We trade our lives for money. We do it every day. Most jobs are just an agreement to spend a specified amount of time and educated effort in exchange for a specified amount of dollars, euros, pounds or other fiat.
So at the very least you would want to believe that after you trade away your irreplaceable and irretrievable time and energy you would be in possession of something equally valuable to you and that it would, in fact, be yours and no one else’s. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case by any objective measure of the facts.
Suppose you trade a portion of your life for, say, $10,000, which might take a week for some of us and a year or more for others. In most countries you won’t actually receive the full $10,000. You’ll have payroll taxes of various descriptions deducted and sent off into oblivion for some alleged purpose that might, depending on your current level of cynicism, still give you some sense of satisfaction as long as you can kid yourself that your portion never goes to buy cluster bombs or to pay off gay hookers to keep quiet about their congressional boyfriends. But I digress. So maybe you come away with $8,000 in your hand.
Now let’s say you hate taxes and want to avoid paying more sales tax and VAT tax and all the taxes of the guy who would sell you a new television or car and needs to get his tax remittances from you. So you put all $8,000 into the bank for savings and never touch it. Then you wait ten years.
Despite the lying statistics of the US government, the real inflation rate of your money is about 8% per year. So money left in the bank for a year is worth only 92% of what you started with. After another year it’s worth only 84.6%. Yes, the bank might pay you some interest, but whatever it is you have to pay high taxes on it because you’re one of the rich one percent making passive income. After ten years your original $10,000 of labor would be worth less than half of what you traded away to get it. And if you used the fiat money to buy something, those sales and VAT taxes would be waiting to eat up some more of it.
You see, your money isn’t really your money. It’s just on loan to you by the government and eventually they will get it all back from you by inflating the currency or direct taxation or taking half of what you have from inheritance taxes when you die. (Or all three, most likely.) It’s difficult to imagine engineering a more completely dishonest bargain for the individual.
None of this – none of it – stops people from waving flags and crowing about how free they are. If they had a good definition of freedom they’d see in a minute that their property is under constant attack by the state, its minions, and the hoard of tax feeders who want to plunder them. Some freedom.
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