Who Will Build the Slave Roads?
A popular point to make amongst the liberty crowd is to point out that if you are paying X percent of your income in taxes, then you are X percent a slave. In The Slave Test, assuming you didn’t pass, I promised to offer a method of determining what percent a slave you are. If my method were based on the percent of your productivity stolen then it could be quite a difficult number to calculate.
Taxes are pervasive, incorporated into almost every activity we engage in, and often evasive as well. There are the obvious ones that we see on our pay stubs and the fees we must pay to governments to partake of things we often presume to be the rights of free people, like traveling, or buying goods and services, or owning a home, but there are hidden ones like the fees that your employers must pay to hire you which comes straight out of the same employment budget they use to determine your salary. And that’s only the most obvious impact on your livelihood imposed by our masters.
Any cost imposed by government on the marketplace deducts from the budgets that could be used to hire more people, to pay people more, or those costs are passed on into higher prices for the things you spend your productivity on. Every single cost imposed by regulation or tariff ripples out to some extent causing additional consequences. Any time a new cost is imposed, something has to give. It’s simple arithmetic. A business with a smaller budget due to taxes or the cost of adherence to a new regulation is spending less somewhere else, perhaps harming another business’ income and causing yet more economic harm to ripple out to employees and consumers.
It begins to seem complicated indeed to determine how much of our productivity is being siphoned off by our masters, but I said you wouldn’t need your calculator to determine what percent a slave you are. So let’s put this in perspective. If you were a slave in Egypt building the pyramids or one violently kidnapped from Africa in the early years of the U.S., were you 100% a slave based on the above method? Obviously your masters would have to allow you the means of survival and in most cases they probably allowed you something to keep your moral up and keep you more productive. You would have had slave quarters and rations and time to sleep, and perhaps even some time off for a bit of recreation under strict guidance by your masters depending on how humane your masters were. So would you be considered partially free because your masters chose to allow you some time for your own needs and to reap a small bit of benefit from your productivity?
What makes you a slave is that you are under the complete control of your masters. If you have any choices at all, it’s only because your masters graciously allow you some small measure of choice, and they could choose not to allow those same choices the very next day. Your masters own you completely and they alone choose what of your productivity you get to keep from one moment to the next. So put away the calculator. Until no one else has first dibs on your productivity, and until you are supporting yourself and making your own decisions about your own life, you are 100% a slave.
Do you feel partially free because your masters generously allow you to keep a portion of your income? Do you feel partially free because your masters provide certain things for you in return for your service like education and roads? Your income is your slave quarters. You are allowed to keep a portion because it’s a cost of having slaves. If you are a more productive and obedient slave, you’re rewarded. The education that your masters provide teaches you to serve your masters and to be more productive for them. Where are you going to and from 90% of the time you’re on government roads? You’re going to and from your job, the very job that serves your masters immensely more than it serves you.
When the necessity for government is challenged, someone with a crippled creativity and a heavily suppressed imagination from years of government indoctrination inevitably sounds like a broken record and asks “but who will build the roads?” Government roads are a necessity for modern slaves. They are slave roads. It makes about as much sense as a plantation slave wondering how he could possibly shelter himself if he were freed. A slave who has had sub-standard housing provided by masters his entire life, when presented with the idea of life without masters, might sincerely wonder “but who will build the slave quarters?” When you’ve been trained to be a slave your entire life, it can be scary to imagine life as a free person, but I encourage you to try.