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Old November 23, 2012, 06:55 AM   #51
BlueTrain
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I don't think politicians are so bad, having met some and known one or two, all local. There are some things that are bad about politics, mostly having to do with money but if you're going to have government, there will be politics. It exists in most organizations totally non-governmental. One might even say the constitution was written by politicians. I suppose there is no politics in a monarchy but even that's probably not true. Even total dictatorships have politics after a fashion.

You are correct, Mr. Mehavey, in that the Stamp Act sowed the seeds of revolution and I even said that. Not all revolutions are caused by tax issues, of course, and not all taxes are levied with the consent of those who pay the taxes. That's why I mentioned the extra taxes you pay when you stay in a hotel. The local folks don't stay in the hotels.

I still hold that the chief purpose of a tax is raising money. Some taxes are easier to pass than other, although such taxes could easily be seen as attempts at social modification. Think of "sin taxes." But in any case, all governments exist, partly, as a form of social control. All societies prefer some form of government over anarchy, even though there seems to be a problem with that here and there. But generally speaking, I'd have to say to claim that using taxes to "shape" society is a weak argument.

There is a lot more to be said about taxes but it's getting off the point.
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Old November 23, 2012, 07:08 AM   #52
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"Infringed"...you look it up.

At some level, any tax is an infringement. Taxing ammo infringes your right to own guns also as our forefathers expected us to own shootable guns!
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Old November 23, 2012, 02:21 PM   #53
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If that is so, then every other nation on earth is a tyranny, in comparison. Where ya gonna go?
They are, which is why we should demand our liberty right here.
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We are the most free nation on this little ball of dirt. No other peoples enjoy the amount of freedom we do.

Are we over regulated? IMNSHO, yes. So we work on it. But to baldly say the above is pure ignorance of the conditions the rest of this planets peoples live under.
The tyranny that others must endure does nothing to alleviate the increasing tyranny that we permit. To pretend that it does is defeatist, and illogical. You either have freedom or you don't. To say we are over regulated, but we are "more free" is borderline Stockholm syndrome. Freedom is not a sliding scale or a broad spectrum, it's black and white. We are not free.
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Old November 23, 2012, 02:49 PM   #54
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I partly agree that we are not free. But some of us are, to be sure, so there is something amiss somewhere, I suppose. When the constitution was written, it was pretty much the same. Some were certainly free, others were not.

We as a nation from the time the first Englishman set foot on North American soil have often talked in high and mighty terms but apparently never really meant it. That has caused much confusion both in the past and in the present when talking about the past. The settlers in Massachusetts came for religious freedom, it is said, only they meant freedom to run their colony and their religion exactly the way they wanted. You weren't free to practice your own religion at all. You couldn't even live anywhere you wanted. You had to live in town. That was 150 years before the revolution. Things changed somewhere along the way. They, the Pilgrims, were not being in the least hypocritical but we tend to see what they did a lot differently.

Those who came to Virginia did not come for religious freedom at all and there was technically no religious freedom there, either. Only in Maryland, The Free State Of, was there true religious freedom.

But this forum is not about religion.
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Old November 23, 2012, 03:14 PM   #55
mehavey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueTrain
"...using taxes to "shape" society is a weak argument....."
I need to clear up your meaning here. Social Shaping is a weak argument if used in favor of taxes? If so, I think I am in violent agreement.

Unfortunately, "social shaping" is increasing becoming the shape of taxes. At that point the "consent of the shaped" needs to be a serious consideration. Case in point our whole discussion point here: Can the 2A (as a supposed Right) be effectively "social-shaped" out of existence by deliberate use of the tax code?
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Old November 23, 2012, 03:59 PM   #56
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Perhaps you could elaborate on what you mean by social shaping first. That's not an expression I've ever used.
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Old November 23, 2012, 04:01 PM   #57
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If you take a walk I'll tax your feet...

Unfortunately the gun grabber's best hope of containing freedom is a tax.
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Old November 24, 2012, 08:28 AM   #58
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...what you mean by social shaping...
aka "social engineering" -- the art of manipulating people into performing (or not performing) desired actions, and/or re-directing the values/standards of an entire culture through the use (in taxation) of monetary reward or penalty.

Don't like someone's action (or what they might consider a "Right") ?
Tax it to death

Want someone to do something their cultural upbringing would normally prohibit ?
Buy them w/ the reward of tax relief (or outright gift of someone else's tax money)

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Old November 24, 2012, 10:35 AM   #59
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Give some examples. There's no doubt that tax policy is used to carry out government policy, usually never without some controversy. Take for example real estate taxes. They are paid to local governments, usually the county. But they are deductible from your federal income tax (that is, they reduce your taxable income). Presumably it is to encourage home ownership, after a fashion. But you could call it a tax loophole, too.

However, I think you'll get an argument is you think you can tax something out of existance. You can't even make think disappear by making them illegal altogether. Basically, I don't think social engineering works nor are that many people interested in it.

I'm more worried about privitization.
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Old November 24, 2012, 10:39 AM   #60
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It's a lot easier to tax it out of existence than it is to make it disappear by being illegal. Criminals will get what they want. Law abiding citizens will not. A high enough tax can eliminate a product from the hands of all but the super-rich.

How could you argue against it? Imagine a $2,000 tax on all guns, ammunition and components. That wouldn't effectively tax them out of existence?

If that number is $20, it has an effect. $50, more. So on and on until it's enough to eliminate the use from any "standard income", law abiding citizen.
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Old November 24, 2012, 02:12 PM   #61
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Standard income? How much is that? Law-abiding citizen? Are you serious? Was alcohol hard to get during prohibition? Is it hard to get now, with a tax? How about cigarettes. Have they disappeared yet?
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Old November 24, 2012, 03:20 PM   #62
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McCulloch v. Maryland. Chief Justice Marshall said That the power of taxing it [the bank] by the States may be exercised so as to destroy it, is too obvious to be denied” (p. 427), and “That the power to tax involves the power to destroy … [is] not to be denied” (p. 431).

An egress tax is indeed unconstitutional. The problem is to determine what constitutes an egress/unreasonable tax.
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Old November 24, 2012, 03:36 PM   #63
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Regarding "social shaping":

$200 tax in 1934 for fully automatic weapons. The equivalent tax is $3,360 in 2012. It guaranteed the average working man could never legally acquire a fully automatic weapon.

Do you really think that a tax of that size is going to encourage Class 3 gun ownership? It's a good thing the currency has been devalued so badly that it's only $200.

I find even the $200 obnoxious and it discourages me from ever owning such weapons.







* I used this conversion website to convert $200 in 1934 money to value in 2012.

http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/

Their results:

If you want to compare the value of a $200.00 Commodity in 1934 there are four choices. In 2011 the relative:

real price of that commodity is $3,360.00
real value of that commodity is $7,680.00
labor value of that commodity is $8,030.00(using the unskilled wage) or $10,200.00(using production worker compensation)
income value of that commodity is $18,500.00
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Old November 24, 2012, 03:50 PM   #64
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by BlueTrain View Post
Standard income? How much is that? Law-abiding citizen? Are you serious? Was alcohol hard to get during prohibition? Is it hard to get now, with a tax? How about cigarettes. Have they disappeared yet?
Standard income is average, normal people. You can't really tax anything out of the reach of billionaires, now can you?
Alcohol during prohibition, I'm not sure what that has to do anything, except proving my point about law-abiding citizens. It sure was hard for law-abiding citizens to get... impossible actually, since you could not be a law-abiding citizen and have alcohol. That's what we'd call "Mutually Exclusive".
Alcohol and cigarettes, I know quite a few people who have stopped smoking and/or drinking because it's so expensive, and those are addictions. Far more would stop if they weren't addicts.
The NFA is a perfect example of taxing something (effectively) out of existence. It's pretty hard to argue that there wouldn't have been far more automatic weapons and silencers in private hands if there hadn't been a 2011 equivalent $3,200 tax levied. It's practically chump change today but it sure wasn't in 1934.
If they put a tax on all firearms purchased today, do you think it would be $200 or would it be the equivalent of $200 in 1934? $3,200.
How many guns would you buy if you had to pay an extra $3,200 for every single one?
I know how many I'd buy. Zero.
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Old November 24, 2012, 04:23 PM   #65
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i suppose you have a point but at the moment, a $200 price is prohibitive.
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Old November 25, 2012, 04:25 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by BlueTrain
I'm more worried about privitization.
What do you mean by "worried about privatization"?

I literally can not think of a single industry that wouldn't benefit from complete privatization (exceptions military, judicial, and police)
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Old November 25, 2012, 06:53 AM   #67
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Why do you make exceptions? The private security industry is a growth industry. The prison industry is a growth industry. So are toll roads. I realize toll roads were the thing in colonial times but I don't like the idea. The goal of private industry is to make money for the owners (and not to provide employment for the local citizens). That's why I don't like the idea of privitization.
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Old November 25, 2012, 10:17 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by BlueTrain
The goal of private industry is to make money for the owners (and not to provide employment for the local citizens).
This statement is the single largest myth perpetuated by anti-capitalists. I find it offensive that you would even consider this idea as a plausible explanation for an private economy's function.
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Old November 25, 2012, 11:32 PM   #69
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This statement is the single largest myth perpetuated by anti-capitalists. I find it offensive that you would even consider this idea as a plausible explanation for an private economy's function.
It might be cynical but it's not entirely wrong.

I'm a private business owner. The purpose of my businesses is to support my family. I have employees because I need them to have the business function. If I could make the money without employees I'd be better off and I'd do it in the blink of an eye. 90% of my business related stress comes from employees. I've had over 3 dozen employees in almost 6 years of business and there are ZERO I would rehire who aren't still with me.

Nope, gotta agree with BlueTrain here. Employment is a side-effect of profit, not a purpose of business.

This is not to say that capitalism isn't still better, freer, more profitable (for most, no system works for all, capitalism works for more than any other), more efficient.

Capitalism with reasonable over-sight is much better than government control of virtually any system/enterprise.
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Old November 25, 2012, 11:45 PM   #70
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Your purpose is profit for your business. It is the single aim of all businesses (theoretically), and therefore employees are needed to maximize profits. While it is not he main goal, it is a more effective means.

What oversight do you mean? Minimum wage, workers rights? Minimum wage reduces employee numbers, and workers rights only creates special interest subsidy for specific demographics of laborers. I don't see how either of those enhances the creation of employment.
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Old November 25, 2012, 11:56 PM   #71
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Oversight to prevent abuse/danger, such things.

The financial world needs some level of oversight or it would become the mafia.

Oil drilling has environmental concerns.

Coal mining has safety issues.

The exact breadth and depth of oversight is a question but clearly some is needed in some ways.

In today's world though, a great many more problems are created by government, blamed on free enterprise and then "corrected" with government "solutions". See "The Housing Crisis" and "Obama-Care" for examples.

I'm afraid we're getting off in the weeds here but the idea is that the government has a certain level of over-sight required to protect people in many ways but they stick their noses in a lot of places where they really should be powerless.

Literally powerless. Taxing everything in sight is one way they do it.

We the People are a big part of the problem too. We see some sort of issue and beg the government for help. We think they can solve every problem and right every wrong.

It's why there IS such a thing as "Gun Control".
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Old November 26, 2012, 08:48 AM   #72
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I will try to steer this back to guns, if at all possible.

What they actually teach in business schools is that "the goal of every employee is to increase the wealth of the residual owner(s)." There is a certain amount of myth to that and it isn't the stated goal of the organization (it's the goal of the employee). So in a sense, the purpose of the individual is to serve the corporation. Does that sound great or what?

In reality, it is only close. Real life is more complicated. Life may have been more just during feudal times, perhaps, but that's only a guess. Most people during feudal times were serfs, so I must take the viewpoint of the serf, although I won't get into that. They didn't have guns.

One of the realities, which you may know if you own any stock (I recommend it but none in particular--that would be telling), is that the corporation generally enriches the officers more than the owners. The real gold is in professional partnerships. Be a stockbroker if you can manage it. Ultimately, however, a corporation's goals is simply to stay in business and that's difficult enough.

By the way, there are claims that coal mining is not particularly dangerous. Any accidents that (literally) befall a miner is probably his own fault. And I'm from the coal fields.

Government is not self-created or self-appointed. A group of citizens (or non-citizens, even) get together and agree to do things. They write down rules. The first one, as taught in school, was the Mayflower Compact. It pretty much still works that way. And that's why there is gun control. Not because government is afraid of the citizens but rather because citizens are afraid of each other, which I imagine is why some are against gun control.
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Old November 26, 2012, 09:34 AM   #73
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I would say that a $200 price is a deterent that changes the value and size of a market, but it can't be prohibitive since many people continue to buy NFA items.

I do think that deterent is bad policy. Someone noted in this section not to long ago the prospect of suppressors being classified as AOW so they could be purchased with a $5 stamp. I would welcome this as a matter of hearing safety and courtesy to neighbors. Yet, a stamp that costs me as much as four tanks of gasoline (just for perspective) isn't necessarily the stuff of a constitutional violation.
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Old November 26, 2012, 09:48 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by zukiphile View Post
I would say that a $200 price is a deterent that changes the value and size of a market, but it can't be prohibitive since many people continue to buy NFA items.

I do think that deterent is bad policy. Someone noted in this section not to long ago the prospect of suppressors being classified as AOW so they could be purchased with a $5 stamp. I would welcome this as a matter of hearing safety and courtesy to neighbors. Yet, a stamp that costs me as much as four tanks of gasoline (just for perspective) isn't necessarily the stuff of a constitutional violation.
But realize that it's only $200 because it hasn't been changed in almost 80 years.

It was certainly a detergent at the 1934 equivalent of $3,200.

Its also a lot more complicated than plunking down $200 and going home with your silencer.

It takes months of time and is still illegal for common citizens in some places.

The complexity of paperwork, time and cost have limited competition too, making the cost of the actual silencers MUCH higher than would be the case in a free market.

Untaxed, unregulated silencers would be $50 and in every gun store if it weren't for the NFA, just like they are in many other countries.

The current cost of (roughly) $600-$1000 and 6 months wait is unarguably a detergent compared to $50, $75, even $500, and it's on the shelf at WalMart.
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Old November 26, 2012, 10:21 AM   #75
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At the equivalent of $3,200 I would say that it approached a prohibition.

I agree that a larger more free market would change our suppressor choices. I would love to give someone the opportunity to condescend to me because I bought the $35 unit at walmart rather than the good one you have to mail order from Midway for $180.
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