We Should Be Allowed To Opt Out

American citizens should have the right to opt out of paying taxes and receiving government services. This could easily be accomplished by designating a certain geographical location as an opt out zone. Any citizen who doesn’t want to receive federal military, police, or welfare services should be allowed to move to that area and live their life in peace.

Setting up a city, isolated from the rest of the country, but within American borders is the ideal set up. The federal government could notify all the terrorists that they aren’t protecting that city. Doctors can be put on alert that any medical services performed in that area won’t be covered my medicare. Old people will be told that if they move  there it will be up to either their children or the grace of strangers to make sure that they are taken care of in their last days. Once people move there voluntarily, the federal government can wipe their hands clean of having to take care of them.

I’ve thought about it over and over again for a long time. I just don’t understand why this is unacceptable. Some of us have serious and principled problems with what the American government has become. The political solution appears to be untenable. Politicians are owned by special interests. Regular Americans, who are becoming poorer by the day, are simply unable or unwilling to influence the political landscape.

Whats more, I don’t want to have to spend my life keeping an eye on what a bunch of slime bags are trying to take from me. I just want to live a peaceful life; a simple life; a life that allows me to be free from filling out mountains of complicated paperwork just to be able to send the government one fifth of my money.

Why is that too much ask? Its not asking for much. I don’t want to be rich. I just want to be free.

Of course, that doesn’t mean rich people shouldn’t be allowed into the opt out zone. Rich people have every bit as much of a right to liberty as poor people have. Besides, the rich people will give guys like me a job in the opt out zone.

I don’t imagine the opt out zone as a utopia. There will surely be crime, and drugs, and all kinds of other bad stuff going on there. Humans will be inhabiting it after all. Those problems can be dealt with in a traditional manner. Folks will get together and arrest criminals and put them in jail. Alternatively, everybody can put together their money and hire a sheriff or a police squad.

The great benefit is that we wouldn’t have to deal with imaginary problems. There would be no having to report everything that we do the authorities. Time and brain power won’t be wasted having to comply with bureaucratic formalities. People will go about the business of making their lives better, uninterrupted.

I’d be willing to live in a pretty rural and human unfriendly place in exchange for a guarantee of absolute liberty for life. There is no question in my mind that even a god awful, barren stretch of territory can be formed into something pretty nice by human ingenuity. The pioneers did it. It can be done again. We have a huge technological advantage.

The hard thing would be to keep the opt out zone free. Once people see what real liberty looks like, they’ll flock to it. Governments will want to do away with it. It will be seen as a threat. Tax revenues will shrink as citizens abandon their oppressors. Hell hat no fury like a politician’s scorn.

This is all a fantasy though, isn’t it? An opt out zone can’t really be created, can it? I don’t see why not. If we’re out there in the middle of nowhere, no government can make a moral claim for taking our money or our liberty. No city, state, or federal government would have a legitimate reason for keeping us in the system.

Of the utmost importance is maintaining a peaceful relationship with the rest of world. Governments would look for any reason to undermine such an arrangement and label the free people as a dangerous separatist group. We’d have to be exemplar. That’t not to say that people living in the opt out zone need to be saints and abstain from all fun and entertaining activity. It means that we’d have to be content with our little corner of the world. The laws of the governments outside of our jurisdiction need to be scrupulously followed. No violence can be allowed to originate from within our borders. The moral high ground must be ours.

We could still legally be a part of the United States. A kid who is completely independent still belongs to his family. This doesn’t need to be a neo-secessionist thing. It would be a legal arrangement where the people of a certain geographical area don’t receive or pay for any government services.

There would be no federal income tax obligations, no property taxes, no state sales tax. Corporations established in the zone and doing business in the zone won’t have to pay corporate income taxes, employee payroll taxes, or any other type of tax. They might have to pay taxes when they do business with people outside the zone. It will be up to the business people to decide if it makes sense to do business with outsiders.

There is plenty of vacant land, government and otherwise. Let’s declare some of it an opt out zone. Probably if a few hundred thousand people get on board we could make it happen. We could either all just move there and settle the land or rich people can start buying the land and renting it to us. The main thing is to choose the location and start calling for an opt out zone.

Let’s choose a raggedy old piece of land that no reasonable person will deny us. It won’t be great in the beginning but it will be much better than what the pilgrims had, much better. From there, we’ll make it clear that we simply don’t wish to be ruled by any current government. As a free people, we’ll go one with our regular lives.

If a few hundred thousand of us decide to make this our life’s work, we can leave behind a true legacy of liberty.

Adam Pearson


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