It’s important to use logic and rational thought in discussions. Thus, it’s important to check your premise. It’s my premise that it is morally wrong to take something, be it the fruits of your labor or the private property bought with those fruits, if it doesn’t belong to you. No one else has the right to take that which you own. Can we agree on that premise?
A robber comes into your home and steals everything of value: your gold and diamonds, your TV and computer, your iPod, iPhone, and iPad. That’s wrong, is it not? If anyone came home to find your home ransacked, you would feel outraged, vulnerable, angry, sad, depressed, and other negative emotions. The same if a pick pocket stole the wallet from your purse or back pocket. That’s a horrifying experience!
And yet. People argue with me when I say that taxation is theft. How is it not? You went to your job, you worked those hours. What moral right does the government have to take your money? And it’s no small amount!
Taxation is also slavery. If freedom is where the slave master takes 0% of the fruits of your labor, and slavery is where the slave master takes 100% of the fruits of your labor, at what point does it become slavery? Would it not stand to reason that the moment someone claims the “right” to take what is yours through your labor, it’s slavery? Does it matter the percentage?
With the premise that it is wrong for anyone to take what’s yours, it’s easy to see how taxation is both slavery and theft. But is it so easy to see? The level of cognitive dissonance regarding this matter is astounding to me.
Why is this? Well, the thing that gets brought up the most is what tax dollars go towards. Everyone brings up the roads, schools, police (or security), helping the poor, etc. Name whatever you wish that tax dollars go towards that you agree with. Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? So long as you agree with it, it’s okay. What about the other things that your tax dollars go towards? Funding the CIA so they can have agents go in to other countries and meddle, and then when the people that live in that country and get angry, they attack the US, and then that attack is the so-called “justification” for war or furthering the police state USA. Do you agree with the tax dollars that go towards that? Because that’s where most of it goes. And the tax dollars from your children. And your children’s children. Or how about the tax dollars that go towards droning US “citizens”? The tax dollars that fund Guantanamo Bay and all the people that have never been tried and consequently convicted of a crime because there’s no evidence?
How about the tax dollars that go towards this?:
Well. It’s okay. Because your roads, schools, police, and helping the poor (supposedly) are taken care of too. The young son of a human being being torn apart is of no consequence.
What people fail to realize is that there are alternatives to these same services that the government provides that cost less (In which a government road costs 20X less than privately fixed). What people also fail to realize is that things like security and schooling are more expensive in the private sector because the government has a monopoly on these things, and subsidizing actually makes things more expensive (due to a high lack of efficiency among other problems). You’re paying various levels of government bureaucrats to see and oversee and oversee the overseers and regulate and enforce, and while all of this overseeing is going on, things somehow fall through the cracks.
It’s no secret that the school system in America is failing miserably, what with 90% of New York kids not ready for college. A one-size-fits-all education system clearly does not work. But that’s what the government public schools are, right? Not everyone learns in the same way, but that’s what’s expected from a student.
In Detroit, the police stopped responding to 911 calls. However, a private security firm stepped up to the plate. Can we stop looking towards the government for solutions yet? Can we unwrap our heads from the box that’s there, and look outside the box? In a world where no one takes what you earn to pay for what you may or may not agree is a good idea, can’t we pay for the services we find worthwhile? The government makes it hard for you to do that at the moment, because in most places it’s illegal or very expensive to feed the homeless.
But, according to people with cognitive dissonance, none of this matters. Taxes go to pay for the things they agree with, while willfully ignoring what they don’t agree with, including enforcing laws that put people behind bars for trying to do the right thing, such as feed the homeless. It doesn’t matter what the taxes go towards, because it’s still morally wrong in the first place.