Taxation is Oppressive to Freedom Essay

Taxation is Oppressive to Freedom Essay

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In the court case of McCullough vs. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall concluded that “an unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” What he meant by this is when a government is given the power to tax its citizens indefinitely, gains the power to destroy personal liberty and society as a whole. One hundred and fifty years later, Robert Nozick, an American libertarian philosophy would farther argue this point by stating that “Taxation of earning from labor is on a par with forced labor [civil service] … This makes them a part owner of you.” By doing so, Nozick equates taxation with civil service. Not only does he maintain that they are detrimental to the individual, he like Marshall, believes that forced civil service and taxation are damaging to a truly free society. In sharp contrast to this argument, Rousseau, the famous German author of “The Social Contract” claims that “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens … the state is not far from its fall.” He elaborates by asserting that “I hold enforced labor to be less opposed to liberty than taxes.” Whose ideal is correct, that is civil service (and taxation) a threat to liberty or the ultimate expression and tool of maintaining it?
To discover the answer to this question, it is necessary to adequately considered and critiques the viewpoints of Nozick, a libertarian philosopher and Rousseau, an Enlightenment thinker who holds a stout view nationalism and civil service. In addition, examples of the strengths and weaknesses of each theory will be discussed using Michael Sandel’s Justice. The relationship between civil duty and liberty...


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...st cases, required civic service is a threat to freedom. When someone is forced to do something against their will by the government, society as a whole suffers. There are, however, some cases where civic duty is necessary to a freedom. The most obvious case is the invasion of domestic soil by a foreign force. To combat that threat, citizens have a duty to defend each and there country. Another less apparent case is jury duty. While unappealing to most, it is a necessary service to a nation’s justice systems. Cases could be made if a sudden understaffing of certain institutions caused a shortage of a necessary service. This is only practical in dire circumstances as the costs of this would be staggering. In addition, the line would be exceeding difficult to draw on these cases. In most cases, civic service is oppressive to freedom but in some cases it is needed.

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