In a movie theater you pay $10 cover to go inside to watch a movie. The $10 ticket price pays for all the services on the premises, such as the bathroom and cleaning.
Contrast this with a country. A country must have three basic services, the courts, the military and police, so why not charge the citizens a cover fee? The fee must be flat, the same for all people, like a movie ticket. Not a percentage.
USA has 300 million = 3E+8 citizens. Let's say that every citizen in USA pays $10/month. Thats 3E+9 dollars per month, 36E+9 dollars per year. Assuming an average salary of 100k = 10E+5 for a government employee, this means that this is sufficient to cover 36E+4 = 360,000 employees. This is seven times bigger than number of Google employees, and three times bigger than number of Microsoft employees, and I bet would be sufficient for a limited government in USA.
My question is why the $10 can not be a mandatory payment, not a voluntary payment? In a movie theater you have to pay the cover to get inside.
The original question was presented with almost no context -- no mention of where the premise of three basic functions of government comes from (it comes from Ayn Rand), and no mention of whether or not Objectivism (the philosophy of Ayn Rand) has ever offered an answer to the question of how such a government should be financed (Ayn Rand did offer an answer). The question then proceeds to offer a solution to the issue of government financing based on mandatory taxation, without any attempt to acknowledge Ayn Rand's alternative ideas and her identification of mandatory taxation as an instance of initiation of physical force. The question and follow-up comments by the questioner frankly represent a perfect illustration of Ayn Rand's observation in "Philosophical Detection" (PWNI Chap. 2, p. 17pb):
The layman's error, in regard to philosophy, is the tendency to accept consequences while ignoring their causes—to take the end result of a long sequence of thought as the given and to regard it as "self-evident" or as an irreducible primary, while negating its preconditions. Examples can be seen all around us, particularly in politics.... There are sundry "libertarians" who plagiarize the Objectivist theory of politics, while rejecting the metaphysics, epistemology and ethics on which it rests. That attitude, of course, is not confined to philosophy: its simplest example is the people who scream that they need more gas and that the oil industry should be taxed out of existence.
In fairness, the questioner hasn't quite stated an open rejection of Objectivism's foundation for its view of government and voluntary financing; it is conceivable that the questioner is merely unaware of Objectivism's foundation. However, the questioner apparently is not unaware of Objectivism's view of "three basic services," which he may have learned about only through other questions, answers and comments on this website.
The original question asked:
My question is why the $10 [per month] can not be a mandatory payment, not a voluntary payment? In a movie theater you have to pay the cover to get inside.
Follow-up comments by the questioner have now made the implicit premise here explicit:
Aren't countries a bit like companies ? You can leave one and join another if you are not happy with the terms of service.
This premise evidently sees no clear difference between political power and economic power, for which additional Objectivist discussion can be found in The Ayn Rand Lexicon under the topic of "Economic Power vs. Political Power." The questioner apparently sees no difference between voluntary trade and a government ordering a citizen to give up his citizenship, his home, his land, and all other property and personal relationships that he can't take with him, and get out of the country if he doesn't want to pay the government's mandatory fee of $10 per month (which probably wouldn't stay that low for long, as voices of altruism clamor for more government "services" of all kinds).
For those who may not already know, Ayn Rand's explanation of the proper functions of government is presented most definitively in her article, "The Nature of Government," published in both VOS and CUI, originally published in the December 1963 issue of The Objectivist Newsletter. Just two months later, in February 1964, Ayn Rand addressed the question, "What would be the proper method of financing the government in a fully free society?" Her answer was subsequently published in VOS as Chapter 15. Key excerpts can be found in the Lexicon topic of "Taxation," including Ayn Rand's explanation of why mandatory taxation is a form of initiation of physical force. One excerpt also points out:
The choice of a specific method of implementation [of voluntary government financing] is more than premature today -- since the principle will be practicable only in a fully free society, a society whose government has been constitutionally reduced to its proper, basic functions.
If the questioner and others see philosophy and political theory as a mere game of floating abstractions haphazardly compared and contrasted through logic detached from reality, it should be emphasized that Objectivism upholds a radically different view of the role of philosophy in man's life. Objectivism is offered as nothing less than a fully comprehensive, practical philosophy for living on earth -- actual living, not hypothetical existence in some floating realm of disconnected abstractions.
answered May 30 '15 at 07:57
Ideas for Life ♦