Taxes are theft. More specifically, they are a type of theft called extortion. They are not a voluntary exchange of money for services, but are money paid for services one may or may not use under threat of losing one's property, freedom or life should one decide one does not want to participate in the exchange. That's something most dyed in the wool liberals do not understand, or if they do understand it doesn't matter to them. It's certainly something my liberal friend who I have had discussions with doesn't understand, or at the very least doesn't care about. He tried to explain to me all the good things that taxes pay for, all the nice little social programs taxes fund. I told him it didn't matter because the premise of taxes is wrong. Theft is wrong. He makes a joke about it, laughing at me because it seems to him such a silly thing that I should be thinking of taxes as theft.
I can't even begin to explain to him that such social programs that taxes fund could also be funded by private enterprises working either for a profit or not. I can't even begin to explain that such enterprises would be competing against each other for your dollar and that it would be up to you decide which organization you think deserves your dollar more. I can't even begin to explain that this "voting with your dollar" would create organizations that would become more and more efficient working with your money to maximize the dollars they receive rather than less and less efficient (as government is wont to become) because they don't have to worry about where the money is coming from. He laughs because he has learned something to the effect of there are two things everyone "has" to do, die and pay taxes rather than learning what theft is and how taxes are theft. Government schools certainly aren't going to teach our children such a lesson, and government courts aren't likely to prosecute people working inside the criminal organization that pays for their services any time soon.
There is a history, especially in the Chicago area, where I live, of mobsters running protection schemes where they shake down honest local business owners in exchange for not breaking their windows, burning their shops, or even going as far as murdering the shop owners themselves. There really isn't much that is more vile than such a practice. Yet these mobsters gained public support by using a portion of that money for public works. In other words, they did exactly what politicians do, only in a more direct way. Just because a majority of people have voted to take away someone's money and use it for some purpose they deem good does not make theft moral. Similarly, just because one votes in a representative to supposedly vote for the will of the people doesn't make it moral for that person to vote to steal from others.
The federal government actually had to step in and collar these criminals in order to get this practice to stop. And yet in the long run it seems that the reasons they did so may not have been so noble after all. They couldn't nail Al Capone on anything like the charges he should have been prosecuted on, like murder and extortion, so they had to settle for the relatively new crime (at the time) of tax evasion. Perhaps they weren't so interested in punishing him for his criminal activity, perhaps they were more interested in punishing him because he didn't give them their "fair share" of the money he was stealing. Perhaps the feds were more interested in showing that they were the biggest mob on the block and everyone, honest businessmen and dishonest mobsters alike, needed to pay their tribute to them in order to operate unmolested in this country.
And so we stepped into an era of the acceptance of the legalized protection scheme, or legalized extortion. We, as a society, accept these taxes because we are afraid of the threats that politicians put to us. We accept these taxes because we are afraid of what would happen if we refused to pay. We are afraid our infrastructure would fall apart, that the poor would start pouring out onto the streets and create mayhem, that our police and firemen would stop doing their jobs and we'd all have to fend for ourselves in emergency situations, that children would not become educated as professional teachers would refuse to work, that our streets would turn to rubble and we wouldn't be able to travel anywhere, that anarchy and chaos will break out everywhere and we won't be able to do anything productive, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam. I think these fears are fomented by the propaganda of the state to keep the people believing they need them. I think it's time to stop being afraid and to move on to a new paradigm, as the founders of this nation tried to do.
To be clear, my complaint is mostly with the income tax, a tax that was never supposed to be imposed on the American people as per the US Constitution, but I also have a big problem with property taxes because when one supposedly "owns" property, one should not have to worry about getting it taken away by force because one does not pay another entity for the right to live upon one's own land. People should have to pay for services that they do use, but this should be by mutual consent rather than implied and one should never be forced to pay for services they do not wish to use. Fines and fees are fine to impose upon those who use such services, but one should always have the option to shop for these services from other sources or even to be able to provide such services to one's self. No one, not even government, should have the power of a monopoly and yet should be able to tax, fine and arrest those who would try to provide competition to it, such as government does.
When trying to talk to my socialist friend I have discovered that I can't really discuss issues as deeply as need be because he is not willing to listen, as evidenced by his making a joke of my point that taxes are theft, albeit theft that has been legalized and legitimized. As such, I could never get into the deeper aspect of human psychology when discussing this issue with him. The argument about taxes, and governing in general, can be broken down into two schools of thought, whether people are generally good, or whether they are generally evil. I'm fairly certain my friend would tell me he thinks people are generally evil, but I think people are not only generally good and decent, I think the vast majority of them are.
Granted, a good argument could be made to his case by pointing out how many people lie and cheat and exploit others, etc., but how many of those people are simply frustrated because they've been screwed by being honest? How many of them look to our politicians and society and see what they get away with, and so they figure they should be able to get away with lesser offenses such as cheating on taxes? How "good" would we observe people being if we as a society had a better example set for us by those in power? Lastly, how "good" can those people really be when the whole of the public sector is predicated upon a practice that people should find abhorrent, the practice of theft? These questions may seem impertinent to the issue, but in fact I believe they strike at the root of the matter. These are questions the big names in major media organizations should be asking. They are questions we should all be thinking about, not just the few of us who have taken the time to explore such matters seriously. The fact that these questions would likely be considered fringe shows just how corrupt our society has become and just how much those in power wish to hold on to said corruption for their own personal gain.
If people are inherently evil, then do we really want those people to have the power to steal from us? If they are inherently good than they really shouldn't want the power to steal from others. I, for one, don't want that kind of power. I just want to be able to provide for myself and my family and to be left alone by those I don't wish to do business with. I believe there are millions of others who feel as I do. Think about what you would do with this power, and would you want it? Perhaps just having that kind of power is enough to corrupt a person and make them toss their principles to the wind. Perhaps they would fool themselves into thinking they are actually doing good in the world and for mankind even when all they are doing is stealing from others.
If you like my writings and wish to see more in the future, please consider sending me a donation or buying one of my ebooks.