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Guest Post: "All Transactions To Be Conducted In The Presence Of A Tax Collector"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

All Transactions To Be Conducted In The Presence Of A Tax Collector

In the terminal collapse of the Roman Empire, there was perhaps no greater burden to the average citizen than the extreme taxes they were forced to pay.

The tax 'reforms' of Emperor Diocletian in the 3rd century were so rigid and unwavering that many people were driven to starvation and bankruptcy. The state went so far as to chase around widows and children to collect taxes owed.

By the 4th century, the Roman economy and tax structure were so dismal that many farmers abandoned their lands in order to receive public entitlements.

At this point, the imperial government was spending the majority of the funds it collected on either the military or public entitlements. For a time, according to historian Joseph Tainter, "those who lived off the treasury were more numerous than those paying into it."

Sound familiar?

In the 5th century, tax riots and all-out rebellion were commonplace in the countryside among the few farmers who remained. The Roman government routinely had to dispatch its legions to stamp out peasant tax revolts.

But this did not stop their taxes from rising.

Valentinian III, who remarked in 444 AD that new taxes on landowners and merchants would be catastrophic, still imposed an additional 4% sales tax... and further decreed that all transactions be conducted in the presence of a tax collector.

Under such a debilitating regime, both rich and poor wished dearly that the barbarian hordes would deliver them from the burden of Roman taxation.
Zosimus, a late 5th century writer, quipped that "as a result of this exaction of taxes, city and countryside were full of laments and complaints, and all... sought the help of the barbarians."

Many Roman peasants even fought alongside their invaders, as was the case when Balkan miners defected to the Visigoths en masse in 378. Others simply vacated the Empire altogether.

In his book Decadent Societies, historian Robert Adams wrote, "[B]y the fifth century, men were ready to abandon civilization itself in order to escape the fearful load of taxes."

Perhaps 1,000 years hence, future historians will be writing the same thing about us. It's not so far-fetched.

In the economic decline of any civilization, political elites routinely call on a very limited playbook: more debt, more regulation, more restriction on freedoms, more debasement of the currency, more taxation, and more insidious enforcement.

Further, the propaganda machine goes into high gear, ensuring the peasant class is too deluded by patriotic fervor to notice they're being plundered by the state.

And just in case anyone falls out of line or starts thinking too much, they give a handful of people badges, weapons, and the authority to terrorize the population.
Whether direct taxation in the form of outright theft, or indirect taxation in the form of inflation, these tactics have been used for millennia to maintain privilege for an elite few at the expense of everyone else.

This time is not different.

At $780 billion, the US government's budget deficit for just the first six months of FY2012 is more than the entire GDP of Indonesia. This is absurdly unsustainable, yet there is no end in sight to reckless spending habits... let alone paying back what's owed.

Meanwhile, a whopping $5.5 -trillion- worth of US debt is maturing over the next three years. And it's unlikely that foreigners will continue to generously loan their hard earned savings to Uncle Sam at sub-inflation rates.

Further, given the millions of new entitlement recipients, it's unlikely that intragovernmental agencies like Social Security will have the cash flow available to mop up any meaningful portion of this debt.

That leaves the old tried and true options-- direct confiscation from the people through debilitating taxes and capital controls, and indirect confiscation through painfully higher inflation.

Like the 5th century Romans before us, people may be ready to abandon civilization itself to escape the burdens placed on them by today's ruling class. Only, by the time this happens, it may be too late to start doing anything about it.

Every day it becomes harder to take actionable steps towards safeguarding freedom. It becomes harder to open a foreign bank account, to move and store gold abroad, to purchase firearms... even to travel abroad or renounce your citizenship.

Doing what politicians do-- kicking the can down the road-- is really going to limit your options in the future. But taking some simple steps today will pay huge dividends in the years to come.


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Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:33 | 2352258 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

It's crazy, all my government employee and government contractor friends agree, they are being taxed to death.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:47 | 2352303 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Alcoholic Nativ...

It's crazy, all my government employee and government contractor friends agree, they are being axed to death.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:52 | 2352312 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

Sorry. I re-read your post more carefully. I thought you said 'taxed'.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:50 | 2352305 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

Government employees do not pay tax despite what their salary slip tells them. They are only ever paid the net value at the bottom of the slip. The gross value at the top was never paid to anyone. The deductions are an accounting sleight of hand to make them feel part of the real tax-paying part of the population.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:53 | 2352319 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Diplodicus Rex

In the digital age pretty much everything is sleight of hand.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:54 | 2352331 Diplodicus Rex
Diplodicus Rex's picture

You're leaning on an open door there.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:18 | 2352754 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

i fell through the doorway about 2 years ago to enlightenment

Don't Pay Taxes ...don't feed the suckers/slackers

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:19 | 2353031 Popo
Popo's picture

You seem foolishly confident of your anonymity.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:28 | 2353706 Real Money Wins
Real Money Wins's picture

Just look at all the laws and executive orders they are passing!


They are scared!!!   The Barbarians are at the gate!


"If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
  --  Winston Churchill

If you are reading this YOU are the RESISTANCE!!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:31 | 2352447 Paul Bogdanich
Paul Bogdanich's picture

This athour is roundly considered rather dull.  Apart from believing that the Bush tax cuts were good for the economy and had no effect on the deficit he rants on about stuff he has clearly never even read about like Rome.  None of his historical claims about Diocletian are true.  Diocletian is roundly credited with reforming the Empire so it lasted several hundred years more so that Constantine could reform it again.  What Diocletian did do was revoke all the favored tax positions of all the Patrician classes or what we today call tax breaks and loopholes.  Diocletian made everyone pay the same taxes and those who did not want to acknowledge thier responsibility to the Roman people were purged.  Jews and Christians mostly.  My how things haven't changed.      

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:45 | 2352504 pcrs
pcrs's picture

aha, roundly credited, then it must be true. Like it is roundly credited that the Bush tax cuts were tax cuts for the rich? That roundly credited?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:06 | 2352570 CH1
CH1's picture

Roundly considered!

Well then, my opinion must be wrong!


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:47 | 2352664 midtowng
midtowng's picture

I don't know about Diocletian, but I do know that at the end of the Roman Empire the rich weren't paying taxes at all. Only the working stiff. Thus what the author said about the peasant siding with the barbarian invaders is correct.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:23 | 2353040 Popo
Popo's picture

Taxation is a form of peasant-exploitation. And property-taxes are remarkably similar to serfdom in so many ways. In the USA there is no such thing as land ownership. (stop paying taxes and the real owners will present themselves shortly).

And yes, Simon Black is a bit of a douche. But at least this piece was interesting. His standard "it's better over here" pieces have gotten very old.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:04 | 2352665 psychobilly
psychobilly's picture

@Paul Bogdanich - "Reforming the empire." 

Right.  Diocletian "reformed" the empire by greatly increasing the size of the Roman military and civil bureaucracy to such a degree that the crushing tax burden caused rich and poor alike to evade taxes any way they could.  To the dismay of the grasping, pea-brained statist, this is a perfectly natural, expected and inevitable reaction to rapacious government. 

Tax evasion always increases along with the tax burden.  In fact, it acts as a safety-valve against rebellion.  Since the rich will always have means to escape heavy taxation, the burden of bloated government bureaucracy will eventually fall the heaviest on those of lesser means.  Diocletian's "reform" of the tax system led to forced contributions of labor and produce in rural districts... i.e., serfdom.

In order to address the rampant inflation that the Roman state had caused in the first place (by expanding the money supply via currency debasement), Diocletian further "reformed the empire" by implementing a vast, all-encompassing system of wage and price controls, with the death penalty for violators.  These "reforms" were an abject failure: four years later the price of gold in terms of the denarius had risen 250 percent.

People seeking to "reform" the economy in the manner of a Diocletian should be shot in the face. 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:06 | 2352711's picture

I like my history with an edge. Well done.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:26 | 2352772 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

this is history with an edge of Govt = national destruction

funny but though it's occured 100's of times in history, even present day, the reason for the demise of so many countries (Govt sucking economies/people to destruction) is never taught in State schoools

wonder why?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:31 | 2352923 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

Yes, I can see Obama wanting to purge his world of Christians and Jews....

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:11 | 2353228 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

And what teh OP said is going to happen here and it will be nasty.  People will leave the US to anyplace in order to have freedom.  Then the US will break apart into 6 to 8 areas of control that will be ruled by a strong man.  Our great experiment is done, we failed.  We weren't special, we where just fools who believed in the delusion that they gave us.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:37 | 2352266 libertus
libertus's picture

Welcome to the USSA Bitches!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:45 | 2352268 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I just filed my Federal income taxes, no state income tax in Texas, and my actual effective tax rate for last year was just slightly more than 21%. 

This does not include the Inflation Tax I also paid.

Simon, which one of the two countries with lower individual tax rates do you recommend I move to?  Korea (South?) or Mexico?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:52 | 2352311 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


If I understand it right, the rich pay less taxes than the middle class because they have accountants and attorneys which use every loophole and nuance.

So really it isn't about how much you get taxed, it's about how bright you are to use your resources and avoid paying taxes.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:06 | 2352358 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



...every loophole and nuance.


Thank you for your payment and for choosing TurboTax as your tax preparation solution. We appreciate your business! A summary of your charges is listed below.

Subtotal: $49.95
Sales Tax: $4.12
Total for this Order: $54.07


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 22:12 | 2353378 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

My effective tax rate is once again, and has been for the last nine years - 0%.

You won't find this in individual tax rates but in exemptions to tax legislation in various parts of the world. There are places that do not tax non domestic sourced income and gains but you have to look. Are you prepared to comply with the rules on residence?

The difficulty for Americans s the deeming provisions or 'CFC' legislation that relates to profits earned by a beneficially owned foreign sourced entity. Sort that one and you have your tax free income even if you are American and US resident...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:16 | 2352390 seek
seek's picture

I'm very bright, and have a top-tier CPA and lawyer and am a 1%er. My effective tax rate is ~34%.

It really isn't about how bright you are or using your resouces, it's about where your money comes from.

In a nutshell, if you earn your income, you are fucked. The system is set up explicitly to steal from producers, and/or reward fraud by lying about income (and not just to the IRS, lying in the other direction, with no-doc loans, got rewarded pre-crash, as well.)

If you don't earn your income and it instead comes from capital gains, then you get to start playing serious games with accounting, and the tax system will treat you very favorably. This is how Buffet, Romney, Obama, et al end up paying less taxes than their secretaries. The secretaries are earning their income, the bosses are not. Just make sure it's the right kind of capital gains -- the kind that support TPTB -- and you're good to go. If it's the wrong kind, say profits from holding PMs, then guess what? Fucked again.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:53 | 2352524 narapoiddyslexia
narapoiddyslexia's picture

It needs to be the opposite, does it not? With earned income from time spent working, taxed at a flat 15%, and passive income taxed at a graduated rate, the top marginal rate being 75%.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:58 | 2352847 yakmerchant
yakmerchant's picture

Really?  Why should passive income be taxed at all?  The whole idea that when I buy something for $100 and then due to Bernanke Ben printing funny money and his manufactured inflation when I go to sell that object, now it's "Value" in Benny Bucks is  $200, I should have to give uncle sam 25%-75% of the fake change in value?  Complete BS.  They would love nothing more to tax you more through manufactured inflation.  You will probably get what you wish for.

And let's just pretend that the whole you through inflation game didn't exist.  You start taxing passive income at 75% and let's see how many of those "earned income" jobs disappear.   I know many people that could retire on a beach tomorrow, they however choose to start new businesses (or invest in those starting new businesses).  If you go to those people and say,  hey I want you to invest 10 million dollars in my business and if the business fails you lose it all, but even better if it's a wild sucess you only get 25% of your share of the profits because uncle greedy is handing out free stuff to the proletariat.  Risk reward goes upside down job creation goes with it.    Just another way to make sure government destroys the efficient investment of capital.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 22:05 | 2353360 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

Capital Gains Tax is a crime against humanity...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:13 | 2352587 Offtheradar
Offtheradar's picture

I'm with you Seek.  I'm in the same position.  It's all fucked up.  Successful small business owner here taking it in the rear. 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:42 | 2352938 Dane17
Dane17's picture

Second the above. If you are a high earning working professional you have no"loopholes".

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:29 | 2352445 robobbob
robobbob's picture

The entire tax structure is biased. "Loopholes" are built for specific activities and with certain value thresholds in mind that the average person will never qualify for.

To summarize, anyone who earns income by making or producing anything, other than certain targeted green technology, is screwed.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:35 | 2352803 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

There is no correct tax or 'fair' tax structure. Period.

You never needed Govt, you've never used Govt or phoned a politician for help... nor will you because you know they do not represent you.

Tax is theft enforced by thieves and their crones.

The sooner we stop paying taxes the sooner the problems go away and the sooner recovery (from Govt and its monpolists) begins in earnest

Govt is the biggest socio-economic mistake in history. It's entirely a destructive institution, check the history books for a thousand in-your-face examples

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:04 | 2352341 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture

Every year I help several dozen locals do their taxes. These are 'shop people', artists, and assorted folks who do not make over about 18K a year. Returns are very simple. The last few years all these people qualified for the 1040, Schedule M benefit "make work pay" program. Simply put, If you worked, you could qualifiy for up to 400.00 tax credit....even if you made up to 75,000 income.

Three-forths in this county make less than 40K. A NET NET 400.00 tax credit on less than 18K GROSS ( more like 12K net) income is serious money.

Well, the famous and fussed about "Bush tax break" extension seems to have left out (or did not renew) this credit. So each one of these folks are, in effect, paying 400.00 more this year ( and no, other 'adjustments to income' did not make up for this, bottom line). I have not seen so many stunned, angry, and dismayed faces who feel that the rich got the tax breaks and they didn't. Say what you will, but they do have a point. 

So, when the 'consumer doesn't seem to be spending' (gee wiz surprise) data comes out, weigh in this little factoid along with declining savings, increased card debt, gas up 20% since the new year, and all the other 'real' cost of living. I can't help but feel that a triple dip recession is hiding behind a tree and maybe others deep in the forest yet to be seen. The backbone of the spending multiplier effect in America is in trouble, but Washington just doesn't get it, especially uncle Ben.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:58 | 2352543 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The US Senate doesn't get it either--the US postal service was going to undertake some serious reforms driven by internal bureaucrats, but the Senate intervened and postoned all of the cuts.  We will just borrow more money to keep the dying postal service alive a few months longer.  We badly need reforms, but nobody will do the right thing.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:32 | 2352792 KickIce
KickIce's picture

Blindfaith:  Agreed up to the last sentence.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:05 | 2352363 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

I moved to Australia in 2005 and gave up my US passport. 3 hours flight from Sydney is the nation of Vanuatu, a tropical paradise with *no* income tax. If I am in Vanuatu for six months and one day per year, then I am a non-resident for Australian tax purposes which means I do not pay Australian income tax. In Vanuatu I get broadband internet, better mobile reception than Sydney, great French bakeries, a wild and friendly and wacky expat community, everyone from a board member of Pfizer to survivalists from Idaho, big fun and a busy social calendar. So it is possible.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:49 | 2352516 Hi Ho Silver
Hi Ho Silver's picture

Thanks, but I'm allergic to earthquakes.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:26 | 2352623 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Australia just changed the rules so that professional qualifications and licenses (like medical or construction or accounting certifications etc) can be established before you arrive. That gets you a 4-year work visa, which then leads to Permanent Residency which then leads to citizenship. Unemployment just dropped from 5.3% to 5.1%, more like less than 1 or 2% if you're willing to live in a remote area and work in mining or energy. Truck drivers for the remote mines will pull down >$300K per year easy. Minimum wage nationwide is $17.00.

Not a commercial for Australia, it's got plusses and minuses like everywhere, just some info people might use.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:55 | 2352963 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Unpatriotic bastard

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:02 | 2353101 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Where do I sign up for Australia.  I had it with Hope and Change.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:16 | 2352751's picture

Sounds like the set up for a Vonnegut novel. So it goes.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:06 | 2352368 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

You're lucky, I'm in Oregon w/ 9% income tax. My effective rate is 33%. I am so tired of this. Four whole months of my labor stolen by the government each year. That also doesn't include the inflation tax.

Bring on the barbarians. I'll stand beside them and fight.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:20 | 2352409 Abiotic Oil
Abiotic Oil's picture

And with the PERS pension fund heading for insolvency I'm sure Kitzhaber would love to raise it even more.

At least we don't have a sales tax, but they'll try that again too.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:04 | 2352559 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I'm sure there will be all sorts of new taxes, of that I have no doubt.

It was really an eye-opener when I moved from Washington to Oregon at basically the same salary. Whack, 9% reduction in income. I loved living in Washington since I am so frugal I paid almost nothing in sales taxes, relative to my income. I'm seriously considering moving back there if I don't leave the country first.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:08 | 2353223 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Wow geekgrrl, what a dumb move! Well, I can top you in stupidity. We moved from Washington state (Spokane) to CALIFORNIA.We're paying 10percent income tax on top of Federal, AMT, 8.75 percent sales. All because I couldn't take the climate. I wanted to return to my sunny state of my youth! Well in1982 CA was a much different state. Luckily hubby's 100 acre farm is paid off and,hopefully, we'll have a chance to inherit it and move back. It's the least I can do for him putting up with being taxed raped for 30 years. Of course if we do manage to return to Spokane, WA may get a state income tax passed. Seems like there are fewer and fewer places to hide and live under the radar. I hope you make it back!


Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:05 | 2353651 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

The left nuts tried to pass an income tax in 2010 through a referendum.  It failed with 65% of the electorate voting against.  Seems the Spendocrats don't like paying for their ideology.  Washington State is safe for now, thank God.  But if the wackos in Seattle and Olympia had their way they would all have us reading the little red book.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 12:17 | 2355131 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Thank goodness there are a few sane people left in WA. My mother in law kept us updated on that referendum and we were encouraged when it failed. Unfortunately there aren't 65 percent sane people in CA anymore. Hubby and I vote here just for entertainment value. If any of the candidates or propositions we vote for succeeds we take a drink. Well last year I think we had one and the year before, none. I proposed not doing it this year because after CA elections i want to be plastered. Not that anything would change even if our candidates of choice got elected, system's too screwed up at this point.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:08 | 2353665 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Hehe. Yea. The climate here is relatively mild with lots of water, but I'm originally from the east coast and I don't know how much longer I can deal with the constant clouds and virtually endless rain. I can appreciate why you'd like to live where there's sun. How can you put a dollar figure on that? Last Spring, it got so bad that I kind of freaked out and just jumped in the car and drove south until I saw the sun. Fortunately it was around the Redwoods in No CA, and I had two days of utter, absolute bliss, by myself in the Redwoods.

You're right about fewer and fewer places to hide, but as things degrade in this country Simon Black's message seems to be resonating more and more with me, namely: get out while you can. Problem is I'm not a 1%er, so I have to rely on my wits rather than my money. We'll see how far that goes... :-)

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:11 | 2353676 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Take up skiing (downhill or cross-country).  Plenty of sun in the east Cascades.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 12:33 | 2355170 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Wow do I hear you! This is my hubby's greatest fear moving back. Finding me in a fetal position rocking and mumbling incoherently after a month of no sun. We are trying to figure out an escape during these times but, like you, we do not have the resources to have a residence in both states. We're still flirting with the idea moving to CO Durango area. Great skiing and wonderful grounded people and they hate texans rather than californians! Climate is a bit better for my taste. I just never want to be forced to crawl back to CA with my tail between my legs, that would be my hallow point bullet moment.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:01 | 2352701 css1971
css1971's picture

I'm something like 33%. But that includes health insurance @14% which though legally mandated doesn't go entirely to the state.

Sales tax is 20%, and the tax on fuel is about 80%.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:26 | 2352915 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

You need to count the inflation tax.  That's the reason you can never catch up.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:24 | 2353139 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

I know. And to add insult to injury, all I have been able to think about this tax season is that I have paid for a hollow point bullet that quite likely will be the instrument of my own death.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:37 | 2352275 agent default
agent default's picture

Anybody know where we can get hold of a few barbarians?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:40 | 2352283 wisefool
wisefool's picture

I am a judeo-christian pacificist. This is where I get my barbie fix from.

Civilization V: Gods And Kings.

Barbarians, Religion, Wonders of the World, interstellar space travel. But no taxes. there have never been taxes in Sid Meier's masterwork series.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:54 | 2352321 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Whats with the junks? It is great game, and has a mechanic where certain civilizations convert barbarians to their side.

there are some (not many) jingoistic, racist, violence advocating folks here and I get junked for my post?

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:58 | 2352339 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

I gave the first for the term 'judeo-christian', the second one was for asking about it. Can't speak for the others.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:18 | 2352405 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Welcome to fight club brother. No reply. no junk. Man up.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:16 | 2352394 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

I thought Civ II multiplayer edition gold was the best of the series - and the only game I'll play on a computer other than trading and programming.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:41 | 2352286 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I'd rather rely on taking the country ourselves than on any outside interference. Unfortunately I don't see that happening.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:49 | 2352306 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

I don't either, face facts, like it or not we will have to call on our closest allie to help us take our country back from the usurpers. Stand with us Israel!


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:06 | 2352561 MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

I think you need to reexamine the issue of who the usurpers are. Begin by asking "who benefits?"

Follow the money and you will get to the truth.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:56 | 2352686 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

Jewish mafia , is all it comes down to. Meyer Lansky on a global scale. Criminals basically. Not all italians were in the mob. Not all jews are in their mob. We just have to stop listening to the criminal ones.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:45 | 2352295 Jason T
Jason T's picture

i think they're hanging around at the gate

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:50 | 2352310 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I'm afraid those kings of men are long since dead.

We have only their relics to cling to now.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:17 | 2353237 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

I like barbarian relics! Keep on stackin'

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:02 | 2352352 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Anybody know where we can get hold of a few barbarians?


Detroit, inner-city Philly, Chicago . . .

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:03 | 2352360 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Those aren't barbarians, those are welfare slaves, same as the welfare slaves of Rome.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:32 | 2352799's picture

Anyone currently labeled as a possible "terrorist" would likely qualify as a barbarian including the spectrum from Sharia law Islamists to those who speak approvingly of the Constitution. The common characteristic of such barbarians would be adherence to principles which are incompatible with infinite, omnipresent, omnipotent government.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:10 | 2353669 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Sandpoint Idaho ... barbarians in waiting

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:17 | 2352399 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:45 | 2352492 knukles
knukles's picture

Torra Borra, Af-Pak border areas....

We've always been at war with Oceania

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:58 | 2352547 caconhma
caconhma's picture

<Anybody know where we can get hold of a few barbarians?> Yes, now we call them Chinese.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:00 | 2352856 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

i thought rural america was full of barbarians.  with guns and bibles, no less.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 20:36 | 2353166 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

They're coming, from the southwest and Middle East. But they aren't in battle ranks, and if you vanquish them, you get locked up by our side, and if you point it out, you get ostracized.

And there is a large portion of citizens that think they should be allowed to invade, so long as they don't kill us outright.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 00:03 | 2353649 cents gradeschool
cents gradeschool's picture

Anybody know where we can get hold of a few barbarians?

MS-13 disappoints...and fighting alongside them might mean I'd have to wear white socks up to my knees and tat up my face.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:39 | 2352280 Jason T
Jason T's picture

"The disintegration continued, and there seemed no power great enough to stop it. The treasury was empty, agriculture prostrate, industry demoralized, trade stagnant, and the only commercial activity was a maddened, consuming, parasitic speculation. In A.D. 301 Diocletian issued his famous price fix- ing decree as the last measure of a desperate sovereign."

from Money and Man pg. 43

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:39 | 2352281 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Tax the rich

More entitlements

This is the answer Obama has given. I will not think otherwise. I submit to these truths and believe them as fact as the only answer to save our country, with more debt and more spending.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:01 | 2352347 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Call your CONgress-critter.  Tell them to raise the debt ceiling, lower taxes, increase SS and Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and increase military spending.

After that, tell them to cut VA benefits, ban vets from buying firearms, and declare any veteran that voices any opinion to be mentally insane and involuntarily committed.

Fuck it, let's go FULL RETARD, this slow, painful death-by-a-thousand-paper-cut-shit is getting old....

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:11 | 2352586 seek
seek's picture

Much as I loathe it, I think full retard is the only out. The system is screwed, there's no way out, so let's hit the gas and get the reset over with -- it's actually more kind to everyone that the long dragged-out version. If the time were used to educate and prepare the populace, the slow version might be justifiable; however, it is not, the time is simply being used to lie and loot and will make the problems much worse.

We really need some kind of post-collapse curriculum, written at a 4th-grade level that shows how to make food from basics, etc. Basically a post collapse psy-op comic book, as it appears that's the only preparation that most people will ever get, if that.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:42 | 2352285 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Get off the grid in whatever ways you can.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:19 | 2352403 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Done.  Do it now, this takes practice to get right.  I've been off grid for 30 years now.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:46 | 2352501 knukles
knukles's picture

By most the folk I know, getting "Off the grid" includes the Internet matrix.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:12 | 2352583 CH1
CH1's picture

Not if you do it right. :)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:44 | 2352290 devo
devo's picture

It's no longer a can.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:57 | 2352336 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

It's certainly more like a barrel these days--in more ways than one.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:43 | 2352291 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

You know what's kinda' funny?

If you're sick of this shit and want to leave, you get taxed. It's called the "exit tax"

You can't get away from the Matrix, it's a part of you.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:48 | 2352302 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

>>"At $780 billion, the US government's budget deficit for just the first six months of FY2012 is more than the entire GDP of Indonesia. This is absurdly unsustainable..."<<

Well, it's sustainable... until someone calls the bluff of the MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION clause...

These days, throwing around the words a 'few billion dollars' sounds like the property tax bill for one small single family unit..

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:56 | 2352330 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

If you compare the Roman time-line with ours we are still relatively at the beginning of it all(much more pain to come yet), it could take a few decades before "The Barbarians Come" and the fastest way to make it happen sooner is to expatriate as far as you can from any Western jurisdiction

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:12 | 2352380 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

Comparing the two timelines is like comparing apples to oranges. They are both fruit, but that is where the similarity ends. The biggest difference is the population is soooo much greater now. That one fact changes everything. Just look at what happens in nature when populations exceed a sustainable point. Cannibalism is a common result. Along with numerous other unpleasant outcomes. Mmmmmmm,'s what's for dinner.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:21 | 2352414 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Yeah, and you used to have to write, then you could call, your broker to make trades.  Now you can click, or hire an HFT bot.  Things happen faster now, and tiny differences between huge numbers (as a %) matter one heck of a lot more.  We can't just go exploit some "new world" when we get in too deep.  Been there, used that one up.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:31 | 2352638 Axenolith
Axenolith's picture

You gotta compress the timeline, like 1 or 2 orders of magnitude, to account for physical and communication speed increases...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:57 | 2352337 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

"...all transactions be conducted in the presence of a tax collector."

Reading this brought a mental image of a TSA agent giving a good shake-down.  Perhaps it's programming of things to come (Tax Servicing Agency?).

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:06 | 2352367 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

I guess it depends on the definition of "transportation."  Money is, after all, transported during a transaction!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:16 | 2352395 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

The image it brought to my mind was electronic banking. That's why they're trying to kill cash and making all transactions electronic: then the tax collector sees every transaction. (For the little people of course. The big boys have plenty of ways to hide transactions)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:29 | 2352440 t_kAyk
t_kAyk's picture

Agreed.  To what ORI referred to below, "the mark of the beast".

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 14:59 | 2352345 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

well cousin,  small business is holding on by the last thread, and i'm considering getting out myself,  last three years, no profits but have all the salaries and bills paid.  meeting fixed cost is the "proper" term.


but the long hours, and the endless stream of government reports, the stress, and the increasingly stressed clients. the upside is most of my competition is "in debt" and i am not.  i haven't had a vacation in 7 years, other than 3 months for a triple bypass


i guess my rambling point is,  our country is at a simular point that rome was.  but i would rather take it back from these asshole politicians and their crony business buddies.



Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:58 | 2352541 GCT
GCT's picture

Stormsailor I can relate to you brother.  Mywife owns a small business and is doing the same thing.  I help her as much as I can.  We are in the same boat.  About ready to give it up as I make a good salary.  Hell Obamacare has not even really kicked in yet.  Really scared about what it will do.

We too are debt free.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:14 | 2352589 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

gct, we went to hsa on our employee health this year.  all our employee's found out they could get it with their spouses etc.  that has saved us from the health care ogre for another year..  2800 deductible before the insurance kicks in and pays 100%.  cut our cost in half. that had risen 35% in 09,  32% in 10, 38% in 11. 


the small business health insurance credit didn't help because we could have deducted it from corporate profits, but we did not have any. 



Wed, 04/18/2012 - 11:10 | 2354869 GCT
GCT's picture

Storm small business is being hung out to dry while they grant waivers to te bigboys that contribute and line the politicians pockets.  We could not deduct either.

We are looking into the new small business insurance offered by blue cross blue shield.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:14 | 2352594 CH1
CH1's picture

No government forms in the Black Market.

Which is actually the primary reason most go there.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 22:03 | 2353345 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Small business and working Americans are hosts for the govt bureaucrats and local, state and federal taxiation parasites live off of.  If you own anything or use anything - you aretaxed on it.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:00 | 2352348 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Perhaps the "mark of the beast" is the new digital age tax collector.


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:37 | 2352463 Green Leader
Green Leader's picture

Read Deuteronomy 6 & you will find out what *mark* really means.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:04 | 2352365 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

what guy gold

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:04 | 2352366 brown_hornet
brown_hornet's picture

I believe gold and silver are money.  Doesn't that make me a barbarian? I'm with you agent d

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:08 | 2352371 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

It's funny, you can sit here on the internets and watch the world virtually burn.

Thank god all the people outside are dumb.... because if they knew what was going on or even had a clue.... the apocalypse would of already happened.


I guess ignorance is bliss.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:20 | 2352420 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

At this point, the imperial government was spending the majority of the funds it collected on either the military or public entitlements. For a time, according to historian Joseph Tainter, "those who lived off the treasury were more numerous than those paying into it."

I believe that's quoting Tainter's "Collapse of Complex Societies", a truly exceptional book:

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:29 | 2352443 Green Leader
Green Leader's picture

"Like the 5th century Romans before us, people may be ready to abandon civilization itself to escape the burdens placed on them by today's ruling class. Only, by the time this happens, it may be too late to start doing anything about it."

I'm already packing!!!

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 15:40 | 2352480 W10321303
W10321303's picture

Those poor poor rich people, I feel so bad that they might have to pay something, if they haven't got most of their money hidden in Caymans, Luxembourg, etc.....The Roman Empire had a 90% slave rate...think that might have had an impact on the tax base?

Can we say Alexander the Great in Afghanistan, boys and girls?

Can we say British in Afghanistan 3 times, boys and girls?

$700+++ billion in the Permanent War Budget so that General Electric et. al. can get your re-cycled tax protect the pipelines, to protect oil rigs in Saudi Arabia...

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:56 | 2352845's picture

But millions of little people allow their votes to be bought which makes all that bigtime  looting possible. Modern man is motivated by envy and would rather get a fistful of "free" government money than have the opportunity to compete with other individuals on a level playing field.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:04 | 2352534 10mm
10mm's picture

Cheer up,those people in suits that fall under the flag of Republican title are drafting legislation to make cuts in food stamp program and about 3 million would be cut out under new eligibilty requirements.Also cuts to states that provide funding for day care.All to keep the prowness of the MILITARY.Wait till austerity really kicks in.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:59 | 2352852's picture

Maybe if Obama didn't go around starting wars and firing missiles at civilians then the military wouldn't need so much cash.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 22:07 | 2353349 10mm
10mm's picture

He is a puppet,no different than previous puppets.Garbage In/Garbage Out.Ala Junior Bush.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:13 | 2352588 Mysteerious Roo...
Mysteerious Rooshian Vooman's picture
Paulista Uprising in Georgia Against the NDAA & the Federal Reserve Good news! Georgia's GOP Congressional District conventions were Saturday the 14th. Here's some news from the 12th District Convention in Vidalia. We presented two resolutions: one to repeal Section 1021 of the NDAA, and one to End the Fed. Both passed with 95% majorities. We unseated one delegate to Tampa and took that spot (one of three) and took one alternate spot (also one of three). Here's what ahppened:



Wed, 04/18/2012 - 02:12 | 2353339 The Navigator
The Navigator's picture

"given that Public Health statistics show that death from acts of terrorism is less likely than death from dog bites, from lightning strikes, from diarrhea, and from misadventure with bathtubs and vending machines"

Interesting to see a small district in GA catching on to false flag BS of a terrorist lurking in every corner waiting to kill us.

Great vid and text links. Thanks

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:14 | 2352732 SILVERGEDDON


Republican. Democrat. Who gives a fuck ? Two sides to the same story. The lap dogs for the psychotic aristocrats that truly rule, and determine how the USA is getting gutted by corruption, power, and money. May they all be sentenced to life on a desert island, surrounded by barbed wire, so they can't swim out to drown - the easy way out. Just dump all of them there with a supply of baseball bats. Nothing else. Then, let them practice politics on each other. The world would be a better place. 

When did " Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness " become " Live a Miserable Existence to Serve our Greed for Power and Money " ?  God better bless America, and, save it from the ruling class before it is too late. They may rule the political arena, the monetary system, and the courts, but they cannot extinguish the Constitution Of The United States of America. Yet. You all need to stop looking at the same single tree the media is barking at, and peeing on. Start looking at the ENTIRE fucking forest, before it is consumed by greed and fire.

Politics is like masturbation. It may be temporarily satisfying, but you know it isn't like the real thing. Even worse when you can see some one humping your Lady Liberty right in front of you, laughing all the way to the bank, and making it illegal for you to do anything about it other than masturbate some more. We need a Network TV moment. " I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it any more ! "


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:13 | 2352739 Heroic Couplet
Heroic Couplet's picture

During the terminal collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, how many corporations were around? China mandates that if you sell your product in China, you locate 51% of your manufacturing in China. That sounds like a trade barrier to me.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 17:45 | 2352826 W10321303
W10321303's picture

Even the Romans weren't dumb enough to try to conquer Afghanistan.

Hmmmm, let's see who was in charge of this fiasco for the first SEVEN years. Hmmmmm, it was Dick Cheney, the psycopath warmonger war criminal, helping to increase his own stock portfolio, not to mention Daddy Bush and Co.  So far this year 7,000 Americans have died because they can't afford health insurance and the GREAT War Monger, War Criminal got a new HEARRT$$...Do you see why I call them the Dumocrats? (Guess who is totally cluless?)

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 18:01 | 2352863's picture

Obama sure is keeping a shine on that old Peace Prize. Gotta love him.

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 01:49 | 2352854 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

...Babylon fell as Rome and now all nations are as Babylon and Rome, marked by corrupt governments, banking corruption and failure and the fact is, before Babylon or Rome fell, the seal of trust had been broken. This is the fulfillment of prophecy and the time of sealing the fate of this new global market beast upon all that do labor in darkness. This is the time of sealing for the people that accept what this market black hole has to offer. The cycle just kept going until the whole world became as Babylon and Rome etc...  subject to the tax of debt etc... and as in the days of Noah, so is it NOW upon this last generation. This market confirms the last generation in scripture, there is no getting around that fact. All the confirming signs are upon us.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:21 | 2353038 technicalanarchy
technicalanarchy's picture

Taxes are more a means of control and regulation than anything else.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 19:48 | 2353075 newengland
newengland's picture

This article speaks truth. Well said, Simon.

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 21:29 | 2353262 egoist
egoist's picture

If you can't stop the spending increases, you can't expect to choke taxes before they choke you.

If you can't stop altruism, you can't expect to stop spending increases.

If you can't stop irrationality (and increase the spread of reason), you'll never make a dent in the proliferation of altruism.

Not many people give a crap about reason.

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