L. Neil Smith Quote

“Nine tenths of everything is tax. Everything you buy has a complicated history of robbery: land, raw materials, energy, tools, buildings, transport, storage, sales, profits. Don’t forget the share you contribute toward the personal income tax of every worker who has anything to do with the process. Inflation by taxation: there are a hundred taxes on a loaf of bread. What kind of living standard would we enjoy if everything cost a tenth of what it does? What kind of world? Think of your home, your car, your TV, your shoes, your supper—all at a 90% discount! Government can’t fight poverty—poverty is its proudest achievement!”

~ L. Neil Smith

The Probability Broach, 190 (Tor, 1980).

Ratings and Comments

  • 1
  • Reply
anonymous    6/10/14

So, . . . produce all that stuff for less already and stop bitching about it.

Mike, Norwalk

I think 90% may be just slightly low. Said very well with good examples. The quote seems to have offended anonymous' sensibilities concerning his god(s).

Ron w13, Or

Spoiling of America's food stuff and goods. Washington did say to watch out for the robbers and their god(s). Old families and new, but the same old trick. Domesticate and make slaves.

jim k, austin tx

anonymous, you lame brain, I think he meant things would be a lot less expensive if the products were not taxed at every level of production. The last sentence of his quote says it all.

jim k, austin tx

Another great quote from L. Neal Smith is this one : "Government is a decease masquerading as it's own cure".


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