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What is happening in Africa, culturally and economically? It is a big continent with over 50 countries. There are 90 languages just in Ethiopia, so it is hard to make a generalized assumption about Africa. Governments in Africa are horrible as allocating resources. Despite very high taxes, you still have to pay for your own security, and private schooling and healthcare. The failure of the state are very obvious in South Africa, making it easier to show people the benefits of libertarianism. Secession a strong possibility, as regions with low time-preference have tensions with regions with high time-preference. Borders in Africa created by European colonizers and are unnatural borders. Borders very porous. Apartheid was not only bad for blacks but also for the non-blacks. Even during apartheid black people were moving to South Africa. Currently it has democracy of the vote, not of the market. There is a continually growing socialist state. Making scapegoat of people from Zimbabwe, Somalia etc. for failure to develop respect for property rights. Handshake not good enough in Nigeria. Nigeria blowing up. No word for “future” in many African languages, a symptom of high time-preference. The result is a lack of capital accumulation in Africa. People spend as soon as they get access to cash. Hyperinflation in the West can take a very long time, unlike what a lot of Western Austrian economists think.

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  • I debated whether or not this should be posted in the history discussion category as today may indeed go down as a tipping point in the game of government intimidation. Could we bee too hopeful to think that the next significant confrontation could be with the bureaucracy everyone loves to hate?

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  • The “Tax Honesty” movement has demonstrated a few things to a lot of people.  To cover a lot with a few words, I’ll put it this way:  The IRS breaks its own rules in order to rob us through deceit. Some people (Irwin Schiff, for example) have suffered because they attempted to protect themselves from the rule-breakers.  There is now a theory popular among liberty-minded people that the government is too corrupt and powerful for anyone to succeed in an effort like Irwin Schiff’s.  There is also some good evidence showing this theory to be wrong.  It’s available at Peter Hendrickson’s website, losthorizons.com. I think that a lot of bureaucrats feel and believe that they are helping society.  This leaves them open to consider fixing situations in which their bureaucracy is breaking its own rules.  And let’s face it, there are some rules that can actually help liberty.  Perhaps the loads of evidence that Hendrickson has on his site can be explained by the presence of such “good-hearted” individuals in the bowels of the IRS. In any case, if you can, please entertain the possibility that the US Income Tax is not being administered honestly.  Consider that maybe, just maybe, in the gargantuan tangle of words called “Title 26,” the legal meaning of the law as it applies to most people is not coercive at all.  Maybe, if it were properly applied, the government would be a nuisance like neighbors who let their dogs poop on your lawn, instead of a nuisance like cancer in your lungs.  It could be true.  I think it is true, and I think that failing to follow all the twists and turns that Hendrickson uncovered to see for yourself that it is true kind of justifies you still being enslaved to a government that steals from you in order to cause havoc all over the planet in a massive deception that justifies its existence. If we want to honor the goodness in all people, including those who have been tricked into serving evil, we can do so by understanding the rules they think they should be following, and using them to protect ourselves from enslavement.

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  • It can be a challenge to keep up with all the taxes one needs to pay throughout the year, and than to deal with all the paperwork that needs to be filed can be frustrating. What would be a good way to simplify the Tax Code? Below is a list of some of the taxes that we the people need to pay, or at least we experience their effects at one time or another. -Medicare, Medicare, Social Security, Federal Inocme Tax, State tax, Local Tax, Corporate tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax, estate tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, gift tax, tariffs on imports and exports, etc. Would a simple flat or consumption tax do the trick?

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  • TOR browsing.  Is anyone interested in discussing the TOR browser and related issues?

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  • I’ve just recently blogged about Insidious Government Encroachment which I believe would provide the basis on a useful discussion here.   I’d be interested and hearing the views and experiences of others from this group.

    Jump to Discussion Post 6 replies