It's my money!

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Short for "I earned it, so it is entirely my property." The most common libertarian complaint against taxation of income. Completely mistaken because (a) your income is not solely your product and (b) there might be many pre-existing claims against your income, including rents, alimony, tithes, debts, taxes, etc. Fallaciously used to claim "taxation is theft" and "taxation is slavery".

Your income is not solely your product: it is always a social product. it relies on the institutions of markets and capitalism which in turn rely on institutions of education, defense, infrastructure, law, taxation, and many others. You have not right to be a freeloader in these institutions, and no individual right to dictate their design. Especially not to declare that they will always treat your pre-tax income as your absolute property.

Libertarians call taxes bad names. But all voluntary residents have an obligation to contribute to public expenses. The obligation is voluntarily accepted as a condition of residence, unless emigration is prevented. Just like rent is voluntarily accepted by residence.

Taxation is not slavery any more than rent or other contracts are slavery.


Taxation is rent; non-payment of taxes is squatting.
Allodial title means that government is the ultimate owner of the land. As the property owner, government can do as it sees fit with the land, including who resides there and makes use of it. The idea that "taxation is theft" attempts to blame the government when the non-payer is at fault.
Taxation Is Slavery (1 link)
A common libertarian theme, that interprets taxation of X% as slavery of X% of your time. The easy response is that you can emigrate: something slaves, serfs, peons and other chattel are not permitted. There is also a ridiculous "Lost Cause"/Sovereign Citizens theme that the 14th Amendment made all of us slaves to the federal government.
Taxation Is Theft (20 links)
A prize libertarian slogan that ignores facts of pre-existing ownership by government. Because government owns its territory, it gets to make rules like any other owner. See: A Non-Libertarian FAQ: 5.5 Taxation is theft. Taxation is also the price we pay for being part of a society. Libertarians want a free lunch from society, but conveniently forget the TANSTAAFL dictum that David Friedman likes to recite: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. If you want to be free of society, go ahead and be a hermit.
It isn’t your money [More...]
It might be your money if you lived under other institutions, rather than those of a taxing nation. But you don't.
No it’s not your money: why taxation isn’t theft [More...]
You have neither a a legal right nor a moral right to your entire pre-tax income.
No, Plato Did Not Think Taxes Were Some Sort of Permitted Theft [More...]
Claims that "Statists think that theft is okay when the government does it" are wrong: they think all citizens of a polity have an obligation to contribute to public expenses.
Occupy Galt’s Gulch [More...]
"So let me just say that I remain completely unpersuaded that traders, bankers, and private equity investors who have made fortunes over the last ten years deserve to be unconstrained, unregulated, and untaxed because they did it all themselves. Bull—if I may be so bold—fucking-shit."
Rand Paul's "Slavery" [More...]
Quite a number of libertarians think the classic libertarian "Taxation Is Slavery" argument that Rand Paul repeats is inaccurate if not idiotic.
Senator: Food Stamps Are Just Like Slavery [More...]
Senator Rand Paul equates government programs that prevent people from dying of starvation with slavery. Because what is the government taking money you’ve earned if not the Leviathan forcing you to work part-time for its profit?
The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice (book, online) (5 links)
Explains property rights as government creations, and taxes as part of property.
Wealth Taxes (1 link)
Wealth taxes are one measure that could help reduce the dominance of the wealthy over society, along with corporate reform.
Why Taxation Is Not Theft [More...]
"Just as all political debates inevitably end with someone making a Hitler comparison, all debates with libertarians sooner or later involve the claim that taxation is theft...."


Taxes are not, however annoying they may seem, violations of our freedom so much as indispensable enablers of freedom -- and hence they are a precondition for the constitution of the very experience of the "voluntary" on which notions of the involuntary depend in the first place.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Those who declare taxes to be theft either forget or fail to grasp that it is taxes that pay for the maintenance of those institutions on which legitimate claims of ownership or theft depend for their intelligibility and force in the first place.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
There are other reasons to think that Hayek went too far in his opposition to progressive tax rates. First, he assumed that earned income accurately measures the value of the incremental contribution to social output. But Hayek overlooked that much of earned income reflects either rents that are unnecessary to call forth the efforts required to earn that income, in which case increasing the marginal tax rate on such earnings does not diminish effort and output. We also know as a result of a classic 1971 paper by Jack Hirshleifer that earned incomes often do not correspond to net social output. For example, incomes earned by stock and commodity traders reflect only in part incremental contributions to social output; they also reflect losses incurred by other traders... Insofar as earned incomes reflect not incremental contributions to social output but income transfers from other individuals, raising taxes on those incomes can actually increase aggregate output.
David Glasner, "Neo- and Other Liberalisms"
Every idiot who advocates shirking by chanting "taxes are theft" bloviates as to how they have no obligation to contribute to the common good from which they benefit.
Gene Callahan, "No, Plato Did Not Think Taxes Were Some Sort of Permitted Theft"
Many entrepreneurs hold the opinion that “I did it all on my own,” which may be well adapted to leadership success in certain situations, but it is objectively myopic. The entrepreneur relies on an ecosystem of venture capitalists, risk-taking purchasers, and so on. This ecosystem itself rests on a deeper foundation of collective, government-led enterprise. The delivery of our software, for example, depended on the existence of the Internet, which is the product of a series of government-sponsored R&D efforts, in combination with subsequent massive private commercial development. Government funding has been essential to much of the university science that entrepreneurs have exploited. Honest courts and police are required for functioning capital markets and protection of assets; physical infrastructure is required for the roads and running water without which we would not spend much time thinking about artificial intelligence software. At the absolute foundation, national armed forces protect the whole system against external aggression. All of our exciting technical and economic innovations ultimately require men to stand watch all night looking through Starlight scopes mounted on assault rifles—and die if necessary—to protect our commercial, law-bound society. Would you do this to protect a billionaire hedge-fund manager who sees his country as nothing more than lines on a map?
Jim Manzi, "Uncontrolled: The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society"
Pretax incomes are presumed just [in "everyday libertarianism"], the authors posit, for the same reason slavery was once the law of the land: pervasiveness makes legal inventions appear to be natural law.
David Cay Johnston, "You Can't Take It With You"