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« Ted Kennedy Is A Classy Guy . . . | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 317 -- Religion Maps. »

Quotational Therapy: Part 93 -- Marx's First Commandment.

Communist Property Taxes

You may be familiar with the Communist Manifesto already, but here is a refresher on the ten things Marx believed would be generally applicable in any advanced country adopting socialism:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

Let's focus on that first one. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

Private property. It's under attack in this country. There's the Kelo angle, for one. Then there's the matter of exorbitant property taxes in many states and locales.

Let's think about those for a second. Property taxes above a certain reasonable threshold, in my estimation, amount to a sort of soft feudalism, a system under which you can never truly own property at all.

Let's say you own a 100,000 dollar home, mortgage paid in full. You are retired. You have no serious income. You owe the government, each and every year, a few thousand dollars.

Now, let's say that, many years after you retire, your 100,000 dollar home becomes a 500,000 dollar home, due to a booming housing market in your region. Wham, though you're not suddenly rich, you are suddenly paying the property taxes of a wealthy individual. Tens of thousands of dollars worth. Over the course of a decade, one may end up paying nearly half (or more) of the home's value (at the time of purchase) in property taxes.

It's insane. When property taxes are high, you cannot truly own property. It's just that simple.

Paying for the right to keep something you already own. What 'e' word does that sound like?

Unfortunately, I searched high and low for a quotation or aphorism or speech on the subject, but there's very little on property taxes.

I am guessing the lack of great quotes about property taxes has to do with who traditionally paid property taxes.

Rich people.

But today, as record numbers of Americans own their own homes, property taxes are not just a rich people thing. When property taxes are high, you are really just renting your home from the government. That rent is going toward public purposes.


Now, a good chunk of property taxes wherever you go, around the country, goes toward funding public schools. Many people really like public schools. They are gladly willing to pay thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in property taxes for those public schools.

Then there's all the folks with no kids in public schools, still paying the thousands of dollars into the system.

Think about how scandalous that ought to be. So very much property tax (rent) money, pumped into public school systems around the country, with such patchy (and often sub-par) results.

Why not cut out the middle man?

Why not allow all of those millions of individuals to choose where their education dollars go, in a competitive market for education? Why are so many people willing to put up with Marxist feudalism (high property taxes) and uncompetitive, unionized, dysfunctional schools (see Marx's 10th Commandment), simultaneously?

Property owners and people with children in public schools (a lot of overlap, there) all deserve better.

Anyway. Wisdom teeth out today. Fun times. Rant over.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 24 April 2006 05:12 PM


Will,... I hope you don't get dry sockets!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 24, 2006 07:18 PM

You are correct, even if you "own" your house, you still must pay "rent" to the government.
I think most of the individuals that pay property taxes have them included in their monthly mortgage payments. So, if you are making mortgage payments, you don't get that "BAM" affect of sitting down and coming up with the money to pay your taxes. The withholding theory applies here, if you never see the money, you won't miss it.
Recently,I read the results of a poll, 75% of Americans are satisfied with public education. So it appears most people are satisfied with how a large portion of property taxes are spent. I think most of them perceive public education as free since that don't have to write a check for educating their children every month.
Two great topics for dicussion. I bet Karl Marx is turning over in his grave, to smile.
The Tooth Fairy pays a buck for wisdom teeth, after withholding taxes that comes to about sixty cents.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at April 25, 2006 06:08 AM