I forget the website now, but it was basically a page of funny photos with a funny comment to go with each one.
Anyway, one of the photos showed a sign saying “if voting changed anything they’d make it illegal“
Initially I found it funny but the more I thought about it the more I think it is actually the truth.
Take the elections in Greece on May 6. No matter which party gets into power, it will not matter if it is a coalition government, nothing will change.
Because Greeks will still not be free to vote with their wallets. To quote Goodfellas
The government does a bad job? F**k you, pay me. You lost your job? F**k you, pay me? The economy is in a nosedive? F**k you, pay me.
In anything else in life, if you don’t like a service you don’t have to pay for it.
If you don’t like the TVs that Sony make, you are not forced to buy Sony TVs and you are not forced to pay the price Sony tells you you have to.
Governments, unlike anything else on the planet, have the power to force individuals to do things against their will with the threat of force.
Until taxes become voluntarily, there is no democracy because no matter how bad a job you think the government does you still have to pay the same amount for the job they do.
Unlike everything else in the life of Greeks, the government does not give the people a choice to not pay the government and seek the government services from private companies.
So how can Greece call itself a democracy?
Some people might say that taxes help the poor.
But that is obviously complete nonsense because the poor pay more taxes, proportionate to their income than anyone else.
But lets ignore that little 5 ton elephant in the room.
If taxes are supposed to be for the benefit of the poor, why are the poor not given a choice? Surely if the whole government tax system is set up to help the poor, then surely they should have the choice of whether to pay taxes or not in return for not receiving the “benefits” the government gives.
I mean if the government is giving the poor such a good deal then surely the poor do not need to be threatened with physical force to pay taxes.
Why are the poor not given the choice. ie you can continue as you are,
you can choose to pay no taxes, your employers are freed from any taxes associated with employing you, and in return you opt out of getting any assistance from the government.
Why not say to the poor, if you want, you no longer have to pay VAT, income tax, social security, property tax, fuel tax/fuel duty, duty on cigarettes, tax on alcohol, tax on the product you import into Greece from outside of the EU, inheritance tax etc and your employer no longer has to pay any taxes connected to your employment BUT if you choose this, you are no longer eligible to receive any assistance from the government. Seems a fair choice to give people no?
If the government gives people such a good deal, why do they have the physically threaten people to pay?
What is the worst than can happen?
People try it for a year, decide they don’t like it and go back to paying taxes. That is the worst case scenario so why are people not free to do it?
Maybe I am stating the blindly obvious here?
Until taxes become voluntary in Greece, Greece will never have a democracy.
Until the Greek government is forced to provide services that the Greek people actually want, there will never be democracy in Greece.
Until the Greek government can have it’s money taken away if Greeks think the Greek government is doing a bad job, there will never be democracy in Greece.
Until the Greek government has the power to imprison people for not purchasing its products, until that power is taken away, the Greek government will have zero motivation to act in the interests of the Greek people.
Can you imagine that Toyota could force you to buy its car (imagine Toyota only sold one model, Yaris lets say) whether you liked it or not?
Can you imagine that you didn’t want to use a Toyota so you bought a different car, can imagine if Toyota still had the power to force you to buy a Toyota even if you didn’t want to use it?
Can you imagine what sort of company that would turn Toyota into?
Can you imagine the type of people who would want to run a company where they had the power to imprison the population if they didn’t buy their products?
Do you think that the people running this type of company would be interested in what is good for you?
But this is what the Greeks have. A company called the government that has the power to imprison citizens for not paying for its products, even if the citizens don’t want to use those products. If that is not the recipe foo corruption and mismanagement I do not know what is.
But I do not think the Greek government is stupid. Sure the Greek s have loads of freedom, they can choose what car to buy, what TV channel to watch, which pub they want to go to, which beach they go to, what house they want to buy and so on.
And maybe all these choices have hidden from Greeks that they do not have any real choice in their lives.
Maybe the choice of TVs, movies and cars have blinded Greeks from the reality that they do not have the most fundamental freedom, they do not have the power to choose how much tax they think their government deserves to get.
But why should Greeks care about being forced to pay taxes when they have some many other choices in their lives?
One simple reason.
Above all else, taxation is the biggest single expense of any Greek over their lifetime, forget a new car or even a new house, taxes are the single biggest purchase that the average Greek makes.
The forced purchase of government services through taxes is the single biggest expense that a Greek has, and that is why Greeks do not have real freedom of choice.
When you have to work over half of your working life against your will in order to pay taxes, that is not a democracy.
When you are forced to pay taxes, it means that for every 8 hours a Greek works, 4 hours of that is for the Greek government.
If you are a Greek and if you had the choice you would not pay any taxes, then you are a slave. Half of the time you spend at work is against your will to pay for services you do not want.
Until Greeks have the choice to pay as much tax as they feel the government deserves the country will continue to be a country of slaves to one extent or another.
So what is the solution?
It is very simple, voluntary taxation.
No human being should have the power to force another human being to do something against their will with the threat of force, as long as that person is not restricting the freedoms of another person.
Voluntary taxation is the only true democracy and this is what Greeks should demand, the right to choose how much tax they pay. And this is why the May 6 election in Greece are undemocratic because no political party is offering to make voluntary taxation a reality.
I would love to hear your comments..
0 thoughts on “Greek Elections, May 6, 2012 & Why They Will Be Undemocratic – The Inconvenient Truth”
What you propose has not been implemented anywhere in the world. Even in the US, where people hate paying taxes, they haven’t tried such a system.
You do not make taxes voluntary because simply, no-one will pay taxes. On the other hand you need to have basic services like law and order, security (justice department, police, army). These must exist whether you like them or not. An organized society depends on them. Otherwise, you would have the Wild West of 1880 in America.
So, everybody pays taxes whether he/she likes it or not. The solution to our problem in Greece is to decrease the public sector: smaller government, more services provided by the private sector, less people working for the public sector and more people working for productive, wealth-creating activities.
Then we will all end up paying less taxes.
I agree with your summary and I think you agree with me.
Going to the start of your comment.
If someone/everyone wants to live in the “wild west” what is the problem? It is their decision.
I’m not sure how, not having a basic service provided by government and not paying taxes, means society will not be organised or how that service will not be provided? If people want it, they will pay for it, like they do now through taxes.
I mean the government is not in the PC business but that seems quite organised. As an example.
About not being implemented anywhere before. I also thought the USA was a shining example of low taxation but having read this I am pretty sure I am wrong, there are many countries in the world with much, much lower taxation.
Anyway, back to the original point. If people are given the choice and they choose not to pay what is wrong with that? I mean if they make a mistake no-one is stopping them from going back.
And okay, you may say “what about the most vulnerable”. Okay, lets start of with giving the most vulnerable the choice and lets see what happens. What is the worst that can happen? They opt out, they don’t like it, they go back.
And this is ignoring the dubious morality of one person threatening another with physical force to do something against their will. ie work 4 hours extra a day even though you don’t want to, just so you can give the money to someone else.
And I am not saying anyone has all the answers, that is the entire point. I do not believe any single entity, (government/monopoly/government monopoly), has all the answers which is why there should be as many entities as possible putting forward solutions so people can choose for themselves what is right for them.
A one choice fits all situation sounds like a severe compromise to me at best, at worst….
Which takes us back to shrinking government. I agree, but how to start?
How about giving the most “vulnerable”, the most “dependant”, the ones who are the biggest “drag” on society the choice of opting in or out. I mean if they decide to opt out then things could really start moving, I mean the whole system is based on helping them no?
What if they do not want any help?
What if they just want government out of the way?
What if the whole foundation of the government “welfare” state is based on something that nobody wants? Or at least, what if people want their welfare to come from somewhere else other than the government through taxes?