Posts Tagged ‘taxation’

Income Tax Is Totalitarian Slavery

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Income tax seems normal. Except that it takes from the productive and gives to the non-functional. There is no way to make this parasitism seem normal:

The great essayist Frank Chodorov once described the income tax as the root of all evil. His target was not the tax itself, but the principle behind it. Since its implementation in 1913, he wrote, “The government says to the citizen: ‘Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide.”

He really does have a point. That’s evil. When Congress ratified the 16th Amendment on Feb. 3, 1913, there was a sense in which all private income in the U.S. was nationalized. What was not taxed from then on was a favor granted unto us, and continues to be so.

Income tax reverses the order of civilization: in a sane order, money flows from those who have produced excess, and is then re-invested by those to take advantage of their expertise. They can be kept in check by a caste system, which ensures that profits flow to those who will use them sensibly outside of an economic context, but otherwise, it allows those who are good at producing to keep producing and enhance that position.

On the other hand, income tax and other “progressive” (read: egalitarian, therefore wealth redistribution oriented) programs take from the productive and transfer to the unproductive, which gives the unproductive equal power. Since the unproductive are a large group, and the productive are not organized, this effects a transfer of power to those who are inept. Nonetheless, it is popular especially with young men and women because it is a form of pacifism, whereby we stop struggling for money and instead subsidize everyone.

When we find ourselves in a redistributionist state, it becomes clear that society is heading in a downward direction. In the name of equality, it penalizes the good and subsidizes the bad, which creates an advantage to the bad and quickly swells that group while diminishing the good.

Our only escape from this is to escape the ideal of redistribution itself, but this presents a problem. Redistribution is vital to the idea of equality, since nature does not make us equal and therefore humanity must enforce equality by “Robin Hood” measures. It must take from the thriving and give to the flailing.

Until equality fails, we will have an endless process of wealth transfer programs disguised as taxes, healthcare, pensions, benefits, unions, meritocracy, affirmative action and political tolerance. Our only escape is to smash the idea of equality itself.

Eating The Rich Gives New Jersey Indigestion

Thursday, May 12th, 2016


If you live in the Eastern US, you are probably aware of a sad, sad truth, unless your aesthetic senses are dulled and you are thereby inured. Once you reach about Fredericksburg, VA and start driving north, there is a drab, beaten, burned-over homogeneity to the place. Everything along Route 1 or I-95 looks identically paved-over, burned-out, overpopulated and dirty as sewage. The place sucks clean north all the way to Boston.

And yet this region still endures in vast wealth and power. There is awesome industry, unparalleled intellect, government power and vast reservoirs of wealth. And yet, like a bright and blazing star collapsing from its own omnipotent gravity, the stench of disconsolate failure rises and hangs above the desolate plain. This physical and social sense of desolation was made visible in the economic realm when one rich dude from Jersey decided to cash it, call it a day and head to the beaches of Florida.

You see the rich dude was Hedge Fund Dominus et Deus, David Tepper. The six or so billion he personally raked in every year would get hit with The State of New Jersey’s 9% tax rate on rich little piggies. This gave them lots and lots of money to buy votes and other things. Until Mr. Tepper gave them The Big Trump and yanked the plug on the so-called Garden State.

Mr. Tepper, 58, declined to comment on his move. He does have family — his mother and sister — who live in Florida. But several New Jersey lawmakers cited his relocation as proof that the state’s tax rates, up from 6.37 percent in 1996, are chasing away the rich. Florida has no personal income tax. “If you’re making hundreds of millions of dollars and you’re paying close to 10 percent to the state of New Jersey, you do the math,” said Jon Bramnick, the Republican leader in the New Jersey Assembly. “You can save millions a year by moving to Florida. How can you blame him?”

So Tepper scrapes the leeches off his wallet with a putty-knife. An E-Vil Rethuglican points out some of the obvious. Or as the New York Times belatedly figures out when it commits some journalism, supporting an entire region of the country off of billionaire faux-nobility in a small handful of zip codes doesn’t promote fiscal stability.

In New York, California, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey, the top 1 percent pay a third or more of total income taxes. Now a handful of billionaires or even a single individual like Mr. Tepper can have a noticeable impact on state revenues and budgets.

But wouldn’t all this be fixed if we practiced socialism and just made David Tepper bankroll New Jersey? If we were larping with (((THE BERN))), this would work in theory. But in practice we need to ask ourselves one stupid, little question. Who bankrolls the socialists? Oh yeah…According to Thomas Frank, that would be David Frikking Tepper. It’s all a nice, happy circle. Like an ouroborus!

According to Frank, popular explanations which blame corporate lobby groups and the growing power of money in politics are insufficient. Frank instead points to a decision by Democratic Party elites in the 1970s to marginalize labor unions and transform from the party of the working class to the party of the professional class. In so doing, the Democratic Party radically changed the way it understood social problems and how to solve them, trading in the principle of solidarity for the principle of competitive individualism and meritocracy. The end result is that the party which created the New Deal and helped create the middle class has now become “the party of mass inequality.” In These Times spoke with Frank recently about the book via telephone.

But this is way too self-serving for the Lefties. They didn’t get to be “the party of mass equality” because of any reversible philosophical apostasy. They got this way because they took one look at the dysgenic rabble they had spawned during The Summer of Love and inferred the obvious. No way.

Marxism cannot work. It never worked. At the crux of the latest liberal angst and self-flagellation worthy of Fifty Shades of Bullsh!t, is this realization. They are in the same position Vladimir Lenin found himself back in 1924. To make Liberalism, Socialism, Democratic Socialism or any other bastard offspring of the Marx, Proudhon and Engels gang-bang work, they need a magic recipe that turns chicken sh!t into chicken salad. It doesn’t exist. Liberalism cannot work. Ever. It has to be abandoned for some form fascism or oligarchical collectivism.

At that point, guys like David Tepper have all the cards and hold the keys to all the exits. (((THE PEOPLE))) can want whatever the hell they want. They aren’t going to get it. They aren’t going to get any of it without hard-headed and hard-assed individuals like Tepper who know how to get it. This isn’t the Magic Kingdom of Equestria and David Tepper isn’t going to give you a frikking pony. He will charge you for one. It will cost you an arm and a leg.

If he no longer likes the deal he will walk and you will die. So back up north in Jersey they cry the beloved tax revenue. This isn’t the end. This is just the end of demotism and all its loathsome, solipsistic self-regard. I’m having a hard time feeling any sadness. People that play stupid games win stupid prizes. Meanwhile, the northeastern hunk of Amerika will gradually look even more like it was ridden like Harley and then put away wet.

How First World Governments Have Bribed Their Citizens Into Compliance

Thursday, May 5th, 2016


Over at The Conversation, important research reveals the reason that modern citizens seem to grumble all the time but never take any action to substantially change their situation: they have been bribed into silence. This is how government, evolving like a tapeworm, has solved the problem of recessions, flagging loyalty and keeping itself in power.

The researchers make an important point. Thanks to government benefits raising the lower and high taxes lowering the higher, people without wealth can afford to live like wealthy people. Here’s the most relevant part of the research in graphical form:


This graph shows how people in the lowest 80% of the population have their spending boosted by social welfare benefits, and how the highest lose about a third of their spending power thanks to taxation. I imagine the graph is similar in Europe because similar methods are applied there.

The authors write:

[S]pending inequality – what we should really care about – is far smaller than wealth inequality…The fact that spending inequality is dramatically smaller than wealth inequality results from our highly progressive fiscal system, as well as the fact that labor income is distributed more equally than wealth.

The top 1 percent of 40-49-year-olds face a net tax, on average, of 45 percent. This means that the present value of their spending is reduced by the fiscal system to 55 percent of the present value of their resources…For the bottom 20 percent, the average net tax rate is negative 34.2 percent. In other words, they get to spend 34.2 percent more than they have thanks to government policy…

Governments guarantee permanent stability (of government) through this model. The people most likely to revolt, namely the lower 80%, are bought off with the wealth of the higher 20%, who are not taxed so much that they cannot still enjoy a good life. This means that any attempt to remove the current system from order will meet with squeals of protest from the lower who fear their benefits going away, and the higher who see that their customer base will fall if the spending powers of the lower are curtailed.

Benefits (“bennies”) have always been bribes in disguise, presumably to keep the proles from rioting. Now they are a way the population is held hostage. It can keep a good life, so long as it keeps voting for the usual gang of incompetents, because while they’ll screw everything up, they’ll keep the bennies coming.

We also see how multiculturalism is made to work on paper in the West. The third world people who are imported are poorer, so they are given government benefits, which generally pacifies them so they mostly limit their violent crimes to the ghettos in which they are stored. The bennies allow them to have a good life, but in return, they buy the products — iPhones and Louis Vuitton and health insurance — that the higher earners produce. This inflates the value of the economy and the take-home of the higher earners, despite it being essential as circular ponzi scheme that is using permanent Keynesianism to suggest the economy is healthier than it actually is.

This shows us the origin of the ugliest form of consumerism: it is how governments pay for the increased taxes that make the bribes to citizens possible. The upper fifth is not buying much of the fast food, gadgets and entertainment as they have better things to do and different priorities. The subsidized people are, which increases demand for money, allowing government to claim positive economic effects from what ultimately will be a deleterious practice.

Recommended Reading