The 51st State of the Union

Anyone that has followed politics, money, and the economy long enough will acknowledge that Washington D.C. is broke and broken.  The government will not voluntarily reform itself.  Those in power will continue to usurp power and extend their dominion over the people.  Regardless of your party affiliation or particular ideology that is the simple truth.

Political power bounces back and forth between the two parties like a ping pong ball.  When one side is in power they stick it to the other side.  Once the pendulum of power swings to the other party they return the favor — with vigor.

Meanwhile, government power expands.  New government programs are created by both parties.  The country goes further into debt.  More rights are abridged or denied.  Both welfare and warfare expand.  More criminal laws are enacted and more regulations passed.  The domestic surveillance state expands.  Whether you support tax and spending decreases or tax and spending increases they are merely tweaks to a broken system.  The government leviathan gains steam and power leading everyone over the cliff.  This is obvious to anyone that pays attention to current events.

Sadly most people don’t take the time to understand the depth and breadth of the crisis.

Those people are honorary citizens of the new 51st state of the Union.  The state of Denial!

Ultimately this boils down to two choices.  You support the status quo or you search for alternative solutions.   It is not the government that needs to be saved it is the people that need to be saved form the destructive policies and power of government.   Do you want to live as a free person or remain enslaved on the government plantation?  Undoubtedly, those that want to live free should explore all alternatives to the current problem.  Strategies and tactics that nibble around the edges of the problem are analogous to putting a band aid on a shotgun wound to the torso.

What are some of those alternatives?

1)       Amend the Constitution through an Article V amendments convention.

2)      Break the country into four or five distinct regions that are independent and free countries with a common defense pact.  The states and the people of the states in each region will determine their form of governance.

3)      Establish a new monetary system that is not based on debt and a fiat currency.

4)      Repeal the 16th amendment.  Abolish the IRS.  Institute a flat tax not to exceed 5%.  Eliminate corporate taxes and estate taxes.

5)      Unwind the Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs.  Unwind welfare programs like food stamps and public housing.

6)      Repeal the 17th amendment.  Return power to the states to check the power of the federal government.

7)      Eliminate all subsidies, grants, and other federal involvement in private enterprises, industry, etc.

8)      Return all federal lands to the states with the exception of military bases.

How many of you thought that one or more of these things are impossible?  Why are any of these things impossible?  What is your rationale for reaching such a conclusion?

I strongly suspect your normalcy bias interferes with rational thought.  You’ve known nothing other than a top-down, all powerful, centralized government and banking system your entire life.  If you’ve known nothing else, why can’t these alternatives work?  Why can’t these alternatives be more successful than the status quo?  Why do you resist paradigm changing ideas that will change course, reverse course, and avoid the inevitable downfall of the country?

Citizenship in the new, great state of Denial is easy.  Just bury your head in the sand and hope that everything will fix itself or the government is the answer to your problems.  And, if government is the answer to the problem how stupid was the question?  The qualifications for citizenship in the state of Denial are easy; complacency, apathy, ignorance, and a subservient mindset.

Appropriately, the official bird of the state of Denial is the ostrich and the official state motto was taken from the movie Forrest Gump; stupid is as stupid does.

Let’s explore one of the ideas I mentioned regarding taxes.  Taxes take on many forms.  The two most pervasive taxes are income and property taxes.

Income Taxes

Under the original constitution income taxes were not prohibited, however they were restricted by provisions that required taxes to be laid according to census or enumeration (direct tax) or uniformly throughout the United States (indirect tax).  Federal government operations were funded entirely by indirect taxes.  Direct taxes were laid infrequently and generally for specific purposes.  Direct taxes were levied five times in the history of the United States.  The government was able to operate without any long-term outstanding debt.

So, why not eliminate the 16th amendment and reclaim the power government has to tax our incomes?  The typical response is; how will government get money without taxes?  Well, for the first 124 years the federal government didn’t have an income tax.  After the 16th amendment was ratified income was viewed very differently.  First, income was thought of as gains or profits or net income rather than gross income as it is today.  In 1913, the average American earned between $500 and $1000 a year.  Today that would equate to roughly $12,000 to $24,000 per year.  Also, the intent was to tax investment income not income earned from work.  In free markets the exchange of labor for payment is an even exchange.  There was no profit or gain from the exchange.  In fact, Congress was so concerned about taxing the average American that only incomes over $3,000 were taxed.  In today’s dollars the income would have to exceed roughly $68,000 before any of it would be taxed.

What concerns me more is the typical response from so many Americans that ask, how will government get money without taxes?  This is a cart before the horse, kneejerk, ignorant response.   The paramount question is where do the people get the money?  People have to work and produce goods and services desirable to others.  We don’t all have money tress growing in our back yard where we can go pick off whatever money we need.  We labor for our income, our money, our property.  To the best of my knowledge each household doesn’t have their own personal printing press allowing them to print money at will.  Of course, the government has a printing press they can use at any time to increase the money supply and debase the currency.  Which begs the question, why tax the people, or borrow money for that matter, if the government can simply print money?

Property Taxes

What does it mean to you to own property?  What I mean by property is land or land with a home on it.  To own property means you have the complete right of use and disposal of the land.  It is fee simple title to the land without any encumbrances by the state.

Contrast property ownership with renting.  When you rent property from another person you make regular rent payments in exchange for the right to occupy the property according to the terms of the agreement.  If you do not make your rent payments the landlord has the right to evict you from the property.  You have no legal claim to the property and your rental situation is governed by your lease agreement and contract law.  You don’t pay your rent you are evicted from the property.

Property taxes are used by governments to raise revenues to fund government operations.  Even though you have a piece of property with a title in your name do you truly own your property?  The answer is no.  Even if your house is fully paid for and has no outstanding mortgage you must still pay property taxes.  If you don’t pay your property taxes the state or local government can seize your property and evict you.  How is this situation any different than that of the renter?  Government is the landlord and can evict you from property because you failed to pay tribute to the government.  Are you a landowner or a renter?

Zoning regulations and environmental regulations are two methods government uses to control land use and disposal.  In other words, the government uses the power of the law to control your personal and economic liberty and to decide who can own property, where they can own property, and how they must use that property.  The use of zoning and environmental regulations is pernicious to property rights and ownership.

Income taxes and property taxes are not merely methods for government to fund itself.  Both are methods by which the government can exercise dominion over people.  Moreover, the very concepts of income and property taxes are fundamental planks of Marxist ideology.  These are the ten planks stated in the Communist Manifesto:

  • Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  • A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  • Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
  • Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  • Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  • Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
  • Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance to the State plan.
  • Equal liability of all to labor.  Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  • Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
  • Free education for all children in public schools.  Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form.  Combination of education and industrial production.

The first five items are directly related to property rights and taxation.

The first one is well underway through zoning regulations, environmental regulations, and other prohibitions from all levels of government.

The second one is already in place.

The third one has been partially implemented through estate and inheritance taxes.

The fourth one is enforced through seizures, tax liens, asset forfeiture laws, and confiscation of property without due process.

The fifth one was established in 1913 through the Federal Reserve Act.  The government and the banking cartel control the money supply and the cost of money (interest rates).  The official currency of the United States is a fiat currency.  The people are forced to accept currency as legal tender for all debt public and private because of a Supreme Court ruling in the 1870s (legal tender cases) not through constitutional authority.

Conclusion

There you have it, life in the 51st state – the State of Denial.  Are the ideas posited in the article attainable or too farfetched to wrap your mind around?

If you don’t believe any of these are possible, what would you say to the founding fathers when they contemplated declaring independence from Britain?  Would you have supported them or supported the British Empire?  Or, would you have ignored the situation and merely hope the problem would go away.

What would you say to the framers of the Constitution?  Would you have suggested a progressive income tax?  Would you eschew the absolute right to property?

Would you have supported unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property?  Or, would you have suggested centralized control of the economy, banking, and personal and economic liberty?

Would you be on the side of liberty or oppression?  Would you be on the side of absolute property rights or government control of property?  Would you be on the side of economic liberty or slavery?  Would you be on the side of being secure in your persons, place, and things or government dominion over you, your home, and your things?

Do you choose to be enlightened, informed, and engaged?  Or do you choose ignorance, complacency, and apathy?  Do you want to live freely or live in a State of Denial?

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3 Comments

Filed under Philosophical

3 responses to “The 51st State of the Union

  1. Augie

    Reblogged this on No title necessary and commented:
    So, what State are you really from? Should you lay claim to the 51st State…for goodness sakes read the following blog, by The Forgotten Men and pause, think and choose your next move, hopefully out of the State of Denial. It’s your choice.

  2. Great article with some great ideas. I had initially thought this was something about DC or even secession from Maryland, but it was more generally focused. From the first set of options, I choose #2: “Break the country into…distrinct regions…” However, I would not stop at 4 or 5, I would go to 50. In other words, return to the beginning with 50 distinct & sovereign states. Let them then form pacts, treaties & agreements on their own without pressure to form any kind of illogical “union” based simply on proximity on the same continent. I would give the federal gov’t 1 year to dispose of all its military equipment and/or bases, either by selling them back to the States or forfeitting any right to them. The federal gov’t should not own property outside of the States, unless you want to make the federal gov’t its own sovereign state (very bad idea.) I also support repealing the 16th & 17th Amendments, but this & all the other suggestions are trying to fix a snowballing problem that comes from the states being subordinated to federal tyranny.

    I am glad to hear someone seriously talking about eliminating the Income & Property taxes & not replacing them with an equally burdensome Fair Tax or Flat Tax. As long as we assume gov’t has the right/responsibility to take in the same amount in taxes, people will want it to provide the same services which have always lead to bigger government & higher taxes. However, I do disagree about zoning. Your solution is too libertarian for me. The people of a sovereign state should have a say in what business can operate in their territory & where they are allowed to operate. The question I would ask of libertarian-minded people is, how would you feel if you spent all you could afford to buy a home in a nice, safe neighborhood & someone opened a brothel, a casion & a shooting range right next door to your home–thereby making it not so nice & not so safe? Whereas you’ve spent your last dime & are likely trapped into a 30-year mortgage, the business-owners are much more capable of picking up & moving if they don’t like their surroundings. You’d be favoring businesses at the expense of the citizenry. Therefore, there is a proper place & scope for zoning laws. Give states their sovereignty back & allow them to make & enforce their own laws, and I think you will resolve most of the problems that face us today.

  3. Also, what are your thoughts on the fact that Property was taxed both under the Articles of Confederation & continues to be taxed by most if not all state governments today. While on principle making land & improvements untaxable sounds good, I think that if everyone who bought property had allodial title, it would become astronomically expensive and/or end up in the hands of a few & remain there forever. I’d like to hear a good fix for this.

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