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Taxation as slavery

The man says to the woman “Will you sleep with me for one million dollars?” And she says “yes”. He then says “Will you sleep with me for fifty dollars?” She says “No, what do you think I am?” He says “We’ve established that, now we’re just negotiating price”.

That about sums it up. It’s an argument of degrees. No, we’re not slaves but we lean ever so slightly in the direction of being forced to do something. And the Wookiee suiters jump from that very slight lean all the way over to shaking their bowcasters and shouting RRRAAAWRR.

I don’t think the slavery is taxation argument is a libertarian one but more of an anarchist one.

11 Responses to “Taxation as slavery”

  1. HSR47 Says:

    It’s all by degrees, and to an extent it IS a libertarian argument.

    It’s actually a lot like the issue of abortion, if you think about it: It’s about where you draw the line.

    In the case of abortion, it’s about when we decide that the gestating child is it’s own living being with it’s own natural rights (life/liberty/property/etc.).

    In the case of taxation, I’d say that the key question is whether or not you’re getting what you pay for. That is to say, are you paying the government more than you’d pay a private entity to provide the same services. If the answer is “no” then taxation isn’t slavery, and if the answer is “yes” then taxation IS slavery.

  2. snoopycomputer Says:

    Pardon the off-topic, but I have to know and haven’t figured it out: how did the whole wookie, wookie-suit thing get tied to libertarianism on this blog and others?
    I love it, but just didn’t get the memo on how all the cool kids are talkin.

  3. Robb Allen Says:

    snoopy… see here

  4. snoopycomputer Says:

    Leave it to Tam to not only win the internet, but define what that means exactly.

  5. Ron W Says:

    The income tax is not slavery, but in that one is forced to provide the government with information re: papers, effects, etc by which they could use for incrimination is a violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments.

  6. TS Says:

    Follow-up to the wookie-suit orgins: I’ve read that Tam post before, but I am still wondering… Is that picture the orgin of the term? Some guy wants to grab more attention than his gadsden flag and Ron Paul sign will afford him as he looks at last year’s Halloween costume hanging in the closet… Or does it go back earlier?

  7. HSR47 Says:

    To follow up on my previous comment, the “taxation as slavery” argument also comes down to the *method* of taxation (read: direct vs indirect).

    With a system of taxation that is indirect, such as one that is funded through sales/sin/vice taxes on new goods and services, the extent to which one is taxed is largely voluntary. If you choose to live a lifestyle where more of your income gets immediately turned over to the government, then that is your choice. That you have that choice, and could choose otherwise, makes it extremely hard to argue that such a system would be akin to slavery.

    With a system of taxation that relies on DIRECT taxes (read: like our current system), there is an inherent lack of choice; you have no say in the extent to which you are taxed. Furthermore, there is the issue of double-dipping on taxes. In our current system, if a man earns money, that money is taxed; If he then invests that money, he is taxed on his gain; when he dies, his estate is taxed again. Thus, not only is there no choice in the extent of taxation on a per-instance basis, but the government arbitrarily decides that post-tax monies are suddenly taxable again, and demands it’s share. This is akin to slavery.

  8. Ron W Says:

    Two evil systems were put into effect 100 years ago, the IRS and the Federal Reserve, the latter being neither.

  9. NUGUN Blog Says:

    Here is the way I look at it…

    Am I directly harming another being? If not…

    Is it enforced by the barrel of a gun? If so…

    SLAVERY/SERFDOM/SUBJUGATION the word is not important, the lack of liberty is.

  10. Seerak Says:

    Taxation is far more accurately described as theft, not slavery, in that you can opt out of the former and “go Galt” by producing nothing to steal. The government won’t come and horsewhip you into producing something for them to steal. (Yet.)

    Theft is a key *component* of slavery; who forces people to produce wealth, only to let them keep it? That’s probably what facilitates this confusion.

  11. Oleg Volk Says:

    USSR definitely practiced slavery, the key component being that a person could not leave the country.