1994-07-21 - Re: Tax Evasion Morality

Header Data

From: Rick Busdiecker <rfb@lehman.com>
To: j.hastings6@genie.geis.com
Message Hash: 007c51344a89dab8794dce6dd23c5501e7dad014f12a69a638bc2774304c592f
Message ID: <9407210123.AA10203@fnord.lehman.com>
Reply To: <199407200937.AA255947030@relay2.geis.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-07-21 01:23:42 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 20 Jul 94 18:23:42 PDT

Raw message

From: Rick Busdiecker <rfb@lehman.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 94 18:23:42 PDT
To: j.hastings6@genie.geis.com
Subject: Re: Tax Evasion Morality
In-Reply-To: <199407200937.AA255947030@relay2.geis.com>
Message-ID: <9407210123.AA10203@fnord.lehman.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Yeah, yeah, this has only the most extremely tenuous links to
cryptology.  I'll talk about some free code (GPLed) that I've written
at the end of this message to make up for it.

    From: j.hastings6@genie.geis.com
    Date: Wed, 20 Jul 94 09:23:00 UTC
    - From an individual rights point of view, the assumed government
    "social contract" is bogus because it is not voluntary.

With respect to many taxes, for example income tax in the US, it is
voluntary.  You avoid entering into the social contract very simply:
don't interact with the society.  Actually, you can even play a little
without paying -- very legally -- by never choosing to extract from
society a net income greater than the lowest income tax bracket.  Some
war tax avoiders have done this for decades.  Some even make
reasonable amounts of money and give most of it away.

If you wish to avoid having the negative penalties of the social
contract, you simply avoid accepting the positive benefits.  If you
don't require the society, don't participate in it -- at all.  Any
`income' that you acquire without interacting with society will not be
taxed.  This route is not for everyone.  Most people prefer to enter
into the contract.

Yes, I'm being more than a bit facetious here, but not completely.

I not only respect, but I agree with most of the complaints typically
voiced by the `libertarian' segment here, but the extremes of the
economic arguments are ridiculous.  Some -- certainly not all or even
most -- manage to come off sounding like spoiled teenagers:
``Everything that I have I have completely because of my own doing and
the fact that there's this social structure all around me had nothing
at all to do with it.''

There is a degree to which a social contract is not a completely
unreasonable thing.  Of course, most (all?) government's to date have
gone about a zillion times overboard . . . .

			      * * * * *

Ok, now the cypher connection.  I've been working on, and using, a
package to add PGP support to Emacs-based messaging.  I call it PGP
Enhanced Messaging (PEM), a blatant rip-off of an already used
acronym.  It is initially targeted at doing sign (standard or as an
X-PGP-Signed header), verify signature, encrypt, sign-and-encrypt,
decrypt, extract key block, and insert key block.  Lots more on the
wish list :-)

npgp.el defines region oriented PGP operations.  The process
interaction is different than other packages in that it runs PGP
asynchronously and notices when PGP asks questions and passes them up
to the user.

pem.el defines message oriented operations.  It knows about message
headers and bodies, etc., but is not tied to any specific package.

The user layer is a set of interfaces to other packages.  Currently
there's pem-mhe.el (works with mh-e.el, an interface to MH) and
pem-gnus.el (works with GNUS).  Since pem.el does most of the work,
new interfaces should be relatively easy.  A pem-vm and pem-rmail
would be nice, but they're not my top priority.

If you're interested in Alpha testing let me know.  Basically, it
works fine in my environments (Sparc-10, SunOS-4.1.3, lemacs-19.10 at
work, fsf-19.24 at home), but the first Alpha tester has demonstrated
lots of places where environment differences, different Emacs
customizations, etc. cause problems.

When it's a bit more stable, I'll ask for Beta testers, probably here
and on a newsgroup or two.