Taxation and the State, Part I

I see taxation as a moral problem: how much of my money is the state entitled to?

Does it all belong to the state? If so, then we throw property rights out the window (the ancient economic foundations of society), along with the market economy, one of the great bastions of human progress.

Does none of it belong to the state? If so, then an individual is entitled to keep all the wealth they have produced. Many would remark it is hard to fund a government on voluntary donations: taxation must be compulsory or the government would not get financed, and would struggle to fulfill its function (defending life, liberty, and property rights). Of course, this is another serious moral issue: if people are unwilling to pay for something, who determines whether they should be forced to pay for it? Who determines what they should be forced to pay for? There is a whole multitude of questions that should come up in the minds of us, the governed.

Most people accept compulsory taxation as a necessary evil, some even as a public good (thanks, Keynes). The result is that there is some popularly-accepted middle ground in most countries these days: the government is entitled to some amount of one’s wealth. Another question arises: what is this amount? How is this amount determined? How much is too little? How much is too much?

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Austrian Economics, Libertarian, politics, role of government

One response to “Taxation and the State, Part I

  1. ed42

    1) The government function of defense is (supposed to be) by CONSENT. I do not give my consent to anyone violating the ‘zero aggression principle’ against me.

    2) Government is NOT required for defense; my neighbors (“who is my neighbor?”) can, voluntarily, come together and provide mutual defense. It is up to the mutual defense group to solve the free rider problem in their own, non-violent, ways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s