Two Founder Quotes Translated Into Forgone Opportunity Costs

“To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical idea.” — James Madison

Becomes: “Liberty represents the ability of each individual to achieve his greatest happiness, but only by servicing the wants and needs of others, and to do so by participating in the market. By doing so he reduces prices and increases choices, and creates value through exchange and decreasing prices through a division of knowledge and labor. It is an impossible supposition, that any form of government that we create, and any system of incentives and punishments we invent, will secure us our desired prosperity without the willing contributions of citizens, who daily pay for that prosperity by their expenditure of effort in production and exchange, but also by their forgoing of opportunity for gain by means of legal plunder, or by fraud, or by theft, and therefore avoiding paying the high cost of maintaining that prosperity.”

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” — Thomas Jefferson

Becomes: “A man pays for his government first, in forgone opportunity costs, and second, by the expenditure of his time and labor in production and trade, and third, by the taxes he directly pays to the government. He pays with all three: since all three are avoidable, he pays with all three methods. Manners, Ethics, Morals, and most importantly, his avoidance of corruption: to live off the productive results of others without voluntary exchange – provide his easiest means of cheating – of obtaining the benefits of such a society at a discount. A man who does not pay the cost of manners, ethics, morals, AND observation of the cultural system of obligatory payments we call culture, is a thief. Therefore when the government ‘tolerates’ counter-cultural behavior it condones theft. When it supports people who do not make such payments, it pays one group to steal from another. Therefore, no man who makes payments to the state either in taxes or in forgone opportunity costs, should ever tolerate redistribution of his efforts to brigands, and thieves.

The purpose of a government is to disallow people to obtain extra-market discounts while obtaining the benefits of participating in the market.

A barbarian is someone who does not participate in the market, and in particular, someone who steals from the payments of citizens by avoiding the forgone opportunity costs we call ‘culture’.

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