Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Warrior Cops Draw Their Guns On Family Leaving Their Own Home

Source: SunHerald


In the USSA, all suspects are assumed guilty until they prove their innocence. Kelvin Fairley and his family were leaving their Gulfport home on Sunday to drive to his mother's house. Like any other Sunday, they did not suspect anything out of the ordinary until police pulled him over and immediately drew their guns on the family. Unbeknownst to Kelvin, his neighbor had reported him and his family for breaking into their own home. When Kelvin asked what he was being detained for, one officer told hime to shut the fuck up while the others dragged his kids out of the car at gunpoint. It was not until Kelvin and his wife Natasha were cuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car that they were told what they were suspected of doing and allowed to prove their ownership of the house. Like so many other police horror stories, the cops needlessly escalated the enocunter with their offenders holds barred attitude. At the very least, they could have told the man what he was accused of before putting him and his family in danger.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Federal Agents Are The Modern Highwaymen

'The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber.....The proceedings of those robbers and murderers, who call themselves the government, are directly the opposite of these of the single highwayman.'

-Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority VI


Sources: Forbes, Government Accountability Office, FOX40.COM

The cases I presented of law enforcment stealing from law abiding citizens in Police Use Civil Forfeiture To Rob Small Businesses and my earliest post on the subject, Civil Asset Forfeiture, Anti-Structuring Laws And Other Spawns of The War on Drugs, are not isolated incidents of officers making honest mistakes; rather, they are symptomatic of the law enforcement environment in this country. Civil forfeiture itself has created the perverse incentive to chase after property instead of solving and prosecuting crimes, which takes more effort and is more difficult. Humans have a natural tendency to try and get the most gratification out of the least amount of effort. Government officials are no different in this regard.

As previously reported in Civil Asset Forfeiture Is Theft Most of The Time: the DEA has seized a total of $4.15B in cash through civil asset forfeiture, in the past decade. 81% of that cash, or about $3.2B, was taken without charging anyone with a crime or allowing any judicial oversight. The DEA could not verify whether they had advanced a criminal investigation in more than half of these interdiction seizures, which they conducted without a warrant, that the DOJ sampled.

A similar report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed that the IRS also seized assets mostly from innocent people in their criminal investigations of structuring violations. In a sample of 278 criminal investigations where the source of forfeiture funds could be determined, 91% of the investigations were conducted on businesses and people who obtained their money legally. They had their property taken solely for making multiple deposits under $10,000, violating a statute in the Bank Secrecy Act that few people know about. From 2012 to 2014, the IRS stole $17M from hundreds of small business owners solely because they made frequent deposits and withdrawals under $10,000.

But the DEA and the IRS aren't the only culprits in this mass robbery. According to a GAO report from 2014, DHS agencies such as ICE and CBP took $3.6B in property and cash, through civil forfeiture, from 2003 to 2013. This was the majority of the $7B taken by all federal law enforcement agencies during the decade. ICE contributed the majority of assets from DHS to the Treasury Forfeiture Fund by far. In the final year (2013), DHS took $1.1B in assets. Out of this total, ICE contributed $1B, which is about 91% of DHS forfeiture funds, the Secret Service contributed $52M and CBP contributed $51M.

Overall, civil forfeiture seizures have decreased a bit since 2014, but with Trump in the oval office we will likely see a resurgence in the practice under the pretext of 'law and order.' Not surprisingly, the very people who claim to advocate 'limited government' are the biggest champions of totalitarianism (when the government pushes their agenda) and the greatest enemies of property rights.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Iberville Parish Bans The Thought Crime of Flag Desecration And Contempt

Source: WAFB

Last week, the Iberville Parish Council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits residents from 'desecrating' or 'casting contempt on any American, Louisiana or Iberville Parish flag', and it doesn't just preclude flag burning. The ordinance also makes it illegal to put any "word, mark, design or advertisement of any nature" on the flags (there goes campaign season). The penalty for this thought crime is $1,000 fine and a 6-month jail sentence. Under such a law, even people who genuinely respect the banner could be turned into criminals. 4thth of July advertisements could get a lot of business owners in trouble with the sheriff. Stars and strips bikinis? Who knows? That could be seen as defilement. What about all of the pro-cop simps with their #bluelivesmatter flag? Is changing the color scheme of the national banner and adding a blue streak through the middle not desecration? Why not? Of course, what constitutes 'contempt' and 'desecration' is completely subjective. In contrast, what constitutes an injustice is objective; we can quantify the damage done. 'Disrespecting' a piece of colored cloth with a certain pattern is not a violation of anyone's person, liberty or property in itself; it does not belong in the same category as say vandalism or shop lifting, and therefore doesn't warrant state violence.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat errors from the past. This is even more true of people who wish to legislate away offenses, imagined or real, against their feelings and beliefs. The old adage 'you do not have a right to not be offended' is the appropriate response. In my earliest posts on the subject of anti-desecration laws (see In the U.S., Like in China, There Is No Freedom, No Protesting, And No Due Process as well as Political Superstitions (part1)), I had likened it to anti-blasphemy laws the likes of which you would find in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the rest of the muslim world. But upon rethinking the matter I now see that it's much more akin to statutes against 'Hate Speech' the left would like to shove down our throats. The whole 'don't disrespect the banner and anthem' shtick is not so much a religion as it is the rightist version of political correctness.

Side Note: I should concede that there is some validity to this anti-desecration ordinance. Certain acts of destroying a flag, like burning it in public, should be illegal, but for public safety concerns, not to punish wrongthink. Passing a specific law that makes it illegal to burn flags, or really anything, on public property, without say the fire chief's permission would be useful for cracking down on antifa and wouldn't set a precedent for censoring other forms of political speech.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Montreal Police Ticket Man For Singing In His Car


Source: KSAT.com

Anytime I think about my own country slipping into despotism, I look to the North and realize how much worse it could be. Taoufik Moalla (however you pronounce that) was given the equivalent of a $149 traffic ticket for singing 90's pop hit 'Everybody Dance Now' in his car. According to Montreal Police, his voice, not his music mind you, was too loud so they decided to fine him for 'screaming in a public place.' However, Moalla had his windows rolled up and he wasn't yelling.
If Moalla fails to pay the ticket he could eventually be arrested; think about that: a man could go to jail for singing in his car.

Police Use Civil Forfeiture To Rob Small Businesses

Sources: al.com, Fox40 News, Channel 7 News Miami

We are told that civil forfeiture, theft by any other name, is used to take funds from criminal enterprises, but like all concessions to executive power, it's original intent, however well it might have been, has been perverted for the sake of revenue generation. What was originally given to police as a weapon to fight the war on drugs is inadvertently, or perhaps purposefully, used to steal capital from law abiding entrepreneurs for such specious reasons as making frequent deposits under $10,000, which according to the IRS is all the evidence they need to declare you a criminal and take your entire life savings. Simply being accused of a crime is enough to destroy some one else's livelihood, as is being related to a person who committed a crime regardless of whether they were actually involved in it.


Frank Ranelli owns a computer repair store in Homewood, Alabama. In June 2010, 20 Homewood and Mountain Brook police raided his business on the basis of single allegation that he had purchased a stolen laptop. In response, police confiscated 130 of his customers' computers, along with his company's servers and worker stations, and arrested him and his employees. Neither Frank nor any of his employees were ever prosecuted; in fact, the charges were dropped after he proved that he had followed the right protocol for purchasing the sole laptop that was allegedly stolen, but when all was said and done he was still punished for a crime he didn't commit.

According to the DOJ's annual report on equitable sharing payments, Alabama police confiscated $2.2M in assets in 2016. The state gives their residents almost no protections against civil forfeiture.

Wilson Colorado, a Florida resident, once had his own online startup. One day in May 2015, Wilson was filling out customer order forms when he heard a knock at the door. To his surprise it was the DEA. A confidential informant had accused Wilson of being a drug dealer. In response, the DEA agents promptly raided his house stealing $200,000 in checks and cash that he had earned through his online business. Even though the allegations turned out to be false, Wilson was still punished for a crime he did not commit; the $200,000 was never returned to him.


The Hirsch brothers jointly own Bi-Country Distributors, a whole sale distribution company that supplies convenience stores and delis in New York. In May 2012, the IRS seized their bank account for alleged structuring; they frequently made deposits under $10,000 dollars in the course of their business dealings. A common behavior of businesses that deal in cash is considered illegal under a little known provision in the Bank Secrecy Act. Jeff Hirsch offered to demonstrate his innocence by allowing the detective in charge of his case to scour through all of his business records, but the detective declined stating that the their pattern of deposits was all the evidence he needed to know they were guilty of something.


Carole Hinders, a cash only restaurant owner in Iowa suffered the same fate for alleged structuring, and so did Lyndon McLellan, a convenience store owner in North Carolina. The IRS took $33,000 from Hinders and $100,000 from McLellan respectively. Neither of them were charged or prosecuted for any crime. In fact, the investigation didn't go any further than accusing them of structuring.

How the IRS goes about investiagting structuring should be cause for alarm. The robbery is a joint effort between your local police department and federal agents, and they conduct dragnet searches of peoples' bank accounts to this end.

'First, local police officials working with the IRS’s Criminal Investigations Unit pore through bank records, identifying what they think are suspicious transactions. Then they show those transactions to a federal magistrate, who can authorize the IRS to seize the bank accounts. The federal agents then confiscate the money from the bank, show up at the owner’s place of business, and inform them they’ve lost control of their accounts. Under the federal government’s “equitable sharing” program, the local police and the IRS can then split the money between themselves.'

So whatever happened to the presumption of innocence, the pertinence of property rights, and everything else that's foundational and sacred to a constitutional republic? The police, acting as judge, jury, and executioner, punish citizens for crimes they did not commit (or at least haven't been proven to have committed) by depriving them of their property, in direct violation of the 5th amendment which states 'No person shall be....deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.' I'm pretty sure spurious accusations aren't 'due process', and neither is the specious claim that multiple bank deposits under an arbitrary amount imply criminal activity. The only criminal activity in these aforementioned cases is that of those robbers and murderers who call themselves 'law enforcement'.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pennsylvania DA Uses Civil Forfeiture Plunder For Campaign Ads


Courtesy of the Institute for Justice

It is common for police departments to use cash and property stolen through civil forfeiture as a slush fund to make extravagant purchases that aren't critical to their job, which seems to be robbery and murder nowadays, but the District Attorney of Delaware County, PA, Jack Whelan, has taken the practice to a new low, as if robbery isn't bad enough, by using the stolen funds to pay for relection campaign ads. According to City and State Pennsylvania, Whelan spent $53,000 to advertise himself for both the Republican and Democratic judicial primaries, so he could run unopposed in the election. That money didn't come out of his own pocket or from campaign donations, rather it was taken from taxpayers and civil forfeiture victims. Whelan claims these ads were a continuation of his public service campaign dicouraging the straw purchases of fire arms, but as IJ points out, Whelan increased ad purchases 540% 2 months before the election; in the previous year, his office spent a much smaller sum of $6,250 on these public service ads. Undoubtedly, the residents of Delaware county are impervious to his schemes and the incumbent DA will more than likely keep his office. As we all know too well, robbery tends to be cyclical.

'In other words, District Attorney Whelan is using money taken from his constituents (and anyone visiting Delaware County) to promote his reelection to an office that will allow him to continue taking from his constituents (and anyone visiting Delaware County).'

Friday, October 13, 2017

Las Vegas Police Were On Mandalay Bay Premise When Shooting Began


Source: Bloomberg

The Hotel claims that police were on the premise, with their armed security guards, responding to an unrelated call just before the shooting began. The hotel has also revised their timeline of events and now claim security guard Jesus Campos was shot 40 seconds before Paddock began shooting at the concert goers, contrary to the 6 minutes given by the revised police timeline.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Las Vegas Police Contradict Previous Mandalay Bay Timeline


Source: USA Today

And it still doesn't add up. According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan PD, Stephen Paddock shot a security gaurd and fired at a builing engineer, on the 32nd floor, 6 minutes prior to opening fire on concert goers across the street. Security guard Jesus Campos and building engineer Stephen Schuck were on the 32nd floor prior to the shooting. Schuck had supposedly gone to the 32nd floor to check on a fire exist door that wouldn't open.

Stephen Schuck, a building engineer at Mandalay Bay, on Wednesday told NBC News Today show he was on a higher floor the night of Paddock's rampage when he was called to check on a fire exit door that would not open. He said the hallway on the 32nd floor where Paddock was holed up was quiet when he arrived.About a third of the way down the hallway and I started to hear shots go off, Schuck said, although they apparently were not directed into the hallway. Security guard Jesus Campos yelled to take cover moments before Paddock started shooting into the hallway, Schuck said. I could feel them pass right behind my head," Schuck said. "Something hit me in the back and I took cover.Campos was shot in the leg. Schuck radioed to his supervisors to call police. Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Monday that the hallway shooting took place at 9:59 pm local time — six minutes before Paddock began his 11-minute assault on the 22,000 people gathered for a country music concert a few hundred yards from his hotel windows.

Immediately, this raises a red flag? If Paddock had wanted to take out as many people as possible, which it seems he did, he would have taken out any security that could spot him beforehand and foil his planned rampage. Why would he allow them to live and radio their supervisors? We also aren't told what hit him in the back. There is no implication he was injured so that part of his story is an anomaly. Another anomaly is that he describes the shooting as 'apparently not being directed into the hallway, but contradicts his previous statement by saying it was when Campos told him to take cover. While private rooms don't have security cameras hallway entrances and other common areas do; the hotel should have time stamped footage of this hallway shooting. Since they contend that it happened after the mass murder, contrary to the new police timeline, it would seem even more imperative for them to release this footage if their narrative of events is correct. As a side suggestion, maybe MGM should start arming their security guards.

RE: TJ Kirk's Hypocrisy Test

TJ Kirk, formerly known as the amazingatheist in the haydays of the evolution-creationist debates on Youtube, put forth the following question, presumably to conservative christians.



Fast forward to 5:40

This is a test to find out if you're a hypocrite. If a Christian baker doesn't want to bake a gay wedding cake, is that their right? I say it's not. Maybe you say it is, but that's not the test. This is the test: gay coffee shop owner kicks christians out of cafe, goes on vulgar rant. Do you think this gay coffee shop owner has the right to kick Christians out of his establishment just for being christians? If you're answer for this is different than your answer to the previous question, you've tested positive for being a fucking hypocrite. In my view businesses don't have the right to discriminate on the basis of religion or sexuality in either direction.

The question is based on a false premise though. The gay coffee shop owner in question kicked them out over anti-abortion flyers they had been handing out prior to entering his establishment, not simply because they were Christians. From the UK Mirror:

'A cafe owner kicked a group of Christians out of his coffee shop because he was 'offended' by their leaflets calling for the abolition of abortion.

Members of the Abolish Human Abortion group decided to take a break from leafleting at Seattle's Bedlam Cafe, but when the owner realised who was drinking in his shop, he reacted furiously.

Ben Borgman told the group to leave because he is gay .

In the video of the rant, he says: "I'm gay, you have to leave."

Asked if he is denying them service, he says "yes".

He continues: "This is offensive to me. I own the place. I have the right to be offended
"Do you tolerate my presence?

"If I got my boyfriend and f*** him right here would you tolerate it?"

The group members respond by saying they would tolerate it, and saying it is his choice, and point out that they have gone into his shop without making a fuss.

The coffee spot is decorated with the LGBT rainbow flag outside.

But that does not calm the furious Mr Borgman and he tells them they, and any of their friends, are not welcome.

The leaflet in question depicted rainbow colored hands dripping blood over a dismembered fetus and read 'This is the truly oppressed person in our Idolatrous culture of death.'


It's easy to see how Mr. Borgman could have taken offense to the flyer as it seems to convey the message that gays are responsible for abortion which the Christian group equates to genocide. Also, Christian bakers don't refuse service to gay customers just for being gay; typically, it's a conscientious objection to baking a cake tailored to a gay wedding e.g. with two grooms on top. Most wouldn't mind giving them a plain cake for them to decorate themselves.

And what is a right? Liberals don't seem to have a working definition for the term 'rights' and much less so a coherent theory of ethics. When they use the term 'rights', it usually means a gibsmedat e.g. I have a right to food, a house, a phone, free beer etc. and the rest of their argument is filled in with vacuous appeals to emotion and ad hominems.
TJ's thought experiment is at best a naive musing about something that could only occur in an ideal world with perfect justice; the stark reality is that all laws are either selectively enforced or not enforced at all; in the former case someone always gets the short end of the stick. Governments are nearly always discriminatory in enforcing their laws; sometimes its along ethnic and religious lines and other times its in favor of other public officials. Adding further laws tends to create more legal inequalities. This is readily noticeable with so called anti-poaching laws. Actual poachers and criminal syndicates involved in the ivory trade usually have enough money to bribe public officials. The indigenous tribes that hunt for subsistence do not, so they end up getting nailed for poaching. The short answer is that you shouldn't patronize people who hate you on the basis of whatever arbitrary categories you listed. Why would you support people who are against your existence? Bakeries and coffee shops are a dime a dozen, if one of them refuses you, go around the block and find another one.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Baka Woman's Testimony of Being Tortured By Eco Death Squad


Source: Forest Peoples Programme


Once, me, my husband Andre Bako, and my step brother Leon Béké left and went into the forest, just behind the village. There is a forest path from here. We arrived to where Leon has a hut, where he had a small field. A Bantu called Koba went into the forest and found us. He came out and told the ecoguards that we were there – that he didn’t know if we were hunting, but that we were there. The ecoguards came and found us and hit us. They made us sit on the floor, with our legs out and our feet flexed. They hit our bare feet with the flat edge of a machete. Then they hit us on our bottoms. They made us lie on our stomachs and stamped on our back. They hit us. My husband nearly lost his eye. It still hurts him today.They didn’t even ask if we were hunting or just walking. They just wanted us gone.

The forest they are forbiden to enter under pain of death, but which they depended on for their livelihood has been designated as Ngoyla-Mintom Reserve. This 'protect area' is a joint project between the World Bank and WWF. The WWF funds the eco death squads, mostly with USAID money, and the World Bank has invested $3.5M in the project. WWF is notorious for supporting human rights abuses against indigenous peoples around Africa while simultaneously allowing logging concessions on lands they claim to be preserving. And of course the World Bank is notorious for providing international corporate welfare regardless of the cost to human life.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A License To Speak (part 1)


Source: Institute for Justice

In some states it is illegal to offer dietary advice without the government's permission. Florida resident, military spouse and health coach Heather Kokesch Del Castillo learned first hand how far state's will go to protect their cartelized industries. In this instance, she ran up against the Dietetics industry and the state was willing to censor her. Heather moved from California to Florida in the summer of 2015 after her husband, who is in the Air Force, was transferred to a base in Fort Walton Beach. Heather earned a private health-coaching certification in 2013 from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The state of California did not require Heather to become a licensed dietetician to give diet advice to willing clients, but Florida's Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Act defines 'dietetics' so broadly that it inlcudes offering any dietary advice for compensation. The Florida Department of Health first contacted Heather when they conducted a sting operation against her. One of their agents emailed heather pretending to be a man named Pat Smith who was looking for information that could help him personalize a weight loss program. In response, Heather offered him a free consultation and asked for his health history. The agent was not charged for any of the information provided to him and he was not solicited to buy anything from her. Heather does not sell supplements, perform diagnostic procedures, or claim to be a licensed dietetician. Her health coaching practice only involves talking to clients, on an individualized basis, about their food choices for compensation. She helps them sift through information that is already available to the public online. The Florida Department of Health subsquently issued a cease and desist and fined Heather $750 for giving dietary advice without a license. In order to continue her Health coaching service, Heather would have to spend 4 years getting a bachelors in Nutrition Science, complete 900 hours of internships, and pay $200 to take a board certified exam, but Heather has neither the time nor the money it would take to meet the state's requirements and neither does the vast majority of the population.
Similar cases have arisen in other states. Perhaps the worst example occured in North Carolina back in 2011 when the Board of Dietetics threatened a paleo blogger with imprisonment if he didn't stop offering dietary advice on his website or even through emails and phone calls. The blogger in question did not even demand compensation for his writing, he was simply offering his experience with different foods and supplements. If talking about food is restricted speech it is not hard to conceive that the government could place more contentious subjects behind licensing barriers. The recent fake news and Russian meddling hysteria, originally orchestrated by the Democratic establishment against the alternative media, offers ample opportunity for state governments to find fertile ground for the censorship of critics via licensing requirements.

Real World Examples Of Land Value Taxes

Keep in mind that the economic term ‘land’ refers to any scarce resource that isn’t a product of human industry.

Generally, there are three categories of land Value Taxes

  1. Ground rent in real-estate
  2. Resource extraction
  3. Externalities caused by pollution

Australia


Mineral Resources Rent Tax

The mineral resource rent tax is assessed on the value of extracted minerals, such as coal, before value is added through downstream activities minus mining expenditure. The value is based on the sale proceeds attributable to the raw material before it undergoes any processing. For coal and iron, the valuation point is the run-of-mine stockpile or when it leaves the point of extraction. Thus the mining profit in this case is actually a rent since it is obtained through exclusive use and disposal over a non-renewable resource that isn't a product of human industry. The effective rate is 22.5% so even here only a fraction of the rent is collected into the public coffers.

Western Australia


Land Tax

The land tax is assessed on the aggregated unimproved value of land held by the same owner. The value is based on 150% of the previous year's unimproved value of land. The tax is only levied on land that exceeds an aggregate value of $300,000 and even after that amount the government only recaptures a small percentage of the land value.

New South Wales, Australia


Land Tax

http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/act/1956/27/sec3

Like the Land Tax for Western Australia, only a small percentage of the land value (between 1.6% and 2%) is taxed.

Estonia


Land Tax

The land tax is levied on the taxable value of all land (other than that which is specifically exempt) based on an official valuation. The owners of the land are liable to land tax. The annual land tax rate varies between 0.1% and 2.5% of the assessed value of the land. The council of the local authority is authorized to establish the rate of land tax.
British Columbia

Royalties on resource extraction

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/natural-resource-taxes/mining/mineral-tax

The taxes on resource extraction in British Columbia are applied to mining, oil and natural gas, and logging. This includes a mineral land tax levied on the freehold owners of mineral rights, a tax levied on the sale of standing timber or the right to cut standing timber, as well as royalties on oil and natural gas production. The mineral land tax is assessed by the size of the owner’s land and whether or not the land is used to produce minerals. The freehold owner is taxed at a fixed rate of 4.94 per hectare, up to 404,686 hectares, if they employ their land in mining, but are taxed on a sliding scale adjusted by the size of their land if they hold it out of use. A mineral tax is levied on coal, gemstones, industrial minerals, precious metals, and rare earth elements. The logging tax allows a deduction for logs processed into secondary forestry products between 35 and 65% of total processing income.

Norway


Petroleum tax

The tax is assessed on a company's net profit with deductions for the cost of exploration, R&D, financing, operations, and decommissioning. Additionally there is an extra deduction for normal returns on investment called uplift. The Petroleum tax is thus not a tax on any profits but on a subsoil rent at a rate of 54%. This special tax generated $49 billion in revenue for the Norwegian public in the last fiscal year. Like all land value taxes, the Petro tax is fiscally neutral and does not discourage profitable ventures. Furthermore, companies can write off profit losses that they accrue anywhere on the Norwegian shelf against their income.

Alaska


The Permanent fund dividend is funded by a 25% royalty on oil sale proceeds. It pays out an annual citizen’s dividend to all eligible residents of Alaska. The dividend for the last fiscal year was $1,022. The Alaska Permanent Dividend, like all of the other implementations listed above, is only a partial model because it only includes oil revenue.

Land value taxes, unlike income taxes, cannot be loopholed to death or dodged by setting up offshore shell companies or bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. Compared to income taxes, the land value tax requires much less in overhead costs to administrate. There is no need to hire a tax preparer to file a return or have a top heavy bureaucracy like the IRS; the government or a delegated property appraiser will tell you your liability. The land value tax cannot be passed off to consumers like the VAT or sales tax. The land value tax is not only more efficient, it is also congruous with moral law, especially when used to fund a citizen’s dividend. Since all people have an equal normative claim to use the earth, any deprivation of this claim, through extraction or enclosure, should be compensated with the equivalent value of the natural opportunities lost. On the contrary, personal income taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, VATs and sales taxes deprive an individual of a portion of the product of his or her labor and thus constitute a breach of self-ownership.

What Is The Law?

Morality Doesn't come From Government and, by logical deduction, neither do rights


Anytime a person condemns the action(s) of a government, company or private individual that is considered perfectly legal, they do so either purely out of self-interest or they do so because they implicitly assume the existence of a moral law that is independent of and superior to the legislation of the state. We would be in a much worse condition if we relied on legislatures and magistrates to tell us what is right and wrong. If we were to take the history of governments as a model for how people should conduct themselves, mass murder, enslavement, kidnapping, terrorism, forced sterilization, and robbery would all be acceptable behavior if it were done under seemingly noble pretexts. Of course no one with even the slightest intelligence would defend the claim that morality comes from government, but people often believe the equally absurd claim that rights, which are moral precepts, come from governments.

Intuitive moral sentiments


The strongest social instinct in humans is the norm of reciprocity; repaying benefits with like benefits and harms with like harms. Each individual can only maximize their fitness if they maintain a social equilibrium with every other individual, which is to say the give and take is mutually beneficial to each individual in the long run. Voluntary trade between buyers and sellers is the most obvious example of this, but it can also take the negative form of mutual restraint from harming other people's bodies, their progeny, or reducing their capacity to sustain their own existence. In voluntary trade, when one person provides a benefit without compensation from the recipient, the latter incurs a debt. Likewise, when one person or group of people harms another person they incur a debt to that person, but in this case the debt is repaid by the creditor's action instead of the debtor's action, in other words, inflicting an equivalent harm upon the debtor.

Society is analogous to an organism in the fact that it cannot survive (i.e. carry out it's functions) without the cooperation of its members. A society in which initiatory violence is universally permissible must ultimately cause a loss of social equilibrium and collapse, reducing the fitness of each of it's members. If each individual is permitted to aggress against every other individual then each individual will likewise be prone to equivalent acts of aggression from every other individual. The resulting loss of social equilibrium is similar to the loss of homeostasis in the body that reduces an organism's fitness. Of course, some might argue that if only the strongest individuals initiate violence then society might still function well enough to survive, but even for these individuals there will always be someone 'stronger' than them, so even in this case their fitness would be reduced if initiatory violence is allowed. Therefore, we know initiatory violence is immoral since it reduces the fitness of a society as a whole. We also intuitively know that certain actions are only permissible if another person or people are willing to allow said action and know the ramifications of said action. This is the notion of informed consent. Informed consent often makes a difference between borrowing another person's property and theft, consensual sex and rape, assisted suicide and murder; it is also why we consider fraud and other forms of intentional deception immoral, even though they are not violent acts. Informed consent is not necessary for all actions; one does not need informed consent to use their own property or to do what one wants to do with one's own body. Informed consent is only necessary when one's actions involves another person's body, mind or property because we recognize each person's autonomy. The sentiment of justice is therefore ultimately derived from the social instinct for reciprocity.

The moral sense agency


Side Note: Here, autonomy means freedom of action.

People will only protect their autonomy if they have a desire to preserve their autonomy; however, a desire to preserve one's autonomy is a purely selfish desire that comes instinctively without forethought, and therefore is not sufficient to maintain social equilibrium. Most people will value their autonomy above other peoples' autonomy, which would inevitably lead to hostile social relations i.e. maladaptation to social conditions. It is only when a desire for autonomy is coupled with mutual sympathy for each other's desire for autonomy that we reach social equilibrium. Evidently then, an equilibrium must be reached wherein each person's autonomy does not entail reducing any other person's autonomy.

How do we ascertain that the law of equal liberty is the moral maxim that all social relations ought to conform to?


We start with the observation that all evil (i.e. individuals afflicting other individuals) results from the maladaptation of character to social conditions: an incongruity between our faculties and their spheres of action.

Indeed, the findings of evolutionary psychology confirm that mental and social disorder result from a lack of congruity between our psychological adaptations and the social conditions of civilization. In other words, we are psychologically, and as consequence morally, maladapted to our social state.

We move to the next observation that people living in this social state still suffer numerous evils; therefore, their characters are not completely adapted to the social state.

What does the social state require in order for people to completely adapt to it?

It requires that each individual shall have such desires only, as may be fully satisfied without inhibiting the ability of other individuals to obtain like satisfaction. If the desires of each are not thus limited, then either all must have certain of their desires ungratified; or some must get gratification for them at the corresponding expense of others. Both alternatives necessitate individuals afflicting other individuals, implying maladaptation of character to social conditions.

Individuals must have freedom of action in order to satisfy their desires, but since it is requisite that each individual's desires should be limited to the desires that can be fully satisfied without inhibiting the ability of other individuals to obtain the same satisfaction, then each individual should have the freedom of action to do all that they desire provided they do not inhibit other individuals from having the same freedom of action to do all that they desire.

The law of equal liberty logically follows: every individual should have the freedom to do all that he/she wills provided he/she does not infringe upon the same freedom of any other individual.

The law of equal liberty can also be stated as: every person may claim the fullest liberty to exercise his faculties compatible with the possession of like liberty by every other person.