Muddled millennial thinking about taxes

In a nj.com guest column millennial entrepreneur and Kinnelon Board of Education member Jason DeAlessi criticizes a previous guest columnist who explained why he is leaving New Jersey for Pennsylvania where taxes are lower.

DeAlessi’s criticism reflects the prevailing collectivist ideology that has been embraced by individuals from all generations who believe: “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.” If this sounds familiar it should, because it is the foundation of Karl Marx’s vision for the world.

DeAlessi makes the egregious assertion that successful people should be the “cash cows” for social welfare spending. This is the heart of the rationale for all taxes in contemporary America. Taxes have become the prime vehicle for politicians to “buy” the votes of the public who believe the redistribution of income will make them better off and not have any negative consequences for the economy.

The millennial critic of anyone who does not want to pay exorbitant taxes states: “But year after year, the value of your stock portfolio, IRA, and 401K goes up – on the backs of your fellow hard-working New Jerseyans.” This is not only false but defamatory. People earn their money by providing goods and services in the marketplace. In other words, they improve living standards for those who buy their produces and use their services. Entrepreneurs like DeAlessi are dependent on customers who value their services and pay their employees a wage or salary reflecting their value to the firm. This how a free market economy works.

Finally, an analogy should lay the rest the notion that people should stay in New Jersey despite the high taxes. If a slave owner prior to the Civil War decried the escape of slaves from his plantation with the assertion that their labor is needed to keep the plantation functioning, anyone who values individual liberty would consider that an outrageous assertion. Slavery being the most egregious involuntary relationship is no different than taxation, which is the modern equivalent of “slavery.” Why? Both slavery and taxation abuse and individual’s right to liberty.

In short, escaping a slave plantation and leaving a high tax state are not “selfish.” They are noble actions to be free and have more freedom over one’s income and wealth.



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