Voluntary Taxation for Peace and Prosperity

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J.G. Vibes
Waking Times

The time has come to start thinking unconventionally when considering alternatives to our current methods of funding community projects. As it stands right now our civilization is at a huge disadvantage due to the coercive method of taxation that we see today.

The force and violence involved with the collection of taxes is only scratching the surface of the negative consequences that this practice has on our society. There are many implications of coercive taxation that aren’t directly noticed by the general public, and these implications take a bit of hashing out to be fully understood.

Since the government is allowed to extract money from its citizens by the barrel of a gun, this guarantees that they will have funding for any kind of project they want, even if those projects are unpopular with taxpayers. This is because the public has no choice but to pay taxes, therefore they have no say in how their money is used and are typically forced into paying for their own oppression, and the slaughtering of their neighbors.

Sure, there are some social welfare programs that do benefit some people, but the money that these projects cost are a tiny fraction of the money that is actually received from taxation. Most of the money that is brought in through taxes is used for bureaucratic budgets, collection enforcement and the gluttony of federal and state governments. So, while a portion of the revenue is being used for beneficial projects, a majority of the money is still being wasted or used for nefarious means. Some researchers have described this as a thief giving you five dollars, while at the same time taking a hundred dollars from your back pocket.

  • One of the most common complaints about the government is that it does not serve the public as it claims to. The reason for this is simple: the government still gets paid no matter what happens, which means that they have no incentive to actually listen to the people who they are collecting taxes from. Likewise, the power imbalance between the state and citizen inevitably leads to mismanagement, violence and corruption.

    On the other hand, if taxes were voluntary, people would not pay if they did not like what the government was doing with their money, thus either effectively collapsing a dictatorship or forcing the government to change their behavior, and put public funding into programs that were actually beneficial for society.

    Under these circumstances wars would be prevented, everyone would have more money, small businesses would have an easier time competing in the marketplace, and trillions of dollars in wasted overhead would either be back with its rightful owners or used in beneficial social projects and programs. If the government wanted to invade territories halfway around the world or put together an oppressive bureaucracy like the TSA, people would simply stop paying their taxes, making it impossible to fund these authoritarian measures without even more phony money printing. This is a way that people could truly have a direct influence on their society, by “voting with their dollar”.

    This process is in visible motion in the real world, within one of the most active industries on the planet — the food service industry. Most waiters and waitresses don’t get paid much by their employers, but actually make a majority of their money from the voluntary payments of pleased customers, which we know as a “tip”. Everyone knows and understands the concept of tipping, and when we get good service, most people have no problem sacrificing a few dollars voluntarily. This is the whole concept behind voluntary taxation; good service will render payment from the public, poor service will not.

    There is an unbelievable amount of fear directed at this concept, because for so long our civilizations have been propelled by violence, instead of rationality. Immediately upon hearing about voluntary taxation, many people who are new to the idea will immediately scoff “if taxes are voluntary then no one will pay them and there will be chaos in the streets.”

    This statement shows that the current method of taxation isn’t working for the average person, therefore the ideas about “the consent of the governed” and “the social contract” are complete fallacies. If someone explicitly states that people wouldn’t pay taxes if they weren’t mandatory, they are then admitting that tax revenue is not used to benefit the public and that no one would pay if they didn’t have a gun to their head. Besides, don’t most of us leave a good tip when we get good service at a restaurant without having a gun held to our head or a bureaucrat hovering over our shoulders?

    If tax revenue was put into projects that people found value in, then they would have no problem voluntarily contributing the money. Even if those projects didn’t benefit that individual directly, there is no doubt in my mind that people will be happy to contribute. Although our culture projects a pretty bleak concept of human nature, the vast majority of people are naturally good and care a great deal about their neighbors. Recent studies have even shown that compassion might be hard-wired into the human genome.

    Reaffirming what Einstein articulately stated a long time ago: “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” So while it is true that people are naturally driven by incentives, we still have empathy for our fellow human beings so we are also driven to help and enrich others.

    In fact, in 2010 people gave over 290.89 billion dollars to charity. Think about it, this is after they have already been mugged for half of their income by the government, and in the middle of the worst economic conditions since the great depression. Imagine how much they would have given had they been able to keep all of their income and had the reassurance of knowing that their money was actually being spent correctly.

    These days confidence in charities is fairly low, and rightfully so, as many have succumbed to the corruption of our culture of dominance. However, this report on economicsjunkie.com suggests that an average of 80-85% of the money that is donated to charities actually ends up in the hands of the needy. This number definitely isn’t great, but lets see how does the government matches up with their coercive taxation. That same report goes on to quote a number of sources who state the government takes over 70% of all tax revenue collected for their own public funds, salaries, military projects, and wasteful bureaucracies. Meanwhile less than 30% of the tax revenue that is taken from the public is actually spent on the public. So, in reality, even in today’s world with sub-par charities, those charities actually do far better than the government does when it comes to improving the condition and lives of those in need. These charities accomplish all of this on a voluntary basis, without threats, violence and tax collectors.

    There is no need to force compassion, so anyone who claims to be doing so is most likely being disingenuous. The whole concept that the public benefits at all from coercive taxation is just an elaborate advertising scheme that justifies its existence. Even Al Capone was smart enough to run soup kitchens in his local city of Chicago so people would overlook his crimes and see him as a charitable man. The government takes the same approach by spending some of their pocket change on welfare programs and community projects, but all of this is only done so they have some examples to point to when the taxpayers naturally want to know how their money was spent.

    J.G. Vibes is an author, and artist — with an established record label. In addition to featuring a wide variety of activist information, his company — Good Vibes Promotions promotes for electronic dance music events. You can keep up with him and his forthcoming book Alchemy Of The Modern Renaissance, at his Facebook page. AOTMR will be released this spring, thanks to Leilah Publications. This project features nearly 100 different essays, just like this one, that cover a wide variety of topics. These essays give historical and philosophical insight into the many important issues that our generation faces. From banking cartels and alternative currency to eugenics and the drug war, AOTMR offers a complete and comprehensive breakdown of the counter culture’s struggle.

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