Description

I had no idea how far back the history of asset forfeiture goes. Find out all about it in this episode. Also, What’s in the News with stories on private disaster relief efforts, cops getting off with murder, Motel 6 is a bootlicker, kindergartner suspended for imagination, and Maine nullifying federal food laws. I also discuss a new contest I’m running that you can win, and a new podcast project I’ve released for Pax Libertas Productions that you don’t want to miss. This episode is brought to you by Tom Woods’s Liberty Classroom, helping you to become a smarter and more informed libertarian than ever before, for just 24 cents a day.

WHAT’S RUSTLING MY JIMMIES

[1:36]

One thing I talk a lot about on this show is government theft. Taxation is theft, but so is forfeiture, both civil and criminal. I didn’t realize how far back the history of asset forfeiture went until I found an article in the book I Must Speak Out: The Best of The Voluntaryist that was selected and edited by Carl Watner. There is a link to the free ebook version of this book in the show notes to this episode at thelavaflow.com/71.

I found this book while doing research for my latest podcast project called Essential Libertarianism, which I’ll be talking about a bit later in this episode. The article in the book is titled “‘Sweat Them at Law with Their Own Money’: Forfeitures and Taxes in American History” and it goes into detail on the history of this evil perpetrated by our government.

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Meet the hosts

Rodger is a long-time libertarian activist, the founder of PaxLibertas Productions, host of The LAVA Flow podcast, Vice Chairman of the NHLP, Regional Captain for the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence and former Chairman and Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas. Rodger has also served on the national Libertarian Party Judicial Committee.

discussions

  • What role (if any) should the gov’t play in the continued funding of cutting-edge scientific research? According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development), approximately 10% of all R&D conducted globally is directly funded by governments, with approximately 60% done by private industry and 20% by educational institutions. Granted, this number probably doesn’t take into account indirect gov’t funding through tax subsidies and incentives. That 10% goes towards projects on the cutting edge of science, such as NASAs various space ventures and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (funded through the governments of the member states). Proponents of big gov’t science, such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, have stated in the past that projects like these are unlikely to be privately funded due to their high risk, high cost, and lack of return on investment. Gov’t, claims Tyson, is required to make the initial step and take all the risk so that private firms can follow in its wake with a clear picture of the requirements of such endeavours. TAM 2011: Our Future in Space Would such high risk, high cost projects be possible without gov’t backing?

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  • The “Tax Honesty” movement has demonstrated a few things to a lot of people.  To cover a lot with a few words, I’ll put it this way:  The IRS breaks its own rules in order to rob us through deceit. Some people (Irwin Schiff, for example) have suffered because they attempted to protect themselves from the rule-breakers.  There is now a theory popular among liberty-minded people that the government is too corrupt and powerful for anyone to succeed in an effort like Irwin Schiff’s.  There is also some good evidence showing this theory to be wrong.  It’s available at Peter Hendrickson’s website, losthorizons.com. I think that a lot of bureaucrats feel and believe that they are helping society.  This leaves them open to consider fixing situations in which their bureaucracy is breaking its own rules.  And let’s face it, there are some rules that can actually help liberty.  Perhaps the loads of evidence that Hendrickson has on his site can be explained by the presence of such “good-hearted” individuals in the bowels of the IRS. In any case, if you can, please entertain the possibility that the US Income Tax is not being administered honestly.  Consider that maybe, just maybe, in the gargantuan tangle of words called “Title 26,” the legal meaning of the law as it applies to most people is not coercive at all.  Maybe, if it were properly applied, the government would be a nuisance like neighbors who let their dogs poop on your lawn, instead of a nuisance like cancer in your lungs.  It could be true.  I think it is true, and I think that failing to follow all the twists and turns that Hendrickson uncovered to see for yourself that it is true kind of justifies you still being enslaved to a government that steals from you in order to cause havoc all over the planet in a massive deception that justifies its existence. If we want to honor the goodness in all people, including those who have been tricked into serving evil, we can do so by understanding the rules they think they should be following, and using them to protect ourselves from enslavement.

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  • For the past few years, police departments have been on something of a power trip in the United States. Only citing the lesser-known instances that come to my mind, cops have assaulted autistic teenagers and murdered unarmed civilians, and were subsequently cleared of all charges and let back on the force. A zealous, dogmatic conservative “fanbase,” alongside a legal system that actively defends police from facing charges of murder, manslaughter, or assault, assures that these men and women never see justice for their actions. It’s awful what police are doing in society, but it’s even worse that they can get off scot-free for it. Of course, most of you already know this. So here’s my question: has any United States representative or senator proposed a bill designed to fight against unjust acquittals or introduce charges that are harder to to be overturned? As an agorist, I’m partially convinced that this has never happened and that anyone who gets elected for public office in this day and age is a vapid authoritarian, but a sliver of hope remains for me somewhere. Have any of you heard of such legislation on a federal level? If not, then what about on a state level?

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  • What is the origination of property rights? Where do they come from that you can reason their existence as natural? We usually argue for property rights at some point in our discussions as libertarians, but I’m curious as to where we can claim they’re from. Personally, I derive mine from God and my religious beliefs, similar to what Jefferson stated about God given rights. But what about someone who doesn’t believe in a deity? How can they derive property rights in a way that can’t be dismissed as ideals, but derived in nature? This is also (and arguably more so) important for arguing these natural rights to people who won’t accept a divine aspect. It’s important to have property rights, and they’re evidently beneficial, but the argument remains for declaring these as rights, otherwise the NAP is in jeopardy. How do we have a right to property?

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  • It can be a challenge to keep up with all the taxes one needs to pay throughout the year, and than to deal with all the paperwork that needs to be filed can be frustrating. What would be a good way to simplify the Tax Code? Below is a list of some of the taxes that we the people need to pay, or at least we experience their effects at one time or another. -Medicare, Medicare, Social Security, Federal Inocme Tax, State tax, Local Tax, Corporate tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax, estate tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, gift tax, tariffs on imports and exports, etc. Would a simple flat or consumption tax do the trick?

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