Why Tax is Theft
Consent: the thing that stops sex becoming rape and stops borrowing from becoming robbery. Capitalism at its most fundamental and undeniable foundations is based on consent. The consent between a producer and a consumer to participate in any voluntary transaction.
If you are held at gunpoint and told “give me your money or else” the smart move is to give them your money and then phone the police. The police should then do their best to track down the robber and put him in prison in order to keep others safe. But what if the robber was the police, and the courts, and the military, and even your local representatives. Who could stop them? If the police, the ones employed to protect you from the thieves became the thieves what could you do? The answer? Nothing.
The government is one giant thief, you are forced into paying tax whether you agree with how it is spent or not. Now, everyone can more or less accept that tax – in most cases – is necessary. At the very least we need it for infrastructure and security. We shouldn’t have private police or private emergency services nor should private companies be able to hold hostage our roads. But, to pretend any government isn’t a giant, expensive bureaucracy which wastes money is equally as insane as pretending tax isn’t sometimes necessary.
Taxation may be a necessity but it doesn’t remove the fact that it is theft. In order for it to not be theft, you must consent to the government taking your money. In order for us to be able to consent the option must be there for us to say no. I should be able to refuse to pay tax (not that I would).
Many left-leaning and some right-leaning politicians now see themselves as modern-day Robin Hoods. This is not moral. It is not the place for the government to play Robin Hood. We, as human beings, have basic rights. Everyone in a country should be treated the same, regardless of race, wealth or ideology. This means, as much as the left may hate it, the rich are treated the same as the poor. If I can not steal from you the government can not steal from me. If you get taxed at 10% the top 1% gets taxed at 10%.
The way to make tax a more consensual arrangement is to ensure that I have the ability to say no, if I say no however, I lose my right to drive on government roads, lose my right to the NHS and any other government-subsidized services within the country I abide in. Now, everyone will probably pay tax under this arrangement – barring people who don’t use any governmental services like roads, free tv or even the internet – but by doing this you ensure that the right to consent is given.
The second way to make tax a more consensual arrangement is to keep tax low and government small. I may consent to 10% of my wage being taken away so I have access to certain things as my life may depend on these (roads in order to get to work and/or hospitals in case of emergency) however 40% of my salary does not just go to roads, it’s used to subsidize things I may disagree with. I don’t agree with government subsidies to the private sector, so why should my tax money go towards this? If you keep government spending and tax low people will be more willing to pay the tax. Moreover, if you allow citizens to choose where their money goes more people will be willing to consent to the tax. Until these measures are in place taxation is and always will be theft.