The Price of Freedom

2012 December 1
by justrand

Years ago I watched a demonstration film for the type of HALON fire-suppression system being installed in the computer facility I worked at. It was impressive. Fires need three things: fuel, oxygen, heat. Deprive them of any of the three, and the fire dies. This particular demonstration was impressive because it showed the suppression of an explosion…which is, after all, just a rapidly burning fire (VERY rapidly). HALON suppresses a fire by depriving it of oxygen, which it displaces almost instantly.

Government at the Federal level (and many State and local levels as well) mimics, for all the world, a fire…and these days an out of control one.  The “heat” is provided by politicians and our “beloved” media, SCREECHING that the government needs to do MORE things for MORE people, MORE of the time (or always)! The “fuel” is the wealth and resources of our country, both God given and American built over the previous centuries.

WE provide the “oxygen”. Our taxes feed the flames that allow larger and larger government agencies to burn more and more of America’s accumulated wealth and power in order to grow those very agencies.

Long ago the Federal government (and that of many States) figured out a way to ensure the oxygen could never be cut off…or even reduced. Income Tax Withholding and Sales Taxes. Every penny earned is subject to taxes, and every penny spent (in many locales) is subject to taxes…automatically.   This oxygen will continue to feed the flames, until all the “fuel” is consumed…i.e. the government literally burns itself (and us) to the ground.

Barter – [bar•ter] The exchange goods or services in return for other goods or services.

More and more people these days are turning to bartering in order to survive personally. But in the process they may be inadvertently (or not so inadvertently) helping our nation to survive. For every bartered transaction deprives our rapacious governments of the oxygen they need for their fire. Income Taxes and Sales taxes don’t occur in a bartered transaction…and thus the level of oxygen goes down by just that amount.

How much wood do I have to chop and stack for you, in exchange for a two baskets of your tomatoes? The amount, whatever it is, is ultimately the Price of Freedom.


34 Responses leave one →
  1. 2012 December 1 8:39 am
    booshkindoggin permalink

    Of course goods received for services are every bit as taxable as cash and the value is fully reportable to the taxing authorities, fed and state. The issue of course is enforcement and IRS is geared to take whatever action is required to “foster voluntary compliance”. As the barter economy accelerates, which it inevitably will, so will tax collection enforcement efforts. Despite the carefully constructed image of power that IRS maintains, its hold on the taxpaying public is tenuous, even illusory. I was an IRS auditor many years ago (Nixon administration) and the word internally then was that if even 5 percent of the public choose to stop filing returns, the system would collapse. For that reason IRS necessarily must convince the public that it has unlimited power and authority over our lives. It has worked well for them…so far.

  2. 2012 December 1 9:25 am
    drdog09 permalink

    JR, great article.


    Yeah I have heard rumor that it was a very low number for noncompliance for the system to breakdown. Barter is very hard for IRS to catch for the average grocery shopping trades many Americans would be interested in doing. Doing 1230 trades are another matter.

    A big factor that would probably accelerate the collapse would be the IRS not being able to hire people. When you receive any form of `formal` compensation which will be nearly worthless by the time the deposit is made what is the use of working? True for either the IRS or any W2 wage earner. At some point the agents of the IRS will look to other means of earning a living, mostly under the table. Then when your underground income is higher than the formal pay, you disappear.

  3. 2012 December 1 9:32 am

    Playboy magazine reportedly offered Sarah Palin $4,000,000 to pose nude in an upcoming issue.

    Michelle Obama was offered $50 by National Geographic

  4. 2012 December 1 9:34 am

  5. 2012 December 1 9:44 am
    JBoz permalink

    In businesses where there is a legitimate need but regulations and taxes become most onerous, underground economies are almost certain to develop. A perfect example is the taxi/limo industry in major cities (NYC, Chicago, SF, etc.). To cost to operate a taxi or a limo is exorbitant, but if you know where to ask there are plenty of ways around it. Personal errand runners, concierge businesses, laundry pick-up and delivery services, professional car parkers and many more have been stealth repurposed into a vibrant underground personal transportation industry. Cash only of course.

  6. 2012 December 1 9:45 am
    JBoz permalink

    Oh man, I’ve gotta change that gravatar. Sorry to subject you fine people to this disgusting image. Stand by.

  7. 2012 December 1 9:57 am
    justrand permalink

    IP, from that article in #5: “The Bureau of Economic Analysis said Hurricane Sandy disrupted jobs, which caused a dip in payroll figures.”

    and George W. Bush smiled…FINALLY a new scapegoat for EVERY and ANY bad thing!

  8. 2012 December 1 10:00 am
    justrand permalink

    hattip Instapundit…where Glenn Reynolds notes this is truly an example of the “living in the Hunger Games”

  9. 2012 December 1 10:39 am
    bc3b permalink

    The one thing about sales taxes, they are based on the ability to spend. A guy on welfare income (food stamps, section 8 housing and free Obama phone) aren’t being taxed. But, the $300 Airt Jordans are.

  10. 2012 December 1 10:43 am
    bc3b permalink

    I am so sick of seeing college teams who don’t have black as a school color. Army, Vanderbilt, Iowa and Bishop Foley Catholic should wear black. Duke, Northwestern, Stanford and TCU should not.

  11. 2012 December 1 11:35 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Graphs on that article made me so sick I did not want to even go on to read page 2. Sigh….

  12. 2012 December 1 2:42 pm

  13. 2012 December 1 2:52 pm
    JBoz permalink

    13 – That’s a carpet-fest.

  14. 2012 December 1 3:18 pm
    mulletover permalink

    Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be Duty, Honor, Country.

    Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men’s minds. But serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the Nation’s war guardians, as its lifeguards from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiators in the arena of battle. For a century and a half you have defended, guarded and protected its hallowed traditions of liberty and freedom, of right and justice.

    Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.

    These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.

    You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the Nation’s destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds.

    The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.

    From MacArthur’s Farewell Adress to the Cadets of West Point


  15. 2012 December 1 3:26 pm
    Mr Evilwrench permalink

    You do realize, that in their infinite wisdom, HALON has been effectively banned by the .gov, something to do with the CFC scam. You can just smell the irony sometimes.

  16. 2012 December 1 3:51 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #1 I have heard that several times. Problem is, the one who organized it would go away for a long long time and I can’t be sure it would just spontaneously happen.

  17. 2012 December 1 3:51 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Actually HALON is still in use. So long as there has not been a discharge the bottles may stay in place till such an event occurs. Its just not placed in new installations. The move to eliminate it is not federal but local.

    HALON is an excellent oxygen displacer. Fact too good. There have been several near death incidents of asphyxiation. Local fire marshalls have been the chief culprit in getting HALON eliminated. Least that is the drive from a data center/IT mindset.

  18. 2012 December 1 3:57 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    It won’t be a protest type situation. It will be organic. You starting earning money from the underground economy more and more to the point that your primary struggle ends up being able to keep a front of legit dollars that matches your lifestyle so the IRS does not go into ‘beyond their economic means’ on ya.

    Growing up in Florida, it was a known thing that most of the restaurants only reported 75% of total income. That point and time most dealt in cash so skimming was done all the time. Credit cards and federal requirements for tips reporting made that a lot harder to do.

  19. 2012 December 1 6:06 pm
    Mr Evilwrench permalink

    Yeah, I wasn’t prepared to comment what level of .gov had its filthy paws all over it; one’s as good as another in most cases.

  20. 2012 December 1 6:50 pm


  21. 2012 December 1 6:57 pm
    JBoz permalink

    RIP Rick Majerus. Great college basketball coach.

  22. 2012 December 1 7:09 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    Excellent feature post – taxation is theft and the State is willing to initiate violence against peaceful citizens to get their booty…..yep, barter all you can so you dont participate in immoral activities of the State

  23. 2012 December 1 7:46 pm
    bc3b permalink

    JBoz –

    Very true. Majerus was a great basketball coach, but sure didn’t look after himself. There is enough stress coaching college basketball at a Division 1 level, let alone being 100+ pounds overweight.

  24. 2012 December 1 8:46 pm
    Wylie E. Coyote permalink

    “Which brings me to my conclusion. If it is natural for any office holder to wish to keep power. Which is why we must do two things. First, if at all possible, we must limit the scope of the government to simple tasks, such as protecting individual rights. Without such grand scope, there will be fewer great undertakings to entice the office holders to cling to office. With a limited, boring government, stuck doing nothing but the mundane tasks involved in protecting individual rights, there would be little for one to wish to continue, and with powers strictly limited, few ways to continue exercising power even if one wished.

    I have a feeling, having made my case, some will miss the point, and imagine I am worried that we are facing a return to monarchy here in the US, and that is far from what I fear. I will admit, should we continue to grant the state such great powers, I do imagine one day the executive, or perhaps the head of the legislature, should power vest in the legislature rather than executive10, will wrest what power remains from his fellows and establish himself as autocrat, and, when that happens, likely we will eventually see that position become inherited, or at least an attempt to make it so. But that is far in the future, and we have a long way to go to get there. No, what I fear is that a similar process will take place making it ever more difficult to unseat incumbents, or shift seats form one party to another, and, if that happens, it is likely the state will become even less responsive than it is now, and it will take tremendous effort to try to make it even slightly less autocratic. And so, if we value small government and individual freedom, I ask that we try to reduce the scope of the state, and the powers it wields, if only to ensure that it remains representative of its constituents, and somewhat responsive to their wishes.”

  25. 2012 December 1 8:54 pm
    mulletover permalink

    Notre Dame plays Alabama for the national championship.

    Would Notre Dame be in that game if they had played a schedule similar to Alabama? Their undefeated season included wins over Navy, Boston College, BYU, Miami, and Wake Forest. Not too impressive. Also had road wins over Oklahoma and USC. More impressive.

    Can’t knock Alabama’s schedule too much since most of it against strong SEC schools.

    I’m thinking an Alabama national championship.

  26. 2012 December 1 8:59 pm
    TLS permalink

    bc ~ just sent me picks. sorry for the delay!!

  27. 2012 December 1 9:21 pm
    bc3b permalink

    Mullet –

    Plus ND barely got by Purdue and Pitt.

  28. 2012 December 2 5:06 am
    JBoz permalink

    Notre Dame = huge TV ratings. Follow the money. They are a joke, and will be manhandled by Bama.

  29. 2012 December 2 5:08 am
    drdog09 permalink

  30. 2012 December 2 5:42 am
    justrand permalink

    put the images from #21 and #30 together…and you got trouble, right here in River City…

  31. 2012 December 2 5:50 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Gingrich speech at the Reagan Library. — — Grab a cup of joe and sit back. Its long but its a great piece.

  32. 2012 December 2 8:38 am
    JustMary permalink

    #30 And yet my friends look at me sideways when I say I want to find a way to get entitlements. Sick of paying for others to have them with zero return on my money.

  33. 2012 December 2 9:53 am

    If this does not touch your heart, then you just don’t have one.

    An incredible story of luck and inspiration!


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