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Affix The Stamp
What are your responsibilities towards the state? To what extent does your loyalty lie with the state, and where do you draw the line?
Our grandfathers initiated a revolution in response to the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts of 1767, and the Tea Act of 1773, primarily objecting to taxation without representation. Specifically, the Stamp Act required that various printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper manufactured in London, which bore an embossed revenue stamp. This mandate applied to legal documents, newspapers, pamphlets, and even playing cards. Crucially, the stamped paper had to be acquired using British currency, not the colonial paper money, exacerbating the strain on the colonial economy. The cost of these stamps varied based on the type and size of the document; for example, ship’s papers might cost as much as ten shillings, whereas a deck of playing cards was taxed at one shilling.
This policy incited significant resentment in the colonies, leading to the creation and circulation of protest imagery. One such powerful image, widely distributed in newspapers, symbolized the death of free speech contingent on paying for the stamp.
Affix The Stamp
Here we are, 250 years later, living under a government that taxes us at rates far exceeding those imposed by the British crown all those years ago, while simultaneously eroding our God given natural rights. Despite this, we continue to slave away with our daily toils.
This situation raises critical ethical questions: At what point does it become morally justifiable to reject taxation? When a government acts immorally, does compliance through tax payment implicate us in its actions? In such a scenario, could there be a moral imperative to abstain from funding the vile and murderous state? It seems we must seek guidance from a higher authority, an appeal to heaven, so to speak. What are the implications when the state violates the social contract, failing to fulfill its promises to the people? Do you reject?
Taxation Decision Tree
Are you a serf? Probably, I am for now but I don’t want to be.
So what can you do? I can’t tell you what to do but here are some options.
- Continue as a serf and get a good tax attorney and feel good about paying your taxes. Congrats.
- Get a good tax attorney and proactively limit tax burden. Congrats still a serf.
- Move. Jurisdictional arbitrage is a thing. Consider moving to PR or somewhere with friendlier taxes.
- Reject US citizenship. This is probably the most radical thing you can do. Some people are rejecting their US Citizenship in favor of becoming Non Resident Aliens. This is an insane rabbit hole1.
- Just quit paying taxes yolo. Not recommended but you do you.
- Leave the country all together.
Many people will continue down the path of status quo. I can’t blame them. Stockholm syndrome is real and I am guilty of it too. I am thinking hard about the options. I have never taken accounting seriously, I have not really followed with the rich do to protect their assets, I don’t understand trust law, I am not completely free. But I want to be.
Ultimately, we face a crucial decision: to reject or affix the stamp.
- Earlier this year I saw this guy on Tin Foil Hat podcast and was like wtf is this guy talking about. It all sounded so insane. The premise is that there is a legal path to change your citizenship status and the deeper layer is that all US Citizens are employees of the US Government, a private corporation, and each US State is a sub company to the US Government. It is so deep and insane. This website is what turned me onto the importance of Law and the meaning of words. ↩︎