I've repeatedly said "Taxation is theft!" Another closely related idea is "Taxation is slavery!"
Some pro-State trolls get very hostile when you say "Taxation is slavery!" They say it's wrong to compare the current system of tax/debt slavery to a system of pure chattel slavery.
A pure chattel slave has absolutely no rights. They don't have any choice about how and where they work, live, eat, etc. A modern-day tax slave has a certain limited illusion of freedom.
If those were my only two choices, I'd prefer the current system of tax/debt slavery to a system of pure chattel slavery. That doesn't mean that the current system isn't a form of slavery. I'm less abused than chattel slaves were in the past, but that doesn't make my current circumstances morally acceptable.
If given the choice, I'd prefer a real free market system to the current system of tax slavery. Of course, a pro-State troll says that I'm not allowed to have that choice. A pro-State troll says that taxes/tribute are a necessary cost of modern life, and I'm free-riding off the other slaves if I refuse to pay. If I disobey my master, I must be punished.
A pro-State troll says "Comparing the income tax to slavery is insulting to former slaves!" First, there aren't any former chattel slaves currently alive (at least in the USA). Second, saying "X is as evil as Y" is not the same as saying "Y is not evil".
In some ways, tax slavery is more evil than chattel slavery. A chattel slave knows he's a slave. The chains of tax slavery are much more subtle. Thanks to pro-State brainwashing, most people aren't consciously aware that they are tax slaves.
Taxes are automatically deducted from your paycheck. Taxes are automatically added to the price when you buy something. This makes the cost of tax slavery less visible. There are indirect hidden taxes like half of Social Security and unemployment insurance, where your employer pays the cost but it doesn't show up as a payroll deduction. The effect of the tax is still that it reduces salaries; the cost of the tax comes out of the money available for salaries. The cost of regulation compliance and State licensing requirements is a further tax. For example, State licensing requirements for doctors is a huge tax on medical care. Even though my employer pays for my health insurance, the cost of medical insurance comes out of money that would otherwise be available for salaries. People don't just pay income taxes; they also pay the cost of keeping records and making sure they pay the correct amount of tax.
A modern tax slave has many more choices than a chattel slave. However, the master says "You can choose any job you want, provided you give half of everything you produce to me!" You might say "What a generous master! He lets me choose my own job! If I work hard, I get paid more and get a better lifestyle!"
Suppose that, in a pure chattel slavery system, I performed work worth $5/hour. My master gets $5/hour, minus the expenses of my food and shelter. In a modern tax slavery system, with 50% a income taxation rate, I work on my skills and get a job that pays $30/hour. My master gets $15/hour. I pay the cost of my food and shelter out of the $15/hour I get to keep.
Suppose I work really hard and get a better job that pays $40/hour. Now, my master gets $20/hour. I'm still better off, because now I get an extra $5/hour. My master doesn't mind that I got a better job, because he's getting an even bigger cut. Even though I'm paying hefty tribute to my master, there's still an incentive for me to work hard. My master didn't have to pay the cost of me learning new skills.
Which system is better for the master? Obviously, the master is getting a *MUCH* better deal by providing me with a limited illusion of freedom. In the pure chattel slavery system, my master only got $5/hour. There was no incentive for me to learn how to be a better worker. In the tax slavery system, my master gets $15/hour, and he doesn't even have to pay the expenses of my food and shelter. If I become a more efficient worker, then my master gets a bigger cut.
Also, a limited free market system allows my labor to be assigned more efficiently. If I were a chattel slave working for X, but Y could use my skills more efficiently, then the only way that I could change jobs is if X sells me to Y. In a partially free labor market, X can advertise a job paying $30/hour and Y can advertise a job paying $40/hour. When I interview with Y and get the job, I'm allocating my labor more efficiently.
Also remember that, in a tax/wage slavery system, my salary is only part of the wealth I produce. If my salary is $30/hour, then my labor is probably worth $45-$60/hour or more to my employer. State restriction of the market makes it hard for me to form my own competing business. This isn't just compensation to my employer for the risk of operating a business. My master makes it hard for me to start my own competing business. In addition to his fair profit, my employer collects economic rent due to State restriction of the market. My employer also pays the cost of all the artificial State overhead associated with running a business.
A partially free market labor system is much more efficient at assigning slaves to jobs than in a chattel slavery system. If I were a really smart chattel slave, I would have no opportunity to improve myself. If I'm a really smart tax slave, I have opportunities to learn things and get a better job. In turn, this leads to more profits for my master. The fact that I'm given a limited opportunity to improve my circumstances helps hide the fact that I'm a tax slave.
If I'm a really diligent slave, I can start my own business. I still have to pay tribute to my master via taxes. My master has an army of spies and armed thugs that crack down on people who try to start a business without his permission (the IRS and FBI). A partially free market means that, if I have a good business idea and work hard, I can create a lot of new wealth. My master doesn't mind, because he gets a cut. The rules of the market are biased against small business owners, but if I work hard and am intelligent, I can succeed in spite of these obstacles. That doesn't mean that my master isn't restricting my actions.
I have a limited illusion of freedom. My master doesn't have to worry about me getting a job as President, Congressman, or CEO. Those jobs are reserved for insiders and people who are totally brainwashed pro-State trolls. Occasionally, some slave who's an excellent pro-State troll is allowed to rise to a position of influence. That just helps preserve the illusion that I'm not a slave. A pro-State troll says "Some people manage to get great jobs in spite of poor beginnings. Therefore, the economic system is fair." You also need to analyze the opposite statement "People who are children of insiders usually get a job where they can profit from State violence."
The income tax means that I don't own my own labor. I have to get permission from the financial industry, Federal Reserve, and the government whenever I work. I can't perform any on-the-books economic activity, without reporting it to my master.
The property tax means that I don't own my own house. I have to keep paying rent (property taxes), or my master will dispatch armed thugs to steal my house.
The inflation tax means that I don't own my own savings. The purchasing power of the money in my checking account and my wallet is continuously eroded via inflation. I can buy gold or silver to protect myself, but my master makes it hard for me to buy gold and silver.
There are all sorts of other taxes and regulations I must obey. My master imposes his influence on nearly every aspect of my life. For example, zoning laws mean that I have to spend 2 hours per day commuting to work. My master says that I'm not allowed to buy incandescent light bulbs. My master says that I can't buy food with trans-fats in it. My master says that I'm not allowed to buy raw milk.
I don't own my own labor. I don't own land. I don't own the money in my checking account. I must obey my master's stupid orders at nearly every turn. How can anyone say that I'm not a slave?
The details of tax slavery are much more carefully obfuscated than those of chattel slavery. A chattel slave sees the whip and chain almost all the time. A tax slave only sees armed thugs assaulting him when he disobeys the rules regarding taxation or regulations. The vast majority of tax slaves don't resist, so my master only needs to hire a relatively small army of armed thugs. Under chattel slavery, the slaves must be supervised all the time.
Via pro-State brainwashing, most tax slaves aren't consciously aware that they are slaves. They've been brainwashed to accept tax slavery as the highest possible form of human society. Most people are trapped in the invisible chains of their own pro-State brainwashing. They'll even get hostile if you try to explain the truth to them! It's a form of "Stateholm Syndrome", where the slave will aggressively defend his master from criticism.
Tax slavery gives me certain limited freedoms that a chattel slave doesn't have. That doesn't make tax slavery morally acceptable!
Modern tax slavery is better/different/worse than slavery systems of the past. Tax slavery is better than chattel slavery, because I do have some freedom. Under chattel slavery, I couldn't read on the Internet and learn about real free market economics. Tax slavery is worse than chattel slavery, because the chains are more subtle. I'm restricted by the fact that everyone around me is a clueless pro-State troll. Under a chattel slavery system, I might be able to convince my fellow slaves to run away or stage a revolt. Under a tax slavery system, it's much harder to convince my fellow slaves that they're getting a raw deal. It's more accurate to say that tax slavery is a different form of slavery than chattel slavery, rather than saying it's better or worse.
A tax slave is a much more productive slave than a chattel slave. This leads to a somewhat higher quality of life for the tax slave, compared to the chattel slave. However, this also leads to more tribute for the master! Under a tax slavery system with a 50% income taxation rate, if I'm twice as productive, that doubles the resources available to my master. When you consider indirect hidden taxes, taxation rates are much greater than 50%. Because tax slaves are so productive, this enables the master to construct more and more elaborate chains! Some people say that insiders are wrecking the US economy on purpose, so that the slaves will be trapped in tighter chains of debt/tax slavery. People have too much freedom right now, and therefore the economy must be forcibly shrunk.
Did insiders switch from a system of chattel slavery to tax slavery because they wanted to give people a better life? Did someone realize that by giving the slaves a limited illusion of freedom, they're more productive? Was it merely a historic accident that people in the USA used to have more freedom than those in other countries?
A mixed system of tax slavery and chattel slavery is unstable, as was the case in the USA until the Civil War. Some of the tax slaves were sympathetic to the interests of the chattel slaves. People who owned chattel slaves wanted different laws than people who didn't own chattel slaves. It was necessary to free the chattel slaves, in order to ensure that everyone remained a tax slave.
One obvious question is "If everyone's a slave, then who are the masters?" The high-ranking members of the parasite class are the masters. The masters are the banksters and CEOs and politicians and the insiders who are pulling the strings. They collect huge salaries, without doing any real work. Even they are slaves of their own pro-State brainwashing. Even insiders would be better off in a true free market system, compared to the current corrupt system. The extra wealth generated by a really free market would more than offset the value of perks lost by insiders. For example, the average person today has access to many things that a king would have envied 400 years ago; the switch to a real free market will be an even greater advance.
In a true free market, insiders would lose their ability to violently impose their will on everyone else; that's a perk they won't voluntarily surrender. Is there a Supreme Leader of Humanity who's secretly pulling the strings? Or, are humans so stupid that they collectively enslaved themselves without being aware of what they did? Even high-ranking members of the parasite class are slaves, because they mostly believe their own lies. Most parasites think "I'm a brilliant leader and risk taker!" rather than "I'm leeching off the rest of society via State violence!"
Even though I have better living conditions than chattel slaves in the past, that doesn't mean that my current conditions are morally acceptable. Once you realize "Taxation is theft!", it's obvious that taxation is a form of slavery. The same moral principle that allows a 1% taxation rate allows a 99% taxation rate. Once State enforcers have the power to violently collect taxes, they will consolidate and expand their power over time. I pay 50% in direct taxes on everything I produce. I pay a greater cost via indirect hidden taxes. If you add up all the indirect hidden taxes, your total taxation rate is actually 75%-95% or even 99%+.
Some people get offended when I say "Taxation is slavery!" Tax slavery isn't exactly the same as chattel slavery. For all practical purposes, a tax slave is a slave. Do people get offended by "Taxation is slavery!" because it's obvious nonsense? Or, do they get offended because it points at a hidden truth? People get much more offended by hidden truths than they get offended by statements that are obvious nonsense.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I've repeatedly said "Taxation is theft!" Another closely related idea is "Taxation is slavery!"
Posted by FSK at 12:00 PM