The Criminalization of Financial Independence

Just as the “war on drugs” criminalized and destroyed large swaths of African-American and Latino communities, the “war on cash” will further criminalize the few remaining avenues to financial independence and freedom. The introduction of “entitlement” welfare in the 1960s generated a toxic dependency on the state that institutionalized worklessness, a one-two punch that undermined marriage and family in America’s working class of all ethnicities.

The “war on drugs” launched in the 1970s turned millions of American males into felons with severely restricted rights and opportunities in mainstream America.

Now we see the same destructive pattern repeating with “disability” being the new “welfare” and “legal” synthetic heroin (oxycotin etc.) being the new street-smack that lays waste to entire communities. Once you’re dependent on the state for disability and synthetic smack, you are owned by the government, lock, stock and barrel.

When the temptation to sell your $3 Medicaid prescription for synthetic smack for a quick $1000 becomes too much to resist, bang, you’ve got a one-way ticket into the Hell of America’s criminal “justice” system. Do you see the pattern? Offer the blandishments of “free money” and nearly free synthetic smack, and the vulnerable populace is quickly reduced to a dependent state of worklessness and addiction.

Needless to say, an addicted, ill, workless populace that is herded into the grinder of the criminal justice system isn’t going to create any political resistance. They have their hands full just trying to stay alive and avoid being sucked into the voracious maw of the criminalization meat grinder.

This is the context for the upcoming “war on cash” and the criminalization of financial independence. Every conventional means of remaining financially independent of the state-cartel-banking system is being restricted and criminalized, the better to herd everyone into centrally controlled institutions.

Those attempting to escape the political-financial pen are threatened with the other pen–the penitentiary.

Any form of resistance draws punitive criminal sanctions. If you attempt to resist the unfettered search of your property, your resistance is instantly criminalized.

If you resist the seizure of your property on some trumped up charge, your resistance is instantly criminalized.

If you resist being hassled for “driving while black,” your resistance is instantly criminalized.

If you resist being shunted off public spaces while staging a political protest, your resistance is instantly criminalized.

Three charts help explain the criminalization of financial freedom. Wages as a percentage of economic activity (GDP) have been falling for decades. Wage earners are under pressure, and this generates dissatisfaction that eventually finds political expression. This is dangerous to the ruling elites, so criminalizing dissent, resistance and financial independence become essential tools to cow and control the masses.

Independent enterprises are a source of political and financial independence–and any independent class is dangerous to the ruling elites. The “solution” to the ruling elites is to crush independent enterprises with burdensome regulations that carry punitive penalties, raise junk fees (licensing fees, permits, etc.) to levels that make it difficult to remain compliant, and criminalize cash-only and home-based enterprises.

No wonder new business growth is a shadow of its former robustness. If you try to launch a legally compliant enterprise, the costs crush all but the most successful. Any less than fully compliant enterprise has been criminalized.

The upper 20% of wage earners are the tax donkeys that must be corralled so they can’t escape higher taxes. Whatever wealth they’ve accumulated must also be available for taxation, for this reason: as the super-wealthy sequester their immense wealth in legal tax dodges such as philanthro-capitalist foundations, this leaves the lion’s share of taxes to be paid by the upper-middle class / professional / technocrat / entrepreneur tax donkeys.

The coming War on Cash is also designed to bring in black-market cash from the bottom 40% who use cash businesses as a tax avoidance tactic. The state will leave no stone unturned in its campaign to close off any escape routes–except of course for those available to the super-wealthy and corporations which contribute the big bucks to the politicos’ re-election campaigns.

There won’t be any legal assets that will not be exposed to taxation. As for precious metals–imagine a “wealth tax” that is first imposed on millionaires. Who will say that “taxing the rich” is a bad idea?

Then the definition of “rich” will be adjusted downward. Anyone owning gold is “rich,” correct? So laws will be passed requiring all forms of wealth must be declared.

Anyone who fails to declare their wealth and pay a “wealth tax” on it will face punitive criminal charges.

The “wealth tax” will start small, and high up the food chain. Then it will quickly move down to include everyone with any assets of any kind. If you reckon this farfetched, check back in 2020, if not sooner.

The problem isn’t taxation per se–it’s preserving the freedom to become financially and politically independent that’s increasingly at risk. Once it becomes too complicated, costly and onerous for a working class household to start and operate an enterprise, small-scale capitalism is dead–strangled by the state at the behest of self-serving bureaucrats, elites and corporate cartels.

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  • jadan

    “The introduction of “entitlement” welfare in the 1960s generated a toxic dependency on the state that institutionalized worklessness….”

    Thomas Jefferson supposedly defined the fundamental principle of all future conservative thought when he said “That government governs best which governs least.” Thomas Jefferson, in fact, did not make any such utterance. He believed in government. It was Henry David Thoreau, the quintessential loner and tax protestor who had no use for government. Jefferson was an advocate of a decentralized democratic system in which everyone participated.

    We do not live in a democracy. Therefore government is an adversary. Smith and other “conservative” thinkers regard government itself as loathsome, an evil drug dealing entity scheming to steal your cash and enslave you.

    Let’s try to imagine what life would be like in a democracy where people participated in their government and did not fear it and hate it as the source of moral depravity, as Smith does.

    The solution is not to eliminate government, or endlessly excoriate it, but to put it under control of the people, not an elite minority of oligarchs, such as now.

  • Ann on a Moose

    So, let me get this straight. Government is no longer a petty tax thief, but is becoming a full-time, sit-in-your-livingroom, eat your sustenance and molest your children kind of tax thief. But your conclusion from this is: “The problem isn’t taxation per se.”

    Yes it is.

    Taxation would be wonderful if our vaunted “democracy” somehow united Hillary and Trump types to force (!) government to live with limited powers and a modest budget. But it would also be wonderful if flying unicorns provided us all with a constant supply of free Skittles.

    The “people controlling government” meme is long dead. If you want to resurrect that meme, there is only one way to do it, and the fact that it will not get done only goes to show that “the people” aren’t at all united in their attitudes toward government. That one way, were the people actually united, would be for everyone to stop paying taxes.

    Nope, can’t happen. We’re sliding inexorably into the worst tyranny ever. The leviathan called government and all the people who depend on it will be increasingly living at your expense until there’s nothing left for them to extract. Then we’ll see them for what they really are underneath it all: cannibals.

    Wait and see. In the mean time, feel free to continue extolling the theoretical virtue of government sanctioned theft, a.k.a. taxation. Maybe they’ll take kindly to that and knock your door down last.

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