Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Liberal Libertarians

Libertarians.  I can’t stand them.  Even worse, I think they serve no useful purpose in our political system and really put a big drag on everything; and yes, that does presume that mainstream Republicans serve a purpose.  The libertarian position sounds good, but that’s it.  It’s just useless sloganeering and toughguy talk, with no real basis in reality.  And there are two basic types of libertarians: Pie-in-the-sky jokers who haven’t thought any of it through passed the toughguy talk, and relatively intelligent Republicans who enjoy bashing libs but hate having to defend their own party.  Both categories are dangerous in their own way, though the second is the more dangerous of the two.  And both are entirely fake positions that are easy to defend, just as long as they can keep the topic on rhetoric and theory; and away from the thorns of reality.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m fairly libertarian on many issues; almost all of them pertaining to individual rights.  I support gun ownership, with reasonable limitations.  I support personal liberties and freedom.  And I think that people should be allowed to enjoy themselves, just as long as they’re not preventing others from enjoying themselves.  And, of course, I’m pro-choice, which should be one of those bigtime libertarian platforms; though too often it isn’t.  All of these positions are completely reasonable, and millions who would never call themselves “libertarian” fully believe these things.  And to me, this is what libertarianism is really all about: The Rights of Individuals.  

And to state this more clearly: I think that liberty isn’t just about doing whatever the hell you want.  Taken to its natural extreme, nobody believes that.  It’s about us having the freedom to do what we want, without unnecessarily infringing upon other people’s freedom.  But overall, freedom and liberty must be equal for all, and that to be called a “libertarian” must mean that we support freedom for everyone.  And if one person has a freedom to do something, then everyone else must have that freedom too.

But those who call themselves “libertarians”, particularly of the Republican variety, aren’t in agreement with that.  More often than not, they’re mainly in support of business rights.  In particular, Big Business.  And here’s the thing: More often than not, individual rights are in direct conflict with business rights.  I’m not at all sure how libertarians haven’t figured that one out, but it’s so obvious as to be ridiculous.  And because Big Business is nothing but a collection of individuals, the libertarian position is often that of granting special rights to certain individuals, over the rights of other individuals; with the distinguishing factor being whether the individual is acting on their own behalf, versus that of their business.  And when stated like that, it’s obviously a big absurdity.  These libertarians believe that some people have more liberty than other people.

Examples

For example, I can’t see how environmental regulation isn’t a libertarian issue.  The air and water that these businesses are polluting is not their air and water.  It belongs to all of us.  So why do they get to just take it, ruin it, and not expect repercussions?  These companies do it because it lowers costs, and that’s fine, I guess.  But I don’t see why they’re not expected to clean it up, or to pay for what they’re using.  To make it the way it was before they took it.  I’m not allowed to go to Mr. Libertarian’s shack and start fucking up his weed-filled yard.  So why are businesses allowed to do that to us?  

Especially as it’s not just our stuff.  They’re fucking us up.  They get to dirty our air, our water, and thus, increase our medical expenses and shorten our lives; and I’m not allowed to do anything about it?  I’m just supposed to suck it up and act as if this is some natural process?  It’s considered some huge burden to expect them to undo damage they did to things they didn’t even own?  That’s bullshit.  Environmental policy is clearly an issue that should appeal to libertarians; assuming they knew what the hell they were talking about.  Because again, we’re talking about some individuals (business owners/managers) being given special rights to take and abuse public resources that belong to all individuals.  How is that liberty?

And unions.  Why are libertarian-types so angry at unions and the advances that unions gave us?  Honestly, are these businesses dealing with us on a one-on-one basis?  When I negotiate the terms of my job, it’s my economic and strategic strength against the one guy that I’m negotiating with?  No.  I’m negotiating with the entire company.  A company with resources so vast that I might work there for thirty years without ever seeing the owners of the company; and without ever knowing the extent of their resources.  So why is it that I’m not allowed to do the same?  Why can’t I group together with the guys I’m working with, and use our vast strength to negotiate my position?  

They have no problems with this for corporations.  For those who don’t know, corporations are totally a form of socialism, allowing folks to group together their resources so they can do things that they couldn’t do by themselves.  And that’s what socialism is all about.  Grouping resources together to do things that you can’t do as individuals.  And that’s what unions are all about.  And so why is it that libertarians totally defend the concept of corporations, while totally attacking the concept of unions?  One is based upon economic strength, and the other is based upon labor strength; but essentially, they’re the same idea.  

And so when unions help push for better working conditions, they’re not doing anything unholy or wrong.  They’re using their strength in numbers in order to get what’s best for them.  Similarly, a multi-national corporation uses its economic strength to get what’s best for them.  And so rather than this being about rabble-rousers screwing up a natural system; this is about two powers fighting as equals.  This isn’t against the laws of Supply & Demand; but just another demonstration of it.  By limiting the Supply of workers, unions can better their position.  That just makes sense.

And so how is this not a position that libertarian-types should hold dear?  How is the freedom of gathering together one’s assets considered anti-freedom?  And why is it that Big Business is allowed to do whatever the hell they want, while us “little guys” have to stay little?  That’s not freedom.  That’s bullshit.  Again, they’re giving special rights to certain individuals over the rights of other individuals.  How is that liberty?

Of the People, For the People

And finally, there is the issue of government itself.  I don’t support the idea that government should get to intrude into my life and tell me how to live, outside of ensuring Life, Liberty, and Happiness to the other citizens.  I shouldn’t be allowed to disturb the peace with loud music or murder people; but beyond that, the government shouldn’t tell me how to live.  And as far as I can see, they don’t.  Libertarian-types always go on and on about intrusive Big Brother government, but I’m just not seeing it.  And if anything, it’s the Republicans who are more responsible for the Big Brother stuff.  They’re the Law & Order party who wants to tap all our phones and watch over our internets.  Not us.  I’m not saying that no Democrat supports such things, but this clearly isn’t a liberal push.

And beyond that, I see government as a good thing.  I’d rather we not have one, I suppose, but I can’t imagine how we could possibly get away with not having one.  Because people will pollute things that aren’t theirs, and businesses will screw with individuals and make them work under bad conditions.  To me, that’s what government is all about: Protecting people’s rights against other people’s intrusiveness.  We’re all supposed to be equal here, and so some people shouldn’t be given rights that other people don’t have.  And that’s one important function of government: Giving us all equal rights.  And to me, that’s what liberty is all about.

And when you think about it, what is government but just a collection of individuals?  Individuals doing collectively what they could not do for themselves.  Just like a corporation or union.  Of the people, for the people.  That’s government.

And so our regulations are mostly designed to protect individuals against more powerful players.  And so as far as the government protects individual rights against that of Big Business and other nefarious players, I see government as being a libertarian issue too.  Because it’s largely to ensure personal liberties against the actions of more powerful individuals.  Sure, libertarians like to pretend that people should get to do whatever the hell they want to.  But that’s just stupid and could never be defended on a realistic basis.

Regulation Example

And hell, even the SEC type stuff is totally necessary.  Not as government intrusiveness against the free market system, but to protect the free market system.  And I say that as a CPA who actually knows this stuff.  I would never consider any of my clients to be crooked or dishonest, but I can tell you as a fact that each and every one of them would do many crooked and dishonest things if they could get away with it (not that I’d ever use those words to describe it to them).  And oftentimes, the only thing keeping the numbers legit is to cite the law and to tell them that they’d get in trouble for doing these things.  Again, these aren’t fundamentally dishonest people, but they want their financial statements showing huge profits and their tax returns showing huge losses.  That’s just a natural inclination for people to have, and so we need something to stop it.

And without SEC and accounting regulations, you’d be a damn fool for ever considering investing in the markets.  Any markets.  No matter what company it was, or even how familiar you were with that company.  You’d be a fool for investing in your own mother’s business, were it not for these regulations.  And so the market system would be incredibly inefficient, if not completely dysfunctional, were it not for the regulations.  Because it’s just too easy to screw with this shit.  No matter how savvy or thorough you are, you can never ascertain that the numbers are truthful, without SEC and other regulations.  

And beyond that, even honest people can have differences of opinion.  And so it’s important that everyone’s using the same rules, including footnotes stating what the rules are, so you can make the difference of a good company and a bad one.  And sure, we have our Enrons.  But without these regulations, you’d have to assume that every company was far worse than Enron.  Because even with the rules, there are differences of opinions; and without them, it would be impossible to understand a financial statement.

And that’s why the SEC was created.  Not because some government bureaucrat wanted to screw with freedom; but because some individuals were ruining the system for other individuals.  It was a natural outcome after the stock market manipulations that led to the Great Depression.  And even now, those fancy IPO’s that were all the rage during the internet boom of the 90’s were regulated by laws written in the early 30’s.  And these laws were completely necessary.  Necessary to preserve the market system and allow it to function properly.  Because without them, individuals certainly will be crooked about what they’re offering and the Risk Factor of any stock would be far too much.  And in such context, a libertarian should only support such a law.

And it goes on and on.  Overall, most government rules are designed to protect individuals against bad people.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Laws don’t design themselves out of nothing.  In most all cases, laws are reactive, and were created for specific issues.  And while we might no longer remember why these laws were created, there most certainly were reasons for them.  And most all of these laws were to protect individuals, because they’re the ones who need protecting the most.

So to me, it is the liberals who are the true libertarians.  Not some batty cabin-dweller who thinks he has a right to invent his own laws and take any freedoms he wants (and thus, denying others their freedoms).  And certainly not the two-faced Republican libertarians who insist that they deserve the title because they once said that Bush’s breath didn’t smell like roses; and who insist that they don’t need to defend their party.  If this is just about silly labels, I guess we can let them have it.  But if we are talking about the true defenders of liberty and freedom, we have to be talking about liberals.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Doc.

I think you're right to identify 'libertarianism' as a strain of the 'free market' religion that grips many weak minds (at least, it looks to me like you're saying something like that).

And you've hit on a lot of the blind spots in that religion.

For example, these folks seem to think that markets primarily suffer from government intervention in the form of regulation. You ably argue some merits of such intervention, but I think you're missing a key point.

A potentially more significant form of intervention taken by governments in the marketplace is the socialization of development costs. In the US, we currently see this most clearly in the so-called 'defense' sector -- high technology. Taxpayer dollars underwrite initial costs and defend markets against undesirable competition. [Taxpayer dollars also provide a guaranteed market to purchase the waste (unless expended in 'defense') production].

Inventions of huge technological significance (eg, the transistor) and market expansion (the internet) are developed on the taxpayer dime, and then turned over to private profit.

Wouldn't you expect this to piss off a 'real' libertarian? Or a 'real' capitalist?

They do indeed live in a fantasy world.
Let's poke more holes in the thing.

Dan said...

I despise libertarianism, and this explains why it is a fundamentally flawed ideology better than I could articulate. Great work.

It bills itself well on individual rights, and appeals to (as you said) people who haven't thought it through. Ultimately, it is the politics of selfishness. Ayn Rand's objectivism is not far from libertarianism, and I really don't want to live in her dog-eat-and-shit-out-dog world.

I always ask libertarians how the fire department works in libertopia. With no government run fire department (it is of course a private business), why would I pay for fire service when my neighbours pay for it? After all, if my house burns, they will have to put it out, or my insured neighbours' houses will burn. Libertarian ideology is riddled with freerider flaws like that.

It's a way for the rich and the would-be-rich to justify not bearing their share of the burden for keeping society functioning. Pretending that personal responsibility is all, and that the poor are always to blame for their own condition is very comforting to people who were born from the middle up and think they "succeeded against the odds" or some shit.

trilobite said...

Bravo, Doc! I've been saying this stuff for years, but you have put it all in a nice neat package. I'm gonna carry it around with me so I can just pass out copies and proceed directly to the bar at my next party.

Doctor Biobrain said...

That's fine, Trilo. But I get royalties for printed copies. A nickle a page. It says so on each post of this blog, written in the same invisible ink as what the Founding Father's used on the Constitution when they included their super-secret exemptions for Republicans.

That Girl said...

Awesome post!

I would like to point out though, that there is plenty of room for discussion on things like seatbelts. Demanding that a person wear their seatbelt is an infringement on their personal liberty - they are not going to get into more accidents BECAUSE they arnt wearing their seatbelt.
IF they get into an accident it is a much greater burden on state/local/healthcare resources if they arnt restrained. All of us pay for these things (theoretically).

I dont think it would solve every issue but I love your ideas.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Regarding seatbelt laws, I do agree that unseatbelted people are a greater burden on other individuals; and that therefore, seatbelt laws are a good thing. This is yet another issue in which the "libertarian" position is one that grants liberties to some individuals at a great expense to others.

Too often "libertarianism" is simply a codeword for selfishness; and that their position would be more accurately reflected by that idea. Because to me, one person's liberty should not be overly burdensome to other people.

Mumphrey said...

Yes, at its heart, libertarianism is either one of 2 things. Most often, it's just selfishness: a "philosophical" excuse to say, "Hey, I got mine; if you're having any trouble scraping by, then screw you!"
The other thing it can be is a kind of weird fundementalist religion that weird free-market-worshipping dogmatists believe is the revealed word of God.
I don't think there are too many of the latter kind; but thy're pretty scary--as are any fundementalists. They believe their creed can answer any and all questions under all circumstances. They aren't violent, like Christian, Wahabbist or bolshevik fundementalists, or especially powerful, and thus destructive to society, like Christian and Bushevik fundementalists, but they're pretty scary all the same.

TGirsch said...

You, sir, are the preacher, and I am the choir. You've been linked yet again.

TGirsch said...

"These libertarians believe that some people have more liberty than other people."

I think that this is mostly correct, but I think you miss on a key element here: to most Libertarians, money = freedom. So the more money you have, the more freedom you have.

Keith Casey said...

I found this through a Liberal friend and can't help but respond.

First of all, a corporation is fundamentally different than a union for one main reason. An individual joins the corporation (buying stock, working there) of their own free will. In most cases, an individual must join a union to get/keep their job.
* If you disagree with the actions of the corporation, you can cease your membership by selling stock, not buying their product, or finding a new job.
* If you disagree with the actions of the union, you can cease your membership, but you often lose your job as a result.

Next, all pollution is simply the destruction/damage to property and others, nothing more. Therefore, most Libertarians - myself included - simply see "environmental policy" as unnecessary complication and emotional appeals. If someone (a corporation or your neighbor) dumps their garbage on your lawn, there have been procedures in place for hundreds of years to settle this... why the complication?

* Next, both Republicans and Democrats have their hands dirty with Big Brother. Now the question is... who's going to make it better?

* Finally, your line about "they want their financial statements showing huge profits and their tax returns showing huge losses. That’s just a natural inclination for people to have, and so we need something to stop it." is misleading. You're completing missing the root cause that tax policy encourages and rewards this behavior. Your comment is the equivalent of "it is a person's natural inclination to jump in lakes... ignore the fact that I set him on fire".

To address some of the comments:

* If a person believes that there should be no government, they are not a Libertarian, they are an Anarchist. Libertarians believe that there are specific and legitimate roles of government. We also believe that power and those who wish to exert this power should have specific limits on it. The benefit to this is that no matter who is in office (Bush, Clinton, Lincoln, whoever) the damages they can do are highly limited.

* Fire and police departments are predominantly community-oriented and therefore should stay that way. Please clarify why should the Feds have any control over these groups?

* If a government is allowed to require someone to wear a seatbelt because "IF they get into an accident it is a much greater burden on state/local/healthcare resources if they arnt restrained. All of us pay for these things" then please specify which demonstrably self-detrimental behaviors a government *shouldn't* legislate?

Smoking? Watching TV? Getting enough sleep? Overeating? Homosexuality? What's the line?

Doctor Biobrain said...

Keith - I'll address a few points:

First of all, a corporation is fundamentally different than a union for one main reason.

That is not a fundamental difference. That is a minor difference, which is not always applicable. But in both cases, if one wants the benefits from a corporation or union; one must join in and play by the rules. And the general idea is the same: they are both socialistic organizational forms which combine resources to do together what people cannot do as individuals. And your "finding a new job" versus "lose your job" distinction is obviously laughable.

Also laughable is your pollution argument. Sure, if a corporation dumps garbage on my lawn, we can deal with that. But what if they're dumping garbage in our air and water? What if they're shortening my life and increasing my health expenses, due to their cost-saving measures that poison us? That was the argument that I made, which you have completely failed to address.

Finally, as a tax accountant, I am quite aware of our tax policies and agree with them. While they are not without flaw, they are also indispensable and relatively reasonable. As long as we have high spending, we need taxes. And as long America remains a democracy, we will have high spending. Now, if you'd like to make an argument about that, I'll listen. But please don't insult us with these fantasyland ideas of these "root causes".

And remember, before you can attack our tax policies, you must first explain how we can get rid of the high spending that Americans demand. Unless you're just arguing for an alternative tax policy, like flat-tax; which are only advocated by those completely unaware of how taxes work. But again, if you've got the magic bullet as to how to we can raise enough taxes without pissing everyone off and also avoid undertaxing the ultra-rich; please feel free to share it with us.

Keith Casey said...

But in both cases, if one wants the benefits from a corporation or union; one must join in and play by the rules. And the general idea is the same: they are both socialistic organizational forms which combine resources to do together what people cannot do as individuals.

Alright, point taken, but I think you are muddling terms. Cooperation != Socialism. Three people working together to build a company is *not* a socialistic endeavor.

What if they're shortening my life and increasing my health expenses, due to their cost-saving measures that poison us? That was the argument that I made, which you have completely failed to address.

If there are damages - which it sounds like would be - then there are routes to remedy them. To apply your logic to another situation, would the installation of bad seatbelts be an environmental issue? This too could shorten your life and increase health expenses. What's the difference? Both of our examples demonstrate negligence and potentially a multitude of other things, so it seems like both could be covered under existing law. Why do we need laws to make something illegal when it is already illegal?

Finally, as a tax accountant, I am quite aware of our tax policies and agree with them. While they are not without flaw, they are also indispensable and relatively reasonable. As long as we have high spending, we need taxes.

I've never said that taxes are unneeded. I beleive that both parties have demonstrated a complete lack of concern for reducing spending.

The fact stands that showing losses on our taxes allows us to have a deduction (aka a reward). Therefore, since most people will try to be awarded, it stands to reason that they will attempt to do this any way they can. If there was not a reward, then what would be the motivation for showing losses? Would there be a logical reason for it to continue?

Let me ask you a question... If Congress, et al was trying to make tax policy more complicated, what would they be doing different?

Doctor Biobrain said...

Three people working together to build a company is *not* a socialistic endeavor.

You only say that because you've got a skewed idea of "socialism" is. My use of the term refers to it's basic meaning, that of multiple people combining together to achieve what they cannot do as individuals. Just like what unions are.

If there are damages - which it sounds like would be - then there are routes to remedy them.

No, outside of environmental laws, I know of no remedy for damaging people through polluted air and water. Perhaps you know of something we don't? And I would prefer to stop the polluters before they hurt people; rather than trying to sue them after it's too late.

To apply your logic to another situation, would the installation of bad seatbelts be an environmental issue?

You can't be serious. That's just a silly question.

But the seatbelt issue is fairly complicated, and I really don't feel like arguing it here. But overall, I don't see what the problem with wearing a seatbelt is and I don't think it's overly burdensome to have to wear one.

The fact stands that showing losses on our taxes allows us to have a deduction (aka a reward).

Ok, I will state that I'm not so sure that business/investment losses should be tax deductible. Thus said, the basis for our tax system is that people should pay what they can afford to pay. And so the idea would be that business/investment losses reflect a lower ability to pay taxes. And for the record, investment losses are limited to a $3000 deduction on personal taxes. But again, I sometimes think that the business loss deduction is a lousy policy.

If Congress, et al was trying to make tax policy more complicated, what would they be doing different?

Again, if you want me to take you seriously, you shouldn't ask such silly questions. But if Congress wanted to make things more complicated, there are an infinite number changes they could make. They could make you stand on your head while preparing them, or insist that they could only be prepared at IRS headquarters. They could also disallow the use of CPA's or tax software. More realistically, they could get rid of the standard deduction and force everyone to itemize their deductions; or make all married couples file separately. They could insist that all businesses be audited and to give detailed information for every company that they receive money from or pay money to. I could go on and on.

But as far as making things more simple, I can't think of many. And the main reason for the complex taxcode is due to scammy lawyers and accountants who get paid big bucks to find new loopholes and avoid taxation (obvoiusly, I'm not one of those kinds, and prefer the straight-forward approach). So 90% of taxpayers are subjected to a complicated system, due to the wrong-doings of the other 10% (those percents are a pure guess). Another complication involves politicians trying to find special breaks for specific groups; like Bush's recent dividend taxcut, which greatly complicated the accounting for dividends and capital gains. And finally, many complexities reflect the complexities in the business world. I'm talking about how to account for stock options, stock & property barter exchanges, foreign currency rates, etc. The business world is a complicated place and the taxcode needs to reflect that.

Again, while the taxcode may seem complex. I don't really see a better way to keep it fair and honest. And it seems like every time Congress attempts to simplify the taxcode, they only serve to make it far more complicated. But I'd guess that most of them hire CPA's to do their taxes, so it's probably no concern to them.

Keith Casey said...

My use of the term refers to it's basic meaning, that of multiple people combining together to achieve what they cannot do as individuals.

I guess to be clear, I was speaking of Socialism as a econonomic/political system. I was unaware that anytime anyone was cooperating with someone else was considered "socialism".

And I would prefer to stop the polluters before they hurt people; rather than trying to sue them after it's too late.

As you've stated before, laws are reactive. I agree wholeheartedly but also point out that the interpretation and application of laws are based on precedents. Therefore, if Organization A (family, individual, corporation, etc) damanges Organization B, there will be penalties. In addition, if Org C does something similar to Org D - regardless of whether or not there are damages - the precedent is set and therefore Org C can be penalized.

For example, driving drunk was not initially illegal when automobiles became common. Once it was demonstrated that alcohol impairs driving ability and can lead to death and damages, it was made illegal. Now, when someone drives drunk and is caught - even if they haven't harmed anyone yet - they are subject to a certain set of penalties. It doesn't require the damages or death to occur again... it simply requires a similar set of circumstances.

I guess I'm not seeing why pollution should be treated any differently. Damages are damages. Sue the bastards out of existance, make the decision makers/organization perform community service, or make them demonstrate they're doing things better (similar to AA for the drunk driver)...

If there was not a reward, then what would be the motivation for showing losses? Would there be a logical reason for it to continue?

Any comment on this?

And it seems like every time Congress attempts to simplify the taxcode, they only serve to make it far more complicated. But I'd guess that most of them hire CPA's to do their taxes, so it's probably no concern to them.

You are correct, Congress could make it much more complicated. The way it stands, the current tax code appears to be more of a Tax Attorney/CPA Protect Act than anything else.

Doctor Biobrain said...

I guess to be clear, I was speaking of Socialism as a econonomic/political system.

Yes, well I didn't capitalize it, and I was speaking of socialism in the way that many conservatives do; when they complain of various liberal policies that they view as a form of socialism. Like how they say that Universal Healthcare is socialism. Which it is, but only in the sense that all insurance is socialism. But I think that they're usually just using the word as an insult.

Just to be clear, I use this in the sense that all government is socialism; in that it uses the combined resources of its participants and does things that those participants could not do individually. And that these things are all done by everyone who wants to participate; whether they agree with the individual actions or not. And just as a US citizen can choose to move to a less socialized country, a corporate shareholder or union member can always choose to leave; were they to disagree with what their group was doing. And this is to be contrasted with the formal Socialism, which is a form of government. But again, I was using it in the general sense that people generally mean; whether they understand what they're really saying or not.

For example, driving drunk was not initially illegal when automobiles became common.
...
I guess I'm not seeing why pollution should be treated any differently.


Forgive me if I'm being stupid, but it looks like you've made my case for me. Just like how drunk driving needed a new set of laws, environmental polluting needed a new set of laws. And just as we can punish drunk drivers before they injure anyone, we can punish polluters without waiting for them to injure people. Polluting itself should be against the law, and it is against the law. I fail to see what you were getting at with this.

If there was not a reward, then what would be the motivation for showing losses? Would there be a logical reason for it to continue?
Any comment on this?


I thought I did comment on that. I said that I was kind of against business losses being used as a tax deduction. And I explained that the justification was that our taxcode is based on an ability to pay system, and that losses were deductible because they reflected a lesser ability to pay by these business owners. And that makes some sense.

Thus said, we would still have an issue of businessmen wanting a very low level of income shown on tax returns. Even if they're not losses, they still want a low tax bill. And that's why we have a complicated taxcode that disallows lots of this trickery; as well as an audit system to catch it. Of course, we still have Enrons which will continue to hire guys much better paid than me to find new loopholes around even the most complex laws.

And just to be clear, I'm not exactly sure that I agree with business taxation; and think that maybe we should only tax them on the individual shareholder level. That's how almost all of my clients work anyway, as they use a special form of corporate-structure for small businesses which allows them to be taxed as individuals, while retaining the legal structure of a corporation. But I can certainly see how large corporations could easily abuse this idea; so I'm not so sure I agree with that either.

The way it stands, the current tax code appears to be more of a Tax Attorney/CPA Protect Act than anything else.

That's right dude. I'm not supposed to say this, but we (and by "we" I mean the lawyer-CPA cabal), we get together once a month and talk about what a scam we're pulling on everyone. But talking isn't the right word for it. Most of the time, we just laugh and laugh and laugh. And then we laugh some more. And not even like a regular laugh. It's like really sinister. Deep hearted, belly-laughs. And let me tell you, if I wasn't a part of it, it'd scare the bejezzus out of me. I mean really.

And you know who else has a cabal? Car mechanics. I don't understand a damn thing about cars, and those jerkoffs charge more an hour than I do; and I'm the one with the college degree. And also, electricians, plumbers, doctors, and dentists. I'm sure these things could be a lot less complicated, if only those jerkoffs weren't just trying to secure their professions.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you are not too smart. That is all.