Satyagraha

Cultural Psychology

Libertarian Tea Parties

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Libertarian Tea Parties

On April 15, 2009 (the date that US tax returns are due) dozens of libertarian groups around the country will stage protests, called Tea Parties (named after the famous Boston Tea Party of 1773). The purpose is to “voice opposition to the out-of-control spending and taxation started by the Bush administration and carried on by Obama.”

This sort of grassroots activity is exactly what’s needed these days. The organizers are to be commended. It’s only in the United States that something like this would happen. More Americans need to mobilize, organize, demonstrate, and express themselves in this way, because: (1) it’s the right thing to do; (2) it’s effective; (3) it keeps the flame of Liberty alight; and (4) it serves as an example for the rest of the world.

My one suggestion is to not personalize this by blaming President Obama. The problem isn’t the president, it’s the economic-political System in the US. The System *wants* people to personalize things, and to express hostility. That insures that accusations merely flow back and forth, and nothing constructive gets accomplished.

Flat Income Tax

And while we’re at it, let’s not forget the idea of income tax reform, and, in particular, the idea of a flat tax. To adopt a flat tax would go a long way towards getting the US economy back on track. The flat tax is a winning proposition for everybody. It can lower the marginal tax rate across the board, yet generate more tax revenue. This happens because:

  1. People and companies don’t need to waste so much time (days, weeks) merely figuring out their taxes and doing the necessary accounting on an ongoing basis;
  2. Compliance will be improve because everybody will view the system as fair and positive;
  3. Companies and the rich will spend less time finding clever ways to avoid their taxes and more time producing what they’re in business to produce.
  4. In an economy stimulated by the flat income tax there would be more business activity, more income, and more total income tax paid, even though the marginal rate is reduced.
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Written by John Uebersax

April 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm

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