December 22, 2014 by Liberty
This is a general idea that I’ve hinted at a number of times in my articles but I’ve never gone over it with any real depth. That was a conscious choice. I was avoiding going into the details because it’s bound to be a bit controversial for most libertarians. It wasn’t controversy alone that kept me from writing this though.
I’ve spent over a year working on this general idea. It doesn’t seem all that complex but it can lead down a number of precarious pathways. Despite that year of work, I’ve still barely scratched the surface of how I feel about this concept. While I’m on shaky ground when it comes to smooth article writing, I feel like the idea is too important not to try and clarify.
Money Before Mindspace
Changing someones mind is difficult. Study after study has shown that even providing evidence to the contrary of someone’s beliefs just causes people to become more set in them. While I find it quite annoying, the more effective approach to changing someones mind seems to be using emotional pleas but even that approach is usually a hopeless. People don’t change their mind much.
Many libertarians spend hours and hours trying to change other people’s minds. Usually that time is completely wasted. These are hours that could have been spent doing something productive for the world but instead they’re just helping people become more set in their ways.
Think about this though: You’re a libertarian. You’re probably a libertarian because you see the loopholes in the system. You see that politicians can milk their position for profit. You see that millionaires can avoid taxation. You see that poor people can live comfortably on undeserved welfare.
You know how people game the system.
You are getting robbed and beaten down by a system in a game that you know exactly how to play. It’s kind of like you’re a professional chess player intentionally losing against an average player that’s forcing you to play. You keep telling your self, “It’s the right thing to do,” but is it?
I’d argue it’s not the right thing to do. Sure, you have significantly more experience and skill but that’s because you earned it. You spent years learning about how the game works. It may look like this average person is getting screwed by you when you take advantage of the system but you are not allowed to refuse to play. With government, you’re money is being extorted from you. This is not a voluntary situation. Sure, you can try and not make waves but you’re sure as hell not doing anyone any good.
Why am I saying all this? Well… First let me explain the basic concept.
Riding The System
To simplify a rather complicated idea, I’m going to focus it in on welfare.
The welfare system, as currently designed, is available in some form to every person. As a quick set of examples: Poor people can get food stamps. Middle class people can enjoy the home loans (and not too much else.) Rich can enjoy insane tax breaks.
I mention this just to remind you that you can always be benefiting excessively from the insane systems of government. You don’t have to be poor or rich to get welfare.
Many of the flaws in this system are accessible if you make a few simple changes to your money management. For example, if you have plenty of money in the bank and very little income, you can always put that money into a home to qualify for food stamps (Check into your own state for details).
Think about this: If you have 10k lying around and very little income, you couldn’t qualify for food stamps. Lets say you spend that money on a home (an asset that isn’t counted) and qualify for a $100 a month food stamp payment (a low estimate.) That’s $1200 a year or otherwise put, a huge freaking return on investment. Even if you sold that home later for a loss, a 10% a year return is pretty hard to pass up. Of course, there are boatloads of challenges that come with this plan (you can’t re-save that money, you have to continue to invest it in the home while ideally, increasing the value of that home.) but my point is that it’s always possible to benefit from government with the right finagling of your situation.
As you can imagine, rich individuals are known for their complex money management strategies that help prevent governments greasy hand from coming in. I probably don’t need a long complex example for that.
Why This Strategy?
People don’t believe your theories.
I’m sorry to inform you but people don’t give a damn if you “think” people can manipulate the government. They don’t care that you think poor people can milk welfare legally. They don’t care that you think rich people can milk programs for personal gain legally. What you think means nothing to them.
They do believe your story.
Imagine someone telling you this: “Yes. I’m currently making $600 a month of welfare because I readjusted by asset allocation into non-countable assets. It’s actually pretty fun. I spend most of my day playing video games and watching porn. Government is soooo stupid.”
Of course, you probably hate this person at first glance. I can’t blame you. That being said, this person just increased your motivation to stop or improve the welfare system dramatically. Anyone who hears this guy talk about how he manipulated the system wants to stop it (or do it for themselves. That, of course, also helps stop it through a future collapse.)
I know. This is a scary thought. It can make it seem like you’re becoming some sort of a villain but remember that the true villains act like they’re hero’s. They’re focused on making themselves look good despite the truth. This is just the sad truth about how the game is meant to be played and you sure as hell won’t be looking good.
You can’t change someones mind but you can certainly give them motivation to change it themselves.
This goes much deeper than just welfare though. Virtually every aspect of government can be legally milked for an individuals personal gain. Politicians can accept high paying jobs in industries they supported. Business owners can push for regulation that knocks out their competition. Hell, slave owners could use government to catch their slaves.
That’s what’s so scary about this general idea. Where is that line? Does that line even exist?
I’m not quite sure about how I feel about everything I wrote in this article. While some of this article I couldn’t agree more with, many of these concepts are pushing down some uncomfortable roads.
Do you want to learn how you can live out from under the foot of your oppressive government without waiting for the politicians to vote on it first? Well… then be sure to share this article and follow this blog.