Sunday, December 01, 2019

Can you afford the water ransom?

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 30, 2019)

A tax increase for the near-mythical water project has been recommended. This illustrates one danger of allowing government to control access to water.

To propose a tax is to admit failure. They couldn't find a voluntary way to do what they want so they'll send the guns of government to loot the society-- in this case through an annual ransom on property; a "property tax".

A reliable supply of drinkable water is critical. The responsible, difficult, and adult way to handle the situation is to find a consensual way to provide water. Let the market handle it, without interference from government.

A proposal which involves holding a gun to your neighbors' heads and demanding their money is no solution. All who choose this path need to be tarred, feathered, run out of town, and their job should be abolished.

To pretend this isn't what you're doing when you propose a tax or a tax increase is to lie to yourself.

Sometimes taxes are excused as the sensible way to collect the money to pay for something which must be funded. It doesn't matter how necessary you believe it is, theft is never necessary, ethical, or reasonable. Rather, it is childish, irresponsible, and antisocial. There is nothing I want bad enough to send government collectors to your door to force you to pay for it. If something can't be funded voluntarily, without threats, it means no one wants it bad enough yet. No job, service, or product is worth taxation.

Yes, the price for something might go up for participants if everyone else isn't forced to "pay up" against their will. The product or service might even become unavailable. To pretend you're saving money through a tax, while not counting the tax in calculating the price of the product, is dishonest.

Let people pay the market rate for what they want, do without if they don't want to pay, and let charity help those who can't pay. That's the civilized way to do things.

People dismiss libertarians for insisting "Taxation is theft", but what else is it when someone's rightful property is taken against their will by force or threat of force? It's no better than a common mugging. In fact, it's less honest. Even if you believe it's necessary because "that's how it has always been done".

Some say "Taxation is the price we pay for a civilized society". Not true. Civilized society is something humans occasionally achieve in spite of uncivilized acts like taxation.

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