11/14/2017

Three Kinds Of Theft

Joe Jarvis, Daily Bell

Taxation is theft. But I’ve seen some people defend taxes with typical arguments like, “It’s not theft because you get something for your money.”

Perhaps the confusion lies in the fact that not all thieves act the same. There are at least three different types of theft in which the government engages.

1. The Con

The con artist cheats you out of your money. He makes you think you are getting something of value, or he tricks you into being robbed without your knowledge. Most people are conned into supporting taxation, assuming taxes are the price of civilization. They assume that is the way it has to be, and that taxes are justified because people get government services in return.

So when someone argues that taxes aren’t theft because you are getting something for your money, this is a con. Yes, the government maintains the roads, but both the price and delivery are the con. You must use the government to get the roads, you have no choice. The con artist convinces you roads could be built in no other way, and for no lower cost. The same goes for security, education, food safety, and so on.

And of course sometimes long after the government has taken your money, you realize that they never delivered on whatever promise they made: to keep you safe, to create more jobs, to strengthen the economy, to reduce crime etc. Think you’ll get your money back? Think again, you’ve been conned.

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In Search Of History

4,000 Years Of Price Control

Tablets, said to be 200 years older than the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi ... show that the ancient kingdom of Eshnunna had wage control and price control. The news ought not to have come as a surprise. For the code of Hammurabi itself (unearthed in 1902), which was promulgated earlier than 2000 B.C., fixed prices, wages, interest rates, and fees. This makes price control at least about 4,000 years old. ...

 

Ironically, it is those who now wish to return to this ancient totalitarian device who are fondest of calling themselves “progressives.” They are also fond of saying that those who believe in economic liberty “are living in the nineteenth century.” These controlists have yet to learn that they themselves are still living, as the discoveries in Babylonia attest, in the nineteenth century—B.C.!

-- Henry Hazlitt,

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