Worse Than Zero: The American Tax Burden Exceeds One Hundred Percent By Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note: Just a note that I quote Reagan for one of his few sober thoughts on economics because while he talked a good game, he was no more fiscally conservative than any of the Presidents following Eisenhower and succeeding him in office in 1989. I will give Reagan his due for reducing income tax rates from a high of 70% to 28% but no closer to zero than my comfort zone for taxation.

Eisenhower managed to reduce government spending per GDP by two percentage points, not Reagan who spent absurd amounts of other people’s money and popularized deficit spending for the voter mobs. I highly recommend The Great Deformation by former Reagan advisor David Stockman for a fairly thorough analysis of the fiat currency and bankster chaos that has consumed the American economy for the better part of a century. I don’t agree with all of Stockman’s conclusions and his continuing faith in the “right” regulatory regime is quaint but illusory in application. -BB

“You can’t tax business. Business doesn’t pay taxes. It collects taxes.”
― Ronald Reagan

Taxation is theft and the acquisition of other people’s resources with a velvet glove backed by a mailed fist. It is simply one of the many ways in which the state brutalizes and impoverishes its tax cattle on a daily basis. Despite the government-media complex insistence that the tax rate in America is tolerable if not fair, anything above zero is morally wrong if the robbed don’t agree implicitly and consensually to the mugging for whatever fantastic services the state proclaims it provides.

The French aren’t the only ones to achieve a 100 percent tax rate, they’re just more blunt about it.

So I want to destroy a myth, I want to show you through sheer numbers and data that the state in America has a tax rate that exceeds 100% to which the normal American having had a proper government education will insist that is impossible.

I’d like to excise some of the population that is obviously at this point. Now the tax rate for incarcerated Americans is exactly 100% since their lives have been stolen in total. The tax rate on certain targeted marijuana businesses in the US under IRS code 280E are taxed in excess of 80% (some approaching 100%).

“I believe that the feds extend the drug war through 280E,” said Cornelius. “If (the federal government) can’t put them out of business legally when voters are mandating these businesses to move forward, it’s very easy to put them out of business financially. A lot of times, instead of paying a tax rate that should be 30 to 40 [percent], they are paying rates between 80 or 90 percent. I even have a client right now that is paying more than 100 [percent] effective tax rate.”

Apart from the sheer moral hazard and absolute immorality of the aforementioned cases, I would suggest that all Americans pay an effective tax rate that exceeds 100% even though that beggar’s belief and rational thought but we are talking about the government.

Direct taxation in America on the Helots residing within and without the US and its territories is enormous and takes on many tangential impacts. “The United States is the only country that taxes its citizens’ worldwide income, even when those citizens live indefinitely abroad.”

An ordinary US subject will pay Federal, state (43) and/or city income taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, sin taxes, sales taxes, Socialist Security, Medicare, unemployment and corporate income taxes. I have given a brief overview of most progressive taxes and there are regressive taxes like the gasoline tax that the Feds are gnashing their fangs over since prices have gone down and they were foolish enough to assign a percentage of price instead of flat fixed levy.

Then there are the death taxes to pay a gratuity to the state(s) per the required death levy once the owner has assumed room temperature and you are taxed once again on monies that have already had taxes stolen from the whole. This tax is 18-40% on previously taxed assets.

Of course, there are the beloved sales taxes. “As of January 1st, 2014, 5 states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon) do not levy a sales tax, while California has the highest state tax rate at 7.5%.” Now, the New York City local sales and use tax rate is 4.5 percent. City and state sales tax combined is 8.875 percent, so your mileage may vary. The five states with the highest average combined state-local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.45 percent), Arkansas (9.19 percent), Louisiana (8.89 percent), Washington (8.88 percent), and Oklahoma (8.72 percent). These do not include the additional imposts added on by municipal and county predators, which make the total approach 10%.

Then there is the widely reviled property taxes imposed on real estate which means that in America you never own your property, the King does. The top ten offenders offer tax theft as high as 1.89% (NJ) on the “assessed valuation” by the King’s assessors on your castle. You will note that your local serf-administrators play interesting games with valuation in a price downturn in the real estate market. Most of the loot derived from this scheme goes to the government education system to recycle the government supremacist nonsense that grows future homeowners convinced that the tax scheme is right and just.

Did I mention the varied licensing and registration taxes for vehicles and boats?

Investment taxes are another burden for those who think they can divine some income or wealth from pursuing capital. Peak on dividends is as high as 44%, capital gains as high as 24% and you must tax on interest rolled into gross income.

The next layer of the grand theft scheme is the corporate income tax is imposed at the federal level on all entities treated as corporations, and by 47 states and the District of Columbia. Generally, taxable income for a corporation is gross income (business and possibly non-business receipts less cost of goods sold) less allowable tax deductions. At the Federal level, this impost produces a flat 34% tax rate on incomes from $335,000 to $10,000,000, gradually increasing to a flat rate of 35% on incomes above $18,333,333. This can be as high 38% at the Federal level but for the sake of simplicity, we will call it 34% according to the government’s own spokes-mandibles. But this rises to a median of 39.1% when median state tax rates are included.

“These include taxes on income, payroll, property, sales, capital gains, dividends, imports, estates and gifts, as well as various fees. In 2010 taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.8% of GDP. In the OECD, only Chile and Mexico taxed less as a share of GDP.”

This does not include state predations on the corporate entities unfortunate enough to do business in America, which ranges from zero to 12%. California and New York are now crafting devastating tax rates that will enter the double digits for corporation doing business in those states.

So let’s disabuse one important point; corporations never pay taxes and not in the righteously indignant social protest nostrums of the economic illiterates in Occupy or the other socialist apologist organs scattered across the fetid plain. They can’t pay them because they sell goods and services to consumers so every time you hear someone in the Keynesian moronathon talk about corporations paying their fair share, it is economically impossible. The consumer pays the income taxes in higher prices for goods and services.

So in essence that is a 39% levy on consumers on top of everything else they have paid.

We’re not finished. Not by a long shot.

The new National Socialist healthcare scheme foisted upon the republic by Democrats and Republicans alike known as Obamacare imposes a whole new raft of taxes and penalties that have yet to be divined in their individual impact on the unfortunates who possess American citizenship. So I won’t even guess but be warned that whenever the government claims they will save you money, grab your wallet.

Sin taxes are also a mighty cash cow for government bureaucrats to extract more monies at the point of a gun. Look at this chart on cigarette taxes and you see an outrageous total tax impost on consumer items. New York levies a penalty of $4.35 to purchase a pack of cigarettes. Spirits taxes are similarly outrageous in the net amount for the item purchased. None of these include the BATF imposition of taxes at the producer level before the states get their tentacles in your wallet. Which brings me to a critical point on the interposition of corporate income tax and all of these value added taxes. Any notion you have heard that America has no Value Added Tax (VAT) is simply misdirection and illusion.

Understand that beer, pencil or television you purchase is taxed again and again at every juncture of production from removal of raw material from the earth to finding it on the shelf at the store; every transaction is taxed by the Feds and the state. Every time it leaves a warehouse to go to another one. Did I mention the Feds impose an inventory tax on goods in warehouses? The states are murderous in this levy, ask your local auto dealer.

Better men than me have done the math on the non-funded liabilities and the funded debt of the Federal government. That 18 trillion dollar amount is the acknowledged Federal debt subject to the same incredulity as everything the government tells you. The actual liabilities that the US Federal government has signed on to in snake oil promise after promise of new giveaways stolen from future generations to others is anywhere from 127 trillion to 210 trillion and rising as politicians promise ownership of things they don’t own and distributing the stolen loot.

I am certain I have missed some taxes that I have yet to discover. I have not discussed the two items which take us over the top of the 100% impossible hurdle which seems so unlikely and outlandish: funded debt and the cost of Federal and concomitant state regulation and choking of the above-ground free market in America and by extension any US holdings planet-wide. Funded debt is the quaint notion where the government through implied consent uses its tax cattle population and their production of goods and services as unsigned collateral for taking debt or printing fiat currency. I will cover those in the second part of this inquiry.

Federal regulation alone while incredibly difficult to extrapolate certainly stymies growth in very demonstrable way and places a veritable sea anchor on the entire economy’s forward momentum. The new NAM/Crain and Crain study places this burden of absolute loss at two trillion dollars. This is an indirect tax on every American Helot. Average cost to all manufacturing sector jobs per capita is approximately $20,000 per annum. None of this calculates the dead weight drag of a unionized government “workforce” legendary for sloth, indifference and inefficiency.

Did I mention inflation and fiat currency and the most insidious tax of all?

The First American Revolution had a number of contributing vectors for igniting among which was a tax burden on colonials of approximately three percent. I think I have established that in the end, American taxation as a whole exceeds 100%, as impossible as that may appear.

I am certain that readers will alert to any government theft or robbery I have neglected to mention.

If the time to stop the madness has arrived, you haven’t been paying attention. It started a long time ago.

Slavery never ended, the terms of employment changed for the quaint institution.

America is too big to succeed at anything but tyranny.


“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
― Thomas Jefferson

28 thoughts on “Worse Than Zero: The American Tax Burden Exceeds One Hundred Percent By Bill Buppert”

  1. Great article, and I agree 100%. I’ve already forwarded the link. This is something every one of us should read and understand.

  2. So, the question remains… why do most people continue to think any non-voluntary government has legitimate authority to control their lives and steal their property/prosperity? That superstition is the only thing that stands between any person and freedom.

    1. 15,000 hours of training in government education facilities. Along with a family that agrees with the message. I am sure you question was rhetorical though.

  3. It is a system of diminishing returns. At what point does the logarithmic scale of diminishing returns of this perpetual motion shakedown exceed the wealth which can be extracted?

    And I wonder what effects the advent of China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the de-dollarization will have?

    Aside from that, as a working man, it is getting close to the point where there is no sense in earning a weekly paycheck. And by that I’m saying on my scale there is little left of my hard won paycheck after paying for the essentials which for all the obvious reasons consumes all but a few loose bucks. At some point you have to go guerrilla and live a subsistence life.

    So if at my tiny scale the diminishing returns are at the break even point, how close really is the system of confiscation and its fiat vehicle to the break over point? And how quickly does the cascade failures overwhelm its ability to prop itself up?

    A few key sources of tribute and confiscation have dropped to a fraction of their former largess. Energy, manufacturing, raw materials extraction outside of energy, a wage earning workforce greatly diminished. Without these basic sources of generating a “revenue” stream, that leaves only debt as a method of manipulating economy and extracting blood from a stone.

    Unless creating war is the option on the table.

  4. Pingback: Buppert: Worse Than Zero – The American Tax Burden Exceeds One Hundred Percent | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  5. Even though I agree with most of what you have written in this article, I want to know how you draw the conclusion that inventory is taxed by the federal government. Inventory is used as a vehicle to determine COGS (Cost of Goods Sold). COGS is subtracted from gross revenue to determine Income which is most definitely taxed. Many states directly tax inventory through their property tax. Please give more explanation as to how the federal government taxes inventory.

    1. A distinction without a difference. Bill didn’t get into the math of secondary and tertiary taxation. See, you gotta figure what part of that COGS was itself taxes. The answer—“a boatload.” Maybe even all of it if you carry it out, making the original thesis correct.

  6. This is just a symptom of a much larger dynamic. The fault and the cure of this all lies within ourselves. As does tyranny and abolition. The truth is this is the State we wanted, each of us in our own way. You have to face this truth before you can change it for the better.

    There is no cure to this but ourselves. Sooner or later we are all going to be faced with choices. Choices which unless we all begin to be accountable for our part, in the reality, the truth we all have been complicit, the real totalitarians, which and whom enabled this state of affairs to become what it is, those choices are going to hit us upside the head like a ten-ton truck.

    You have to change yourself before the world changes, because it all, good and bad begins with each of us.

  7. I LEFT THE U.S. in 1977 at age 45, renounced citizenship and I’ve never looked back. I’ve never returned to the U.S. except once to bury my father – for 38-years now, having left the American Panopticon.

    I’ve recognized everything you’ve written in your comment Bill B. and long ago decided to exempt myself from the U.S. government’s despoliation. Against friends, family and associates, I left.

    Cultural differences throughout the world can present challenges. I looked at differences, as a learning experience and it broadened my life immensely. I moved to Europe, staying in the micro-states, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, San Marino, Andorra, Campione d’Italia, Malta and my favorite, Monaco. I never allow myself to become a tax-resident of ANY state – period. Yes, there are time limit restrictions but after 38-years I don’t blink an eye – having learned how to cope with even the most onerous of state rules, regulations and laws. It is doable. It finally boils down to just what your individual freedom, liberty, privacy etc. is valued at to you.

    Much like the Masai tribesmen tapping blood from their “tax” cattle, the stultified American booboisie lend their veins voluntarily or involuntarily to the badge & gun thugs of government for extraction.

    If you are of a mind, leave the country while it’s still possible! I see the day when becoming an expat will become legally, very difficult if not impossible. Again, each person must weigh the value of individual freedom and liberty.

    I bid to each of you,

    Peace in Liberty,
    A PT
    Principauté de Monaco
    Côte d’Azur

    1. You can run, A PT, but you cannot hide. Please don’t get me wrong — apparently you have settled in with your permanent traveler lifestyle, for which I salute you. For the lifestyle. That you appear to enjoy. I salute you for having the temerity to live the lifestyle and the courage to leave family and friends to so live it.

      But you, yourself, acknowledge that you constantly must bow and scrape to the psychopaths’ (who have grouped themselves into that mindless abstraction called “government”) rules of residency vs visitation. You are aware that you must move along once the time limit for that particular group of psychopaths expires — unless you wish to apply to them to become a “citizen” (g-d forbid).

      My ongoing mantra is this: if you’re going to be free you must act free. That means you must think free, and talk free, and write free. Here’s an example (from Bill’s essay):

      “…“The United States is the only country that taxes its citizens’ worldwide income, even when those citizens live indefinitely abroad.”…”

      (I see by the punctuation that Bill was quoting somebody else, so I’ll absolve Bill from any blame on this :-])

      The United States does not tax “its” citizens. The United States does not exist. People exist. Many individuals reside upon a land mass, a part of which is defined by tyrants and serfs alike as “the-united-states”. Fictitious lines in the sand that have been established by lunatics and their slave/warriors into what they call “borders”.

      The idea of “country” and “nation” is the idea of serfdom. Of slavery. Of rich vs poor. Of ruler vs ruled.

      The important distinction and rule of becoming free here is this: Understand that some people are tyrants. Tyrants are psychopaths. Most are ordinary folks who simply want to trade with each other and get along. All live somewhere — right now you reside in, I believe you said Morocco.

      My maxim is simply that I can be free. Here. Right now. As we speak.

      I am a sovereign state. I admit to being landlocked, and my bordering state(s) are ruled by tyrants. And I see that I must treat their enforcers in the same way that I treat rattlesnakes — avoid where possible, refrain from agitating where practicable.

      The advantage I have with the rattlesnake is that the rattlesnake knows he is a rattlesnake, where the enforcer truly believes he is “serving” (when s/he is not threatening).

      And, of course, I must abstain from beans. Everyone reading this essay knows that is fundamental to freedom.


      1. This came over the transom and I am posting it for “A PT” in his reply to Samuel Spade

        Sam Spade:

        Thank you for your reply.

        You are entitled to your opinion. You are not entitled to make up bona fide facts of evidence based on “your” concept of objective freedom, liberty, privacy etc.

        Your comment betrays you. You are not a “PT” (perpetual traveler) and never have been based on your subjective comments.

        You supply an inficete, rhetorical device, illusions, linguistic ambiguities and even delusion (freedom in your mind, rattle snakes etc.) not “actual experience of having been a PT.” I receive emails regularly “explaining what it means to exercise freedom…. My retort to individuals is: “What is you actual experience, as a PT based on; how long have you been a PT; your actual travel experience; experience in dealing with governments in all phases, as a PT? On-and-on….

        I’ve been a PT for over 38-years. I do not reside in any State. I am domiciled in a tax-free State and not subject to “legalized theft” of any State. I value my individual freedom and liberty, taking the necessary steps to maintain the greatest freedom and liberty that’s obtainable on this earth. No one gains access to my wallet without my choosing to obtain services and product based on my choosing – no one! Now that may be exceedingly difficult to conceptualize; it is for any non-seasoned PT.

        What makes you “think” you “KNOW” about the true workings of a PT – having no authentic experience, time in grade, how many passports do you possess as a PT?

        It is sheer nonsense to claim such from your subjective, non-experience understanding. NOTHING supplants experience, nothing. That said, I’ll leave you with a thought given to me by a Russian PT whom I’ve known for over 30-years His point reigns lucid:

        Defining freedom in this world the PT exempted: “Freedom is feeling ‘free & easy’ in your harness, as long as a government maintains absolute control of the reins.”

        (Freedom existing in one’s mind does not complete the real picture of bona fide freedom/risk. You might think so – as your government applies its “gun and badge” extracting your resources whether you think you are “free” or not! You are not free.) Again, you are entitled to your opinions – be that as it may, incontrovertible facts argue otherwise. You are your government’s chattel, your citizenship prevails, the collar around your neck living in subjection – stop, period!

        Thank you from your comment and the very best to you.

        A PT
        Campione d’Italia

        P.S. Correction to your first sentence: “PTs don’t “run and neither do they hide!” They remain in “full view,” tout au contraire of your glib statement. 😉 ~ A PT, a freeman.

        1. In reply to A PT: I made this comment some weeks ago, and I’ll have to admit that I often read through some of my old tripe in “comments”, and fail to understand what I wrote myself — let alone expect you or anybody else to understand it. So, since I see you were reasonably miffed, I’ll attempt to clarify:

          My comment was to those (like me) who do not have the budget, developmental skills, or knowledge to be “permanent travelers” — let alone the ability or willingness to circumnavigate and sidestep the various laws and regulations of the many abstractions called “government” in the various parts of the globe necessary to be a PT. And (also like me) have family obligations here — “at home”.

          I admire you and all PT’s for your courage to step out and do the homework and study it took to become truly independent — and to travel. I’d love to see the world as you’re seeing it.

          So please, please don’t take this or my original disconcerting comment as criticism toward you or of the PT lifestyle. It would be awkward at best for me to pack up my seven children, my twenty-five grandchildren, and all their families, to move to a “freer” place.

          My message is simply this: to be truly free, one must learn to be free where s/he is. Here. Now. In her heart and in her mind. Because none of us can rely upon changing others to become free. “This” government might seem to be freer than “that” government — but each government is nothing more than an agency of coercion.

          Freedom is a condition, not a place. Wherever I go across the green globe there will be those who will aggressively attempt to interfere with my choices (I’ve ceased use of the term “rights” — a separate topic). My mantra is that I must learn to circumvent those attempts at coercion.

          If it’s going to be, it will be up to me — not thee (or them).


  8. Something’s been on the edge of my cognizance for quite awhile now, like years, I’m not entirely sure, but it is like a splinter in my mind. I been trying to worry it loose, because this glimmer of a thought sneaks a peek around the edges of my reactions and efforts of reason in the course of trying to come to terms with not just liberty, but the dignity of myself in relation to my great desire to become a truly free man.
    The greatest influence on this idea I want to come to terms with, and by Jove there is a long laundry list of influences let me tell you, is to understand how it fits into the great question of liberty. The concept and idea of free enterprise, unencumbered by the state, and any power but of the natural unfettered variety, is closely if not inextricably linked to true liberty.

    Which brings me two other things linked in such a fashion as they are related but if one is to be truly free must be unlinked or the trap which they create will hold one in its tyrannical embrace till not a shred of light of liberty exists.

    I think Hamlet was on to something profound. Read below and see if you grok his drift.

    “Rollo May stated that freedom is located in the pause between stimulus and response. When we pause, we become free; we are no longer a part of the endless chain of natural causation. When we are not aware of this choice, we cannot pause, and we are not free.

    In line with this, the great Russian and Georgian philosopher Merab Mamardashvili explained the puzzle of Hamlet. Why does Hamlet hesitate all the time? Mamardashvili (1996) explains this through the ancient idea of the wheel of fortune—everything is linked to everything else; everything has consequences for everything else. But the human way of dealing with our lives, is to try to break these chains.

    Hamlet is well aware of all of these chains. The situation objectively requires some action from him. But he does not want to take it. He is aware of this; he is pausing; and he is looking for some exit out of the situation. He fails to find a real exit, but the whole story of Hamlet is the story of a man of dignity with a highly developed conscious awareness, who understands the structure, faces the challenge of the wheel of fortune, and tries to find a way out. That’s what Hamlet does during the entire story: He fails to go beyond his predetermined tragedy, but the struggle for it is his glory.”

    — Peter F. Drucker (ed.), A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology

    See something here is key. Tyranny in all its forms is a system of control via cause and effect with malice, but it is something even more sinister, it is the ends justify whatever means necessary in the sphere of the human condition, in other words it is a cunning system of social engineering which predicates itself on praying on the natural weaknesses and gullibility of people in general. Nothing new there. We are all ultimately responsible for our actions. There is no rationalizing that hard fact of life. And that is important for a reason I hope to get across.

    But here is the point I hope to convey in all this.

    The truth of how as a people we are systematically robbed through the shakedown extortion of tax racketeering, we are also systematically, with cunning and wholesale malice distracted from an essential truth about ourselves. Both of which are sums of the whole strategy to enslave us. It is a grand insidious distraction. We see this this strategy and its tactics of distractions in every scheme, narrative, and meme having to do with separating us from our freedoms wealth and happiness. And it is very effective. We fall pray to this gentle trap and in so doing we loose sight and touch with our primal liberty. This is no accident or is it a by product of tyrannies clutch. It is like the goose who is being plucked one feather at a time, each is painful, but in the goose’s tribulation he fails to focus on the truth he is being plucked naked.

    It is the golden goose of prosperity, and intrinsic wealth, of happiness, the goose which lay’s golden eggs, us, our productivity, our creation of inherent wealth, the fruits of our ideas, our culture of industriousness, the product of our labor, that is the target of this plucking. The idea is to overwhelm this golden goose, inundate it with distractions from every quarter, never give it a break or pause to take a breath of cultural consciousness, for culture is something which is upstream of this system of extortion and tribute.

    And it is our culture of natural born liberty which is the most golden egg in this clutch of freedoms and primal native rights.
    This heinous activity of those who are attempting to thieve their way to totalitarianism is part and parcel. The two are inextricably intertwined. Just as our right to our property, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and our right to defend ourselves sand our property is inextricably inseparable making them a holistic essence of our liberty. But even more paramount this is the crux of our dignity.

    To be, or not to be, that is the question. Hamlet had it dead nuts correct. That pause is crucial to something larger and better. It is the key to thwarting these insidious thieves and their system of serfdom robbing us of our seed corn. Do not doubt they will be coming for our land when the fields are barren of crops.

    I believe there is another essential truth of us which bears understanding in context of this all. It is affirmation. Affirmation takes on an almost myriad of forms in regards to ourselves and our freedoms, our activities of liberty.True liberty is in itself an affirmation of something larger but at the same time of our individual selves, also our culture. If you look at the system of taxation, affirmation which defines our wealth, whether it is extracted from us or that which we are permitted to keep, is never recognized. Those who put their greasy meat hooks on our property entirely lack any shred of respect or gratitude for this largess they steal. Not surprising, yet it doesn’t excuse this theft and transfer of our wealth to those who benefit. And that is the rub, not the theft, but the hubris and arrogance which justifies the means.

    Affirmation in our case of liberty and freedom is an integral component of who we are as a people. The flaws and traps inherent in the constitution, doesn’t detract from a premise which led to its creation and the idea of Republican form of government and rule of law. That premise was the idea the system of government desired by those who desired liberty and a trustworthy binding contract contain supreme affirmation of the peoples dignity above and before all else. Certainly a tall order and a great ideal worthy of obtaining. History proves it was not to be and the conspiracy of Philadelphia was ratified as a result. I can understand why the constitution is idolized by so many. Con or not, the ruse which cloaked its built in inherent administrative fascism doesn’t detract from the lofty and beautiful idea of affirmation of the primal sovereign liberty of men and its place as device for functions of governance in freedom.

    This is a story of wonton greed and cold calculating malicious betrayal and the supremacy of the sovereign man. That no matter how egregious and powerful those who presume to rule over us who are freemen, it is we who are free who hold in its entirety and scope, the moral and legitimate high ground. It is we who are free who are legitimate in our cause, in our very existence.

    In that light, all that passes for “government”, the man fabricated construct of law or regulation or force is a farce, petty, cheap, bereft of legitimacy, and that goes for those who presume to employ such systems and the methods of tyranny.

    So next time you gander the illustrious spectacle of the state and its actors and sycophants in all their stupendous glory, pause, and take stock of your worth, you inherent liberty, just who you are, your place in the grand scheme of the great creator, and see what a joke they and what they are doing truly is. What a con they are selling. Hold your dignity high, wave it like a flag of no surrender, no quarter. Of pride of place and time.

    Ole Hamlet said it best, to be, or not to be. Because it all begins right there.

    1. MtTopPatriot”

      “…we are also systematically, with cunning and wholesale malice distracted from an essential truth about ourselves…”

      First, “we” is the most dangerous word in the language.

      But second, and much more important — Mama Liberty said it succinctly and best in her comment above: “…That superstition (legitimacy of ‘authority’) is the only thing that stands between any person and freedom…”

      Anyone who has not spent a few minutes listening to Larken Rose should probably do so.

      Being rid of superstition is worth a million federal reserve notes.


  9. “Intelligent debates” become much less “intelligent” when the links one provides no longer work. My link to “the most dangerous word” did not work because apparently Dollar Vigilante decided to expunge Jeff Berwick’s best editorial ever (IMHO) once Jeff decided to dabble with partisan politics. So I found it reprinted on a Yahoo Group forum, and you can read it here.

    Larken Rose’s video, too, was expunged (I also suspect due to non-compliance content), but you can find it on Red Ice Radio archives (scroll to around 2:0 for Larken’s presentation).

    1. The reference to Red Ice Radio implies no endorsement of their philosophical predilections here.

      We’ll reprint Jeff’s editorial here in full for posterity:

      The Most Dangerous Word in the World

      by Jeff Berwick

      In Ayn Rand’s Anthem the one-letter word that was outlawed and punishable by death was “I”. But, even without punishment, the word “I” has become much less used in today’s world and stands in direct contrast to the most dangerous word in the world.

      The most dangerous word is only one letter longer than I. It’s small, but is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths, billions living in slavery and mass impoverishment. It is the word that should be abolished.

      The word? We.

      People should shudder whenever they hear the word “we” uttered by anyone in politics or the media. Almost without exception, whatever follows that word is going to take away your life, fruits of your labor or your liberty.

      The first time I consciously realized how dangerous this word is was a few months ago. I was in the Soviet Republic of Canuckistan, also known as Canada, a place where the word “we” is used with great abandon. I had flipped on the TV for a few minutes and found myself watching the “news”. The worst kind, actually, local news.

      The big story of the day was that out of a city of more than one million people, someone had died!

      Apparently someone was swimming and got hit by a motorboat and died. The government was called in to investigate, of course. As they interviewed the locals I knew what was coming — probably from years of seeing the same script repeated over and over — it was all but inevitable.

      They interviewed a middle aged woman who was clearly upset about the accident, despite not knowing any of the people involved or having any involvement or interest in the event except that she happened to live nearby. As she attempted to fight off the tears she said it:

      “W…W… We can never let this happen again!” she sobbed.

      And with those words she all but is sure to take yet another small piece of liberty away. Inquiries will be set-up. Signs will be erected. Men with guns will be extra vigilant out on patrol to make sure that this never happens again.

      Lots of money will be spent and wasted to ensure that a few housewives feel a little better.

      Notice she would never say, “I can never let this happen again”. Then she would actually have to do something. Instead, she uses the much easier word we, and thanks to the magic of government all of a sudden all of us need to do whatever is necessary to try to stop the impossible from happening: accidents.

      That is the local version of the word “we”. Once the word goes national it goes from being irritating to dangerous.

      On CNN, recently, the announcer stated after an emotional piece on one of the “wars” (occupations) the US is currently “fighting” (occupying), wistfully, “I guess that’s why WE are over there, isn’t it”.

      To say the reporter is making a fairly bold assumption is an understatement. He is assuming that he has the same beliefs as 300 million+ people and they all have the same desires and fears and that “we” are doing something that all 300 million+ people think is necessary against millions of other people on a different part of the planet who, presumably, aren’t like “we”.

      Not to mention the fact that “we” aren’t over there. I am not currently in Iraq or Afghanistan. And it says right below his name that he is broadcasting from Atlanta. So, what is this grand “we” who we are talking about?

      Doug Stanhope says it best in his bit about how “we” saved the French in World War II, below.


      So, the next time someone talks about some large group of collective people as “we” or take credit for events they never had anything to do with, be like Doug Stanhope and tell them, maybe “we” should just shut the f*#k up.


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