no third solution

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Why Can’t You Buy Allodial Title?

April 14th, 2008

I believe that nobody should suffer under a government, and that nobody should have to buy their way out. But I’d prefer the opportunity to buy my way out than no opportunity at all. I assume that any slave in any time and place would be happy to buy his freedom. What if it were possible to buy allodial title1 from the State? For the time being, I’ll set aside the moral implications of buying one’s way out of the government system.

If you had saved enough money to buy allodial title, it would be yours for eternity, and could be passed on to your progeny and their progeny and so on, ad infinitum, obligation-free. No capital-gains tax, no inheritance tax, no property taxes for your children to assume when they inherit the property, and no taxes to be paid by anyone else, for that matter, should you opt to sell the property to someone else. Of course, a new owner could certainly opt back in to the government’s system of taxation, but I’m not sure as to why anyone would ever go this route. But other things being equal, a tax-free parcel should sell at a premium to government land2, and nobody in their right mind would pay extra for this “privilege” only to then begin paying taxes in addition to that premium. Would they?

What you ought to be able to do is make a lump-sum payment in an amount equal to the expected NPV of your future property tax liabilities.

Some governments have come close to offering this in the past, but probably none really do3. Why doesn’t government offer this option? Buying out your future tax liability assumes that government has a discount rate, i.e., is capable of rationally saving money for future expenses. But government doesn’t invest money in this manner whatsoever.

Ostensibly because taxes are levied for needed services all government does is spend the money that you earned in order to buy things it says that you need, that is, things you would’ve bought for yourself, anyways! Failure to spend the money on those services in favor of investing it could be a breach of whatever obligation government has4. More likely, though, they would argue that just as they deem you unqualified to provide for your present necessities, so too are you unqualified to properly forecast and save towards your future needs.

There is no price you can pay today, under some future circumstances which would be the greater of the amount the State might take from you on that occasion. Government derives its power from its ability to keep citizens enslaved, and if it concedes the right to your future earnings, it has no further means of controlling you.

Accordingly and unfortunately, there is no discount rate for your freedom.

1. From the Wikipedia entry on allodial title: “Allodial lands are the absolute property of their owner and not subject to any service or acknowledgment to a superior. An allodial title is the opposite of a feudal tenure such as fee simple.”

2. Tax-free parcels must sell at a premium over property subject to tax. Other things being equal, the premium commanded in textbook terms, would be slightly less than the capitalized costs of expected future taxes, properly discounted. In order to maintain its footing, governments would have to lower taxes in order to compete, thus making it more affordable to acquire allodial title to its diminishing number of taxable properties, and further constraining its budget

3. Nevada, for example, limits allodial title to a “period equal to the life expectancy of the youngest titleholder of the property,” thus the State stakes perpetual claim to the property. cfEugene Volokh‘s comments.

Also, since allodial title referent to the state, I presume, does not preclude the Federal government from encumbering the property, the old Nevada statute and others like it, are moot.

4. Lysander Spooner maintains No Treason VI that governments neither are obliged, or could be obliged by anyone to anything.



  • Orville Seymer says on: June 19, 2008 at 7:29 pm


    If anyone is interested in the concept of “Allodial Title” I would recommend a very good book titled. Building Regulation, Market Alternatives and Allodial Policy” it is written by John M. Cobin Ph.D.

    I have read this book about 5 times and everytime that I look at it again, I find something new in there. Amazing!!!

    I would also suggest that you check your state Constitution. For example, the Wisconsin Constitution, Article 1 Section 14 says very clearly that “All land within the state is declared to be allodial and feudal tenures are prohibited” Your state may have a similar clause. There are about a dozen states with that language in their Constitution.

no third solution

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