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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Answers to Common Pro-State Troll Criticisms of "Taxation is Theft"

Debating pro-State trolls is usually a waste of time. Now that I have greater awareness, the pro-State arguments seem obviously stupid. I'm still aware of the gibberish spewed by pro-State trolls reciting their brainwashing.

It is useful to identify all the stupid arguments and respond to them in one place.

Taxes are payment for services rendered!

Buying government is not the same as buying a pizza. When I buy a pizza, I have a choice of multiple stores. When I "buy" government, I have no choice but to pay. I don't get the opportunity to pick and choose which government programs are good, and which I think are stupid.

Without taxes, who would build the roads/schools/etc.? Without taxes, who would pay for the police?

This assumes that people are stupid. In the present, government has a monopoly of road-building. Only State employees build/repair roads, because of the State monopoly. People are already forced to pay for public schools via taxes. Unless you're relatively wealthy, you can't afford private school in addition to the tax burden of paying for public schools.

Suppose that 1% of the population is needed to work as policeman (a high number). In that case, I need to spend 1% of my income paying for police. The State charges me 50% of my income in direct tribute, plus a greater amount for indirect hidden taxes. The State is charging a pretty extortionate rate for police protection and other "services".

Everything the State does would be cheaper in a really free market. It's stupid to think that people won't bother paying for roads, schools, or police without the government forcing them to pay at gunpoint. In a real free market, you would have better roads/schools/police/etc., and the price would be cheaper.

Taxes are valid because a majority consented to them!

This is stupid.

There are all sorts of tricks that can be used to rig an election.

In an election, "There should be no government at all!" is never one of the options. Suppose "There should be no government at all!" were on the ballot, and 10% or 1% or 0.1% chose it. Then, how could tax collectors claim the right to steal from those who don't consent to the government?

Once you agree that the majority have the right to steal from the minority, then all sorts of evils are justified. As long as only a minority of people are hurt by each new tax, then the majority won't object.

For example, suppose the government imposes a $1000 per post tax on bloggers. As long as fewer than half the people have a blog, then this tax would be approved by a majority. Of course, such a law is obviously stupid. Most taxes are really that stupid, but there's sleight of hand that makes them seem beneficial.

For example, an idiot thinks "Income taxes hurt wealthy people more than poor people. Therefore, there's nothing wrong with the income tax." Consider a lawyer who earns $500k/year or a banker who earns $5M+/year. The only reason they earn such high salaries is due to State violence. It's wrong to say "The lawyer earned $500k and paid $250k in taxes. The banker earned $5M and paid $2.5M in taxes." It's more accurate to say "Via State violence, the lawyer stole $250k and the banker stole $2.5M." The taxes paid by lawyers and bankers are merely a partial return of stolen property. Income taxes hurt the average productive worker. The property stolen from him via taxes is used to subsidize the lawyer and banker.

Even if you don't personally deal with lawyers, the cost imposed by the legal system affects everything you do. You can't boycott the profits of the banker as long as you use slave points as money. The reason the banker makes money is that he steals your savings via inflation.

The government provides the illusion that it is helping people. An income tax refund may seem like a gift from the government, but it's merely a partial return of stolen property. A welfare check may seem like a good deal, but welfare comes with strings attached. In a true free market, people would be able to easily find work, making welfare unnecessary.

If taxes were theft, then some economist or mainstream media outlet would have said something!

Most university professors receive their salary directly or indirectly from the State. That makes it very hard for an economics professor to criticize the State. Further, economics professors are hired based on "peer review". If every State-licensed economist believes "Taxation is not theft!", then anyone who says "Taxation is theft!" is essentially telling his colleagues that they're all frauds. In this manner, the peer review process slows the rate of scientific progress. Being a university professor is more a ****sucking contest than being able to do something useful.

The mainstream media has the same problem. A handful of people control all mainstream media corporations. They are eager to protect the State, because it is the source of their wealth and power. Once all the leaders and middle managers of the media cartel are brainwashed pro-State trolls, then independent thinkers are easily excluded.

The income tax and Federal Reserve are valid, because the Supreme Court allows them.

A Supreme Court judge is a pro-State troll. A Supreme Court judge is going to make decisions that increase the power of the State. At this point, the Supreme Court can't admit that the government has been operating illegitimately for 100+ years.

The Supreme Court is an evil fnord. The Supreme Court provides the illusion that someone is protecting individual freedom, while accomplishing nothing.

There's a valid social contract that makes you obligated to pay taxes!

If it's a contract, then where do I sign up to withdraw my consent? The "social contract" argument is silly. For a genuine contract, people have the option to consent or not consent. If you asked me if I consented to the State when I was 18 years old, I would have said yes. However, that doesn't mean I should be forbidden from withdrawing my consent later.

This reasoning says "I'm the personal property of the insiders who control the US government, just by virtue of the fact that I was born in the USA."

Taxes are voluntary, because you can leave for another country.

All countries offer terms as bad as the USA or worse. The insiders who control various countries made corrupt treaties, agreeing to treat their cattle poorly.

Different countries do *NOT* compete for workers. That's one of the "benefits" of laws restricting immigration.

Consider this example. There are only two employers, X and Y. You have a choice of working for X, who beats you 5 times a week, or working for Y, who beats you 4 times a week. It's wrong to say "Y is a great employer! He only beats you 4 times a week! Be grateful you aren't stuck with X!" It's wrong to say "You have a choice! You can choose X or Y!"

Besides, this is my home and I'm not moving! Just because there's a terrorist organization threatening me, doesn't mean I should be forced to move.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, this argument was valid. People unsatisfied with the Federal government could move west, kill some Native Americans, and start a farm or new city. Until the late 19th century, the existence of the frontier place a limit on the expansion of State power. That option is no longer available. There's no unoccupied space I can move to and be free of taxation.

Taxes are voluntary. You don't have to pay.

Really? If you own a house, try refusing to pay property taxes. Eventually, a group of armed thugs (police) will come to kidnap you or take away your house. If you attempt to resist, and are good at it, then the police will murder you.

Similarly, try refusing to pay income taxes.

All taxes are backed by State violence.

Property is theft! Therefore, taxation is not theft!

This is silly. I disagree with "property is theft". People should not own more land than they can profitably manage. In a true free market, it's in your best interest to sell if you accumulated too much land. In the present, most land ownership claims are invalid, because the purchase was funded via State subsidies. That is not the same as saying private property is inherently evil.

Private property is legitimate. Otherwise, what incentive is there for anyone to work? What incentive is there to build a house, if someone else can claim it belongs to them?

You can't enforce property rights without violence. Therefore, taxation is not theft.

You're confusing tax collection and the non-Aggression Principle.

Tax collection is aggressive violence. The tax collector says "Pay me tribute or I will physically assault you!"

You can defend your property with only retaliatory violence. If you steal from me, I will try to defend myself or recover my stolen property. That isn't the same as me claiming that I have a right to steal from you.

There's a difference between stealing and protecting yourself. Due to Christianity brainwashing and the "Turn the other cheek!" evil fnord, people are confused with "Don't initiate violence against others!" and "You should defend yourself from theft!" Christianity teaches slaves that they should not resist when others steal from them.

Also, certain types of non-property can only be enforced via violence. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are not a valid form of property. Such fake property can only be enforced via State violence.

If you don't pay taxes, you're free-riding off those who do pay taxes. If you don't pay taxes, you're stealing roads/schools/police/etc.

The free-rider argument is false. The reality is that taxes make me a forced rider. I am forced to pay for State roads/schools/police/etc., even if the State does a lousy job.

There is no incentive for people with a State monopoly to do a great job. In fact, if you have a State monopoly, then the incentive is to fail. Then, you can say "The State is failing! Therefore, the State needs more resource!" For example, "The public school system is a mess! Therefore, people should spend more money on public schools!" or "The banking system is in trouble! Give the bankers more money!" or "The police are having trouble preventing crime! Spend more money on State police!" or "This State-built bridge is falling apart! Let's spend a lot of money repairing it!"

I see these false arguments repeated over and over again. They seem obviously silly to me now.

Let me know if I missed anything important.


CorkyAgain said...

All taxation is theft, but in my opinion property taxes are the worst.

With income and sales taxes, at least there's an actual transaction occurring and the parties can negotiate the price/wage taking the tax into account. The result is usually that the negotiated price/wage is higher than it would be otherwise.

With property taxes, on the other hand, there is usually no transaction that is being taxed.

Originally, property taxes were based on the idea that the property owner was deriving some income from his property. For example, he might own a farm that yields him an annual crop. Or perhaps he is a landlord who rents out his property. The property tax was the government's way of getting a piece of that action.

But most property taxes today are on property that is not generating any annual income for the owner. There is no transaction involving the property.

Every year the government assesses an owner's property and puts a value on it that is based on what *others* were able to get when they sold *their* property. It then demands some percentage of that price, *as if* he had sold his property too.

In other words, with property taxes the government has gone beyond taxing actual transactions. They're taxing *potential* transactions too!

And it taxes him as if he were selling the same house each and every year, for as long as he owns it.

So in order to pay the property tax, the owner must draw on his savings or some other source of income. If he's a wage-earner, he will try to negotiate up his wages in order to cover his property tax as well as his income tax. If he's in business himself, he'll want to increase the price of his product. If he's retired or unemployed, he'll have to dip into his savings -- or seek a higher yield from them (i.e., try to sell the use of his capital at a higher price.) Whether he's selling his labor or something else, he will mark up his price in order to be able to pay the property tax which is, strictly speaking, unrelated to the sale.

The government's demand that he pay the tax, regardless of whether or not it is producing any income for him, shows that it, not he, is the true legal owner. The property tax is the rent that must be paid to the government as the de facto landlord.

The only difference between the property tax on your house and the annual excise tax on your car, for example, is the dollar amount of the tax. The principle is the same.

Forcing us to pay rent on our so-called possessions is the government's way of keeping us in the wage-slave market, where they can continue fleecing us like a flock of sheeple that they own.

Because they do, you know.

Anonymous said...

hey a hierarchical society needs inequality that is why billions have to be spent on crazy weapons, if that went to the people, their motives to keep working and get into debt would wane. It is all designed to keep the parasites in power.

CorkyAgain said...

I should add that taxes on property that is not producing any income forces the owner to participate in the market for what FSK calls "slave points".

Property taxes ensure that you cannot opt out of the slave point system. You can't buy some land out in the boonies and go there to withdraw completely from Leviathan. You'll still need to come up with the "rent", whether you "own" the land or not.

And THAT'S why property taxes are the most insidious of all. With income and sales taxes, you still have some ability to opt out, by buying less and working for less pay. If we could get an agorist economy going, you could avoid them altogether. But property taxes are inescapable.

Anonymous said...

FSK U are the shit!! I've been reading ur blog since last feb, and I agree with most of your ideas.

My eyes have been opened for a while but you articulate most things so eloquently!

I also want to say after I learned "Life's a game and its not fair" I started to "break the rules so I don't care" and am now making bank!

THNX for letting me see how the matrix works and manipulate it to my own benefit.

Anonymous said...

Consider property taxes a bastardized form of the land-value tax. There is opportunity cost in poorly-allocated land, land which nobody actually "owns" -- just as nobody actually agreed to the (I agree, bullshit) notion of a "social contract" yet are constrained by it by luck of birth, nobody is born owning land. Land existed before any of us did.

The more expensive land is made, the more-likely people will limit the amount of land they acquire to satisfy their needs; it reduces the tendency to over-consume and satisfy our unlimited wants... Hence, the value of the land-value tax, if not a property tax.

CorkyAgain said...

"it reduces the tendency to over-consume and satisfy our unlimited wants"

Interesting example of property tax as a "sin tax."

If you disapprove of something, but can't get away with outlawing it outright, slap a tax on it. Hence cigarette and liquor taxes, for example.

Left-wingers think property is theft, but they don't yet have enough popular support to do away with it. So they content themselves with ever-increasing taxes on what we'd like to think are our possessions.

Same goes for taxes on every market transaction. The market is evil, doncha know. Profits? OMG!

Nick said...

Hey this is musicman474747 on LJ (and from the libertarian community), I'm gonna add your blog to the blogs I read. I have a libertarian-oriented blog on here too. Thanks for directing me here.

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