"If the major opportunities for future growth of government lie in the area of conventional taxation, are there any defenses available to the citizenry? ... Perhaps the most fruitful advice comes in two parts. The first piece of advice is to avoid war and the rumor of war: this is history's greatest boon to the tax man. ... The second piece of advice is to seek ways of inhibiting government's ability conveniently to increase its collections. Possibly the very increase in that ability that is in prospect can be turned to account by a constitutional provision which forbade the income tax, and perhaps even the storage of information regarding individual incomes by third parties, including government." ~ Benjamin Ward
The Wonders of the World
Column by tzo.
Exclusive to STR
I will say that the Taj Mahal is a fine and impressive piece of architecture.
It was commissioned by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his third wife, who died during the birth of their fourteenth child.
It obviously wasn’t cheap. Where did the Shah get the money to finance such a project? Well, the Mughal empire accumulated money through taxation, just like any other government.
A portion of each person's labor and wealth was siphoned off and sent to the Shah. The Taj Mahal was built primarily off the labor of the common farmer. Quite a trinket to wave in their faces, the Taj Mahal. Hey guys! Look what I can do with all your money!
And today it is one of the many government-“commissioned” slave-built structures that everyone admires and fawns over. Yes, it is beautiful, but it was built with blood.
Peruse through the lists of the Wonders of the World. Where did the money and labor come from to construct them? What of the Dalai Lama's palace? The Hagia Sofia? The White House?
What is this sick infatuation that the slaves have with worshiping the masters?
Human beings are obviously quite capable of building impressive and beautiful works of art under threat of death. Then the later generations stand in awe of these monuments as great symbols of those civilizations, ignoring what actually went into their construction.
The true value these monuments serve is to illustrate how governments can flaunt their stolen wealth, knowing perfectly well that many of the poor folks who were forced to contribute died for having had to contribute.
The construction of the Taj Mahal is held up as a tribute to a great love, and none who see it and know its tragic story should remain unmoved. Wow! He really loved her if he built such a structure as a monument to her.
The simple farmer who may have had to bury his wife in a patchwork box in the cold, stony ground showed much more respect for his wife than did the Shah. At least the box was his.