In what had once been a land of opportunity and progress, the state had grown large and oppressive. Its leaders lost their way. Its people nearly lost their freedom.

How oppressive had the state become? No matter how you chose to make your living, government officials made constant demands on you. Every major transaction was taxed, at escalating rates. If you couldn’t pay the taxes, your goods and property were seized. In many cases, you had to have special permission from the state to enter your chosen occupation.

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John Hood is a John Locke Foundation board member.

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