Monday, December 31, 2012

Repping Hard

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day while we were watching television---it was some Tea Party feature, and it featured one powdered-wig wearing patriot declaring, "No taxation without representation!"

"We have taxation with representation," my friend said. "Stupid tea partiers." My buddy is a devout acolyte of the High Priestess Maddow and a preacher of the word of Father O'Donnel, so you can imagine he has no love to spare for the Tea Party.

Sensing an opportunity, I said to him, "I do not have representation."

"Yes you do," he said. "You have representatives in Congress."

"I do not," I replied, and it is true. I voted for Johnson for President and Radtke for Senate in 2012 (the latter a write-in), and neither she nor any of the others for which I voted now occupy any seats in Washington. I am representative-less.

My point was partly in jest---the system is not built for literally everyone to have representatives. But in a more important sense it was perfectly valid. I have nobody "representing" me in Congress, and yet I am still forced to pay taxes and so forth.

Now, some people might say, "Well, you voted, so you agreed to play by the rules of a representative democracy. Therefore, you have no right to complain about not being represented. You just have to deal with it." Perhaps this is true. But of course if I do not vote, those same people will say that I have no right to complain about any aspect of government. It's a Morton's fork, government edition. I was born into this system, can apparently do nothing appreciable to change it, and the statists gleefully use this to their advantage. It's somewhat frustrating.

Regarding statists, it is worth nothing that they are some of the most resigned, absolutist people on the planet. If one complains about any systemic problem with government---if one finds a single little problem with the existence of the state---the statist will immediately declare, "Well, this is the way things are. You better just get used to it and stop complaining." This is a near-universal tenet of statism: aggressive, relentless defense of the status quo at all costs. It's just pure and hopeless mediocrity. Even the communists believe in radical change (albeit change that results in mass starvation, imprisonment and murder). Your modern American statist just believes in a pleasant, unremarkable course correction. Forever.

Anyways, the point is, when someone gives you a confusing line such as, "We are government, so that is why we pay taxes," point out that you don't have any of your desired representatives in the government so you shouldn't have to pay taxes. It confuses people, makes them come up with some strange justifications, and may even make them think a little bit, if you are lucky.

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