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German tax authorities raiding homes of ‘suspected’ evaders

SWAT Police Raid

July 12, 2012
Brussels, Belgium

Late last night I arrived to Brussels. As the capital of the European Union, Brussels is Europe’s political mother ship, the home base of the continent’s good idea factory.

You may recall, for example, the proposed EU regulations from 2010 which required all foods to be labeled by weight instead of count. A dozen eggs, for example, could no longer be labeled ‘one dozen’, but rather ‘674 grams’.

This is the sort of genius that springs from a body of do-gooder bureaucrats who sole function is to impede the market. It is the embodiment of Ayn Rand’s famous quote:

“When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.”

Decades ago, Rand perfectly characterized what we’re dealing with today… economies run by men who deal in favors and produce nothing. And there’s something very peculiar about their nature…

Aside from a sociopathic narcissism which causes one to believe that s/he has a superior ability to spend other people’s money, politicians also hold a worldview based on of scarcity.

Politics itself is really the art and science of allocating scarcity–making decisions about the collection and redistribution of resources within an economy.

The fundamental premise behind this is that resources are scarce, i.e. there is a fixed pie that must be carved up and handed out to stakeholders within the system.

A politician’s position, power, and personal benefit is derived from how s/he divvies out the pieces of the pie… or at least make promises about how they’ll be split.

Thusly, politicians by nature are very scarcity-minded.

Productive people, on the other hand, don’t ask, “How do we carve up this pie,” but rather, “How can this pie get bigger?”

While a few places in the world (like Singapore) have figured this out, the productive mindset completely escapes nearly every major western government.

And yet, the worse their situations degenerate, the more scarcity-minded they become. As their economies deteriorate and employment stalls, they view the world with even greater scarcity– scarcity that they must fix.

That’s why their solutions are always about redistribution– taxing and regulating their way out of scarcity. Of course, when the rule of law fails, there’s always outright confiscation.

We’ve long discussed the rise of asset seizures in the United States, including the disgusting incentives that local, state, and federal agencies have to steal your property.

Just yesterday, though, the Wall Street Journal reported that German tax authorities have been conducting full-on police raids against people even suspected of evading taxes.

These guys fail to understand that treating people like criminals and bullying them out of their slices won’t make the pie any bigger. It just makes them want to leave the party.

And rest assured, everyone has a breaking point.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John_Smith

    Burp. Excuse me! That was some dang good pie.

  • Kris Kristoffersen

    Another also “very up to date” quote from Ayn Rand:
    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
    You are right on the money Simon :
    Although you have a tendency to emphasize just a tad too much (The picture above is a perfect example, 1- These are not German uniforms and 2- the raids are conducted by state prosecutors and policemen not anti-terrorist squads).

    When too much is really too much they will leave the party (those who can afford to).

    Just yesterday I was at a bank in Geneva asking info on how to setup a simple checking account. It was very revealing to experience how “highly concerned” banks are of anyone who may be considered as “linked” to the USA.
    Now everyone, without exception, has to answer a questionnaire the bank manager/clerck are obliged to make you fill in and sign :
    – Are you a USA citizen?
    – Are you a USA green card holder?
    – Do you reside in the USA for more than 32 days per year?
    – Have you been in the USA for more than xx days in the last 2 years?
    – Do you hold bank accounts in the USA?
    – Do you trade or do business in the USA? 

    Don’t care about your responses, just covering their back.

    • InvestGold

      You are spot on with the US citizen thing. I just started working in Denmark and hidden amongst the company pension paperwork were a similar load of questions (in Danish) about my links to the US. Luckily, I have none and never intend to visit the place. If anyone really thinks China is on the verge of taking over the world, they just need to look at the power the US has with something like this to strike fear into small nations worldwide.

  • Tymtogo4it

    Why no link to WSJ article?

  • http://www.facebook.com/pmacaodh Paul Hughes

    I’m curious – besides Singapore, who else has figured out how to grow the pie?

  • sodit

    Gordon Brown (and his party of Evil) was too much for me. I stopped working simply because I so resented paying him tax. How many others have similarly chosen to stop running hard and to coast? Bet they don’t show up on any official figures.

  • Public_Citizen

    The sort of bullying in your example is analogous to somebody  ~~stepping~~ on the pie [think jack booted storm trooper “just following orders”].  It spoils the pie and leaves less for everybody, but the troopers self esteem is so much higher because of a successful mission.

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