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Old 12-07-2012, 02:09 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTH View Post
You're plainly not "free" to take the pizza. This is like saying an inmate is "free" to run away from a highway cleanup crew even though he'll be shot. Your argument has been reduced the "freedom" within your own brain--yes, you can "choose" to make a choice that gets you shot. But that's not really "freedom" as I understand it.

And I don't think that's how you understand it either. I think you understand why I am in fact correct, and if not, you can go back and read over my prior posts and examples, and I expect you'll see it.

The bottom line is that when the government attaches penalties to certain choices and not to others, that impacts and abridges your freedom to choose among options. The question is only one of degree.

For yet another example, consider if we just exaggerated the "guzzler tax"--say that instead of $1000, the guzzler tax was $97 million dollars. Are you still really "free" to buy a car the manufacturer is willing to sell you for $30k when the government interjects and imposts a multi-million dollar penalty under law that it doesn't attach to competing vehicles? Can you really say that neither you nor the manufacturer's freedoms have been abridged?

We could go back to the examples I proposed earlier in the thread as well. What if a law was passed imposing a 50% tax on single family home purchases? After all, multi-family dwellings are more energy efficient, so perhaps the government should discourage the purchase of single family homes. If you were in the market for a single family home, would you really believe that such a law wasn't impacting your freedom in any way? When a third party (the government) interrupts a transaction that you'd like to conduct with a seller and raises your costs by 50% under penalty of law?

Such an action doesn't *take away* your freedom, but to say it has *no impact* on your freedom is disingenuous. Either that or your definition of freedom is very, very narrow and I'm not sure it's one that I'd want anywhere near my politicians.

So that's my point--governmental penalties designed to discourage certain choices abridge freedom. They choose desired outcomes, and penalize the decision-makers until they no longer select the outcome the government does not desire. I don't really see how it can be disputed that this impacts freedom.

BUT. . . we should also understand what my point is NOT, and this may be what's causing your hang up.

My point is NOT that there should never be any governmental penalties. I'm not arguing for that. There are many governmental penalties--which do indeed abridge people's freedom--that we are more than happy to have. Prison sentences for crimes are an example. Nobody objects to that. There are also social policy penalties (like the guzzler tax) that we seem to accept as well, like the extra taxes placed on cigarettes.

So I'm not arguing for some sort of uber-libertarian approach where the government can never penalize anybody for anything. That's a form of anarchy. My interjection into this thread was simply to address the suggestion that somehow penalties such as these do not affect freedom. I believe there can be no dispute that they do.

Once we accept that social policy penalties like this do in fact abridge freedom, I think it better squares up the issue of whether a particular penalty is LAWFUL and socially WORTH IT. As to the "guzzler tax," I have no interest in getting into that debate--"carbon footprint," energy policy, etc.

My experience is that most people get so wrapped up in advocating for the government to impose penalties to back up their own preferred social policies that they forget they're abridging freedom every time they do so. Freedom should get a mention in each of these discussions--it keeps what you're doing with these penalties in perspective. I think if more folks really understood and internalized that they were impacting freedom with each and every one of these penalties, we might see fewer of them. We might see a more prudent and conservative approach to imposing them.



"Freedom of belief"? I'm pretty sure I can't infringe on what you *believe.*

And I'm pretty sure that the notion that you are "free" so long as you can still choose your desired outcome over the government's preferred outcome even if the government gets to shoot you for it, or demand an extra $1000, or demand another 50% in taxes, etc. is not going to line up with how most people conceive of being "free."

JMHO.



I'd appreciate specific examples please. Even in this post, I'm still referring to examples I used in my first post on the topic to make the same point I made originally. I believe I have been consistent. If I'm on both sides of any issue here, please show us how.
I have no hangup. I realize your views are different and have moved on. Regardless of how you package your argument it doesn't change my beliefs. You may write a 300 page dissertation and it won't matter. Perhaps you enjoy writing long winded arguments attempting to change my beliefs. If you feel you are correct, than more power to you. You are entitled to believe your knowledge and that your ability to express yourself in words somehow makes you superior and allows you to decide how I should view my freedoms.

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:24 PM   #92
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You are entitled to believe your knowledge and that your ability to express yourself in words somehow makes you superior and allows you to decide how I should view my freedoms.
To be clear: I don't believe that my "ability to express [myself] in words somehow makes [me] superior," nor do I believe that it "allows [me] to decide how [you] should view your freedoms."

I believe I am right, regardless of the words I use to explain why. And I believe that you decide how you view your freedoms--all I can do is to attempt to persuade.

And I'm not convinced I haven't persuaded you . . . but if not, then cest-la-vie.

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:42 PM   #93
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To be clear: I don't believe that my "ability to express [myself] in words somehow makes [me] superior," nor do I believe that it "allows [me] to decide how [you] should view your freedoms."......
If what you say is true, then why do you insist on trying to persuade me to agree with your views? Is your training and experience so ingrained as to not allow you to accept that others may not share your views?
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #94
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You can certainly contend that taxes or fees on choices the government deems "poor" are a good idea for whatever social policy positions you support, but suggesting that they don't impact freedom is silly.

Just because a freedom hasn't been removed doesn't mean it hasn't been infringed.

The effect of the regulation in those examples is that the government is confiscating your income to penalize you for making an otherwise lawful choice. How can requiring you to pay a penalty when you choose lawful Option A over lawful Option B possibly NOT impact your freedom?
Terrific example. Big dittos to this and I'd apply the immortal words of Mr. Spicoli: Awesome -- totally awesome example of infringing freedoms.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #95
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If what you say is true, then why do you insist on trying to persuade me to agree with your views? Is your training and experience so ingrained as to not allow you to accept that others may not share your views?
Because we're on a forum and engaged in a debate. You debate, I debate back, and round and round we go until we settle the matter or each move on. Last night you closed with a post trying I persuade me I was wrong, I responded, and here we are.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:22 PM   #96
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Interesting debate. As with all debates, the issues have been made somewhat convoluted and overly complicated.

Depending on your personal views, government serves one of the following purposes:

#1 Ensures that all men are created equal. (People have the right to reach their full potential, acknowledging outcomes will vary between individuals)

OR

#2 Ensures that all men should be made to become equal. (People are made to be equal, limiting the potential of some, to reduce or eliminate the gradient with others)

I believe in #1. That being said, any attempt to convince one side to agree with the other is futile.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #97
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REALLY! NY banned the sale of soda or any sugary drinks 16oz+. That's just like when they banned salt from restaurants. That, is in fact, taking away your freedom.

No, I've never seen "gas guzzler tax" before. Probably because all the vehicles I've been around haven't had that, that I've seen. It isn't taking away your freedom, though you feel like it is. Banning something like salt or sugar & what not is! Starting to turn into "V for Vendetta & Demolition Man." Anything bad for you, you can't have. You'll have to be in your homes before 9pm. You'll be ticketed for cussing, and so on!

It's just a way to push you not to buy. But you still have the choice to buy it. That's like not choosing to go to another state cause their taxes are higher.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:00 PM   #98
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REALLY! NY banned the sale of soda or any sugary drinks 16oz+. That's just like when they banned salt from restaurants. That, is in fact, taking away your freedom.

No, I've never seen "gas guzzler tax" before. Probably because all the vehicles I've been around haven't had that, that I've seen. It isn't taking away your freedom, though you feel like it is. Banning something like salt or sugar & what not is! Starting to turn into "V for Vendetta & Demolition Man." Anything bad for you, you can't have. You'll have to be in your homes before 9pm. You'll be ticketed for cussing, and so on!

It's just a way to push you not to buy. But you still have the choice to buy it. That's like not choosing to go to another state cause their taxes are higher.
Not true. Banning something isn't the only way to limit choice. Originally, taxes(revenue) were used to benefit a community. For example, taxes to build roads makes sense. You tell me how a "gas guzzler tax" benefits a community and what it is used to build or provide.

Now a days, taxes like the "gas guzzler tax" are used to reduce the availability of items to the general public. I would say that is a misuse of taxing power.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:02 PM   #99
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"People should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of their people."
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:33 PM   #100
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"People should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of their people."
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

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Originally Posted by Raziel View Post
It isn't taking away your freedom, though you feel like it is. Banning something like salt or sugar & what not is!
I agree that banning salt/sugar impacts your freedom.

But I disagree with you that penalties designed to artificially discourage you from choosing salt/sugar (or "gas guzzlers") do not operate in fundamentally the same way.

Whether salt/sugar is banned, or just subjected to a $100 tax per serving accomplishes much the same result. Banning is perhaps a greater infringement on freedom, but the penalty is close. Either way, the government artificially adjusts the transaction to change your cost/benefit analysis--forcing you either to the black market, to overpay, or (the government's preference) to just choose what they want you to choose.

Eat the government approved meal, buy the government approved car.

Now again . . . I'm not suggesting the government should NEVER be able to do this. I'm just arguing that we should recognize that it is in fact an infringement of a freedom that was unrestricted just before the government enacted the penalty.
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:35 PM   #101
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More true now than ever:

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
And you're working for no one but me.

The Beatles - The Tax Man
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #102
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"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."
MTH, you made me learn something.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. "
Thomas Jefferson
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:45 PM   #103
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MTH, you made me learn something.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. "
Thomas Jefferson
Lol.

Glad I'm helping SOMEONE today. Mostly getting yelled at otherwise . . .
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:05 PM   #104
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We all have our own range of freedoms that we cherish, and others that we are indifferent to. Too often, we are willing to accept the infringement of those freedoms we don't care much about, and then we are surprised when others are so willing to infringe the ones we hold dear.

Take Republicans and gay marriage - not a freedom they cherish, so willing to step on the rights of others here. But gun rights, they fiercely defend their freedoms here. The Democrats do the converse.

The only way to advance freedom in this country is for Republicans and Democrats both to accept less government control over the behaviors they don't like.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:14 PM   #105
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We all have our own range of freedoms that we cherish, and others that we are indifferent to. Too often, we are willing to accept the infringement of those freedoms we don't care much about, and then we are surprised when others are so willing to infringe the ones we hold dear.

. . .

The only way to advance freedom in this country is for Republicans and Democrats both to accept less government control over the behaviors they don't like.
Indeed . . .

Quote:
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My experience is that most people get so wrapped up in advocating for the government to impose penalties to back up their own preferred social policies that they forget they're abridging freedom every time they do so. Freedom should get a mention in each of these discussions--it keeps what you're doing with these penalties in perspective. I think if more folks really understood and internalized that they were impacting freedom with each and every one of these penalties, we might see fewer of them. We might see a more prudent and conservative approach to imposing them.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #106
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Unfortunately, people can't govern themselves. True freedom would mean no government whatsoever, and them you end up with Somalia.

There must be a balance between too much government and too little to properly run a country.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:21 PM   #107
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Because we're on a forum and engaged in a debate. You debate, I debate back, and round and round we go until we settle the matter or each move on. Last night you closed with a post trying I persuade me I was wrong, I responded, and here we are.
Umm......No. I posted my view. You disagreed with it and attempted to persuade me to see your view. I tend not to debate. Others can manipulate data or make absurd statements in an attempt to support their argument. Or their ego gets bruised because their views aren't readily accepted by the inferior lesser learned.

Perhaps you were confused; I wasn't attempting to debate, I was letting you know I didn't buy into your logic. A ridiculous statement about getting shot in the foot by a police officer if I chose to buy the pizza was amusing nonetheless.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:51 PM   #108
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Dafaq does that mean guzzler tax? So do Prius get hugger tax?
Apparently so... The Prius is 30% more expensive than a gas powered car, but you get a 15% Gov't incentive to buy it, therefore a 15% Hugger tax! Just thought I'd join the argument.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:00 AM   #109
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Yes, by a stinky hippie.
I hate stinky hippies...
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:29 AM   #110
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Smile and wave boys, just smile and wave
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:43 AM   #111
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The gas guzzler tax is included under Optional Equipment.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #112
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I paid a gas guzzler tax and a luxury tax on my Viper when I bought it in 1993. These two taxes added $13000 to the price of the car.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:19 AM   #113
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Stan == that is just night right to pay that amount just because you want to own that kind of a car-just not right!

When do they stop trying to steal your money on everything you own or buy these days? I realize yes they do need some money to run this so called Government, but they just want more and more and it is never ending. Don't most of us have to manage our money and if you own a Business you have to manage that or you go Broke. Yet to them they just don't care anymore.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:27 AM   #114
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Stan == that is just night right to pay that amount just because you want to own that kind of a car-just not right!

When do they stop trying to steal your money on everything you own or buy these days? I realize yes they do need some money to run this so called Government, but they just want more and more and it is never ending. Don't most of us have to manage our money and if you own a Business you have to manage that or you go Broke. Yet to them they just don't care anymore.
Agree, but it's only getting worse, at least for the next four years!
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:36 AM   #115
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I'm not saying any of it is right.banning something cause it's bad for you & charging you extreme cost for something is unacceptable! More of a way to start an uprise. Gov. Has been doing things to push people to more their way for a very long time. Bit here & there, who will notice, right?
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:13 AM   #116
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I paid a gas guzzler tax and a luxury tax on my Viper when I bought it in 1993. These two taxes added $13000 to the price of the car.
Well at least it went to good use, I see the regulars everyday who get their hand-outs walking the streets w/their smart phones etc.
JMO, but the manufacturer can charge what ever they want for their product, more if it's luxury, performance, limited edition, etc. However, no outside sorce should be able to charge additional fees due to the consumer's choice of what they spend their money on.
The Pay-by-Mile Tax, just heard this on the radio, a result of collecting less gas tax, a result of better mpg vehicles....
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:00 PM   #117
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Every tax has some influence on behavior. If you are taxed $.01 per pizza, you probably still eat pizza. If you are taxed $20 per pizza, you probably eat a lot less pizza. At least just taxing gasoline hits everybody equally. I don't see any reason to single out gas guzzlers, why not just raise the tax on gasoline? Because there is a political agenda, an easy target. Sounds great if you are not someone who wants a gas guzzler anyway, why not stick it to the other guy, right?

But you have to think hey - sometimes I might be the guy who wants to do something unpopular, maybe paint my house pink or dress up like a bunny and jog to work every day. Whatever it is. Someone else is going to say hey, you know what? I don't like people having pink houses or jogging in bunny suits, so we're going to pass laws against that.

Now what about that poor bastard with a pink house and a bunny suit that wants to buy a Viper?
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #118
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The guzzler tax is on top of the regular sales tax.
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Now what about that poor bastard with a pink house and a bunny suit that wants to buy a Viper?
Well there goes my plans....
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #119
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Although he did this movie in a funny manner, I actually believe we are already down this slope:



I also believe that more restrictions are on their way that will make Wranglers more difficult to buy, own or use.

I thought it was a good analogy, Jeeperz Creeperz.


It amazes me to see this argument going on at a forum dedicated to Wranglers. The tax in question has been a huge failure. It isn't the vehicle type that is exempt, it's the vehicle weight. How'd that work out for us? We saw the near death of the muscle car and full size family sedan in the late 70's, and the birth of the (tax exempt) SUV craze. Coincidence?

Surely this is coersion on the part of the government. Buy a Corvette or Challenger: TAX! Buy a subsidized Volt or Prius: TAX CREDIT!

Simply put, a government should enforce formal equality but not material equality. IOW, government has no business enforcing equality of outcomes. Its sole duty is to enforce the rules of the game (life, liberty, property), not to choose the winners and losers. A Prius and Corvette should stand on equal footing.

But hey, if it's a position you support, I suppose goverment coersion is a good thing!
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:23 PM   #120
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Pass the butter please.

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