Taxation is Oppressive to Freedom

1094 WordsJun 17, 20185 Pages
In the court case of McCullough vs. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall concluded that “an unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” What he meant by this is when a government is given the power to tax its citizens indefinitely, gains the power to destroy personal liberty and society as a whole. One hundred and fifty years later, Robert Nozick, an American libertarian philosophy would farther argue this point by stating that “Taxation of earning from labor is on a par with forced labor [civil service] … This makes them a part owner of you.” By doing so, Nozick equates taxation with civil service. Not only does he maintain…show more content…
By being forced to do non-military civic work, the government is still controlling a portion of your time and removing the freedom of choose. In addition, forced labor, similarly to slavery, reduces the productive of each worker. In a quasi-free market society, like modern America, Rousseau’s notion of civic duty and nationalism is inferior in practice and in theory in comparison with paid labor. Nozick, in contrast with Rousseau, believes that taxation, and its more direct relative, unpaid civic duty, are threats to freedom rather than an extension or requirement of it. Instead he takes a libertarian approach to the issue. Believing the individual freedom and property rights are more important than overall societal utility. As a libertarian, he believes that civic duty violates man’s own property of himself and, by extension, his own time. In its place, Nozick would suggest the use of competition and the free market to fill the gaps that the lack of civic service would leave. While this appears to be sound in theory, there are a number of criticisms that could be applied. In Justice, Sandel raises two objections. The first is as he explains “the first of which holds that for those with limited alternatives, the free market is not all that free.” (81) He later extrapolates this thought with two examples. The first of which has already been discussed, the question of military service. As Sandel explains, the poor and
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