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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Is the Government Legitimate?

Is there any intrinsic legitimacy to the government? How do I know that government isn't merely a group of people conspiring to leech off my productivity and steal my property? It certainly seems that way.

The government's position is kind of ridiculous. All work must be reported for taxation, confiscation, and regulation. What honest, competent person would ever voluntarily agree to such a restriction?

Unfortunately, a lot of people are dependent on government perks. They won't give up their privileges without a fight.

The government claims it has legitimacy because of voting. However, the voting system is defective by design.

Besides, what right does a majority of the people have to confiscate the wealth of people who are more productive than average? People think that income taxes hurt the wealthy. In practice, that isn't what happens. Lies about the merits of the income tax are spread in newspapers, television, and in schools. The wealthy insiders use the government to help them steal from productive people. Wealthy insiders receive government perks that are worth a lot more than the income taxes they pay. They give token welfare payments to the average person so they vote for the current system, even though the government subsidies are less than these people could earn in a true free market.

The effective result of government is that insiders steal the wealth of productive people. Why should I support such a system?

Why is "The Constitution" revered as almost a religious document? The 16th amendment and the creation of the Federal Reserve completely subverted its original intent. Do you think the 16th amendment would be successfully ratified today? Some tax protesters argue it was never ratified properly at all. Some tax protesters say that, at the time the 16th amendment was passed, income was generally understood to mean corporate profits and capital gains. In 1913, wages were considered separate from income.

I was never given an opportunity to sign the Constitution. You could argue that the Constitution was only a binding contract for the people who signed it. The people alive at the time indirectly ratified it through their state legislatures. I don't see how those people had the right to impose a contract on me before I was born. Moving to another country is not an option, because they're as corrupt or worse. Even if a majority of the people living today would ratify the current version of the Constitution, what right do they have to impose it on me?

I'm starting to doubt the legitimacy of the government. Its demand that I must report all work for taxation and confiscation seems a bit extreme. The corruption of the voting system means that's not a productive venue for pursuing change. I don't see why the Constitution should be revered as a holy document, especially when its original principles have been corrupted.

Why should the government have a monopoly on justice? Why should the government have a monopoly on the right to use violence to impose its will? Why should the government have sole responsibility for protecting property rights and enforcing contracts? If I'm not satisfied with the government's services, can I seek alternate vendors?

Maybe government is just a mass hallucination. Some people are aware of the scam, and enjoy using force to protect their monopoly. Many government employees sincerely think they are doing the right thing.

The Constitution says that people have a right to petition their government for redress of grievances. What happens when people petition their government and their government ignores them?

If you drop the idea that the government has any intrinsic legitimacy, it opens the possibility of alternate ways of thinking. It is acceptable to question every rule, and look for creative ways to avoid the ones I think are wrong. I certainly object to the demand that I must report all work for taxation, confiscation, and regulation. When you reach that viewpoint, you start asking questions like: "Is this an effective mechanism for avoiding this rule? What is the risk of getting caught?"

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