REBUTTAL to "No it’s not your money: why taxation isn’t theft"
"You clearly don’t have a legal right to your pre-tax income, as you are legally obliged to pay tax on it"
So only legal positivism is justified, and no other legal systems are potentially valid. Right.
The author unfortunately doesn't care to explain what "legally obliged" actually means: Many years ago, a small group of people wrote down some words on a piece of paper:
"We can take your stuff"
They then described that anyone who refused or resisted would be harassed, detained, locked in a cage, and even killed if necessary.
What makes those people so special? What gave them the moral authority to declare themselves the owner of everything?
"it is implausible to suppose that each person has a moral right to his or her pre-tax income, for that would imply that the distribution of pre-tax incomes the market happens to throw up is perfectly just, and this is clearly not the case"
Having a moral right to a thing does not imply that the outcomes will be "perfectly just".
Every person's body is different. Some are born tall. Some are born very healthy. Some have chronic health issues. Some are born very attractive. The "distribution" of bodies is not "perfectly just". Following the reasoning from the article, it must be the case that we don't have a moral right to our bodies! Insofar as nature fails to yield a just distribution of physical traits, the state should work to correct that distribution.
I (alone) own my body. That means only I am justified in directing its use, and excluding others from using it. The same applies to the compensation that I earn using this body.
"and this is clearly not the case."
Given that the current system is not a market economy, the author admits that the distribution of incomes even under state regulation is not "perfectly just" either. Yet, the author implies that it's a failure of the market, not a failure of the law makers. Law makers are people, just like the market.
"There is no justice in the fact that the pre-tax income of a City banker is many hundreds of times the pre-tax income of scientist working on a cure for cancer"
There's a few things to discuss here. First, to what degree is the City banker's higher income a consequence of the state's regulation of the banking industry? It's quite possible that in the absence of taxation (and thus the state), that this City banker might not command nearly as high of an income. The author never entertains this as a possibility.
Next, these individuals each chose their occupations. The scientist could have become a banker. Getting what you deserve is about accepting the consequences of your choices. Just because the author "feels" that the scientist "should" be earning more, doesn't mean that is what would be just.
Finally, the market is just people. The income of the scientist is correlated with how those people perceive the value that the scientist is providing. If the scientist has a low relative income, that's a signal from the people (as a whole) that the scientist isn't doing work that the people feel is productive.
Not every scientist who is "working on a cure for cancer" actually should be. It's an important endeavor among many millions of other priorities. Who is this author to decide that cancer ought to be the most important?
For more discussions like this, get your daily dose of liberty by listening to the Tom Woods Show.