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Taxes and Theft

From the Palladium forums:

Subjugator wrote:
There are no examples of 'no participation [in tax systems]' out there.



Anybody living in a land (like, until recently, Somalia) where there is no functioning government.
Anybody who has no income and who does not buy anything that has a sales tax.
Anybody who lives in certain tax havens and/or lives a certain lifestyle in one.

There are ONLY societies with taxes and governments.


Except for places where there are no societies, places that have no government, and the places with no unavoidable taxes.

Places Where There Are No Societies:
Antarctica
The Bir Tawil Triangle
Macquarie Island
Anguillita
Dog Island
Kingdom of Redonda
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Heck, there's a whole list of unpopulated islands on Wikipedia.
These are technically claimed by various governments, and some are used as military bases or wildlife sanctuaries, and others are simply too small to inhabit.
But there's some in there that you could probably either persuade somebody to let you use or buy, and/or ones that you could squat on unnoticed for quite a while.
Either way, tax collectors won't be coming around, unless they come by boat.

Similarly, there are lots of areas on mainlands that are uninhabited. Regions where nobody really ever even goes. A person could exist in such places almost completely isolated from any society.

Places That Have No Government
Somalia
Antarctica

And there's international waters.
You cannot make an artificial island or platform and declare it a nation, but you could just get a boat and keep cruising, only touching down when necessary.
That's what Malcolm Reynolds would do.

Places With No Unavoidable Taxes:
Andorra has no income taxes, no sales taxes, and no estate taxes.

In Anguilla there appear to only be taxes on hotel rooms and other such accommodations. Avoid those, and you're living there tax free. There are no income, capital gains, estate, profit or other forms of direct taxation on either individuals or corporations, whether resident in Anguilla or not.

The Bahamas has no direct taxation. They have a stamp tax that only affects businesses that import goods. Move there, don't own a business that imports goods, and you're tax-free.

In the The British Virgin Islands, there is a payroll tax, but that won't affect you unless you employ a lot of people. There's a small land tax, but if you don't own land, that won't affect you. And there's a few other minor taxes that are nothing compared to the tyranny the US imposes on people.

Campione d'Italia "owes its tax haven status to a more or less laissez-faire attitude by the two neighboring countries (Switzerland and Italy) that rightfully, it would seem, have the jurisdiction to impose taxes on this tiny ink-spot on the map. Although properly the property of Italy, the Italians have never enjoined to levy taxes in Campione, partly because Italian tax agents would have to leave Italy and pass through Switzerland to impose Italian law in Campione, and partly because of a mutual understanding with the Swiss that has traditionally kept Campione safe from tax collectors. Switzerland, on the other hand, doesn’t impose its tax laws in Campione, because Switzerland has no jurisdiction to tax. The Italians are the legitimate landlords. Being small and self-governing, Campione has no income taxes and no local taxes. "

The Cayman Islands has no direct taxes.
"However, the Cayman Islands Government's primary source of income is indirect taxation. An import duty of 20% is levied against goods imported into the islands. Few goods are exempt; notable examples include books, cameras and baby formula. Duty on automobiles is charged on a sliding scale with the duty reaching 40% for expensive models. The government charges a flat licensing fee to financial institutions that operate in the islands. Each tourist that arrives on the islands is also charged a small fee, including 10% government tax added to all accommodations."
Again, the only taxes seem to be perfectly avoidable.

The only taxes on the island of Sark are "a poll tax on visitors to the Island and the Impot, a tax on alcohol and tobacco."
Become a resident, don't buy booze or tobacco, and you can live tax free.

I can't find any information on taxes in Kuwait, other than that there is no personal income tax, only a tax on corporations and businesses. You can google around for more info if you want it.

The nation of Nauru does not impose any taxes.

Saint Kitts has no income tax, sales tax, turnover tax, gift tax, or estate tax. There is a land tax, but if you're not a landowner then no worries there.

In The United Arab Emirates, there is no personal income tax. There is a land tax that applies to landowners, but again that is avoidable by not owning land.

I cannot set up my own country elsewhere. It's against the law and I will be put into the aforementioned scary cage with scary people if I try.

That's not exactly true, though.
There are micronations out there, as you and I have both mentioned before.
They might not be officially recognized, but that doesn't keep them from existing.

The Principality of Sealand has received an official diplomat from Germany to negotiate the release of German mercenaries who were captured while attempting to seize control of the nation, and (more importantly for this conversation) an English court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand, even though the tiny nation is only 6 miles off the coast, and was originally constructed by England.
England currently includes the waters that Sealand is in, but as far as I know they don't police the inhabitants.
I don't know if they try to tax them or not.
Sealand is up for sale, so an enterprising individual or collection of investors could buy it and try to make it more than just a micronation.
The royal family of this principality have never been put into any scary place by any scary people.

The Principality of Hutt River might not have full recognition from the Australian government, but they do have some official recognition due to the fact that they received an official letter from Australia that addressed the Hutt River Administrator by his title, which (along with Australia not acting within a certain time frame) gave the province de facto legal status.
Hutt River went to war with Australia, and apparently won the right to avoid taxation by the ATO.
So they don't pay Australia taxes, they tax their own citizens, they make their own currency, and their passports are even accepted on a "case by case basis" by other nations.
Australia might claim that Hutt River has no official recognition, but they are effectively their own sovereign nation in many ways.
Especially in the way that's most important to you; they aren't taxed.
And they were never put anyplace scary by any scary men.

Sure, a number of other micronations were invaded and shut down or destroyed by larger nations, but not all of them.

Get some good lawyers, dedicate yourself to the cause, and you could find some place to successfully succeed from today, maybe even the US (though we DO have a strong history of forcibly dissuading that sort of thing, Conch Republic aside).
The odds may not be on your side, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a possible choice for you.

I'm not asking that [the government] provide anything.

No, you're taking what they provide without wanting to give anything back.
It doesn't really matter if you ask for it; you're agreeing by being here.

And before you go into the old "but I never asked to be here!" bit, let me ask you something.

Say you own your own house.
One day, some people show up in your living room.
They don't want to be there, and they don't want to contribute to the upkeep of the house or any mortgage payments.
They only picked your house because it's the least worst option they could find.
All the other neighbors expect them to pay for the privilege of staying there, after all.
So what do you do?
Do you all live happily forever after?
Or do you tell them that since it's your house, you get to make the rules?

You elected to buy insurance. You have a choice of companies or a choice to self pay and self bond if you want. You have your choice of policy limits if you want to choose a carrier. You can manuscript your coverage to get any coverage type or limits that you want (within the bounds of what the government allows anyway, which I also object to).
I do not have such an ability with government.


I am forced to buy insurance because I own a car.
I could choose to NOT own a car, but then I'd have to change my lifestyle significantly for the worse.
Paying for car insurance is the least worst option I have.
Whether or not I feel that this is fair does not affect my contracts with the insurance company.
It's not theft just because I'd rather not pay them for their services.

And my hard-earned money that I'm forced to pay the insurance company is used to help people other than ME!
Now say that I HATE the fact that I have to pay for insurance.
Say that I spend all my time complaining about it, and calling it theft.
Say that despite my complaints and accusations, and my hatred for the system, I still take advantage of the benefits that insurance has to offer me.
Does that give me the right to call the people who willingly participate in the system immoral?

Also.
Sometimes I pay for services, and I end up paying for something that I don't want. Sometimes channels I never watch come with basic cable, for example, but they don't reduce my cable bill just because I'd rather pick and choose exactly which channels I get. Does this mean that part of my bill is theft, since some of the money I'm putting into the system goes some place that I don't want it to?
Should I try to find some way to get back the money that I've already paid them?

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