Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I certainly grant that things are not perfect here.

Regarding your particular questions, in May 2003, 79% of Americans thought the Iraq war was justified, so the majority clearly didn't oppose it. Most now believe it was a mistake. Only 41% of citizens agree with the president's plan to close Guantanamo. A majority of Americans think the TSA is doing a good job. I think the majority of Americans are wrong on all of these things, but they are undeniably popular opinions.

I, personally, am not being robbed. I am also not being tricked into obedience. Your insistence to the contrary, entirely ignorant of my actual situation, is arrogant foolishness. I've lived on four continents, and I'm quite happy with what I have here.

Could it be better? Sure. Is it at risk from powerful interests? Definitely, especially at the federal level. But I also see many causes for hope.




Fine, you feel you're not being robbed. I know quite a few people from the US who feel that taxes are theft. Granted you agree they have the freedom to believe in whatever they want, how do you justify the fact that if they don't pay taxes, they will go to prison (not right away, but eventually, if they decide to resist, even if peacefully) or have their property alienated? Democracy isn't the answer, because they don't believe in one. If you say they have to pay because they use services a government provides, then it's also very debatable: they certainly may not want to pay for some of them (military?) and surely they don't have any alternative because government monopolistic behavior prevents any competition in certain sectors of the economy. Saying they have this freedom to believe in whatever they want when they don't have the same freedom to act according to their beliefs is identical to not granting them any freedom at all.


I justify that by pointing out that they are free riders. There are surely people living on backwoods property that pay little to no tax, because they are effectively not part of our various collective enterprises. Godspeed to them.

But if people want to enjoy the benefits of living in a city, state, and country, to participate in an economy, those benefits come with obligations. Sure, they may not want to pay for things. But if they can't get others to agree that the government should not do those things, or at least should run them on a cost-recovery basis, then it's too bad.

They certainly have the freedom to move to someplace without effective government. E.g., Waziristan or Somalia. They will be much freer there. Of course, warlords will be free to rob or kill them, so it may not be entirely to their tastes, but then, we aren't guaranteed perfect choices, just the opportunity to make better ones.


As a side note: you feeling that you're not being robbed has nothing to do with what actually happens, which is extracting money by a threat of force. You may not think about it this way, but it becomes painfully obvious once someone refuses to pay. To me, the refusal to see this is akin to a Stockholm Syndrome. No offense though, I did not mean to discard your argument using this comparison. I may add this is what it looks like to me subjectively.


I understand you believe you have some magic power to judge my motivations and behaviors based on zero actual knowledge, a little theory, and a lot of arrogance. To which I say: have fun. Just don't expect me, or anybody, to take you seriously when you're doing that.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: