You leave your home with your family for a night out to eat at your favorite local restaurant and, you come back to see that a burglar has broken into your home. Fortunately, the alarm system scared him soon enough to not get the most valuable items but you do find some items missing. You finish work early and decide to walk home. On your way, a mugger jumps you, points a gun at you and yells at you to give him your money. You give him only what you have at hand and he runs away. Most of us have been living our lives knowing that this type of behavior is inherently wrong no matter what the scenario but, many of us haven’t realized this in every part of our lives.

For the average person, paying taxes is a moral duty and a benefit to society. It helps build roads, pay for public schooling, and safety by paying policemen to enforce the law. Many people have no clue where we would be if we didn’t have some type of government in which to pay taxes into and receive these services. Many of us believe that if there were no government, society would fall into a state of chaos and disorder. The truth of the matter is that this is wrong. In the first scenario, if the burglar gave what he stole to a homeless person does that justify his actions? Or, if the mugger decides to give what he steals to families in need does it stop being theft? Of course not. But because of the possibility that our thief may show us mercy by granting us some of his loot, we have managed to make an exception saying that we must have a group of people who are allowed to forcibly extort money and impose their will.

We have made it legal for these people to do no different than what the mafia does and more. We believe that if we don’t have this group of people we call government, either through a republic, democracy, an oligarchy or any other form of governing, people will forcibly extort us and impose their will on us. Reading it blatantly is shocking. This is how far the deception really goes. We spend most, if not, all our primitive years having this repeated to us. It’s not surprising considering who runs the public school system. Knowing that some of the money that is taken from us is given to people in need makes us feel like it is legitimate. We feel pride in being stolen from. We feel that it is proper and beneficial even if it’s only a fraction of a fraction that is used for good and even if it is possible to do so by other more effective means. Some of us don’t even care where the money goes. We just feel that the act of giving money to the government is the same as helping society even though this in many cases has been proven otherwise.

To quote from the book The Most Dangerous Superstition ”Even the people who imagine that their “tax” dollars are doing good by building roads, helping the poor, paying for police, and so on, would almost certainly not fund the “government” version of those services, at least not to the same degree, if they did not feel compelled-by moral obligation and the threat of punishment-to do so. Any private charity that had the inefficiency, corruption, and record of abuse that AFDC, HUD, Medicare, and other “government” programs have, would quickly lose all of its donors. Any private company as expensive, corrupt, and inefficient as “government” infrastructure programs would quickly lose all of its customers. Any private protection service which was so often caught abusing, assaulting, and even killing unarmed, innocent people would have no customers whatsoever. Any private company that claimed to be providing defense but, told its customers it needed a billion dollars every week to wage a prolonged war on the other side of the world would have few, if any, contributors, including among those who now verbally support such military operations.”  Paying your taxes is not the right thing to do. We feel that paying “our” taxes is the moral thing to do when in reality it’s far from it considering how the money is being attained and what it’s actually being used for.

Taking something from someone against their will, especially with the threat of violence, is theft. It’s that simple. It does not matter what the money is used for. Whether it is used for the person’s benefit or given to someone else in need it does not change the fact that it was taken by force and with the threat of imprisonment. No one has the right to steal. Theft may take many forms but overall the common definition is “the taking of another person’s property without their permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it”. Everyone should have enough money to pay for medical bills, enough money to pay for their food, and enough money to pay for their housing but, NEVER by means of theft. The founding fathers pursued freedom even if it meant betraying their country. We must do the same. Regardless of the consequences. For it is the only way we can achieve the freedom and happiness we desire.