This article isn’t about the growing problem of human trafficking (both for sex and labor), as there are many great resources on the subject already in circulation. This article is about you. It’s about me. It’s about everyone who lives in a society governed by a body of ruling elite.
Have you ever heard someone say that, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civil society!”?
Have you ever thought about what taxation actually is? Or is it just part and parcel to your daily life?
I would submit to you, that taxes are your chains, your government is your master, and you are in slavery. Am I being dramatic? Let’s dig a bit deeper…
We’ve often been told that we need government to perform certain services for the public, and when providing a service it’s necessary to acquire revenue to pay those who are rendering the service. Government, which seeks to cover these services, obtains this money by taking it from you and me, whether through direct taxation (income taxes, sales taxes, estate taxes, etc.) or through indirect taxation (taking a loan from the Fed and increasing the amount of money in circulation). Both types of taxes are detrimental to the Average Joe who punches the clock for his 9 to 5 job because they take money either directly out of his pocket, or they ensure that he can buy less by destroying the value of the money that he does take home.
What happens if you don’t pay your taxes? What happens if you believe that since you spent 8, 9, 10 or 12 hours of your life working for an employer that you should be entitled to what that employer pays you for your time and labor?
Generally the answer is pretty simple, as a citizen of a nation you are often given notice to comply and pay your obligatory taxes OR they’ll arrest you and put you in prison for tax evasion.
Taxes are a method of control exercised by governments over their people. They’re not a benefit that is given to the people of a nation, they’re a payoff extracted from you under threat of force being used against you.
The reality of this fact hit me very strongly one day when I realized, in the process of hunting for a home, that I would never truly own my own property. Even after I pay my mortgage in full I will still make regular payments (of varying amounts) to the government in the form of a “property tax”. Regardless of the rate of this tax (some states charge less than others) the fact that it exists essentially ensures that you are perpetually renting your own property from the government whether state, local, or federal. If you don’t believe me, try not paying your property tax and see what happens.
Why? Is the price we pay for a civilized society to forego actually owning something important that we paid for like our home?
What about a vehicle tax? You pay an annual fee to retain your driving privileges, don’t you? Every car has license plates, and requires a license to operate and valid registration. What happens if you don’t pay off the state for these requirements? They strip you of your right to travel via vehicle. Sounds pretty civil, right?
What about your income? The government takes a chunk of that too, don’t they? They ensure that you take even less home than your employer agreed to pay you. Then they tax the goods you buy from the local grocery store or clothing outlet. They tax you to pay for public schools which, in some states, you have very limited options to opt out of. They tax you on your retirement savings that you work hard to accumulate so you can take care of yourself in old age. They tax you when you die and want to pass on possessions and inheritance money to your children.
These are real world things that directly affect you and me on a daily basis, but few tend to think about this as a method of control. Many view this as some form of trade-off, a necessary evil if you will. Sure, we all complain about taxes, but it’s just a part of the way things are. We never even bother to question if these things are necessary or in our best interest!
What do we get out of this deal?
Fire protection that most never use throughout their lifetime?
Police “protection” as they write you tickets for speeding or pull you over for broken taillights?
Roads that are in a perpetual state of construction?
Schools that severely underperform?
Public healthcare that serves only a portion of the population?
The list of subpar services our government provides by extracting your hard earned money, which you could be spending in ways that suit you and your family far better, is endless.
There is an implicit trust in the government, probably because of many years of public school indoctrination of the youth, to handle our money in a fair, just and equitable fashion. There is an implicit trust that our government will use our tax money efficiently and at as little cost to us as possible. History doesn’t bear this line of reasoning out.
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes, as of 2013, personal income tax rates nearly tripled and that Federal taxes accounted for 77% of all taxes! Yet, people want the government to take more money and redistribute it into failed social programs, most of which are broke and are only kept afloat by the illusion of money created by the Fed’s continual printing.
I guarantee you that without the government people would still make roads. They’d still put out fires instead of letting their houses burn to the ground. They’d still ensure their personal safety and security whether through arming themselves or hiring private security firms that offer a better service to the consumer. They’d still educate their children. They’d still obtain heath care services, and perhaps even take better care of themselves beyond that, rather than being subsidized for poor personal choices by others’ money.
We need to broaden our perspective and begin to see taxation for what it truly is: a tool. It’s a tool wielded by the ruling class in the interest of keeping the masses in line. It’s a tool used to pursue the interests of the powerful, such as foreign wars which line the pocketbooks of the wealthy and which have an incalculable cost in human lives and bank accounts of the ordinary people.
One of the key principles of freedom is autonomy. One of the elements of operating as a free person is having control over your personal “economy”, that is, controlling what you do with your money and how much of it you can keep for yourself and spend as you see fit. One of the greatest threats to true freedom are the taxes that we docilely accept as “necessary” when, in reality, they are the furthest thing from necessary.
Slavery still exists today. It takes many forms, but make no mistake, even though we aren’t locked in a cell we are certainly prisoners to an extent. Perhaps our freedom begins when we have the courage to challenge the narratives we’re fed about what is “necessary” and “good for our society” and choose to determine those things for ourselves. Not because some old guy in a suit said so.