Is poverty a moral failing...

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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Hermit » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:05 am

Alternatively, he could join a libertarian party - or start one himself - that will turn the USA into a nation run strictly on his principles. What could go wrong with his endeavour if it is as rational and attractive as he says? I mean, the idle dependent class is not numerous enough to outvote Ayn Rand style libertarians, is it, and Trump's victory has proven that the power of the communist media to mislead the electorate can be overcome. In fact, the promise to all but abolish taxation must be irresistible to the vast majority of the US voters. Once all social programs are funded exclusively by voluntary contributions there is no need for taxation bar the military, which in 2015 amounted to a trifling 1859 dollars per capita. With the efficiency gains of capitalism under a libertarian regime that amount would probably be halved. Every rational voter is bound to vote Libertarian. The idle dependent class would be left out in the cold, as would any government that depends on the idle dependent class. Easy peasy.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by JimC » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:16 am

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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Tyrannical » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:02 pm

They really should do a study on the cause of poverty in modern western nations. I suspect the top reasons, in no particular order......

Goofed off in school and did not get an education.
Drug / alcohol abuse to the point you can't hold a decent job
Low intrinsic intelligence.
Criminal background
Mental illness
Lazy
Promiscuity and too dumb to use birth control
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by rainbow » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:57 pm

Animavore wrote:Somalia.
More guns per capita than the US, practically no taxation.
No functioning government.
No welfare.
Social services only supplied by charity.

Libertarian paradise.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by pErvinalia » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:01 pm

Tyrannical wrote:They really should do a study on the cause of poverty racism in modern western nations. I suspect the top reasons, in no particular order......

Goofed off in school and did not get an education.
Drug / alcohol abuse to the point you can't hold a decent job
Low intrinsic intelligence.
Criminal background
Mental illness
Lazy
Promiscuity and too dumb to use birth control
:fixed:
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Seth » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:11 pm

Sean Hayden wrote:If you don't like it, leave. There's got to be a successful libertarian utopia somewhere. The US isn't one and never will be.
I'd rather elect Donald Trump.

Oh wait, we DID elect Donald Trump.

So those who don't like it can suck my hairy balls.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Seth » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:17 pm

Tyrannical wrote:They really should do a study on the cause of poverty in modern western nations. I suspect the top reasons, in no particular order......

Goofed off in school and did not get an education.
Drug / alcohol abuse to the point you can't hold a decent job
Low intrinsic intelligence.
Criminal background
Mental illness
Lazy
Promiscuity and too dumb to use birth control
You forgot one of the largest contributors to poverty in the US: Illegal immigration of penniless beggars from elsewhere.

So from the US to all those nations from whence those penniless beggars have fled: Go fuck yourselves, we don't want your tired, poor, huddled masses anymore, we want them to stay right where they are and be a millstone around YOUR necks and a thorn in YOUR sides, as they should be. Eventually they will get fed up with you and will turn on you and kill you and eat you, as they should, and then they will be free to build a new country based on capitalistic principles that ensure that everyone has the freedom to succeed and prosper economically.

I predict that Venezuela will be the next place where socialism dies screaming as the starving people rip out its guts and consume it.

France, Germany, Sweden and other suchlike fuckwit socialist bleeding-heart countries who are allowing the Islamic Jihad by Reproduction to enter will be falling shortly thereafter.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Seth » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:19 pm

pErvin wrote:
Tyrannical wrote:They really should do a study on the cause of poverty racism in modern western nations. I suspect the top reasons, in no particular order......

Goofed off in school and did not get an education.
Drug / alcohol abuse to the point you can't hold a decent job
Low intrinsic intelligence.
Criminal background
Mental illness
Lazy
Promiscuity and too dumb to use birth control
:fixed:
Wrong. Poverty isn't a race. Rejecting immigration by poor people who will instantly become a burden on the economy isn't racism, it's sanity.
"Seth is Grandmaster Zen Troll who trains his victims to troll themselves every time they think of him" Robert_S

"All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Edmund Burke

"Those who support denying anyone the right to keep and bear arms for personal defense are fully complicit in every crime that might have been prevented had the victim been effectively armed." Seth

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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Brian Peacock » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:49 pm

Seth wrote:
Brian Peacock wrote:
Seth wrote:Poverty is not necessarily a moral failing. Some people choose poverty and choose to exist by their own devices or depend upon the (voluntary) charity of others.

Poverty only becomes a moral failing when the person uses poverty as an excuse to demand largess from the public treasury, which is to say demands that other people labor to support her and uses the force inherent in government to extract that support without consent.
Must each individual co-member of society consent to the government offering assistance, on their behalf, to those in dire need? What do you consider to be the moral status of those who find themselves in a state of poverty which they did not choose for themselves?
Yes, of course. Redistributive taxation, which specifically includes taking money (fruits of labor) from one person in order to give it to another person without the express consent of the person it's taken from is absolutely immoral. It is government's duty and obligation to advocate for, solicit and collect VOLUNTARY donations to help the poor, not coerce what it decides the poor need from others.

You see, government is biased to serve the interests of the idle dependent class because in doing so it can secure their votes to keep government in power. Therefore it is immoral for government to exercise its power of coercion on behalf of the dependent class because not only is it an immoral conflict of interest but it will inevitably end up coercing more from the productive class than the dependent class actually needs to survive because the dependent class, particularly when it becomes quite large, will always demand more and more largess from government coffers.

You see, "government" isn't some independent creature or entity, it IS the people, so when the dependent class are permitted to vote, they inevitably vote themselves ever-more largess from the public purse. But the "public purse" isn't an independent entity either, it's nothing more than the wallets of those who actually work and earn money from whom government agents take whatever amount the government (which is to say the dependent class) demands in order to meet their desires. Thus there is an inherent conflict of interest in allowing the dependent class to vote, which means that to prevent the dependent class from robbing the productive class all funding must be voluntary on the part of the productive class.

The only fair and rational way to fund social services and benefits is through voluntary contributions from taxpayers, and the way to get those contributions is for government to show potential donors why it is in their rational self-interest to contribute to such efforts. Thus, government's role should be that of a funds solicitor and should focus its efforts on demonstrating to the productive class why a small voluntary donation on the part of individuals will create a large benefit to society and a benefit to the individual donors.

If the donation cannot be shown to provide tangible, real benefits to both society as a whole and to the individual donors, then why on earth should the donation be made? Funding dependent-class-beholden bureaucrats out to secure votes is NOT a rational justification for coercing funds from unwilling donors. It's immoral.
OK, so that addresses the first question, but leaves the second question, the one pertinent to the thread, resoundingly unaddressed - aside, that is, from the broad categorisation of those in dire need as the 'dependent-class', as if those in dire need are always and only ever in dire need. From this one might assume that the moral status of those in dire need is at least dubious or questionable - though exactly why this should be the case is far from clear.

Nonetheless, according to the exposition above, one of the foundational principles of social organisation, the pooling of a common resource for the common good, is immoral if-and-when those who contribute to the pool do not endorse how it is administered. In terms of the question as put, it implies that the community should remain functionally deaf and blind to the dire need of community members if-and-when even a single individual objects to them being offered assistance.. Moreover, the taxation and spending activities of government--that authoritative body charged with overseeing and maintaining the well-being of society on behalf of its members--amounts to coercion or robbery (again) if-and-when contributors to a common resource object to the manner in which it is administered. Thus the activity of government rests upon the consent of society, and yet here consent must be total and absolute in order to legitimise any activity of any government.

As it seems unlikely that any society can be organised according to the ideal of total and absolute consent then (impossible while even one objector objects), any and every governments fundamentally lacks legitimacy - and indeed the apparent necessity of total and absolute consent must logically extend to any nominal social authority that exists within any tier of society, whether public, private, local, national, or international. In fact, where consent is less than total and absolute then any claim to or responsibility for a specific social-political-geographical region or resource is rendered as illegitimate as the governments who seek to administer them, and so there is not only no such thing as society but there is no such thing as a nation either. What remains when each person is effectively a society of one, or a nation unto themselves, is something we might call Solipsistic Anarchism, or in more common parlance something akin to the political Egoism of Rand, Stirner or Strauss.

Accepting all this for the sake of argument, where does that leave those individuals, families, communities or regions who exist deprived of certain necessary goods, either of the personal or social kind, or both? In other words, what is poverty in the Utopia of Solipsistic Anarchists?
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by JimC » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:16 pm

Brian Peacock wrote:

...In other words, what is poverty in the Utopia of Solipsistic Anarchists?
It's clearly their own fault, so they can die starving in the snow...
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Seth » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:06 pm

Brian Peacock wrote: OK, so that addresses the first question, but leaves the second question, the one pertinent to the thread, resoundingly unaddressed - aside, that is, from the broad categorisation of those in dire need as the 'dependent-class', as if those in dire need are always and only ever in dire need. From this one might assume that the moral status of those in dire need is at least dubious or questionable - though exactly why this should be the case is far from clear.
I should perhaps define the dependent class for you. The dependent class is that class of persons who, for reasons that are within their power to change, such as inner-city minorities who choose to live in the ghetto rather than leave it and find gainful employment elsewhere, who demand largess from the public treasury to meet their needs rather than be self-sufficient and independent.

Those who are in need for reasons that are not their fault and/or whose circumstances are beyond their control, both temporarily and permanently, such as those who are physically or mentally disabled and are unable to care for themselves, children and those who have suffered losses not due to their own actions (like earthquakes, floods, fires, etc.) who need the help of others to survive in the short term are not axiomatically members of the dependent class, although they can join that group if they choose to remain in their parlous state and do not strive to retain their independence and economic individuality.
Nonetheless, according to the exposition above, one of the foundational principles of social organisation, the pooling of a common resource for the common good, is immoral if-and-when those who contribute to the pool do not endorse how it is administered.


Incorrect. It is not the pooling of the resources or how they are organized and distributed that is immoral, it is the seizure of the property (labor) against the will of the person from whom that property (labor) is taken, regardless of its disposition if that disposition is for purposes other than paying that individual's fair share of the benefits and services offered by the government that he or she consumes. To drive on a highway without paying a road tax is immoral and a violation of Libertarian principles because unless the roadway has been expressly donated for free use by someone who paid to build it, it constitutes an initiation of fraud upon those who HAVE paid to build and maintain it. Thus, the imposition of taxes upon an individual who uses the road (as in the form of fuel and tire taxes) is completely within Libertarian philosophical approval.

The immorality is in involuntarily collecting the property (labor, money, goods) of one person for direct (more or less) redistribution to another person based on that other person's perceived needs, rather than as just compensation for some benefit the property owner has made use of.

This is the distinction between just taxation to support the functions of government and society and unjust redistributive taxation to support the needs of one individual (or many) by taking from another person.

Moreover, CONSENT to taxation for the purposes of acquiring and providing for the "common good" removes all possible taint. Thus, if the government ASKS a taxpayer if he or she wishes to be taxed at a stated rate for a stated period of time in order to support some public "common good" project, and the taxpayer agrees voluntarily to that contract with society, then the taxpayer is obliged to keep his word and pay the taxes...so long as the taxes are actually used judiciously and properly for the project that the taxpayer assented to be taxed to fund. Thus, if the government goes to the people and says "We need X billion dollars to provide care funds for poor people, please agree to contribute" and the taxpayer expressly agrees to pay a stated amount of tax for that purpose, it's perfectly moral and acceptable. But for the government to say "Pay X amount for care for the poor or we will send jackbooted thugs with machine guns to collect it" that's quite simply government-sponsored theft, which Libertarians have a perfect right to resist using any means necessary.
In terms of the question as put, it implies that the community should remain functionally deaf and blind to the dire need of community members if-and-when even a single individual objects to them being offered assistance.. Moreover, the taxation and spending activities of government--that authoritative body charged with overseeing and maintaining the well-being of society on behalf of its members--amounts to coercion or robbery (again) if-and-when contributors to a common resource object to the manner in which it is administered. Thus the activity of government rests upon the consent of society, and yet here consent must be total and absolute in order to legitimise any activity of any government.
Nonsense. As I state above the essence of the issue is that individuals in need are not permitted to exploit the inherent force of government to take from others what they need or want, instead they must ASK for assistance, and government, if it takes the role as provider, must ASK the taxpayers to VOLUNTARILY donate to the cause of caring for the poor.

Just because government is charged with overseeing and maintaining the well-being of society (if that is in fact its charge, which I dispute most strongly) that does not mean that government has any inherent power or authority to coerce people into funding whatever it might be that those in office at that moment decide needs to be funded. Government needs to ASK for funding and use it's resources to PERSUADE people to pay taxes to fund projects and programs, not coerce payment at the muzzle of a gun.

If government cannot cajole and persuade taxpayers to voluntarily donate to a project, then there is no reason that project should proceed and it's certainly not a reason to allow the coercive force of government to steal from the public.

We may elect or hire politicians and bureaucrats to manage government programs but that does not mean that we are obliged to give them carte blanche and submit to any sort of taxation they decide they want in order to pay for it. No, sorry, they can come ask me politely if I want to contribute, and if enough people refuse, then they have to give up their aspirations for that project and move on.
As it seems unlikely that any society can be organised according to the ideal of total and absolute consent then (impossible while even one objector objects), any and every governments fundamentally lacks legitimacy - and indeed the apparent necessity of total and absolute consent must logically extend to any nominal social authority that exists within any tier of society, whether public, private, local, national, or international. In fact, where consent is less than total and absolute then any claim to or responsibility for a specific social-political-geographical region or resource is rendered as illegitimate as the governments who seek to administer them, and so there is not only no such thing as society but there is no such thing as a nation either. What remains when each person is effectively a society of one, or a nation unto themselves, is something we might call Solipsistic Anarchism, or in more common parlance something akin to the political Egoism of Rand, Stirner or Strauss.
This is a nonsensical strawman. I have never, every even implied that "total and absolute consent" is a requirement for any operation of government. Consent is only required from those who are expected to pay for it. Your fallacious argument presumes that consent to the operation or project is required. This is simply not the case in Libertarianism and never has been. It's all about consenting to supplying labor or property to a public project or program. There is no impediment to government ASKING for people to contribute to government programs, and there is no real impediment to denying individuals access to or enjoyment of those programs or projects if they refuse to contribute. Thus, a person who refuses to contribute to a road-building fund is not permitted to use the roadway that results. That's a matter of licensing, and we do that all the time. If you don't contribute to the public library, you can't check out books. If you don't contribute to the parks, you don't get to use the parks.

In this way people get to choose which of the services and benefits of government they wish to take advantage of and which they don't and fund those they use appropriately while not being dunned to pay for those they don't make use of.

There are certain nuances when it comes to common perils like fire and disease, where if one person refuses to contribute to the government program he may be dunned anyway if for some reason he makes use of the program, either voluntarily or involuntarily. Thus, if a non-payer's barn catches on fire, the fire department will respond and put the fire out because it could spread, which is to say export harm, to the neighboring farms. And after it's out, the owner gets a bill for the service, which he must pay.
Accepting all this for the sake of argument, where does that leave those individuals, families, communities or regions who exist deprived of certain necessary goods, either of the personal or social kind, or both? In other words, what is poverty in the Utopia of Solipsistic Anarchists?
I'll put it this way: Come to my door, hat in hand, politely and humbly and convince me that your deprivation is not your fault and that you are worthy of the donation of my labor and property and I may choose to help you...or not. Come to my door with a gun (even by proxy) and demand that I hand over my labor or property to you and it matters not at all how dire your circumstance or if your children are starving, I will shoot you dead on the spot...and then help your children.

It's all in the asking and the giving. Respect my right not to be forced into supporting you and I'm much more likely to assist you if I can. Disrespect that right and you can starve to death in the gutter for all I care.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by JimC » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:23 pm

Seth wrote:

...you can starve to death in the gutter for all I care...
Says all that's needed about Seth...
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by Brian Peacock » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:15 am

Indeed. One wonders where any government derives it's legitimacy if not through the consent of its citizenry. Anyway, it seems to me that in the Utopia of Solipsistic Anarchism the poor are destined to become the fodder of the rich, and the rational failure here is to assume that you will always come out on the winning side if that equation.
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by pErvinalia » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:35 am

Seth wrote:
pErvin wrote:
Tyrannical wrote:They really should do a study on the cause of poverty racism in modern western nations. I suspect the top reasons, in no particular order......

Goofed off in school and did not get an education.
Drug / alcohol abuse to the point you can't hold a decent job
Low intrinsic intelligence.
Criminal background
Mental illness
Lazy
Promiscuity and too dumb to use birth control
:fixed:
Wrong. Poverty isn't a race. Rejecting immigration by poor people who will instantly become a burden on the economy isn't racism, it's sanity.
Are you on drugs? Your posts are getting more and more confused as time goes on. :think:
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Re: Is poverty a moral failing...

Post by pErvinalia » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:39 am

JimC wrote:
Seth wrote:

...you can starve to death in the gutter for all I care...
Says all that's needed about Seth...
Yep. Civilisation is anathema to people like Seth. He was born 10,000 years too late.
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