Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I'm a peasant humbly serving the King
Sir Knight and I were talking over our frustrations with property taxes and building permits when suddenly, a strange look came over his face. He said "I get it, I understand now!". Completely confused, I asked him what it was that seemed to make so much sense to him now. "We don't own anything, we just rent it from the State - that is why they can tell us how much of our floor space has to be windows and how tall and wide our doors have to be, it's theirs. That is why, if we don't pay our taxes, the county will give our property to someone else for the taxes owed, someone who will pay their "rent" - we don't own it, they do!". Stunned, I looked at him in silence and let his statement sink in. He was right.
I have never entered into an agreement with the state or county telling them that I would pay them to live in my home - it is an understood point of fact. It is also understood that if I don't pay them to live here, they will sell it to someone who will pay them to live here. If I manicure my lawn, paint my house or put a new roof on an outbuilding, I have increased the value of their investment, therefore, I owe them a higher rent payment.
It only makes sense, since they own my property, that I must obtain their permission to build a fence or add a bedroom. Any improvements must be approved by the landlord, right? So how would this possibly be any different? It wouldn't. I don't own my property, the landlord does.
I have railed against property taxes for years. I have no problem paying taxes. They are a necessary and integral part of any civilized society. As a people, we must provide for basic infrastructure and the framework that holds our governing bodies together. But, for the government to hold personal property as security for debt is an atrocity. It puts the people back in the position of mere peasants serving Barons. In turn, Barons serve Lords and Lords serve Kings. The King gave land to the Lords the Lords gave lands to the Barons and the Barons allowed peasants to live on their lands so long as they faithfully paid tribute. In the enlightened 21st Century, we may not use the same titles but the effect is the same. The Federal government grants land to the States, the States grant land to the Counties and the Counties allow we peasants to live on their land, so long as we faithfully pay tribute, in the form of property taxes. Would a peasant dare to tell the Baron, Lord or King what he was going to do with "his" land? Heavens no! So, I might ask, why do we rail against our "Barons", "Lords" or "King" telling us what we can do with "our" land.
They are the landlords. We are the peasants. Since we have allowed the King to take his throne, perhaps we should pay our tribute gratefully and humbly thank our landlords for their allowing us the honor of serving them.