Leave Us the HELL ALONEby Chris Byrne
Crossposting something my wife wrote, from here:
I’ve been in an incredibly foul mood the last couple of days, and until this morning I did not understand why.
We’re planning on moving to where we actually want to be. We’re constantly being asked why we want to move to the middle of nowhere. I tell everyone, “because I feel hemmed in and trapped.” Almost no one understands what I mean. Until this morning I could not explain the feeling of being a rat in a cage. Now I can.
This morning I woke up on my “don’t remove the tag” mattress, walked through my building code compliant house, used the federally compliant toilet, dressed the kids and drove them to their “state certified” charter school where they’ll eat a state approved lunch.
I got back in my state registered, emissions compliant, insured (by state requirement) car and drove the legal speed limit back to the house. I then walked through my Scottsdale code compliant yard (no weeds in our “desert” landscaping”)into the house, drank pasteurized (USDA required) juice, and ate cereal processed in an inspected facility with milk from an USDA compliant dairy. I then took my FDA approved prescription pills (from a licensed pharmacy of course) and played with the state-licensed dogs.
I took a call on my federally taxed cell phone (instead of the federally taxed land line), stopped by our FDIC insured bank (which received TARP money that it didn’t want and is not allowed to pay back), and drove along city streets (paid for by sales and property taxes) to the closest Costco (which has a business license of course and pays mandated worker’s comp). I bought beef franks made from inspected beef in an inspected facility, buns made in an OSHA compliant factory, and a gallon of Frank’s in an approved plastic bottle.
All of this before 10:15 am.
This is not restricted to me of course. This is normal daily life for the vast majority of Americans. Almost everything we do is touched by one agency or another.
In preparation for moving I’ve been researching what I want to do with the land. We want to build our own house and outbuildings and drink our own water and make our own electricity.
In order for this to work we have to:
* Buy land with the proper zoning.
* Wait for the required escrow to be completed.
* Apply for building permits and well permits.
* Possibly apply for a zoning variance in order to raise a wind turbine.
* Build code-compliant buildings.
* Wire the electricity according to code.
* Pay sales tax on all materials used.
My biggest dream is to grow an orchard, plant some vegetables and grains, and raise our own milk and meat. In order for this to happen we have to
* Buy only trees that can be delivered to the correct state (as decided by each state’s government).
* Use only approved pesticides (like we could buy anything else).
* Buy a tractor (with applicable state tax).
If we find ourselves with an excess of food and would like to sell it we have to
* Apply for a license.
* Obtain a tax i.d. number.
* Collect sales tax.
* Label the goods according to code.
* Submit to random inspections of the dairy operation.
* Submit to random inspections of the meat process.
* In order to sell prepared foods (like jams) submit to inspections of the “commercial” kitchen (which cannot be used to prepare the family’s food).
* Pay sales tax on all goods and materials used.
In order to set up the business properly, we have to
* Apply for a business license.
* Obtain a tax i.d. number.
* Obtain permission from the state to use the name.
* Collect sales tax.
God forbid we deal with the local fauna. We plan on moving in an area thick with moose and wolves, but in order to hunt we have to obtain
* A hunting license.
* A controlled-hunt tag for the moose (if we’re lucky enough to get one).
* Forget about the wolves, they’re “protected”.
Should we need to protect our livestock from the moose or wolves we are allowed to dispose of the threat, but we must
* Inform game and fish.
* Turn the carcass over to the state.
If we use firearms to dispose of the threat, we must
* Use a “legal” firearm (as determined by the NFA and ATF).
* If we choose to use a suppressor (because of dogs, horses, and our own hearing) we must pay the stamp.
This doesn’t even account for all of the hoops the realtor and the vendors have to go through.
All of this instead of
* Pay for property. Make contract with owner.
* Dig well.
* Buy tractor.
* Sell food.
* Sell services.
* Protect livestock.
No wonder I feel trapped. I can’t do a single thing with my own property that doesn’t involve one government agency or another (or several). I feel like a rat being funneled through a maze, and I am cognizant of the danger that someone will block off the exit. It’s my claustrophobia writ large.
This is just wrong. I’m a grown woman. Why does the government have to meddle in all of my affairs? Why do I have to jump through hoops just to accomplish the most simple things in life?
It’s all about power and control. Always has been always will be.
I’m sure in the beginning the encroachment began with simple things. After all, isn’t the government supposed to protect our rights? Isn’t having a dedicated police force, justice system, military, etc. worth a little in taxes?
Then a little more encroachment. Who can disagree with a little tax to pay for state roads? That’s entirely reasonable, right?
Then enforcement of standards. Who can disagree with licensing teachers? Making sure underage kids can’t marry?
Then the panics set in. Contaminated meat? The government should “do something” so it won’t happen again! E coli? Pasteurize EVERYTHING!
Of course, the NIMBY’S added their own input. Nuclear power plant? Not in my backyard! Enforce zoning so I won’t have to worry about it! Require my neighbor to clean up their yard so my house values don’t go down!
Then the lobbyists. Require farm inspections and multiple hoops so small farmers give up and “our big backers don’t have competition”. Give into the “green” lobby so they don’t pull their campaign contributions.
Of course there’s always the pure tax whores. “It’s just a little reasonable fee. On everything. You want to pay your share, right?”
Of course all of this gets codified into law, and the ultimate persuasive tactic is put into play.
“You don’t want to be a criminal, do you? You don’t want to go to prison, do you?”
This is exactly how we went from a system in which the government’s job of protecting our rights to a system where government determines WHO is ALLOWED to trample on our rights.
Well I have a message for all you busybodies, bureaucrats, rent-seekers, and whored-out legislators.
LEAVE US THE HELL ALONE.
Get out of my contracts.
Get off of my land.
Leave my property alone.
Stay the hell out of my bedroom.
Most of all, KEEP YOUR NOSES OUT OF MY BUSINESS.
And everyone else’s for that matter.
I haven’t mentioned my wife here very much, because she generally doesn’t write about libertarian issues; but I have to say, for this (and so many other reasons. For one thing, she’d rather buy guns, boats, motorcycles, and airplanes than shoes or jewelery), I am the luckiest man in the world. I happen to think this piece is the best thing she’s ever written.