Big Business? Or Big Government?

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Things are bad – and many blame Big Business, such as Big Banks and Big Oil, as they’re styled, for turning the screws on average people. I’ve got no big love for either. The fact is they are interested in money – your money. That’s what they do. Are you shocked? But here’s the thing: If you’re careful with your money and apply common sense, you can avoid being indebted to entities such as Big Banks and even Big Oil. Because for the most part * their exactions are voluntary.

You do not for example, have to buy a $500,000 McMansion on a zero down five-year ARM that requires 40 percent of your take home pay to stay ahead of. No Bankster put a gun to anyone’s head to buy more home than they could comfortably afford. People freely chose to do so, banking (ahem) that the increase in value would counterbalance the high carrying costs. Well, they lost that bet. But whose fault is it?

No law says you must purchase a $40,000 car that broadsides you every month with a $600 payment. You can choose to drive a more affordable vehicle, perhaps one bought outright, with cash.

But, there’s a catch: Even if you live within your means, modestly, in a home you can afford – and drive a car you can afford – government’s exactions are inescapable.

And increasingly, unaffordable.

Personal anecdote: My wife and I moved from high-cost Northern Virginia not far from DC backin 2004 to rural SW Virginia in part to lower our cost of living in anticipation of the now-current economic problems besetting the country. We sold our place and bought a new, less expensive place, which enabled us to really buy the new place – outright – so that we have no mortgage.

Neither of us have ever bought a new car in our lives. Both our vehicles were bought used – with cash.

These two common-sense actions massively reduced the amount of money we need to get by. And no loan officer or debt collector plagues us.

But government does.

The taxes on our modest place out in the country have risen by some 30 percent in five years (even as the market value of our house has dropped) and now the county has passed a new – massive – increase in the odious personal property tax on motor vehicles. The new tax rate will amount to an $800 annual fee levied on a vehicle with a market value of $25,000.

While we do not have high-dollar cars, we do have several cars (two older trucks and a couple of older motorcycles). The highest-dollar one we own is worth maybe $7,500. But we still end up with a beefy bill from the county for about $500 every year. To pay “for the children” – who aren’t our children, because we don’t have any – chiefly because we feel we can’t afford any. But because other people who can’t afford kids do have them, we and others like us get the bill. To pay for the local “education” (read: government indoctrination) system. The combined hit every year – the personal property tax on the vehicles and the real estate tax on our house and land – amounts to around $2,000. I understand that may not be huge by some standards, but it’s still a lot of money for us – and over time, it’s a lot of money, period. In just ten years’ time, the local wealth redistributors will have stolen – and yes, that’s the right word – $20,000 from us. For the privilege of owning things we already paid for (and paid taxes on at the time of purchase) with money that has also already been taxed.

It is a sum we can do nothing to reduce, other than by becoming homeless and divesting ourselves of our vehicles.

So, which is the more rapacious, relentless enemy of economic security? Of liberty? The businesses offering products or services we’re free to decline if we do the math and calculate we can’t comfortably afford the cost? Or the inescapable clutching claws of government – multiple levels of it – that constantly filches through our pockets?

Instead of “financial reform” and recriminations directed against Big Business, how about changing the law so that a man’s house, once paid for, is his. Period. No more rent payments in perpetuity to the county – the annual property tax – that makes ownership a farce. And how about a rising against this noxious business of taxing personal property, so that we can truly own nothing except perhaps the clothes we’re wearing and whatever small items we can carry in our hands?

We pay tax on the money we earn before it even reaches our hands. At least twice, for most of us (federal and state taxes). Then we are taxed every time we spend whatever’s left to us. And then we are taxed again – endlessly – for the privilege of “owning” the property we bought with that already twice-taxed money.

People need to get their heads straight. It is not Big Business that is the enemy. No matter how strong-arm its practices may appear to be, they rarely if ever, involve the threat of men in costumes with badges and guns showing up to compel your participation.

Only the government can do that. And for now, it is only government that is inescapable.

Throw it in the Woods?

* Exceptions include the for-profit business cartels, such as car insurance and (lately) heaf-cayuh “providers” that have secured a “mandate” forcing people to buy their product or service.

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60 COMMENTS

  1. We also have only bought used vehicles. In fact, I have about a million miles logged between 3 aircooled VW’s from the ’60’s. Our mortgage-free home is an earth shelter that we built ourselves. This design has saved us the most money because it does not require energy for heating or cooling due to the 72 degree ground temperature here in FL.

    I share your concerns about government. We are Campaign for Liberty members focused on 10th Amendment issues to control the Federal government. My wife teaches classes on the U.S. Constitution based on documents from the founding era. It is truly sad how our government has become corrupted compared to the concepts of the Founding Fathers. The states may yet save themselves from the Federal government through nullification of unconstitutional laws, but then we must protect ourselves from the states, as you have observed. I hope we are making a difference. Too many apathetic people.

    Pat M.

    • Air-cooled VWs… great memories! I’ve owned three over the years, including a ’73 Super Beetle and Thing. They may not be quick, but they are usually very reliable and when they did develop a problem, it was often something minor that cold be fixed by the driver in a couple of minutes by the side of the road. Maintenance was cheap: not even an oil filter to buy (just a screen to clean).

      We have to keep chipping away the government; eventually, we’ll get there!

  2. In Re: Big Business? Or Big Government? A Simple Political Remedy for Modern American Regulatory Oppression

    Dear Mr. Peters,

    Understanding the control structure or institutions and legal mechanisms for the same (regardless of regime form Monarchy, Republic, Democracy etc.) is the first step toward the control of one’s own course in life within a given community.

    This being said, all forms of oppression begin with an absurd set of presumptions. Under the old British Monarchy people actually believed that the Prince ruled under Divine right1 despite the obvious fact that he “put his pants on like everyone else”. The absurd presumption of today’s regulatory slavery is that “all natural life activities are presumed as commercial activity toward the end of profit or gain” or It’s all Commercial (driving, traffic, income etc. are all defined under American and British law as commercial activity and are governed according to commercial law). Americans today operate under commercial law rather than the Natural Law enjoyed at the founding. This transition from natural law to commercial law occurred shortly after the critical event of our so called Civil War that was really a counter revolution (all principals of the Republic were turned on their ear).

    The most interesting thing of this new form of slavery is that the answer or remedy for “statutory slavery” is not hidden from anyone. See the definition of a 14th Amendment “person” (not be confused with America’s first citizenship or political status of “State Citizens) found in Black’s Law dictionary below:

    Person. In general usage, a human being (i.e. natural person), though by statute term may include labor organizations, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, or receivers. See e.g. National Labor Relations Act, § 2(1), 29 U.S.C.A. § 152; Uniform Partnership Act, § 2.
    Scope and delineation of term is necessary for determining those to whom Fourteenth Amendment of Constitution affords protection since this Amendment expressly applies to “person.”
    Aliens. Aliens are “persons” within meaning of Fourteenth Amendment and are thus protected by equal protection clause against discriminatory state action. Foley v. Connelie, D.C.N.Y., 419 F.Supp. 889, 891.
    Bankruptcy Code. “Person” includes individual, partnership, and corporation, but not governmental unit. 11 U.S.C.A. § 101.
    Commercial law. An individual or organization. U.C.C. § 1-201(30).
    Corporation. A corporation is a “person” within meaning of Fourteenth Amendment equal protection and due process provisions of United States Constitution. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Ward, Ala., 470 U.S. 869, 105 S.Ct. 1676, 1683, 84 L.Ed.2d 751. The term “persons” in statute relating to conspiracy to commit offense against United States, or to defraud United States, or any agency, includes corporation. Alamo Fence Co. of Houston v. U.S., C.A.Tex., 240 F.2d 179, 181.
    In corporate law, “person” includes individual and entity. Rev.Model Bus. Corp.Act, § 1.40.

    Now a quick sampling of our Criminal Code (Title 18 of the USC) one finds that the Code is exclusive to 14th Amendment “person(s)” agreeing or assenting to a legal relationship with government to operate “exclusively under commercial law”:

    TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 44, § 921. Definitions
    (1) The term “person” and the term “whoever” include any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, or joint stock company.
    State code is identical to the above personal jurisdiction claim:
    CRIMINAL OFFENSES (720 ILCS 5/) Criminal Code of 1961. (720 ILCS 5/2-3.6) (720 ILCS 5/2-15) (from Ch. 38, par. 2-15) Sec. 2-15. “Person”.
    “Person” means an individual, public or private corporation, government, partnership, or unincorporated association. (Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)
    GENERAL PROVISIONS, (5 ILCS 70/) Statute on Statutes. (5 ILCS 70/1.05) (from Ch. 1, par. 1006) Sec. 1.05.
    “Person” or “persons” as well as all words referring to or importing persons,
    may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate as well as individuals.
    (Source: Laws 1945, p. 1717.)

    Prior to the fundamental change in government (from Republic to Empire/Democracy) Americans enjoyed Natural Rights & Natural law (see Joel Tiffany’s “Treatise on Government” free at Google Books):

    Natural rights. Those which grow out of nature of man and depend upon his personality and are distinguished from those which are created by positive laws enacted by a duly constituted government to create an orderly society. In re Gogabashvele’s Esate, 195 Cal. App.2d 503, 16 Cal.Rptr. 77, 91. (Black’s Law Sixth Edition pg. 1027)
    Natural law or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis) has been described as a law whose content is set by nature and is thus universal.[1] As classically used, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. The phrase natural law is opposed to the positive law (meaning “man-made law”, not “good law”; cf. posit) of a given political community, society, or nation-state, and thus can function as a standard by which to criticize that law.[2] In natural law jurisprudence, on the other hand, the content of positive law cannot be known without some reference to the natural law (or something like it). Used in this way, natural law can be invoked to criticize decisions about the statutes, but less so to criticize the law itself. Some use natural law synonymously with natural justice or natural right (Latin ius naturale)

    Removing one’s self from Marxist slavery which is placing human beings into a Commercial Law scheme (traced back to Roman Law under Empire v Roman Law under the Roman Republic) requires an “act of political self determination” to sever legal relationships and refusal of all government benefits by Notice or Declaration.

    Cruden v. Neale {2 N.C. 338 (1796) 2 S.E. 70} established: “…every man is independent of all laws, except those prescribed by nature. He is not bound by any institutions formed by his fellowmen without his consent.”

    Truly Yours as a State Citizen,

    Patrick Henry

    Recommended reading:

    Wall Street & The Bolshevik Revolution by Anthony Sutton

    Did the 14th Amendment do away with State Citizenship? by J.D. Goodman

    The Red Amendment by L.B. Bork

    SCOTUS Slaughter-House cases

    DC v Heller & follow up McDonald v Chicago Corp.

    1The divine right of kings is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including (in the view of some, especially in Protestant countries) the Church. According to this doctrine, since only God can judge an unjust king, the king can do no wrong. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act.

    • @Patrick Henry:

      I’ve read so many times about UCC, Natural Personhood, admiralty/commercial law, and the contortions people have gone through to divorce themselves from the State.

      But have you actually done this? And do you have examples of how it’s worked for you?

      For instance: facing a traffic fine, have you walked into court and refused to pay it, or even participate, on the grounds of Natural Personhood? I’ve read of someone who demanded the court present someone how was HARMED by his speeding and had lodged a complaint against him. The court of course could not, and he walked out.

      Likewise with income tax. I agree fully that income tax is illegal, and we pay it out of fear, not out of a real legal obligation. But the fear is warranted; stop paying it, and thugs in government costumes will point guns at you.

      • Yes. I’d like to know whether there are verifiable examples of people successfully asserting Natural Personhood, etc., to fight something like a “your papers, please” traffic stop (let alone taxes).

        As a practical matter, I think we generally have no choice but to play along while we try to educate people and spread the word. Many people, I suspect, have just never considered the issues we’ve been debating here – in part because our system discourages even broaching such issues in terms of the principles at stake. People are conditioned, for example, to venerate “democracy” (mob rule) without examining too closely just what “democracy” really involves. Or to ask themselves how it is that forcing someone to give you his money by threatening him with violence is somehow ok when it is done “legally,” by “voting” and passing “laws.” Clover, for example! No, I take that back. Clover does understand. He just thinks it’s good – right, even – to take other people’s property provided it is for some “good” as he defines it, or to “help” someone – as he deems appropriate. Socialist, Progressive, Communist, Fascist – none of these terms matter, really. The essential thing they all have in common – what does matter – is that they are all united in their gleeful violence toward the individual for the benefit of a mob (whether it be “the people,” “society,” “the children,” the Volksgemeinschaft – whatever), as defined and administered by a special elite of Clovers who run the show on their behalf. That is what Clover really seeks – power over others. He is a thug. But a cowardly one, who would never try to steal your money or take your land or get in your face on his own. Instead, he gets the government to do his thuggery for him, which is smart – but even more despicable precisely because of the cowardice it implies.

        Some people we my be able to reason with. Clovers, we’ll one day have to fight, I suspect.

  3. Hey, uhm Clover guy, How do you think education was accomplished BEFORE our sainted Government decided to take that task on?? Why the communities got together and *gasp* Hired a teacher….Golly, what a concept. And if the teacher did not perform up to the communities expectations, well, good bye, down the road. Since you clearly have access to a computer, look up what an average high school student was expected to know around ,say, 1890-1900. I bet you will be shocked. Ever since the government conspired to ruin education, equalize the outcomes for all, and turn schools into serf indocrination centers, the quality of “education” has declined precipitously. Public (government run for those that don’t understand)schools turn out “graduates” that can’t read or think. Most need remedial classes as the start “college” Public schools are a national disgrace, proving once again, the only thing the Government does well is to kill people. How many people work for the Federal Dept of Education?? How much money have we wasted over the years funding them, and lastly and most important, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE THEY EVER EDUCATED????

    • And Clover is Exhibit A. He cannot think conceptually. For example, most people accept that theft – taking something that’s not yours by force or fraud – is immoral and should be punished. But if it is immoral when an individual does it, how does it become moral when a group or gang (“democracy”) does precisely the same thing? This is the sort of philosophical question that Clovers are reared never to ask; indeed, it is a question that they are not capable of even forming in their stunted minds.

      Notice the Clover’s use of such terminology as “our” children. And, of course, “we.”

      Never “I.”

      To a Clover, everything is subjective (based on the Clovers’ arbitrary opinions, needs and wants). There are no principles held inviolable. And of course, “democracy” (majority rule… mob rule) is the bestest thing ever…

  4. The very nice home where I grew up sold at the height of the boom for double what mom sold it for 20 years earlier.

    Over that same time period, property taxes on that house _quadrupled_ (NO improvements made to the property).

    Every state needs a ‘Prop 13’ for property owners.

    • There ought to be no property or other taxes whatsoever on a person’s primary residence. In a free country, it should be possible for a man to own land – his home. Really to own it. Outright, no strings. Not conditional on paying endless “rent” to the government. This would provide tremendous financial security to the working and middle classes especially. A man’s home would truly be his castle. If he owns his place, he always has somewhere to live – without having to worry about coming up with money every year to feed the endlessly rapacious maw of the government.

      I think we can have a reasonable debate about taxes; but taxing land/property should be off the table.

      • It is nice to take the simplistic view that there should be no property tax but there is no easy way to get rid of it if they need to keep the same amount of taxes to come in for the programs that are needed. You can argue about the need for programs in another article. If you get rid of property tax then how else do you get the taxes needed? Income tax? Well in that case in places around the country where a lot of the people are on fixed income and living off of savings then there would be very little tax money. If you changed it to sales tax you would then be hurting the lower income more. People are very good at arguing against something but you never hear a solution from them.

        • Ah, but it is simple, Clover. A person’s paid-for land/home should be his – really his, period. Not contingent upon paying a large sum of money to the government every year, forever. That – as explained before – amounts to turning the “owner” into a renter. Whether you are paying a landlord, the bank or the government makes no difference. So long as you have to pay to stay on “your” land, it is not your land. Whoever controls a thing owns a thing – and property taxes mean the government controls “your” land.

          And there is an easy way to get rid of property taxes: Make it the responsibility of people who have kids to pay for their kids’ schooling.

          Right now, there is no disincentive for people who have no business having kids (because they are not able to provide for them) having kids. Indeed, there are incentives for them to breed at will, wantonly. Government (read: taxpaying, responsible people) will provide…

          It is no random thing that people with higher IQs and more education have fewer kids while low IQ people with less education (and often, no jobs or menial ones) have many kids. After all, why not?

          This is the reverse of desirable social inducements.

          A system that places responsibility for rearing kids on the shoulders of those responsible for producing those kids would lead to fewer idiots shitting out kids they can’t afford to provide for – and leave the people who are better-able to provide for kids in a better position to have them, since they’d be more able to afford them now that they aren’t constantly being bled white to pay for other people’s kids.

          That’s a real solution. Moral, practical – and doable.

          Meanwhile, people who chose not to have kids aren’t immorally forced at gunpoint to be milch cows for the benefit of people who do choose to have them but expect other people to “help” provide for them. With no real estate taxes to pay – and their land bought and paid for – they’re liberated from having to constantly earn money so that it can be taken away from them for the benefit of total strangers. They are free – a concept alien to Clovers.

      • In a truly free country you would not have roads, grocery stores, cars, trucks, taxes and any other people for that matter. Is that what you are looking for?

        • Clover… you make this too easy! Let’s just pick the year 1900. Were there roads? Grocery stores? Vehicles? My god! Sakes alive!

          There were!

          And – as Jesse points out – no government schools but a much better educated (literate, capable of conceptual thinking) public. Moreover, parents had more direct control over what their kids were taught – and by whom – because they paid for it, directly. If they didn’t like the teacher – or what he was teaching – they fired the teacher or hired a different one to teach their kids. Now they’re just pawns who have about as much say over what kids are taught as a voter does over who runs the country.

          Government schools are a relatively recent thing, Clover. Just like taxes on income and real property. But, as a product of government schools, you clearly were never taught this.

          The point we’re (trying) to explore here, though (much as you try to deflect it) is whether “Joe” should be able to force “Ed” to pay for the schooling of “Joe’s” kids. Or their shoes, or their food for that matter. I say no. If “Ed” feels charitably inclined and wants to help “Joe” because he knows “Joe,” let’s say – and knows that “Joe” has fallen on hard times – then, wonderful. That is genuine altruism – human goodwill – in action. But what you advocate turns “Joe” into “Ed’s” enemy. Someone who uses the power of the government to assault his liberty by taking his rightful property by force simply in order to provide it to his “neighbor” – whom he rightly comes to despise.

          I know that as a Clover you can’t understand this. But I am trying to get you to see that it is much more humane and decent for people to live together on a voluntary and cooperative basis than it is to use force against them – to threaten them with violence – in order to compel them to “help” people whom they owe absolutely nothing except goodwill.

          • Eric the thing that you do not understand is the people have already spoke. There will be public schools. Just one question. Do you think you have the ability to change that? I would say ZERO chance in our lifetimes. I do not think it does much good complaining about something you are NOT going to change. Fight for something you can change. To me screaming on here what is wrong with the world and not doing anything about it or not having the ability to change it is like screaming with no one within a hundred miles. In this country the majority rules. A person may have a little more power than others such as a president but in the end the majority rules and they have spoken.

          • Sigh… Clover, things change. Often quite surprisingly. As a graduate of government schools (“the people have already spoke”) I know you have trouble with conceptual thinking, and also that your knowledge of history is limited, so:

            * Only some of “the people” have spoken.
            * Other people may have a different view.
            * Government Schools are no more eternal than the old Soviet Union – or the 55 MPH speed limit.

            So, yes, I do think the current regime can be – and will be – changed. Reason? It is becoming more and more obvious that government schools are expensive failures; also the home schooling and private school movements are growing at an incredible rate. More fundamentally, the number of people outraged by taxes on real property is rapidly increasing, too. As people are educated about allodial title, this trend will increase and become more virulent.

            The clash, Clover, is between statists such as you and people who have grown weary, at last of statism… .

  5. Clover… Clover… “our” kids? Really? So far as I am aware, I don’t have any kids. And if I did, my kids would not be your responsibility (your obligation, imposed at gunpoint) just as your kids (or anyone else’s kids) are likewise not my responsibility, my obligation – imposed at gunpoint.

    Your comment is a distilled example of Clover Thought. Having kids is a voluntary choice; if you choose to have kids, then you choose to assume the responsibility for their care, including their education. We’ve become a Maggot Society because people are able to use the government to force other people to provide for their material needs. The job of government is to maintain civil order by preventing people from harming/defrauding one another – and punishing those who do. Period. It does not exist to serve as a wealth redistributing middleman, stealing from Smith to “help” Jones. You may think it does, but even leaving morals aside, once you start down that road you have assured the ultimate destruction of society, by corrupting it and setting man against man and turning government into a bully that takes sides, randomly and unpredictably, rather than the neutral arbiter it ought to be.

    PS: You appear to be a product of government schools yourself, judging from the fine sentence construction, usage and spelling.

  6. The difference between corporations and the Feral Government, is that corporate dictates are not enforced at the point of a gun. EVERY law, rule, regulation forced on us by the Govt is backed with the threat of death for non complience. Taks the Health Care Law (Please…). If you decline to buy “insurance”, you will be fined. If you decline to be fined, you will be jailed. If you decline to be jailed, they will send someone with a government costume, and a shiny medallion, and if you decline to accompany them to jail, they will kill you. How is that like living in a free country? If I don’t want to buy Exxon gas, then I just cruise on by the station. They will cheerfully sell it to the next guy. See the difference????

  7. I agree completely with your OUTRAGE at property taxes.

    How is it any different than serfdom? You live on the lord’s land, and farm it. Every year you must give 10% of the land’s product to the lord…or he evicts you. You never own the land.

    We used to have the concept of “allodial title” here; that’s the wonderful state you describe in which people OWN the land they’ve paid for. Once they’ve cleared all liens, it is theirs, period. There’s no such thing as “eminent domain” over allodially-titled land. The concept has been so forgotten that neither of my (very libertarian) lawyer friends had even heard of it.

    Funny enough in Arizona and a couple of other states, you can BUY allodial title; essentially you cut a deal with the thieves and give them a lump sum which they believe will yield about your annual tax “bill” in earnings…roughly 10X your annual tax. Then you get a watered-down version of allodial title.

    I’m glad here in Texas we don’t have a formal property tax on cars and bikes; however the camel’s nose is in the tent, because we pay a “registration” fee. When they get hungry one day, they’ll up it…guaranteed.

    100% with you on the topic of other peoples’ childrens’ schooling costs. I refuse to send mine to gov. indoctrination camps, but STILL have to pay for the bloody things AND my daughter’s private school. “Hey” I imagine telling my fecund neighbor “just because your condom broke, doesn’t obligate ME!”

    • I guess with that view that we should not have public schools then we would have about 15% of our kids if not more not in school because of lay offs and a temperary bad economy.

      • Clover, apply some logic–and go review the history you weren’t taught in publik skool. Before government indoctrination camps, we had excellent schooling in America; church schools, home schools, and community schools *voluntarily* paid for by their attendants, much like private school today.
        “Too expensive”, you say? School’s too expensive today because of bureaucracy, the inevitable results of making it a government service. America spends more per capita on “education” than any other country, but we get the 27th best results.

        If people weren’t forced at gunpoint to pay property tax, that money would be free to be spent on schools. Without publik skools, thousands of low-cost private schools would spring up ready to take those kids. Already today, it’s actually difficult to FIND an open spot in private schools because parents are so desperate to remove their kids of the public hellholes.

        The argument above is the utilitarian one; but it ignores the most important one, the argument from PRINCIPLE–which clovers usually don’t have. The PRINCIPLE is this:

        It is morally wrong to directly or indirectly rob me at gunpoint to pay for YOUR goods.

  8. I’ve enjoyed immensely reading your articles on cars and motoring on LRC, but I think you’re a little off the mark with your latest piece.

    To the extent that businesses do not use the coercive powers of government I would agree they are not evil. Big is not bad, per se, but unfortunately, all to often, large corporations are in league with the government to pass laws that are favorable to themselves and antithetical to freedom. All manner of regulations are enacted in this way, and it’s always the little guy that gets hurt. Probably the worst perpetrators in this regard are the banks. Think how much wealth has been stolen by the banksters as a result of their legalized counterfeiting schemes.

    Of course, as you make clear, the most rapacious entity is the government, but the symbiotic relationship that exists between big business and government — which one might call crony capitalism or socialism for the rich or fascism — is a huge problem. Yes, we have the freedom not to do business with corporations that engage in crony capitalism, but these same corporations strip us of our freedoms whether we do business with them or not.

    • Thanks – and I agree that large corporations are a problem (corporatism/crony capitalism). One reform that would, I think, go a long way toward remedying the problem would be to end the legal personhood of corporations. Only individual human beings have rights, such as the right to free speech or the right to due process. The idea that corporation has such rights is a ludicrous – and dangerous – concept.

  9. The problem is that government has created systems which punish prudent and responsible behavior. Even the currency itself has become something that punishes those who save. This harmed the society greatly in many different ways.

    The worst thing is that anything that is not consumed becomes a target for theft by one level of government or another or those who can use government to take it. What costs a dollar today can cost two tomorrow. People in government talk about nationalizing 401Ks and then we wonder why people save nothing?

    Spend it and enjoy it now for someone will take it from you later. they can’t take away your experiences. If you get in over your head the political system can be used to take more from those that didn’t. That’s the repeated message.

    Look at the people who spent and spent and spent… they have things they enjoy. They took trips. They had fun. What did the prudent and the savers do? They worked and saved. For what? So it can all be stolen by the state and the irresponsible. The system bails people out at the expense of those who did the right thing. There’s no reason to be baffled why there are so many people who just think about today.

    Property tax, like the income tax is a tool of social engineering as well as making everything effectively owned by the “king” (the state) as previously mentioned. I’ve run into at least one person who considered the property tax valuable for forcing old people to sell homes that had more space to young families that could better use the space.

    The only way most people can ‘beat’ the system that is set up is to live beyond their means and take advantage of the Uncle Ben money drop. In the end they lived well, had fun, traveled, and these experiences can’t be taken from them. They just then walk away if the government doesn’t bail them out to keep the party going…..

    • Hey Brent,

      Yup – that about sums it up. As things are, the only real/tangible benefit that comes from not being a scumbag is knowing you’re not a scumbag. But more and more people are realizing – rightly – that it just doesn’t pay, as you’ve pointed out. Once this becomes the general attitude, society will disintegrate and the only thing that will keep people in check, from constant physical violence, is some form of overtly authoritarian government which will itself be even more violent.

  10. Yes. Also, he sure seems to be a neocon warmonger – and a chickenhawk, too. Isn’t amazing how all these macho tough guys who bluster about attacking and conquering and democratizing other countries and peoples almost to a man never got near a hot zone when they were young men? Where was Obergruppenfuhrer Trump during ‘Nam? Hmmmm….

    It says something.. something not good… about comfortable, middle-aged, pot-belied Rambos like Trump who seem so eager to send other people to their deaths in the service of some Jihad. Again, typical Republican. Notice that Ventura – a former Navy SEAL – is much more circumspect when talking about wars and violence… Ventura could snap Trump’s neck … but he speaks in a calm voice and is very hesitant about marchin’ off to fight fer’ freedom… again, tells you something about the man. This time, something good.

    Trump’s tongue-fucking Israel’s bunghole (and idiot, Bush-like demagoguing about Iran… a country that – unlike the US or Israel – hasn’t attacked a neighbor in 100 years) also really bothers me. Might as well vote for Palin. At least she seems to like guns….

  11. Trump worries me too. I like the fact that he really seems to love the US and is worried about where we are headed, but he has written campaign checks to such dedicated anti Americans as Rahm Emanual, Chuck “let me have your guns “Schumer, and many others. And China, though a problem (Caused completely by the behavior of Con-Gress) is not even close to the biggest problem that we face.
    It is indicative of how far we have strayed from actual FREEDOM in this country that real statesmen like Ron Paul, and Jesse Ventura can be called “kooks” (and worse) for standing by the actual real Constitutional principals that the country was founded on. Those that would keep us as slaves have been winning the propaganda war. It is time for true freedom oriented people to push back. Ron Paul is not a kook for supporting the Constitution, The lightworker Obama and his supporters and enablers are the real threats to freedom, and we would do well not to forget that.

  12. Unfortunately, that’s the truth of the matter. It is no longer possible to buy a piece of land and be self-sufficient – and free of government. Even if you paid for that land in full, never leave your own land, use that land to provide your own food/shelter, etc., the thugs will still come… demanding their chunk of your flesh. I am not a class agitator, but the fact is this deal is much harder on people of modest means. A rich person can maintain the fiction of ownership more easily because the taxes are a small nuisance. But to a person just scraping by, that new (higher) assessment may – and often does – mean the person must sell “their” land, even though they “own” it, in order to pay off the tax man.

    It’s an outrage – and it’s enough, already. Most Americans are already taxed more viciously than medieval serfs – literally. We pay federal, state (and in many cases, local) taxes on our incomes; then we pay taxes on whatever we buy with the leftover money. And any major items we buy – such as land/home/vehicles – well, that’s taxed, too.

    Good thing we live in a free country…..

  13. Eric,
    Just read the above on LRC. Absolutely great. Right on, exactly, you nailed it. It’s impossible to be anonymous, independent, and enjoy true liberty in this country.

    Charlie

  14. If you think government robbery is bad now, just wait until the phony math that Obama and his band of socialists used to make Obamacare appear “deficit neutral” comes home to roost. Combine that with the fact that the gutless politicians we keep electing won’t do a darn thing to stem the coming entitlement flood, and we’re looking at a future where Europe will look like a tax haven in comparison.

    • Just watched Donald Trump’s speech from Thursday on tv. I like what he is saying! With the current captain and crew this ship is going down. I think if he got in office things would change fast.

      • Couple of things about Trump that really concern me, among them his advocacy of the use of eminent domain laws to allow private businesses to (with the help of the government) seize people’s property, in order to build things like casinos, parking lots and shopping malls.

          • Yeah. Not disputing he’s a smart guy. But I am also familiar with his views (and record), which gives me pause. I sniff him out as another corporatist Republican type. So far, only Ron Paul (among major/national figures) has a clean record when it comes to not fucking the average person for the sake of Big Government – or Big Corporations. I have heard that he may run with Jesse Ventura as his VP. That would be a ticket I could support…

          • Ron’s a great guy – but the reality is he’s also kind of boring; comes across as a sweet old man – and that’s a hard sell in today’s TV age, where charisma and presence are critical factors. Jesse brings vitality and presence to the table – and more. He has the background to deflect the Chickenhawk Republicans, for instance. And he is not afraid to question the Official Story about things like 911, either. I really admire the guy.

          • I used to think that Jesse Ventura was an ok guy until I have seen some of his recent interviews. He is a real nut job right now. If he would run there would be a ZERO chance that he or anyone running with him would win as dog catcher.

          • I suspect, oh Cloveroni, that Jesse’s resume is more impressive than your resume. Moreover, he has already been elected to statewide office, something very few people achieve. By definition, he is electable. And more to the point, he is a straightforward, honest – and courageous man – concepts I realize are alien to Clovers.

          • Eric if you had watched some of Jesse’s interviews lateley he would never be elected to anything again. I could care less about someone’s past and how well they have done at something. If his opposition would start to replay some of his latest statements then he would be laughed at and be at the bottom of the list. Donald Trump would be a thousand times more likely to win. Do you believe in all the conspiracy theories that Jesse has come up with lately? Stupid.

    • Obamacare is where I’ve decided to draw my personal line in the sand. I will passively resist, just like ‘dem cibbel rights pro’testers from de ’60s… gnomesayin’? Only this time, it will be for real civil rights. Including the right to not be forced by the state to buy the product of a for-profit business (heaf cayuh).

      I don’t partake of quackery anyhow. I go to the dentist – that’s it.

  15. For once we somewhat agree. Your $2000 per year is very little though. Some would say that you and your wife could have had at least 16 years of education free and if that did occur, $2000 per year would hardly pay for that. In fact it would not. The thing I do agree with you is that property tax in the world of today should not be happening. I do believe that there should be taxes but I believe income tax is much better. Since I do own more property than many people I pay more in taxes even though I may make less money than someone else. You should not get penalized more for owning things that last a long time rather than blowing it on drinking or trips or vehicles that lose value a lot faster than a house. Property taxes made more sense a couple hundred years ago but not today. The only time where property tax would make sense is if there is a huge underground economy where people did not declare most of their income.

      • It depends on where you live. Some places have 9 years of grade school and 4 years of high school and many places have very reduced rates for community college. It depends on how many years are available but whatever it is, for two people and that many years it would come to a lot. Now I seem to remember Eric may not have went to a school. What I am saying is that some people say that you are paying for the schooling you had or was able to have when you were a kid and not paying for other kids. It all depends on how you look at it. I am sure that Eric would scream out that he is not going to school now. $2000 a year is very little. I paid more that 10 times that in taxes last year. Eric would have complained if it was $10 dollars so it does not really matter on the figure either.

        • Well, I am sure both their parents paid plenty of taxes as they were going through grade school as my parents did with me and more than likely yours did with you. So the debt was paid at the time of service. Eric has a graduate degree, so that pretty much means he went to a school or two.

        • Clover, oh much-masticated Clover…

          First, it is evil to assign responsibility or blame or hold an adult accountable for the actions of his parents – for things over which he had no control. Thus, if I attended public school, I did so as a minor, and had no say. It is a vicious doctrine that holds a child responsible, or liable, for decisions taken by adults when that child was a minor. Thus, if I attended public schools as a child, that does not impose an obligation on me to pay for the public schooling of others today, many years later. Second, for all you know I did not attend public school. Perhaps my parents sent me to a private school. The fact that I can spell ought to tell you something.

          The point is, having children is a voluntary choice – very much like choosing to have a pet is a voluntary choice. I’m not anti-kid. But I do think people who choose to have children should be be responsible for their children. Procreation should not be a cudgel wielded against the heads of people who had nothing to do with it. Why, pray tell, should my financial security take a back seat to the “education” of total strangers’ children? Why does breeding give breeders an open-ended claim (enforced at gunpoint) on the property of others?

          PS: Some grammar and usage help for you:

          “Eric may not have went to school.”

          Eric may not have gone to school.

          “…you are paying for the schooling you had or was able to have..”

          “… you are paying for the schooling you had or which you could have had…”

          Also –

          Mandatory, not “manditory.”

          Academic, not “acedemic.”

          Sigh. This is what I have to deal with here.

          • How about the FACT that “Poperty Taxes” are the vehicle used to prevent ownership of property that you pay for… Don’t believe me, don’t pay those taxes and see what the actual owner of that property will do.

            How about the fact that greedy governments “reasses” the “value” of your property every year, no doubt finding that your property has increased in value, no matter how the actual market values your property. And of course if you don’t want to sell your home, who cares what it might be “worth”. How about folks like my parents, who live in the Peoples Paradise of Maryland, and have paid “Property Taxes” for over 55 years there. All children are long since adults, schooling long since paid for, but if in their retirement years god forbid they cannot cover a “Property Tax ” bill, the not so nice sheriff will evict them from their paid for home at gunpoint. Nice system we have there.

            Just suppose I do not care to fund employment centers for illegal aliens, or tranlations services, or remidial drivers ed… I STILL get taxed to pay for services that are not the responsibility of a Government to provide. Less government IS THE ANSWER, not more taxes. It is not my obligation to fund every wild idea for “social justice” or any other soceital engineering that some bozo that managed to get elected by idiots can come up with. Its MY MONEY!!!!!

          • I think it’s really cool I am being taxed on my home at full market value (determined by the local government). When in fact its real worth is AT LEAST 20% less.

          • Ditto. I contested the most recent assessment and got them to knock it down by $30,000 – but there’s no question in my mind that we’d still have trouble selling it for anywhere near what the county claims it’s worth. In fact, I doubt we’d get much more than the amount we paid back in 2004 – and that doesn’t factor in the major/massive improvements done since then.

            The property tax is, in my opinion, even more evil than the income tax because it is inescapable – unless you give up owning (or trying to own) anything. Which is exactly what the end goal is, in my opinion.

            They want us to be good serfs, working – and paying – every moment of our adult lives.

          • I think it would be great if people were permitted to have at least their primary residence free from property taxes.

            It would be better if school taxes were not tied onto one’s property taxes. In NJ the education portion of the property tax bill is about 52% (state wide average) on average but the percentage can vary depending on location (Range 0-82%).

            Average total tax bill (statewide average of ~$7500) ranges from $400 to $20,564.

            Source: http://www.nj.com/news/bythenumbers/

          • Absolutely. Most Americans have never read The Communist Manifesto and are not aware that one of the major “talking points” is a heavy/progressive tax on property – designed specifically to destroy the very concept of ownership. Which is precisely what it has achieved. No American – not even Bill Gates – truly owns anything except perhaps the clothes on his back and whatever small baubles he can carry in his arms.

          • Eric it is nice that you still have that ability to make things up. Bill Gates owns millions of dollars worth of property. Why would you make it up that he owns nothing? What is your agenda that you need to make things like that up?

          • Clover… I know reading comprehension is not one of your strong suits, but, please, try and read each word carefully this time: No one – not even Bill Gates – owns his home/property if he is under legal compulsion to pay a fee for the privilege each year, indefinitely. If you are legally obligated to make payments to someone who has the power to seize your home/property if you do not pay, then by definition you do not really own the item in question. At best, you are being permitted to use it, so long as you continue to pay.

            There is something called allodial title (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allodial_title) which means you own your land/home free and clear, beholden to no one, once you’ve paid for it.

            We used to have that in America. But the Clovers succeeded in passing real estate and personal property taxes, which render the concept of ownership a farce.

          • Eric I can read better than you can. You never said ” No one – not even Bill Gates – owns his home/property if he is under legal compulsion to pay a fee for the privilege each year, indefinitely.”

            Also the way I figure it if Bill Gates is able to use his property and buy and sell it and not allow others to use it the rest of his life then I would say that he owns it. Since we do not live forever then who really owns it? Only the people that have use of it while they are alive.

            What country is it that does not have any taxes? I know some have a lot more than we have and I am sure a few have less.

            I also have never read the Communist Manifesto since we are not a true communist society. I would say that even China is not a true communist society. Yes I also believe that we get too much of a percentage of taxes from property tax but I believe it is because it was too much work to find the alternative. Again if you only pay $2000 total for realestate and personal property tax then I would not be complaining about so little. There are many renters that pay more towards property taxes than that because it comes out of their rental payment.

          • I rather doubt it.

            Let’s see, here’s what I wrote in the original article:

            “No more rent payments in perpetuity to the county – the annual property tax – that makes ownership a farce. ”

            Sounds a lot like:

            “No one – not even Bill Gates – owns his home/property if he is under legal compulsion to pay a fee for the privilege each year, indefinitely.”

            Oh, yes, I see. I did not mention Bill Gates specifically (as an example of a very rich person) the second time. I forget that I must be very tender with you, Clover.

            The point being made was this: Everyone – even a very wealthy person – only “owns” his land/property so long as he pays rent to the government. Ergo, no one owns any land/property since ownership is another way of saying control and if the government sets the terms and conditions of possession, and makes possession contingent upon perpetual payment of a fee, then the true owner is the government, not the person paying the fee. If you doubt this, see what will happen if a land owner stops paying the fee. So much for his “ownership.”

            You ask:

            “What country is it that does not have any taxes? ”

            Do you know what a non sequitur is? If not, look it up?

            You write:

            “I also have never read the Communist Manifesto since we are not a true communist society.”

            Uh… hmmm… errr. Ok.

            You write:

            “if you only pay $2000 total for realestate and personal property tax then I would not be complaining about so little. ”

            How is it relevant to me what you think is “so little” as regards taxes? Typical Cloverite response. Your opinion is the gauge of rightness. You think $2,000 annually ($40,000 over 20 years) is a “little” amount to pay to subsidize various useless eaters and other people’s kids. To me, it is a great deal. I submit that the person paying the tax’s opinion as to the onerousness of the tax is far more weighty than the opinion of a Clover.

            A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
            –G. Gordon Liddy

          • Also, if you get caught burning some drugs or selling them and they determine whatever it is they determine.. They’ll take your fucking property!

          • Thinking as a Clover has to be an amazing experience! I start to read your post and begin to think you caught a clue. Then I read further and realize we should have just deleted your fucking post like Eric said. What a damn disappointment.

          • I could care less what you call the things that Bill Gates owns. He has use of them and control of them and if you say he does not because he pays tax on those then that is your view. If there was not taxes on those items the taxes would come from somewhere else instead. There are places that have few property taxes but have a higher sales and or income taxes so to say that he does not own his property is not quite right.

            Eric, I believe that taxes are a good thing. I believe the taxes that go to our roads are a good thing.
            I believe that taxes that go towards our schools are a good thing. Without education to the entire US, our country will go down hill even more than what you say it already is.
            I believe that taxes for defense are a good thing. They help to keep your fuel flowing.
            I believe that taxes that go toward our jails is a good thing. I do not want to get robbed or the dozens of other things that many of those people do.

            I believe that social security taxes are a good thing. Since people do not do the right thing in saving for old age then they needed to be forced into such a program. It is just like doing the right thing on our highways. Many do not.

          • Let’s deconstruct some Cloverisms:

            Clover writes:

            “I could care less what you call the things that Bill Gates owns. He has use of them and control of them and if you say he does not because he pays tax on those then that is your view.”

            It’s not my view, Clover. It is a fact that Bill Gates (and any other “owner” of property) only has use of said property so long as he pays the annual fee (the property tax) to government. That means he does not control – let alone own – said property. Get it?

            Next item. Clover writes:

            “Eric, I believe that taxes are a good thing.”

            Of course! Clover is a violent thug, a redistributionist; someone who believes it’s ok to steal from others provided it’s done by vote, directly or indirectly.

            Clover writes:

            ” I believe the taxes that go to our roads are a good thing.”

            I agree. The difference here is that roads are payed for using voluntary taxes – motor fuels taxes. One does not have to pay these taxes; hence they are not immoral. People who use the roads pay the taxes – which is right and fair. Property taxes – which are used to pay for schools, mostly – are neither voluntary nor fair. They force people who don’t have kids to pay for schools they don’t use. And they are unavoidable, unless you live in a van down by the river.

            And, for the finale of Cloverism, there is this:

            “I believe that social security taxes are a good thing. Since people do not do the right thing in saving for old age then they needed to be forced into such a program. “

            Force – as always. Force – state violence – based on the supposition that because some people don’t do “x” (that which Clover thinks they should) all people should be threatened with force and violence unless they do exactly as Clover demands.

  16. Perhaps you caught the recent thing with Shell. 2.2 Billion to secure the “lease” to drill a proven field in Alaska. 1.8 Billion over 5 years jumping through regulatory hoops, and then the EPA “Enviornmental Appeals Board”(4 people, all registered Democrats, one of which worked as an “Environmental Activist” before appointment to the board…) turned down Shell over the failure to include the emissions from the ice breaking ship that might be involved. So the .Gov defrauded Shell out of the 2.2 Bil, caused them to spend 1.8 bil, and then 4 useless agenda driven .gov employees, bring the whole shebang to a whimpering halt. No doubt Shell will sue, but in the meantime the consumers will be paying for cost of the deal…. 4 unaccountable, unelected appointees are setting the energy policy for the entire country. How nice. And of course, no possible consequences for them at all. So much for the Republic.

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