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Should George Be Forced to Help?

The Bantam Seditioner 2012/09/13 18:50:27
Related Topics: Video, Forced, Watch
No.  It would be nice if George helped, but he ought not to be forced.  Coercion is wrong, whether perpetrayed by one person or a million of them.
Coercion by an individual is wrong, but coercion by a group is sometimes right, or at the very least, necessary.
There's nothing inherently wrong with coercion.
I've never really thought about it.  I'll get back to you!
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Just a bit of a thought experiment. Watch the short video posted above and let me know what you think!
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Top Opinion

  • Cuthbert Allsgood 2012/09/13 22:32:59
    No. It would be nice if George helped, but he ought not to be forced. Coerc...
    Cuthbert Allsgood
    +3
    If I were in George's position I also wouldn't have helped. Most likely my limited income is earmarked for personal use.

    Of course I do pay for a lot of things that I don't like. I'm against most welfare programs because they are too easily abused. I do believe there is a place for them, but perhaps that place is private charity and not government. If you truly care about helping others, you could simply find a charity that meets your needs and donate to them. This way, you aren't taxing people who disagree with the use of that portion of their tax money and you have given to a charity that you believe in.

    I don't mind paying NASA, our soldiers pay, or infrastructure out of my taxes. However, perhaps others do mind. Should our tax system be a voluntary system? Should we be able to pick and choose where our taxes go? It sounds great in theory, but would it work?

    I know I would pay into my local infrastructure, I would give money to NASA, and I would give to our soldiers. But then, how much do I pay? Also, how am I sure that the pay goes to the soldiers and not to stockpiling weapons or building up the infrastructure of a foreign nation? Both things I am generally against.

    As I extrapolate that thought to everyone it seems that our tax system would become p...

    If I were in George's position I also wouldn't have helped. Most likely my limited income is earmarked for personal use.

    Of course I do pay for a lot of things that I don't like. I'm against most welfare programs because they are too easily abused. I do believe there is a place for them, but perhaps that place is private charity and not government. If you truly care about helping others, you could simply find a charity that meets your needs and donate to them. This way, you aren't taxing people who disagree with the use of that portion of their tax money and you have given to a charity that you believe in.

    I don't mind paying NASA, our soldiers pay, or infrastructure out of my taxes. However, perhaps others do mind. Should our tax system be a voluntary system? Should we be able to pick and choose where our taxes go? It sounds great in theory, but would it work?

    I know I would pay into my local infrastructure, I would give money to NASA, and I would give to our soldiers. But then, how much do I pay? Also, how am I sure that the pay goes to the soldiers and not to stockpiling weapons or building up the infrastructure of a foreign nation? Both things I am generally against.

    As I extrapolate that thought to everyone it seems that our tax system would become purely democratic in a sense. If everyone only paid into what they thought was a good use of their taxes, then only the things that were generally popular with the population would get any funding.

    I know this is a bit off topic. It got me to thinking, and I just decided to think 'outloud'.
    (more)

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  • Einstein's Firecracker 2012/09/14 15:37:20
    No. It would be nice if George helped, but he ought not to be forced. Coerc...
    Einstein's Firecracker
    +1
    George has his own family and needs to cover first. Oliver's kids will have to get a student loan and work it off like so many others. Oliver should be beaten for even having the audacity to ask his friends to contribute to his children's college funds. Oliver should learn to control his spending, or get a second job, or sell one child so there will be more money for the other children. So, many solutions and no one is forced to pay to Oliver.
  • Odinsown 2012/09/14 01:34:04
    No. It would be nice if George helped, but he ought not to be forced. Coerc...
    Odinsown
    +2
    I had never seen this video but it is perfect.
  • Cuthbert Allsgood 2012/09/13 22:32:59
    No. It would be nice if George helped, but he ought not to be forced. Coerc...
    Cuthbert Allsgood
    +3
    If I were in George's position I also wouldn't have helped. Most likely my limited income is earmarked for personal use.

    Of course I do pay for a lot of things that I don't like. I'm against most welfare programs because they are too easily abused. I do believe there is a place for them, but perhaps that place is private charity and not government. If you truly care about helping others, you could simply find a charity that meets your needs and donate to them. This way, you aren't taxing people who disagree with the use of that portion of their tax money and you have given to a charity that you believe in.

    I don't mind paying NASA, our soldiers pay, or infrastructure out of my taxes. However, perhaps others do mind. Should our tax system be a voluntary system? Should we be able to pick and choose where our taxes go? It sounds great in theory, but would it work?

    I know I would pay into my local infrastructure, I would give money to NASA, and I would give to our soldiers. But then, how much do I pay? Also, how am I sure that the pay goes to the soldiers and not to stockpiling weapons or building up the infrastructure of a foreign nation? Both things I am generally against.

    As I extrapolate that thought to everyone it seems that our tax system would become p...

    If I were in George's position I also wouldn't have helped. Most likely my limited income is earmarked for personal use.

    Of course I do pay for a lot of things that I don't like. I'm against most welfare programs because they are too easily abused. I do believe there is a place for them, but perhaps that place is private charity and not government. If you truly care about helping others, you could simply find a charity that meets your needs and donate to them. This way, you aren't taxing people who disagree with the use of that portion of their tax money and you have given to a charity that you believe in.

    I don't mind paying NASA, our soldiers pay, or infrastructure out of my taxes. However, perhaps others do mind. Should our tax system be a voluntary system? Should we be able to pick and choose where our taxes go? It sounds great in theory, but would it work?

    I know I would pay into my local infrastructure, I would give money to NASA, and I would give to our soldiers. But then, how much do I pay? Also, how am I sure that the pay goes to the soldiers and not to stockpiling weapons or building up the infrastructure of a foreign nation? Both things I am generally against.

    As I extrapolate that thought to everyone it seems that our tax system would become purely democratic in a sense. If everyone only paid into what they thought was a good use of their taxes, then only the things that were generally popular with the population would get any funding.

    I know this is a bit off topic. It got me to thinking, and I just decided to think 'outloud'.
    (more)
  • Philo-Publius 2012/09/13 21:16:35
    None of the above
    Philo-Publius
    +1
    I know the logic in the video sounds reasonable, and tugs at our moral heart strings, but let me attempt to be similarly reasonable and tug at The Bantam Seditioner's heart strings for a moment:

    What if, instead of needing college tuition for his kids, Oliver needed food for his children to eat, so that they didn't starve? You dig deep and give Oliver $20; which is the top amount you can spare without cutting into your and your own kids' weekly food money, but George, who you know has far more money than you and no kids to support, just says, “Let'm starve. I don't care.” George, in fact, has no money worries whatsoever. The economic system has been good to him, because he inherited his wealth.

    In our scenario, just like in the original one, there are no further variables by which we can morally mitigate this: If George doesn't pay a small pittance from his great abundance, despite your own help which might feed them for the day but certainly not for the month, two children will absolutely starve. Is it a moral act to physically beat George if necessary to steal his money and save the two children's lives?

    I personally wonder if, when we push libertarianism to the extreme, we are not guilty of something like an equivocation fallacy. That is to say, these moral scenarios il...

    I know the logic in the video sounds reasonable, and tugs at our moral heart strings, but let me attempt to be similarly reasonable and tug at The Bantam Seditioner's heart strings for a moment:

    What if, instead of needing college tuition for his kids, Oliver needed food for his children to eat, so that they didn't starve? You dig deep and give Oliver $20; which is the top amount you can spare without cutting into your and your own kids' weekly food money, but George, who you know has far more money than you and no kids to support, just says, “Let'm starve. I don't care.” George, in fact, has no money worries whatsoever. The economic system has been good to him, because he inherited his wealth.

    In our scenario, just like in the original one, there are no further variables by which we can morally mitigate this: If George doesn't pay a small pittance from his great abundance, despite your own help which might feed them for the day but certainly not for the month, two children will absolutely starve. Is it a moral act to physically beat George if necessary to steal his money and save the two children's lives?

    I personally wonder if, when we push libertarianism to the extreme, we are not guilty of something like an equivocation fallacy. That is to say, these moral scenarios illustrating coercion seem all to be based on the presumption that everyone is already 'a-okay', and/or is on a level playing field, and that everybody earns their wealth in the same manner. The reality seems, however, to be that if we began a purely voluntaryist society tomorrow, the 1% or 3% – the rich industrialist or banker class (the inheritors of most of the wealth and most of the machinery of the previous system) – would have such a huge advantage over the 99% or 97% that the latter would be more, not less, beholden to their will, and less, not more, freedom would be had.

    Am I wrong in thinking this? (I'm just playing Devil's Advocate.)
    (more)
  • The Ban... Philo-P... 2012/09/13 21:32:17
    The Bantam Seditioner
    +1
    Actually, those are good and fair critiques. Reimagining the scenario to one in which George is obscenely wealthy does make him seem all the more a heartless bastard, and thus, makes it harder for me to defend his right to be one. I still wouldn't advocate the use of violence to separate him from his money, but I can see your point.

    I definitely believe Voluntaryism should be a gradual, long-term transition and not something we do overnight...especially for the simple reason that people just aren't evolved enough to handle it yet. If the state vanished overnight, the sheeple would rush to either elect or install some new goon, out of a sense of fear.
  • Philo-P... The Ban... 2012/09/13 22:14:58
    Philo-Publius
    +1
    You make good points, too, as always, and I think the supreme irony for both our thinking may end up being that, by the time people evolve to the point where they will always do the right thing without coercion, the state will no longer be so much as a consideration – I'm not sure a state could even exist in (or, rather, over) a society whose members spontaneously care for, and provide sufficiently for, those who lack for aught.

    Perhaps even more ironic is that this would be communism (as defined by Marx as the ultimate goal of society; the 'withering away of the state'), a societal arrangement which to date is and has been, in its unperfected state, the complete antithesis of what you and I are talking about.

    (Do all roads lead to Voluntaryism then? I wonder.)
  • Joyce Brand 2012/09/13 19:21:33
    No. It would be nice if George helped, but he ought not to be forced. Coerc...
    Joyce Brand
    +1
    This should be obvious, but there are plenty of people who don't get it yet.
  • Mike 2012/09/13 19:01:22
    No. It would be nice if George helped, but he ought not to be forced. Coerc...
    Mike
    +1
    Now that this “thought experiment” is over, I have to go and pay my taxes.
  • The Ban... Mike 2012/09/13 19:14:09
    The Bantam Seditioner
    +1
    Sorry to hear that. :(
  • Mike The Ban... 2012/09/13 19:20:40
    Mike
    +1
    I am forced to, so are you; may I call you “George?”
  • The Ban... Mike 2012/09/13 19:21:41
    The Bantam Seditioner
    +2
    Yes. Unfortunately, we're a nation of Georges.

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