Can Individuals Delegate a Right They Don’t Have to the Government? -Video

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Jan: Can you properly delegate a right you do not have?

Sen. Inoue: You cannot tax your neighbor, but you can authorize me as a senator to vote for programs that will tax your neighbor…

Jan: Then you think that you can actually delegate a right you do not have? …It is interesting to me how the agent can have more power than the principle. If the principles are the people, and the source [of power] comes from the people, the individuals do not have the right to initiate force against others-

Sen. Inoue: As individuals-

Jan: Well, if they get together then all of the sudden they have the right?

Sen. Inoue: If they authorize the government to do so, yes. If they authorize the government to enter into a war and kill people, that’s a right.

Jan: Where does this right come from if it doesn’t come from the people?

Sen. Inoue: The people through the Constitution.

Jan: The Constitution was made by the people right? So then the people are the source of all legitimate power, so if the people did not have the right to initiate physical force against anybody, then the government cannot have- It seems like there’s a contradiction there as far as if you say that all legitimate governmental power is derived from the people, and you agree that the individual citizens do not have the right to initiate force against other citizens, then it would seem clear that they cannot delegate that right to the government.

Sen. Inoue: Why don’t we just leave it this way, we disagree.

What Jan Helfeld is saying is that if a citizen does not have the right to do something as an individual (like rob their neighbor), then what gives the government the right to rob his neighbor on the citizen’s behalf? If the government derives its power from the people, where does this extra power come from, that the people can never exercise as individuals?

What is so magic about government, that suddenly they can act on an individual’s behalf in a way that the individual could never act on his own? What is so magic about a group of individuals that allows them to rob their neighbor, or initiate force, when said force would always be illegitimate as an individual?

There’s nothing magic about it. It is wrong to initiate force as an individual, and it is also wrong to initiate force as a group, even with approval of the majority. The only legitimate way to take someone’s money (time, labor, wealth) is for them to voluntarily hand it over to you. Otherwise it is theft, even if the government is the robber.

Charity versus taxation is the difference between sex and rape.


Government is Horrible at Divvying Resources

Resources are limited, this is true. Even when creating wealth, such as growing a garden, it requires the resources of land, water, and sun. It does not follow, however, that the state is necessary to divvy up these resources appropriately. To put it another way, there is no evidence to suggest force is the best way to decide where resources will go.

I bring this up because I’ve heard people say we need a government because land, water, oil, etc. are all to some degree scarce resources, meaning they are limited. But why on earth would anyone think the government will be a proper arbiter or these resources?

joejarvisoilmeme

Just look at oil. This is a scarce resource, that many people want and need for industry. Are the governments of the world doing a good job splitting that resource? No, they spend more money fighting wars over oil than the actual oil is worth, and that is before we even place a value on human life lost! The only reason governments can spend more wealth obtaining a resource than it is worth, is because the wealth they spend is forcefully taken by them in the form of taxes!

[Fun Fact: there is enough habitable land on Earth for every person alive to own over two acres.]

A company that needs to turn a profit on the other hand, could not spend more obtaining the resource than it is worth. They cannot spend $1 billion mining gold if the amount of gold they mine can only be sold for half a billion dollars. But governments spend far more on wars to obtain land and oil than the total amount of production that said land or oil could sustain.

So if no one was allowed to rob us, including government, then these issues would have to be solved in a mutually beneficial way. In order to obtain oil, we would have to pay the price asked, or go elsewhere. Elsewhere would include solar, wind, hydro, and other forms of creating electricity. The government has helped keep us in the stone age of fossil fuel because they rob us to obtain the oil, then rob us to subsidize the oil, and keep the shelf price of it low enough so that we don’t bother seriously looking into alternative fuels.

But if we were not robbed by the government, that wealth would stay in our hands, and we would be able to spend that wealth in peaceful ways that create more wealth. Instead, government spends it on murder and destruction.

And somehow people still think government is the best arbiter of limited resources? They just don’t know any better alternatives. That is why they should read my fiction novel Anarchy in New England, in order to explore a world where coercion is never okay, and mutual benefit has monumentally raised the standard of living.

A Degree of Slavery: Words From Frederick Douglas

slavery

I’ve been criticized at times for likening taxation to slavery. As the above meme demonstrates, almost everyone can agree that 100% taxation is slavery. So then a lesser percentage of forced labor, as I have argued, is also slavery, perhaps to a lesser degree.

Whether a cent or a million dollars is stolen, we call it theft, unless we call it taxation. And if someone forces you to work for them 1% of the time, or 100% of a time, that is still slavery. We need to stop letting the government off the hook by softening the perception of theft and slavery and allowing them to use the term taxation.

Frederick Douglas was a slave, by any reckoning. So it is interesting to read his own words, on the same subject of having his rightfully earned wages taken by force. First, he laments the state of his servitude, that all his hard work is confiscated from him.

Besides, I was now getting—as I have said—a dollar and fifty cents per day. I contracted for it, worked for it, earned it, collected it; it was paid to me, and it was rightfully my own; and yet, upon every returning Saturday night, this money—my own hard earnings, every cent of it—was demanded of me, and taken from me by Master Hugh. He did not earn it; he had no hand in earning it; why, then, should he have it? I owed him nothing. He had given me no schooling, and I had received from him only my food and raiment; and for these, my services were supposed to pay, from the first. The right to take my earnings, was the right of the robber. He had the power to compel me to give him the fruits of my labor, and this power was his only right in the case. I became more and more dissatisfied with this state of things…

Frederick Douglas sees here what I see: that the only “right” the government has to take your money, is the right of the robber. Yes, they have enough power to force you to give them money, and that is the only thing that makes it “legitimate”. Douglas then muses about what conditions make slave-masters able to keep men enslaved.

To make a contented slave, you must make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate his power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery. The man that takes his earnings, must be able to convince him that he has a perfect right to do so. It must not depend upon mere force; the slave must know no Higher Law than his master’s will. The whole relationship must not only demonstrate, to his mind, its necessity, but its absolute rightfulness. If there be one crevice through which a single drop can fall, it will certainly rust off the slave’s chain.

And this is the same reason people accept taxation. We revere authority, and accept government as necessary, and still think we get some benefit out of our slavery. Of course people think this way, how often do you hear people support something because, “it is the law”. Is there no higher law than that which the government makes up for its own benefit, and then exerts through force? The will and force of government is the highest law we know.

But as soon as we realize that it is never okay to be robbed, no matter how small, the injustice is a potent demonstration that we are at the mercy of a thieving gang who has convinced most people that somehow in this case, theft and slavery are acceptable.

In case you are hung up on the percentage of stolen labor: it is interesting to note that Frederick Douglas did not always have 100% of his wages stolen from him by his masters.

I could see no reason why I should, at the end of each week, pour the reward of my toil into the purse of my master. When I carried to him my weekly wages, he would, after counting the money, look me in the face with a robber-like fierceness, and ask, “Is this all?” He was satisfied with nothing less than the last cent. He would, however, when I made him six dollars, sometimes give me six cents, to encourage me. It had the opposite effect. I regarded it as a sort of admission of my right to the whole. The fact that he gave me any part of my wages was proof, to my mind, that he believed me entitled to the whole of them. I always felt worse for having received any thing; for I feared that the giving me a few cents would ease his conscience, and make him feel himself to be a pretty honorable sort of robber.

How often do people squeal that the rich need to pay their “fair share”? It doesn’t matter how much any person earns, the government always wants to steal more. And somehow they have convinced millions of people that the thieves are the good guys, and the wage earners deserve to be enslaved and robbed.

We also shouldn’t feel excited when we get out tax refunds, we should be all the more infuriated. The government knows and admits that it is our money, that we earned, to which they have no right. Yet they still take it, and we still stand by as helpless slaves while being robbed? The worst part is, that the robber undoubtedly thinks he is honorable in our circumstances! Welfare, roads, a military to “keep us safe”: our robbers, our slave masters, want us to thank them for giving back cents on the stolen dollar!

But I won’t accept it. I won’t pretend with the rest of the slaves that it is just. Yes, I will give up my wages at the point of a gun, but that is the only right the government has over me, the right of the robber.

He exhorted me to content myself, and be obedient. He told me, if I would be happy, I must lay out no plans for the future. He said, if I behaved myself properly, he would take care of me. Indeed, he advised me to complete thoughtlessness of the future, and taught me to depend solely upon him for happiness. He seemed to see fully the pressing necessity of setting aside my intellectual nature, in order to contentment in slavery. But in spite of him, and even in spite of myself, I continued to think, and to think about the injustice of my enslavement, and the means of escape.

That passage strikes an eery tone to me, because anyone can see the government has the exact same advice for us, as Frederick Douglas’ master had for him. Just sign up for Obamacare, pay your taxes, vote, pay into social security, it will all be fine! Don’t worry, you don’t need anything but us to be happy and content. If people feel dependent on the government, they are terrified to be free! The government will take care of you, just as long as you abandon your intellect, and push away any thoughts of influencing your future. Leave your fate to the hands of government.

Frederick Douglas had incredible insight into the true nature of slavery. He was the self aware slave that every master fears. Frederick Douglas was at times even placed in the same type of slavery we find ourselves in today, where we have the appearance of freedom. But it is really the worst of both worlds.

I was to be allowed all my time, make all contracts with those for whom I worked, and find my own employment; and, in return for this liberty, I was to pay him three dollars at the end of each week; find myself in calking tools, and in board and clothing. My board was two dollars and a half per week. This, with the wear and tear of clothing and calking tools, made my regular expenses about six dollars per week. This amount I was compelled to make up, or relinquish the privilege of hiring my time. Rain or shine, work or no work, at the end of each week the money must be forthcoming, or I must give up my privilege. This arrangement, it will be perceived, was decidedly in my master’s favor. It relieved him of all need of looking after me. His money was sure. He received all the benefits of slaveholding without its evils; while I endured all the evils of a slave, and suffered all the care and anxiety of a freeman. 

Precisely. We are “free”! Just so long as you give the government protection money at the end of each work week. If you can’t find work, you still need to buy healthcare, you still need to pay your property taxes, you still need to pay sales tax, and so on and so forth. We have all the stress of free men, without the benefit! And the government has all the benefits of a slave-holder, without all the intricacies of owning slaves.

The criticisms that Frederick Douglas expresses of his masters are perfectly interchangeable with all the criticisms I have for government. Heed his words. Douglas was 100% a slave at times, 99% a slave at other times, and even at a point 50% a slave, according to how much of his labor was confiscated.

But he was still a slave. Don’t let the masters keep you a thoughtless slave.

Vehicle Inspection State Racket

The state of Massachusetts requires that you have your car inspected once a year. It costs about $30 and the state tells you if that protection money is enough to drive around, or if you must pay more for the privilege of using roads you already paid for.

Last year my dad spent $1,200 and dozens of hours to get his car a valid inspection sticker. The problem? A sensor was malfunctioning that made the check engine light continue to come on. He could have driven safely for the rest of the car’s life, but the state of Mass stole his time and his money in the name of safety.

But if the state is so interested in keeping us safe, you might think they would be accountable when they fail to keep us safe. In February I travelled with my sisters down to Florida in a mini-van that had literally been inspected and passed in the 48 hours prior to leaving.

Belts: check. They are safe. Fewer than 200 miles into the trip, the main belt ripped, and we cautiously drove for a couple more hours until repair shops were open. A few hours later we were on the road again.

Tires: check. They are safe. About 45 minutes after continuing our trip, the front left tire blew, for apparently no other reason than it was worn out. The snow banks were so immense that we were only a foot off the highway in the breakdown lane, and so we called AAA rather than risk our lives trying to fix it. We waited for over an hour as tractor trailers blew by just feet from our vehicle, where one twitch of the trucker’s arm would have killed us all.

Even worse than “keeping us safe” by force, is stealing our money under the pretense of keeping us safe. The state lulls us into a false sense of security by pretending they are taking care of things which they are absolutely not. It happens with security, education, and help to the poor; but it also happens with safety inspections, whether in a restaurant, or on our vehicles.

If the state has taken on the responsibility to keep us safe, why are they not accountable when they fail to do so? In essence, we paid the state $30 to make sure our car was safe to drive. So when they said it was safe, yet it was not safe, don’t they owe us something for their failure? This reveals that like so much else, state vehicle inspections are simply a racket to steal more money.

Now suppose there was a business where we could voluntarily have our vehicles inspected for $30 dollars, and if they pass it is like insurance against something going wrong. Then we would be paid based on the failure of the mechanics to find the problems with the belt and the tires. The state is not accountable however. If I made a big deal out of this, the state might end up shutting down the shop that inspected the vehicle, even though the shop probably thought they were being nice and saving us more money in tires, or on addressing a rejection sticker.

In reality, there wasn’t much indication that the belt would go, though we should have looked at the tires and realized they needed to be replaced. It is our personal responsibility to make sure we are safe. We purchase things like AAA as insurance for emergencies; we don’t need the state to get involved.

All the state does is two things: one, take our money, which makes  it harder for us to afford to look after ourselves. Two, convince us not to worry about certain things “because the state is taking care of it”, when in reality, we should be looking after those things ourselves.

Tax Foundation: America one of the Most Stifling Countries, Hurts Economy

This is why we can’t have nice things:

-because the government takes them. The U.S.A. has practically the worst tax system in the industrialized world. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Tax Foundation has ranked the U.S.A. 32 out of 34 countries in terms of “competitiveness and neutrality” in tax laws. In fact of the two countries worse than the United States in their taxing policies, one of them, France, has an actual Socialist as President.

A competitive tax code is one that limits the taxation of businesses and investment. Since capital is mobile and businesses can choose where to invest, tax rates that are too high “drive investment elsewhere, leading to slower economic growth,” as the Tax Foundation puts it.

By neutrality the foundation means “a tax code that seeks to raise the most revenue with the fewest economic distortions. This means that it doesn’t favor consumption over saving, as happens with capital gains and dividends taxes, estate taxes, and high progressive income taxes. This also means no targeted tax breaks for businesses for specific business activities.” Crony capitalism that rewards the likes of green energy with lower tax bills while imposing higher bills on other firms is political arbitrage that misallocates capital and reduces economic growth.

But What about Sweden, Finland, and Norway with their Safety Nets and Universal Healthcare?

All those countries liberals talk about as being way better than the U.S. in terms of what “the government provides” for the citizens; yea they have better tax systems. You see, in those countries their tax systems do not seek to “punish the rich”, so they can collect more tax revenue, without discouraging business. This in no way negates other arguments about why it is bad to have centralized and socialized government programs, but it does however show that America is essentially immature in their taxing policies.

America has an almost 40% corporate tax rate, and a progressive income tax. This means people who earn more money pay not only a higher amount of money, but a higher percentage of their income to the government. It should be obvious why this limits growth, and gives incentive to move money to better tax regions outside of the United states. The poster children of socialized nations however—Sweden, Norway, Finland–do no “punish the rich”. They are far less likely to tax an estate when a person has died, or capital gains: money made from investment.

Keeping estate taxes at bay means people save more money, knowing they will be able to pass it on, leading to more capital for banks to give out housing loans for instance. And taxing investment income less means people are more likely to invest, since the reward is greater. That type of tax code therefore rewards saving, fiscal responsibility, and economic investment, while deterring frivolous spending through consumption taxes, like a higher sales tax. The rich still pay more if they spend more, but not just for simply earning the money.

nicethings

Newsflash: The U.S. is Corrupt

I know, we like to think of the U.S. as pretty good when it comes to governing. But the United States government uses its tax code to punish their “enemies” and reward their “friends”. This is crony capitalism: different companies and individuals play by different rules depending on who they know. Capital generally flows to the most successful prospective investment, but the government can change that by making one investment more risky, due to a higher tax burden. In turn, capital flows to companies who will not be as successful in general because they were chosen based on the tax breaks the government gives them, versus the quality of the product or service.

So here’s the recipe for a successful crony capitalist economy, where the government gets to pick the winners and the losers. 1) Set the corporate tax rate the highest in the world:

The accounting firm KPMG maintains a corporate tax table that includes more than 130 countries and only one has a higher overall corporate tax rate than the U.S. The United Arab Emirates’ 55% rate is an exception, however, because it usually applies only to foreign oil companies.

Check. 2) Now retain the ability to arbitrarily lower said tax rate on an individual basis, so that companies you favor have an economic advantage over companies who play by the rules you set. And there you have an economic dictatorship, or “Fascist” State. (Working definition of Fascism: Complete economic control by the government of a country; the system of government characterized by total control over the means of production, versus ownership of the means of production, as in Socialism).

But we could also take it one step forward and implement oppression over the proletariat using our high corporate taxes. You see, there is a misconception that somehow taxing businesses at a higher rate will be better for workers. This is absurd; if companies pay higher taxes this leaves less money for paying employees. While some of the difference is made up through higher prices for the consumer, workers’ pay also takes a hit.

Abundant economic research, by Kevin Hassett and Aparna Mathur among others, has shown that higher corporate taxes lead to lower wages.

Lower wages mean people must work longer hours, giving them less free time, and therefore a lower quality of life. But the cycle does not end there. Less free time means more dependence on government institutions to tell us which products are safe through the FDA, USDA, EPA, CFPB, etcetera, thus giving even more control to the government to pick the economic winners and losers. Diminished free time also means fewer people have the time to pay attention to politics, and must rely again on government controlled media to tell them who to vote for.

These are not the only factors, but some key economic methods used by government to control a population. Therefore based on the evidence, it would seem countries like Sweden, Norway, and Finland care less about controlling their population than the U.S., despite having arguably more socialist tendencies.

Wait, High Tax Rates Make Businesses Flee? Duh.

Here’s some statist logic: we continually raise taxes on businesses which burdens both the consumer and the business. The company cannot expand as quickly, nor hire as many employees due to the tax rate. When that company decides to move out of our tax jurisdiction in order to better provide for their customers, employees, and investors, we accuse them of being selfish, corrupt, and unpatriotic. Even though the money taken through taxes by force is often wasted, given to friends of the elite, used to benefit cronies, or spent on jobs and handouts to boost reelection chances of politicians, it is the companies who earned the money, and created the wealth who are the “greedy” ones.

I am talking of course about Burger King’s plan to move its base to Canada in order to take advantage of the 26% tax rate, instead of the 40% rate it pays in America. Hey, maybe they can afford to pay more than minimum wage with all the money they save? But that still wouldn’t make the state lovers happy. Unless businesses and people submit 100% to the government overlords, the state will demonize them.

Obama has called companies that engage in inversions “corporate deserters.” And Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has criticized the companies for failing to practice “economic patriotism.”

“I don’t care if it’s legal. It’s wrong,” Obama told a crowd last month.

But stealing 40% of the company’s wealth each year is not wrong? Why do we allow the government to posture as benevolent public servants, when it is so obviously not true. They are selfish thieves and public slave-masters. The government adds nothing of value to the economy, except by restricting private businesses from supplying particular consumer demands, at which point the government provides a worse product/ service for a higher cost.

The easiest examples of this are the post office, versus private shipping, or the failure of government backed green energy companies to produce alternative energy. The argument can also be made that government roads are more expensive and more shoddy than private roads, though the examples are few due to the government force exerted to complete the projects. And I would certainly argue that the police pose more of a danger to the public since they do not have to compete to deliver a better product for a lower price, as would be required in the private market.

But back to taxes: the Burger King Tim Hortons merger in Canada is one of these examples that leaves me exasperated saying “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Warren Buffet is a main financial backer of BK’s move to a slightly less oppressive tax jurisdiction. Warren Buffet, you may recall, is the billionaire who inspired Obama to call for a minimum 30% tax rate on everyone earning $1 million per year or more… Because making a million dollars each year, and making a billion per year is like, the same thing, right?

But I don’t get it. What happened to the selfless Warren Buffet? Hasn’t he earned enough already? Why would he abandon funding the glorious U.S. government and all the philanthropic work it does? It seems Mr. Buffet understands quite well the detriments an excessive tax rate can have on business. Why would he advocate taxing millionaires more, when he himself will not pay higher taxes? Does he not think millionaire would likewise relocate to friendlier tax regions in the event that the government tried to rob them at a higher percentage than it robs most people?

You want businesses to stay in the USA? Repeal the 16th Amendment authorizing the income tax, abolish the IRS, and get rid of all corporate taxes. Defund the federal government, all the “good” they do is a myth. Let the states compete, and we will see what policies create economic opportunities, and which ones stifle growth by killing the individual freedom to keep the wealth you have created, and retain what is rightfully yours.

Organized Crime Benefits From Regulations

I think we can all agree on the fact that prohibition of alcohol was a huge help to organized crime (and the Kennedys) in the 1920s. So why is it so hard for people to understand how much the drug war helps drug cartels and other crime syndicates? Essentially the government says no one is allowed to sell these things, unless you care so little about laws that you will do it anyway. And voila, we have a robust organized crime network ready to step in with a supply where the market demands a product. What exactly do people think would be different if guns were outlawed?

But not only does making something completely illegal help organized crime, over-regulating or over-taxing something can equally assist an underground economy.

The political addiction to higher cigarette taxes is creating a boon for organized crime. Last month, the Tax Foundation, in testimony before the US Senate, noted that over 56% of the cigarettes sold in New York State were smuggled in from other states. New York has the highest tax on cigarettes in the country.

Many smokers are avoiding these higher taxes, though. They are simply buying their smokes, usually unwittingly, from criminal syndicates.

As documented back in 2009, New Jersey has had the unfortunate experience of seeing total revenue from cigarette taxes drop after pushing through a cigarette tax increase.

I never thought government should be in the business of trying to shape behavior, when it does not encroach on others rights and well being. Add to that the situation where they make behavior worse with unforeseen consequences. They want fewer people to smoke fewer cigarettes, so they make them more expensive, and this creates an underground demand for the cigarettes, which leads to underground jobs where no taxes will be paid in addition to the loss in tax revenue from the cigarette sales. I’m not too concerned about falling tax revenue, the less money the less power. But there are lessons from this.

Higher taxes do not always mean higher tax revenues. Sometimes (maybe always), trying to solve one problem with force, gets you a bigger problem (i.e. mafia). The answer is for the government to stop robbing us and allow prices for everything be decided by market demand, and market supply.

Sugar Tax Considered While Sugar Subsidies Persist

The classic government-creates-problem-government-propses-solution-that-causes-more-problems paradigm is hard at work. How will we ever solve obesity in the USA?! Let’s ban what can be sold at bake sales, and force kids to take food at school that they will throw away.

Almost $85 billion has been handed out in corn subsidies just in the past 20 years. And what is the highly concentrated sugar syrup packed into drinks and snacks partially blamed for the obesity epidemic? Corn syrup. And why is corn syrup so “cheap” to use? Because we already paid for it up front by force with tax dollars, dropping the shelf price, making corn syrup infused products cheaper by comparison to healthier options.

Yet somehow we never talk about the fact that simply removing corn subsidies would be a great first step towards combatting this weight issue, and would save taxpayers dollars at the same time. There is no negative; unless of course you are one of the cronies who receives the corn subsidy. Bon Jovi is reportedly one of the “struggling farmers” receiving a corn subsidy from the federal government.

And now, congress is talking about raising taxes on sugar in order to raise the price of sugary products to serve as a disincentive to buy them. But guess what, the price of sugary products would rise on there own if the government would stop subsidizing sugar producers as well!

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced this week the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET Act), which aims to institute a tax of one cent per teaspoon – 4.2 grams – of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or caloric sweetener.

the text of the bill itself notes that the goal is to reduce public consumption through a price increase.

There is a net transfer of at least $1 billion annually from taxpayers to sugar producers, lowering the shelf price of sugary products. If the government would just get out of the economy, we would pay fewer taxes, and have an incentive to buy healthier foods, because they would be more reasonably priced than the unhealthy, government subsidized foods. This is what government solutions look like.

“Statists” “Parasites” and Other Accurate Insults

The following is taken from Larken Rose, on the subject of people considering accurate terms used to describe them as insults. I have posted in the past on the importance of defining words in order to have an informative discussion, and this is of the same vein.

The best kind of “insults” are those which are simply literally accurate descriptions. Most of the time, when it comes to bashing state-worshipers, being blunt and precise is plenty nasty all by itself. For example:

1) “Statist” has become an insult, when all it means is someone who advocates a state. The exact type and flavor of the state is irrelevant. Constitutionalists are statists just as much as fascists are. If you’re not an anarchist, you’re a statist, just based on what the words mean. Yet many who openly condone “government” consider the term “statist” an insult, and insist it doesn’t apply to them (when it obviously does).

2) When I call politicians “parasites,” I’m being literal. A parasite (a tic, a tapeworm, a flea, a leech, etc.) is something that lives by latching onto to something else (a host) and robbing it of its life blood, its resources and energy. Is that not a perfect description of the state: an organism which gets all of its wealth and power by stealing it from the actually productive people?

3) There’s a term for someone who is a hired gun, who inflicts violence on others in exchange for a paycheck. He’s call a “mercenary.” So when I call cops and soldiers “state mercenaries,” I’m being perfectly accurate. The fact that they don’t like the literal description of what they do isn’t my problem.

Statists also don’t like “taxation” being referred to as theft and extortion; but it is. And they don’t like recipients of “government” “benefits” to be identified as recipients of stolen loot; but they are. And they don’t like “political action” being described as the advocacy of violence against one’s neighbors; but it is. And so on, ad infinitum.

Here’s a thought: if LITERALLY and ACCURATELY describing what you advocate and condone sounds like an INSULT, maybe it’s because you’re advocating and condoning irrational, immoral crap. The proper solution is not to bitch at the people pointing that out. The proper solution is to STOP advocating and condoning irrational, immoral crap.

Workers Moving Into Low Tax States, Out of High Tax States

A new book suggests that competition between states for residents is alive and well. It seems over the past 15 years people have overwhelming moved out of states with higher income taxes, and into states with lower tax burdens. The author says that between “1995 and 2010 over $2 trillion in adjusted gross income moved between the states.”

Obviously wealth is going to move between states as people change jobs and scenery. What makes this move of wealth suggestive of state competition on tax burdens is the net loss/ gain of residents in states with high/ low taxes respectively. “[T]he nine states without a personal income tax gained $146 billion in new wealth while the nine states with the highest income tax rates lost $107 billion.”

It should not be surprising, but states that continue to raise the tax burden on their citizens lose more residents, and have economies that are stagnating. Blue states can whine that the competition between states isn’t fair because of “aging infrastructures, large pensions to pay, and entrenched trade unions” in the more liberal states, but that is the point; these big government tax and spend policies are not sustainable or good for the economy.

Wisconsin however, proves it is never too late to reform. Governor Scott Walker cut taxes and reined in the unions, and since then Wisconsin has been on the rise. An attempted recall of Governor Walker failed to oust him, and he claims that since Wisconsin Democrats “refuse to pledge to roll [reforms] back”, this shows that the electorate sees the success and is unwilling to risk the economy to go back to failing liberal governing policies.

And this is precisely why states need to have more control over their affairs than the federal government. State competition means better policies in states, because people can easily move within the US. Blanket policies that affect all of the US can do more damage when there is nowhere to escape to. Being from Massachusetts, I am from one of the high tax states slowly killing their economy. Massachusetts lost a congressional seat after the 2010 census (as it did after the 2000 and 1990 censuses) because our population didn’t grow as quickly as the rest of the country.

I’ve known multiple young people with engineering degrees who have left the state for economic opportunity elsewhere, at least one nurse, and other skilled workers who have moved to New Hampshire, the Carolinas, and Florida. Family members who want to start a business plan to move to a more business friendly climate down south within a year and a half. As the economy is still the number one issue for voters, the lesson should be clear. Freer states with less restriction and lower taxes are more attractive to workers and business owners, and will therefore be the homes of more economic opportunity.