“Where there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.” — Plato



You are fake news! That's totally Photoshopped!


Hmm...that is an interesting point. Let me think on it a bit.

I’d argue with you, if I disagreed.

I don't like taxes when they're badly spent. Like instead of replacing old decrepit bridges, the government sends it for gender studies in Pakistan.

I feel the sentiment. And I like the slogan. But when the devil attends the details taxation is not theft — or more accurately, taxation requires no more theft than the concept of property does in general.

Property at its core is the exclusion of others from the use of a thing.

Prehistorically, the first property was probably food and territory. Later, increasingly complex tools introduce new forms of property from bead adornments and sharp edges to intellectual property and crypto.

As individuals we have a small capacity for excluding all others. It's fairly straight forward to keep enough food for oneself, perhaps an immediate family (sharing is selective exclusion) But securing a substantial territory and its valuable surpluses requires cooperation, at times violent cooperation. Or at the very least credible threats thereof.

History is clear that communities with specialists in organizing that cooperation will fare better, in terms of cumulative property secured, than those without. Since those specialists are producing less (or none) of their own food, etc. they must either be sustained through some form of taxation or not at all.

These basic premises haven't really changed since hunter-gatherer days. It's not clear whether they can ever change.

As technologies of governance have become increasingly complex along with our other tools and property we've experimented with and refined different formulas for taxation. But the productivity that enables those advances has never yet been achieved without the umbra of specialists sustained by taxes.

Taxation isn't theft. It's the minimally violent means to securing property beyond what can practically be secured in anarchy.