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"Who is John Galt?"

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posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 02:40 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 02:47 PM

Originally posted by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Holding Ayn Rand responsible for the actions of the Rand Corporation today is tantamount to holding Jesus Christ responsible for the actions of the Catholic Church. It is hard to imagine how one could declare themselves a rational thinker in favor of enlightened self interest and in the same breath declare themselves an adherent to some sort Randian religion or movement, even if that movement be objectivism.

Rands closest people have turned away from capitalism, have embraced collectivism, embraced selfishness as a vice, and greed as a virtue. Alan Greenspan being the most notable headed up the Federal Reserve. It's those people that have turned objectivism and capitalism on it's head, and misrepresented both to the world.

To those that reject objectivism, characters such as Gordon Gecko are heroes.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 03:09 PM
We haven't always been this mindless. Just until the late 1970s have we started to downgrade our surroundings to a few simple functions. EAT - SLEEP - BUY - WORK! In fact, reading isn't even on many peoples list of things to do and in reality DRUGS would be on that list too. Objective reasoning, spiritual activism, creative prose, and meditation are only used by select groups. Lies, psychological apathy, and individual alienation have become the pool we drown in.

Lets not forget how we exist in a cycle either. Why haven't we learned from generations past mistakes? Has anyone even realized yet that our rise and fall as an American Empire almost mirrors that of the Roman Empire. And why only 250 to 300 years? The average time I find for world empires to rise and fall. What thing or entity is constantly trying to make us trip and fall? Is being born from noble blood really noble? When we learn that there is another side to ourselves that is entirely spiritual, only then shall we escape all this mess. Then again there is said to be one man a Son of God who will reconcile mans spirit! And if the parables of Jesus were practiced and taught in Academia today we would have fixed things along time ago. Our justice system doesn't even know what the definition of Accountability is anymore.

Aaaaaaaaah, I tire of this debate though. The future is clear, all prophetic reason will tell you this. Read Mark Chapter 13 in the New Testament and all will seem inherently clear. The days of a christian holocaust are coming. Afterall our churches are the secret head quarters of the elitist and aliens don't like us too much. Now if your wise then accept God's wisdom and start by reading Proverbs in the Old Testament. However remember Jesus Christ didn't come to unite mankind but rather divide us! There will be those who accept him as the King and those who do not! Yes there must be those who will not, for let us also realize that there is a duality that exist. Afterall Lucifer did put Lucifer in Luciferian Oath.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 03:26 PM
I just wanna chime in to agree with the multitude of smart posters here.

Rand was a complete idiot. Her book was garbage too as well.

Only selfish spirited people like her philosophy. However nice rational people understand that the DUTY of the strong is to PROTECT the weak.

These pretentious fools think the weak are a burden on them instead, and want nothing more than to see the weak executed.

Sounds just like Hitler and the Nazis to me.

Therefore I will go ahead and say that Rand is a Nazi sympathizer. I bet she loved the idea of Eugenics and Population Control *(as long as the elite choose who lives and dies, of course.)

[edit on 30-12-2009 by muzzleflash]

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 03:42 PM

Originally posted by pai mei
That book is about capitalism. Capitalism is presented as - those who want work, those who don't want don't work and don't have. Freedom ! Nothing said about people working to survive, any kind of work, or about the environment.

Child Labor

Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China

The Gospel of Consumption

The Story of Stuff

[edit on 30-12-2009 by pai mei]

Yes and this is maybe our greatest problem here?

We all know that free market captiaism as written by 'Capitalism as a Moral System by Adam Smith - this is how it all started in the exploited shanty towns in the industrial Europe, and especially in the industrial cities of Britain.

But you have also to understand that the vision for capitalism that Adam smith had - is like the world utopia, almost which in similarity that the fascistic dictatorship now under Islam in Iran are claiming - they are both false!

You can't keep a world society rolling with fiat money any longer when noone is trusting the value of such currency i.e America . And you can't any longer trust in a fanatic priesthood who are promising the paradise when they can't deliver as well!

As the poster very smartly here proposed:

Its all about they way the fraudulant of capitalism will survive!

What do we know now?

We now know that we can't live any longer under the hyper capitalism of the USA and the rest of the western world.

Why you may ask, why! - the answer is simple! it's destroying this world!

You can't live with air conditions under full maximum 24/7 force if the rest of the world are going to survive.

And the truth is that even the capitalism under Adam Smith could't even forsee the advancecements of this modern world, but in this case of America a lot of you have seen to forget that to have a capitalism as the good Mr.Smith proposed - Is that you have also need a exploitable world!

Furthermore where did you think that most of your International bailouts went?

Let me tell you then!

Most of them went to the biggest money lendors countries you had business with.

I'm talking about investors in Europe, Persian Gulf, Russia and Asia.

I'm sorry but the problem is too complex to write about in a few sentences.

Well met!

[edit on 30-12-2009 by Chevalerous]

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux


posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 04:29 PM
Well, saying that Rand was only promoting FREEDOM is a misdirection tactic IMO.

Here is why.

See with Rand's freedom, basically, I can just put a bullet in Rand's head and this is not unjustified murder, it is SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.

So basically murderers are "Strong" and "Survivalists" while non-murderers are "weak" and "a dying breed".

However I disagree, this is pure insanity. There is no logic to this philosophy at all, it is self-destructive.

Survival of the fittest? Really?
You do realize modern weapons can make a child superior?

All it takes is a finger to pull the trigger.

There is no weak people,there are only potential gun slingers. Please keep this in mind before you open Pandora's Box on "Survival of the Fittest".

Because you are going to HATE it when you find out your not the "fittest" after all.

Not making any threats or anything, just stating the obvious.

Once you make murder legal your in for a huge surprise.

[edit on 30-12-2009 by muzzleflash]

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 04:36 PM
Poor Ayn Rand.

"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

"For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." 1 Corinthians 1:21

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." 1 Corinthians 2:14

What fools these mortals be!

Also, I'm sick of people falling back on that old chestnut "You can't prove a negative." Nonsense! Here's one: I am not dead. Here's another: Ayn Rand is not God.

Ayn Rand's gospel of complete self-interest is anathema to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which emphasizes self-sacrifice. I'd much rather live in His world than hers.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 04:44 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

I am not sure... Tis the age old question, what we discuss here and foam about will likely pace human existence to its totality. The more I grow, the more I recognize this duality in man is never black and white. One remedy presents a new ailment, to remedy this new ailment often requires something completely contrary to the original remedy. Once I realized this circumstance I began to see this yin/yang in everything. This has impacted my political view profoundly, in my eyes there is no purity, rather deep flaws in the most polarized solutions.

Calling every business mogul a captain of industry or a robber baron
is a pretense that does not represent reality well, for reality provides many versions of each, all of which should be assigned an individual value by the observer. However, to romanticize either seems to be an inherent quality in man and likely a manifestation of nature or god.

I believe the genius of this nation is that it accounts for these polar opposites, strength is achieved by these two forces pressing against each other. This constant bickering IS the foundation of freedom, for silence and stagnation indicates tyranny. When I recall this realization I recognize that my efforts and your efforts are necessary, but completely futile. One day we will be a pile of bone while unknown strangers kick about
these same notions and ideas. While it is just as likely our predecessors felt the same urgency and impending doom that underscores our desire to fix the perceived wrongs in the present.

On to objectivism -

I believe the root of the ISM takes all the objectivity from the concept. For one has to assign a subjective judgement to define the objective. Otherwise how can anyone determine a goal or achieve anything without a value/prejudice assigned to it in the first place? So the very first step in framing the objective requires a person to exalt this objective over other considerations. This elevation of specific ideas is the abandonment of objectivity and CONTRARY to rest of the objectivist dogma, all in step 1.

I believe Rands views were SUBJECT to her objective - That production and the flow of capital is of primary importance in the world, under the guise of individualism. That it is more important to protect the producer than the people subject to the producers policies. Inactivity is in fact a passive way of taking an action IMO. I suggest that both can be achieved and are achieved everyday.

The unfortunate part of this for me is that it seems to be based upon a belief that if it can earn money, it must be good, that the act of capitalization
can only be viewed as a righteous act. On the other side we have Marx who seems to
frame the act as categorically bad. Both extreme, idealism bordering upon the theologic.

As a practical matter I believe the producers operate fairly unfettered in this nation.
We have Buffet and Gates, great producers who hold half a trillion each, which is
evidence to this. These producers have produced epic "product", in one lifetime
with this system, this day in age.

As a culture we seem to place wealth and influence upon a pedestal,
evidence being people like the talentless Paris Hilton whose name and money has circumvented the normal tenets of fame, achieved by the opposite process fame is normally acquired.

I do not think the fundamental problem in this nation is restriction... Companies allowed to ship jobs overseas at will, capital industry was very free to create financial instruments and able to set up shop in Delaware to charge interest rates that are considered usury in all the other states. The later being a product of our republic and freedom in this market. All of which I disapprove of to varying degrees...

But then there are other things which seem to carry a similar ring to one another,

one example

I use my interaction here to illuminate these things of this nature

Feeding hungry people in fact makes people more hungry!/?

This is obviously false...

The argument is made that this makes people dependent...
But this also ASSUMES that people enjoy being dependent and hungry.
It also implies that people actively pursue the state of hunger and poverty.
I would say the very history of this nation shows the opposite, but that is
my opinion.

Now throw in objectivism, altruism only perpetuates this hunger
as I said before... BUT this is all based upon the subjective view that capital and
production is of greater purpose than ensuring the very basics in life. So if the observer
does not hold Rands or (maybe) your objective, the entire philosophy is "off" from the get go, based upon assigned values, which is a product of being subjective.

Freedom allows us to to follow natures president, many realities abound, not assigned as a predetermined reality, because that is not the reality we live in. Better, accepting this and allowing this difference to represent freedom, in line with the word, concept and disorder of nature.

Then there is the idea that a completely free market produces pure good, that
this idea only creates benefit throughout and that the contrary, restriction, creates
detriment... Capital creating policy is good for freedom! Yet somehow this a belief system that many support is an absolute, not even commensurate with common sense.
So I am to believe that Capitalism is a magical realm, where traditional wisdom and processes goes out the door - I find it very hard to discuss a concept that has so many caveats and counter intuitive tenets...

I have rambled enough I will respond with more after your response

[edit on 30-12-2009 by Janky Red]

[edit on 30-12-2009 by Janky Red]

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 04:47 PM

Originally posted by allgoodnamesaretaken

Ayn Rand's gospel of complete self-interest is anathema to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which emphasizes self-sacrifice. I'd much rather live in His world than hers.

You cannot help others until you can help yourself. Those that demand that we 'sacrifice' for the good of others are no more than slave masters, no matter if they are religious icons or not.

Self-sacrifice without self-preservation first is always the downfall of the individual... intellectually, 'spiritually', and in emergency situations... physically. Take charity, for instance. If I am not in a stable financial position, I cannot give to help others. So, until then, I will be selfish in that I must help myself. That's where selfishness as a virtue comes in. You, and others, may see selfishness as a vice, but that's an outlook born of greed. Those that demand charity are exercising selfishness as a vice.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 04:58 PM
In order to understand "Who John Galt is", one should read all of Ayn Rand's works. Atlas Shrugged provides a story, but more principles are presented in her other fiction, and explicitly in her non-fiction.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 05:00 PM

Originally posted by SpacePunk

Originally posted by allgoodnamesaretaken

Ayn Rand's gospel of complete self-interest is anathema to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which emphasizes self-sacrifice. I'd much rather live in His world than hers.

You cannot help others until you can help yourself. Those that demand that we 'sacrifice' for the good of others are no more than slave masters, no matter if they are religious icons or not.

Self-sacrifice without self-preservation first is always the downfall of the individual... intellectually, 'spiritually', and in emergency situations... physically. Take charity, for instance. If I am not in a stable financial position, I cannot give to help others. So, until then, I will be selfish in that I must help myself. That's where selfishness as a virtue comes in. You, and others, may see selfishness as a vice, but that's an outlook born of greed. Those that demand charity are exercising selfishness as a vice.

Yes, but why are we to believe that an absolute is the truth?

A society cannot function without selfishness or altruism, without the individual and the
group, both notions are doomed to failure in this modern world.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 05:33 PM

Originally posted by Janky Red

Yes, but why are we to believe that an absolute is the truth?

Because absolutes ARE truth. Water freezes at 0c at sea level, that is an absolute... truth. Without absolutes then you have what the collectivists want most, grey area thinking where your position changes with whatever direction the collective wind blows. They want to keep you confused, and directionless so they give you moral relativism, relative truth, and a myriad of things to keep you from being resolute.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 05:34 PM
reply to post by Janky Red

Janky I had just dropped in briefly to check out what had been going on and a I must say, after scrolling through a full page of mostly nonsense, (except for Spacepunk's considered reply), it was a breath of fresh air to find yours. Thanks for offering your ideas and concerns. I can't stay long enough to reply just now, but will return later and give you the response your post deserves.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 05:54 PM
Rand's idealized view of unfettered capitalism suffers from the same tired flaws as any communist or anarchist: it denies the practicalities of functioning in a world of humanity.

Her world is predicated on the existence of a ruling elite who are so utterly inspired and skilled that the rest of the rabble is faced with two options: to either worship at the feet of their betters or be cast aside as "looters."

The scenarios which she envisioned were so simplistically black and white that they border on self parody, and while they make for fun thought exercises, they tend to crumble when you add the troubles of the real world.

The simple fact of the matter is that there are a ridiculously small amount of people even remotely as competent as Rand imagines her heroes and heroines to be. Her system ignores the brutish realities of people (regardless of their potential brilliance) born into poverty. It fails to acknowledge the very real physical danger of a large, poor, angry and armed underclass.

All that being said, the most appalling thing about the cult of Objectivism (and make no mistake that the most ardent believers show many signs of cult indoctrination) is how woefully inadequate these people tend to be as Producers.

The people who most admire Rand tend to work in the financial sector, shuffling numbers around creating imaginary money, divising more and more abstract "investment tools" in a grotesque orgy of economic voodoo. They are the personification of the Looter. They are the a bunch of James Taggarts deluding themselves into thinking their Henry Rearden.

The heroes of Rand's world and philosophy could be stripped of everything, thrown out into the world without money, connections or family influence and could rebuild their lives and become kings and queens once more. The modern followers of Rand overwhelmingly come from backgrounds of privilege and contribute and create nothing.

Rand expoused the notion that A=A that something is what it is. The chair that I create with my hands is worth something because it is a thing of use and beauty. I expect proper compensation for my work and goods and will not accept that I need to give someone the chair that I made because their feet are sore and they have a "right" to a comfy chair.

That is a reasonable application of Objectivist philosophy.

How does that compare to the people who create nothing, make nothing, offer nothing but insist that their right to a multi-million dollar bonus is somehow sacred because they have repackaged the insurance on bundled mortgages into a speculative investment tool to be sold to hedge fund managers who buy the packages with the pooled capital in the 401(k)s of the same workers who are going to be defaulting on the mortages in question?

Ultimately Objectivism is a nice but chronically impractical principle. People have thus sought to apply it by distorting it.

Even Greenspan had a moment of clarity earlier this year as he looked at the derivative market his laissez faire approach had wrought and he realized that there were no Great Men at the wheel of this doomed economy.

[edit on 30-12-2009 by RobertAntonWeishaupt]

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 05:59 PM

Originally posted by SpacePunk

Originally posted by Janky Red

Yes, but why are we to believe that an absolute is the truth?

Because absolutes ARE truth. Water freezes at 0c at sea level, that is an absolute... truth. Without absolutes then you have what the collectivists want most, grey area thinking where your position changes with whatever direction the collective wind blows. They want to keep you confused, and directionless so they give you moral relativism, relative truth, and a myriad of things to keep you from being resolute.

If hope your response was NOT well thought out...

We are talking ideology here, ideology applied to a society and this society at that.

Absolute and freedom are two contrary ideas - one is definitive


being, governed by, or characteristic of a ruler or authority completely free from constitutional or other restraint

one is expansive


the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

Note the difference, they are contrary as I said - you should be absolute in your individual life, but applying absolutes to the whole of a free society is the road to tyranny.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 06:07 PM

To those that just hit 'Reply' without reading the OP and understanding what the thread is about.......go back to page one, and read the OP.

This is not a discussion regarding Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand or Objectivism. Ideas and quotes were used to support concepts presented by the OP. I believe the attempt was just to highlight that we Americans do not need to resort to a violent overthrow of Government quite yet. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword in this case.

Tell me, do the majority of you enter a bookstore and immediately critique a work based on the title without reading the book?

Views upon corporations that lobby Washington and politicians are absolutely correct in my opinion. What better way to ensure your company will benefit while your competition will fail. A mom and pop store will always provide a better experience than a Wal-Mart type store, but people are only looking at the utility of money and not utility of experience, knowledge, community, and of the individual.

Now....What are the ways that we can accomplish breaking the system through the means we have? There are scarce options on the table as it is now, so why don't we collectively use the power of the individual to seek out our possibilities.

Microloans -- this has been presented and should be expanded upon. What an excellent concept. Not all capital needs to derive from a big bank. We have credit unions, friends, families, other businesses.

Small businesses actually welcome other competition as it drives them to be better. In the 'Box Store' world, it is the opposite. Their only advertisement is "We sell it cheaper", but cheaper is not always better.

I for one prefer going to a smaller type store where the mantra "Customer is Always Right" and "Customer is King" are still held in high regard.

So again, please lets focus on what the OP has intended and not argue if Rand was a terrorist or fascist or ugly. That is not the point here.

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 10:24 PM
reply to post by ownbestenemy

Thanks ownbestenemy, for bringing this debate back to its original intent. It is ironic your question about walking into a bookstore and essentially judging a book by its cover. For years I have done my best to do business with local bookstores instead of the chain bookstores. There is a particular bookstore in Hollywood I tend to shop at more than the others, even though I don't ever seem very welcome there. I get this sense I am not welcome usually around Christmas time when I go there to buy books for friends.

The books I tend to buy the most for friends is...get ready for this, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead! Since they are intended as gifts I will stand in line to have them gift wrapped and without fail, every year, there will be at least one person in line who stands aghast that I would have the audacity to purchase as a gift a book written by Ayn Rand. Without fail, every year, whoever is wrapping the gifts, never the same employee, will go into agreement with those customers outraged at my purchase. How ironic is that? An employee angry that I am purchasing a book from their store!

When I go to purchase this book I have to find it in the literature section, amongst the classics, not the potboiler section where one would buy a copy of Dan Brown's books, but the literary section. I don't bring this up to discuss the efficacy of Rand's work as much as to point to a strange problem found in many "mom and pop" bookstores that seems to hurt them. I do, on occasion, also shop at a major book retailer and have also bought copies of Rand's work there, (also in the literary section), and never have I been castigated for my choice of purchase at these stores. Where the independent book sellers will gladly risk alienating me in order to assert their own political beliefs, a major chain store will not.

I mention this also in response to your lamentation or wistful remembrance of "the customer is always right". I also mention this for Janky's sake, who tends to argue there are no absolutes, (except maybe for that absolute), and there is a point to be taken there. I do believe there are absolutes, but when it comes to economy realizing these absolutes or understanding them can be fairly difficult. There is a complexity to economy that is not easily understood with simple maxims such as "maximize your income and minimize your outgo" or "supply and demand".

Many factors play into an economy and it has been my experience that governments are ill equipped to deal effectively with these factors. In the end, economies or market places can not be controlled. The evidence of that lies in the prohibition of certain goods or services. Prohibit alcohol and create "entrepreneurs" such as Joe Kennedy or Al Capone. Prohibit drugs and create cartels who rely upon violence in lieu of tort law to settle business differences. Regardless of what a government might try to prohibit, if there is a demand for it, there will be someone willing to supply that demand. That is the simplicity of it, and yet there is always the complexity of it as well.

Regardless of the controls imposed upon a market place, the market itself yearns to be free. How interesting that an artifice would yearn for anything let alone freedom, but markets, much like governments, are reflections of the people who inhabit them. No matter how many people may despise Ayn Rand and her works, there are clearly many more who admire her works and fuel her longevity as an author and philosopher by purchasing those works. Many a high school student might never even consider reading A Catcher in the Rye, even if it were required reading, will more than likely read it if it finds itself on a book ban list. The more we resist something the more we find ourselves resisting it.

Marketplaces tend to be more formless like water and will always take the path of least resistance. This, in some ways, explains the current conundrum of licensing schemes and a willingness to make oneself liable for a tax even before earning a profit. It is the path of least resistance at the moment. However, when a government becomes so intrusive as to build up dams and obstructions impeding the flow of economy, then that path of least resistance becomes harder to take, creating a force that once unleashed can lead to catastrophic events.

As repugnant as I find taxation to be, I am not anti-government and understand fully that taxes are necessary to feed the lumbering beast we call government. However, as is the case with any beast, if we over feed that beast, we are only hurting it, encouraging obesity and sloth like behavior from a beast already sloth like in nature. More and more evidence has surfaced lately from medical researchers that suggests a caloric restriction adds to the longevity of biological beings. If government is but a reflection of the biological beings who create it, it seems to me, a tax restriction would only add to that governments longevity rather than hurt it.

Part of what creates this longevity in caloric restriction for living creatures is a natural proclivity towards survival. When someone is living at or near starvation, nature kicks in and their cells act in ways to ensure survival. The same is true of government, when they are functioning at or near tax starvation, they will naturally act in pro-survival ways looking for the best possible solution to accomplish what must be done with the least possible effort.

The U.S. government is obese from its slovenly consumption of taxes and instead of finding the best possible solution through the least amount of effort, they act recklessly without regard for their own survival. While more and more people suffer the consequences of a harsh recession, the government spends more and more, much of it on themselves, i.e. pay raises and creating new positions, only pretending to care about those who they serve. At some point they may as well look at a starving and angry populace and declare; "Let them eat cake!"

When a scenario such as this happens it is only a matter of time before the populace responds; "Off with their heads!" Prudence demands We the People find ways to restrict the caloric intake of governments or we will have to deal with the chronic illnesses that come with obesity. I am out of space, so will end here

[edit on 30-12-2009 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]

posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

Although it could be debated separately and fully with strong points on both sides, you are correct in your assertion in regards to the Market. I capitalize it as to make a point I am talking about the market in an economic sense and on a macro sense.

The Market cannot be controlled and manipulated as you have pointed out with excellent examples. By restricting a portion of the Market, you create a black market in its place. History repeats itself there over and over.

Let us look at some of the more taboo restrictions like prostitution and marijuana. Prostitution, as we all know in 99% of the country is illegal (except that wonderful place north of Las Vegas
). In that area, the practice is regulated and follows rules in regards to employee health and also clientele health. There the consumer is protected, while women are able to provide a service in exchange for a fee. I believe for you and I, although I might be speculating upon your stance of such a practice, is a valid private contract between two consenting adults.

Now look at prostitution in a restricted sense. You have STDs rampant amongst the service providers. You have pimps who extort and take advantage of the black market created. Basically, these people are now effectively slaves. How ironic that the very people who despise slavery allow it to continue within their cities under the guise of moral propensity.

I myself am far from anti-government. In the purest form of what the United States Constitution states the overall purpose of government is highly restricted and constrained by the people. We allow it to overreach in many areas where it causes problems and more headaches than the good it proclaims it is trying to achieve.

Taxation as it is now though, I believe is the largest problem in our country that keeps the people down and promotes the elites to prosper.

Although I suspect many here do not believe in the system nor fully understand it, but I believe the FairTax to be a serious contender in a replacement of our current tax code. From what I have researched and understand on it and if it is correct in its studies, the American people would be far more prosperous and better off living under a tax code of that kind than any other taxing scheme.

Right now, taxes are used as a form of power, rather than to maintain governmental services as what they should be for. That power allows strong-armed forces to work against the people rather than allowing them to create their own wealth.

I feel I am jumping all over the place.

posted on Dec, 31 2009 @ 12:07 AM
reply to post by ownbestenemy

"The power to tax is the power to destroy"

McCulloch v. Maryland 17, U.S. 316 (1819)

With these prophetic words Chief Justice Marshall of The Supreme Court made clear the dire consequences of having a Congress who undeniably has "the complete and plenary power of taxation." The question of income taxation becomes a necessary power of taxation that should, indeed must, be considered when discussing how we can restrict the caloric intake of this lumbering beast we call government.

Does Congress have the power to tax income? Of course they do! Should they? Only, in my humble opinion, under dire circumstances and when needed. How has Congress gained the power of taxation? Why they've had this power since the Constitution for the United States of America was first written. There are many who have come to believe that it was the 16th Amendment that empowered Congress to levy taxes on income but this belief is erroneous and has led to an unfortunate expansion of government never intended, I believe, to happen under our Constitutional republic.

Why then, was the 16th Amendment passed? To understand this, one must understand the history of Constitutional taxation and SCOTUS rulings that led to it. As I have stated, Congress has always had the power to tax income and prior to the 16th Amendment did indeed levy a tax on income after the Civil War to pay the debt incurred by that tragic event. Once the debt was paid, the Congress prudently repealed the income tax and We the People went about our business of flourishing and prospering.

Before the passage of the 16th Amendment We the People were not so burdened with taxation as we are today. The need to pass the 16th Amendment arose from an interesting SCOTUS ruling known as Pollack v Farmers Loan & Trust Co., where that Court struck down the entire income portion of a revenue law as being unconstitutional because that particular income tax was viewed as a direct tax on property without any apportionment. The Constitution makes clear that if Congresses wishes to levy a tax on property directly it must apportion that tax among the several states. The particular tax the Pollack ruling struck down was a non apportioned tax.

The belief is that Congress passed the 16th Amendment as a rebuke of SCOTUS and to overturn Pollack but this is false and the Pollack ruling has never been overturned and stands today in stare decisis as case law. It is in two seminal cases, Brushaber v. Union Pacific and Stanton v. Baltic Mining Co., where SCOTUS explains why the 16th Amendment was passed and what it means. Contrary to popular belief, both the Brushaber and Stanton rulings make clear that Congress could not pass an Amendment that would contradict an earlier portion of the Constitution without that Amendment being unconstitutional. They further explained that the 16th Amendment is not only Constitutional, but "wholly harmonious" with the Constitution in that it has not authorized any non apportioned direct tax but merely prohibited any future court from viewing a non apportioned tax as a direct tax and must necessarily view such a tax as an indirect tax, "where all income taxes inherently belong."

What does this mean? It means that the so called "Personal Income Tax" is not a direct tax upon a persons income but is an indirect tax on specific activities where income is used to measure how much tax is owed. Why then, all the confusion? Read ownbestenemy's signature to get a sort of clue as to how that happened. It all comes down to how one defines the word "on". Of the plethora of definitions to this simple word there is the meaning to "on" that is defined as a measurement. For example, if you and I are to meet for a picnic and enjoyment of fireworks on the Fourth of July we will not meet physically on a place called the Fourth of July but will meet at a specified time on that date.

Now consider the wording of the 16th Amendment:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes,
from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several
States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

Some people will insist that it is the language; "from whatever source derived" that authorizes Congress to tax directly without apportionment a tax on income but that is nothing more than a game of semantics and the real question that will always confound a tax collector, even a tax attorney or tax accountant, is; what is the subject of the tax? Is this so called "Personal Income Tax" a direct tax or an indirect tax? Is it a tax on People, Property or Activities? Ask this question to either a tax collector, attorney or accountant and take note of the stuttering, avoidance and prevarications that follow.

If the so called "Personal Income Tax" is not a direct tax upon income then it must be an indirect tax upon specific activities and the next question becomes what specific activity are you involved in that would have made you liable for a tax and therefore subject to the Internal Revenue Code? At this point it would be prudent to point out that I am not qualified to offer anyone any legal advice and I am not doing so now, I am merely discussing this so called "Personal Income Tax" and asking pertinent questions about it.

The real question is, are the vast majority of people who file a valid tax return actually liable for this tax in question and if they are then where specifically in the Code was a tax laid upon that subject? If one is not liable for this tax, then why would they pay it? In discussing the fairness of taxation I believe these questions become more than valid and also become a clue as to how we might take control of an out of control government that has acted as pigs at the trough, eating the American people out of house and home. I will wait for ownbestenemy's reply before adding more...

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