“Taxes are what we pay for civilised society.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. U.S. Supreme Court Judge
There’s nothing civilised about taxes. And in fact, we’ll argue that taxes actually destroy society rather than enhance it.
So we prefer the comments by Albert Jay Nock in Our Enemy The State (your editor’s new favourite book):
“On the contrary, it is clear that whatever party-competition we shall see hereafter will be on the same terms as heretofore. It will be a competition for control and management, and it would naturally issue in still closer centralisation, still further extension of the bureaucratic principle, and still larger concessions to subsidised voting-power. This course would be strictly historical, and is furthermore to be expected as lying in the nature of things, as it so obviously does.
“Indeed, it is by this means that the aim of the collectivists seems likeliest to be attained in this country; this aim being the complete extinction of social power through absorption by the State.”
It’s a long quote. But worth it… in our opinion.
Of course, you may not agree. In fact, whenever we write anything that’s anti-taxation, anti-government or free market, Money Morning subscription cancellations spike higher.
It seems most don’t like it when we touch a raw nerve. Proof of that is in the feedback scores from the “After America” conference. It shows the audience disliked our presentation the most.
Perhaps it was what we said…
“It’s not that China is moving towards capitalism. It’s that Western Welfare States are becoming more centrally planned.”
“Western democracy has its own breed of thugs – politicians, bureaucrats and vested interests – who try to exert… power over individuals.”
“Before your very eyes, the whole world is slowly but surely turning towards communism and central state control. As you can tell, I despise these economies and political systems.”
It shows that even those who follow our advice closely can’t always cope with what we say.
But why not check out what offended so many people for yourself. You can find out how to access the video covering both days of the “After America” conference by clicking here.
Plus you’ll get to see which stocks and sectors the Port Phillip Publishing editorial team are most bullish (and bearish) on for 2012. Find out more here…
How the State Destroys Society Through Taxes
But getting back to the argument on taxes, it’s undeniable that taxes destroy society rather than enhance it.
Think back to your childhood… or your parents’ childhood. Back then, there were genuine communities. People looked out for their family and their neighbours.
If a neighbour was in a spot of bother, the local community would hold a whip-round for spare change or unwanted food and clothing.
But as soon as the State gains a stranglehold, individuals are far less likely to chip in. Not because they don’t care, but because the government has taken taxes, it leaves individuals with less disposable income.
But that’s not all. Taxation and the Welfare State are used to brainwash the public into thinking it’s not their place to help… after all, they’ve outsourced “helping” to someone else… namely, the government.
You saw a similar reaction following the Queensland floods. But not before human nature kicked in first. People helped… they provided food, shelter, clothing and money to those in need.
But then, as always, the stinking government took control and ruined everything. Not satisfied with the voluntary good nature of humans, the government decided it must force people to help.
The result? People who may have donated voluntarily, thought twice about it. Rather than asking where their neighbours are for help, they asked, “What’s the government going to do about this?”
It’s the same wherever government pokes its nose where it’s not needed. And it’s the same regardless of which party is elected.
Taxes and the “Criminal Class”
Remember, contrary to belief, no-one voted for the current system of welfare states seen around the world. They happened by degrees.
That’s what makes government so sinister and evil.
One group enters government and offers favours to its supporters… paid for by the taxes of others.
The next group that enters government needs to reward its supporters, but without alienating too many others. So it keeps what it can of the previous government’s plans and then adds its own.
Or as Albert Jay Nock puts it:
“[Governments] meet from time to time, decide what can be ‘got away with,’ and how, and who is to do it; and the electorate votes according to their prescriptions.”
The outcome is perpetual growth in the size of government. And therefore, perpetual growth in government spending and taxation.
Bottom line: Given a choice, if people living under a truly free market, with limited government intervention could vote to keep their system, or vote for an exact replica of today’s bloated welfare state, there’s not a man or woman alive who would vote for change.
With one exception: the bureaucrats and hangers-on who would see the money they could make and the influence they would hold from it.
To finish, we’ll leave the last words to Mr. Nock:
“Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class.”
P.S. Don’t forget to check out how you can get your hands on the “After America” DVD. Full details are available here…
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Written by Kris Sayce
Kris Sayce is Editor in Chief of Australia’s biggest circulation daily financial email — Money Morning. (You can subscribe to Money Morning for free here).
Kris is also editor of Australian Small-Cap Investigator, his small-cap stock research service, where he provides detailed analysis on some the brightest, smallest listed companies on the ASX.
If you’re already a subscriber to these publications, or want to follow his financial world view more closely, then we recommend you join Kris on Google+. It’s where he shares investment insight, commentary and ideas that he can’t always fit into his regular Money Morning essays.