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Is taxation theft? Show more Show less
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Taxes have been raised for over 5,000 years. Without tax, so it claims, the state cannot maintain its functions and support its citizens. But some libertarians claim all taxation is immoral: the state stealing the money of the individual. Where does taxation cross the line between legitimate representation and legal plunder?

No, taxation is not theft. Show more Show less

Taxation is in sync with democratic principles.
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Pre-tax income does not belong to the taxpayer

If pre-tax income is owed to the state, then giving a fraction of that sum to the government cannot be seen as a "theft."

The Argument

In The Myth of Ownership, Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel argue that our property rights are given to us by the state and therefore makes the case that pre-tax income is not essentially owned by the taxpayer. Pre-tax money is viewed as a product of the institution, the market and its regulations. The only reason someone would be entitled to their pre-tax income is because of the protection that a tax-funded state provides which creates the prerequisite for that source of revenue. Because this income is “owed” to the state, its demand for a portion of that sum to promote the welfare of its citizens is not a theft. Pretax income bears no moral significance on its own; the system of tax distribution is not scrutiny to injustice, but rather the result of such an economic structure. There must be a cognizant distinction between unjust taxation and unwise taxation.

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 10 Jun 2020 at 13:34 UTC

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