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Optimum top tax rate is 48% says OBR

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    Well I'm a student so I support tax and spend type policies right now.


    However in 4 years time I'd hope they lower high tax rates.


    In all seriousness, they picked the wrong time to drop the rate, however long term I'd like to see it maybe at 35%.
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    (Original post by ThePants999)
    Hence the word "legalised" in what you quoted. You're missing his actual point.
    You do understand the legalised theft is an oxymoron right? You're playing semantics with a well defined word and you're not going to convince anybody who isn't either completely ignorant or blinded by ideology.
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    The 'tax = theft' argument is ridiculous.

    I think a point here to remember is that we don't have ownership for the sake of ownership itself (in which case one could argue for any redistribution of income as 'theft'), but that we have ownership (within limits) for the betterment of society and efficiency purposes. Therefore ownership's reason for existence is the benefit it gives to humanity, and therefore has to serve humanity. It is a tool we use to improve our lives and judged on merit, not the ultimate goal. This is why we only have ownership within bounds (such as market regulation and taxation). To maximally improve the lives of those in society, we need taxation and ownership up to a limited amount, which is why we combine both.

    Theft is illegally taking things which belong to someone else. The reason why this is illegal is that it distorts the market, leads to inefficiency and often wrongly redistributes wealth. This is different from tax, as though it distorts the market as well, it is set up to minimise this effect. It leads to much less inefficiency and rightly distributes wealth. Tax is essentially forces charity contributions.
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    Just think where tax came from originally, and I can tell you it was not to pursue social justice, and it should be pretty obvious that taxation is coercion.

    Tax was introduced to force people to pay for wars the state could not otherwise afford. Thinking of tax as not being theft, is just the tyranny of the status quo.

    Suppose there was no taxation. And suddenly the government introduced taxation. I reckon that the people who currently say "Its not theft" would be saying it is theft then.
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    (Original post by Classical Liberal)
    Tax was introduced to force people to pay for wars the state could not otherwise afford.
    Some taxes were, some taxes weren't. I'm pretty sure nobody knows why tax was first created, though afaik income tax was first used to fund war against napoleon.
    Suppose there was no taxation. And suddenly the government introduced taxation. I reckon that the people who currently say "Its not theft" would be saying it is theft then.
    And they'd still be wrong. Tax flat out isn't theft.
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    (Original post by Llamageddon)
    Some taxes were, some taxes weren't. I'm pretty sure nobody knows why tax was first created, though afaik income tax was first used to fund war against napoleon.
    Do you think monarchs read a Theory of Justice and thought, "**** me, I need to apply the difference principle"?

    Because the difference principle is the bedrock defense of taxation.

    No, taxation was introduce to put more money into the hands of all ready filthy rich bastards. It was designed to take from the common man and give to the rich.


    Any by the way, if you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    I don't advocate zero government though, you're jumping to the conclusion that because I'm prepared to state that taxation as it stands is legalised theft I'm therefore opposed to all forms of government. You couldn't be further from the truth.
    So voluntary taxation? I'm sure that would work! Go buy an island somewhere and start your own little libertarian utopia and tell me how it goes.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    No. You've been brainwashed.

    If a man goes out to work and earns £50 but gets mugged on the way home and loses £20 the state quite rightly calls this theft.

    If a man goes out and earns £50 but has to complete a tax return at the end of the year and hand £20 over to the government the impact on him is exactly the same. This too is theft.
    No, it's like a man going to work knowing that he has to pay £20 of his money, so that he can get there safely, can be provided with medical assistance if needed, get his kids an education etc..

    That's what it's like
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    (Original post by Callum828)
    So voluntary taxation? I'm sure that would work! Go buy an island somewhere and start your own little libertarian utopia and tell me how it goes.
    Unfortunately there are no available islands left so I'm stuck with an ingrained system of legalised theft because a vanguard of quasi-Marxists think it's in their own interests to have their hard earned confiscated for the common good. The phrase "useful idiot" springs to mind
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    (Original post by de_monies)
    No, it's like a man going to work knowing that he has to pay £20 of his money, so that he can get there safely, can be provided with medical assistance if needed, get his kids an education etc..

    That's what it's like
    Sure thing, as long as you have no problem with me demanding an arbitrary amount money from you at gunpoint as long as I promise to cook you the occasional meal. That is the principle you support, isn't it? Services provided at the barrel of a gun.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Sure thing, as long as you have no problem with me demanding an arbitrary amount money from you at gunpoint as long as I promise to cook you the occasional meal. That is the principle you support, isn't it? Services provided at the barrel of a gun.
    Not really. No one is going to shoot you, and if you don't earn that much, you pay less tax
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    (Original post by de_monies)
    Not really. No one is going to shoot you, and if you don't earn that much, you pay less tax
    You do understand that tax evasion is a crime punishable with imprisonment don't you? If that's not extortion I don't know what is.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Sure thing, as long as you have no problem with me demanding an arbitrary amount money from you at gunpoint as long as I promise to cook you the occasional meal. That is the principle you support, isn't it? Services provided at the barrel of a gun.
    We have been through why this is not the same at all. You acting alone is not the same as people acting collectively as a society. You are welcome to explain to people why you think it is fair that you and others should receive lots of resources and others should starve, receive no healthcare or children should be left without an education or a roof over their head. Having explained why you think that would be fairer, if the people in this country are convinced, taxes can be reduced and you can have the resources you feel you are entitled to because of whatever it is you do that is so hugely important you need to be rewarded in this way. This, however, is not the same as you taking a gun and threatening to shoot people who don't agree with you or hand over their stuff. That is theft, taxation is taxation, it is the allocation of some resources based on need rather than on ability to obtain those resources. Those resources being allocated are not yours, they were never yours, they belong to everyone and everyone therefore has a right to collectively decide what to do with them.
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    (Original post by Pkysam)
    We have been through why this is not the same at all. You acting alone is not the same as people acting collectively as a society. You are welcome to explain to people why you think it is fair that you and others should receive lots of resources and others should starve, receive no healthcare or children should be left without an education or a roof over their head. Having explained why you think that would be fairer, if the people in this country are convinced, taxes can be reduced and you can have the resources you feel you are entitled to because of whatever it is you do that is so hugely important you need to be rewarded in this way. This, however, is not the same as you taking a gun and threatening to shoot people who don't agree with you or hand over their stuff. That is theft, taxation is taxation, it is the allocation of some resources based on need rather than on ability to obtain those resources. Those resources being allocated are not yours, they were never yours, they belong to everyone and everyone therefore has a right to collectively decide what to do with them.
    But your system has no underlying logic. The argument seems to be that as long as you can get loose consent for a certain action (be it theft, murder, kidnapping etc) the collective can get away with anything they please. This thinking is the basis for all tyranny. If we took a vote and the majority decided it was ok to lock you up forever based on nothing more than the fact we don't like you (I'm sure you're a likable chap, this is just an example) would you consider our actions to be fair and just? If not why do you think this principle is any better when we apply it to taxtion? Collective consent doesn't magically make something that's wrong right.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    But your system has no underlying logic. The argument seems to be that as long as you can get loose consent for a certain action (be it theft, murder, kidnapping etc) the collective can get away with anything they please. This thinking is the basis for all tyranny. If we took a vote and the majority decided it was ok to lock you up forever based on nothing more than the fact we don't like you (I'm sure you're a likable chap, this is just an example) would you consider our actions to be fair and just? If not why do you think this principle is any better when we apply it to taxtion? Collective consent doesn't magically make something that's wrong right.
    Well indeed throughout history we have relied on a collective sense of morality to determine laws and definitions of justice. As you say, this doesn't always result in decisions that we can look back on with pride, but the difficulty is in coming up with a superior system for determining right from wrong. If I were to be locked up forever on the basis of collective opinion, I would obviously be most upset. Presumably there would be a strong argument for having done so, such that everyone had been convinced it was a good idea. Does that make it right or wrong? Who knows, there are no moral absolutes. Obviously everyone else would consider it right, I would consider it wrong, but you can only win debates about morality by consensus, they don't conform to any physical or logical laws, we just have to agree. For all we know there are a great many prisoners who consider it morally repugnant that they have been placed in prison for actions they consider morally justifiable. Ultimately, it is collectively that we determine morality and its limits. Over time, and with debate, ideas are explored and societal views of morality change.

    The difference, however, with taxation, is that your argument seems to be based on the principle that our system of currency and trade of labour is something other than a social construct. If we do away with civilisation, we are left with a large group of hunters and gatherers. We managed like this for an awfully long time, but it's far from the most efficient way to live. As a result we agreed to team up, and came up with systems for allocating resources. These systems have become hugely complex, and so aren't always fair or transparent. They rely on some people working the land, they rely on dividing up that land and deciding who gets to work on which bits, they rely on others generating energy, some building houses, some becoming teachers or doctors. They rely on some working in banks and shuffling money around. In the end, we end up with a system that also seems to defy logic. Some roles, like shuffling money around, seem to carry with them huge rewards, while others, like teaching, caring for the sick or bringing up children, carry much less. It seems once you have resources, it becomes a lot easier to get allocated even more. I'm not sure that's logical, but it's the world we have. However we choose to allocate money and resources, it is all by loose consent. There is nothing else, civilisation doesn't exist without people, people created civilisation. Negotiation or physical conflict is all we have.

    As a result, we allow free markets to determine some elements of resource allocation, and use taxation to patch up the holes. You are suggesting there aren't any holes, and that you'd rather live in a world where those who were unlucky enough to become extremely ill should be left to die, and those born to parents unable to educate them should be left to flouder, and those too old to work who had not managed to save sufficiently be left to suffer. Most of us would rather not live in a world like that, and insist instead on a system that takes into account the huge role luck plays in determining our lives and adjusts the allocation of resources to help those less fortunate. The rich are still rich, they still have big cars and big houses and lots of holidays. Making sure some resources are shared, that we all have enough to live, isn't theft. It isn't your food, or your energy, or your land, or your metal used to make your car. Those things belong to us all, and we can quite justifiably share them as we see fit.
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    (Original post by Llamageddon)
    You do understand the legalised theft is an oxymoron right? You're playing semantics with a well defined word and you're not going to convince anybody who isn't either completely ignorant or blinded by ideology.
    Thoroughly confused as to why people keep coming to me on this - I never said I agreed with that post, and I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. Was just pointing out that someone was either deliberately or accidentally misunderstanding a post. "Taxation is theft" is a principle of certain political philosophies, and if you want to argue against it, you argue against the principle, not its wording - that's all I'm saying.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Unfortunately there are no available islands left so I'm stuck with an ingrained system of legalised theft because a vanguard of quasi-Marxists think it's in their own interests to have their hard earned confiscated for the common good. The phrase "useful idiot" springs to mind
    Well I'm sure Somalia would have you. No legalised theft there. Of course there's lots of actual theft and no government to stop it, but since you won't be paying income tax, I'm sure you'll be able to afford some armed guards, especially given how poor the place is. Isn't libertarianism wonderful!
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    (Original post by Llamageddon)
    And they'd still be wrong. Tax flat out isn't theft.
    Taking something without the explicit permission of the owner is theft by definition, as all taxation is involuntarily and forced upon the population at gunpoint it therefore constitutes a form of theft. Anyone who believes otherwise is allowing an irrational commitment to socialism blind them to objective reality.
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    (Original post by mimx)
    So only some taxes are theft. Wha-?
    Uh, yeah - actually. It's theft if it's the appropriation of private property. If it shouldn't be private property in the first place, but should be a communal resource, then it ceases to be theft to appropriate it.

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...701&p=37398198
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    (Original post by Callum828)
    Well I'm sure Somalia would have you. No legalised theft there. Of course there's lots of actual theft and no government to stop it, but since you won't be paying income tax, I'm sure you'll be able to afford some armed guards, especially given how poor the place is. Isn't libertarianism wonderful!
    I not sure why you keep attacking this strawman, I explained earlier that I'm not an anarchist and believe the state has a useful role to play but this doesn't mean they should be given carte blanche to tax with impunity. Even if I thought that income tax was a necessary evil (which I don't) it's 'good' points still wouldn't be enough stop it from being a form of theft. The difference between you and me is that I don't let ideological dogma prevent me from calling a spade a spade.

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