Re: Flat Tax.

Raymond G. Van De Walker (
Tue, 22 Jun 1999 23:02:38 PDT

On Sun, 13 Jun 1999 10:04:26 -0400 "Michael S. Lorrey" <> writes:

<snipped good points about bogus government services, and extortionate taxes
to pay for them>

Absolutely. They _are_ abusive. Very.
If we had competion in "government", then for $30/day we could all live in Disneyland. I'd _like_ to live in Disneyland, and in fact, I own a pass. That's _my_ standard for service at a good price. Government has
never come close.

But IMHO a minarchy's legitimate concern is to provide a communal defense without free-riders. Since this protects land, billing per hectare seems like the logical way to pay for the defense services and equipment. That's really all I meant to say.

Not for other purposes; I think you're absolutely right.

>The problem with evenly apportioned taxes like this is that it is
>anti-environmental and anti-rural, unless specific exemptions are
>written in for farmland and wilderness property.

Aren't defense costs are real costs of maintaining property? It seems to me that profitable enterprises have to pass these costs along, or else somehow the value has to be coerced from other people that then don't control the expenditure.

Can you think of a reasonable libertarian way to pay the defense of wilderness without subsidies from nonconsenting persons?

The Nature Conservancy _buys_ it, and then pays taxes, etc. on it. We had a case in Norco CA where the NC owned a swamp (remarkably rare land in Southern California, which is mostly subtropical desert). The city wanted to put a road through it, and the NC flew in a brace of high-powered lawyers that stopped the process. I was impressed.

I personally would live to give exemptions for wilderness, but I worry that it's too coercive.

If one did permit such exemptions, it would pay people to plant wild plant species in their yards and roofs, to better care for small birds and native animals.

Exemptions could also pay developers to route greenbelts between local biopreserves, so that the biopreserves would not be genetically isolated.

In Huntington Beach CA, the central park is remarkable, because it's based on native species, with water and mowing added to keep the grass green and short. One of my teachers was a field biologist that consulted on the choice of species. The park is lovely, and they can turn off the water in droughts without killing the plants. My teacher said that the native insects, insectivores, herbivores and small predatores were all settling in nicely, in plausible ratios. I've seen hawks there.

A good system of exemptions could thus probably pay for parks to serve as regional biopreserves.

I'd love to have exemption to a property tax system, becaus ethey could pay for biopreservation, something that I value. But, It's not clear to me that my values are shared.

I'd love to hear your ideas.

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