Today is a TOTW day where was have a shorter episode about just one random thought I have had. And Nashville is threatening to (and probably will) retroactively enforce a 33% property tax increase on its people. I am one of those people and it made me think of taxes, thuggery and the company store.

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Let’s talk about how we want to evolve as a society shall we? How we think things could be? 

I imagine a world where the “human nature” approach of bonking someone over the head with a club to steal food, their spouse or children, gold, or clothing from them is not acceptable. Where we are free trade, to give, to help, to feel, to be. 

What do you envision?

Because right now, we still find it ok to steal food, children, money and life from people in the interest of serving the greater good. What does the greater good even mean? This definition gets so twisted. As if clubbing someone over the head is ever in service of the greater good anyway… How can it be good if the only way to get there is via pillage and thuggery?

It makes me think of the Company Store approach in mining towns. Workers had to buy their housing, food, supplies and health care from the corporation they worked for. Full stop. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. Plenty went wrong. By establishing this dependency on one source for basic needs and extending store credit from time to time, these mining operations established a legal form of slavery. The overpriced goods, underpaid employees and if you pushed back, they sent their thugs to beat you.

And slavery is bad is it not? 

Why then is it any different to demand payment from people at the cost of their property, their personal freedom, their lives if the do not pay? Why is it ok for anyone to keep part of my labor and work? Why can they take my children if I do not pay and put them in a system with a long history of sexual and physical abuse? Why do we allow this to happen?

Some people think I am crazy for thinking of taxes this way, but that is what they are. People are extorted for money in order that it can be used to pay for things like an education system that is failing our children, social services rife with abuse, medical services that can fail the individual with a one size fits none approach, and yes. The roads. They extort money for the roads. No opt out. Fines, loss of property, jail time and loss of your children if you do not pay.

How is it not thuggery to get money in this way? How is it not slavery that you do not keep what you earn to spend as you will? How is it not thuggery to take my money and force me to finance your foreign wars? Your ripping apart of families through the drug war? 

People will answer that I signed a social contract to live in the US — I have to pay to live her. I signed no contract.

People will answer that it has to be because if we did not force everyone to pay for some things, people will use drugs, die on the street, never fix the roads and children will stop learning.

To which I ask – really? Is that really what will happen if we move away from a forced-taxation system? Are you sure? 

What if instead of fighting with me about defining taxation as thuggery, you put your creative energies toward something a bit more creative? Like ask yourself this: How can we care for people in our society without a taxation structure? How can we build and maintain roads without enslaving people? How can we do this a different way?

Just because we do not do it this way right now does not mean it cannot be done and really the core issue that seems to get in the way of truly solving this question is envy and greed. Not what you may think of in this regard though. It is the greed of some who have less than they wish they had wanting to force those who have more to use it toward this end. Meaning those who wish they had more want to force those who do to spend their money in a way the person who has it may not wish to spend it.

 

They have more so they should spend more. Really? Is that any of your damn business? You have no right to tell other people what to do with their labor, their capitol. 

You have no right to send armed men to their homes to arrest them just because they earn more than you and you think they need to give more than the do, do you? Well, some people think that they do have this right> the right to force people to pay, to steal from them, to harm them if they do not comply. And the tricky thing is that they frame it in humanitarian terms. But stealing from Michelle to help Amanda isn’t a moral act. Helping Amanda is a moral act. And we seem to have forgotten the difference.

We’ve talked a bunch about prioritizing the will of the masses over the rights of the individual — a practice that ends in abuse of the many individuals that make up the collective in the best of cases. Taxation is just a fancy word for piracy and thuggery. A way to make you feel good when your labor is stolen to support things you may or may not agree with. 

Let’s work to do better than this — to envision a world where we answer this question: How can we care for people in our community without pillaging everyone? How can we care for people without greedily judging your neighbors and coveting what they have accomplished? How can we care for people in our communities with compassion rather than through enslavement? 

That is the world i want to see and that I know we can build.

Make it a great week!

GUYS! Don’t forget about the cookbook, Cook With What You Have by Nicole Sauce and Mama Sauce. It makes a great Christmas Gift!

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