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Tuesday, January 8 - 9:15amSanction this postReply
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Very good article, Ed.

In another thread I posted this link to an article at the Real Clear Markets site where the author speculates about states, like California, pursuing exit taxes - to keep the productive from fleeing rather than being fleeced. And it reminded me of Senator Chuck Schummer's angry cries for a law to hunt down and rob those who leave our country to avoid taxes, e.g., that fellow from Facebook who turned in his passport and took up residence in Singapore. There certainly is a predictable logic to the decline into statism.



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Tuesday, January 8 - 9:54amSanction this postReply
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Steve - It's like something put of Atlas Shrugged!



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Tuesday, January 8 - 10:56amSanction this postReply
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Ed,

I didn't fully appreciate how prescient Rand was till I started to see not just the principles playing out - those we knew about - but seeing the details playing out so eerily like the details of Atlas Shrugged's "fiction."



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Wednesday, January 9 - 7:28pmSanction this postReply
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How long until those exit taxes become a fence with armed guards?



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Wednesday, January 9 - 8:30pmSanction this postReply
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Aren't exit taxes already a fence with armed guards? Albeit, a fence one can pay to pass through, if one has the money.





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Thursday, January 10 - 4:06amSanction this postReply
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Yeah but how long until you can no longer pay?



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Thursday, January 10 - 7:26amSanction this postReply
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Well Brandon I would hazard an educated guess/hunch of "sooner rather than later". Hell at this point in time living in Canada I am feeling a wee bit uncomfortable just being a land locked neighbour!



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Friday, January 11 - 12:01pmSanction this postReply
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Usually, whoever invokes Hitler and the Nazis as a charge against someone in an argument loses. But it is the case that in the 1930s, Jews wishing to leave Germany in essence had to turn over most of their wealth to the government as the price for exit.



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Friday, January 11 - 7:48pmSanction this postReply
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The similarities of history repeating itself is a bit frightening Ed.



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Saturday, January 12 - 10:23amSanction this postReply
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Clearly, Ayn Rand understood the 'logic' of the moves towards statism better than most - that there is a degree of inevitability, not that it is a direction that must be taken, and not that a society can't turn back, but that there will be moves that statists will inevitably make as the progress towards their goals. There is a point where they will want to disarm the populace - their fear is but one of the indicators that, on some level, they know they are our enemy.
  • Ottoman Turkey: Gun control started in 1866, extended in 1911 ---- 1915-1917 over 1 million Armenians killed.
  • Soviet Union: Gun control 1918 - 1926 ---- 1929 - 1945 as many as 20 million killed.
  • Nazi Germany: Gun control 1928 - 1938 ---- 1929 - 1945 as many as 20 million killed.
  • China, Nationalist: Gun control 1914 - 1935 ---- 1927 - 1949 as many as 10 million killed.
  • China, Red: Gun control 1951, 1957 ---- 1949-1952, 1957-1960, 1966-1976 as many as 20 to 35 million killed.
  • Guatemala: Gun control 1932, 1947, 1964 ---- 1960 - 1981 as many as 200,000 killed.
  • Uganda: Gun control 1971 - 1979 ---- 1971 - 1979 as many as 300,000 killed.
  • Cambodia: Gun control 1938 ---- 1975 - 1979 as many as 2 million killed.
  • Rwanda: Gun control 1979 ---- 1994 as many as 800,000 killed in 1994.
These stats came from a web page selling a book, "Death by Gun Control." [This is a "Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership" web-site]. The numbers seem high, but that doesn't change the principles at work.

The web page says, "Hatred + Government + Disarmed Civilians = Genocide." They could have included other countries. Argentina and Chile and other South American nations had periods where they 'disappeared' people. Zimbabwe, as the page mentions, confiscated guns at the same time they did land invasions.

I'd say that the "Hatred" they mention is in two parts. The first is the statists' hatred for those they fear, which is nearly everyone but themselves, and the second is more a requirement at a certain point in the growth of tyranny: a common demon to shift the blame to, a focal point upon which the fears and insecurities and miseries of the common people can be aimed as anger. The outright mass exercise of brutality is 'justified' because it is aimed at those who have been successfully demonized. Afterwards the increase in power and brutality makes the populace fearful of confrontation... and by then they are disarmed.

In the past, Obama's acquaintance Bill Ayers, when he was an active member of the Weather Underground, was in a group that decided that about 25 million Americans might have to be killed because they would object to a communist country, wouldn't agree that parts of the United States would have to be given to Cuba, North Vietnam and the Soviet Union, wouldn't respond to reeducation camps and if they weren't killed, would start a counter-revolution. They were discussing things like where the relocation camps would go and how to get rid of the 25,000,000.

Another requirement for tyranny is a conversion of the election process. Either the votes have to be faked (like in Iran), or there must be tight control over who can be a candidate (like in the former Soviet Union).

Another requirement is to control freedom of expression since that could lead to political associations and those might lead to political opposition. This means things like control of the media, censorship, and various means of enforcing 'political correctness.'

It is very simple in one sense. To acquire total control, you have disarm the people, not let them engage in political association (unless they are state sanctioned associations), control the media, 'reeducate those who are resisting,' eliminate those who won't reeducate, and not let people choose their political leaders.

The complicated problem for the statists is how to get from here to there. As always, it is an issue how fast can they move the Overton Window to left so they can get this done without a violent revolution. Or, get close enough that when they go violent, there is no chance of failing.



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