I don’t always agree with the writers at Talking Philopsophy, but the posts there are always well thought out and intellectually stimulating. So, I wanted to share with you a post by Mike Labossiere that I particularly agree with. This saves me from having to post a very similar article that I was going to write. Just read his.
In ‘Are Taxes theft?‘ he takes a serious look at whether or not taxes should be considered, from a philosophical standpoint, as theft. He looks at both sides of the argument and finds situations where it would be theft and also cases for the opposite (e.g. when there is consent to the money being taking).
A key sentence:
To use an analogy, if I go to a restaurant and I am billed for food I did not order, want or eat, then I would be robbed if I were forced to pay. Likewise for taxes.
He concludes the article with:
There is, of course, a great deal of appeal to the idea that people should only pay taxes that yield benefits to them or that they are morally obligated to pay. Going back to the analogy of the bill, I should pay for what I receive or use, but not beyond that-unless I wish to do so. As such, it could be inferred that taxes that go beyond this would thus be theft for they would involve taking from me without my consent and taking beyond what I owe. Avoiding this would seem to require a tax system that is modeled on a billing system and a volunteer charity system: we would pay for what we used and decide to donate (or not) to what we do not actually use. Working out what each person owes (financially and morally) would be a rather challenging matter, but does seem to be something that could be done. As far as the financial part, companies and businesses already seem to have worked out a system of billing and this could be applied to the state as well. …
While it would be a complicated system now, I would argue that the only reason that is is because the government currently takes too much in taxes and provides too many ‘services.’ That, though, is my only qualm with the post. Seriously, it’s worth a read.
- Is ‘piracy’ theft? A response to Mike LaBossiere
- Which former president said this?
- Is taxation theft?
- More on piracy
- Chomsky on Osama’s Assassination