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NateTheGreat
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The AoC didn't prohibit tax collection, it just prohibited federal taxation. The states still taxed and were supposed to share some money with the Feds but they never seemed to anyway. As long as any form of government taxation exists, I don't think that there will be any significant amount of voluntary taxation.

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D'oh. And I totally forgot about the possibilities of lotteries or 'fees' to enforce contracts, which is one example Ayn Rand thought up in "Voluntary Government Financing in a Free Society".

Do you really believe that it was the taxation system that caused the government's problems, and not simply the limited powers or otherwise, or were you adjusting your answer to fit the charge?

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What would you say to the person that states the fallibility of the Articles of Confederation is a perfect example of limited government that cannot collect taxes?
I think examples like that are extremely important. Many libertarians try to address this by suggesting that government should be more like a business, with people paying for what they get. Rand's idea of pre-paying some stamp-duty like charge on contracts is in that vein.

I think that voluntary "taxes" is so different an idea that new methods and process will need to evolve. For instance, in most sub-divisions, the contracts come with clauses where the home-owners agree to pay a certain sum each month for some type of upkeep of common areas. It is in each rational owner's interest to have the others in that area bound, because that's provides each with some assurance that common areas will be maintained. Something similar ways might evolve to pay for security.

Personally, I think of this as someone else's problem because there is no way I'm going to face it in my lifetime. Imagine a government that does only police, army and courts. Imagine that tax-rates are reduced drastically to support this, but that only the rates are reduced. So, imagine that we end up with small government, no "entitlement programs", all invalid regulations removed and extremely low tax rates but no change to the existing tax structure. To my mind, this is a dream that will not be achieved in my lifetime, so worrying about the next step is fun but not my problem. I know there are folk who like to plan things like how we will sustain human life on Mars, and that's fine. However, the way things will really transpire will be different: as the task really approaches, and as solutions are attempted and lessons learnt, people will have new ideas on how to fix things... and if they don't, they'll still have reached an almost ideal for of government compared to what we have today.

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The Articles were a problem in that they failed to provide even the minimal functions required from a government between and over the states. This was widely recognized at the time, which is why it was relatively easy to get representatives from the various states to attend the constitution writing convention in Philadelphia. The alternative would be to have Europe in America, a multiplicity of separate states warring on each other for their own reasons and as proxies of the European powers.

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