The Perfect President
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 7:57am
I'm not American, so I don't hold nearly as strong views on this topic as either of the moderators before me. I'm also not going to write a two-thousand word post nor am I going to interrupt the current exchange, so much as provide a summation of the salient points:
Taxation is a form of coercion insofar as your liberties will be restricted if you fail to comply. I'm not sure how relevant this line of argumentation is to the broader point of contention, however, which seems to focus on whether it is right or not to consider whether or not a person is entitled to act in ways other than their best interests, and what limitations to impose upon them. It's important to consider the relationship and distinction from laws preventing people from behaviours that restrict or infringe other peoples' freedoms. In short, is all coercion necessarily bad, and if not, what kinds are acceptable, and how can one then reach a consensus on restriction of self-liberties?
But is that REALLY the best question to ask anyway? Let's put it this way. I don't currently trust people to act in their own best interests nor would I necessarily expect them to. Besides, "in one's best interests" is nebulous and difficult to define, and what I consider in my best interests may not be what law defines as in my best interests, despite the fact that I consider myself more educated than those who would decide how I should behave if I were behaving in my best interests, and frankly that doesn't make sense. Restrictive laws may dictate but they also engender resistive culture, and that's what really needs addressing: education, dissemination, proliferation and assimilation are the steps needed to adopt lasting change. Not some law that unreasonable people will ignore and reasonable people think they're being unfairly targeted because of alleged unreasonable people.
As a side note:
I'm not sure if all data is solely based off the BMI scale any more, or a combination of BMI and waist circumference, which has much improved sensitivity over BMI alone for the reason 'voidy points out. There's also been attempts to adopt BMI tailored to race, but that scale would make me overweight (with my sub 10% adiposity) so I know just how useful that's going to be :P
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 1:22pm
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." -First Amendment
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State." -Thomas Jefferson
"That Amendment [First Amendment] requires the state to be a neutral in its relations with groups of religious believers and nonbelievers; it does not require the state to be their adversary. State power is no more to be used so as to handicap religions than it is to favor them." -Justice Hugo Black (Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing)
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." -Article11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, submitted by John Adams
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 2:49pm
haha three or four mods + Mage and that other guy against von who has 100 posts to his credit, the rest of y'all have thousands :)
dats right mods, show him that he cant have an opinion contrary to the popular belief without it being attempted to be utterly proven as incorrect.
Anyways I do agree with heisenbourg, there are to many fat people around town, it's saddening.
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 5:49pm
The way to fight this issue is by raising people out of poverty. This is because it's usually the poor who often eat the cheap low nutrition, high fat foods. Since the food that often eat is low in nutrition they will also eat more of it to compensate. Taking more money from the poor (who would be the ones most likely to foot the bill on a "sin" tax for unhealthy food) is simply not the answer.
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 6:35pm
You need to take it down a notch there, Mr. moderator. As the community home page says, "keep the debates friendly and clean!". You are doing neither and not only do you look unprofessional, but you seem to be getting too easily worked up.
The least you can do is respect our opinion, just as we're respecting yours. The condescending responses and analogies are offensive.
As for Von's argument, it's simply an evasive idea that can't do much harm. Yes, I get that no one can control what you can or cannot put into your body. The taxation of things such as cigarettes, cheap fast food, etc. is only for the greater good of people's health. That's the only goal here guys.
It's not like we'd collectively go around and shove vegetables down people's throats daily to ensure they get their daily nutrients. It's simply an attempt (possibly futile) to get people to eat healthier and hopefully help lower the amount of diagnosis of things such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc.
Granted, people who want things will pay the extra few bucks to get it (specifically cigarettes).. but that's not to say EVERYBODY would. It would give people more incentive to quit smoking. It would give people more incentive to go the cheap route in activities such as grocery shopping and stay away from the (now higher taxed) junk food and buy the cheaper, healthier foods.
Again, WE GET IT that we can't control what people put into their body. That much is clear. That no longer needs to be repeated. But an attempt at such a thing surely can't be as bad of an idea as NoName makes it seem.
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 6:42pm
Ooops, let's try that again...
I agree now after rereading The Good Samaritan Laws that I misconstrued what the law really was all about. The way I perceived it was that The Good Samaritan law required that people try to aid others when they see someone in peril or harm (even if self-inflicted) even if it is just via taxes. I suppose it doesn't really say that after rereading it though.
Regardless as to the fact that I misconstrued this law, the over all proposal of this sin tax is just. The means are just and the ends are good. Whether or not a criminal law requires us to aid these people I shall still attempt to.
I suppose it really isn't my legal obligation to, regardless it is still my moral obligation to do this and my obligation as a citizen to do this. Oh and it would certainly be out of line to tell me to piss off if I told you that. When people try to help others telling them to piss off is wrong and out of line.
No we're talking about both.
I would tend to agree that being a little over weight isn't a problem, except most people aren't just a little overweight.
By the way here is the difference between obese and overweight, I don't think you understand it.
If there were only a few people overweight and even fewer obese I wouldn't propose this law, but that isn't the case. 1/3 of the American population is obese/overweight. This is a pretty serious issue.
While the health nuts may or may not make it seem like a bigger issue than it is, you and a few others in this thread make it seem less significant than it is.
I'll confess to something else. I was wrong to put smoking in with this sin tax discussion, because my perfect leader would criminalize smoking. As you said and I agree a sin tax is not the proper solution to smoking, I think only criminalizing smoking is a practical solution.
The reason I would like to criminalize smoking is pretty much sense and what you would expect, however if you would like to discuss this too I would be willing to.
Infringing on people's freedoms is the unlawful and unconstitutional encroachment on people's freedom. Taxation does not fall under this category if the phases it is done in, is correct.
The definition of mob rule is: Control of a political situation by those outside the conventional or lawful realm, typically involving violence and intimidation."
A Democratic Republic is not that, nor is voting people into office or passing tax laws. So you're wrong by saying it is a mob rule and wrong by saying that it is infringing on people's rights.
No it doesn't state it, but it implies it. It is implied that the constitution is right and just. Therefore a government operating within its realms is right and just.
Most of the time legal is right and by the way these two words are definitely not completely different.
Let me rephrase this in a way you may understand again: the government was built on a Christian ideology, and most people in Canada and America are Christians according to recent demographics, therefore I was stating a reason for Christian citizens to back this sin tax. However the over all reason of this sin tax is not a religious one at all.
By the way, when arguing with me about why not to use Christianity as a reason to pass this law you said "First Amendment." That is seriously flawed because;
More to come.
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 7:05pm
This is a highly subjective and very rude thing to say. The poster of this sentence can use it against just about any argument ever made. It doesn't make saying this right though.
I've conceded to things within the scope of an argument, no need to be so rude if most of what someone says (in this case me) is logical (I think so anyways) and only a few parts of their arguments are flawed (ie. when I was talking about The Good Samaritan Law).
Let me rewrite this for you: Everything the government decides for its citizens should be right. The governments decisions should certainly have only to do with what the voters desire.
No amount of cash the lobbyist groups' throw towards government officials (or towards laws) should determine which laws are passed. There are only a few cases in which the opposite of this has happened and the government officials were very corrupt.
Well I'm just going to ignore this condescending comment from a moderator that is meant only to be rude and patronizing and does not at all progress the current discussion.
Did you become a mod by insulting people and saying silly little comments like "Whatever ignorant and ill-believed hogwash makes you feel better at night when you lay down to rest", or did you just descend into sarcasm and condescension when you became a mod?
If any player says comments such as yours that would earn them a three day ban would it not?
I'll rephrase what I meant for you like I did for NoName: seeing as how Canada and America was built on Christianity, the fact that gluttony is one of the seven sins makes it a good reason for Christians to back up this tax law. However the reason behind the law is not a derived from religion.
I completely disagree with this. My brother is 6 ft tall and weighs 155 pounds (21 on the BMI calc) and he is the most fit and athletic guy I know. He is almost literally built on muscles. He can bench press above 100 pounds and he is certainly not malnourished, nor does he look it.
If the BMI calc shows you as overweight and obese, then I think you likely are. I'm like that, I trust what is commonly used by most people to determine who is and isn't overweight. I don't say this to be mean or rude at all. I'm just saying I trust it as being relatively correct in most cases.
Whatever reasons there are behind any type of obesity I think this tax law would help rectify the problem overall.
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 7:45pm
You need to learn a few things about analogies.
1.You accuse me of making redicilous analogies, because the way taxation works is very different from armed robbery. This is expected with analogies - there is no such thing as a perfect analogy. There will always be differences between the two things being compared. The only way you can have a perfect analogy is if you compare the same thing with itself - but, then you no longer have an analogy.
2. You have strong analogies and weak analogies. You're essentially accusing my analogy of being weak - you believe the two situations I compare are too vastly different. However, I wasn't comparing the situations as a whole - thus why I said A is as to B as C is as to D. The reason your school has you answer those "A is as to B" questions is because you're supposed to learn how to isolate and compare similarities between two different situations or objects.
So how is taxation like armed robbery? You explained that taxation is a form of communication and persuasion, but not a form of coercion.
When you point a gun at someone's head and you demand them to pay you money for buying sugary drinks or cigarettes, then you're using coercion to communicate a message to said person and to persuade them to either pay the extra costs, be shot, or to avoid buying things that make you take money from them.
When you apply a tax, the tax MUST be applied to an object. A person MUST pay that tax or they will be fined or arrested (and if the fine isn't payed, arrested). The government is using this coercive thread as a way to communicate a message to the buyer that they shouldn't buy a product, and the government is persuading them with threats of arrest to either not buy a product, or to pay more for it.
You then explain that taxation is NOT coercion because you have a choice not to buy the good. You're using coercion to force people not to buy a product. Of course, there is one difference, the person CAN buy the product if they want, but they would then be forced to pay more money for said product - but your logic assumes that because they made a choice to buy said product, they weren't forced to do anything. WRONG. Those people were FORCED to pay taxes on said product.
You can argue that some means of coercion are acceptable, but you can't argue that taxation isn't a form of coercion. It is.
Let's say you want to cross a bridge, but bandits have it locked down. They won't let anyone pass unless they pay $200. Even though you do have the option of not crossing the bridge, their actions ARE STILL coercive.
To clarify, I never said taxation was exactly like a hostage situation. I claimed that there is a strong resemblance with taxation and armed robbery when you look at the basic principle of the two and you determine why they're both coercive actions.
This is an example of a weak analogy, because the reason you gave is too vague.
Yes, both systems are similar in that one regard, but one doesn't justify the other because there are other VERY important factors between the two you failed to address (and these factors are important because they serve as the core of this debate).
Insurance is required because it protects people and their property from each other. If one person crashes into another, his insurance will cover the person he ran into. In fact, you don't need to cover yourself when you drive, only other people.
Sin tax is put in place to protect people from themselves. Completely different.
Although there is such thing as bad parenting, you have to let parents do their thing and intervene only when ABSOLUTELY necessarily. And stop saying glutton - gluttony is how much you eat, not what you eat. I just gluttoned the **** out on 3 healthy sandwiches.
Not only that, but you have to determine what is and is not "bad" influence. Eating fast food isn't necisarily a bad influence.
Giving someone a choice doesn't negate the existence of coercion. Sure, people aren't being forced to pay the sin tax in general (no coercion there), but you ARE forcing people who do buy the product to pay the tax (coercion).
If I can't buy a product UNLESS I give into your demands, then it's coercion, regardless of my other choices.
Wrong, you still don't understand that having another option doesn't negate the existence of coercion.
Essentially, other people's lives are your business because you want to make it your business. The problem is that merely wanting to do something doesn't (shouldn't) grant you the authority to magically intervene.
Westboro Baptist Church wants to help people by banning all gay activities and put an end to any religion that isn't their own. These people might actually want what's best for everyone. Why do we hate them? Because they're forcing their views on everyone else.
I'm nobody's master. If I think someone is harming themselves, I can do my best to stop them - but I should not be allowed to use coercion. It is not selfish, for I recognize other people's right to make their own decision, even if I disagree with it. It is not lazy, for persuasion is the much more difficult rout than the use of force. It is not mean, I am merely respecting other people's rights to make their own decisions. It is not self-undulgent, because I am allowing others to do what i disagree with.
Though, the description fits you quite well.
These are ALL strawmen and a false dichotomies.
In short, you can be against sin tax and still care enough for other people to try and help them. Not everyone who's against sin tax has the mentality that people should be left to kill themselves.
I already clarified this earlier. The main difference between robbery and taxation is that you're allowed to not buy a certain good if you want to avoid sin tax, where there is no way to avoid being robbed. However, if you want to buy a product that contains a sin tax, you're forced to pay.
Calling taxation a form of communication can arguably send a message, but you're merely giving it titles. You're saying something can't be coercive if it's a form of communication, which just isn't the case.
No, I didn't agree to these laws. No, I do not give my consent merely by living in an area.
This would justify **** if it were legalized. In many parts of the middle east, it is acceptable to hit your wife and have sex with her whenever you want, it doesn't make it any more right.
You're not making them stop, you're making them pay more if they choose to buy something you don't agree with. Still coercion.
I do help others, but I do not own their bodies. I have friends who drink, and I disagree with their decision. I will talk to my friends and make sure they drink responsibly. I don't use force, I use verbal communication. I don't own their body.
You should respond to Strop's post, I'm most curious as to your response to him.
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 9:56pm
http://jerschneid.blogspot.com/2010/11/ … r
(I am going to let the mods handle this argument, but I will be posting small stuff)
Posted Nov 9, '12 at 9:58pm
since that link didn't work, lets see if I can't do the code correctly.