vs artificial issue. Unnatural is made by us. Is there a grey area? Sure. Clearly, our shit is natural, but they watch I am wearing is not. I don't get the issue. Natural isn't anything not made by a creature (ant hill's are indeed natural), but not made by humans' rather unnatural intelligence.

Here's a clue. Take the current world and pluck out a single creature. The world would look largely the same except if that creature was us.

pjp wrote:

Good point. Beavers indiscriminately rape forests without concern for CO2 or the watershed. Must be OK, since it is natural.


Who said natural things are good? In fact, my point is that it is bad. While I think darwinian evolution describes the world, I would never advocate it as a moral philosophy. Is that what you are all doing?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidanjt wrote:
Actually it's written into our DNA. Healthy human beings have the empathetic capacity and innate understanding of fairness which produces justice and morality. Healthy human beings help others who struggle with the implicit understanding that should they find themselves in difficulty others will repay the same kindness they've shown others. It's only when you get sociopathic doctrines like capitalism do you get that distortion of natural human behaviour. Being slightly less grossly better off to hugely improve the quality of life of hundreds or thousands of people is a small price to pay for huge good, while being way more grossly better off does little to improve the lot of the already rich, and certainly does nothing for those who have nothing, it's just hoarding and it's morally repugnant. It's a simple value equation for normal healthy people.


+1

The funny thing is, with a big, fat, healthy middle, there are probably more opportunities to be rich - although maybe not spectacularly rich - and it's certainly safer to be rich in a largely content, stable and safe society.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally think that the only way to really fix our governmental funding/spending problems is a full complete rebuild on our economic system. We need not just the tax rates of everyone at the federal level adjusted (up or down) but all the departments, agencies, programs, and such need to be redesigned. Top down all of it.

That way we'll end up much better off going forward then we are now.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
indeed. So, what are the means? Generally, the means are through taxation. While some of you call that "theft", it clearly isn't.

Let's put a pin in the taxation/theft debate and focus on the idea of justice. We agree that laws can be unjust. What about tax laws? Is there a point at which taxation in the name of social justice becomes an injustice? If so, how do you describe that point?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
juniper wrote:
indeed. So, what are the means? Generally, the means are through taxation. While some of you call that "theft", it clearly isn't.

Let's put a pin in the taxation/theft debate and focus on the idea of justice. We agree that laws can be unjust. What about tax laws? Is there a point at which taxation in the name of social justice becomes an injustice? If so, how do you describe that point?


that's a difficult question. Clearly a 100% tax is both economically bad and socially unjust. I'll think about it.

not sure.


Last edited by juniper on Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
juniper wrote:
indeed. So, what are the means? Generally, the means are through taxation. While some of you call that "theft", it clearly isn't.

Let's put a pin in the taxation/theft debate and focus on the idea of justice. We agree that laws can be unjust. What about tax laws? Is there a point at which taxation in the name of social justice becomes an injustice? If so, how do you describe that point?


I think there probably is a point on that scale where it does sort of hit that point. The points where the massive taxations of the rich upwards of 90% occured were during wartime (declared war, not just sending troops somewhere and calling it war). Now, the argument can be made that taxation over a certain amount is unjust, but when talking percentages it's really a difficult point to say. I personally think that no one, reguardless of income, should ever pay more then 50% of their income to the government. And unless it's wartime or some other critical crisis like the Great Depression or a massive natural disaster I don't see any justification for going beyond 50%. Especially when you would make massive tax increases without readjusting spending. Not neccesarily cutting spending, but doing better with what you have.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcclatchy is reporting that everyone has accepted that taxes will go up and spending cuts will have to be deep. mcclatchy is further reporting that voters are overwhelmingly greedy and entitled fuckbags (my artistic licensing of course). to huge margins, everyone wants taxes to go up on everyone but themselves, and entitlements cut for everyone but themselves.

odds are, taxes will go up on the rich. now it's just a question of what will get cut. as of yesterday, cspan was saying obama's proposal increased taxes on the rich by over 1.5 trillion, and his new spending outweighs his spending cuts, putting us even further in the hole by ~300 billion. the two biggest targets for spending cuts look like medicare and military handouts. the parties are now doing a political dance, trying to get the other to be the one to admit to doing the cuts because of the same thing mcclatchy is saying (whoever finally admits they're going to cut something will be committing political suicide). it basically went down like this, except it wasn't a conversation... more like a series of press conferences that remind me of when children are fighting and saying shit like "TELL JAY TO TELL BARRY THAT HE'S A DOO-DOO HEAD".

boehner: the president didn't come forward with any legitimate spending cuts, and once again even his own senate would reject his proposal
jay carney (white house press propagandist): the president spoke with boehner and outlined his proposed cuts
boehner: i don't know what the president is talking about... i never heard anything about cuts... all he wanted to do was raise taxes and increase spending, and his own senate has unanimously voted against his budgets multiple times now.
carney: the president has now sat down with boehner and outlined proposed spending cuts in a confidential document on pages 42 through 67.
[in the same press conference] reporter: so what do those cuts include, and when can we get a copy of this report?
[in the same press conference] carney: i'm not going to go into specific proposals at this time.
boehner: everyone knows we have to make spending cuts. presidents are supposed to be leaders, and he won't even say what will be cut. he said he's trying to reduce health care expenses but i didn't see any actual cuts.
carney: look at boehner, look at boehner... he won't say what he wants to cut!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.5 trillion over ten years, amirite? Meanwhile last time I checked we are still expecting annual trillion dollar deficits for a decade. So the taxes only reduce new debt by 10%. It's a bad joke.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
1.5 trillion over ten years, amirite? Meanwhile last time I checked we are still expecting annual trillion dollar deficits for a decade. So the taxes only reduce new debt by 10%. It's a bad joke.

the 'money' is all a figment of the USian citizenship's collective imagination.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
1.5 trillion over ten years, amirite? Meanwhile last time I checked we are still expecting annual trillion dollar deficits for a decade. So the taxes only reduce new debt by 10%. It's a bad joke.
And we're the punchline.

The House needs to pass Clinton era tax rates and the Clinton era budget (plus inflation, just to nip stupiD in the bud).
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
1.5 trillion over ten years, amirite? Meanwhile last time I checked we are still expecting annual trillion dollar deficits for a decade. So the taxes only reduce new debt by 10%. It's a bad joke.


so why did you elect it? :lol:

it is a bad joke, and difficult to find a solution. Your govt is huge and dysfunctional, and I don't know how it got that way. I don't think that welfare is the problem though. You have a crazy complex tax system, duplication at different levels of govt, a bloated military etc etc etc.

this problem will get worse. You have the pigs who have been at the trough for years now not moving over. They are getting old and demanding more.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
so why did you elect it? :lol:

it is a bad joke, and difficult to find a solution. Your govt is huge and dysfunctional, and I don't know how it got that way. I don't think that welfare is the problem though. You have a crazy complex tax system, duplication at different levels of govt, a bloated military etc etc etc.
All limited forms of governments eventually become the largest oppressive regimes. The free-er the people and more open the marketplace, the more wealth that gets generated, the more wealth that can get siphoned off by the parasitic caste for whatever purposes they seem fit. History repeats.
juniper wrote:

this problem will get worse. You have the pigs who have been at the trough for years now not moving over. They are getting old and demanding more.
The wealthiest generation the world has ever seen will also collect the most welfare and pass on the cost to unborn saps who will be told that their share of the debt is in the hundreds of thousands as soon as they turn 18. SOCIAL JUSTICE WOOHOO.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

juniper wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
juniper wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:

So, about when did we stop living in this 'natural' state, and how did that come about?


don't be obtuse. The use of the word natural is clearly in contrast to human made.

I'm not being obtuse. I asked you a simple question. When did we stop living in this 'non-man-made' state and start living in a 'man-made' one?


10000 BC? Do you I look like a historian?

we don't live in a "state of nature". here is a quick little experiment to explain why i think that. Put most of us in a true state of nature and we wouldn't last more than a couple of weeks.

The year isn't important; what's important is what you think changed at that time. So, keeping in mind this discussion as context, what changed at that time which leads you to identify it as the point we were no longer living in a state of nature? You're starting to talk here about whether modern men could survive or not, but I don't see how that is relevant at all, except to show we have become pussified. It hasn't nothing to do with whether something is "natural" or not.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidanjt wrote:
BoneKracker wrote:
mcgruff wrote:
Of course people have to work. The point is to run things to create the most benefit for the most people rather than the most benefit for the richest people.

Oh, that's "The Point", is it? Where is that written? Some kind of axiom, is that? (What does that fluff mean, anyway? Is that a "maximin" creteria? A minimax? Maximum with minimum regrets? And, who says so?) Also, what is that "the point" of (i.e., it's the point of what, generally speaking, and upon what is the existence of that justified)?

Sounds like a lot of bullshit to me -- a bunch of illogical newspeak to, as it were, "rationalize" theft.

Actually it's written into our DNA. Healthy human beings have the empathetic capacity and innate understanding of fairness which produces justice and morality. Healthy human beings help others who struggle with the implicit understanding that should they find themselves in difficulty others will repay the same kindness they've shown others. It's only when you get sociopathic doctrines like capitalism do you get that distortion of natural human behaviour. Being slightly less grossly better off to hugely improve the quality of life of hundreds or thousands of people is a small price to pay for huge good, while being way more grossly better off does little to improve the lot of the already rich, and certainly does nothing for those who have nothing, it's just hoarding and it's morally repugnant. It's a simple value equation for normal healthy people.

That's only half the picture. People also compete to at least the same degree. Furthermore, much of our apparently altruistic behavior is actually selfishly motivated at the subconscious level (e.g., we help others because it makes us feel good, gains us esteem, approval, and status, etc.). Just look around at all the green weenies; how many of them humbly keep that behavior to themselves? Practically none; it's all about being hip and gaining approval of others.

So, I partially agree with you, but I more than half disagree.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmitchell wrote:
juniper wrote:
indeed. So, what are the means? Generally, the means are through taxation. While some of you call that "theft", it clearly isn't.

Let's put a pin in the taxation/theft debate and focus on the idea of justice. We agree that laws can be unjust. What about tax laws? Is there a point at which taxation in the name of social justice becomes an injustice? If so, how do you describe that point?

How pragmatic of you, D.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been talking about you in other threads. You should search for your name.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoneKracker wrote:
I have been talking about you in other threads. You should search for your name.

Done. But the cost of repairs is not yet known.
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