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Nine reasons to evade taxes

In this article I present the several reasons that justify tax evasion, that is, the refusal to pay taxes. I will also analyze the most common objections and, by using logical counterpoints, destroy them completely.

1st - Not paying taxes is theft!

A: Theft from whom? That which you earned with your work is yours and nobody else's. The property of your stuff is rightfully yours - after all, you made an effort to obtain it. And now someone tells you that the fruits of your effort are not yours, and, therefore, you are stealing? That is the excuse that a criminal makes to justify his actions! The government, which takes what is rightfully yours, is the one stealing. There is not a single plausible justification to levy taxes, which are a clear violation of Natural Rights! Governments are collectivistic by nature, always trying to justify all their actions - after all, if there isn't a good excuse, who would pay taxes for nothing?

2nd - Paying taxes is a patriotic action! Citizenship/Honesty is measured by your taxes being duly paid.

A: Paying taxes is an unpatriotic action, after all, it finances all horrible acts of the government, thus imposing suffering on other innocent citizens. Citizenship is being a good person and acting strictly within one's natural rights; it is limiting as much as possible the plunder by the criminal class (namely the State) on its fellow citizens by helping them evade taxes and regulations. Honesty is measured not by obedience to the government, but by its very opposite: acting in civil disobedience and peaceful resistance, and, of course, respecting the natural rights of one's fellow citizens.

3rd -  How will we finance services X, Y, Z?

A: There are two ways to do something: the right way and the wrong way. The right way is through contracts - voluntarily and lucidly. The wrong way is through the imposition of a coercive agent - the government. The right way is the most efficient, and the only correct one. The wrong way is inefficient and intolerable (it is contradictory, after all, for the ends do not justify the means). The answer to this question is in the agora, in the market.

Since personal preferences are subjective, only the individual can express them, through that which he chooses. It is impossible for any government to know with certainty what its subjects want; after all, it can only make a standardized decision, either for a majority or for a minority. It can only make one decision at a time, and there is room for one choice only. If they decide, for instance, that cars made by a state company will be green, there will be no possibility of blue cars being made. Each attitude is commanded from top to bottom, and variety is a word that does not exist in the governmental dictionary. It is impossible for the government to please everyone - therefore, any action will always be inefficient. This is true of any monopoly instituted by law.

But, for one moment, let us imagine that it would please all - for all would wish for the exact same thing - and the money would be used with 100% efficiency. Would it be good in this case? No! After all, it is paid for by taxes and thus the money used to perform the service was taken involuntarily. The benefit of the services is nullified in part because of this. Even if people liked the hospitals of the government, for instance, they would not necessarily approve of the taxes used to build and maintain them. Thus, comparing private hospitals with public ones, the private hospitals would always be more pleasant than the public ones, since they were built with voluntary money. Wealth does not matter per se, but our happiness does. Government does not add to happiness, it always subtracts from it. A sadistic person could say he paid the government willingly and liked the service. In this case, the other, non-sadistic or non-masochistic people unwillingly paid, and suffered the same way - which is not fair. The masochist's suffering is always voluntary. Try, for instance, hitting someone that does not want it. Would there be pleasure in it? No, because pleasure is only present in voluntary actions.

When government acts, it makes existing products and services more expensive - which suffer from the unlawful competition. That which is mandatory is always unpleasant. Along with other intrinsic problems, socialism (government action) will always be inferior to the market

4th - What about the poor? We need to help them!

A: I agree, we should help them. But remember what I said above, about there being the right way and the wrong way to do things. Help must always be voluntary. Governmental help makes the situation worse; it exacerbates poverty. The Welfare State is the handout the poor receives to stay, eternally, a slave.

The only way to beat poverty is through work done in a market context, because only through a market can one be truly free. The cause of (involuntary) persistent poverty is only the lack of freedom, both economic and personal. "Political freedom" is an oxymoron, since the existence of a government itself is incompatible with freedom.

5th - A minimal government is needed and desirable!

A: Neither one! Obviously a minarchy is much better than a Welfare State, but it still is a government. The basic characteristics of governments are two: charging taxes and obtaining monopolies for themselves. If they did not charge taxes, they would be like smugglers that are willingly financed, but prevent others - through violence - from competing in their "turf". If they charged taxes (which are always involuntary and harmful), but did not practice monopoly, competition would soon leave them behind. In both cases, the government is always harmful and criminal; otherwise it would be only a company like any other. Why should there be governments if the market always does it better? If the government profits from semi-state companies nowadays, it is only at the cost of a smaller investment rate. Economic growth will be harmed. As always, there are no miracles.

6th - Without taxes, there would be no governments!

A: You are correct. But, indeed, the intention is that there be no governments!

7th -  Anarchy would not work!

 A: Then someone needs to explain in what sense does statism "work"? People think that, if there is no government, there are no laws. Nothing could be further from the truth. True laws are discovered through reason. Stealing isn't a crime because it's the law, it's a crime because it violates natural rights. Besides, all governments are criminal per se. Denying anarchy (and, therefore, the market), is accepting the government, and that is accepting slavery.

 8th - Without taxes there is no government, and, without government, there is chaos!

A: He who claims such thing, does not know human nature or the workings of the market. In fact, this notion that "anarchy=chaos" is one of the most widespread and nonsensical myths there is. This is because people associate anarchy with revolution, and soon picture the horrors of the French Revolution. Here, we can say that we already live in partial "anarchy"; it can be reached peacefully and a revolution does not need to be as violent as the French one.

 9th - Without a government, the market would be taken over by criminals!

A: A simplistic notion. After all, we already live in a partial "anarchy". That's right, because the government does not command all details of our life. Most people that live immersed in the market are honest, perhaps 90%. How would we explain, then, the fact that the current market has not been taken over by criminals? Many rich people are honest, because they did not enrich themselves through force, fraud, or political connections (which are all the same, anyways). Simply, most criminality and human suffering is artificial, caused by the existence of government itself. This statement also underestimates the ability and intelligence of a large part of the people.

Two questions are worth asking, then:

If 90% of the people are honest, obviously most people in commerce are honest as well. Do you believe that, if 90% of government employees, governors included, were honest, the world would be like this?

 And more: how can an organization that must have around 15% of the population working for it manage to gather so many bad people - practically the worst part of the population?

 Why? Power is bad itself!

 Those who claim that criminals would dominate the market are also claiming that governors are magically better than the people - and they would naturally be contradicting themselves with this.

 There is something called "Laffer curve" which says that, if one cuts taxes and expenses of the government, the economy grows and revenue increases. Those that evade taxes still pay them indirectly, since many companies do pay taxes and the cost is inevitably passed on to the final consumer. That means a part of the taxes is paid and the other is not. That also means tax evaders make the economy grow; furthermore: they actually make the revenue bigger! A producer that evades taxes can invest more, hire more, spend more and be more competitive. To be competitive is to have lower prices than the average, and a higher quality. That will mean that he would help end unemployment, employing more people and under better conditions. This means that a bean producer, for instance, would produce better and cheaper beans, thus helping the poor to be able to buy more and eliminate hunger! Unemployment and hunger are artificial creations by the State.

 Who is wrong then?

 The only bad thing they can do, depending on how they act, is to sustain a horrid regime, such as it happened in the USSR where a large part of the system was sustained with money from the underground economy. We must, therefore, act in a more prudent fashion, avoid the mistakes of the past, and act in a way that is more consistent with the libertarian ideology. These men and women that evade taxes are great heroes!

Agora, Anarchy, Action! 

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Oriom Lisboa
é anarcocapitalista e ativista libertário.

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