[Note: “Tax” is functioning adjectivally rather than imperatively in the above title.]
William Gillis writes today:
A Desperately Needed Note To Anarcho-Capitalists From The Poor
Guys, the more y’all make taxes the center and end-all of your critique the less we give a damn. Some of us don’t make enough to pay them. And some of us have never bothered paying them anyway, especially in states without sales tax. What are they going to do, audit us?
Taxation is simply not on our radar.
The more it matters to you, the less you matter to us.
I think he’s partly right and partly wrong on this.
Where he’s right is that libertarians and anarcho-capitalists too often stress issues affecting the middle class (and all too often the rich!) and say far too little about those affecting the poor.
But my gripelets are these: first, he makes it sound as though “the poor” and “anarcho-capitalists” are non-overlapping groups – whereas I’ve known plenty of desperately poor anarcho-capitalists (and have been one myself, for that matter). And second, he makes it sound as though taxes hurt only those who pay them – whereas every dollar transferred from the voluntary to the coercive sector makes the economy slower, less competitive, and less productive, cements the already-rich in their positions of privilege, depresses wages, increases costs (and thus prices), and makes it harder to start new enterprises, thus closing off the principal means by which the poor can escape poverty (namely either being hired by such enterprises or starting such enterprises themselves).
If taxes aren’t on the poor’s radar, they should be – since those too poor to pay taxes are in fact the principal victims of taxation.