Monday, January 3, 2011

"Fight Organized Crime - Abolish the IRS"

Remember those bumper stickers?  I think I've seen them in every decade of my life.  The IRS uses fear as their most important collection tool, as a matter of agency policy.  Just enter "IRS Horror stories" in your favorite search engine and you'll find plenty.  Just as the mafia is known for targeted beatings or killings to instill fear, the IRS is known for using targeted audits, subpoenas and legal instruments.  To those who don't live in the legal system; to those who fear the courts; to those who fear legal proceedings, a subpoena or other legal document from the IRS can be as intimidating as watching the mafia goon beat up a friend. 

But the IRS is the mouth of the beast; the leviathan feeds this way.  And by leviathan I mean the whole nexus of big government and big banking from AIG to "The Goldman Sachs" to the Federal Reserve.  How do we get rid of it?  How can we not be devoured? 

References to economic resistance are everywhere.  Baugh's "Starving The Monkeys" is the first one I heard of, and the idea has grown legs - spreading around to various places.  Gardenserf has an excellent article on "Asymmetric Economic Warfare" this week.   

As for me, I'm completely in agreement with the strategy, just not completely there on the tactics.  To borrow a bit from various places, my plan is:
  1. Reduce your debt.  Note that I didn't say "never have a penny's worth of debt", so I don't mean to burn your credit cards.  Borrowing has a cost, and you should always include that in your plans.  If that item you want is on sale at 30% off, and your payments will last a year at 15% interest, you're still getting it 15% off.  If the currency is worth less in a year, you're paying it off with worthless dollars, too. Um - I mean - you're paying it off with dollars that are worth less, too. 
  2. Debt is slavery.  Don't get careless with it.  I paid off my mortgage almost 10 years early by paying extra principal as soon as I could.  If nothing else, having no payments is enormously liberating.
  3. Look into reducing your withholding.  The taxes withheld from your pay all year is the cash drug in the veins of the addict (  Look into this: I believe if you underpay your taxes by too much, you get penalized.  Ideally, you'd like to pay a little on tax day, not get money back.  
  4. Support your local retailers, the mom and pop shops.  They're your neighbors, and could be in your tribes.  
  5. Always try to barter.  If you are having some work done on your car, or your home, try barter.  This includes using silver coins or other items of value.  If your mechanic fixes your car while you fix his computer, that works for everyone.  Baugh's book, from what I've seen (and I haven't read it) advocates getting unplugged from "the system": don't work for a company, be a business of one. 
  6. Make what you can.  Maybe it's a bit strict to live as my friend said: "Make it, make do or do without".  Plus, it's more rewarding.
  7. If you're getting tools of any kind get the best tools you can afford.  I firmly believe I can't afford cheap tools.  They're too expensive.  I know you'll hear old sayings like, "it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools", but get real.  A smart, old jeweler told me that, and it's a lesson I've learned the hard way.   

No comments:

Post a Comment