If I wanted to become a hunter-gatherer in America today and live as my ancestors did back in the Paleolithic, could I do this without breaking the law? I suppose that I might be considered a vagrant in some quarters and run out of the county. I would almost always be trespassing on somebody’s land or violating the rules for using government land. I would probably violate hunting regulations galore and regulations that prohibit collecting plants and such. If I built a shelter anywhere, I would be camping and subject to time limits and a crap load of other rules. And if I earned my living by foraging, would the IRS impute the value of my food, animal pelt clothing, stone tools, and rudimentary shelter to me as taxable income? If so, could I pay my tax with beaver pelts? If I lived in a band of foragers who roamed the backwoods, I am pretty sure the Bureau of Land Management would try to remove us. If we had any children, the child welfare folks would take them away from us.
If I wanted to be a subsistence agriculturalist in America today, would this even be feasible economically? How would I pay property taxes, assuming I could afford any land? Would my hovel be up to code? The tax thugs might be all over me on account of any bartering I might do.
If I wanted to be an itinerant tinker like the Goat Man who used to pass through our village, I am not sure that I would be allowed to ply my trade in peace. How many business licenses would I have to take out, and how much business tax would be exacted from my meager earnings?
What if I wanted to follow the caribou herd and prey on it? Would I be allowed to do that? Or to drive herds of goats to seasonal pasture and live the life of a pastoralist? Is there a program for primitive goatherds on federal wasteland?
I am just thinking through my options.