Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taxes Are Not Theft

A response to “Taxes Are Theft”

Let me state a possible counter argument to the assertion that taxes are theft. To do this we start with an analogy.

We can say this analogy begins after an anarchist's utopia has been founded (no taxes, no government, every man for themselves). Say a group of private citizens decides to come together for various reasons; safety, economic gain, and social benefit. This group of citizens lives in a contiguous plot of land. They all sit down and agree to a set of rules to live by.  They agree to have a certain set of services be provided by the community instead of by individuals. If you want to continue to be part of the community then you must abide by all of the rules or face the consequences, which are decided by the group.

The group starts by saying each district will elect a representative that will champion their interests, while also looking out for the interests of the entire community as a whole. These representatives will have the authority to make rules and regulations, and decide the monetary contributions needed by individual members. The rules deciding what is within a representative’s power are laid out in an original founding document.

When a person or family has a child, the child automatically becomes a member, but is free to come and go from the community as he/she chooses, as long as all rules are followed while within the borders of the community. If they continue to own land within the borders then they will need to pay the applicable fees that the representatives have decided upon. If a child inherits property within the borders and feel absolutely no desire to be a part of the community’s rules and doesn't want to pay the fees, they can simply sell or give away their inheritance to someone interested. It is important to note that the contract initially made follows the land, land within the borders cannot be sold and then be out of the contract initially made. Whether it is built into the initial contract that the land must always have a certain set of stipulations assigned with it on sale or whether the land is partly under community ownership, whichever way you want to look at it essentially comes out the same.

In the above scenario it is near impossible to call the fees being paid “theft”. A group of people came together and acted in their own personal interest to insure a better life for themselves. In addition, no one is being forced into the system. You have the choice to be part of the community or not, there is no force making you stay. To be clear, this is not a “love it leave it” argument, this is merely recognizing that every individual has a choice whether to be part of the community. If you choose to live in the community you are de facto signing a social contract, and with the social contract comes rights and responsibilities.

Under this system, not paying your fees would be the first violation of the “non-aggression principle” and the community would be justified to collect the fees from you. This is because you are essentially stealing from others in the community as you continue to use the services provided without any payment. I believe this shows that there is a natural/philosophical basis for taxes and government to exist. Just as everyone has the right to self-defense and property, people have the right to live under a governing body if they so choose.

So in conclusion, if you are living in a nation such as the US, not paying taxes could more easily be construed as theft than being forced to pay them.

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