One of the things I occasionally get to point out to fellow citizens in discussion is the matter of taxes.
Many neighbors or people I encounter don't think Americans pay enough in taxes or that businesses are getting away with screwing us all by not paying enough in taxes.
I try to take them down the not so primrose path.
Okay, all told, how much does the average man pay in federal taxes? About 20% give or take their finances and such. Then add those fun payroll taxes like medicare, social security, and you can add another, what -- 6-9%.
California state taxes -- about 10%. Sales tax 7.5 - 9.4%
So right off the top, an average Californian pays close to 40%. And that's not counting the percentage of what he pays in sales tax, gasoline tax, energy tax, water tax, cable TV, phone, and internet tax, property tax, DMV tax (I count most fees, local and state and federal, as taxes).
Okay, says my neighbor. An orderly civilization costs money.
Indeed, but I forgot to also count business taxes.
You pay every business tax, too, I tell him.
No, I don't.
Where do you think the business gets the money to pay taxes with? He adds the cost to the product or service you buy from him. You pay extra to pay for his taxes.
I do? Well, yeah, I guess I do.
But what, there's more. A company mines iron ore, let's say. They buy equipment which has a hidden tax on it. They then mine the iron ore and sell it to a refiner. The miner charges for profit and his cost of taxes on his business to the refiner.
The refiner's equipment also paid for somebody else's taxes. He smelts that iron ore, manufactures steel and sells it to a construction company. He charges a profit and for his taxes, too.
The construction company builds an office building and so on and so on. A dozen steps along the way to a product or service and each step is taxed that you're paying for along with every employee's payroll taxes each company has to pay.
Try to imagine not paying for any of those things and how much money you would then have? And what did you get for having about 80% of your income thrown to the government for taxes?
Wait! Taxes only add up to about 40% of GDP. Not 80%, you say?
That only shows the waste, not the actual amount of capital that's been destroyed by government spending. There's a multiplier effect. It works two ways. When you take money out of the economy for government spending the loss to the economy multiplies. When money stays in the economy, it's positive effect nf production, investment and profit is also multiplied.
I have no idea in perfect actual numbers how much poorer we are for being so thoroughly overtaxed as we are, but each average person loses millions of dollars through this theft in the course of his working life.
This is a representational democracy. This is what Americans wanted and voted for.
Really? Ask yourself this, has any American ever been given the opportunity to vote on whether he thinks being taxed about 70-80% through his whole life is a good idea?
When did anyone ever agree by representative or referendum that he's willing to pay such a cost? Never! Never did any American get to vote on whether he should pay 70-80% of what he's earned to the governments.
No. They just kept ratcheting it up and up and up. Tell me, Mr. Voter, don't you think a tiny 0.5% tax on alcohol to help the widows and orphans isn't too much to ask for? No, I guess not. If it's meant to help some folks, well, okay.
Then multiply that 1000 times over 150 years. But I dare anyone to put it all up for a vote today; the whole kit and kaboodle.
Mr. Voter, before you is a proposal to tax you 80%. All or nothing, take it or leave it. How will you vote, sir? For or against the resolution?
And no one, not any politician or pundit ever points out the entire conglomeration of taxes on any one person and how it is an utter rape and pillaging of human labor.
The amazing thing is that the West has increased productivity to the point that we can almost bear this devastation of labor and liberty. But no one calculates the awesome amounts of wealth that's been destroyed and would have lifted the world out of poverty and built cities and towns of astonishing beauty, space, and delight (if people so willed) while providing for every charitable need with ease (and efficiency).
Imagine the West with ten times the wealth and people free to spend as they wished. It boggles the mind to realize the extent to which lawyers and such have raped the world.
Well, that's what we get for being born as humans, I suppose. We can't help not doing that which is wise, sensible, and good.