Taxation as slavery

Taxation as slavery

Taxation as slavery is the belief that taxation results in an unfree society in which individuals are forced to work to enrich the government and the recipients of largesse, rather than for their own benefit. Gail Buckley notes, for instance, "In British eyes, the American colonies existed only for the benefit of the mother country, but Americans saw any form of taxation as slavery." [] Anarcho-capitalists are some of the foremost proponents of the argument that taxation is equivalent to slavery. The International Society for Individual Liberty has made this claim, [] as has Bureaucrash, [] which refers to Social Security as "social slavery." []

George Mason University professor Thomas Carl Rustici uses two hypothetical anecdotes to illustrate this point. In the first, Sam Slime mugs a person for $50. In the second, Sam Slime votes for a politician who taxes a person in order to redistribute $50 to the "disadvantaged" Slime. Both examples involve the use of force. However, the second scenario is arguably worse, since through the state, Slime is now empowered to repeatedly take others' money, thus putting them in a condition of slavery. [] A similar argument was made by Doug Casey. [] These scenarios are also often used to show that taxation is theft.

Leo Tolstoy hypothesized that taxation slavery was one of three stages of slavery, the other two being personal slavery and land slavery. [] Steven Yates and Ray E. Bornert II argue that in contemporary mixed economies, people fall somewhere between chattel slavery and perfect liberty; thus being in partial slavery. []


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