Re: Beggars in Spain

Ian Andrew Bell (
Thu, 08 Jul 1999 00:19:10 -0700

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Jeff Bone wrote:

> That's exactly right, Tom. I have no beef with charity --- I think
> charity can be viewed as a form of value exchange in some sense. My
> beef is elsewhere. My question was "Why should we fund social programs"
> --- emphasis on fund. I guess the clarified version of the question
> here is "why should gov't tax citizens to pay for these programs?"

Despite your continuing vagueness, I'll take a stab at it. Tough to argue
against somebody who defines their position so vaguely as to be able to spew
exception errors every time I attempt to refute.

In your terms, there's a value exchange here, too. Why should the govern-
ment tax citizens to pay for these programs? Because ultimately we all
need to use them -- and ultimately they help to diminish the likelihood
that someone is going to walk around the side of your house, climb into a
window, and kill your entire family.

You're spreading the $50,000 cost of that prostate surgery you'll be having
when you're 45 throughout your entire life, so it's more manageable, and
you're also supposedly paying to safely house and care for the raving loony
down the street who used to throw marbles at your patio window and make
leery-eyes at your younger sister (oh, sorry, that's Tim).

If you're up in arms about this, you should also be up in arms about indus-
try and commerce as well. In essence you are taxed to pay for advertising,
marketing, packaging, distribution, etc. all of which intervene between you
and the products you really want to have, yet do not add direct value.

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