Norway, Natural Sanctuary of the Anti-Tax Populist

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Feb. 22 2010 2:17 PM

Norway, Natural Sanctuary of the Anti-Tax Populist


Jessica , I agree that the Stack daughter is deluded in ways neither of us can imagine, but I disagree that her self-imposed Norwegian exile is inconsistent with her father's views. Joe Stack was apparently frustrated because he felt that he was getting nothing for his tax money; he mentions bank bailouts and lobbyists. His complaint, such as it is, concerns government transfers to the rich. His daughter fled to Norway, where, she says, her tax dollars buy something or other. To her, it's apparently the difference between throwing your money into a hole or getting a nice health care package in return. It's not as if the elder Stack was averse to redistribution; he concludes his manifesto thusly:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

The whole suicide note is available here . A bit of advice for aspiring manifesto writers: Including a large chunk of tax code really blunts the emotional impact.

Photograph of tea party protester by Paul J. Richards/AFP.

Kerry Howley's work has appeared in the Paris Review, Bookforum, and the New York Times Magazine. She is currently finishing a book about consensual violence, ecstatic experience, and the body.