Principled stances on taxation:

  • “Taking property is theft!” (Anarcho-Capitalism)
  • “Claiming you own property is theft” (Anarcho-Communism)
  • “Taking property is theft, but acceptable for the Greater Good” (Various consequentialists)

Unprincipled stances on taxation:

  • “You CAN own property but taking it isn’t theft because of a Social Contract that you never agreed to.” (Unprincipled capitalists, e.g. most modern ideologies)
  • “Claiming you own property is theft, but if you use the car that Comrade Iosef drives, the police will get you even though it isn’t Comrade Iosef’s car” (Unprincipled communists, i.e: “communists.”)

Tag yrself I’m a principled consequentialist.

This is… So silly. If the consequentialist position sounds wildly different from the “unprincipled capitalist” position then you really need to choose a completely different word than “theft” in all of the above, because you’re COMPLETELY failing to express what you’re trying to say by it.

There are important differences in the behavior of politicians who believe the one compared to politicians who believe the other.

One approach realizes that when you tax people, you hurt people. When you have the power to impose VAT on food items while children go hungry to bed, you have the power to hurt people. That is a grave responsibility, and should only be exercised when your taxation scheme helps people more than it hurts starving children.

The other approach, which I see too often, goes

Lol I want to signal that I am cultured, let’s fund the Royal Theatre by taxing important goods! Wait, there are starving kids in our country now how did that happen? Let’s tax luxury goods to help the kids. Poor alcoholics can no longer afford homes? Let’s tax cars exorbitantly. People die because they don’t replace old cars that don’t have the newest safety features? Let’s make those mandatory! Poor people can no longer afford to drive at all now? Well sucks to be poor I guess but cars aren’t a necessity.

What, you feel taxes are unjust? They’re the price you pay to live in civilization! Without them we wouldn’t have great things like the Royal Theatre but only the art that people like enough to pay money for without being forced to and that would be terrible.

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