COMFORTING LIE #3 – Stealing from the rich to give to the poor

Article by Bob Podolsky republished by permission on Dec. 16, 2015
Originally published at


3. Robin Hood was heroic in stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

This is a good example of the attempt to attain an ethical end (succoring the poor) by unethical means (stealing).  Theft of tangible (or for that matter intangible) resources from their rightful owner is clearly unethical.

The most pervasive variety of this ethical violation is taxation.  When a government, of whatever form, coerces its subjects into paying taxes it violates the E+ Ethic by violating Ethical Principles 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10.  The common argument, that majority rule justifies taxation is wholly bogus.  To see this clearly, consider the fact that government is just a group of individuals.  Let’s include in this group elected officials, their appointees, their employees, and even the people who voted for the electorate. All of these people are just individuals, none of whom have the “authority” nor the “right” individually to tax another. Ethical Principle number 9 implies, by simple logic, that none of these individuals can delegate to the group that they comprise the authority to levy a tax.

Moreover, Ethical Principle number 10 states that valid (ethical) laws must protect people from the predatory acts of others.  But when a government taxes its citizenry it becomes the predator, which is not only a great evil, but also, a betrayal of the trust of the people that government rightly exists to protect.

In this country (the USA) the average taxpayer gives up half their income to local, state, and federal governments through direct, indirect, and hidden taxes.  This fact turns a trusting nation into a land of half-time slaves. The previous statement is not a metaphor – not a figure of speech – but demonstrable fact.  As long as we continue to permit the practice of taxation we continue to be stuck in the MATRIX, half our life’s energy stolen from us by coercive taxation.