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Texas proposition 3

I heard a radio spot this morning from Texas Realtors urging me to vote on a number of "proposals" to make real estate appraisal "more fair." Little warning bells went off in my head, of course. I do not plan to vote, but I thought I'd glance at the issues and see what's up and perhaps offer a brief analysis.

First of all, anyone involved in politics always has a skewed understanding of fair. Let me explain fair: if you don't take anything that doesn't belong to you, or restrict what I can do with what is my own, or hurt me, that's fair. If you are taking my money, that's not fair, no matter how much "reform" or other excrement you smear on it.

So, fair would be repealing all real estate taxes. "More fair," I suppose, would be an across the board cut in tax rates, which I would support, and maybe even vote for if it didn't involve voting for a specific liar -- I mean "person" -- promising the alleged policy change. Heck, even a selective reduction in some people's tax rates would be more fair, and I'd support that even if I wasn't going to get a direct benefit myself. At least it'd be a benefit to the economy, which could sorely use it right now.

Unfortunately, nothing of the sort seems to be on the table. Proposition 2 might result in a lower tax rate for some people, and comes the closest to being something I could support. But I've never heard of anybody in the situation that proposition 2 describes. It makes noise like it wants to protect innocent homeowners, but it smells like it wants to protect real estate developers who monkey around at your city council meeting to get their property zoned a certain way for lower taxes while they wait to decide what to do with it. Ever read your city council minutes? Disgusting enslavement politics. Almost everything on the agenda, in my experience, involves case by case changes of the "zone" for pieces of property, where everything you might ever want to do requires approval. These are the people who give you grief when you want to use your property for something of your design, but easily sway the council to bow to their will because they allegedly help the local economy. Forget it. Not interested in helping such powermongers for something so vague and slanted.

Propositions 3 and 5 are far, far worse. They rest on an insane and destructive assumption: that your local government wants to screw you, and the higher level of government is here to help, and that centralization and standardization across the state will help lots of people. Note again this is cloaked in helping people to retain more of their wealth, i.e., libertarian motivation, but we should know that increased centralization never helps. What you want is a patchwork of differing local regulations so that if your locality is too much more thieving than the next one over, you can move. (Actually what you want is differing competing local regulations within the SAME locality, but if wishes were horses ...) Centralization regulations always function as a means for powers to collude without the threat of competition. And so in this case. The criminal gang in Austin wants to bring all the little gangs under its control, because power feels good when exercised, especially if you can get people to worship you for being their "benefactor." The little gangs actually support the centralization because then they can collude under cover; they will run the much larger centralized show and set regulations that are worse. Example: the Federal Reserve, far from forcing banks to keep more reasonable reserve standards, allows the banks to collude and set reserve standards lower than the previously freer market allowed.

Want to make my real estate appraisals more fair? Give me a free market in government, from which I can choose the option I want, or create my own if it does not exist. In other words, allow me to secede. In other words, allow me to be free.

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