David is one of the many Americans who opposes his country’s warmaking in
Iraq. What makes him different is how he decided to register his protest. Not
by taking to the streets, but by withdrawing the dollars and cents support
that was his taxes.
“I think many of the people who are out on the streets with their signs and
chants are fooling themselves if they think they oppose the war,” he says.
“Their chants don’t take a nickel from the bottom line of their actual
David has quit his job and deliberately reduced his income to where he no
longer owes tax. “I’m learning how to live within my means without paying
federal income tax — honestly, peacefully, and legally, working for my
values instead of against them.”
This has meant a change of life — and lifestyle. He says it has made him
concentrate on what really matters to him, so that he can live well and
securely on a lower income. “I take a practical approach, learning about
the tax laws and about how to live well by being down-to-earth and sensibly
“I think we have to earn a country that we can be proud of through hard work
and practical changes, and not with complaints or wishful thinking. This has
to start with each one of us putting all of our effort on the side of our
values, instead of allowing so much of our effort to be stolen by the tax
collector and used against us and what we believe in.”
David writes a blog, On The Picket Line, where he
writes about his experiment in living his beliefs — why he chose this path
and what he’s learning along the way. And a
How-To Guide for those who’d like to do something similar.
Even if his way of protest is not yours (I know it’s not mine), his blog certainly sparks lots of freethinking about how we might align our money activities — earning and spending — with our deepest values.
And that’s the only true escape hatch from the financial crisis
(opportunity?) now rocking our world.