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Certainly a damn site better off than the UK.
Is Germany better off having lost WWII?I suppose the question is complex.
I would argue that Denazification had to happen in Germany sometime.
One could argue that the USA has evolved significantly with respect to personal rights of all individuals over its 200 year history, taking big steps around the time of Lincoln and later with MLK and Rosa Parks. It is possible that Germany would have evolved beyond the Nazis and their discrimination policies.
Yes, I do pay taxes in the USA. And, I don't support everything the USA does....
The operative word is "willingly".
As governments consistently refuse to hypothecate tax revenues it's impossible to withhold that part of your taxes that you consider is funding something of which you disapprove.
What made the majority of German citizens culpable was persistently electing a thoroughly unpleasant government and colluding in its internal terrorism. Even so, there were some heroes who objected, and their modern counterparts in the US seem to have some Presidential sympathy.
1. I don't know anyone who willingly pays taxes.
2. I'm not sure what your tax dollars buy....
....but over half of my unwilling contribution to the UK treasury goes on social security benefits, public health, and education.
Surprisingly, only about 5% is spent on "defence" (which nowadays consists almost entirely of pointless offense) and very little indeed on Foreign Office efforts to destabilise legitimate regimes overseas.
So my choice is to put up with maybe 3% unjustified expenditure on sending willing volunteers to be blown to bits in Afghanistan....
3. Party politics does indeed tend to produce governments whose principal motivation is to get re-elected, and ever since Machiavelli's time, one way to do this is to start a war. It also helps, where the vote is balanced between two incompetent parties, to have your brother count the deciding votes in a presidential election. Where the UK has gone off the rails is in allowing an unelected prime minister to declare war on anyone she thinks might benefit her (later his) public image.
Never forget the roots of "democracy". Demos - the people; krassos - the worst. Government of, by, and for, the worst people.
Hah! My tax dollars never bought anything. I decided early on, actually starting with my first taxable job at about the age of fifteen (I've been on my own since I was eleven) to maintain an annual reportable income below the minimum taxable amount required for a United States citizen, $10,000.... not a tall order for a life long minimalist!
(Not meaning to beat you up over it personally Dr. Calverd (well, maybe a little), really only meaning to beat up the line of reasoning.)
So, have you moved to a no property tax state (eg Washington)....
....close enough to the boarder that you can drive to a no sales tax state (eg Oregon)?You could brew your own biodiesel, but that would still leave you with vehicle licensing and registration taxes.
Perhaps a bicycle?
Don't forget any businesses you support are also paying business taxes and their shareholders pay income taxes on the profits, unless all your shopping is done at non-profits.
Hopefully you're not anticipating receiving more public support than you're paying in taxes.
So according to your logic, (a) the fact that I run a successful business that can't avoid paying taxes (despite the best efforts of my brillliant accountant) makes me wholly morally liable for state terrorism
(b) the fact that you don't understand how businesses are taxed relieves you of all moral liability for the stupidity of the state that receives all the taxes and duties you pay on goods and services.
(c) the fact that I spend a lot of time complaining about and undermining immoral government actions counts for nothing because you don't know about it
(d) but you can wallow in selfcongratulation....
....for being too lazy to do anything except criticise the state that protects your free speech.
So let's return to the question you didn't answer.
Do you think I should (1) close down my business, sack my employees, and thus not pay direct taxes in case a portion thereof gets spent on things of which you disapprove, or can you suggest somewhere I might (2) move to where I can continue to make a living by healing the sick but not one penny of any money I might earn or part with, willingly, unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly, will be spent on anything you consider wrong? Remember that I am known to the authorities as a "dangerous pacifist", which rather limits my options for emigration.
All very 1960's.
What advantage is there after all (even if you're improbable quest should succeed) in converting the world to veganism and slowing down global warming/climate change.... if the governmental equivalent of Jack the Ripper is in charge?
....if one knows that elements within the American and British governments secretly planned and verifiably carried out various deceptions, illegal murders, bombings and terrorist plots....
Please don't accuse me of providing excuses for anything anyone else has ever done. I may be able to explain the reason why they did it, or why it would have been difficult for anyone to prevent it, but a reason is not an excuse.
strikes me as very defeatist.
One victory at a time is better than not fighting. I suspect things will change when a cattle farmer's brother becomes prime minister, but for the time being, at least, the government can't force anyone to eat meat.
I don't want to make this ad hominem but I'd be interested to know what steps you took to prevent the CIA from carrying out any particular covert action, particularly before you knew about it. This does seem to be what you are demanding of others, so an example would be helpful.
....if you disapprove of everything your government does, you can always apply to live somewhere else, or try to avoid paying taxes altogether.
As has been pointed out by other contributors here, simply not paying direct taxes doesn't count....
....what governments don't collect from you, they will collect from your suppliers
Intentionally staying below the tax threshold is morally fine as long as you don't expect other peoples' tax dollars to provide you with any services.
Not merely direct personal services like health and welfare benefits but sanitation (mains water and removing other people's sh1t and garbage from your environment), genuine defence of your freedom, policing in all its forms (including actively preventing other people from dumping their S&G in your backyard, and indeed even registering the backyard as yours)....and all the other economic goods that you don't purchase directly.
The moral conundrum for all conscientious objectors is that their right to object is defended by exactly the thing they are objecting to.
Life ain't easy in a complex society: other people are both the problem and the solution.
Deliberately maintaining a certain income level isn't only morally fine, it's legally fine too. It doesn't exclude me from any eligibility to recieve emergency goods/services I'm entitled to as a United States citizen either.