Will consumers fund sufficient governance?

Sufficient Funding

The Zero Aggression Principle requires an end to violence-based funding for government. All funding must be provided voluntarily. But that raises a question in many minds…
Can voluntary funding provide sufficient resources for government services?

We understand why people ask this question, but we think the question is backwards! The amount of government needed should be defined by what consumers are willing to pay, not by what a parasitic political class forces you to accept. Said another way…

What the consumers voluntarily fund defines what’s sufficient.

If you prefer to set your own budget for government, or you empathize with the desire of others to do so, please join us by subscribing to our free email newsletter.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

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Show Comments 17

 

  1. The only moral or practical governance is self governance. Those who can’t or won’t do so, are subject to governance by others, as appropriate to the extent of their lack of control, e.g., their violation of others rights.
    One person’s transgressions are not justification for institutionalization of violence in the name of protection. No protection is secured, no one is safe, when coercion is the primary means of social interaction. For proof, see any police state, e.g., the U.S.

  2. I have long advocated voluntary taxation (an oxymoron). Here are some features I think would be important:
    1. Lifetime voluntary contributions for governments should be published for anyone to see.
    1a. Discrimination should be a legal based on one’s history of contributing, in all social and business associations.
    2. Government should end the practice of monitoring our personal financial accounts.
    3. Some revenue in the form of usage fees are appropriate.
    4. Contributions can be allocated to a general fund, and/or to specific departments or even projects.
    5. Balanced budget amendment is necessary. Bonds can still be issued for additional financing, but bought by citizens and foreign allies, but not by a federal reserve.
    6. Our basic Constitutional design of government should be maintained. We need congress, executive and court to govern and manage the financing of government agencies.
    7. Only if total contributions fall far short, could a basic low (10% max) flat tax be levied for emergencies such as war and natural disasters.
    We will have as much government as we are willing to finance voluntarily.

    1. 6. The Constitution authorizes violation of property rights with eminent domain and taxation.
      What “we” need is the private moral code applied to public government (the state). Could it survive that? Some would say it must, and if it does not we would sink into chaos. Implied are two unwarranted assumptions: 1. We have an orderly public services system now, but could be better without voluntarism. 2. Government by force may be necessary.
      1. Nazi Germany, N. Korea, the USSR, Red China, and hundreds of other states were/are “orderly”. The harm done by lack of freedom is not seen readily, nor acknowledged by the majority. That does not mean it is insignificant, only unrecognized. When does order breed chaos? When does chaos begin at all in any society? Can a society be living in chaos without knowing it?
      We cannot know what all those societies would have looked like in a voluntarist system. But we can see how much better the freer, or is it less slave, nations have done, IN EVERY CASE. That should be all we have to know to try less force, more voluntarism. But the argument is constantly being made by special interests who benefit at the expense of the public, for more force. When special interest loses, it does not stop, it does not concede, it continues to work quietly, covertly, outside of public knowledge, to subvert freedom for short term personal gain. When the public believes an issue has been settled, it may be deleted form public memory, making the issue easy to reinstate. This is what happened with the pernicious central bank issue. T.J. considered a central bank the biggest threat to freedom that could exist. The public agreed. It was abolished. It took many decades, but this parasitic abomination was reinstated(1913, the Federal Reserve Act), like a vampire being released from the coffin, to slowly sap the economy of its lifeblood.

  3. Wouldn’t it be great if we had competing DMVs? Let the customers decide which one they would use, privatizing local state and federal government services. The law says we must have auto insurance to drive; but we use private insurance companies to comply. Why wouldn’t it work for many other law compliance offices?

    1. Taxation could be replaced with the U.S. Treasury printing U.S. Notes and would require a Constitutional Amendment. This would be a program similar to the private and unConstitutional Federal Reserve Bank.
      The result would be somewhat as it is now which is inflation which all of us end up paying for without filing an income tax return, BUT we (U.S. Government) would not have to pay interest and principal back.
      Of course anyone who might try this would feel the JFK effect.

      1. You are correct to recognize currency depreciation as a revenue source for govt. Unfortunately, it is even more destructive than direct theft (taxation). It disrupts the business cycle, and is insidious, not being seen as a hidden tax or felt as keenly as the lump sum paid on tax day.
        Moreover, the assumption that we can fix a govt. caused problem without getting to the root problem that govt. is the initiation of force, threat thereof, or fraud, and as such will always be destructive on net, regardless of the seemly good things it does, is hacking away at the leaves of the tree of evil, without striking at the root. That is a failed strategy, even with great political leverage, as the “JFK effect” proved.

    2. Just a quick sidebar… My own state, New Hampshire, does not compel the purchase of car insurance. I enjoy trotting out this example when someone argues, e.g., “But everyone HAS to have insurance, don’t they?”

  4. Anything that fails because not enough people want to pay for it should be allowed to die off. If, after that, people miss it enough to want to pay, someone will provide it again.
    Just because I don’t want the State monopoly offering doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t want something similar- it means I recognize a bad deal when forced into it.

    1. In other words, the free market works, the coercive (govt. regulated) market does not. For example, if govt. support were voluntary, it would survive for a while, how long is hard to say, but eventually every service it provides would be replaced by the free market. Govt. would wither away. And no blood need be shed. The “die hards” who are brainwashed the most would be the last to suffer their mistake, perhaps going to their grave without admitting they worshipped in vain. But no new converts to the myth would continue the folly.
      Those at the very top know this. That is why they fight to stop a voluntary society. Ruling has always, for millennia, been a conspiracy.

      1. We look at this slightly differently Don. The moment you have voluntary funding The State is gone. Instantly. But many institutions of governance would remain that must now earn their keep by serving willing customers. How long could the FDA survive under such circumstances? If it changed its behavior to become more like UL it might survive essentially forever. The same is true for most existing institutions of The State, except for those such as the DEA that cannot exist without initiating force.

  5. This concept caught me by surprise and it was a very pleasant surprise! I love this idea and I believe that it is actually very very practical. What I first encountered was the idea that I would be responsible for those projects. It was once said that “government is the aggregate irresponsibility of the governed”. I don’t know who said it but the words sure stuck with me. This solution answers that question and gives us a real world way out of the governance mess. Perhaps there is a golden age coming. Maybe that “age of aquarius” thing from years ago had some truth in it after all – not just another pretty song.

    1. Be careful not to assume all governance or regulation is by force, by government. “A well regulated militia” meant an efficient militia, not a centrally or bureaucracy controlled one. A rifle that had an accurate site and was kept in good service condition was said to be “well regulated”. We may voluntarily submit to be governed by others, e.g., do what the boss says, and not be harming ourselves. The same cannot be said of self-enslavement. Once the will, our mind, our conscience is sacrificed, all is lost. Note the savage, barbaric religious wars.

  6. Good morning, New to the site and trying to think through many of the concepts here to try and wrap my brain around some of the tougher problems we face today. For instance, how are the elderly, mentally incompetent or insane and handicapped dealt with in a consumer based economy. Any thoughts or information is appreciated! Mike

    1. Mike, This is a great question. We will be building additional Mental Levers AND polling campaigns tackling specifics like this. There are a number of social institutions that can and should intervene, starting with families. They need support, of course, which is why our post-statist approach, grounded in empathy and expressed in reciprocity, should deliver a variety of unique solutions. These approaches are certain to be more efficient, more effective, and more compassionate than the present system. In fact, some excellent approaches existed in the past, but they were crushed by the competition of The State (“Didn’t I already pay taxes to take care of that?).” Finally, I have started writing an article on this subject. I’m unsure when I’ll complete it (because I have to get programming instructions out, then get on the phone and raise additional funds). But please, please! stay tuned.

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