Taxation and Forced Labor: What’s the Difference?

I am thinking a lot about taxation in light of all this “fiscal cliff” talk. According to the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick in his 1974 book Anarchy, State, and Utopia, ”taking the earnings of n hours of labor” is not different from “forcing the person to work n hours for another’s purpose,” and therefore the taxation of earnings is “on a par with forced labor” and cannot be morally defended.

Get an overview of Nozick’s ideas in this article by Roderick Long.

I covered this a bit in this six-minute video last year:

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