Notable Quote - and proves that "Taxation is Theft" just like that! - Granite Grok

Notable Quote – and proves that “Taxation is Theft” just like that!

taxation isnt always theft

Or, a bit longer with more words. But the conclusion is the same:

Among the assumptions at the foundation of this article is that we human beings extend our ability to achieve our goals by cooperating with each other. And the greater is the number of individuals with whom we cooperate, the greater is the number of goals that we can successfully pursue.

This fact explains the omnipresence of human cooperation. Such cooperation began eons ago in small hunting and gathering bands in which each individual personally knew those with whom he or she cooperated. Today, this cooperation literally spans the globe and occurs among billions of people, nearly all of whom are strangers to each other.

When the cooperation is only among individuals who know each other personally – that is, only among a very small number of persons – it’s easy for each person to comprehend the nature of the cooperative arrangement. For example, John, Steve, and Sven agree to go out together at dawn to hunt, while it’’s understood by all that Sarah, Sally, and Sue will remain by the tents and prepare a fire for cooking.

No prehistoric social scientist was necessary to discover and reveal the nature of such simple cooperation – to theorize about how it arose and what purposes it serves.

But cooperation on such a small scale doesn’t allow individuals to achieve as much as each can achieve by including in the cooperative effort more individuals. The inclusion of more individuals brings to the cooperative effort not only additional muscle power but, far more importantly, additional and more diverse brain power – that is, more human creativity. The inclusion of more individuals also encourages greater specialization, which in turn results in each task being done more expertly, more uniformly, and faster.

The human mind, however, isn’t evolved to be able to know more than a few hundred individuals. If we cooperated only with individuals we know, the span of our cooperation would remain extremely narrow and, hence, the results of our cooperative efforts would be correspondingly meager.

Fortunately, our inability to personally know more than a handful of fellow human beings is offset by our instinct to adopt and follow rules. By following rules we can, and do, increase the number of individuals with whom we cooperate beyond the number that we personally know.

An example is trade, which has at its base this rule: Each person is entitled only to what other people voluntarily give to him or her. No one gets to take other people’s stuff without their permission. Under this rule, if Jones wants some item, say an axe, owned by Smith, Jones understands that he can get this axe only by persuading Smith to give it to him. And especially if Smith is a stranger to Jones, the most obvious way for Jones to persuade Smith to give him the axe is for Jones to agree to give some other item – say, a barrel of beer – to Smith in exchange.

By following this simple rule – “Each person is entitled only to what other people voluntarily give to him or her” – each of us can cooperate with strangers. Jones doesn’t have to know Smith, or to personally work with Smith to produce the axe, in order to gain (to “profit”) from Smith’s ability to produce axes. Likewise, by following this rule, Smith doesn’t have to know Jones, or to help him brew beer, in order to gain from Jones’s ability and willingness to brew beer.

Trade allows each of us to tap into the unique talents, interests, and endowments of our trading partners, be they neighbors across the street or strangers across the ocean. And trade is possible because its most basic rule is easily understood by every human being regardless of cultural background.

-Prof Don Boudreaux (On Hayek’s “Kinds of Order in Society”)

“Taxation is Theft” can be construed to be “Don’t Take My Stuff Just To Give It To Others”.  That’s really what our Government does nowadays – if you look at the Federal Budget, it is all about wealth transfers that are rationalized as “our Social Contract”; we have to take care of the less fortunate. A forced “you will take care of others” that never appears in any of the operative Articles in the Federal Government. Nor, might I add, the NH Constitution. There is a NH Law, RSA 165, that does mandate that every town and city in NH have “overseers of public of such town”.  And the town must take, by force, monies to carry out this mandated task (e.g., don’t pay your taxes and you can lose your house). But in any case, Government has subverted what used to be Christian Charity to help others.  Like I’ve said before, there is no “voluntary” when it comes to Government.

While Progressives yammer “how can government take care of people if we don’t tax you”, I keep thinking of what Ian wrote:

The first thing to note is that protecting people’s rights is very different from protecting people.  In most cases, protecting people requires taking away their rights.

When Chris Sununu said that ‘public health trumps everything’, and when Anthony Fauci said that people need to ‘put aside all of these issues of concern about liberties’, this is exactly what they were saying: “We can’t protect you unless we take away your rights. You can protect people, or you can protect their rights.  You can’t do both.  And we forget that at our peril.”

Progressives have volunteerism – both Bernie Sanders and AOC, for two highly visible Socialist examples, believe that only Government should and CAN do such work. Balderdash – but that’s the mindset.

What Prof. Boudreaux points out that we can harness the creativity of others that we don’t even know in order to add value to our lives.  We don’t need big confabs to determine who does what, we don’t need an inner circle of Power Greedy government flunkies to determine it for us – we can do for ourselves.

What these folks would do is to issue reams of paperwork outlining THEIR vision for us, Laws to follow, Regulations to “clarify” the Laws – and punitive Government measures if we don’t do it their way.

Really, in the area of commerce, we only need two things: Government staying out of our way, and a price point.  Stop distorting the Marketplace with arbitrary “stuff” and let us make our own decisions based on price.  That price will let us know what the producer has to make – and if we believe the value is such that we will pay it. It will also signal, if we DON’T buy it, perhaps the producer has to adjust their price. If LOTS of people refuse to purchase it, then adjustment is necessary and they go out of business.

It’s also a signal to others that your self-interest may be served to come into that market and offer a competing price by either undercutting the the first guy’s price or adding a lot more value for the buck asked of consumers.

Cooperation of thousands of people by the use of a single price point.  This is one of civilization’s greatest achievements for mass communications and commerce.

And Socialist / Communists want to louse it up. Great Mind Fallacy, indeed!