You Are Paying To Live In An Uncivilized Society

You Are Paying To Live In An Uncivilized Society

Taxation is theft.
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Taxation is theft. Not only is it theft, but it is the least effective way of getting things we want. When it comes to important things like justice and infrastructure, the use of taxation as a primary way of funding these things is immeasurably harmful to you and I.

Taxes are the price we pay to live in an uncivilized society.

Schools, fire departments, protection from criminals, libraries; these are just a handful of the prominent public service industries that, while currently provided, controlled, and essentially monopolized by the government: would both cost less than we pay for them now, and have a much higher level of service quality, if the state completely stopped providing them. Discontinuing the government-provided versions of such services would entail relinquishing control of them to the public, allowing services to be inevitably offered by the hungry private sector. We as a society seem to callously overlook all the highly detrimental economic consequences that we suffer as a result of the current monopolization of such large industries, while we ignore the colossal benefits we could all potentially reap by putting the public in charge of them through natural private enterprise. Might sound counterintuitive, but let me explain why it would cost us all less and provide us with better service.


The reason for increase in quality and decrease in price upon privatizing an industry is that if the government stopped providing these services, that would immediately reveal an ENORMOUS demand for these services. When you open up a new, widespread market for ANY industry, you're giving it not only an abundance of new enterprises ready to profit from it, but an imminent spring of competition in prices; which does and always will cause prices to lower as to acclimate to the consumer's budget, under the constant implied economic threat of failing to attain customers and losing money. The same exact principle applies to service quality. Nobody can reasonably deny that a sudden onset of competition for any given consumer base provides blatantly obvious competition to attract consumers by providing better quality of service, which will, 100% of the time; aggressively incentivize the companies within the industry to innovate and increase their service quality in order to win over enough of the consumer base to succeed and profit. When the government-controlled version of one of these industries provides you with less-than-ideal service as far as any basic societal need goes; that's just too damn bad for you, you're still gonna pay every greasy cent of the government mob's protection money, or suffer the consequences, bitch. When it's only private companies providing this same service, and your currently chosen company provides you with less-than-ideal service, then that's just too damn bad for that company, because they've just lost a customer to their competitor and damaged their own reputation as a company. Every single one of these companies, unless they're being owned and run by a herd of livestock, would be well aware and constantly reminded of this economically implied ultimatum to either provide good service at modest prices, or simply fail as a revenue generator.

People want to get rich. When a new and widely viable door to the creation of wealth presents itself, there is never a shortage of ambitious opportunists ready to capitalize on it. That is the one economic crutch that we can always rely on. We can try to pretend it does not exist because the idea of utilizing greed just feels dirty to the average voter, or we can use this greed to society's advantage by utilizing and even relying on it to enable the financial cornering of these industries into continuously and competitively lowering their prices to appeal to a larger consumer base (simply by providing an enormous influx in competition), and to increase their quality for the very same reason. Chances are, as with any industry, there would be those slight per-company trade-offs in terms of quality vs. affordability, so the companies revered as providing the highest quality service would be able to charge somewhat higher prices than their more average-quality competitors, but as a whole, these industries would inevitably become increasingly and reliably affordable, often more affordable than the mandatory income-percentage we had been paying for them before their privatization, especially as technology progresses at such a reassuring speed, particularly when profitable. That's that greed again. It never fails to motivate businesses to innovate. The ability to provide lower prices without sacrificing net profit is a universally appealing concept to any entrepreneurial entity.

If you're more of a visual/imaginative learner; to further envision and comprehend what this basic-service privatization would actually look like in a real-world scenario; imagine that suddenly the government stopped providing fire departments.

Two things would happen:

-Firstly, it seems, to me anyway, to be a reasonable assumption that the percentage of your income that you had become accustomed to being forced into paying the government to fund the "free" fire departments would no longer be taken from your paycheck.

-Secondly, the consumer base for fire departments, which is pretty much everybody, would suddenly start looking for another way to be protected from fires, so the demand for firefighting companies would immediately skyrocket, inevitably causing a gigantic influx in the amount of private firefighting companies that we can choose between. When a viable demand is created, money-hungry entrepreneurs will always jump into the competition to profit from that demand. We can trust greed. At least based on what I've seen; greed is the only unchanging variable in the entirety of economics (and, generally speaking; human nature as a whole). When the number of firefighting companies skyrockets, each company has to compete as far as prices and quality go. I know I'm just getting tediously redundant now but there is a point to this. The consumer demographic for basic safety services like fire departments is an all-encompassing customer base that, for the most part, will not pay high prices when there are other, competitively affordable options. A demand for a given industry and the industry itself, in this case fire safety, is omnipotent enough and when left unfettered, conveniently enough, is particularly favorable towards the small business element that there is no viable potential for affordability or quality problems such as price-fixing and corporate monopolies. Without coercive regulation and taxation, it cannot become overpriced or monopolized (and then overpriced by the monopoly-holding company) simply because there is, in an unfettered market, absolutely nothing stopping small firefighting companies from seizing the opportunity, popping up, and out-pricing/out-servicing the larger ones right out of their customer base, which any entrepreneur worth his/her salt would immediately jump on the opportunity to do if a demand for it arose. The same principle could not necessarily be applied to private jets and mansions, but as far as fire departments go; the companies would have no leeway to rip off the average joe. It would be financial suicide to even try it. The fire departments that the majority of the consumers decide to sign-up for and pay their hard-earned money to are going to be the ones with the highest quality of service and with the lowest prices for such service; AKA the best value. Those are the ones that will succeed, with their emulating counterparts continuously forcing them to innovate and further compete in regards to affordability. This would inevitably and speedily drive the prices down to a lower cost than the taxpayer had previously been forced to pay, and it would provide that same former-taxpayer with a plethora of affordable and higher-quality private fire departments to choose from. This would, most realistically, save the former-taxpayer a few bucks per month and allow them to utilize a more personalized, perhaps more nearby and competent fire department, so that instead of waiting the 10 minutes they would've waited for the nearest public fire department truck to arrive and provide basic service with no incentive to impress; that consumer instead winds up waiting only 2 minutes for the private one right down the street from their own home/business, with the company's team financially motivated to do the best job they possibly can. Every reference to "fire departments" in this entire paragraph could be replaced with the words "education", "personal protection", or "public transportation", etc., and it would be no less applicably accurate.

When the government is providing a service to everybody and making them fund it by using the force of law; the most significant and detrimental effect is that the government is directly robbing that service industry of any of it's potential demand, therefore ensuring that there will be NO reliable incentivizing of that industry to offer any competitively better or more innovative service at any more affordable of a cost. The two things that drive the prices of ANY industrial complex down the most are their services' demand among the lower & middle classes and the individual companies' competition within the same industry trying to attract the same consumer base, often by offering combatively lower prices.

In a sentence; a government controlled high-demand service is an innately unmotivated service that you're paying however much the government decides to force to you pay for it, whereas an unregulated private-sector controlled service with a widespread demand (as any basic service would have) is automatically burdened with an aggressive monetary motivation to provide you with the best possible service at competitively appealing prices.

Cover Image Credit: entrepreneur.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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