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Flat Tax Essay
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US best-selling author Stephen King talks during a press conference. The author penned a controversial op-ed about taxation on the Daily Beast on Monday. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand. Related Stories. France moves to make reproductive technology legal for all. Half of the world's children aren't getting enough nutrients. Will Iowa farmers benefit from Trump's newest deals with China and Japan? Latest Content. Cartel gunmen terrorize Mexican city to free El Chapo's son. We need laws. If I oppose heroin use but in a moment of weakness used it, I shouldn't have to advocate legalization.
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If you don't practice what you preach, you have no right to attack others but that doesn't mean you have to abandon the sermon. Nothing wrong with alcoholics preaching against alcoholism. They just shouldn't attack fellow alcoholics in a judgmental manner. The argument that people should live by their principles before they advocate them for others is also an argument in favor in a lot of things that are supported by the left as well. I don't think people should say a war is worth fighting unless they would be willing to go themselves, or send their own children off to fight.
I don't think people should tell other people what marriage is, unless they were willing to submit to others telling them what their marriage is. I don't think people should jail others for violating drug laws they themselves violated.
So yes, if you think people should pay for more social services, start with yourself. Practice what you preach: the left and the right could both do more of that.
The real problem that arises whenever Buffet, or Stephen King, or Elizabeth Warren open their mouths to speak about the supposed obligations that all of us citizens have to our sovereign state is that they simply gloss over what it actually is that the state does with what it collects. The U. Go to it. Look at what's in it.
Stephen King pens profanity-laced op-ed on income inequality
The majority of federal expenditures fall into two categories: financing the projection of American empire all across the globe ie Defense and propping up an inefficient and unsustainable system of middle-class wealth transfer Social Security and Medicare. That's where 60 cents out of every tax dollar goes. By any honest accounting, a dollar contributed directly towards doing any of the things on King's list by contributing to a homeless shelter, donating to Greenpeace, buying an infrastructure bond, whatever is a more ethical choice than handing over another dollar to the federal government.
Actually, the 'society run by gifts from rich people' thing has been done at least once. Republican Rome ran that way. The great Senatorial families owned much of Italy, and ran industrial farms and workshops with slave labor. Men of these families competed for public offices, and funded the operations of those offices from their own pockets frequently using borrowed money.
The ultimate goal was to become consul for a year, which allowed you to become governor of a province, which allowed you to extort vast sums from the populace, to pay off your debts and become a lender yourself. Some of what was achieved in this way was truly magnificent. But it was done on the backs of a vast slave population, and constant aggressive war, plunder, and ethnic cleansing of others, with bloody civil wars every few decades.
Glorious in its way, but without freedom, justice, or peace. And also a socialist, of course, but that is a forgone conclusion nowadays whenever someone uses "government" and "should" together in a sentence a that is not about blowing things up. No, thank you. We like our press free here in America.
At least some of us do. You and Rick Santorum can go censor media over in the monarchies. There was a time, in Europe at least, when the power elite paid no taxes.
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The way it worked was basically a protection racket - the defenseless masses were told by the local lord to pay up or bad things would happen. This settled into a less arbitrary system whereby the elite provided protection and justice in exchange for taxes and services, but woe betide the peasant who tried to duck his part of the bargain. Not all that much has changed - you still go to jail for non-payment of taxes and it is treason to subvert the power of the state. And the concept of services to be provided by the state has expanded to include things like social security and education.
The essential difference is that, in a democracy, politicians compete for membership of the power elite, and there are rules which control the competition. But politicians are still motivated by power, not money! As has always been the case, the more powerful you are, the more entitled you feel, to the point where the super-rich who simply by being wealthy have more power and influence tend to feel themselves to be part of the state structure and so above the masses.
And in a sense they may be right - they can afford to provide themselves with most of the protections and services which the masses rely on the state to provide. But they are still citizens and should pay their fair share. In medieval times the aristocracy was a military elite who understood that its use of force, while useful to keep the masses on their places, was also essential to the defense from exterior threats of themselves, the masses under their sphere of control and the state above them.
They had a monopoly on the use of power within their particular sphere and eventually acknowledged that its use was subject to the will of their sovereign. As a vestige of this tradition. This was the basis of the whole structure and could be described, in most cases, as "voluntary contributions".
But if they went against the will of the sovereign they were subject to appropriate punishment. Many of the super-rich want to a be self-sufficient "aristocrats" and b be free of any associated responsibilities to support the state. Their argument is basically that they should only be obliged to pay for what they receive from the state national defense, the justice system for others but not welfare, regulation of their affairs, etc.
But it's so much easier to just say "If you think taxes should be higher, just donate more yourself. Otherwise, you have to get into a discussion of what taxes actually pay for, and what they should pay for. Which loses you votes for your "Cut taxes! No matter what level they are at now! Wouldn't want to let reality into that discussion. If you say that the government should build a bridge across a certain river in order to alleviate traffic, then the first question that I will ask you is "Have you personally started building this bridge with your own bare hands?
The occasional check to the government isn't enough to pay for government programs in their entirety, but it does help on the margins. The point is not valid. If King really thought that government does good with the money, he would give money to the government. The problem is paying for government programs, so that they can do good.