Ruwart: Taxation with Representation Is Still Tyranny

From the Ruwart 2008 campaign:

“Nothing is certain but death and taxes.”

Conventional wisdom puts the so-called “necessary evil” of taxation on par with death—-inevitable, unavoidable, the way the world works. Our society seems to believe that taxation is indispensable to civilization. Our ancestors once believed the same thing about slavery.

Today, we know better. Slavery is not only unnecessary to civilization, but hinders its development. What we call “evil” has a way of doing that.

One day, the “necessary evil” of taxation will be recognized for what libertarians know it to be: legalized theft, a hindrance to civilization, prosperity, harmony, and happiness.

We’ve been so conditioned to accept taxation, that we often forget it’s an “evil.” Yet if we closely examine the process of taxation, we find it looks a lot like stealing.

Imagine, for example, that we wanted to have a new neighborhood park. We could get together with other neighbors who wanted the same thing and raise the necessary funds. We could even hire a manager to do this if we didn’t want to.

If some of our neighbors didn’t want to contribute, they wouldn’t have to. If they changed their mind later, however, they might have to pay an extra entry fee. Everyone would be free to choose whether or not they wanted to help create a park.

However, we usually prefer not to honor our neighbor’s choice. If we are part of a majority that wants the park, we vote to impose a tax on all of our neighbors, even those who don’t want a park or wouldn’t use one. The majority forces the minority to its will. The minority is no longer free to choose.

If one of our neighbors refuses to pay the park tax, he or she will be forced—-at gunpoint, if necessary—- to do so. For example, if the new tax is a property tax, a lien will be placed on the dissenting person’s home. Eventually, if the tax is not paid, armed officers will forcibly evict our neighbors from their home. If they resist, they may even be shot and killed, yet they have harmed no one. Their only crime is that they didn’t agree with the majority about how their hard-earned money should be spent.

Most of the time, our dissenting neighbors will pay the tax before they are forced to do so at gunpoint. Eventually, they will retaliate in kind by becoming part of a majority that opposes what we might prefer. For example, people who don’t want a park may want a library instead. They will vote to force us to pay a library tax, even though we buy our reading material at a bookstore rather than patronize a library.

With taxation, we take turns being minorities and majorities, victims and aggressors. We become irate and belligerent as the stakes escalate, reminiscent of the famous Hatfield and McCoy feud.

You can see this interplay in the verbal venom used by the liberals and conservatives, as they decry the way the other group wants to spend your hard-earned money. They never question whether or not your money should be forcibly taken from you in the first place. They clearly believe that it is their “divine right” to do so.

Libertarians believe that it is your divine right to spend your money as you wish. If you are smart enough to earn it, you are smart enough to spend it. Stealing from Peter to pay Paul is still stealing. Taxation is indeed an evil, an evil that tempts us to grab as much as we can from each other. Voting for a tax is a declaration of war on our neighbors and is eventually responded to in kind. No wonder we have so much strife in our fair land!

Not only is taxation “evil,” it’s unnecessary as well. When government provides a service, it costs us twice as much as a private firm would charge us (for examples, see my book, “Healing Our World,” available as a bound book (2003 edition) or a free download (1992 edition) at www.ruwart.com). If we all spent our money the way we chose to, instead of trying to tax each other, we’d have twice as much to spend. Imagine how much better off we’d be! Civilization would flourish, instead of being suppressed. Harmony would be restored.

The only major party candidate who understands that taxation is an unnecessary evil is Dr. Ron Paul, GOP hopeful, and 1988 Libertarian Party presidential nominee. If he doesn’t get the Republican Party’s nomination, many supporters will write in his name on their ballots. Sadly, such loyalty will go unreported by the press, since write-in votes are rarely counted and even more rarely reported.

I see only one way that his supporters can make their voices heard if Dr. Paul doesn’t receive the GOP nomination. If the Ron Paul Revolution votes en masse for the Libertarian Party (LP) candidates, including the presidential nominee, the LP will receive an unprecedented number of votes. The Ron Paul Revolution votes will likely land LP candidates in local and state offices, and empower them to help Dr. Paul with his programs.

The press tied the libertarian label closely to Ron Paul. The Revolution will get credit for the surge in LP interest. Sympathetic politicians may feel it’s safe to come out of the closet and support Congressman Paul’s proposals.

Of course, all this is possible only if the LP runs a principled Libertarian and Ron Paul supporter for their presidential candidate. I propose to be that candidate. I have supported Dr. Paul’s congressional campaigns since 1988 and have been active in his presidential run. Dr. Paul has supported me by endorsing my book, “Healing Our World,” and writing President Bush in support of my application for FDA Commissioner some years ago. As the LP presidential nominee, I will refer to Dr. Paul’s ongoing efforts, such as passage of the “Health Freedom Protection Act,” as part of my program to deregulate the health care industry.

If Ron Paul does get the GOP nomination, what a wonderful dilemma we will face. I would be delighted to educate voters on choosing between the greater of two goods, rather than trying to discourage them from voting against the lesser of two evils!

36 Responses to “Ruwart: Taxation with Representation Is Still Tyranny”

  1. Stine Says:

    I don’t believe they have taxes in the libertarian paradise of Somalia.

    Start packing, folks.

  2. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Stine Says:

    April 17th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I don’t believe they have taxes in the libertarian paradise of Somalia.

    Start packing, folks.

    Yep, that’s right Stine, a libertarian paradise. Oh, and I forgot the timeless and inevitable truth . . . it must be true because its chiseled into the front of the IRS building in Washington, D.C. – “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization”. Nothing uncivilized about coercing people to part with their productivity at the point of a gun. Nothing uncivilized about the creation of a type of criminal, one where there is no need to produce a victim. Nothing uncivilized about forcing businesses to be collection agents for the government, for the “privilege” of earning the riskers of wealth, a profit.

    Now that I think of it, maybe with all the problems that Somalia has, it might just be better than all that “civilization” forced upon us.

    Actually, I have a better idea. Elect Mary Ruwart to the presidency. Even with all these tax “proposals” the other candidates have put forth, there really is only one libertarian solution . . . to ultimately end the coercion, the initiation of force that is taxation. Only Mary Ruwart is framing this issue the way a Libertarian is supposed to . . . taxation is theft and should be prohibited (ultimately) in its every form. Eliminate taxes incrementally? Fine, but unless a candidate believes that all taxation should be ended, he or she just isn’t libertarian. They would be pretend libertarians.

  3. Steve LaBianca Says:

    They would be pretend libertarians. Just like we pretend that taxes are the price we pay for civilized society. (Sorry, I posted before finishing the thought!)

  4. Devious David Says:

    That’s funny. Yesterday I was reading some disturbing remarks about taxes on Daily Kos. That “taxes are the price of a civilized society” oxymoron was popular over there. I was thinking about it on the way home today and here it is again. I didn’t realize it was on the IRS building.

    Anyway, the more I think about it, the more I am starting to lean towards a Barr/Ruwart ticket. This would give us the “practical solutions” using libertarianism platform that could work well, do whatever minimal damage that can be done to the Republicans and get a bit of angry liberal votes when Hillary gets the nomination.

    That said, I still think the angry Republican vote is like 3% of the GOP voting bloc, which works out to like 1.5% of the vote, even if you penetrate that demographic 100%. In any case, putting Barr up there would prove once and for all the futility of that strategy.

    Barr/Gravel is just awfully pragmatic. I’m thinking we put Gravel into a Senatorial or Congressional race. I still want to hear more from Gravel though. I’m not sure how much of a loose cannon he is or isn’t.

  5. Lex Says:

    It’s nice to see an LP candidate come out not only for tax cuts, but against the very idea of taxation. David Hollist has done so for years, but Dr. Ruwart has a lot more credibility.

    People will raise the obvious objection that we’re not just talking about a park that you can be excluded from, but about police and military protection and other services that even non-participants would receive some benefit from. I know that Dr. Ruwart addresses these issues in her book as well, but they are a little more difficult for limited government types to accept, let alone liberals and neocons.

    As for taxes being the price of society (rather than a plague upon it), just consider what we get for our money. I suspect that with no government at all, the odds of someone robbing you every week of 30 or 40 or 50 percent of your earnings, and even the interest on your savings, would be pretty unlikely. It’s a case where the “cure” (government) is worse than the disease (the threat of lawless people taking what is rightfully yours.) “We” trade the threat of a few lawless individuals endangering us and some of our wealth for the reality of hordes of lawless individuals robbing us blind every single day of our lives.

  6. Preston Says:

    This is what I’m talking about. The LP is fine—but take a person who wants a much smaller government, like the LP—except they have no problem with there being a public police force, public fire dept., public library, etc. Who do they vote for? This ‘no tax’ nonsense is just silly overkill. Its like a competition to see who can be the most libertarian.
    Yes, I agree. The government is inefficient in many areas. But instead of making a blanket generalization about ALL government actions, maybe we should think about it on a case-by-case basis. Doesn’t that seem a little more reasonable?

  7. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Preston says, “maybe we should think about it on a case-by-case basis. Doesn’t that seem a little more reasonable?”

    OK, let’s assume you are right. Let’s take it on a case by case basis.

    First, we ought to know, who is going to decide on these “cases”? Should the government bureaucrats do it? Maybe only elected people should. Should we put it up to a “democratic” vote? Maybe we should decide THAT on a case by case basis. See, now we run into the problem of, should “experts” (technocrats) make the decision on the “case”, or should everyone decide? How is it to be decided which ones are “simple” enough for the simpleton citizens? Hmmm, there is a very large dilemma here, and we haven’t even gotten to specifics. I’ve only addressed who decides?

    Well, now if it can’t be agreed on who should be in charge, ie decides on who decides, then how can anybody who is chosen to decide, really decides reasonably? I apologize for making this seem so convoluted, but that my friend is precisely the problem with taking it on a case by case basis. It’s the old argument that the police are watching the territory, but who is watching the police? And who is watching the police-watchers?

    In a libertarian world, all interactions are voluntary. Of course there will still be crime, there will still be “less than rights respecting” people. These would most likely be a small minority of people, so the fall back position is that a voluntary world is the proper environment for people. The market can, and WILL take care of those small minority of interactions between people in a lawful, peaceful manner very well . . . not perfectly but multiples better than now. Lest we forget, a voluntary world mean no coercive taxation!

  8. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    I agree with Preston. Taxes are very important
    .

  9. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Lex, I like your analysis.

  10. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I agree, taxes are very important . . . for those who work the system to their benefit, AND all those tax collectors and bureaucrats who would actually have to get a job that has some productive value, if not for those “important” taxes.

  11. Steve LaBianca Says:

    AND, I might add, nothing uncivilized about all the pigs, feeding at the trough fighting with each other, trying to slobber up all that stolen loot. that’s “civilization” for you , and without taxes, we couldn’t possibly have it.

  12. Stefan Says:

    I think a Barr-Ruwart ticket would be the best not only for the LP, but would also be the most effective in sapping votes away from both the right, middle and left, but with a leaning to the midde-right.
    Ron Paul has consistently described the get rid of the IRS and no personal tax as an ideal towards he wants to work. This does not mean it will realistically be immediately dropped to o. He first have to cut drastically and reduce the deficit and incrimentally lower taxes on average. He would start by scrapping the death tax, keeping the Bush tax but not cut too much. The tax reduction would contribute a lot to more spending and paying off of personal debt and spending, which would stimulate the economy, much more than the govt. hand-outs of 800 USD per person or any socialist govt. intervention. He first has to reduce the size of the government and this will take time. The same point is valid with regard to Ruwart and the others.

  13. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Mary Ruwart understands that lowering taxes as quickly as possible is the best stimulant the economy can get, but the government has to stop meddling in all the areas it is involved in, which NO SURPRISE costs a tremendous amount of money. Tax cuts/reductions/eliminations are meaningless without reducing government and its spending. Mary Ruwart knows this, and her whole approach is geared to this very idea. She just presents it in a way that makes sense to most people, not just to “people who only care about themselves and their own money”.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Stefan,

    The center-right may very well be the hardest voter demographic to reach this year. McCain is mostly a conservative, but he is perceived as center-right. If the Dems nominate Hillary Clinton, we’ll have both major party candidates sitting on top of the center-right vote. Even Obama isn’t much left of center.

  15. Robert Capozzi Says:

    Does comparing a neighborhood park with things like national defense and a criminal justice system seem like stretch to anyone else?

    It’s all good, of course, but this release is kinda embarrassingly sophmoric.

    Maybe some day Acme Defense Co and Robocop could work. In 2009? Give me a break. With all due respect.

  16. Steve LaBianca Says:

    I guess some things are too important, and must be paid for by the ignorant masses, at gunpoint if necessary, planned and executed by technocratic, power seeking bureaucrats, right Mr. Capozzi? I guess since we have “democracy”, it keeps bad, power seeking, bureaucrats in line, and doing the people’s business exactly the way they would want.

    I guess that it is also true that “sophomoric” basic arguments break down because there is a different VALUE placed upon other “necessary” services, services like “justice and “defense”, right Mr. Capozzi? How is ALL that working out so far? I guess since they are so necessary, we must leave them to the most benevolent, efficient and responsive institution ever created: government, right Mr. Capozzi? Since food, clothing, shelter, heat in winter, etc are also necessary, the government should provide these as well, Mr. Capozzi? Heck, since sex is necessary for continuation of the species, I guess the government should be responsible for that as well. Maybe the government can take the fun out of that while they’re at it . . they take the fun out of most everything else. . . except murdering innocent people in an unnecessary, preemptive, aggressive war. Loads of fun there. Yep, this is what we need “national defense” for, right Mr. Capozzi? And the funding of it, at gunpoint, if necessary. The story according to Robert Capozzi, “Government: an Idea whose time has come . . . again”. Right, Bob?

    Talk about give me a break? Also, respectfully said, by the way.

  17. Paulie Says:

    This ‘no slavery’ nonsense is just silly overkill. Its like a competition to see who can be the most libertarian.

    Yes, I agree. Slavery is inefficient in many areas. But instead of making a blanket generalization about ALL chattel bondage, maybe we should think about it on a case-by-case basis. Doesn’t that seem a little more reasonable?

  18. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Ruwart is just looking like a radical here. Good thing the LP is ignored by MSM. This statement would have killed her campaign. :p

  19. Less Antman Says:

    There is nothing impractical about financing the services presently provided by government, including large scale defense, using the same voluntary approaches expected of everyone else in society. I wrote a brief summary of how national defense might be provided without taxation on my Ruwarchy! site at http://ruwarchy.com/topic/377/master/1/ and included a link to some of Ruwart’s short writings on the subject (long ones are in Healing Our World).

    When Ron Paul proposed abolishing the Income Tax and replacing it with nothing, it didn’t kill his campaign: it provoked hard questions that he had to answer. That is what libertarian education is about.

  20. Clark Says:

    ..I recently had a conversation with a typical monetary ignoramus Republicrat who was LOUDLY complaining/working his cake chute about ‘taxation’ (the theft/robbery/embezzlement/etc. of thousands of ‘his’ ‘dollars’) although he was butt-ignorant of the nature, origin, etc. of even one ‘dollar..’ (the story of my life lately)

    ...i started by asking the apparent monetary stoop, “Why can’t the government just create ‘the money’ ‘they need’ out of thin air…just like the bank corporations, etc., do now?...

    ..the poor, stooopid, Republicrat looked/frowned at me funny and gave me the same stoooooopid, pat answer i near-always get..(maybe he heard/”learned” it from some god-damned fool ‘economics experts,’) : “Why that would be very “inflationary,” Clark! Don’t you know that?”

    I then asked the Republicrat monetary ignoramus..”Why would ‘my way’ of ‘taxation,’ “INDIRECT” rather than “DIRECT,” ceteris paribus, be any more ‘inflationary’ than DIRECTLY ‘taxing’ ‘corporations,’ people, etc. who must/will then raise their ‘price$’ to cover these ‘taxes’..another cost/expense of doing business’...

    The poor goddamned Republicrat fool looked at me with dull, glazed eyes..

    I continued, “...besides, at least ‘my way’ would/could eliminate the stinking goddamned economic diaries we are forced to keep in order that your goddamned Republicrats administer their DIRECT tax scheme$”...(i smiled in a friendly manner, of course!)

    He eventually left probably thinking I am nuts..

    I left KNOWING he is a Republicrat ignoramus when it comes to money..the reality..nature, origin, etc..

    Just like a lot of loud ‘political types’..it seems they FREQUENTLY work their hot dog holes about illion$ whilst worse than ignorant as to the nature, origin, etc., of even one.. ;o)

  21. Lynn Says:

    All of your comments are very well reasoned, and I agree that getting people in a mindset of rejecting taxes requires education. However, the comments themselves show the LP problem in a nutshell—if Libertarians and libertarian-leaning folks can’t even agree with each other in a forum, how can they convince others to take their point of view? Exactly which point of view would that be—the purist one of absolutely no taxes, or the “more reasonable” one? If the idea is to elect someone who will support your view, you’re better off uniting behind this common goal instead of splitting the votes according to how “pure” your philosophy is. Seems like an imperfect form of libertarianism would be preferable to what the major candidates have to offer.

  22. G.E. Says:

    Clark – Taxation is not inflationary. I think you’re the ignoramus.

  23. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Joseph Marzullo Says:
    April 18th, 2008 at 3:47 am

    Ruwart is just looking like a radical here. Good thing the LP is ignored by MSM. This statement would have killed her campaign. :p

    I don’t know what press release you’re reading, but Ruwart “looking like a radical” is not a very intelligent observation. What is there about being “neighborly” and honoring your neighbor’s choices that’s radical?

  24. Steve LaBianca Says:

    G.E. Says:
    April 18th, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Clark – Taxation is not inflationary.

    I agree. Taxation, if anything is deflationary, as it is an action that actually pulls money out of the system. Now, the opposite end of the fed govt’s actions, of then pumping the money back into the system as the gov’t. starts paying for things (and always more than the receipts to cover the bills), through the Federal Reserve, is potentially very inflationary, and nearly always is. The borrowing to cover the shortfall of receipts, creates a liability (while increasing the money supply) to the Federal Reserve is inflationary as well.

  25. Steve LaBianca Says:
    1. Lynn Says:
      April 18th, 2008 at 9:27 am

    If the idea is to elect someone who will support your view, you’re better off uniting behind this common goal instead of splitting the votes according to how “pure” your philosophy is. Seems like an imperfect form of libertarianism would be preferable to what the major candidates have to offer.

    Lynn, I consider myself a purist. Taxation, is initiation of force, pure and simple. However, I have NEVER said that we should campaign on ENDING ALL TAXES IMMEDIATELY, even though I would consider this the best if it was reasonable to do. However, because so many people have been conditioned to rely on the government for their life, even though it is immoral for (human) parasites to leach off the (other humans) host, it is not possible to have any sort of stability IMHO if we ended all taxes and government immediately.

    I HAVE said, that incrementally lowering taxes to zero should be the strategy, but it also would not be proper for this process to linger any longer than reasonably planned. How long is reasonable? I don’t know, and I challenge anybody to read the tea leaves or look into the crystal balls to give the answer to this.

    The CRUX of the disagreement is that supposed “libertarians” are willing have tax reduction as the goal, and leave it at some sort of (admittedly) low amount. This is unlibertarian because it upholds the idea that some, supposed inconsequential amount of aggression is OK. Inconsequential by whose standard? Should we ask every person who pays a tax of any kind, and ask them if it is inconsequential? If they feel it isn’t then they would (and should) voluntarily pay into the state to the extent they believe is proper, if they believe they are getting value for their “tax”. True libertarians know that all forms of aggression is fundamental to libertarian theory. Even by holding to this however, it is still reasonable to have a STRATEGY to accomplish what is actually achievable over any given time period.

    I am suggesting, and am of the belief myself, that these pseudo-libertarians are inserting the strategy as the goal. This is in my book, selling out libertarianism, and it will no longer be the Libertarian Party . . . low tax” party, or “low statist” or low aggression” party, maybe, but not Libertarian.

  26. Less Antman Says:

    There will never be a shortage of politicians willing to offer politically possible compromises in the direction the wind is blowing. It is the role of libertarians to change what is politically possible.

    The better a job we do at describing a society with zero taxation, the better our chance of getting a 10% cut in the real world in the next year. When we make the unnecessary concession that eliminating taxes is impractical, we cause people to retain the mindset that they are essential to the functioning of civilization, and we reduce the probability of getting a 10% cut in the real world in the next year.

    As the father of American abolitionism, William Lloyd Garrsion put it, “Immediatism in theory is gradualism in practice. Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

    I don’t think the immediatist/gradualist disagreement is moral: I know those who advocate gradual change believe it will be most effective. Nonetheless, this disagreement was fundamental to the 19th century anti-slavery movement, and I would recommend ALL ON FIRE by Henry Mayer to those who want to read about the life of Garrison AND the strategy that led to the abolitionist movement’s success. Strategically, calling for the complete abolition of taxation and defending its plausibility makes the road easier for major party politicians sympathetic to our views to push for meaningful tax reduction (people move toward inspiring visions: a free society is inspiring, while one that is a little freer than today is not).

    By the way, if the mindset of the public were changed instantly, I see nothing unworkable about the immediate abolition of all taxation. Social norms will result in enough people helping to take care of those in emergency need, and the $300 billion that Americans gave last year to charity while being taxed and regulated would at least double, possibly funding government welfare programs voluntarily for a short period of time while private alternatives sprung up almost overnight. Free markets are always surprising me with their creative power.

  27. G.E Smith the Capitalist Dove Says:

    Steve – Yes. Government spending is inflationary (and by that, I mean “price inflation”), particularly when it is financed with money created out of thin air (which causes REAL inflation of the money supply), but even when it’s not. This is because the government isn’t very particular when spending other people’s money. On the other hand, taxation itself is deflationary, both in the literal sense and in terms of prices. In the literal sense (money supply), taxation by itself merely removes money from the money supply, and therefore, it is self-evidently deflationary. In the absence of government spending, this will also cause deflation of prices.

    Clark is a moron.

  28. Paulie Says:

    Clark,

    What is the definition of one single solitary dollar?

  29. Clark Says:

    G. E. D. blithered: “Clark – Taxation is not inflationary. I think you’re the ignoramus.”

    I never wrote that it was, you apparently semi-literate fool!..

    PLEASE REPUBLCRAT MONETARY IGNORAMUSSES, PLEASE MERELY COPY AND PASTE MY WORDS.. AND CRITICIZE THEM IF YOU WANT..

    PLEASE DO NOT ATTRIBUTE YOUR STINKING THOUGHTS/WORDS TO ME

    Paulie wrote: “Clark, What is the definition of one single solitary dollar?”

    Paulie, what most/all Republicrats call ‘dollars’ are actually ‘numerical evidence that some bankster made a fraudulent loan to someone sometime” or ‘evidence of debt’ or ‘the demand liabilities of commercial banks’ etc..

    ...any of these three describe reality..

    ...unfortunately, I might as well be speaking martian to the monetary ignoramusses reading this..

    (bring it on G.E. and other Republicrat money dopes!) ;o)

  30. paulie Says:

    Thanks, that is what I thought it was. I’m pretty sure GE agrees.

  31. Clark Says:

    Geekers, Paulie if you truly ‘know’ what an abomination our money system is..it seems you’d talk about it a little more…after all, “the money thing” is very, VERY important..isn’t it?

    But not much from you from what I read here!

    ..but, you appear to engage frequently in discussions about things that are COMPLETELY SUB$ERVIENT to ‘the money thing’..

    ...(i dare say most of you Republicrats, Bob Barrflies etcetercrats galore, ‘know’ more about, say, Britney Spears’ shaved head than you do the very ‘money’ that dominates your Republicrat lives!)

    (do you money dummies think there are some angels up high watching over, administering, etc. ‘the money thing’ for you?..i know, if there was something wrong happening with ‘the money’ your favorite Republicrat politicians, radio talk-show hosts etc.. would let you know, right?)

    (as pt barnum might have said, “there’s a Republicrat born every minute!”) ;o)

  32. Less Antman Says:

    Clark,

    Money is an important issue, but the message of the day was about taxation, and as you pointed out to your Republicat acquaintance, taxation is more than just obtaining funds, it is a violation of the privacy of the victim and a demand for them to waste their time on recordkeeping rather than productivity or leisure.

    I have to question your assertion (although it wasn’t clear if you were just teasing the guy) that the response of a corporation to increased taxation is simply to increase prices. Every corporation already has the incentive to charge what the market will bear, regardless of costs. If there isn’t more money in the system, people can’t be paying more money for everything (although the effects of velocity and money substitutes complicate the matter in the short run).

    On a broader point I think you were making, all spending by government comes at the expense of the private sector, regardless of how it is financed. If they tax, they are taking, if they borrow, they are taking, and if they inflate, they are taking. The primary problem is the government spending itself, something Republicans, in particular, have gotten away with ignoring by defining economic conservatism as low taxes rather than low spending (Bush is obviously for the former but not the latter).

    Of course, if legal tender laws are abolished, so that people weren’t forced to accept US money for all debts, public and private, then the government (and client banks) couldn’t just inflate to take a larger share of the pie. I’d assume private currencies would be backed by something, but competing fiat systems would be a fascinating experiment: you could privatize all the services currently rendered by the Federal Reserve System simply by legalizing counterfeiting.

  33. G.E. Says:

    Clark – I agree with you about the money issue. You just aren’t very articulate. I’m not the only one who thought you were saying that taxation by itself was inflationary. Secondly, you persist in spreading the myth that Ron Paul favors a “return to the gold standard.” I agree with you that a government “gold standard” would probably fail, just as past ones have failed, due to impurity and funny accounting—i.e. setting up a bi-metalic standard, suspending convertibility, declaring bank holidays to prevent runs on the bank, etc. Theoretically, a government gold standard would be an excellent monetary system, if not the best (free-market money), but I don’t think the government can be trusted with the power of declaring what is money. I think this should be a market activity.

    So how again am I a “republicrat” monetarist?

  34. Clark Says:

    Less Antman wrote: “..If there isn’t more money in the system, people can’t be paying more money for everything”..

    ...yes i believe my assertion ‘ceteris paribus’ covers your/any challenge here..

    G.E. wrote: “I’m not the only one who thought you were saying that taxation by itself was inflationary”

    ..it IS…PRICE inflationary..again, ‘ceteris paribus’...

    Look folks, I’m just saying that “money” has ALWAYS been a ‘LEGAL’ convention..what we know ‘as money’ has always been a creation/the reuslt of/etc. man-made law.. (i.e. WHATEVER ‘the government’ declares that you use as a ‘unit of account,’ etc. in ‘the courtroom,’ to pay fines, fees, taxes, etc.. WILL BE/IS/HAS BEEN ‘THE MONEY’ in any/all ‘jurisdictions’..

    ...and because ‘money’ is, in essence, the function of man-made laws, I, humble, grouchy, Clark, do assert we all should be treated equally here.. PARTICULARLY AS TO THE ISSUANCE OF ANY NEW TOKEN$..(“dollars” to Republicrat mule lopers)..and to COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY, etc..

    Unfortunately, we are not treated equally here (the issuance of money, transparency, etc.)...the “money power” has been concentrated…and it appears ‘they’ whom are thusly privileged control/GREATLY AFFECT near everything..including the roster of stinking Republicrat government officials, info about ‘the government’ etc. ad nauseam about which Republicrats are prone to working their flapping yappers!..

    ..don’t you find it odd that although much of everything ‘political’ boils down to ‘money’....jobs, taxes, health care, illegal immigration, deficts, surplusses, etc. ad goddamned nauseam, THE GODDAMNED FOOLS HOLDING THE MICROPHONES NEVER—EVER—TALK ABOUT THE HIDEOUS ROOT REALITIES OF OUR STINKING MONEY SYSTEM?

    ..Why do you suppose that is?..why do you Republicrats “play along” with these scumbags, ignoramusses etc.?

  35. Clark Says:

    G.E. wrote:Secondly, you persist in spreading the myth that Ron Paul favors a “return to the gold standard.”

    Ok..maybe,MAYBE, Clark was wrong..hard to believe I know..(btw, i bet i put out more Paul road signs than you!)

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article290.html

    “Topic: Ron Paul
    Ron Paul Does NOT Want to Go Back to the Gold Standard

    Contrary to what you may have heard, Ron Paul does not want return to the gold standard.————————————————————————————————————————by Freedom Jackson
    (Libertarian)
    Friday, November 16, 2007
    One of the most common items of misinformation about Ron Paul’s positions is that he wants to go “back on the gold standard” or “return to the gold standard.” And, this is often used as criticism against him by misinformed and careless reporters and bloggers. However, the criticism is a straw man. As widespread as the allegation is, it’s not true. Paul has explicitly stated “I wouldn’t exactly go back to the gold standard,” pointing out that a “there were shortcomings with the gold standard of the nineteenth century because…it was a fixed price…” (http://youtube.com/watch?v=RKQmYfY3R7c) So, Paul, like his critics, also doesn’t think going back to the gold standard would be a good idea. That is, he does not agree that government should fix the ratio of gold to paper – which is what going “back to” or “returning to” the gold standard would comprise.

    What Paul actually wishes to do, as he has said many times, is simply to make gold and silver legal tender as called for in the Constitution, as well as to remove the taxes on these metals. He has called this “going forward to a new gold standard” to make it clear that this is not the same thing as going “back to the gold standard.” The reason he wants gold and silver to be made legal tender is because he likes the idea of competing currencies and opposes monopoly money. He wants us in the marketplace to be able to decide what money we use, rather than government imposing its choice on us. And, he is confident that if allowed the choice, it is natural that the market will choose money backed by “hard assets” such as gold and silver….”

  36. Alex Peak Says:

    I see people suggesting Barr/Ruwart. Methinks it would be ten times better the other way around.

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