>>: "Sourav K. Mandal" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>> I do not
>> see too many of the wealthy step up to bat against high tax rates.
>> Do they accept money in government coffers as currency for the
>> influential, i.e. limousine liberalism at its worst?

>: Pierre Lemieux <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Your hypothesis is intriguing, but I would think that a better way to
> explian why rich tax protestors are rare is simply that the opportunity
> cost of their time is high and, so, the cost of collective action is much
> higher for them. (It is true, though, that their expected benefits might be
> higher since, indeed, they are more likely to have an influence.)
My take is that once the principle of legal plunder is loose,
those who will decide to lobby will have an incentive to lobby
rather for _more_ taxes, not less taxes, albeit taxes that will
benefit _them_ as opposed to other people, in the form of
direct state subsidies, regulations that will prevent competition,
tax rebates and differential taxing according to criteria that would
specifically benefit them, etc. To once again quote Bryan Caplan's
Anarchist Theory FAQ, end of section 15, itself quoting David Friedman,
"Under governmental institutions, good law is a public good and
bad law is a private good".

In the end, it may well so happen that when legal plunder is very
developed, any significantly rich person can only become and remain so
by participating in the plunder and making government subsidies
an important part of their revenue. So as to survive, big companies are
strongly incented to grow incestuous relationships with government;
and if ever they someday want to leave that relationship, government
can hit them hard by removing the support they learnt to depend upon.
This is really an instance of the Prisoner's Dilemma:
from the moment that plunder is legal and without retaliation,
the interest of everyone is to grab the biggest share of the loot
rather than to cooperate with other victims.
Of course, on the long run, communities of honest people survive longer;
but at any given moment, the immediately richer people are the dishonest,
whether completely corrupt or starting innocent and accepting a bigger bite
into the cake every day.

Now, the most unearned fortunes will not last long, unless they are invested
in honest industries; but then, the dishonest people who invest dirty money
in honest industries will win big and remain rich. Thus, we obtain the result
that even though only honest activities are viable on the long run,
the legalization of plunder tends to put even these activities in the hands
of looters. In other words, when dishonesty is not stopped by the law,
riches tend to go from the honest to the dishonest (not a big discovery!).
Hence the need for the Rule of a just Law (which issue btw is completely
independent from that of Government).

> Moreover, some wealthy individuals do support libertarian organizations,
> which is a way to be a tax protestor at a lower cost (for them).
Yes. According to my above consideration, they ought to be a minority,
at least until digital communications makes it possible to synchronize
a lot of people of different interests into forming communities that
governments cannot bribe with any tax rebate or subsidy
based on any applicable criteria.

> A standard
> anomaly: people like Bill Gates, who supports all the PC causes espoused by
> the tyrant who persecutes him!

Bill Gates is not an anomaly, at least, not in the way you think.
The tyrant persecutes him, but the tyrant also raised him to begin with;
it's really a story of the tyrant giving then taking away according to
his whims; a story of the arbitrary, of the lack of Rule of Law.

Bill Gates is the typical kind of government-using looter.
His immense fortune is due to so-called "Intellectual Property",
an insidious form of protectionism, that has generated an unsuspectedly
incredible wealth of protection money as technology recently made
the exchange of information much bigger and faster.
Bill Gates has been particularly ingenious in taking advantage of
Intellectual Property -- he himself admitted in an interview that
his one achievement was the Microsoft business model (and indeed it is;
this guy is laughable as technical questions go, but he's a looter genius).
Gates invented all forms of commercial pressures to exert on consumers,
on producers, on customers and providers, all based on his IP monopoly,
so as to extort money that does not correspond to any actually rendered
service, but only to protection from his own lawyers.
Bill Gates and other tycoons of the Information age
can hardly demand that Government cease plunder,
for there is not one single cent of their fortune
that isn't stolen from the public under the threat of
sending lawyers whose arguments resides in government-supported privileges.

Government grant monopolies in the form of copyrights and patents,
and then, they wonder why things go wrong as brilliant though immoral
businessmen milk these monopolies by aggregating them into bigger
and bigger monopolies! What marvels me is not the evil of it all,
but the capacity of evildoers to blank out their own evil.
Gotta re-read "Atlas Shrugged" (although poor Ayn Rand was misled
into believing that IP was actual property).

Yours freely,

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | http://fare.tunes.org ]
[  TUNES project for a Free Reflective Computing System  | http://tunes.org  ]
If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of
exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea,
which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to
himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the
possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.
Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because
every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me,
receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his
taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should
freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual
instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been
peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like
fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any
point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical
being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then
cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
        --Thomas Jefferson

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