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27.4.13

Paying Through The Nose

What do you get from government?  I mean, in real unvarnished unblinking terms, what do you get for all the taxes you pay?

Most folks in most countries pay around half of their income in taxes, if you add up all the income tax, fees, sales tax, etc.  Half or more.  All that hard work and money you could be using to improve your family's life right now being sucked out of your pocket for...what exactly?

Most people might answer, "Safety, security, protection."

So, did all that safety, security and protection do any good during the Boston bombing or the Texas fertilizer explosion (bullshit bombing) or the Alabama fuel fire?  Did it protect anyone from riots in Greece and Spain, or school knifings in China?  Did it save all the folks who died in the ferocious winter storms this past season?  Did it stop the landslides in Indonesia?  Or the typhoons in the Philippines?  Or the earthquakes in Iran, China and Japan?  In fact, did a single penny/farthing/kroene/franc/yuan/rupiah save a single life of anyone you know?

On the other hand, how much of your tax money bought war planes and ships, weapons and armor, ammunition and nuclear fuel?  How much of your money paid for military and drones and bases and housing?  How much paid salaries and benefits for government officials?  How much paid for securing and maintaining government infrastructure?  How much paid for police that protect the government from you, not you from thieves/robbers/natural disasters/property loss?

And since governments are usually the ones starting wars either by policies or direct action, can it really be said that the militaries of the world protect anyone, since the need for them is caused by their existence?

How much of your tax money went towards protecting your investments when the stock market turned?  How much help did you really receive when your house was destroyed by fire/hurricane/earthquake?  How much security did all those tax dollars really buy?

The answer: None.  The extended answer: It caused more problems than it solved.

Governments and taxes serve only one purpose: to protect and enrich an elite at the expense of the labor and investments of the rest of humanity.

If, in fact, we receive no benefit and experience only loss from supporting government and paying taxes, then why do we continue to do it?  What does it possibly profit us to continue to support this system?

Promises.  That's all.  We get promises.  The only real security we receive...the only real service we receive from the layers upon layers of government we support and piles upon piles of tax money we surrender at the threat of bodily harm is the promise that someone will do something when some threat or real event may harm our lives or property.  That's it.  A promise.  And one that is rarely fulfilled, at that.

So why do we continue to serve this leviathan that we have created?  It's safe to say that the majority of people disagree with most of what their governments do with taxes, yet most of us continue to pay for and rally behind the single most perilous threat to our well-being that most of us will face in our lifetimes.  A few of us may end up in a position where we need a promise - unemployment insurance, disaster relief, etc. - but the reality is that those services are grossly overrated, when anyone actually receives them.

Unemployment insurance hardly covers all the expenses we have to avail ourselves of the necessities of modern life.  Most unemployment checks won't cover rent/mortgage, lights/gas/water bills, internet, car fuel and maintenance, and all the rest (not to mention food).  The ridiculous part of this is that we need power and internet to file and receive unemployment insurance.  We need transportation to seek new jobs.  We need a permanent address in order to get unemployment insurance and apply for jobs.  We need the utility bills to prove residence in many cases.  In other words, the whole thing is a complete circle jerk.  You need all these things in order to get the 'promise' and the new job, but the 'promise' doesn't pay enough to afford the things you need to receive it all.  Catch-23.

Ask victims of any natural disaster, or wars of profit, or NGOs how much benefit they received in relation to the taxes they paid for promises.

In the alternative, if governments only received taxes from import/export duties, how much more motivated would they be to improve business relations with other countries, and to keep jobs at home?  And if you were able to keep the 50% of your income that is appropriated for promises, how much more would you be able to secure your family and save for a rainy day?  If your money wasn't squandered on useless 'public education', how much better schools could you choose from for your children?  How much more money would you have to buy goods and services that improve the economy rather than destroy it?

And how much better would life be if your hard work wasn't supporting banksters, multi-national corporations and political elite who provide absolutely nothing of value to the local economy while gulping down large helpings of your tax dollars and paying little or nothing themselves?

When it comes right down to it, what's more important: the welfare of your family or the vacant promises of 'security' and 'safety'?  In nearly every single case, could you provide more safety and security for your family using all of your income, rather than just half?

Does paying for licenses, inspections and plates make the roads any safer, or are you just as likely to get into an accident at any given time?  After all, licenses are handed out to just about anyone, so how does that make driving any safer?  And does paying all that money every year provide security for you?  Does it reimburse you a single penny/farthing/crown/shilling/yuan/rupiah if your automobile is damaged in an accident that is not your fault - especially if it is caused by the infrastructure promised by the government?

And if any of the promises made to you in exchange for your taxes fail when you need them, do you get a refund?  If I buy something at the store and it doesn't perform as promised, I get a refund, or at least an exchange.

So the question is, what exactly are you supporting with all that money?  Is it just a promise of safety and security?  Does it materialize when you need that service?  If, after a number of years, you haven't accessed any of the services, do you get a refund?

On the flip-side, how much money has your country paid to banksters in bailouts?  How much tax do the multi-national corporations pay that are exploiting your country's labor and raw materials?  Are your children receiving a quality education for the money, or are they regurgitating slogans and putting condoms on cucumbers while being trained to rat out their families?

Suppose on January 1st of next year, all people everywhere decided to stop paying taxes at the same time?  Suppose we called it "Global Liberation Day?"

How much better would the world be at that moment?