Taxes, are they morally wrong?


Well they didn’t give it to their children did they? They just went “whatever just give it to my children when I’m not going to need it anymore”. Is there a tax for transferring money to your kids when you are alive? If there is then it’s wrong and I agree with you.


What? It’s in their will so they did. You’re just making light of a decision to fit your ideas.

Yes, gift tax.


Free money is morally corrupting. I’d be all for the scions of the filthy rich getting nothing and having to work for a living, if only we could arrange it that the money doesn’t pass through government hands.


It’s not the same. It’s not theirs anymore. Dead people don’t own stuff. I know it sounds obvious but it’s not if you think about it, why should you get to decide what happens after you die?

The government is entitled to some of my money if I decide to give it to someone else? That sounds stupid. Is there a rational for it?


If you don’t get to decide on what happens to your things when you die, who should?


In less salubrious parts of the world, this is a solid rationale for killing people and taking their stuff.

Not so long ago, it’s how real-estate ownership was decided in Europe and the US, too.


I would say not paying taxes is morally wrong!


I disagree with you here. Yachts and cars don’t come out of thin air, and neither are they free to own.
And invested capital doesn’t sit around earning interest for nothing. It’s earning money because someone is borrowing it to run their business, thus paying employees and paying taxes. Similarly if you get a government the government isn’t paying you interest to have the money sitting in their coffers - they’re using it to pay for government programs.


You’re right, they’re paid for with tax cuts. It will trickle down!


Do tax cuts also pay the wages of the mechanic, the parts suppliers, the dealers, the cleaners, the petrol station attendant, the insurance broker and so on, not to mention their income tax; or the fuel tax, registration, GST and so on?



No, no, no!

Absolute monarchs do everything legally. They’re not capable of breaking the law, unless they say so. All the wealth in the realm belongs to them. It’s their property. The splendid artworks and all the other achievements in the realm are, as you would say, the fruit of their labor.

In most cases it’s inherited. And why not? Who has the right to stop a monarch from passing on his/her property to another person? No-one. Unless the monarch says so.

…ooor, unless some sort of democracy happens. And when it does, the ultra-royalist line will usually be that the filthy peasants and/or renegade aristocrats blinded by evil ambition are trying to seize wealth (and power) that doesn’t belong to them. Which is true.

Of course your mileage will vary depending on which actual monarchy you analyze. There’s no such thing as a genuine absolute monarchy, just as there’s no such thing as a genuine anarchy, unless the population is one, and then there’s no difference.

And there’s also no such thing as a genuine pure democracy, in any society with a significant population. Whichever way you spin it, it’s always going to be a compromise of some sort. Electoral College, FPTP, Rotten Boroughs, Mixed Member Proportional, whatever the hell Belgium has… take your pick.

The question is, which compromise is most suitable for the actual and future conditions in any given society?

There’s no perfectly “fair” tax system either, because that’s also going to be a compromise one way or another. But as the wealth gap continues to grow in the West, so will the demand for wealth redistribution, one form of which is progressive taxation. The details are extremely complex, but if you take a few steps back from it all, it’s blindingly simple.

If you want to reduce the demand for wealth redistribution, the easiest way is… wealth redistribution.

Other ideas are welcome, of course, but if they don’t catch on, that means they’re failures as far as the free market is concerned. :yin_yang:

You’re triple welcome. :bowing: :bowing: :bowing:

Worried about your mollycoddled, ne’er-do-well heirs making a mockery of your family name after you die? Equally worried about the mollycoddling effect of health care and public transit and other stuff the government might fund if it takes a tiny percentage of your wealth? The Rowland Institute for Money Disposal is standing by, ready to solve both problems at once. Just send all your wealth to be RIMD away! :rainbow: :smiling_imp: :money_mouth_face:

All disposals are final. :cactus:


But you haven’t addressed the point of how they obtain wealth vs a individual in a capitalist free market. How does all the wealth in the realm belong to them? They take it. One seizes another creates, not to say a monarch could not also create if they so choose to have private ventures with the money they seized. There is a element of the moral issue here, not just legal.

And once inherited, does the monarch stop the practice of seizing the wealth of the people as they see fit?

I wouldn’t call the constitution in a constitutional democracy a compromise, the point is to guarantee inalienable rights. At least that’s how most Americans would see the role of it. Do I have a right to my property? I suppose people can come up with the agreement of no, I am not. But that begs the question of who does?

Or wipe out wealth in most cases like natural disasters from the plague to man made ones like a man made famine and war. This seems to be where some people want to take it, because wealth redistribution was so great for many places that tried it to the extreme.

Fortunately and unfortunately, in most western versions of democracy, things happen slowly.


I’m all for wealth redistribution so long as I’m the one doing the redistributing.

The problem with monarchy is the dynasties.


You can’t steal something that already belongs to you.

Unless you’re Audrey Hepburn. :dark_sunglasses:

How does a monarchy of significance come into existence? Usually a combination of factors over many generations. Strategic marriage, business savvy, murder and conquest (might makes right)… eventually the past is so murky that no-one is really sure how it started. (Or they’re sure, but the truth is embarrassing, so it’s not spoken in polite society.) Is it moral to let it continue when no-one can prove whether or not certain events X centuries ago were legal, by the standards of the time?

Revolution after revolution has been premised on the concept that it’s not moral.

Your favorite revolution is premised on the concept that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. :rainbow:

And guess what: people nowadays don’t feel very secure. :cloud:

What seizure are you talking about? As the tenant pays rent to the seigneur, so the subject pays tax to the monarch. The monarch owns the land. Period. You don’t want to turn the world upside down and invoke the wrath of Heaven, do you? :crown: :cloud_with_lightning:


I’ll let an American respond to that. :slight_smile:

There’s no such thing as absolute freedom. Your freedom of speech doesn’t extend to shouting fire in a theater (compromise), your freedom of movement doesn’t extend to boarding a flight without ID (compromise), and so on… and your freedom of property doesn’t, in most cases, extend to owning property without paying tax (compromise). Ditto receiving wealth, whether you earned it through labor, through investment, through being related to someone, or through any other method… unless the method fits through a loophole. :desert_island:

Yes, yes, yes! You’re catching on to what Rowland’s up to! :bulb:

Oh wait, no, scratch that. You’re walking straight into his trap. :doh:

I think you’re talking about checks & balances. Hooray for those!


“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

This beguiling “simple” idea is wrong because the economy is a dynamic feedback system, and it follows all of the well-established theory (of which economists are blithely ignorant) that governs such systems.

If you were looking at one static moment in time and you saw X people with “too much money” and Y people with not enough, then it would be reasonable to tell X to give some money to Y.

Introduce a feedback loop, and that one-off action becomes a ‘disturbance’. If it’s a consistent feature of the system, then it’s an ‘input’. The instantaneous and steady-state effects can only be predicted if you understand the transfer function of the feedback loop … which is pretty damn hard for a multiple-input, multiple-output system with humans performing the control actions. The usual method for attacking such things is numerical modelling, ie., look at what happens when you do this and say “ok, that’s what happens when we do this”, but even that is incredibly complex. Apparently even Nobel-winning mathematicians haven’t cracked it yet.

The economist view is simply to say “this is what ought to happen when we do this”, based on some halfbakery they invented over the water-cooler, and completely ignore what actually happens in reality.

If you want a concrete illustration of static behaviour not translating to dynamic behaviour, consider a motorcycle and railcar. The railcar is rock-solid when it’s standing still; you can load it up with 100 tonnes of coal and it won’t fall over. However, move it along a track at any speed, and certain conditions can cause it to oscillate and pitch over. A motorcycle is statically unstable: it’ll fall over if stationary. When moving, its dynamic performance is far superior to any four-wheeled vehicle.

Governments, though, don’t subscribe to free market rules. In fact you could argue that their purpose is to fill the gaps that free markets can’t fill. But left to their own devices, their natural (human) instinct will be to squeeze as much from the populace as they will bear, and spend it on stuff that (possibly) isn’t actually necessary. Simply because they want to.


But I can own land as an individual in most western democracies with free market capitalism. I do not “own” the land even if granted by a monarch. There are clear differences, do you truly not see it?

I’m not arguing for absolute freedom. I’m saying there is a clear cut moral distinction with the gov saying you need to show ID to the gov saying we will take some of your money once you die. What is the moral justification of the someone else having a go on what you own after you die. SO far I only saw because they can afford it, they should have to work, etc. None of these are to me, fair or justified.


They aren’t morally wrong, but in some jurisdictions the govt should do better to encourage people to ‘buy into’ the social contract. Every time I’ve been back to Vancouver I feel like shrugging out; Taiwan not so much.


In a western democracy there obviously are no seigneur’s.

When you have been talking about monarchs previously in this thread, I was under the impression you had in mind something akin to monarchs in feudal Europe. But, do you in fact mean like the king of sweden in present day Sweden?

The king of Sweden(or any other king in the western world for that matter) cannot seize anything, they are basically symbolic heads of state.

In feudal Europe then again, they wouldn’t seize anything either because it is theirs to begin with, as a previous poster has tried to explain to you.

Is it a common misconception in Taiwan(and the usa?) that monarchs in present day Europe go around trying to seize and/or granting property to people?


No, I wasn’t talking about constitutional monarchies. More on the side of absolute monarchs and those mixes that would be closer to that.

Of course they do, they levy taxes which is a form of seizing wealth. Do I have the opportunity to own land if I’m not the king? No, unless you count killing him and taking everything.

no…i’ve never met anyone who thinks that.


Nothing is simple, not even…

Rights are abstractions except to the extent they are enforced. The only way to have an absolute right is to enforce it absolutely.

The closest thing to equal rights attainable in the real world is a balance of power. This is the basis for rule of law. When power becomes excessively concentrated in any entity whatsoever, we’ve got a problem.