Yesterday we wrote about governments attempting to crush competition for themselves or their business friends. Not a pretty picture.
Now, a slightly less dire image is emerging. Not as fast as we’d like and not as much as we’d like, but still…
Over the years, business owners, especially small business owners have opposed attempts to shut them down or turn them into tax collectors with various success. It appears that most businesses have given up on opposing forced tax collection. We may discuss this issue in a future post.
For today we want to concentrate on WINS! The Institute for Justice has won two recent cases that should give us all hope. See the video above on eyebrow threading. It’s a clear case of government over-reach.
But wait! There’s more! This one dates back to April 1, 2015. No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke, though it sounds like one. This was another IJ victory that didn’t even get to court. After a string of IJ court victories, the DOJ just issued a new policy.
Still, it’s good news: “New policy limits government seizures of small businesses’ bank accounts,” says the headline in the Houston Business Journal.
… three small business owners testified before a House committee about the nightmare they experienced when the Internal Revenue Service seized their bank accounts. The IRS suspected them of structuring their cash deposits to avoid the $10,000 threshold that triggers reporting of these deposits to the federal government. This reporting requirement is designed to deter money laundering by criminals, but not one of these small business owners was charged with any crimes.
Moving from “seizures” to “structuring,” our immediate question was, what does this mean for Dennis Hastert?
Hastert, 73, an Illinois Republican, is retired from his position as U.S. House Speaker. On June 9, he pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to federal investigators about why he had apparently structured cash withdrawals from his bank accounts.
Just in case you are missing the importance of these cases, it is critical to recognize that these are early efforts ad “capital controls,” just what Greece is doing right now.
“Capital controls” are ways for governments to take the wealth of individuals on a more or less whimsical basis. Here is Wikipedia’s fancy definition: “Capital controls are residency-based measures such as transaction taxes, other limits, or outright prohibitions that a nation’s government can use to regulate flows from capital markets into and out of the country’s capital account.”
In English that means either that you are not allowed to spend your own money, or that you simply can’t get it out of your bank(s) – for a while, or forever.
What do we learn from this: time to strengthen relationships and networks with your Deity of choice and your friends, relatives and neighbors. These are the only things of value that a government can’t take.