Friday, 9 October 2015

The Morality of Taxation

Paying tax is not a burden. It is the subscription we pay to live in a civilised society.
Jeremy Corbyn

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul.
George Bernard Shaw

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald Reagan

There are some great probing questions in the video above, well worth a watch if you haven't seen it. When I suggest to people that I don't think we should have taxes, full stop, its hard for many to comprehend. Looks of disgust or the fact I must be mentally ill are common responses. How will the world work if we didn't have taxes? Liberty is a belief in voluntary co-operation with one another. For example when I go to work I do it for my own self interest. I sacrifice my time in order to get paid. My company pays me not because it wants to but because they need someone to do a job in order to stay in business. Thus we both enter into a voluntary agreement and where these two self interests meet we end up with co-operation with one another. Taxation doesn't work under this model instead it forces people to enter into agreements they may disagree with. I may not support intervention in Syria or money spent on the latest rail projects. Yet if I don't pay I go to jail. There is no voluntary agreement; no choice to opt out; my individual choice is taken away from me.

The majority of people are dormant Anarchists. We all believe one another has a right to their own bodies and actions and to pursue their own interests. However when it comes to the concept of taxation we have become so passive to it that we actually don't even question it. I think we all should give it great pause for thought. Some say its the price we pay to live in a civilised society when in fact taxation is a direct contradiction to the statement. How can initiating force on one another be civilised? How can it be civilised to allow a majority to decide if we should go to war then force the minority who opposed it to also pay for it? As the video states I may believe a cause is worth giving to but I do not have the right to force other citizens to also give against their free will.

So if you decide that taxation if immoral then your next question is, how would society function without it? What if it could, in fact what if  society could prosper far more than is currently the case, in fact the poorest and most vulnerable would gain greatly under such conditions. The de-nationalisation of money will allow asset poor people to accumulate wealth far easier than the current government fiat monetary system that constantly erodes in value thus leading people to speculate, generally favoring able investors. Education could be done far better by voluntary co-operation and level the field for all. Healthcare is undergoing a revolution - its the free market and liberty that will solve Americas $90 Trillion projected shortfall in healthcare spending. The price of land and housing is a blight which highlights the vested interests of successive Governments maintaining high house prices. The UK has over 90% of land as empty space. For most of that the Government pays the largest landowners to just sit on the land giving less incentive to sell (taxpayers subsidise it unwittingly). Planning is controlled by Government bodies. Londoners bemoan the price of housing and we are told there is no space in an attempt to explain the rising costs yet New York is half the size with the same population but their house prices are not double the cost (and still with New York the planning is a mess). They have built vertically to fully maximise the land and give people larger homes to live in. For the vulnerable of society, the 1-2% that can't pay, there would be ample good will to help those in need by the use of voluntary action. People would not only be wealthier but would also be more compassionate rather than the current rob thy neighbor mentality in order to get as much "free" stuff as possible.

Rather than fear a collapse if there was no Government we would in fact flourish. So ask yourself, is taxation the price you pay to live in a civilised society? Or is being civilised not using force and co-coercion; instead co-operating with one another in a voluntary matter?

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