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 Galt’s 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, etc.).
If 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 Gulches.”
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.