Almost twenty years ago economist Mark Skousen penned a little essay, Persuasion Versus Force, that has the power to change how we look at taxation forever.
One early paragraph sets the stage:
“Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “˜Taxation is the price we pay for civilization.’ But isn’t the opposite really the case? Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success.”
On this Tax Day, read the entire essay and you may just come away with a more profound understanding of what this day, and the Tea Party protests are really all about.
Steve Buckstein is Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland-based think tank.