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My Libertarian Argument For Taxes

While many of us can agree that the government has a certain pattern of sucking money straight out of our pockets, only to throw it all away in useless things, such as researching why monkeys throw their feces, or spending twice as much on the infrastructure in Afghanistan alone than our own country. It is only natural for many libertarians to continue to rant, “Taxation is theft.” For the most part this is true, however, there are some things to reconsider. Can we rightfully say that all taxation is theft?

The philosophy of libertarianism itself is based on the idea that a form of government is a necessary evil to maintain order, equally protect rights of individual citizens, as well as protect the people from foreign powers. Based on these ideas we should accept that if even a government kept to a minimum is necessary, then a form of taxation is necessary to maintain this sort of government.

For example, it had been uncovered recently that Donald Trump may not have paid his federal taxes as a break for losing nearly a billion dollars in business. Republicans praised him and accepted his opinion that not paying his taxes made him smart, and I had seen some libertarians state that taxation is theft, anyway. Personally, I think it’s criminal to give him a break on taxes anyway, as he bought those breaks by endorsing certain politicians such as the Clintons during the 1990s and early 2000s.

People should have the freedom to do what they want with their property and income, of course, but there should be a different treatment for people like Trump or anyone who runs a business. When you wish to start a business, you have intention of using American citizens for the benefit of your business. These people happen to be under the supervision of a government working to protect their rights for equal freedom and are subject to be protected under the law of the United States. In exchange for the use of Americans for a business, business owners like Donald Trump have a certain obligation for paying the government to be more efficient in protecting the rights of American citizens.

Now, this is not to say that we should be raising these taxes to punish people for being successful in the economy. Some businesses should be treated differently when it comes to taxes. It should be easier for smaller businesses to grow and to function to maintain a more competitive environment for better prices and services. As your business grows, you will be employing more citizens under the supervision of the United States government, and should be able to pay a higher rate in taxes.

We have seen what happens when certain businesses grow so large and they start mistreating their employees, such as Wells Fargo.

It was discovered that many of the employees were being fired for the widespread fraud, but it was clear that these employees were being pushed to reach unreasonable and impossible goals of getting customers to open eight banking accounts, which then led to the widespread fraud in which accounts were being opened against the knowledge of the people. Some people would argue that if a bank like Wells Fargo is too big to fail, then it must be too big to manage.

In conclusion, I think it would be a good argument to say that as a business grows and it employs more American citizens, the risk of more mistreatment of workers becomes greater. A government has an obligation to protect citizens from such things happening. So, based on the size of a business, they should be taxed differently based on how many people they employ to improve the government’s ability to protect these citizens’ right to life, liberty, and pursuit to happiness.

* Charles Shaffer has been a supporter of the libertarian movement since 2012 after my cousin shared a video of Ron Paul, and he have been researching and reading more on the philosophy ever since. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky and recently decided to become more active in the movement.

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  • Matthew Swaringen
    November 8, 2016

    Can we rightfully say that all taxation is theft? – Yes, it’s all involuntary (because you will be put in jail if you don’t pay, or it will be confiscated), so it’s theft. If it were a voluntary contribution, it would not be theft.

    “a form of government is a necessary evil to maintain order” – Not all libertarians agree with this, but even if they did, the word “evil” is telling. In other words, even if you accept this there is no reason to call this behavior something other than theft merely because you believe it is necessary.

    That said, why are you convinced that government must have involuntary contributions to function at all? Why does it have to be a single monopolistic entity that taxes people? Can’t people be governed in various areas of their life through a variety of different organizations? Churches have government, and they are entirely voluntary, contributions are voluntary, attendance is voluntary, and they offer many services. For those who don’t like religion, there are many non-religious organizations that offer similar services/governance. Why do we need a one-size-fits all state to push rules on everyone in a given territory? I say we don’t. You can certainly disagree but to assert that it’s true without evidence is not an argument, it’s just an assertion.

    “We have seen what happens when certain businesses grow so large and they start mistreating their employees, such as Wells Fargo.” – Businesses that grow as large as Wells Fargo are often only able to do that because of the state/corporate welfare and regulations that restrict competition. Finance is a total creature of the state with the Fed and both implicit/explicit bailouts, extensive regulations everywhere throughout.

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