The year 2013 is a miserable year for citizens. A greater number of people lost their jobs, and more people swelled the ranks of the under-employed. A segment hardly acknowledged in this country.
A weakening rand, general escalating cost of living, and additional financial burdens cast on them by our country’s economic insiders, is becoming unbearable.
However those directly responsible for the misery because of the decisions they make, generally don’t bear the costs of the consequences of their actions. They enjoy the concentrated benefits, and disperse the costs to economic outsiders.
Take for example the growing amount of government debt and expenditure. In this fiscal year it ballooned to the 1-trillion rand mark for the first time. To most people, this sounded like a good thing, in fact, when delivering his Budget Speech, Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, pandered for applause when he announced this figure. Sure enough, he got it. He got it because I have come to the stark realization that a lot of South African politicians (and many citizens) are economically illiterate. To them, a government spending more money on poorly defined and never ending mandates is a “good thing”. The source of this money and exactly how the government gets its hands on it is seldom scrutinized. Why is this acceptable? Well allow me to offer an elementary explanation. It is stolen money and debt.
Let me focus on the theft element of this equation:
The money government spends is stolen from you and me. The theft is brazen and blatant, and is given a neutral and unimposing name, income tax. Income taxes are a limit on yours and my freedoms. Take for example that nobody pays taxes, rather government simply takes it. That percentage of your wage is taken from you; you don’t voluntarily pay it in.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) creates the illusion of a voluntary exchange between you and it, but in reality there is no such. If you decide for example to opt out of this “voluntary exchange”, then you would see the true nature of the relationship between you and SARS (i.e. government), and that is one characterised by coercion and the threat of violence on you if you don’t comply.
I believe we need to ban personal and all other forms involuntary taxes. They are pure theft. The government, like any other entity, must gather its revenue by providing services and goods which you and I as consumers are interested in acquiring in a voluntary exchange with government. The provision of such services and goods must be on an open market, free to competition. That is the one way we can bring down the cost of living for so many people finding it ever more difficult to stay afloat. Hand back the individual, rich or poor, their liberty and right to spend their income on goods and services as they see fit. This is not a panacea, but this would be a great place to start.