Posts tagged “power”


Is taxation theft?
Do we have the right to exert our economic power unchecked?

Alex Douglas recently posted an article entitled Taxation is Theft?. As usual, I find what Alex says very compelling but it reminded me of a line of thinking that usually occurs to me when I think about the question of taxation and particularly the moral basis for taxation.

The idea that taxation is theft seems to arise from the idea that the economy is a fair competition and therefore whatever one is able to obtain by selling their labour or employing their captial in this marketplace is justly deserved. The earnings are the rightful property of the individual. The implication is that if the state opts to commandeer some of this property (via taxation), then that is equivalent to theft.

The are many lines of argument one can take on this position, but the question that occurs to me is whether it is true that what we obtain on the market is justifiably earned/deserved. And I am not convinced that it is, or at least I do not think that it follows obviously.

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