Property Taxes and Slavery

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A reader questioned my objection to property taxes; here’s my response:

Jason asks: I understand what you say about property taxes being a rent to the real owner of “your” property because I pay several million dollars a year in property taxes. However, a fair presentation requires a mention that we typically get some benefits that increase the value of our real estate. Occasionally, the benefits are great enough that the property taxes are a bargain.

My reply: No denying that – but it’s beside the point. To make that point, consider that a kid who is bullied in school may learn toughness and become a stronger, more resilient man as a result.

It ended well –  but that doesn’t make bullying desirable.

The ends do not justify the means – especially when the ends differ.

Some people buy homes to live in; others as investments. Some both. Regardless, people’s wants and needs vary. Each to his own – or so it should be, without one person’s needs or wants imposing obligations on others.

I am someone who bought a home with the idea of eliminating a major recurring expense from my life – i.e., a mortgage payment or rent – in order to reduce the financial pressure on me and thereby give me freedom to do as I wish, especially with regard to my time. Which is of infinitely more value to me than down-the-road appreciation in the value of my property.

However, because some people believe it is a “public good” to impose perpetual taxes upon  everyone’s real estate in order to finance government schools  – the main justification given in my area for these taxes –  I am compelled to pay what amounts to rent in perpetuity on a home and land I paid for more than 15 years ago.

To put it more directly: I am forced to hand over several thousand dollars every year to finance the government schooling (among other things) of other people’s children.

I have never understood how it is that “A” assumes an obligation enforceable at gunpoint to pay out arbitrary sums of money for the government schooling of the children of “B” and “C,” whom he had nothing to do with bringing into the world. Children being created by a voluntary act (usually) performed by two consenting parties; the moral obligation to care for/school these kids rests upon the shoulders of those who propagated them, does it not?

Some will, of course, immediately accuse me of misanthropy – and of  “hating kids.” Far from it. I very much like kids, at least. What I hate is being yoked to pull someone else’s plow.

For “the children”- or for any other reason.

Empathy for others – the desire to freely help those in need – is stifled by the bureaucratized, euphemized, legalized predation which our society now engages in.

People come to regard one another as threats – which they are. People who would ordinarily never think of snatching even $1 from a neighbor’s wallet will readily press a lever behind the curtain in a voting booth to take thousands from the very same neighbor, the act of theft performed by proxies on their behalf, which enables them to think they aren’t thieves.

Which is an immensely dangerous act of cognitive dissonance.

Almost 100 years ago, H.L. Mencken described elections as a kind of advance auction of stolen goods. This is inarguable. And once the principle of it is accepted, inevitably, the stealing  of goods waxes as people become numbed to the fact that it is theft, no matter the “good works” toward which the loot is directed.

This is why there is almost no principled objection to theft as such. The debate – as per your question – is always utilitarian in nature; i.e., what the theft will accomplish.

Which is necessarily subjective in nature.

It is what some people want – and will use force to compel others to provide.

Viz: Taxes on property – to fund “better schools” – will improve the area and by dint of that, the value of property; therefore, these taxes are a boon to the community.

It’s a collectivist argument that presumes everyone considers “better schools” and “improving the area” are not merely desirable but should be funded – including by people who do not consider them desirable or prefer not to fund them – though this latter is almost never admitted to openly, for the same reason that me openly filching a $20 from my neighbor’s wallet to pay for a bag of cat food I regard as being of great value to me (and my cats) would never be countenanced.

But it’ s ok if I get this anonymized collective gang of filchers – “the government” – to steal the $20 from my neighbor, take $5  of it to pay their salaries and then redistribute the remaining $15 to me and my cats.

Property taxes work just the same.

They not only institutionalize theft, they coarsen our moral sense to the act – which thereby makes theft in general less objectionable. If it is ok to steal for this reason, then why not for that reason?

Liberals and conservatives argue over that – almost never over whether taxation as such is immoral because it is theft.

And so theft is institutionalized – a thing much worse than mere theft.

A man is held up at gunpoint and relieved of his wallet. He is the victim of a single act of theft. The mugger does not send him a statement each year which tells him how much he “owes.”

Institutionalized theft works by this method – and by doing so transcends mere theft and becomes slavery.

Who is a slave? He is someone who us owned by another. Taxation asserts ownership over the taxpayer. He is obliged by law to give over a portion of what he earns and then to pay out money for the privilege of being permitted to keep what he has purchased.

He does not own himself if – by using himself – others may lay claim to the result. If he may never own more than the clothes on his back without encumbrance in perpetuity.

A man works; other men claim he “owes” them a sum of money by dint of the fact that he earned it.

If he refuses to give it over, he is regarded as having defrauded these people who claim to own a portion of his work product.

His property is never truly his because he is required by law to pay over sums of money to the government in order to be permitted to retain conditional use of it.

Such a man is a slave, if the term has any meaning.

This can readily be perceived by considering the not-slave. The free man. This a person who is not obligated to any other man, unless an obligation has been freely assumed (e.g., “A” agrees to sell “B” a piece of  property for such-and-such amount of money; once the sum agreed to has been paid in full, the obligation ends and “B” is the new owner of the property).

He is not obligated because others obligate him, contrary to his will.

A free man owns himself completely – from toenail to cow lick. If he does not, then someone else owns owns a piece of him and he is therefore, by definition, the slave of tht someone else.

Or someone elses.

A man who owns himself owns everything he produces, however much or little – and that no one else has a right to claim the smallest portion of it, much less to seize it force.

It does not change the moral equation if – by good fortune – he obtains a peripheral benefit, such as an increase in the value of his property (on which he will be taxed even more, it bears mentioning).

And unlike the bullied child in my example at the beginning of this essay, the taxed man is never free of the tax bully. He cannot move away to get away from him. The tax bully hounds him for life, denies him the security of ownership – not merely of his property but of himself.

No matter how hard he works, nor how much he earns, he will always “owe.”

Instead of a known Massa he might escape, he is chained to uncountable, unknowable and inescapable Massas – his fellow men – who have accepted the doctrine that slavery is ok if the slave is allowed a degree of autonomy; that theft is ok if it is called by some other name.

The tragedy, of course, is that these Massas are also slaves. Each having a competing claim on the other that denies any of them the security and liberty which free men have a natural and absolute right to, but which they’ve been tricked into surrendering for the sake of some perceived gain, exacted by force from one of their fellows.

It does not occur to them that these fellow men, whom they hope to use to gain an advantage, may also hope to gain an advantage for themselves in the same manner. And that if this reciprocal enslavement is allowed, no one is free nor ever can be.

. . .

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33 COMMENTS

  1. We are a Bankrupt and foreclosed Nation. and have been since 05 JUN 1933 from Wilson’s betrayal with the combined Federal Reserve Act and Income Tax Act of 1913, of which handed over the issuance of currency to a private party, the Bank of London, the Crown. (N.M. Rothschild and the 7 Banking families). Where everything was made a privilege dependent on license and fee. Everything.. Work, marriage, travel-driving, PROPERTY-Real Estate, Auto (MSO-Allodial title is sent to the STATE from the mfr at the dealership). HERE: http://www.apfn.org/apfn/queen.htm, and HERE: http://www.peoples-rights.com/doc15England.htm

  2. Boys and girls, two words sum it all up: EMINENT DOMAIN. Latin in short, for “$upreme lordship”. Over not just your property, but all your resources (money, body(via military draft or conscription for National service), children, investments). How to fight it? Use the system against itself; look for every exception on payment of taxes or fees, and/or the reduction to a minimum of payment of what you cannot legally avoid. Its the primary solution I have used, short of escaping to another country to avoid these extortions. However, every country I’ve examined has worse penalties for either taxes or reductions in constitutional liberties than I will tolerate. So, in the USA people vote by moving to the least taxed states once retired or similar strategies.

  3. The USA is a bankrupt warmongering police state now.

    Reading about the US collapse every day is interesting, but are freedom loving Patriots just going to sit here and wait to be sent to the concentration camps?

    No one is going to do a damn thing?

    How can Americans live their whole lives being told that freedom is good and Fascism and Communism are bad then turn around and embrace tyranny?

    Even if the USA is too far gone to be saved we must try.

    Americans need to be be like the founding fathers now and make sacrifices. We must give up weed, beer, food stamps, A/C, and TV and accept that people are going to be arrested and be killed.

    Patriots must make fighting for liberty a job. There is no money in protesting and resistance, but it must be done to wake people up.

    Patriots might be more effective if they took business strategies and applied them to resistance methods.

    Instead of saying investing $1000 on a billboard advertising campaign will get 100 customers, patriots should think that spending $1000 on a billboard advertising campaign will recruit 100 allies.

    Patriots should set goals and make plans. Americans need to be brave like the French, Ukrainians, and Egyptians now to resist tyranny.

    Since voting doesn’t seem to be a good way to stop the police state, patriots should prep, stock up, buy guns, gold, and food today.

    Study history.

    Consider moving to a rural area with other like-minded Americans or relocating to another country.

    Patriots should then get the word out about the problems, talk with friends and family, and recruit allies through websites, forums, and printing up flyers.

    Consider writing to politicians, contacting the press, or starting a newspaper, radio station or TV station.

    Maybe the US collapse and decay is obvious to everyone, but Americans might be divided about the causes and the solutions.

    Just like prison inmates, Americans are turning on each other rather than attacking the prison guards that are enslaving us.

    Part of the reason the US is collapsing now is that Americans have tunnel vision and are being distracted and divided about what the biggest problem is.

    Some Americans think the main issue is illegal immigrants, homosexuals, statues, or Russian election hacking when the real problem is that the elites control the corporations, the media, and the government and have turned the USA into a bankrupt warmongering police state.

    Unless the 99% unites and agrees the real enemy is the ruling class that has rigged and corrupted the US, the 1% will continue their destruction until there is an economic crash, civil war, WWIII, and Americans end up in concentration camps.

    Patriots should take action by not complying with decrees, protesting, and educating people about jury nullification.

    The US will probably end up having a full-scale revolution so preparing for guerilla warfare would be a good idea, too.

    Wake up.

    Think.

    Spread the word.

    http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/tag/how-to-resist-tyranny/

    https://www.nazret.com/2018/02/19/198-ways-to-fight-the-t-tplfs-state-of-emergency-in-ethiopia-and-win/

    • “Patriots just going to sit here and wait to be sent to the concentration camps?”

      But they’ll have football in the camps. Won’t they?

      Football on the big screen. It doesn’t get any better than that!

    • Sometimes you just have to accept that you are the odd one and the majority don’t give a shit about your concerns.

      You can be wise, right and true but always remember, they don’t think like you.

    • An old college buddy just sent an e with lege members emails and phone numbers so we could protest the destruction of historical monuments in Texas. If any state knows the ills of illegals, it’s damned sure Texas. Of course the highest percentage of illegal workers off the books and in one area is “guess”…….DC. The Pelosi’s of the world just don’t have the money to pay real wages to natural born citizens. And then there’s the language barrier. They won’t hire anyone they think speaks English and especially can read it. What sort of education does it take to do dishes and mop the floor?

    • James Traficant’s U.S. Bankruptcy Speech
      The Bankruptcy of The United States
      United States Congressional Record, March 17, 1993 Vol. 33, page H-1303
      Speaker-Rep. James Traficant, Jr. (Ohio) addressing the House:
      “Mr. Speaker, we are here now in chapter 11. Members of Congress are official trustees
      presiding over the greatest reorganization of any Bankrupt entity in world history, the U.S.
      Government. We are setting forth hopefully, a blueprint for our future. There are some who say it
      is a coroner’s report that will lead to our demise.

      It is an established fact that the United States Federal Government has been dissolved by the
      Emergency Banking Act, March 9, 1933, 48 Stat. 1, Public Law 89-719; declared by President
      Roosevelt, being bankrupt and insolvent. H.J.R. 192, 73rd Congress m session June 5, 1933 –
      Joint Resolution To Suspend The Gold Standard and Abrogate The Gold Clause dissolved the
      Sovereign Authority of the United States and the official capacities of all United States
      Governmental Offices, Officers, and Departments and is further evidence that the United States
      Federal Government exists today in name only.

      The receivers of the United States Bankruptcy are the International Bankers, via the United
      Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. All United States Offices, Officials,
      and Departments are now operating within a de facto status in name only under Emergency War
      Powers. With the Constitutional Republican form of Government now dissolved, the receivers of
      the Bankruptcy have adopted a new form of government for the United States. This new form of
      government is known as a Democracy, being an established Socialist/Communist order under a
      new governor for America. This act was instituted and established by transferring and/or placing
      the Office of the Secretary of Treasury to that of the Governor of the International Monetary Fund.
      Public Law 94-564, page 8, Section H.R. 13955 reads in part: “The U.S. Secretary of Treasury
      receives no compensation for representing the United States.”

      Gold and silver were such a powerful money during the founding of the united states of America,
      that the founding fathers declared that only gold or silver coins can be “money” in America. Since
      gold and silver coinage were heavy and inconvenient for a lot of transactions, they were stored in
      banks and a claim check was issued as a money substitute. People traded their coupons as
      money, or “currency.” Currency is not money, but a money substitute. Redeemable currency
      must promise to pay a dollar equivalent in gold or silver money. Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs)
      make no such promises, and are not “money.” A Federal Reserve Note is a debt obligation of the
      federal United States government, not “money.” The federal United States government and the
      U.S. Congress were not and have never been authorized by the Constitution for the united states
      of America to issue currency of any kind, but only lawful money, gold and silver coin.

      It is essential that we comprehend the distinction between real money and paper money
      substitute. One cannot get rich by accumulating money substitutes, one can only get deeper into
      debt. We the People no longer have any “money.” Most Americans have not been paid any
      “money” for a very long time, perhaps not in their entire life. Now do you comprehend why you
      feel broke? Now, do you understand why you are “bankrupt,” along with the rest of the country?
      Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) are unsigned checks written on a closed account. FRNs are an
      inflatable paper system designed to create debt through inflation (devaluation of currency). when
      ever there is an increase of the supply of a money substitute in the economy without a
      corresponding increase in the gold and silver backing, inflation occurs.
      Inflation is an invisible form of taxation that irresponsible governments inflict on their citizens. The
      Federal Reserve Bank who controls the supply and movement of FRNs has everybody fooled.
      They have access to an unlimited supply of FRNs, paying only for the printing costs of what they
      need. FRNs are nothing more than promissory notes for U.S. Treasury securities (T-Bills) – a
      promise to pay the debt to the Federal Reserve Bank.

      There is a fundamental difference between “paying” and “discharging” a debt. To pay a debt, you
      must pay with value or substance (i.e. gold, silver, barter or a commodity). With FRNs, you can
      only discharge a debt. You cannot pay a debt with a debt currency system. You cannot service a
      debt with a currency that has no backing in value or substance. No contract in Common law is
      valid unless it involves an exchange of “good & valuable consideration.” Unpayable debt transfers
      power and control to the sovereign power structure that has no interest in money, law, equity or
      justice because they have so much wealth already.
      Their lust is for power and control. Since the inception of central banking, they have controlled the
      fates of nations.
      The Federal Reserve System is based on the Canon law and the principles of sovereignty
      protected in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In fact, the international bankers used a
      “Canon Law Trust” as their model, adding stock and naming it a “Joint Stock Trust.” The U.S.
      Congress had passed a law making it illegal for any legal “person” to duplicate a “Joint Stock
      Trust” in 1873. The Federal Reserve Act was legislated post-facto (to 1870), although post-facto
      laws are strictly forbidden by the Constitution. [1:9:3]
      The Federal Reserve System is a sovereign power structure separate and distinct from the
      federal United States government. The Federal Reserve is a maritime lender, and/or maritime
      insurance underwriter to the federal United States operating exclusively under Admiralty/Maritime
      law. The lender or underwriter bears the risks, and the Maritime law compelling specific
      performance in paying the interest, or premiums are the same.

      • Ah, James Traficant, an American hero! I used to hear him on shortwave radio back in the 1990s. I couldn’t believe he was a Democrat to boot! He was such a threat to the DC Establishment that they set him up and got him. He was one of the last true PATRIOTS…

  4. Remember that more than half the geography of the U.S. is rural.
    I live in a rural area, and if you do the math, no one in my town gets any benefits from our property taxes.
    We pay for a school district which is more than 20 miles away and the district is the 3rd worse in the state. I have no kids, and the only infrastructure out here is the roads, and they rarely get maintained.
    For most people outside major cities, the property taxes are unable to be justified using any construct of the English language.

    • We pay taxes to the school district in the county where our property lies, but the buses from “our” district don’t even come out here. So the bus from the town in the next county comes up here and the kids go to that school, even though that district doesn’t get any tax money from our neighborhood.

  5. I wish I could upload the photo I took out of a government accounting book and still have my shelf. One of the points it makes is that taxpayers are ‘involuntary resource provides’ (yes, it really says it that way) who are legally obligated to pay. Kind of like Toby at the plantation.

    One of my resentments of the school property tax is that depending how well the public schools in the area are perceived, it can either be great for your property or a drag. For me it’s a drag. I don’t blame teachers so much as society full of people who have no business breeding to begin with and that includes those who can pay the freight themselves.

    https://straightlinelogic.com/2019/03/08/the-experiment-by-robert-gore/

    • Hi Someone,

      Lots of possible objections to government schools – one of the most persuasive being you get what you pay for. If parents had to directly pay for their kids’ education, they’d take a keener interest in it – and also have far more control over it – than they do now.

      If I ever have a kid, I will home school. If the object of early education (up to high school) is to teach a kid to think – the old “liberal” ideal – then any conscientious parent of reasonable intelligence is competent to supervise the process. Provide a kid with interesting books, expose them to ideas – and the rest usually takes care of itself. Government schools are prisons for tots, designed to stunt thinking and impose social conformity.

  6. So true. I think there is some land in Alaska where you don’t have to pay property tax. Off course the price to pay is your in the middle of nowhere with no one around. I’m homeschooling my kids and can’t believe the city just passed a vote by the citizens to raise property tax for the next 5 years for education. More money does not mean more quality in public schools. It’s simply more pay and benefits for the teachers and admins.

  7. Yes government charges for some of its “services” through property taxes. This does not justify property taxes for:
    1) the government could charge for these services directly. The water bill makes it quite evident that government can charge for services directly. The government can also put a lien on property for those who do not pay.
    2) The value of government’s services are not proportional to the value of the property. If the idea was to soak the rich then the services could be charged for directly on such a sliding scale.

    Property taxes are means for government to exert effective ownership, make the neighbors pay for stuff, and to keep the riff-raff out.

  8. The concept of property taxes traces back to the days when the king was the owner of everything in England. It was quite reasonable, given such a belief, that everyone would pay on up the line for the house/land on which they lived. My theory is that the American Revolution did not change that concept, so the governments that replaced the king stepped into his shoes and continued to collect “royalties” for any land “owned” by individuals.

    True story: my parents bought a house in 1964. Well before my father passed away in 2011, their annual property taxes exceeded their original annual mortgage payments.

    Another true story: while in high school, I was perplexed by the question raised in this article regarding why people who have no children should pay taxes to school other people’s children, so I asked my economics teacher. His response was that everyone benefits from the schools producing good citizens. At the time, that simply didn’t make sense to me. Now that I’ve lived a lot longer and learned a lot more, I see it as more frightening than perplexing.

    • I’ve had that same answer thrown at me. I fail to see how the miseducated and conditioned people are going to benefit me. I have found it to be quite the opposite.

  9. Another great one Eric, thanks
    For 40+ years when paying property taxes I have always written on the check (For Extortion).

    All my mail on the return address I prefix my name with Slave rather than Mr. and the city/state as
    Grand Island Plantation and the zip code.

    Slave Larry G
    1920 N Huston
    Grand Island Plantation, 68803

    The post office is required by law to deliver any mail with enough information that it can be delivered. Street address and zip code are all that is required to deliver mail.
    I wish all Libertarians and other freedom lovers would make a statement and do the same.

    P.S.
    When people send me mail to my preferred address it is delivered.

  10. In Illinois property taxes go to government leeches retired in Florida for the most part through guaranteed gold plated pensions (police firemen idiot pubic school teachers etc) – basically people who dont do a damn for me. And to an enormous bloated state bureaucracy. Thats why I will never own there.

  11. I’ve long argued that the only difference between extortion and income taxes (property taxes would fit as well) is that one is criminalized and the other is practiced by government.

    • Well, “slavery” is outlawed except for military draft/enlistment.

      Private contracts of indenturement are not deemed valid.

  12. Brilliant!
    To this day I am still amazed at the number of people that don’t understand what property taxes are.
    In my mind, they are a clear violation of our constitutional rights and make us slaves to the State, as you explained so well.
    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    Amendment XIII Section 1.
    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

  13. A friend of mine once explained property taxes for schools as a mafia style insurance policy. Pay the state to keep the kids busy all day so they won’t trash your property when you’re at work.

    • Here the kids are kept in school when the weather is lousy and they are unlikely to go around trashing people’s property while they aren’t in school over the summer when the weather is nice.

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