Tag Archives: Theft

What’s Yours Is Now Mine: America’s Era of Accelerating Expropriation, by Charles Hugh Smith

The smaller the pie the higher the probability that somebody will resort to theft. That somebody includes the government. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The takeaway here is obvious: earn as little money as possible and invest your surplus labor in assets that can’t be expropriated.

Expropriation: dispossessing the populace of property and property rights, via the legal and financial over-reach of monetary and political authorities.

All expropriations are pernicious, but the most destructive is the expropriation of labor’s value while the excessive gains of unproductive speculation accrue to the elite that owns most of the nation’s wealth.

In a nation in which the leadership has finely honed the art and artifice of legalized looting and financial legerdemain, it’s not surprising that the expropriation of labor’s value takes many forms. For the self-employed and small business proprietor, the list is practically endless:

1. Proliferating junk fees for permits, licence renewals, applications, late fees, penalties, fines for violating obscure regulations, etc. (Never mind if you’re losing money; by definition, as a business owner you’re “rich” and deserve petty expropriations. If you’re Amazon, however, we’ll shower you with subsidies and tax breaks.)

2. Sky-high liability insurance, disability insurance and workers compensation insurance, because all the fraud and friction in these systems adds expense and you’re the one who will pay for it all.

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“It’s A National Crisis” – Officials Admit Billions Lost In “Veritable Tsunami” Of Pandemic Aid Fraud, by Tyler Durden

Imagine that, hand out free money and some people steal it. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

With so many people needing unemployment benefits during the pandemic, it comes as no surprise that the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG) has found an unprecedented amount of fraud in the unemployment program created by the CARES Act, according to NBC News

The DOL-OIG estimates at least $63 billion of the $630 billion in disbursements were squandered by fraudsters. The agency warns that taxpayer funds loss could be higher, with some figures suggest north of $100 billion.  

Readers may recall Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud exploded across the country last summer because there were virtually no checks and balances, allowing criminals to file fraudulent loans. 

Fraudsters were buying mansions, exotic cars, fancy clothing, and even Bitcoin. Some of these folks were caught; others remain on the loose as their fraud’s complexity has yet to be uncovered. 

California observed a great deal of unemployment fraud. One rapper netted $1.2 million in an unemployment benefits scheme. He even made a video about the scam. He gave a “shoutout” to President Trump for the CARES Act. 

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said this “isn’t just a California problem – it’s a breakdown of catastrophic proportions that has failed the American taxpayer.”

The Justice Department has launched a task force to find pandemic aid fraudsters across the country – it’s only now that the true extent of the loss is being realized. 

“Early indications in some states point to massive problems,” said NBC. 

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The Corruptocracy, by Robert Gore

Most political philosophy is just an elaborate justification for theft and fraud.

What’s called the silent majority is really the ignored majority, who for the most part are happy being ignored. Their lives revolve their families, jobs, friends, and community, not the media, publicity, polls, or politics. They’re sick of elections well before they’ve seen their hundredth campaign ad, received their hundredth mailer, or ignored their hundredth telephone call. They know that politicians are phony and corrupt and make jokes about them, but hope that their rulers don’t screw things up too badly, cross their fingers, and vote for the perceived lesser of two evils.

There’s a shortage of blue-ribbon pedigrees, Ivy League degrees, and gold-plated resumés among the ignored majority, but a surfeit of hard-knocks wisdom and common sense. Benjamin Franklin said, “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.” Everybody does foolish things, but by and large, the ignored majority learns from the dear school and puts its lessons to good use.

The gilded class denigrates those outside it: Hillary Clinton deploring the “deplorables,” Barack Obama saying working-class voters, “cling to guns or religion,” and Obama telling entrepreneurs, “you didn’t build that.” Yet, it consistently, almost invariably, demonstrates a complete lack of the common-sense street smarts found in abundance among those it disparages.

The quotes’ condescending arrogance rankles, but at a deeper level illustrate the real division in American politics—between the productive class and those it supports. At the intellectual level it’s the irreconcilable difference between those who believe that value can and should be conferred by the government, and those who know it must be created and produced. It’s believing or not believing that something can be had for nothing.

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Freeloaders’ delusion stems from psychology, not ignorance. Every human faces a choice. They can produce value or they can beg, borrow, defraud, or steal it from someone else. For every advance humanity has made, there’s always been someone claiming their unfair share. Most of what we call history is merely an account of who’s stealing or defrauding from whom.

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(Government) Spending is Theft, by Ron Paul

All those dollars government spends come from somewhere, and government’s only revenues are explicit taxes and inflation taxes. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Imagine being robbed every time you receive a paycheck, but once a year getting some of the stolen money back because the thieves took more than they intended. Would you be happy about it? If you are like most Americans the answer is yes, since most people are grateful when they get a partial “refund” of the taxes the government withheld from their paychecks. A tax refund means more taxes were taken out of your paycheck than you legally owed — in other words, thanks to withholding you gave the government a no-interest loan.

Withholding, which was supposed to be a “temporary measure” to help finance World War II, is an insidious way of minimizing the pain of, and thus opposition to, taxes. Because people never actually get possession of the money the government withholds, they don’t miss it. Imagine how great public demand for an end to the income tax would be if every month we had to write a check to the IRS.

This year, most Americans are owing less in taxes because of last year’s tax reform. Unfortunately, the benefits of the tax cut are going to be temporary because Congress and the President refuse to cut spending. In the two years that Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, federal spending increased by approximately 7.5 percent, or around $300 billion. Thanks to the GOP’s spending spree the federal deficit will reach $1 trillion this year, while the federal debt is now over $22 trillion dollars. This does not count the almost $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities which includes over $70 trillion in future Social Security and Medicare benefits.

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Taxation=Theft, by Jeff Thomas

Neither the thieves nor, oddly enough, their victims like to think of taxation as theft, but it is. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Theft is defined as “the taking of another person’s property or services without that person’s permission or consent.”

Almost invariably, governments pass tax laws and set tax rates without any consultation with the citizenry. Further, no final approval is sought by the citizenry that they consent to the tax or the rates. It is simply imposed.

Most of us tend not to regard taxation as theft, yet, by definition, that’s exactly what it is.

But some countries, notably the US, go further in disguising the theft, by stating that the payment of tax is “voluntary.” I personally am not aware of a single instance in which an individual or corporation decided not to pay a tax and, if discovered, was allowed to go unpunished. A typical penalty is a fine equal to the tax amount, plus compounded interest on both the tax and the fine. Such a condition is anything but voluntary.

The US also has a tradition of treating the payment of tax as being “patriotic.” Avoiding tax is deemed unpatriotic—therefore, citizens should take pride in paying tax and, in fact, many Americans do claim that they’re proud to pay tax. It would also seem likely that some resent taxation, but want to appear patriotic, whilst others truly wear taxation as a hair shirt with pride.

However, if we define taxation as what it is—theft—it would be far less likely that either of these factions would be taking this position. After all, no one takes pride in being robbed.

Some countries (again, notably the US) describe tax havens as jurisdictions that seek to undermine the tax regimes of other jurisdictions. As such, the havens are harassed and threatened by the latter and referred to as criminal money-laundering centres.

Well, let’s clear the air on that one while we’re at it.

A tax haven is quite simply a jurisdiction that has a low-tax or no-tax regime. It either steals less of people’s money than high-tax jurisdictions, or steals none of their money.

To continue reading: Taxation=Theft

Eminent Domained… by Eric Peters

Eminent domain has become a licenxe for the government to steal, often for the benefit of crony socialists (or fascists). From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Fascism is fundamentally about economics – not racism. It is when Big Business “partners” with Big Government (it’s no accident we hear that word routinely now) to steal money rather than earn it through the free exchange of goods and services.

Examples include Elon Musk and his Tesla electric car operation – but also GM and the mainline car companies, who are just as guilty of “partnering” with the government as Tesla to mulct the citizenry for their benefit – even if their product (unlike Musk’s) is fundamentally sound and could sell on the basis of free exchange.

The bailouts circa 2008 are the obvious example. Rather than take their lumps GM filched our pockets, using the government’s hands in our pockets. (Whether the money was “paid back” is irrelevant to the moral issue at hand; a guy who mugs you in street but sends you a check later on has still mugged you – even if he includes an apology note with the check.)

Another example of American fascism – and one that’s even worse than subsidizing Tesla or bailing out GM – is the use of eminent domain to steal people’s land using government’s guns (and courts, to rubber stamp the theft) for the sake of private gain. 

It is happening here in The Woods, rural Southwest Virginia – home of your Libertarian Car Guy.

A private company demands that private landowners stand aside and watch as the company sends men with chainsaws onto their land, to cut down swaths of forest, followed by heavy equipment which will install a natural gas pipeline that will deliver no natural gas to anyone in the county or any county in the vicinity of the county. Instead, the gas will flow far, far away – to be sold for the private profit of the gas company.

To continue reading: Eminent Domained…

What We Can Do…, by Eric Peters

The immoral doesn’t become moral just because the government does it. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Until enough people’s minds are changed about coercion and collectivism, resistance is futile. The debate will continue to be about how much should be stolen from whom and for what purpose – rather than about whether anything should be stolen by anyone for any purpose.

As things are, many people believe it is ok to steal from others – provided the stealing is done on their behalf by other people (these are called “tax collectors”) and the stolen goods are called by pleasant but intellectually dishonest, morally evasive names (examples include Social Security, welfare, foreign aid, grants and so on).

Using this technique of doublethink, people are able to do things to other people – or urge they be done to other people, on their behalf – without feeling ashamed or guilty, as they would if they were to do these things themselves, personally.

This “surgical excision” of the psychologically normal human revulsion for other-than-defensive violence and for the use of violence to take things from others is the keystone of the coercive collectivist system. Dislodge it and the whole edifice collapses.

It is that simple – and that hard.

 Simple, because the moral principle is already established.

Excluding psychological defectives – the relatively small population in every society that does not feel ashamed or guilty about the use of violence (these people are called “criminals”) most people do feel ashamed and guilty when they steal or resort to violence.

And hence, most people do not steal or resort to violence.

It is a broadly accepted moral principle that theft and violence are wrong things; that those who steal and threaten to harm others in order to get what they want are not good people. This is half the battle, already won.

The problem is the disconnect which occurs once you transcend from the individual to the group.  

For some reason, most people – who are good people, basically – are able to not feel shame or guilt when the very things they understand instinctively as well as intellectually to be wrong when they do them on their own are done by people acting in some “official” capacity.

To continue reading: What We Can Do…

101 Years of the Income Tax, from The Burning Platform

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/04/11/101-years-of-the-income-tax/

New Year’s Wish, by Eric Peters

It’s always easier to hurt someone if one uses a middleman, and everyone’s favorite middleman is the government. From Eric Peters, on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

This coming year is an election year, when some of us will vote to take things that don’t belong to us – or have things done to other people that would get us locked up if we tried to do them ourselves.

My New Year’s Wish, therefore, is that people give thought to what they’re voting for – what it really means – and if it’s something they’d be uneasy doing on their own, that they not expect other people to do for them. Or, if they don’t feel uneasy, that they at least man up and be open about taking things that don’t belong to them and bullying other people to make them do what they want (and don’t want) them to do.

I wish for clear thinking – and honesty, at least insofar as the spoken and written word.

If I take your stuff without your permission or against your will – whether it’s your money or some other piece of property – it’s theft. Not “taxation.” Not some other thing that sounds civilized. The test is simple: Is it yours? Did you make it? Did you earn it? Did you buy it? Was it freely given to you? If it was any of those things, then it is yours – and by logical extension can’t belong to anyone else. And if it does not belong to anyone else, then no one else has the right to take it from you.

If they do, it is theft.

The nature of the act doesn’t change if you get someone else to do the thieving for you, or by calling it some other thing. In that case, all that changes is the way you look at it, what you tell yourself. Much in the same way that some men think it is not possible to rape one’s wife. But rape is rape – just as theft is theft.

Which brings up the issue of consent.

To continue reading: New Year’s Wish