Statist claim: I Like Paying Taxes.


I consider taxes a good deal: what I pay is worth what I get. (Implied: Most people do, and so taxes are voluntary.)

Sometime the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote, "I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization." is used.

Variant: "If your ideology promotes freedom, then why do you deny the choice of those who want a state? Is not my choice just as valid? Maybe I like being a pawn of the coercive state." (Michael Squires)


Not quite, Mr Holmes. Taxes are the price we pay for not yet living in a civilized land. (Michael Matalucci)

Merely because you agree—and I suspect even you don't agree to every tax, all of the time—doesn't mean taxes are voluntary. It only takes one person at one time to disagree with one tax or regulation imposed on them to make them involuntary (just as one counterexample will invalidate a purported mathematical proof). And I definitely don't agree. Taxation Is Extortion.

You have a right to be a "pawn of [a] state", if you consent to it. You don't have a right to force others into it. Your choice for yourself is valid; it is not valid to make that choice for others. (So it wouldn't be a state in the conventional sense, since it could initiate no violence against those that don't consent; but it can treat you in the manner a state would, so to you it would be the same.)

A person can, if they wish, pay someone to be beaten up and robbed every day. We would regard this as foolish, but if it was shown they agreed to it (with sound mind and sans duress), it's a consensual relationship. Fine. What they may not rightly do is pay that person to beat up other people.

Part of the problem is the assumption baked into the question that a state has a legitimate right to force itself on people just because they live in its claimed territory, just as a mafia asserts the right to demand protection money from those in its claimed territory. (See Dr. Walter Block's article Secession, which will help with this false (and pernicious) assumption.) (DBR)

See also: Love It Or Leave It