Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Price of Free Land

Today, I got paid for January work from my employer. I was calculating what I could do with it, and then the various claims began to set in. I eared approx. $300:
  • %15 manditory, off the top, for Social Security--and the government is cutting me a break. I don't have to pay income tax yet, just Social Security. If I had to give them income tax, it'd be more like %25 or %30. And there's almost no chance I'll get anything back from the SS fund. At best, I'm donating to my parent's retirement. At worst, I'm giving to some person who has no business getting my money. - $45.
  • %20 tithe and contributions--This is the least grudged of the bunch, since I'm not only depositing to my heavenly account, there are rewards down here, too. - $60.
  • %32.5 to my savings account, saving for something in the future. With the amount I'll be putting in, after a year, I might be able to buy some socks, maybe. (I'm kidding, but it wouldn't even be enough to buy a quarter acre of land or a truck that would run. Oh well, I've got to start somewhere) - $97.50
  • The remaining %32.5 will be spent sooner saved for later--things on my list include a new chair mat for my computer (the old one was nearly impossible to move around on, but it helps save the carpet.): $25; a new non-stick, 8" sandwich frying pan, which after almost twice a day use for 6 mo. is loosing a major portion of it's non-stick, and possibly killing me (you know about those things, slow, but sure): ~$10; and, a gift for Mom's up coming birthday (the 10th): $20. I can't say what it is because she reads what I write. (Hi Mom!). That leaves about $42.50. My desired next purchase would be a new 1 Terabyte (8,796,093,022,208 bits [a bits is a 0 or a 1], also known as really, really big!) hard drive, which would really help when I go to reinstall my various operating systems. I would also come in handy if and or when I start the media restoration digitization and archival service, and start working with big files (I'll spare you the bit count :)). I'll need to work this much again next month (maybe more, as my employer is re-negotiating my wage) to put with that $42.50, and I'll be able to pay the $95 for the Samsung model that I would like.
All of which brings me around to a column that I read on freedom, by Chuck Baldwin. I'm not going to paraphrase, so here's the quote:

"For example, we will work for 30 years or more to purchase our own property. After having done that, however, the property still does not belong to us. We are required to pay the State--for the rest of our lives--a property tax (to support concepts and ideas that many of us find reprehensible and detestable, no less), or armed agents will confiscate our property and throw us on the street. Pray tell me, what is the difference between this and the feudal system of old? In reality, none of us own any property. We are all serfs paying the feudal lord. Beyond that, our feudal masters even dictate to us what we can and cannot do with this property we supposedly own. We do not even have the right to manage and control our own land. And yet, we Americans put up with this illegitimacy and still have the audacity to say, "We are free." Again, we don't know the meaning of the word.

Virtually everything we do and say is monitored by the great Nanny State. Practically every service, every act is regulated by the State. Ask any independent business owner how many regulations, laws, acts, etc., demand fulfillment, and how many fees, taxes, permits, etc., are required by various government agencies and bureaucracies before he can perform a single task. For example, the federal government actually dictates how some restaurants can seat people or serve tables. Farmers are told what and how much to plant--and even to not plant. We cannot buy a gun, drive a car, marry the person we love, or even install a toilet without saying, "Pretty please?" to a dozen despots. And we still wave the flag every Independence Day and brag about how "free" we are. Again, we don't know the meaning of the word.

"America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation." - Laurence Peter

"They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him." - 2 Peter 2:19

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him.

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." - 1 John 5:13-15, 19-20

May God bless you and keep you, and may He make His face shine on you and give you peace.



Walter Jeffries said...

On the real estate taxes I used to resent the 87% that went to our local school system which I have a very low opinion of. Then I calculated what it would cost to maintain our road myself and realized I was getting a heck of a deal! Made me feel better although some years it was still a stretch to save up the cash for the taxes.

Keep saving and get some land as soon as possible if you are renting now. Look for 'for-sale-by-owner' and get owner financing if possible if you don't have enough to buy with cash. That at least keeps some of the middlemen out of the equation. Then build a home yourself. We built our cottage for under $7,000. Think small. It goes faster that way too. We did it out of concrete so it is durable and low maintenance in addition to having the thermal mass to make it energy efficient. Look for salvage materials for windows, doors, etc.

The good thing about being landed is when times are tough it is easier to fall back into a sustaining mode - something that is very hard to do in the urban areas.

On the TeraByte drive, the good news is they get cheaper every month.

Be in business for yourself if at all possible. It may take multiple lines of business but it is not just rewarding, it's more secure.

By the way, I paid for our land by doing programming, web and graphics like you along with some inventing. Keep at it.


Sugar Mountain Farm
in Vermont

Jonathan said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Currently, we're still doing all our 'farming' on the folk's 1.5 acre residential plot not far outside of town. I personally am not much of a farmer, but somewhere along the line I caught the land bug. It seems like a farm would be a really great place to raise kids, too. That would be the end, but the means...

My dream would be to have 160 acres somewhere in southern Michigan. That would run, based on current market values (at least the ones I've heard the most reciently :-)), anywhere from $350,000 to $500,000--depending on how good of land it is. If I started saving $35,000 a year (that's reasonably the most I could expect to stash, after God and government), it would take me 10 to 15 years to have saved enough to make the purchase.

If I start saving at that rate when I am 18 (which starts in a couple months, and that's being pretty optimistic), I would be in my 40's by the time I had that land. Assuming that I'll want to get married before then, there will have to be an interim step. Whether that would be a small house on a little land, or a rental (probably impractical for that length of time), or whatever else.

Anyway, God will provide. :-)

Thanks for the excellent advice!