Category Archives: Taxes

The Real Significance of the French Tax Revolt, by Peter C. Earle

People have reached a breaking point. They are tired of paying ever-increasing taxes and getting very little in return. From Peter C. Earle at aier.org:

The gilets jaunes (Yellow Jacket) anti-tax riots in France escalated over the past weekend, again citing the impact of higher taxes on fossil fuels –and high levels of taxation in general – on everyday life. French citizens, already subject to the highest taxes in the OECD, are being crushed by both new and systematically increasing taxes, and have taken to the streets by the hundreds of thousands in a “citizen’s revolution”. Recommendations to declare a state of emergency have for the time being been tabled.

With no sense of irony whatsoever, in a press conference on Saturday French President Emmanuel Macron stated: “I will never accept violence.”

Yet violence is the core component of his chosen vocation as a statesman.

Taxation poses as an equitable transaction – goods and services provided by a government in return for a fee (more galling and Orwellian, a “contribution”) from the taxpayer – but the nature of the interaction is obvious to all but the indifferent or determinedly thoughtless. It is not voluntary and does not follow from reason; neither will even the most indefatigable defenders of state appropriation, given the choice (and confidentiality), miss an opportunity to skirt the taxman and retain their property.

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Poppycock: Death of a Resumé, by Robert Gore

A thousand points of power.

There are a few in every high school. They vie for class valedictorian, collect honors and awards, and run every school club worth running. Some of them are athletes, rounding out the college applications. They manage both charitable work and part-time jobs. Resting their heads on their pillows after busy, meritorious days, they dream of acceptance letters from elite institutions, the golden tickets to the good life in America.

They get their letters and some go on to lead productive, admirable lives. Some build ostensibly impressive resumés while pursuing prestige, power, and pelf, on the way abandoning principles, idealism, integrity, and honor. Perhaps the holes in their souls are filled by whatever self-satisfied, ego-driven pleasure is derived from the elite’s embrace. Perhaps not. In their waning years, they do have a questionable consolation: imagining the fulsome tributes and eulogies and their lengthy and impressive obituaries when they die.

Last week the gilded resumé set lost a shining exemplar: George Herbert Walker Bush, forty-first President of the United States, forty-third Vice President, a US Representative, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, multi-millionaire founder of an oil company, captain of the Yale baseball team, and an aviator in the US Navy during World War II. Generationally, his resumé stretches backwards and forwards. His father was a successful investment banker and US Senator. One son was the forty-third president, another was governor of Florida.

The alternative media has filled with uncomplimentary articles about Bush. They’re a welcome counterweight to the cloying eulogies in the mainstream media, which is determined to make Bush a statist hero surpassing even the recently lionized John McCain. We’re mourning for an entire week. Financial markets are closed today for Bush’s funeral, which Trump will attend.

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Socialism Always Ends in Destruction, by Virginia Fidler

Taking legitimately earned money from those who produce it and “redistributing” it to those who don’t, with the government of course taking a hefty cut, is a surefire recipe for ruin, and nothing more. From Virginia Fidler at goldtelegraph.com:

Every attempt at socialism has failed miserably. Venezuela is only the latest country that has tried to implement a socialist paradise, only to inevitably crumble and crash before our eyes. Socialism, and its natural progression, communism, has caused the deaths of 100 million people since its inception 100 years ago.

Just a few decades ago, Venezuela had massive oil reserves and an abundance of other resources. It enjoyed wealth and an excellent standard of living. Today, Venezuelans have no food, no medicine, and the country is driven by corruption and fear. While a starving population is in despair, many are desperately trying to flee paradise. The army, supported by President Madero, is in the street, ready to brutalize any dissenters. Madero and the military are not starving.

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Will Paris Riots Scuttle Climate Accord? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Environmentalism is great until somebody has to pay for it. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

In Katowice, Poland, all the signers of the 2015 Paris climate accord are gathered to assess how the world’s nations are meeting their goals to cut carbon emissions.

Certainly, the communications strategy in the run-up was impressive.

In October came that apocalyptic U.N. report warning that the world is warming faster than we thought and the disasters coming sooner than we thought.

What disasters? More and worse hurricanes, uncontrollable fires, floods, the erosion of coastlines, typhoons, drought, tsunamis, the sinking of islands into the sea.

In November, a scientific report issued by 13 U.S. agencies warned that if greater measures are not taken to reduce global warming, the damage could knock 10 percent off the size of the U.S. economy by century’s end.

At the G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires, 19 of the attending nations recommitted to the Paris accord. Only President Trump’s America did not.

Yet, though confidence may abound in Katowice that the world will meet the goals set down in Paris in 2015, the global environmentalists seem to be losing momentum and losing ground.

Consider what happened this weekend in France.

Saturday, rage over a fuel tax President Emmanuel Macron has proposed to cut carbon emissions brought mobs into the heart of Paris, where they battled police, burned cars, looted, smashed show windows of elite stores such as Dior and Chanel, and desecrated the Arc de Triomphe.

In solidarity with the Paris rioters, protests in other French cities erupted.

Virulently anti-elite, the protesters say they cannot make ends meet with the present burdens on the working and middle class.

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What America Has Done To its Young People is Appalling, by James Ostrowski

Perhaps some of the problems young people face are caused by dysfunctional family situations and our failing education system. From James Ostrowski at lewrockwell.com:

Critics are perhaps too quick to judge America’s young people, citing declining SAT scores, obesity, drug overdoses, addiction to smart phones, bizarre alterations of personal appearance and high rates of (alleged) mental illness.  It’s just too easy to be annoyed at how some of the cashiers at the local grocery store seem unable to carry on a conversation or have chosen to mutilate their faces with pieces of metal.  We are perhaps too quick to condemn the crazed behavior of young protesters in recent years without fully considering what our government, society and culture have done to these poor souls.

Let’s begin at the beginning.  Forty percent of Americans are now born out of wedlock.  Single parent families are associated with a long list of social maladies:

“Children who grow up with only one of their biological parents (nearly always the mother) are disadvantaged across a broad array of outcomes. . . . they are twice as likely to drop out of high school, 2.5 times as likely to become teen mothers, and 1.4 times as likely to be idle — out of school and out of work — as children who grow up with both parents. Children in one-parent families also have lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, and poorer attendance records. As adults, they have higher rates of divorce. These patterns persist even after adjusting for differences in race, parents’ education, number of siblings, and residential location.” Sara McLanahan, “The Consequences of Single Motherhood,” American Prospect (Summer 1994).

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France’s Meltdown, Macron’s Disdain, by Guy Millière

France is the shape of things to come across the West’s welfare states. From Guy Millière at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • “The French say, ‘Mr. President, we cannot make ends meet,’ and the President replies, ‘we shall create a High Council [for the climate]’. Can you imagine the disconnect?” — Laurence Saillet, spokesman for the center-right party, The Republicans, November 27, 2018
  • The “yellow jackets” [protestors] now have the support of 77% of the French population. They are demanding Macron’s resignation and an immediate change of government.
  • The movement is now a revolt of millions of people who feel asphyxiated by “confiscatory” taxation, and who do not want to “pay indefinitely” for a government that seems “unable to limit spending”. — Jean-Yves Camus, political scientist.
  • European elections are to be held this Spring, 2019. Polls show that the National Gathering will be in the lead, far ahead of La République En Marche! [The Republic on the Move!], the party created by Macron.

On November 11th, French President Emmanuel Macron commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I by inviting seventy heads of state to organize a costly, useless, grandiloquent “Forum of Peace” that did not lead to anything. He also invited US President Donald Trump, and then chose to insult him. In a pompous speech, Macron — knowing that a few days earlier, Donald Trump had defined himself as a nationalist committed to defending America — invoked “patriotism”; then defined it, strangely, as “the exact opposite of nationalism”; then called it “treason”.

In addition, shortly before the meeting, Macron had not only spoken of the “urgency” of building a European army; he also placed the United States among the “enemies” of Europe. This was not the first time Macron placed Europe above the interests of his own country. It was, however, the first time he had placed the United States on the list of enemies of Europe.

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“The Federals Are Coming!” by Jeff Thomas

The next financial crisis will bring a general clamoring for the government to do something, which always translate to more power for the government and less for its subjects. From jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Americans were taught about Paul Revere’s ride in school. He was said to have ridden from his home in the North End of Boston, to Lexington and Concord, to warn the people there that Federal troops had landed in Boston Harbour and would soon reach the townships.

Of course, the story was tarted up a bit for the history books. First, it’s unlikely that he shouted, “The British are coming,” since, at the time of the ride, in 1775, he was in fact British – a British colonial – and would have regarded himself as British, as would the townspeople.

It’s also unlikely that he galloped through the towns shouting, “To arms! To arms!” since a major portion of the British colonists, particular those who were older and had a lot to lose, were loyalists, and taking up arms would be treasonous. (At that time, treason was one of only two capital crimes.)

So, what did he shout on his ride… or did he in fact shout anything? It’s more likely that he simply went to the back doors of select sympathisers and asked them to spread the word that the Federal troops were on the way. But, of course, that would have made for a far less colourful story.

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