And now we are left with three topics that, were it not for Lincoln, we might not have to discuss, taxation, the military, and the federal reserve.
If prostitution is the oldest profession known to the world, taxation is without a doubt the second oldest. Taxation is the extortion of money through the threat, or actual use of violence. when it is done by a gang, or by a common criminal, it is known as theft, or extortion, but when it is done by the most powerful gang in the land, and the strongest criminals it is called taxation. Go. Read Common Sense by Thomas Paine. He articulates far better than I ever could how the King traces his lineage not to some saint appointed by God, but to William the Bastard, a Norman leading a band of criminals onto the British Isle to subjugate the Anglo-Saxons to his own rule, to kill their men, ravage their women, enslave their children, and deprive their remaining descendants of their land, and their money. But for the Thomas Paines of today, there is no king, instead, we have democracy. where there is not one man, that might be poisoned beheaded or overthrown, but where there are 150 million men and women who subject the other half to their rule. I implore you, love liberty, and do not let your loyalty to liberty be subdued because it is a whole population that taxes you rather than a solitary king. Hold the democracy to the same standard that you would apply to the monarchy. If we were under a king today with the laws and regulations and restrictions, not to mention taxes that are imposed on us, there would be revolution. but because it is a democracy and not a king, this humble gathering reflects all of the outrage present in Comanche County! Taxation is theft. This is what Henry Lightfoot Lee referred to when he said “Government is a necessary evil.” he said that it was evil. evil is the chief adjective in the sentence, necessary only modifies evil. And let me add that he said necessary because he did not have sufficient faith in the free market to leave necessary out. But I will save this topic for another time. my complaint is not that we are taxed to Heavily by D.C., but that we are taxed at all! Let me digress back to the founders and the revolutionaries once again, Ben Franklin suggested that, since we were being taxed without representation, that we send representatives to London, to the house of Commons that we would be represented. Had his advice been followed we would never have gained our independence, nor thrown off England’s oppressive taxes. But the taxes weren’t only oppressive they were unjust, and even if we had sent men to London, they would have remained unjust, for what the Revolutionaries meant when they cried out against “taxation without representation” was not that we should be represented in the central government thousands of miles away, but that the assembly in Massachusetts had not approved the taxes that were levied on them. That the house of Burgesses had not approved the tax. The revolutionaries saw their own local body as their representatives, not some would be out of touch politician sent to the capital of the central government, as likely as not to get caught up in all kinds of scandals and self gratifying political deals. Now you may ask, without taxes how would we fund the government? This we can save for another time, but for now let me just ask just how much government exactly do you want to have? The fact is, if we were to eliminate the entire tax code, and to only allow our tariffs to stay in force, we would still be able to fund a government of the size that we had when Clinton left office. And even then, for those of you who remember, wasn’t the government then to big to bear?
Again let me turn back to history, we know why the patriots resorted to arms, over taxation, but what was it that sparked the taxation of the American colonies in the late 1760’s and early 1770’s? What caused the British government to resort to the Townsend Acts, the Stamp Act, the Navigation Acts? It was nothing else but the expenses incurred by the British Military and the recent war with the French. Understand I am not unsympathetic to those who have loved ones in the military, or those who have made sacrifices for what they thought was liberty. But the same case then is before us now. The British started a war, and sent soldiers to North America in order to “protect us from the French and the” allegedly “savage indians.” But did we need protecting? it seems that we had been doing quite well on our own for the previous century. but they started a war again for our defense and then want us to pay for it. The patriots knew it was nonsense, We didn’t need defending from the central government, we could defend ourselves just fine. In fact the war was quite unnecessary and caused great hardships the the families and the commerce of the colonies. To add insult to injury, they decided to tax us for it. Things are not so different today. The federal government has instigated revolutions, helped to put down other revolutions, and performed coups all over the world until finally someone attacked us, they use this to start a war, and then tax us in order to pay for it. We spend more on our military today than the next 25 countries combined. Now where does this money come from except from taxes? Any one who is truly against large government must also be against a large standing army. Remember that the Military is also part of the government and a very expensive branch of it.
Continuing on the military thread I have 2 points to make one historical, the other economical. For those interested in history, in Roman history in particular, no question draws more debate than that of “When did Rome begin to fall?” Some say with the Rise of Caesar, I say that was the end. I say the beginning came in 396 B.C. during an otherwise forgotten battle only 12 miles from Rome. The Siege of Veii was taking longer than expected, and the men were anxious to go back home to their farms, their jobs, and their families. They could not afford to fight through the harvest and into winter. So the Senate decided to pay the soldiers. From that point on, Roman men no longer fought solely for their home, or for “The Gory of Rome” as flawed as that cause was, but also for a paycheck. Finally the time came when the soldiers didn’t fight at all for Rome, but only for a paycheck. This should bother you. And my response to the question, how then will the soldiers be provided for, I say, that if you require a paycheck to defend your home and your family, you are not a man! Of course fighting on another continent isn’t exactly defending your family, and so I suppose we wouldn’t be in the wars we are in today.
On to the economic aspect. We currently view welfare as a person getting a check to buy food and pay the rent while he sits at home with the A/C running and watches Jerry Springer. This is certainly welfare, but it would be no less welfare if we gave him a check for digging a hole on the odd days of the month and filling it back in on the even days. A job is not just something to do, but something that needs to be done. Whether or not it is something that needs to be done is determined by the free will of people as reflected in the free market. Clearly no one will pay any amount of money to have a hole dug one day only to have it filled back in the next, and so this is welfare. The truth of the matter is, unless a job is done, and the wages for that job are agreed upon in the open and free market, it is nothing short of welfare. Given that the military is not hired on the free market, it must be concluded then that those in the military, and indeed all government employees are welfare recipients. Now you know how much of a drain on the economy and on your own pockets the welfare system is, but the same is true of our military system. instead of holding jobs that contribute to the betterment of the lives of others, we have over a million men and women receiving checks to fight wars and stir up even more trouble for ourselves in Iraq and Afghanistan, or at best sitting in motor pools smoking cigarettes in over 50 other countries around the world. How much richer would we be, how much better off would we be, how much freeer would we be if those million men and women were working at jobs contributing to the economy rather than being paid out of stolen money? Jefferson said that A standing army was one of the greatest threats to a free people. most people take that to mean that the army would come under the control of some tyrant like Caesar or Lincoln, but even without this occurring our liberty is put in peril by its economic implications.
Finally we come to the central bank, or the Federal Reserve as it is known today. You see if taxes were the sole means in which to pay for the military, everyone here, infact everyone across the country would be as opposed to the government military as Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson were. but the Federal Government came up with a trick, they would create a central bank that could just print money out of thin air. This way taxes could stay low (relative to what they would be if taxes were the only way to pay for things) which is good for getting votes, but they could still fund the military, and whatever projects, schools, roads, bridges, everything from NASA to the Navy, and Welfare to Warfare. But of course printing money is in fact a tax, it is a hidden tax. You all have heard of supply and demand, when there is a greater supply of a commodity then the price for it goes down, from cars to cereal this is the case. But few stop to ponder its validity when its applied to money itself. Turns out it still holds. the more dollars their are, the less purchasing power each dollar has. Economists on t.v. talk as if rising prices are inflation, but the fact is that inflation refers to the inflation of the money supply. Meaning that more dollars have been printed. This, as I’ve said leads to prices going up. Many complain that we are taxed when we earn money, and taxed when we spend it, but because of the Federal Reserve, we are also taxed if we save it! Because for every dollar printed, the dollars you have in the bank, and even the ones under your mattress loose in value. you will be able to afford less, to buy less with a dollar 5 years from now as you can today. Democrats respond to this problem with minimum wage laws, and Republicans ignore it. but the fact is that rising prices are only a symptom of a greater problem. The Fed! Were we to be on a gold standard, if gold were money today, You wouldn’t have to hire a wall street genius to invest your money. Instead of money loosing its value because its constantly being printed, your money would gain value, because the amount of gold in circulation would rise, due to mining, but only marginally so, since mining cost much more than a printing press, and relative to the population and increase in both capital and consumable goods it would actually decline. Supply and demand, the supply increasing slightly while demand increasing significantly over time, would cause the purchasing price of your money to increase over time, you would only need to have a secure safe in your own home to have a reliable retirement account. And even those getting paid the minimum wage, wouldn’t need a real raise, since the dollar as defined (today as 1/1250th of an ounce of gold) would increase in value slowly over time. giving the person at $7.25 an hour a slight real raise gradually over time.
This concludes every topic I wish to cover insofar as an outline of my core goals and values are concerned. Now let me turn to the area of strategy. Its said that Socialists concern themselves 90% with how to implement their programs and only 10% with how their ideas will actually work. While Libertarians spend 90% of their time thinking of how a libertarian society would work and what is wrong with the state, and only 10% of their time thinking about how to implement their programs. If there were a 12 step program on how to implement Libertarian policies, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what steps 2 through 12 would be. but I can tell you what step one would be. To work on Theory. What do we stand for? (if I haven’t said it explicitly yet, Life, Liberty, and Property. What does and what does not warrant violence? For this movement to be successful, we must be well read. and be educated. We had a revolution here, and it was successful, I attribute that success to the level of education and the ideological purity of the revolutionaries. Shortly thereafter, the French had a revolution, it started off strong, and it looked like it would be successful. but the French were just upset with the king. they had not read John Locke, nor John Trenchard, nor Thomas Gordon, nor John Wilkes, nor John Lillburne. And at the end of the day the French Revolution failed. They ended up with blood running in the street, starvation, conscription, the reign of terror, and an Emperor even worse than the king they had killed.
The Ludwig von Mises Institute is the vanguard, the elite, the best of the best when it comes to resisting governmental tyranny. It is primarily an economic institution, which I can not over emphasize the importance of understanding economics. As easy as it is for you and I to understand the depravation of Liberty under Socialism, many will only understand the unfeasibility of Socialism as an economic system. Ludwig von Mises, Systematically refuted Socialism as a system of production in 1927 in a time when everyone thought it was the wave of the future. The institute is named in his honor. His best student Murray N. Rothbard was the founder, he was also the founder of the Cato Institute, but it of course what hijacked out from under him. Rothbard wrote many books, What has the Government Done to Our Money? and The Case against the Fed are both must reads dealing with… Money. He also wrote Conceived in Liberty a history of the colonies from their planting until the Treaty of Paris in 1783. and the single work that needs to be read by everyone here before you read anything else. The Ethics of Liberty. the first 4 or 5 chapters being crucial to establishing a solid basis for a philosophy of Liberty.
The Mises institute, online at www.mises.org has over 6 TBs of data dedicated to accurate history, sound economics, and Liberty available for free. They have hundreds of books for sale, and dozens for free in PDF, .epub, and on audio that you can download for free either on their site or on itunes, under mises university along with plenty of speeches, covering everything from anti trust laws, to intellectual property laws, and the history of Rome, to the history of WWII.
Being in the moment, it is to soon to tell, but I can tell this much, unless we dedicate ourselves to liberty, and to being educated, this movement will at best fizzle, and at worst end up like the French Revolution.
Thank you for your time.