• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

Support Our Annual Fund Drive!fund-drive-progress-thermometer

We only shake our readers down two times a year, but when we ask we mean it. So, please, help as much as you can. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race

At tax time in the US, as Gaurav Sangwani  of India’s Financial Express reports, many American cryptocurrency users weren’t interested in discussing that aspect of their lives with the Internal Revenue Service. In an early April TeamBlind survey of 2,600 people who earned money from crypto, 46% said they wouldn’t be reporting those earnings to Uncle Sam. Meanwhile, per Investopedia’s Nathan Reiff, fewer than 100 of Credit Karma Tax’s 250,000 most recent filers  had reported cryptocurrency transactions as of April 13.

That’s bad news for the IRS, but great news for America. People whose ancestors fought a revolution nearly 250 years ago on the slogan “no taxation without representation” are finally acquiring the weapons to fight a new revolution on a new slogan: No taxation without CONSENT.

Taxation as we know it is really nothing more than the typical mob protection racket: “Nice livelihood you got there — be a shame if anything happened to it.” And since the birth of employer “withholding” during World War Two, the mobsters have mostly had it easy. They rake what they want right off the top of your paycheck and encourage you to think of any partial refund as a gift.

The racket has always had two weak points, though.

One is that it’s dependent on a model of employment — centralized workplace, lots of employees, one employer — that’s increasingly giving way to a “gig economy” in which more and more people are becoming de facto self-employers.

The other is that it’s dependent on an easy access to personal information that once favored the mobsters but that has likewise been breaking down since the dawn of widely available Internet access.

Since the late 1980s, Americans have been engaged in an arms race with the federal government: Our strong encryption versus their attempts to compromise that encryption. Win some, lose some, but cryptocurrency is potentially our side’s decisive super-weapon.

If you thought the perpetual whining from law enforcement about encryption was about fighting terrorism, think again. It’s mostly about the money. Like other mobsters, politicians and their accomplices hate the idea of their rackets coming to an end.

Government will get much smaller and much less powerful once it has to ask nicely for a share of the wealth you produce, and justify the request, instead of just taking what it wants. That day draws closer as the percentage of people using cryptocurrency and declining to tell Uncle Sam about it grows.

 

More articles by:

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
October 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
CounterPunch in Peril?
Anthony DiMaggio
Fake News in Trump’s America
Andrew Levine
Trump’s End Days
Jeffrey St. Clair
High Plains Grifter: the Life and Crimes of George W. Bush
Patrick Cockburn
Kurdish Fighters Always Feared Trump Would be a Treacherous Ally
Paul Street
On the TrumpenLeft and False Equivalence
Dave Lindorff
Sure Trump is ‘Betraying the Kurds!’ But What’s New about That?
Rob Urie
Democrats Impeach Joe Biden, Fiddle as the Planet Burns
Sam Pizzigati
Inequality is Literally Killing Us
Jill Richardson
What Life on the Margins Feels Like
Mitchell Zimmerman
IMPOTUS: Droit de seigneur at Mar-a-Lago
Robert Hunziker
Methane SOS
Lawrence Davidson
Donald Trump, the Christian Warrior
William Hartung – Mandy Smithburger
The Pentagon is Pledging to Reform Itself, Again. It Won’t.
Richard Moser
The Empire Is Running Out of War Stories. Or is it? Will American Exceptionalism Rise Again?
Roger Harris
Why Trump is Facing Impeachment
Doug Lummis
Everything Going Wrong in Okinawa
Ramzy Baroud
Administrative Torture: Free Heba al-Labadi, a Jordanian Citizen in Israeli Prison
Christopher Ketcham
Ode to the Drums of Ginger Baker
W. T. Whitney
Upcoming Elections Represent Testing Time for Bolivia’s Socialist Government
Louis Proyect
Building Soldier Resistance Under the Shadows of Fascism
Mark Ashwill
Reflections on General Giap and the End of an Era in Vietnam
Gabriel Leão
Killing the Messengers: Rising Violence Against Journalists and Indigenous Leaders Defending the Amazon
Graham Peebles
Climate Change: All Talk No Action
Arthur Hoyle
The Meaning of Donald Trump
Dean Baker
Those Quaint Corporate Scandals in Japan
Laura Santina
Take Their Feet Off Our Necks
Julian Vigo
The New Workers’ Revolution is Afoot
Robert Koehler
The Rights of Nature
Dan Bacher
New Report Reveals Oil Waste in CA Aquifers
David Swanson
Trump’s Opponents Have Him Beat . . . When It Comes to Incompetence
Ben Debney
Liberals, Class and the Joker Complex
Brian Wakamo
Paying College Athletes: California Takes on the NCAA
Theo Wuest
Don’t Leave Equality to the Supreme Court
Jesse Jackson
To His Wealthy Donors, Trump is the Grifter
Mairead Maguire
Pathways to Peace
George Wuerthner
Logging Wild and Scenic River Corridors in the Name of Reducing Wildfires is a Really Bad Idea
Tracey L. Rogers
We Can’t Hug Away Injustice
Mike Garrity
How the Alliance for the Wild Rockies Stopped Trump From Bulldozing Cabinet-Yaak and Selkirk Grizzly Bears into Extinction
Lawrence Wittner
Why Are Americans So Confused About the Meaning of “Democratic Socialism”?
Nicky Reid
Climate Cthulhu: A Post-Modern Horror Story
Seth Sandronsky
A Sacramento King’s Ransom: Local Tax Dollars and the Owner’s Wealth
Susan Block
Cougar 2020?
David Yearsley
Mother Mallard’s Little Boy Grows Up
Elliot Sperber
Taking Out Columbus
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail