cab21:if inflation is called a tax, and there is free market for currency, would it be called indirect tax should any currency happen to deflate or inflate based on demand, or are only certain types and causes of inflation indirect taxes?
Fluctuations in the market price of money do not violate anyone's property rights per se any more than fluctuations in the market price of any other good or service. Thus, from the standpoint of libertarian ethics, inflation is not theft. Rather, the ethical violation involved in inflation is the imposition by the State of a monopoly-currency, i.e. a currency which people are forced to use. Strictly speaking, inflation is not a tax, if by tax we mean theft. But saying it's a tax is not wrong provided it's only a way of pointing out that from the perspective of the State inflation plays the same role as taxation: i.e. (ill-gotten) revenue.
Moving onto the question of consent:
Statements, signatures, actions - these are only ever signs of consent. They do not constitute consent. Consent occurs "in the mind" of the person in question. It is possible to give consent without making any sign of consent, or to make signs of consent without giving consent. It is the task of the legal system to determine when someone has actually given consent, and signs can be used as evidence that a person gave consent, but evidence of consent (signs) should never be mistaken for consent itself. What should be considered evidence of consent, and how much weight that evidence should be given, is an empirical question. Here are two cases in which we do not consider signs of consent as evidence of consent: 1) if the person in question is legally incompetent, or 2) if the person in question was coerced into making signs of consent. What if neither of these apply, but there's still a dispute about whether some signs of consent are evidence of consent? If I were the judge, I would always weight contracts and statements above any kind of "implicit" consent (i.e. some kind of (in)action which is supposed to demonstrate consent), because the interpretation of such (in)action is much more ambiguous than the interpretation of a person's spoken or written statement saying in effect "I do (not) give consent."
Okay, so what about the social contract specifically? To my knowledge, no one explicitly (i.e. by spoken or written statement) gives their consent to the State. And if they did, it would only be genuine if it was uncoerced, and if the people in question were legally competent (e.g. not children). The social contract as it stands can only rely on implicit consent, and it can only pertain to legally competent adults. I do not find very compelling these arguments that, for example, continuing to live in the U.S. is a sign of consent to the State. Nor any of the other usual arguments. But in any case, whatever you think of this alleged "evidence" of consent, certainly a written or spoken statement to the effect of "I do not consent" is better evidence, from which it must be concluded that in fact the person never consented and does not now consent. That was the long answer, longer than the "social contract" theory deserves. The short-answer is that it's obviously nonsense and obviously nothing but a feeble attempt to justify the State.
if explicit consent is the only correct consent, and children can't give explicit consent, would that mean a child could not homestead land? they would not be giving explicit consent to private property or public property if they can't give explicit consent at all.
now http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Sherman has signed all four state papers from the continental to the constitution. i think that gives some sign of consent to government. also, there are people that apply to usa citizenship, and people that buy property under the condition that property is registered with the government. if children can't be part to any state contracts explicitly, they can't be part to any private nonstate contracts explicitly either.
cab21:if explicit consent is the only correct consent
That's not what I said. I said that explicit signs of consent are better evidence of consent than implicit signs of consent. For example, if someone's actions indiciate that he consents, but that person explicitly states that he does not consent, the proper conclusion to be drawn is that he does not consent.
if explicit consent is the only correct consent, and children can't give explicit consent, would that mean a child could not homestead land?
A child can't give consent at all. So, yes, a child cannot homestead land, nor own any property, nor make any contract, etc.
now http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Sherman has signed all four state papers from the continental to the constitution. i think that gives some sign of consent to government.
I suppose it's fair to say that the signatories to the Constitution consented to be governed by a government in accordance therewith. But they cannot have given consent for anyone else, only for themselves.
also, there are people that apply to usa citizenship
Were they required to apply for citizenship in order to enter or reside in the country? That is, if they had tried to enter or reside in the county without having applied for citizenship, would violence have been used against them? Yes. Would this violence have constituted aggression? Yes. Therefore, they applied for their citizenship under the threat of aggression: under duress. They did not give consent.
and people that buy property under the condition that property is registered with the government.
Again, could they have bought the property without registering it with the government? If they had done so, would the government have aggressed against them? Yes. Therefore, they accepted this arrangement under duress. They did not give consent.
Cab, just read Ethics of Liberty and you can stop agonizing over all these questions.
what position does this put children in, if they can't own property, they can't be stolen from or even aggressed against? if the child can own, but can't contract, then the child can't swap rightfully trade and swap ownership.
apply for citizenship the same way someone in a apartment could have to apply for residence. lack of residence in a private apartment complex can get a person evicted from that apartment complex. if residence in a private apartment is accepted only under duress, that does not give a person a better situation then residence in a government under duress. applying for residence is under threat of eviction, so sure any aggression needed to evict would come from that, but that's no more aggressive than evicting from a apartment complex.
they would be buying without the option of buying without registration with a government. at most, should they not register, others would not recognize that they owned the property, and others would be free to then own that property. seems similar to a child home steading something, then noone recognising that a child even could homestead something and then taking over that land and registering it under some private land dro or business of adults that respect what each other registers.
if eviction or lack of recognition count as aggression, then sure some of these contracts are under duress, just as i'm sure a child would be under duress should someone try to take over that child's creation in the name of private business.
ill go over the ethics for liberty book
cab21:what position does this put children in
The position of minors, who are under the control of custodians, who are responsibe for their well-being.
As for the rest:
Eviction from an apartment and deportation are not comparable. When the State requires Jones to apply for citizenship or face deportation, it is imposing an obligation on him for doing something which it is within his rights to do: namely, enter the country (he is not violating anyone's property rights by doing so). When a landlord requires Jones to sign a lease to enter an apartment, or face eviction, the landlord is imposing a condition for the use of his own property, which Jones is not within his rights to use without that permission. Do you see the difference?
The usual conception of duress is something like one person going up to another person and saying "sign this or I'll shoot you." But, there is also duress if a person walks up to another person and says "sign this or, when you enter your own house next time, I'll shoot you." In this second case, the person is being forced to sign something or face aggression for doing something which it is within his rights to do (i.e. enter his own home). This is analogous to the State requiring someone to apply for citizenship, or a greencard, or whatever, or be aggressed against for doing something which he is within his rights to do (i.e. enter the country).
To summarize: if you are told that if you don't sign a contract you will be aggressed against for doing something which you are within your rights to do, and you sign this contract, you have signed it under duress no less than if someone put a gun to your head.
In most of the western world, the vast majority of taxes are payed by the employer, by sellers and by importers, not directly by the private person. So what is the exact nature of the crime here? It is probably not robbery per se because the people whom you trade with are robbed not you directly. So what is it?
As you can see in the UK, income tax is by far the largest earner of revenue for the government. Which I think is the tax the general worker or individual who receives a salary has confiscated. If you include the national insurance which is also paid for by the individual then it is an even larger portion of the total revenues. On top of that the individual has to pay the council tax which is basically a property tax. Sales tax is passed on to the consumer or individual and is essentially a direct tax. The sellers are not robbed of the money as they just increase the price to compensate for the increases in sales tax. They don't lose out in profit because of the sales tax. Sure in some cases with large margins they might be able to get away with not increasing prices due to a sales tax. But in most cases it is a cost the consumer pays and not the producer. Whether they take the money before you get or when you spend it. If it is a fixed percentage then it is as direct as any other type of tax. Technically you can call it an indirect taxation but that does not mean it is any less of a crime for the same reasons as the income tax.
Maybe we should start calculating how many dollars per hour we actually earn after taxes at all levels are removed.
For the poor, I'll bet they're working for less than minmum wage effectively, once FICA and sales and state and gas tax are taken out. Fica and sales tax alone should be around 25% of anyone income living in California, well, LA city which has like a 9% sales tax :| FICA is about 15%.
surely not all members of any organization join that organization under duress, so that would have to be separated when determining who would be guilty of a crime.
usa has never even had a property rights philosophy such as ethics for liberty, i just read a few chapters so far but that has not at all been the property philosophy of the usa so far. that property rights philosophy says politics is criminal so that's big mess to sort out those who consent and those that don't. im not even sure how property would work such as major highways that millions use everyday, that were built through taxes, so i don't even know how there could be one homesteaded owner of these major highways and transportation arteries including harbors and canals and bridges.