What do you actually own?

Do you really own something if it’s controlled by the government?

Property rights are a precondition for prosperity. The idea is that you own yourself, your property and the fruits of your labour.

This basic concept is fairly new in human history. It explains the wealth of nations, as some might put it.

Unfortunately, people assigned the job of protecting property rights to the government. I can’t think of anyone worse…

It’s especially ironic to ask the organisation that used to withhold property rights to protect them.

Governments throughout history have always arbitrarily confiscated wealth for their own means. Usually to finance a war to increase land titles to increase tax revenue. Somewhere along the way we stopped putting up with that. And prospered by putting individuals in charge of themselves and their stuff.

But the busybodies are nefarious. Those seeking to rule others have encroached back on our lives. This time for our own good, of course. Their steady efforts to improve the world, in their image, has landed us back where we started. With a state that confiscates and controls wealth arbitrarily.

Politicians and their lackeys put in place licensing laws, created a monopoly on money for themselves, monopolised policing and courts too, restricted freedom of movement, contract and trade, and implemented all sorts of prohibitions.

Over time, their power to control every aspect of our life has grown. These days, they have enough power to go back to their old ways again.

Police in the US can arbitrarily confiscate wealth if they suspect it was involved in a crime. You have to prove it wasn’t if you want it back.

If you want to work in a given profession, you have to pay various fees to a long list of government bodies and in some cases educational institutions. In some countries, you have to bribe the government officials for permission to bribe the government for permission to work.

God forbid you want to start a business, which costs many more fees, and has much more government compliance rules.

The list of taxes we pay is enormous, selective and subject to change every year.

Most of us overpay taxes during the year, hoping to claim some of our own money back at the end. In fact, the taxes are taken out of our paycheque before we even see them. You eat after the master.

The trendline of government policies leads straight to Jeremy Corbyn’s “suggestion” to house people in empty London homes… without asking the owners.

The overall burden of government is far greater than what triggered revolutions in the past. Not that it’s ever enough to cover government spending, or to solve the ills that government claims to prevent.

All this begs the question we began with: if the government defines ownership, what you can do with your property, and takes a vast cut of any benefits of that property, do you really own it?

Surely your wealth is simply not yours if it is subject to government approval and confiscation.

The last bastion of property rights has fallen

It seems that governments around the world are taking their confiscation efforts to the next level. They now want to tax flows and stocks of wealth, not just income, profit and spending.

Transaction taxes are in the works in Europe. In the US, the central bank is looking into wealth taxes on property.

Mark Glennon of Wirepoints explained on his blog:

An audible gasp went out in the breakout room I was in at last month’s pension event cosponsored by The Civic Federation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

That was when a speaker from the Chicago Fed proposed levying, across the state and in addition to current property taxes, a special property assessment they estimate would be about 1% of actual property value each year for 30 years.

It surely ranks among the most blatantly inhumane and foolish ideas we’ve seen yet.

Homeowners with houses worth $250,000 would pay an additional $2,500 per year in property taxes, those with homes worth $500,000 would pay an additional $5,000, and those with homes worth $1 million would pay an additional $10,000.

Are they blind to human consequences?”

1% doesn’t sound like much. But it’s an increase from already high levels. And it’s every year for 30 years.

Part of the underlying problem with the proposal is that it would further decrease property values in Illinois by discouraging people from moving there.

Let’s not get stuck in Illinois’ various disastrous financial problems though. The point is that even your home is not safe from the government’s money grubbing hands. “Property can’t leave, so seize it. That’s the basic idea,” wrote Glennon. It makes Corbyn’s policy look humane…

Wealth accumulation is probably the main reason you read Capital & Conflict. Being informed about what the government has planned for you is incredibly important if you’re want to grow wealth. As the second half of our newsletter’s name gives away, it’s threats to your hard-earned and carefully saved money that are particularly concerning at the moment.

So, do you want your entire wealth to be subject to the government’s arbitrary whims? What if you are its next confiscation victim because you used too much cash, left your home empty, or bought bitcoin?

True wealth must be out of the government’s reach

The idea that government power has grown to the extent that you don’t truly own your own property, nor yourself, creates a problem. How can you secure wealth in this sort of environment?

Over at Zero Hour Alert, we’ve solved this problem with a report on financial escape hatches. The idea is to show readers how to secure their wealth outside the financial system.

The initial aim was to secure your wealth from a financial crisis. The one that began on Sunday evening. You can find out more about that here.

But we soon realised that moving your wealth out of the financial system is also the best way to secure it against money-grubbing politicians. They’ve driven us into the financial system on every measure of wealth to be able to keep tabs and tax us effectively. Once in, they ratchet up the wealth confiscation.

But what’s going to change dramatically enough for a major government money grab in the future?

The answer is simple – pensions. Unfunded liabilities are going to come due eventually. And they call them unfunded for a reason. These will have to be financed by taxes.

Taxes you will pay. Secure your wealth now.

Until next time,

Nick Hubble
Capital & Conflict

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Category: Economics

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