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Taking the last step towards freedom

Would you agree to making taxation voluntary? For instance, if you didn't agree with the wars, you could choose not to pay your taxes without fear of punishment. Going further, perhaps the taxes could be itemized - ie appropriated by the taxpayer? Does this sound attractive to you? Do you suppose that such a policy would have an effect to limit the government? After all, the credit used by a government to borrow is based upon its ability to tax the population by force. Without this ability, a government's means to pay would be called into question - especially if it was making unpopular decisions.

Some may try to argue that under such a system that no one would pay taxes, and therefore, a loss of "essential" services would occur leading to suffering. If that were the case, if the services were found to be essential, doesn't that necessarily mean that demand has been created? If so, wouldn't people begin paying taxes in order to regain the benefit of the particular services demanded? I think it is economically clear that if demand existed, then, those people desiring to consume would pay the price.

Under such a system, a market price would be established for the services of government through the dynamic equilibrium of supply and demand. Under such a system, the government has become no different than a normal producer in the market - a firm providing a service demanded by consumers. Taxation should be voluntary.

The final step towards freedom is to admit to yourself that the services that governments provide can be handled by the market. You can call the company "government" if you wish, but the "system" described above is akin to anarcho-capitalism.

Let the market decide what services are essential.

Welcome to the bright side (as opposed to the dark side).

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2 major issues and classic faults within absolutist Libertarian ideology

(btw I do refrain from using the term Anarchist since you have not suggested banning civil courts, etc)

1) Exclusively private systems which you advocate do not necessarily make any pledge to the public good like many civil operations do. Therefore if someone from the 'public' (in parentheses since your argument implies that such a domain does not exist) complains about poor service, the owner can say "Too bad--get off my lawn."

You might counter by saying that someone could build a competing road, however that is impractical if trying to duplicate adjacent infrastructure while the public virtually wants to keep transporting forward

2) Public domain ultimately is characterized by civilized gifting where you are not hounded for receipts on every street corner or you can enter a local museum for free, for example.

IMO there is a better way by which your calling for the abolition of taxation coincides:

public Trusts where citizenry can exercise their prerogative to fund what they believe has value (or not), and to exercise their conscience (inc. schools or hospitals rather than unjust wars or abusive departments etc).

More here


Not a bad post! First time

Not a bad post! First time seeing it.

A few quibbles.

If physical coercion played no role in tax collection, the government would still have recourse to other means of penalizing opt outers, such as exclusion from any of its services down to the simplest. The opt outer would have to provision all of his own needs including use non state roads etc., etc., and if by mistake received emergency services would be billed as a non-member customer. There is some argument to be made that for the non-member, lacking the protection of the state, the government would have some grounds for using coercion to collect a bill for legitimately rendered emergency services for an opt outer who was not able to be identified as such at the time services were rendered.

So, the population would be composed of opt outers and voluntary tax payers. Other forms of recourse would be used such as creating a critical mass of scale where it pays to be in the ingroup, especially if you aren't independently wealthy. There would seem to be a tendency at least in some services like military, law, roads, emergency services, justice and courts, where the majority would choose voluntarily to be in the big group than to pay private sector firms, just my opinion and its debatable and no data on it.

Next, the opt outers, supposing they were mostly those who could actually afford to pay for all these services, would need to rely on private agencies for all the above listed services, courts and arbitration, roadways, utilities, military defense from foreign states, military defense and self defense from roving individuals and outlaws, etc. Could they effectively do so?

Or theoretically, everyone would stop paying taxes and the government wouldn't really be able to exclude services efficiently, and the diminishing services would just be overused by free riders and the political disorder would make the voluntary-tax state obsolete and replaced by states that coerce. So people could just opt back for coercion if they don't like the outcome.

The argument that a market mechanism would exist where everyone starts to pay taxes once services diminish is not necessarily true, since people typically want to receive the service and let the other people pay. Looking at any voluntarily funded operation shows that most people choose not to contribute, so I don't think this is really a sound or proven argument.

But I wouldn't be opposed to this kind of experiment if people were in favor of it, I just don't think it would turn out like the OP expects.

Exclusion would be fine as long as they didn't try

to enforce a government monopoly on the services. If payment was voluntary and competition was allowed, the "government" would just be another business competing in the marketplace.

I know you believe that, but

I know you believe that, but the governments that have been formed over the centuries were not typical business models that we are familiar with today. You would attribute that solely to coercion and believe that without coercion, the world would just be a bazaar of merchants offering courts, big macs and rentacops... But I would differ. To me that's such a narrow present-centric and western-centric idea, that any non coercive arrangement must be a business.

I think human beings have organized voluntarily with minimal or no coercion often in the past, along other lines than a 'business,' and a business isn't necessarily the ideal way to provision national defense, or courts, or law enforcement, or criminal justice.

Furthermore, "business" as such is always something that happens within a lawful legal order where contracts are reliably enforced and business is done separately from enforcing the terms of contracts... Business has never been responsible for imposing physical constraints on people so they don't violate property, contracts, law, order, etc. So assuming that market principles and market dynamics would prevail in the absence of a law, to provide that law and order, is a huge leap based on no evidence at all, no experience and no theory that makes sense to me.

Assuming that every tribe, every village and every other form of social order that ever existed that wasn't a business was due only to coercion is ideological dogma, I think. If you eliminated coercion, there's no reason to believe people wouldn't organize in ways that weren't at all businesslike, but were community-like, that still used principles general provision of some things without regard for how much anyone pays, as a customer.


"...business isn't necessarily the ideal way to provision national defense, or courts, or law enforcement, or criminal justice."

It has been demonstrated many times over the years that when faced with invasion - even by technologically superior forces - people cannot easily be conquered. Recent US History provides a few good examples - for instance, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

As for courts and a military grade police force - they are not nearly as necessary as you believe. The "Wild" West gets a bad rap. The people got along fairly well without "official" avenues always available.

Nonetheless, the statement is your personal opinion, so I assume you believe it, but the fact of the matter is that no one knows what solutions the market would offer to service those demands if they weren't monopolized by the State.

Furthermore, commerce occurs independently of "lawful legal order" (a redundant term, btw). For example, trappers traded with Native Americans long before the white man "settled" the land.

I disagree with your premise

I disagree with your premise in the examples Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc. Those countries could easily have been conquered if that was the will and unified goal and purpose of Americans, with a unified establishment behind it, a real sense of necessity and purpose and threat, effective propaganda, and the willingness to use the levels of force we used in the second world war or civil war. So your point is more a point about the will and purpose of the US and Soviet empires in some of their pointless conflicts with more determined foes, and has no validity for people and war in general.

Moving on to the wild west, I am familiar with the literature and that it was an orderly place compared to modern perceptions of it. That is modernity's problem that it doesn't know history, not mine. There was law and order in the West, just like back east, the people were moving out there in civilized parties of people brought up to law and orderly conduct by centuries of tradition, law and civilization. They joined groups like wagon trains that imposed strict law on people who joined it, you couldn't just leave. They had a military bearing toward outsiders such as native Americans. Criminals were not coddled if they made the mistake of getting caught. Frontier justice was not provisioned by insurance companies hawking defense or arbitration services but by hard men willing to use violence to keep order and carry out their will.

The fact that people were generally law biding and well behaved and not criminals running amok says nothing about the provision of law by a model of merchant-business, and says nothing about how modern people would behave if they were in similar circumstances. You put 'official' in square quotes, as though these people didn't have traditions and customs for ordering their communities and handling crime, with juries, and if need be without juries.

As for business and trade occurring outside of the law, of course it does, including between enemies, strangers, and organized crime in black markets. It is surely possible to develop mutually beneficial detente and refraining from violence, even without any third party contract enforcer. But it is not a stable kind of all-encompassing environment where capital accumulation and really complex markets develop; it is groups swapping with other groups. Complex markets develop inside a lawful or legal order.

Lawful and legal do have different senses, as you can say that a village with strong customs has a 'lawful' order even if it is not legalistic with written codes.

Hey where's BILL3

???? Sleepin on the job?

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*

If all taxes were voluntary

Then government would just be another business. A business that would go bankrupt very, very quickly lol.

I'm game...

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Progress is precisely that which the rules and regulations did not foresee. - Ludwig Von Mises.

Defacto Anarcho-Capitalism bump...