Nowhere To Run

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The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850 to deal with the problem of runaway slaves and the weakening of a 1793 law with the same objective. All people want to keep the fruits of their labor and when this desire is violated they seek some remedy, whether it be a change in the law or a change in location. If a slave could make it to Canada he was probably safe from the slave catchers. Some northern states had laws against black people – slave or free – moving into the state, so Canada was probably the best option. If a slave could escape to a free area he could keep all his earnings since there was no income tax at the time.

Today the state of affairs is a little different. If an American citizen wants to keep all his income there is no place to escape to. If such a person moves to Switzerland, Uganda, Haiti or Antarctica the IRS wants its “share” of his income. It doesn’t matter that the person no longer lives in the US or makes any money in the US, just by virtue of citizenship, Uncle Sam wants his share.

If the plantation owner of yesteryear could somehow reap the benefits of the runaway slave’s labor no matter where he was, he would have had no incentive to capture him and bring him back. What difference would it make where he was if the “owner” still had an irrevocable claim against his productivity? The slave had an advantage over the modern counterpart if he could escape the country.

In feudal times there were serfs known as serfs “regardant” and serfs “in gross.” A serf regardant was only a serf in regards to one Lord, otherwise he was free. A serf in gross was a serf always and everywhere no matter who he worked for. Americans are now what could be described as serfs in gross. No matter where they live or work, the federal vampire demands its gallon of blood even though the victim is using none of its “services.”

Every time a national holiday of some sort comes around, be it Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day or some other, we hear the usual script about how Americans are free and that we owe a huge debt to founders, veterans or somebody for all the freedom we enjoy. This presents an odd definition of freedom. What exactly does it mean to be free? Is it possible to be free when someone has an irrevocable, unlimited claim on everything you earn? Some will object that the income tax is not unlimited, it’s “only” thirty-nine percent or whatever it happens to be, but this can be changed at any time for any reason. Serfs generally owed about twenty percent to the Lord – were they free?

Americans are so indoctrinated in the slave mentality that they will refer to someone who wants to keep the fruits of his labor as a “tax cheat.” Our Founding Fathers probably would not even have understood such a term. Weren’t all of them aspiring tax cheats?

During every election politicians prattle on about reducing taxes, closing loopholes, tax reform or some other bromide to hoodwink the greatest number of voters. Almost none ever talk about abolishing the income tax and abolishing the IRS. The government loves an income tax because it allows it to pry into the financial affairs of all its citizens and it gives it a sword of Damocles to hold over any person or group that might have the wrong opinions. Many people like the income tax because they envy those more successful than themselves and like to see them punished. Marx and Engels undoubtedly realized this when they made “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax” the second plank of the Communist Manifesto. Anything short of abolition is adjusting the fit of the chains on the slaves.

Not only does the government tax income of those living outside the country, it prohibits those who “owe” back taxes from leaving the plantation country. Nobody is free who has a master that has first claim against all his earnings. Proverbs XXII:7 says that the borrower is slave to the lender, but in the land of the free, even those who haven’t borrowed are slaves by virtue of citizenship, and there’s nowhere to run.

Reprinted with permission from Different Bugle.

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