ISSUES IN FOCUS
Week of November 1, 1999
On the day after Halloween, it is appropriate to consider the real-life monsters that haunt this country and the spooky manner in which they get away with robbing you of life.
There are two broad categories used to measure your life: quantity and quality. When it comes to quantity, there is a single standard of measurement for the duration of your life: time. To be forced—physically forced—to spend some of that time on activities you would not voluntarily pursue is to rob you of that part of your life. To rob you of life, statists (in most countries) have not adopted outright slavery, but have established a clever, more subtle method of servitude: forced taxation.
Whatever money you earn requires, among other things, time in your life to earn it. Your money is a storehouse of the time it takes to earn it. In America, the more productive individuals spend approximately 40% (if not more) of each year earning the money needed to pay their taxes. If you are one of these producers, then almost 5 months of each year of your life is spent in a form of forced labor. That time in your life is stolen by statists. If the average life span of an individual is 75 years and most do not become taxpayers until they reach 21, then this means that statists have sentenced every producer in this country to surrender roughly 22 years of his life to pay taxes. This is 22 years of forced labor.
Taxation is an abomination that must be eliminated, yet there is virtually no debate about this vital issue. And that’s exactly how statists want to keep it. If they ever lose the power to tax—to forcibly take your money—they will be finished. Thus, the debate is carefully framed by statists to only provide opposite sides of the same coin: taxation of some sort. They debate about income tax versus sales tax or flat tax versus progressive tax, but there are no questions raised about the validity of taxation as such. If such a question is ever raised, on a national scale, it will drive a stake through the heart of statists.
Taxation is inherently irrational and, therefore, immoral. Neither is it a "necessary evil" that must be tolerated in order to finance government. (For an explanation of how government is financed in a free society, see Chapter 5 of Fatal Blindness: Just Whose Money Is It?)
The proponents of taxation cannot claim to have reason on their side. Statists take your money by force, not by persuasion, not by reasoning with you. They do not ask you to voluntarily contribute to support the government, they force you to surrender your money. And worse: they force you to pay for their campaign to destroy your freedom and deny you your rights.
Should you be forced to pay for the dissemination of ideas that you are against? Should you be forced to pay for activities you disapprove of? Should you be forced to contribute to the election campaign of your political opponents, of those who advocate the destruction of your freedom? Statists, with their power to tax, say yes to all of these questions.
In a free society, your money is yours—yours by right, by virtue of the fact that you earned it. In a statist society, such as we have in America, "your" money is the property of others and statists decide, by force, who will receive your hard-earned money. In a free society, you decide how your money is spent and who will receive it. In a statist society with taxation, you spend nearly half your life as a conscript, forcibly laboring to provide for the needs of others.
Grave robbing is properly made illegal because it is the destruction of private property. However, in a revealing irony of our statist era, grave robbing is universally condemned because we are supposed to have respect for the dead, even though such robbery makes no difference to the dead. But what about respect for the living? Robbing the living is virtually universally sanctioned, through taxation, even though it makes an enormous difference to the living. Statists revere death, but not life. Statists do not respect your right to spend the time in your life as you see fit.
As long as taxation exists, statism will flourish. The elimination of taxation is the silver bullet that will finally put an end to statists who, like werewolves, hid their monstrosity behind the smiling face of human form. If you want to defeat statists, you must work for the day when no one has the power to take your money by force. Life robbery must be outlawed.
November 1, 1999
© Copyright 1999 Fulton Huxtable
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