and Wendy McElroy notes:
…[W]hat we are doing is very similar to what John Galt and his
fellows did when they went “on strike” and withdrew to
Gulch. We are denying the State and its army of leeches, not the
product of our minds as such, but rather our productivity.
The lifeblood of the State is taxes. And the two biggest kinds of tax
that most people pay are income taxes and consumption taxes (sales tax,
gasoline tax, alcohol tax,
you can learn to live on less money, you can deny the State money
twice — when you no longer spend it, and when you no
longer earn it.
Consider an acquaintance of mine who buys the latest and fastest
computer every year. Let’s say it’s a $2,000 computer. Here,
we pay combined sales taxes of 14%, so he has to fork over another $280
at the time of purchase. Now assume he’s in a 33% tax bracket. He
has to earn $3,403, to pay $2,280, to get $2,000 worth of computer. To
get that computer he has to pay $1,403 in taxes.
From my viewpoint, every year I don’t buy a fancy new
PC is a
year I’ve kept $1,403 out of the rapacious maw of the State.
This doesn’t mean I’m working as a railroad laborer instead
of as a physicist. No, I still work in my chosen profession, but only as
many hours as I need to meet my very modest needs. This lets me
“purchase” the most valuable commodity of all — my
time, to apply as I see fit in other ways to enrich my life.
I’ve met many libertarians who wistfully wish they could move to
a real Galt’s Gulch, to go “on strike” and deny the
State the fruits of their labor. You can do this, at home,
perfectly legally. All it takes is an adjustment of attitude and the
development of new habits. Should this catch on — and, with a
recession underway, frugality may become more a matter of necessity than
choice — there will be not one, but thousands of “Frugalista
Being frugal is not an end in itself; it is not just another way to
amass savings so that you are the one who dies with the most and pays
the highest taxes. Frugality is a way to own your own time — rather than someone/something else having a slave-master claim on your
life. The less you have to earn in order to maintain a healthy and
comfortable lifestyle, the less you need to trade irreplaceable time for
money — ½ of which will be stolen by State through various
means from income to gas taxes, from licenses to fines. To the extent
you work ½ the year to pay off the State, well, to that extent
you belong to the State.…
Get yourself out of that toxic loop in which your time is used to enrich
others and not yourself. Being as economically independent as possible
is the first step toward liberating yourself from wage slavery, from
having ½ your work time go to support corrupt politicians and the
overwe’ening State. Stop saying “yes” to the State by
participating more than you must in a system that is rigged to rip you
off. The farther back you can step, the freer you are.