Taxes Are What We Pay for an Impoverished Society

Tax-HS — with Joseph Salerno

Dates: April 15, 2013 - April 15, 2013
Status: Closed

On-site sessions begin at 9:30 a.m. Central Time and end at noon.

“Taxes are what we pay for an impoverished society.”

Written on the side of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, DC, is the phrase “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.” These words have been used for decades to justify the forcible confiscation of wealth, but the sentiment behind the phrase is of course much older.

Far from producing civilization, the reality of taxation is something much different. Taxation makes society less efficient, less stable, and poorer, while providing the state with the ability to wage wars, imprison millions of citizens for petty nonviolent offenses, and regulate every aspect of the taxpayers’ lives.

As Murray Rothbard pointed out, taxation is the worst method of looting us. Inflation, for example, is destructive, of course, and it might make a loaf of bread cost $10. But at least you get a loaf of bread. With taxation, you get nothing.

This seminar will provide students with a better understanding of the history and effects of taxation. Students who attend this seminar, either in person or online, will be off to a great start in understanding how taxation distorts and enervates an economy. The course will also provide the student with an understanding of taxation as the financial foundation of the state, and the role of taxation in economic and political destructionism.


Joseph Salerno

Joseph Salerno is academic vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, professor of economics at Pace University, and editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has been interviewed for Fox News Network, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg Radio, BBC 4 radio, RT Television, the Austrian Economics Newsletter and on  One of Salerno’s most popular works is Money, Sound and Unsound.

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