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BusinessJustin August 5th, 2015 9:13pm

"The more government tries to help society, the more tyrannical it becomes."

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DonWichita Kansas
08/07/15 9:49 am

Reagan said it best.
The 9 most terrifying words in the english language.

youtu.be/xhYJS80MgYA

Sting716 Libertarian Golden Flash
08/05/15 10:58 pm

True, especially if they try to help other societies. Not naming names, though. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Zod Above Pugetropolis
08/05/15 9:18 pm

It's entirely possible for the government to help society with the consent and enthusiastic support of the society at large. In many places, not here obviously, promoting and attending to the common good is a big part of what government is for.

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Lancelot2032 Houston, Texas
08/05/15 8:12 pm

It's true, but tyranny is not always a negative thing.

Ash28 USA
08/05/15 7:48 pm

Only if their intentions were good, which is not always the case. πŸ˜•

LeftLibertarian The Age of Outrage
08/05/15 7:41 pm

No, because they don't try to help, they care only about there own power, they only grant the public concessions if not doing so would threaten their power, or occasionally they can masquerade as helpers gain popular support.

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Lance007 Libertas est super omnes
08/05/15 7:03 pm

When someone is sure that they know the correct way to do something, they will attempt to persuade others that they are correct. Put that person in the government, and they won't need to persuade them, laws will just be made for the greater good.

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 3:35 pm

Tyrannical? Not at all.

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cpaswr just say the letters
08/05/15 3:17 pm

I disagree. Tyranny is usually associated with sever oppression. This isn't the case even though many SOHers believe the definition of sever oppression is the government levying any taxes.

This quote is taking things to the extreme.

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BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 3:21 pm

I agree that most people on here have an exceptionally skewed view of what it truly means. I would use it in only the most general sense. With part of the definition saying "cruel and unfair treatment..." one could say that some policies are unfair.

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 3:41 pm

I wouldn't equate some unavoidable if unfortunate level of unfairness with *tyranny* though. If the unfairness reaches a point of being blatantly skewed, that's one thing, but the fact that legislation inherently won't map perfectly to intent doesn't

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 3:41 pm

render it illegitimate IMO.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 3:45 pm

True, I agree; even being blatantly unfair wouldn't immediately rise to the level of tyranny. Still I find that people have wide-ranging definitions of tyranny and the role of government. What is tyrannical to one is perhaps ideal to another.

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 5:23 pm

Well sure. Tyranny is ideal for the tyrant ;)

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 5:56 pm

Haha, touché.

Maj Worth Economist
08/05/15 3:08 pm

πŸ˜‚ Oh, Americans! How naive you are, misusing the word tyrant like you actually suffer under the authority of an absolute ruler - brutally arbitrary, oppressive, and harsh - unrestrained by such things as "laws" or "checks and balances."

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Maj Worth Economist
08/05/15 3:11 pm

There are plenty of governments out there that are tyrannical without really bothering to help society; they just help themselves. And there are plenty of governments out there that aren't tyrannical and do more for their societies than we do.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 3:12 pm

You'll certainly hear agreement from me that laws and checks and balances are a good thing. I even applaud regulation at times as necessary to rein in capitalist tendencies. Still, isn't the line of tyranny a blurry, gray one?

Maj Worth Economist
08/05/15 7:21 pm

#democracyproblems

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 9:41 pm

Haha succinctly stated.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 2:17 pm

The idea behind the statement is that to help any segment of society the government must first take from another. The more it helps the more it must take. I don't think it's necessarily applicable to every area, but overall I agree.

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TierasPet
08/05/15 2:56 pm

I agree as well.

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 4:01 pm

But that necessarily implies that all exchange is inherently unfair, doesn't it? Every exchange will have a winner and loser, or best case, no one emerges better off than they were. But that can't be right - otherwise capitalism is no good.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 4:07 pm

Not at all, not every exchange is zero-sum. One need only to look at the markets to see constant reminder if why exchange is good and beneficial to most parties. Exchanges with the government are sometimes fair and sometimes not. Tax dollars for

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 4:07 pm

defense or roads are pretty fair; they're not something you can effectively purchase on your own and they're pretty necessary. Is Social Security as fair? I'd argue not, taking from those with and giving to those without.

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 5:26 pm

But market exchanges are no different - sometimes fair, sometimes not. Largely due to disparities in bargaining power and information imbalance. In those scenarios, government "taking" (through tax or regulation) from one party and "giving" to the

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 5:27 pm

other(s) could theoretically improve overall efficiency, no? You give examples of defense and roads, which I agree with, and which I take are why you say that "overall" you take the referenced view but with exceptions.

But what I'm not clear on is

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 5:28 pm

why you believe this is the exception for government but the norm for the markets. I don't know that this has been comprehensively studied in a meaningful way.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 5:55 pm

I agree it probably hasn't been studied and even if has been I don't believe it would be entirely conclusive. I concede that not all private exchanges are fair, but there's far less pressure to engage in them. Even an unfair, and even illegal,

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 5:56 pm

example of price collusion is rarely foisted upon the purchaser under penalty of law. The government has that authority which it overwhelming uses fairly and justly in my view. While I might see it as just though, many others may view it as

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 5:56 pm

tyrannical seizure for something they don't support nor want to pay for. The phrase equating democracy to merely being a "tyranny of the majority" comes to mind.

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 6:01 pm

I understand all of that. I do think that inelasticity and other forms of economic duress aren't given enough credit in these discussions, though. And it also bears consideration that the government protects property and contracts by using taxes

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 6:02 pm

levied on everyone. Those with much more to protect obviously benefit much more significantly from that protection. So one could argue that, unless taxes are based on *wealth*, protection of private property inherently unfairly favors the wealthy. I

bethanyq Ess Eff
08/05/15 6:03 pm

wouldn't make such an argument, of course, because I'd get bored of being called a "communist" for the crime of engaging in a thought experiment ;)

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 6:15 pm

Haha, well you won't be called a communist by me I assure you. I'm a fan of thought experiments, and I even play devil's advocate on here quite often as a way to encourage debate and critical thinking. You raise a lot of very valid points, ones I

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 6:15 pm

certainly cannot refute without much more research on the topic. In truth my objective here was quite benign; while it is easy to point out some objective cases of tyranny throughout history, my curiosity is to where the lines of tyranny extend.

DrReid Ever present.
08/05/15 7:19 pm

Ultimately, when the rich benefit from a strong social safety net, worker protections, and higher wages. So no, it isn't harming one group to help another. All stand to benefit from the elimination of neoliberalism.

BusinessJustin Tamriel
08/05/15 9:40 pm

One group certainly stands to benefit more so than the other. In any case, does that make it right to impose on people for the greater good? Surely to some extent I would say yes, but when does the "greater good" cross the line?