AFedchuck wrote:Actually, you can tell the tax collector that you'd rather work with someone else - by voting. If the tax was for a tyranny, you would be right, it would be compulsion at the end of a gun. But it's not.
Really? Because my odds of changing, say, the Presidential election by voting are about the same as my odds of getting struck by lightning twice
. My odds of changing my Representative or Senator, and them being the one that makes the difference between a tax increase passing and it failing, seem roughly similar (but harder to compute).
The amount of control the least influential person has over the whole in a large system run by collective decisions is 0. The amount of control the least wealthy person has over their life in a large system run by individual decisions in generally more than 0.
Only for your twisted definitions of control. And if you think the current system is broken (as I do), surely the solution is to reform it, and not by turning to those very same entities that are distorting it.
[quote="AFedchuck wrote:And as qbg so rightly points out, how is the choice to be a wage slave or starve a real choice?
It is a real choice in that no one is forcing you down a particular path. Imagine you're standing underneath a falling meteor- you will probably decide to dodge, even if you all the spots around you are covered with burning coals. There's an importance difference between that and a living, thinking person tossing a rock at you if you don't walk on the coals they want you to walk on.
It doesn't really matter whether or not you call it a "real choice"- I just think it's important to not conflate the two issues.
As well, "earning a living" doesn't mean "being a wage slave." Roughly one in six Americans work for themselves, and I would claim that collectivist thinking helps make people shy away from such independent lives.
Ah, ok, so you do have a choice not to pay taxes. In fact, you don't seem to believe in compulsion at all. Glad we've got that sorted. But what should we describe force and economic compulsion as?
Independent lives? Perhaps, but they are almost all still bound into society. Anyway, I wonder where you got your numbers from. I went on to the BLS, and here's what I found.
Non-agriculture self employed 9,219,000
Agriculture 'self employed' 860,000*
Total self employed 10,079,000
*This figure will essentially be workers, rather than businessmen.
But compare those numbers to these:
Unemployed: 8 924 000 (this is the 2008 value, not our current value, which will be massively higher)
So just as many people are free (thereabouts, there's about a 10% discrepancy) and indepedent as are depedant on the state. Interesting that, isn' it.
Oh, before I forget, your value of 1 in 6 is crap, there are 145362000 employed americans. So that gives 6.5% self employed or about 1 in 15 working age Americans.
Vanvier][quote="AFedchuck wrote:In what way is the power of a company owner or wealthy man deserved?
Is the total amount of wealth in the world constant?[/quote]
No. I take it that you are arguing that everybody could become as rich as Bill Gates if they just tried hard enough. This is what I hate about the American dream, this insidious flipside, the question that it asks of the poor "If everyone can make it, why are you poor?", and the answer it provides - "because you are worthless". Bill Gates' children won't have to work hard to get their power, so why should they feel better than the person who fights tooth and nail to keep their minimum wage job down?
I'll ask you again to explain, how is their power deserved?