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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16672/to-tax-is-to-destroy/

To Tax Is to Destroy

April 28, 2011 by

If you are a wealthy person, beware. The estate tax will destroy what you have created through your hard work and diligence. Unless you have spent a small fortune on financial planners, accountants, and tax attorneys, the fruits of your labor may be enjoyed by the government.

FULL ARTICLE by Fred Buzzeo

{ 78 comments }

Mike Frick April 28, 2011 at 10:00 am

Nationalism is destruction of federalism.
What the Supreme(?) Court failed to disclose is; (and thus is propagating the illusion we still have a free republic)
federalism was replaced by nationalism via the “Reconstruction” and the 14th Amendment.
We are all “citizens of the United States” government and “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. (see 14th Amendment)
No longer are we Citizens of once republic State governments, and therefore States are no longer sovereign. Our allegiance and sovereignty has been transferred from the States to the so-called federal, but in function, national government “United States”. Nationalism has not only destroyed federalism, it has destroyed the once great constitutional republic.
The victors write the history, which is why most Americans do not know or understand this.
The destruction is all but complete, except for the crying.
Mike Frick
Yorkville, Illinois

billwald April 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

AGREE! Lincoln’s War redefined “state” to mean “province.” The USA should be renamed The Fifty Provinces of Washington, DC.

Deefburger April 28, 2011 at 10:17 am

“In order to have an effect, laws must be enforced. ”

This is incorrect. Natural Law does not require enforcement. Only Positive rights written into law must be enforced. Proper laws are laws that recognize the intricacies of natural behavior and natural outcomes and do not require enforcement. Or, proper laws are simple rules of conduct and weigh in only when they are challenged in a dispute in court, where the jury or the judge determine their applicability to the reality of natural life.

The type of “law” your article attacks is based upon the legislation of positive rights, which are naturally in opposition to natural law. They are make-believe powers over the natural rights of men, and so have no basis in natural experience, and so have no support in the natural reality of free living. Just the opposite in fact. Positive rights are in-equal rights held directly in opposition to the natural rights of all other persons and entities. They are not rights at all, but instead they are powers that include the first use of force – enforcement.

The checks and balances of the institution of our government were meant to limit the execution of power exclusively and immediately by only one branch of government. The founding fathers knew all too well what power was and how it manifests to remove the natural inalienable rights of citizens. If the government was to be of, by, and for the people, then it must not find it easy to create power and initiate enforcement.

The only form of a law that includes the use of force is a law that uses that force in defense. A thief or a murderer can be apprehended by force, after the fact of the crime. The crime is the first use of force by the criminal.

For the government itself to engage in the use of force as enforcement is a criminal act in natural law. There is only the power to defend, not to offend if the government is to have a legitimate claim of the protection of the people. If the power to offend is legislated, then criminal acts are made legal and enforcement becomes the path to tyranny over the people, and not by, of and for the people.

Freedom ends the moment a government legalizes its own crimes.

billwald April 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Then a natural law is what? Gravity? 200 years ago the alchemists like Newton thought they were discovering God Laws of nature. This use of “law” confuses people and is better reserved for the law courts. When physicists teach that Newtonian physics doesn’t apply on a quantum scale to many people think they are contradicting God.

sastro joyo April 28, 2011 at 10:20 am

Thank you really for helping make the post give light to many problems we have had before now.

Daisy April 28, 2011 at 10:23 am

An excellent articles that strikes at the heart of the matter: without money we would never have this expansive government and run-away deficit.

My portfolio is bigger April 28, 2011 at 11:04 am

Don’t worry buddy. No one is coming to take your things. The government is inept; yet in your Ayn Rand fairyland it is the devil incarnate. I for one welcome our corporate overlords and all the brainless twits bleating out their undying devotion to Walmartiburton.

nate-m April 28, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Walmart doesn’t send armed men to your house when you fail to give them money. Walmart is not the one that dumped billions of dollars into the hands of people like Goldman and Sachs.

Haliburton didn’t write their government contracts. Haliburton didn’t force you to give them a percentage of your paycheck at the end of the gun. Haliburton didn’t start the war. They didn’t invade Iraq. They are not the ones that are forcing you to pay them.

The Federal government is in bed with these corporations. Along with the Fed the USA government creates the rules for Walstreet. They create the regulation and enforce the laws that protect major corporations from competition and bankruptcy.

How many times will you believe the lies of politicians? How long will it take before you realize that democratic government is not your savior and is not your protector? You many years must you live before you realize the corruption and violence that is inherent in the system?

The only way out of the messes we are in are to get rid of the system of central planning that created it.

The ideas espoused in this website is about the value of peace and harmony. How it works and how economies can grow simply through individuals making individual decisions on what is best for them and their families. How people can be allowed to voluntarily associate with one another and we do not need violence and oppression to control us or tell us what to do. Capitalism is a term that describes what happens in economics when people are Free.

Gil April 28, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Walmart would if you owe them money and wasn’t paying htem.

Shay April 29, 2011 at 4:21 am

And you can only incur debt to Wal-Mart by voluntarily doing business with them.

daisy April 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Voluntary. Exactly. That is the key word. we have a choice.

Deefburger April 28, 2011 at 11:13 am

@My portfolio is bigger

…and enumerated in promises of nothing. Big indeed.

Capt. A. April 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm

From an article yesterday, “The True Nature of Taxation,” posted by Rob Rojas, comes this following article, “To Tax Is to Destroy,” by Mr. Fred Buzzeo—more insights into the tragedies of submitting to the “master’s yoke (taxation) and the master’s lash (you will do what you are told … or else!). Is there no end? Nope! When any collective tends to the belief that “voluntary contributions (IRS)” are necessary for the development of a social system based on a vertical hierarchy, command and control by elites, you’ve essentially lost real freedom and liberty. So…

There are two kinds of individuals, those who understand … and those who never will. Collectives are set up to create institutions that must and will be served by those individuals within its jurisdictions. You will submit. Think not? Think again! So…

You may talk till you are “blue in the face, using ratiocination in design and substance and if contrary to the collective’s desire,” implementation of “the law” will come to bare—thugs with badges and guns will come and visit you! Push and see if the collective pushes back! What a true waste of time, that’s what life is made of, time.

As I mentioned in my comment in the above-mentioned article there is very, very little chance to live the only life you will ever have, in peace, left alone, without interference from the collective. Government-controlled schooling, tribal inculcation and religious dogma are fostered and foisted to prevent an individual from ever being truly free. No ifs, ands or buts. If you think otherwise—you are “caught” in the collectivist trap—and you don’t even know it! Burr holes may not be visible on your forehead, the lobectomy turned you into one of the “pod people” to serve from cradle to grave—you’ve become “one of them!” You want truth? I just gave it to you.

There is one way and one way only (and legally) to rid yourself of the collar around your neck, attached to the reins of the collective. LEAVE its jurisdiction, renounce its citizenship, and never look back! Create the circumstance necessary to procure true, real freedom, liberty, privacy, private property and freedom to/of contract without an interfering collective and its government. I know of no other way (after more than a half-century of fierce study) and that’s the truth … even if it is the sad truth. All the talking in this world smitten with the lust to “change the system,” leads to angst, delusions, illusions, hopes—that everything might be perfect … if only… It won’t!

Being the social animal that man is, to stand alone on principle, to negate the collective is formidable. It can be done. The rara avis that becomes the iconoclast, the renegade, to paraphrase H.L. Mencken, “ … is usually an outlaw in democratic societies.” So be it.

Again, most people dream away their lives with the illusion that everything would be perfect — if only… Then they VOTE! Unmitigated poppycock!

The choice for real freedom and liberty belongs to those … who take and act upon it. Nothing more, nothing less. This I know. For the rest, it’s the yoke … and the lash.

Capt. A.
Principauté de Monaco
UTC +2:00 CET

Gene Berman April 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Mr. Buzzeo:

Though an otherwise good piece, you’ve made a very commonplace error, strictly speaking, an error in specifically economic understanding.

The general failure and contrary-to-purpose activities of governments DO NOT stem from an inability to understand or predict the preferences of consumers. It is certainly true that they many times are subject to such a knowledge deficit but this is not the underlying source of their problem. Indeed, such entities are as well able as their private counterparts to engage some of the most highly-trained experts in various fields related to consumer preference and satisfaction–on a par wirth those employed in private industry–yet still find success (other than political) elusive. Even when high positions in governance are given to those with proven success in business ventures and management, success is hardly more likely to follow.

The key to understanding is the very same as enunciated by Mises back in 1920 as the “inability to calculate economically in a socialist commonwealth.” What is always true of a socialist commonwealth in which the state is owner of virtually all means of production is only slightly less true of the government (unfree) portion of the economies in nominally “free” economic systems.

What is lacking, what underpins failure, is the element of private ownership of the means of production (and a market for such property) and, consequently, an arithmetic ability to contrast revenues with the value of those assets: what is generally referred to as “ROI.” Lacking such ability means the entity so lacking is unable, regardless of consumer reaction to their offerings, to determine whether they are making profits or losses.

Indeed, the case could be made that a street vendor selling pretzels and hot dogs on a city street is in a better position to gauge his own success than is anyone engaged in gov’t. “enterprise.”

There can be no question, for instance, that one of the most wildly “successful” government programs in existence must be the gov’t.-funded distribution (in Egypt) of wheat flour (and, thus, bread); 5 lbs. of bread costs the citizen the eqivalent of about 20 cents. In force for many years, the program currently threatens to bankrupt the country; but, if they’d dare to discontinue–there’s no doubt whatever that they’d have violent revolution on their hands. Not all that long ago, Egypt was entirely self-sufficient with regard to that crop; now, since they’ve made its farming uneconomic, they import about 50%, then sell it at a loss.

Fred April 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Hi Gene:

We are not in disagreement. The reason that government bureaucrats can not make economic calculations is because their capital is not at risk. It is this “at risk” factor that drives those who provide goods and services into making the economic calculations that predict consumer desires. (see my article “A Free Market Operative” on mises.org). Granted, in order to do this, a system of free market enterprise is needed.
But think of a monopoly game. Do you make the same bets on the monopoly board with monopoly money that you do in the real world with real money?
All the best,

Fred

Gene Berman April 29, 2011 at 6:24 am

Fred:

You’re still seeing it somewhat backwards (though your Monopoly-money analogy comes fairly close to the mark).

It’s not that there’s no risk to the capital. The assessment of risk, i.e., an appreciation of the viccisitudes of the future (including many things, especially the behavior of the consumers) presents neither the entrepreneur or the government director with different sets of potentials.
The sole advantage of the private party is that he can use simple arithmetic to contrast various
potentialities BECAUSE the capital utilized (risked) is quantifiable on the market, whether or not he owns it individually (he may, indeed, sometimes merely manage it for others). The important thing to understand is not that the operator in the free market is smarter or better at his job than is the government functionary (though it’s true that he tends to be); it is that, where part or all of the capital being employed is removed from the market, calculation is not rendered merely difficult but impossible: the simple matter of contrasting expected revenue with capital depreciation and costs is rendered imponderable, transformed, as it were, into an entirely different problem: that of getting the maximum of a (legislatively) mandated benefit from a given allocation of funds (for which bureaucracy is the preferred method).

This is the CORE of modern Austrian understanding as discovered by Mises circa 1920. His predecessors (even going back to and including Bastiat) could appreciate the reality of the effects but, until Mises, had no real idea of the cause. Furthermore (and this is an all-important “takeaway” concept), such understanding is the very bedrock underlying the simplicity of the Austrian recommendation: that government–the law–has no legitimate role whatever other than that of providing defense against aggression, whether of foreign or domestic origin.
Everything else is contrary-to-purpose and wasteful.

fred April 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I don’t disagree with you or with Austrian the theory of economic calculation. Obviously, I am a proponent.Nevertheless, in a bureaucracy, it is simple to get market prices. i did this very easily. However, since my money was not at risk, I could not have possibly taken the same precautions as I woud have with my own money. When I was given a directive, I executed it. I certainly would not have taken orders if the money were mine. This is what happens in practice. This is not abstract theory.

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm

>>The estate tax will destroy what you have created through your hard work and diligence.
Actually, no. Let’s start with the definition of an estate tax: it’s a tax levied on your possessions AFTER YOU ARE DEAD. It’s not “your hard work” any more, it’s “that dead guy’s hard work” ;-) If you are a corpse, you’re a rotting hunk of meat in the ground, not a person, so the state can’t possibly destroy anything of “your’s” with an estate tax: if “you” aren’t around, nothing can be “your’s”.

The thing is, people paying estate taxes (the recipients of inheritance) are by definition people who didn’t do any work to earn the income (unless you count “buttering up the old person so that they leave you stuff in their will” as work). If they had done work, they would have gotten these things called “wages”.

Now when it comes to the pathetically small amounts of money being given out in welfare checks to people at the very bottom rung of the societal ladder, libertarians are against “hand-outs”. But when it comes to welfare for spoiled rich kids who didn’t do any work or earn anything, they’re all for hand-outs. I say, no hand outs for the rich or the poor (though I’m a huge fan of job placement programs and similar “hand up not hand out” type programs).

In fact, I’d be in favor of eliminating all taxes entirely EXCEPT an 100% inheritance tax, if that could work. Dead people and the spoiled rich don’t need hand-outs, and there’s nothing wrong with making them pay for basic services like roads, police, and fire for the living.

Fred April 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Hi Jeremy:
I guess you don’t have kids. Anything that I create when I’m alive, I’d like my kids to have. And to say that people who receive an inheritance did not contribute anything to that inheritance is wrong. Many family members contribute to the success of a closely held business. However, if you are not astute, they may never reap the benefits of their contributions.The complexities of the estate tax can not be dealt with in this blog. I suggest that you look into this matter and you will be astonished.
As far as roads and fire and police are concerned, I pay for my own through probably the highest property taxes in the country. I don’t want to pay for yours or anyone elses.

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

>>I guess you don’t have kids. Anything that I create when I’m alive, I’d like my kids to have.
I don’t have kids, but I’d like to have a pony. Let’s create a tax on people who create value in society, to buy me a pony.

OR … maybe the purpose of government isn’t to give us things we want, but rather to protect our basic rights and provide certain public services, and MAYBE we should just let people who earn wealth have it, and not give handouts to people who didn’t do anything to earn them (whether they’re rich or poor, whether they’ve had the good fortune to be born wealthy or not, just treat everyone equally; crazy, I know!)

Oh and on:
>>Many family members contribute to the success of a closely held business.
Clearly you missed the part when I said:
>>If they had done work, they would have gotten these things called “wages”.
There’s no law against paying your family members a fair wage for work they’ve done. Furthermore you are legally allowed to give a certain amount of money (not sure if it varies by state or not), tax-free, to your family members (or anyone else) every year. Multiply that amount by the 18+ years of your kids’ life, on top of the wages that they earn from working at your business, and I think it will be hard to argue they didn’t get what they earned.

Wilmar April 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

You have obviously never run a business. In addition, estate taxes don’t vary from state to state. We are speaking of federal estate taxes.

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm

K, wasn’t sure about that federal vs. state part, but it doesn’t really change any of my arguments. Also, I don’t see how whether I’ve ever run a business or not is relevant: either you’re in favor of handouts for people lucky enough to be born rich, or you’re against handouts and for equality. It’s that simple.

Wilmar April 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

What makes you think that people who have money were born rich? You obviusly want to believe that.

Wilmar April 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Do you think that most peope that leave estates were born rich? You probably would like to think so.

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

>>Do you think that most peope that leave estates were born rich?
No, you’re misunderstanding. I was saying that people who *inherit* estates are born “rich” (in the sense that they have an estate to inherit; obviously there are a lot of different gradations of richness within that group).

The people who leave behind the estates have earned those estates. They worked hard, and they should get to do with them what they want … when they’re alive. But when they’re dead, it’s not *their* estate anymore, because “they” aren’t there anymore. And their kids did not earn those estates; all the kids did was be lucky enough to be born to the right parents.

Dave Albin April 29, 2011 at 10:47 am

If you want to give your property to your kids or the Easter bunny, that’s up to the owner. Wealth given to lazy idiots is quickly lost in a free market.

ImFedUp April 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Jeremy, some of the things you say are on point. Such as, no handouts for rich or poor. I haven’t had them, and I don’t have a problem with work for a living. I think we could end the “Welfare” problem if there was only one small change made. You MUST work for the community doing any and all jobs that would be dificult to fill for minimum wage, IE picking up the garbage around the streets of the cities and performing manual labor instead of having high paid heavy equipment operators dig a hole, get some of the people on the government dole to grab a shovel. May not be as fast, but the job would get done. Look at the pyramids, no cranes there, just a lot of manual labor. Of course those that would prefer to go out an get a job on their own, help yourself. One less check to right. Where I think your totally off base is on the inheritance tax. Lets say a man and his family put their efforts to start cutting down trees and creating furniture in the garage. It takes quite a few years to be able to make any serious money at it, but it has been paying the mortgage and putting food on the table for all of them. Not a lot left over for luxuries or even much of any retirement savings. They can’t take any vacations due to the constant need to cut down trees to have wood to create their furniture. Because simply if they don’t make any furniture, they don’t make any money. Then business starts to improve so they reinvest their extra money into machinery which helps them make a better product. Business grows but all of a sudden, the father, who being the head of the family gets hit by a car, leaving the family devastated. Well according to your rationalle, now that they have one less person to do the work, they not only should have to pay another person to replace the father, they should also have to take out a loan inorder to keep the business that has been their only source of income. Because lets face it. 4 people working to produce a net profit of $60,000 a year, means $15,000 per person. They manged because they all lived together and were not lavish people. Now that $60,000, providing it stays the same, means the remaining 3 after payroll and workmans comp and all the other stuff have about $40,000 to split. Or a little over $13,000 a year. But then they really don’t get that because you would have them making payments on a loan they had to take out to GIVE the government money because you fell they should be penalized for their efforts. With that line of thinking, you obviously are satisfied working for someone else and have no aspirations of being a successful business owner. I feel that if people want to put forth some effort, they should not be punished for it.
In 2008 I had never heard of Ron Paul till I started seeing signs all over the place. Mostly sheets made in someones garage. But I started to read up on him and find out what he’s about. I truely believe if the country wants to solve it’s financial problems, they will elect him and get us back on the right track. Think about it. We pay taxes to fund all these agencies that do what? The FDA approves drugs which end up killing people after they do their clinical trials on the general public. The Dept of Education takes money from the states, skims some off for themselves, then gives some back to the states which in turn since it has been in place has continually produced a less quality student. The Dept of Energy, which was created by Carter in 1977 after the oil crisis to control our dependance on foreign oil, that’s worked out well hasn’t it? By the way, Carter has, until Obama, been known as the worst President. Social Security would not have gotten into the problems if their coffers had not been robbed by self serving politicians who took it to garner favors. We have a President now who wants to increase the tax on the rich, exept of course his buddies like GE who can earn 5 billion in profits off the tax payers in this country but not pay any income tax due to their friends in high places and millions of dollars spent lobbying. We have plenty of government workers sucking off the taxpayer, and not really producing anything viable to help our lives. The elected officials give away the taxpayers money to people who create the problems. They take billions of dollars every year from all the different lobbyists and it only goes as far as themselves gaining more political favors. Do I think nobody should pay taxes? Not totally, but I think it ought to be a choice. Such as with a sales tax, if I want it, I pay taxes on it. But never on matters of necessity. How many of these politicians would vote for all these different things if it was there own bank account and future on the line. They spend money like a drunken sailor, wait a minute, that disrespects the sailors, they at least spend their own money. They make all these bad calls and take risks with our money. We need someone who understands business in control so we can stop letting so many live off the rest. I am not opposed to helping people out. But they have to be willing to help themselves. Ron Paul wants to let us keep more of the money we earn and not have the government control so much of our lives. How can that be a bad thing. I have plenty more of my thoughts available to anyone who cares to take a few minutes and visit my site. http://www.areyoufeduptoo.com Thank you for your time.

Gerald April 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Jeremy says:
>> maybe the purpose of government isn’t to give us things we want, but rather to protect our basic rights and provide certain public services, and MAYBE we should just let people who earn wealth have it, and not give handouts to people who didn’t do anything to earn them

What are social services but things that are handouts to people who didn’t do anything to earn them?

RTB April 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Can I not, while I’m alive, direct where I want my possessions to go after I’m dead?

If I want to give it all to the government then let me decide.

Money in private hands is always better spent than money in government hands. The politics and the waste are well documented. Any percent of money given to the government means that same percent being wasted.

To think that stopping government handouts to the poor is the raison d’etre of this website is a huge error in thinking. That is probably last on the list. Besides, thinking that the money the government confiscates from us helps the poor is a fallacy. The handouts are nothing more than bribes for votes. Free us and watch the so called economy bloom. In a free world there is no need for “welfare” checks.

daisy April 29, 2011 at 7:38 am

I never got one.

joe April 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Wealth given to an idiot is wasted. I rather have my “idiot” waste my money than a government bureaucrat,

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm

>>As far as roads and fire and police are concerned, I pay for my own through probably the
>>highest property taxes in the country. I don’t want to pay for yours or anyone elses.
Forgot to respond to this; my point was, you *shouldn’t* have to pay those taxes (or at least not nearly so high as you currently pay). If we taxed the people who didn’t earn their money (the inheritors) more, that would mean that people who do earn their money (you and me) would have to pay less, for the same exact services.

So in other words, I can pay higher taxes on money I earn for basic services (let’s just leave out all the giant government waste I pay for also) and let rich kids get more money they didn’t earn, OR I can pay less taxes and make dead people pay instead. Suck it dead people!

Fred April 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Your arguement makes no sense. If I earned the money, I can do what I want with it. Why does it stop when I’m dead? So I can pay your debts? I chose to live where I do. I don’t want you or anyone else to pay my expenses. I especially don’t want to extort money from someone else that earned it, even if its “a dead guy.”

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 6:41 pm

>>If I earned the money, I can do what I want with it.
Yes, while you’re alive; after that, I would argue that you don’t need it any more.

>>I especially don’t want to extort money from someone else that earned it, even if its
>>“a dead guy.”
Well, that’s where you and I disagree: I don’t think the dead guy is going to miss it ;-) As a result, I don’t see it as “extortion”; you can’t extort a corpse any more than you can extort a rock or blade of grass.

Property rights for the living are critical for society to function well; if we don’t have them, we get the tragedy of the commons, a lack of motivation for workers/entrepreneurs, and all sorts of other bad stuff. But property rights for the dead are not necessary for any of those things; all they do is benefit those lucky enough to have rich parents (and the amount they benefit is directly correlated with how rich their parents were).

RTB April 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Didn’t the “dead guy” care about where his possessions went when he was alive? Perhaps he cared a great deal for his children, or a particular charity. What gives you the right through voting where to point the gun to say where his possessions go?

Gerald April 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm

But … it’s not *your* money or wealth, Jeremy. In another sense, it’s better that the kids get the money than the government because the kids will spend it. You know, on stuff … that pays salaries for people who work who pay sales and income taxes.

You’re already making the assumption (how?) that taxes will go down because the government takes from those dead people, but it won’t. If the money goes to the government, *they’ll* spend it, *and* raise taxes because they now have a new level of spending to support. Or, if they’re even close to fiscally sound, they’ll pay down their debt or deficit, but don’t think for a minute that your taxes will go down for taxing dead people.

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm

>>But … it’s not *your* money or wealth, Jeremy.
Yes it is, gimme the dead people money!

:-P But yeah, obviously it’s not; it’s communal, the same way the water/earth/air etc. are. Corpses are a lot like rocks in my mind, and all rocks start out not being owned by anyone (then the government assigns rock rights to people, in exchange for money … much the way I’m suggesting the government should assign the rock/corpse’s possessions).

>>it’s better that the kids get the money than the government because the kids will
>>spend it.
Ok, that’s just silly; is the government going to make paper mache out of it? They’re going to spend it too, and IF they only spent it on proper things (armies, police officers, pavement, etc.) they’d be spending it on stuff that benefits the community. I know that’s a big if, but we’re talking about how things *should* be here right, not how they are? Which leads me to …

>>You’re already making the assumption (how?) that taxes will go down because the
>>government takes from those dead people, but it won’t.
Ok, now you’re just being difficult. I proposed an 100% estate tax; if you think that is a realistic real-world scenario, then you’re a moron. So clearly we’re talking in hypotheticals here.

>> but don’t think for a minute that your taxes will go down for taxing dead people.
The hypothetical thing aside, why not? Why couldn’t we pass a bill that lowers income tax and raises estate tax?

Jeremy April 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

One last thing: no one here has provided a single argument for what’s so great about estate tax, other than “it’s more fair to the dead guy/children of the dead guy”, which doesn’t seem like a societal good to me … if it even is more fair, which I would dispute.

So, with no inheritance tax, if someone works really hard, their kids get to not work hard. But why is that good? How is a society where the children of the hard-working get a handout, while everyone living has to pay more in taxes, a better one than a society with a 100% inheritance tax and less (or no) other taxes?

Gerald April 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

It’s not communal. You have no right to it except by fiat/taxation. There’s no inherent right to any dead person’s money unless a government determines that it will be confiscatory.

You skipped where I said (agreed) that the government would spend it, too, but government spending does not in itself create wealth.

Difficult? You make a statement:
>>So in other words, I can pay higher taxes on money I earn for basic services (let’s just leave out all the giant government waste I pay for also) and let rich kids get more money they didn’t earn, OR I can pay less taxes and make dead people pay instead. Suck it dead people!

So, … how do you propose you will be able to pay less taxes? What’s your logic? The government relies on wealthy people to die consistently and constantly to supplement its tax rate?

How about the government just does what they already do: tax on what’s spent and what’s earned. Living people (rich heirs) spend money. They individually have a better idea of what they will and should spend it on than dead people and government, and the government will get its money from wealth generation. So what that rich people have money? They tend to make *more* money and wealth from that money. If the government takes it, the wealth generation of that money is destroyed.

Paying government employees and social programs will happen anyway, until people start to realize that government waste via forced confiscation of fiat money is not an acceptable option any longer, and people start looking at private options to do the same thing.

Gerald April 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm

>>Why couldn’t we pass a bill that lowers income tax and raises estate tax?Because it’s reasonably easier to take a percentage of moving money than waiting for people to die to collect.

Also, people will just give all their money away at time of death. Now what?

RTB April 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I mean, it’s obvious, if the government taxes 100% of a dead person’s estate people will do all in their power to make sure they’ve spent or given away all their possessions before they die. We already see many variations of this in many areas in the way people put businesses and possessions in relatives and other people’s names.

So maybe the odd premature death will result in a windfall for the government.

And who knows, under this scenario we’ll probably see clandestine (or overt under other guises) government operations to kill people before they can properly dispose of their possessions.

Jeremy April 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

>>here’s no inherent right to any dead person’s money unless a government
>>determines that it will be confiscatory.
There’s no inherent right to *ANYTHING* unless a government determines it. Sure you can shout in the wilderness about John Locke all you want, but unless some guy with an army backs you up, all those rights go out the window the moment someone else feels like violating them. So you’ve just proved a tautology, congrats.

>>You skipped where I said (agreed) that the government would spend it, too, but
>>government spending does not in itself create wealth.
Bullshit: *proper* government spending can create wealth, or prevent loss of wealth, which amounts to the same thing . When the government spends money to build a new road that’s needed, that makes it so that employers and employees on either end of that road can get to each other and produce wealth that the otherwise wouldn’t have. Ditto for shoppers and businesses.

Government spending on fire fighters stops buildings from burning down; having a bunch of stuff not burn when it would have otherwise effectively “creates” that stuff as wealth. Police with more funding catch more criminals, and all the damage those criminals don’t cause is “created” wealth. Children with better educations (from better funded schools) create more wealth. Oh, and a military that just *defends* a country prevents a huge amount of lost wealth that would occur in the event of an invasion.

Now, you might disagree on whether the government should spend money on some of those things. That’s fine, because, unless you’re an anarchist, you must agree that some government spending is valuable, and as such you should agree that *PROPER* government spending (ie. spending on that stuff) does in fact create wealth.

>>The government relies on wealthy people to die consistently and constantly to
>> supplement its tax rate?
Yes; last time I checked, rich people (just like poor/middle class people) do die consistently. When people stop dieing, I think our zombie problems will be a lot more important than estate taxes ;-)

>>So what that rich people have money? They tend to make *more* money and
>> wealth from that money. If the government takes it, the wealth generation of
>> that money is destroyed.
Ah, the whole trickle down theory, AKA the rich should get to piss on the poor. Show me some actual evidence that this is true, like say an economic study or something, and that it’s not just a bullshit argument the rich make to justify not having to pay taxes, and I’ll be interested in your argument. But I’ve looked for such evidence, and haven’t been able to find *ANY, so … good luck.

But all that aside, let’s look at what you’re arguing. First, you’re arguing that it’s impossible to raise one tax and lower another. That’s the entire basis of your “if we have higher estate taxes, the government will waste more money” argument, and it’s completely specious because we CAN lower one tax and raise another (especially in a hypothetical discussion, but even in the real world too).

Second, you’re arguing that children of the rich, who have done nothing whatsoever to earn that money, deserve it more than actual hard-working Americans, and will spend it more wisely than those same (actually working/wealth creating) Americans. Both those claims seem to defy common logic, so instead of just insisting that the children of the wealthy are more deserving/better at wealth creating, could you maybe *show* it in some way?

>>>>Why couldn’t we pass a bill that lowers income tax and raises estate tax?
>>Because it’s reasonably easier to take a percentage of moving money than waiting
>>for people to die to collect.
Wow, so it’s impossible to lower one tax (eg. income) and raise estate tax because … it’s a little harder to collect estate tax? That’s your argument? And I don’t even buy that: it’s got to be easier to collect a tax once per person’s life, than it is to collect a tax every year.

>>Also, people will just give all their money away at time of death. Now what?
Same thing we do now: tax that gift income. But this one’s my fault, because I didn’t clarify: when I say “lower income tax” I mean lower income tax on *earned* income, the kind wealth producers make. I’d want to keep (or even raise) income tax on gifts received, and that tax rate would effectively become the estate tax rate for people who plan ahead.

>>And who knows, under this scenario we’ll probably see clandestine (or overt under
>> other guises) government operations to kill people before they can properly
>> dispose of their possessions.
Wow; are government death squads just like the default argument now for conservatives who don’t want to change things? I don’t think there’s really anything to respond to here, except that I believe we can raise estate taxes without creating government death squads. I think most rational/non-paranoid-schizophrenic people would agree.

Gerald April 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm

>>There’s no inherent right to *ANYTHING* unless a government determines it.
Tautology? You have no rights unless the government gives them to you? Maybe you missed that life, liberty, pursuit of happiness inalienable rights thing. They weren’t given by government. Government of, for, by the people? The people have rights. The government restricts them. Income is not yours, the government allows you to have income?

Roads? If the rich want roads, they’d make roads. The government destroyed wealth by creating highways… Route 66? Interstates? Ah. Never mind.

>>Government spending on fire fighters stops buildings from burning down; having a bunch of stuff not burn when it would have otherwise effectively “creates” that stuff as wealth.
No, it doesn’t create wealth. It just prevents wealth from being destroyed. Come on, you can do better than that.

No, at most I can agree that government can help (sometimes) wealth from being destroyed. But when the cost of services exceeds the wealth it protects, it’s not worth it.

>>Show me some actual evidence that this is true, like say an economic study or something, and that it’s not just a bullshit argument the rich make to justify not having to pay taxes, and I’ll be interested in your argument. But I’ve looked for such evidence, and haven’t been able to find *ANY, so … good luck

Tell *me* how raising taxes on the rich helps the economy. Because, it does make sense to me: I have less money to pay people. I won’t hire them, and I’ll fire more to keep my profit margin/stay in business. Meanwhile, I now have to pay unemployment on the people I’ve fired, and my taxes will get raised some more to cover the newly poor, meanwhile I will have people like you saying, “Raise his taxes! He makes more money!” and so because there are now more people unemployed than working, they’ll be like, “Heck yeah. we unemployed need more tax money!” So my taxes are raised again and I have to fire more people. Eventually, I’ll say, “to heck with the poor. Find your own way, I’ll hire people who will actually work for me, even if they work in a sweatshop overseas.” And you’ll say, “Tax the hell out him for taking our jobs overseas”

So, yeah. trickle up poverty.

Gerald April 29, 2011 at 8:19 pm

>> and it’s completely specious because we CAN lower one tax and raise another (especially in a hypothetical discussion, but even in the real world too).

Let’s say you’re right. Does it matter? What is the point of changing the tax structure to tax dead people? It will hurt less? It still isn’t the government’s money. “Dead people’s money is communal money.” Is this inherent or because the government says so?

>>Same thing we do now: tax that gift income. But this one’s my fault, because I didn’t clarify: when I say “lower income tax” I mean lower income tax on *earned* income, the kind wealth producers make. I’d want to keep (or even raise) income tax on gifts received, and that tax rate would effectively become the estate tax rate for people who plan ahead.

OK, so we spend it instead of give it away (oh, and by the way, charities now lose because we can’t give it away. It’s been taxed as a gift, but government is better at this than charity anyway). Now what?

Gerald April 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Jeremy says:
>>Second, you’re arguing that children of the rich, who have done nothing whatsoever to earn that money, deserve it more than actual hard-working Americans, and will spend it more wisely than those same (actually working/wealth creating) Americans. Both those claims seem to defy common logic, so instead of just insisting that the children of the wealthy are more deserving/better at wealth creating, could you maybe *show* it in some way?

Deserve it more? Yes. Because it’s family money. You’re not going to kick mom to the curb because Dad the breadwinner died, are you? Well, I suppose she could go on welfare. She might have children to support, but now she’s destitute because she can’t continue the investment of the house, the business, because the estate taxes ate up all the investment money. Oh, and kids, you get to be able to go to a nice orphanage so a hard working person can spend it better than you will ever be able to. Of course, if that hard working person could spend it better, he’d probably be rich, but we won’t talk about that. Oh, and son who just possible had been learning the business from dad, no matter how astute you may be, Jeremy thinks you’re stupid by the fact that your family is rich, therefore, no matter how much you’ve invested your life in this company, you still have to get kicked to the curb, too. It’s not fair to the people who haven’t been a part of earning this money.

Gerald April 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Jeremy: Contradiction?
>>gimme the dead people money!
>> But yeah, obviously it’s not; it’s communal, the same way the water/earth/air etc. are.
then,
>>There’s no inherent right to *ANYTHING* unless a government determines it.

Sorry, I’m stuck on this. No food, shelter, health care, jobs, privacy, ability to own property, grow my own food, pay the price I want to pay for car insurance, choose not to buy homeowners insurance, choose what car I want to drive… All of these things I have no right to do unless a government determines it? Really? What about breathe air, drink water from a stream, look at the sky? Choose my own vocation? This, too is determined by the government? “So, honey, where do we go for dinner tonight? I don’t know, let’s see what the government says we should eat.”

Gerald April 28, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Yes, let’s also rob their graves and their houses, too. I’m with you! Suck it, dead people! They’re dead. Let’s dig them up. They’re not paying for that grave space anymore. And their house. Well, it belongs to the government, now. Kick the children to the curb. Wife? Wife? Nah. Last Will and Testament? Not a consideration. Jeremy needs lower taxes.

billwald April 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Agree, say a 100% tax over a ten million estate.

Anyway, there are means of protecting one’s estate. The simplest is to transfer it to the kids before you die.

RTB April 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Yeah, right. How’s about a 100% tax on everything everywhere. The planners will spend it well, I’m sure. And everyone will continue to work their hardest for the common good.

An aside, why didn’t you suggest an 80% tax? As I recall, that’s your favorite percentage when talking about “the rich”. Or is it maybe that 80% of the people own 20% of the wealth? Please refresh me in your philosophy of envy.

daisy April 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

What do you think happens to all that money. if private people get it, it will be reinvested, or at least some of it. If the government gets it, t will be used to pay interest on the government debt or given to fund some politically rewarding endeavor-maybe cash for clunkers.

daisy April 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm

you still have the gift tax. Other ways of transferring an estate still have an incidence of taxation. Also valuation is a question. You need financial planning- lawyers, cpas . etc.

Forest Queen April 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Illumination is being able to see their illusion. “Show me the law!” There isn’t one that says we have to pay taxes on income. We are the Source of all currency. Every time we sign our names. Most people ‘believe’ that when A writes a check to B that funds flow from one account to the other. That’s not what happens. B endorses it, another signature. It goes to a fed. reserve bank and is credited, then to the DC clearinghouse, back to the original drawor’s bank, another stop at NY fed. reserve, then to B’s bank. The original checks aren’t returned, they are bundled and sold and bundled and sold -derivatives. All of the countries are surviving off of prison bonds. Bid bond, prison bond, performance bonds – same, bundled and sold and bundled and sold. Walmart is the largest buyer of the bid bonds. The checks – the escrow account or Akashec records or St. Peter, whatever term one chooses, the fractionalizing – ten times that we pay to use the FRN’s is a huge part of the so-called debt. Do we not have an interest in that account? HJR 132 – allows us to set-off debt. Since its impossible to pay a debt with a debt, which is what FRN’s are. US INC (10 sq miles on the east coast) was quitclaimed in 1944 to a private foreign owned IMF. So, what we have are federal employees born here and working (transferring wealth) for a foreign jurisdiction – Traitors! Time for a regime change – ya think? All courts have a Court Registry-selling the bonds and, of course, collecting the interest. The administration buildings, labeled courtrooms, are merely administering the US INC’s bankruptcy -the pretend judge is the trustee with the persecutor as the executor of the trust account with your NAME on it. Courts originally were about setteleing claims between business owners. The past three or more decades, the courts are imprisoning society in ‘correctional facilities’ to pay the interest on the pretend debt. We have un a lien able rights-impossible to be in debt. No other species is – we are parts of all Life forms. As eternal beings projecting ourselves into this physical experience, we always have control of ourself and no one else. If you continue to worship man’s laws, more than your knees will be sore. Man’s laws are written in past and future tense. The Big Ten are present tense. United states – past tense, dead. Union states, present tense-the Now, which is all there is. Ego (can) take you past and future- free will. We don’t think ‘with’ our minds, we think ‘for’ our minds. This horrendous world-wide mess is a product of us- a mirror. If we want change, we have to ‘be’ what we want to see around us.

billwald April 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

90% of the US money in circulation is electronic transfer. Checks are less than 5%.

Mike Frick April 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm

No illusion, not really. Maybe convoluted wording and grammar to be tricky, but there just the same.
““Show me the law!” There isn’t one that says we have to pay taxes on income.”
Here it is: You are a “citizen of the United States” government and “subject to the jurisdiction thereof”. Period. see Fourteenth Amendment. Does anyone think that coerced “Reconstruction” and instituted nationalism via the Fourteenth Amendment might be good for liberty?
As the Capt. A. above said in so many words, we can’t have our cake and eat it too.
If we don’t like paying the price of being a “citizen” under the “jurisdiction” of the unconstitutional (de facto) national government “United States”, then we must stop accepting the “privileges or immunities” from “United States”. i.e. Being a part of (using a “federal” SS#) the common purse of Social(ist) Security. Also, as “citizens of the United States” government, “the validity of the public debt of the United States” government “… shall not be questioned.” again, see Fourteenth Amendment.
The solution is clear, “render unto Cesar that which is Cesar’s”, and leave his jurisdiction, perhaps back to the de jure republic State set up by the Founders of the once great republic. For there is no validity in hollering that government “United States” is not adhering to the US Constitution, while at the same time being a “citizen of the (unconstitutional) United States” (national in function but so-called federal) government.
For the original republic form of government, it isn’t.

Wilmar April 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

I agree. But will there ever be an end to taxation? I doubt it.

Carl Davis April 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm

The problem is that we have allowed and apparently accepted a cartel of bankers to control our money supply. This occured in 1913 and our dollar has lost most of its value today. This allowance also goes against our U.S. Constitution that states that Only Congress shall have the power to coin and regulate the money supply. Instead Congress now works in collusion with this cartel that convienently named itself, The “Federal” Reserve System despite the fact that it is not part of our government and in fact demands interest for all monies borrowed. “The borrower is servant to the lender.” Congress is taken care of by The Fed and the Congressmen don’t have to explain to the American people how they are being taxed via inflation.

tinkery April 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm

@Wilmar..”But will there ever be an end to taxation? I doubt it.”Funny you say this.. touching up on my Herodotus lately.. and find myself pondering the taxes he talks about. Boggles my mind to think that taxes have been around for +2500 years already with no signs of stopping… how little we really evolve.. besides new technologies..

daisy April 28, 2011 at 9:58 pm

You got it right. We eill never get pass the tax stage. the more society modernizes, the more taxes we will pay.

Mike Frick May 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm

It’s not “taxes” or the idea of “taxation” that I mind so much. It’s the coerced taxes that don’t sit well with me. Income tax and property taxes are collected by force or the threat of force. I mean, once one has the authority and the power to take the fruit of another’s labor at the point of a gun, what limit could there possibly be on ideas of how and where to spend it?

Libertarian jerry April 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm

There are about 600 families in America that own and control most of the wealth in America. This economic elite control and grow their wealth through corporations and protect,shelter and pass on their wealth through tax free trusts,endowments and foundations. Over the past several generations,all 10 Planks to the Communist Manifesto have been implemented in America. Two of those planks are: The Income Tax and The inheritance Tax(the 2nd and 3rd Planks). These planks are designed to control a person’s wealth that they have spent a lifetime earning..But, the elite families have set it up so that most taxes only apply to the masses and their(the elites)wealth is sheltered from the taxman. In essence,the elites are Americas commissars. They control the real wealth of the nation which is land,forests,mines,oil fields and any other irreplaceable resources and commodities. The modern Federal Reserve Notes are not real wealth but sophisticated monopoly money. The real wealth,which is passed on to each generation of the elites is safe and sheltered. However,two can play this game. That is why,for any hard working person,it is prudent to investigate and implement the wealth protecting tactics of the elites. It can be done.

billwald April 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Then according to your theory the communist influence in the US must be minimal because the rich are getting richer and the working class, poorer.

People on Mises seem seem unable to understand that there is a world of difference between a wage earner who spends most of his money on food and housing every month and a person who doesn’t know how to spend 5% of his capital gains.

daisy April 28, 2011 at 10:04 pm

No. This is usually what happens in a communist state. The poor get poorer and the elites attached to government- the party loyalist- get richer.

Gerald April 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm

billwald says:
People on Mises seem seem unable to understand that there is a world of difference between a wage earner who spends most of his money on food and housing every month and a person who doesn’t know how to spend 5% of his capital gains.

I don’t think anyone here disagrees with the fact that different people have different amounts of money and wealth. Now that we’ve acknowledged that difference, what is the next sentence that has relevance? The reason I ask is that stating a fact that people have different amounts of money and wealth is, in itself, just a statement. Wealth does tend to move, and people who work do tend to make more money as they get older, change jobs, etc.

Vanmind May 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I’ve been one of the “people on Mises” for quite a few years now, and I’d be willing to wager that compared to you I’ve survived many more days unable to afford food. Care to tell me what I don’t know about poverty?

Fred April 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Put well. Progressive taxation and the estate tax are exactly what Marx preached.

joe April 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm

not only did he preach it, but someone listened and put it into effect!

Freedom Fighter April 29, 2011 at 7:20 am

Are not biological urges a tax on free will ? That somehow keeps us industrious, productive and benefits God knows who.
Also, by providing and enforcing “just” laws that prohibit bodily injury and the like, isn’t the state sponsoring individual self-defense and individual security ?

Shouldn’t self-defense be left to individuals ?

daisy April 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

The only fair tax, if there is one, is a consumption tax. This is the only tax that will foster savings.

fred April 30, 2011 at 7:27 pm

they don’t want a fair tax!

Dave Albin April 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Another way that taxation destroys is through the encouragement of illogical consumption. As small businesses grow, they pay more and more tax. This happens with either a graduated or flat income tax code, just to different degrees. The tax code is full of ways to deduct tax, many times by purchasing something that can be deducted, and hence, lower the tax burden. It’s a choice between either paying the money to the government or buying something. This does several things. It encourages illogical purchases that may not benefit the business at all. The money, rather than being invested to improve the business in the most profitable way, is now gone. This also hurts consumers directly if price inflation within the sector of the economy that is favored in the tax code occurs. Finally, it may encourage small business to expand when they would not otherwise, potentially setting the business on an unsustainable course (malinvestment).

daisy April 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Exctly. the broken window fallacy.

joe April 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Hi Fred

Best article I’ve read in months. How did we get to this state. This article should be required reading for all politicians.

daisy April 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Good suggestion. However, I doubt it will ever be.

fred April 30, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Hype and calculation by the leftist. It was a carefully thought strategy to get their adenda into place. They are masters at incrementalism. By the time Joe citizen woke up, the game was over.

Joe April 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I’d like to know what kind of work these people that are so happy to take other peoples money do for a living.i guess thats why the founding fathers did not apt for universal suffrage. Some things in life you have to earn.

Forest Queen April 30, 2011 at 3:46 am

Guys,

Do yourselves a favor and go to ‘How To Succeed In Court’ by Frank O’Collins–the most informative
article you’ll ever read – I promise. Well, except for true (not science) health articles.

Deefburger April 30, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Good Grief! What has become of the idea that force, no matter the intent, is not a means to any ends that is equal to all! It is not possible for the force to be applied to all, so the act itself is exclusive of some and inclusive of only those unfortunate enough to experience the force applied!

There is NO logical justification for any form of force over others. This is the ONLY means to tyranny and must be avoided if freedom is to exist. There is NO glorious intent that is so glorious as to be the rightful justification for the use of force.

That use of force is in and of itself, the very form and act of tyranny. Taxation must, by its act, force the wealth from those whom it is applied. Who among the free, is worthy of making the decision of who the force will be applied to, without becoming the master of those he forces? Is this not the antithesis of freedom itself? Must we assign this sin of freedom to some person, to some seat of power, and then acquiesce to that persons will? Are we not all not free once we do? The master is the one we made. The sin is the one we invented. The force felt by any free person is the force of tyranny. We become our own worst enemy when we choose the use of force over the trust in each other to freely do the right thing.

There is no other of “free” that includes force as a means to progress. Read Bastiat.

Dean Sayers May 3, 2011 at 9:46 am

This is silly – especially the representation of Jackson as an “honest president.” In fact, Jackson was only out to fill the wishes of State Bankers (against the new “central” bank which was far too competitive for them):

http://thethinred.blogspot.com/2011/04/astroturfing-bankers-in-age-of-jackson.html

“Both the first and second Banks of the United States offered comprehensive service in each of their facilities, an innovation in banking. Smaller-scale bankers couldn’t compete; or at least, couldn’t provide the same low-quality service for the same high rates as before. The state-sanctioned banks were consistently profitable, too. So the bankers set out to remove that sanction:

“The Loco Focos, whom two generations of historians have treated as virtual Jacobins because of their agitation against financiers, have recently been demonstrated to have won support from literally hundreds of New York City bankers and merchants, whose plans for “free banking” and other reforms could plausibly be passed off as “antimonopoly” measures. Van Buren’s controversial plan for an Independent Treasury arose in response to demands from these quarters.”8

So the Locofocos, anarchists as they were, paved the way for private usury – for the good of the working class, of course. They were Democrat’s after all. In the end, they got President Jackson to do their work – and the astroturfers were overjoyed. Like Van Buren, Jackson’s attempts to discredit the bank were undermined: Van Buren admitted at one point that he agree it was constitutional, and Jackson’s inquiry into the bank refuted his own reasoning “at every turn.” Nonetheless, the bank’s charter was never renewed, and The Manhattan Company and Girard Bank were released from the yoke of monopoly banking, the road paved to fill that very power vacuum.”

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