Re: Beggars in Spain

Jeff Bone (
Thu, 08 Jul 1999 02:50:41 -0500

> Why should the government tax citizens to pay for these programs?
> Because ultimately we all need to use them

Why? I haven't, don't plan to, and certainly don't expect to make use
of any of these wonderful programs that I'm paying for. Take social
security. I'm certainly not counting on that for my retirement. I
don't know many GenX folks that have *any* confidence that it'll be
around for us. I don't have any sort of gov't medical benefit. Don't
use food stamps. Don't draw welfare. Don't use any sort of gov't
counseling, etc.

I am *self sufficient.* I don't need a parental "big" gov't to take
care of me. Few people, really, do. Most people would find their own
way if there weren't so much history and inertia propping up the corpse
of the New Deal and the ghost of social democracy.

> and ultimately they help to diminish [crime]

Whatever. We have the highest expenditure of funds on law enforcement
in the world, and we also have more people in jail and higher crime
rates. Wow, that's really effective use of financial resources, isn't

> You're spreading the $50,000 cost of that prostate surgery you'll
> be having when you're 45 throughout your entire life,

Cool, insurance. I have no problem with the notion of insurance. But,
sticking with your metaphor here, I'm going to want to pick an insurer
that has the best policy for me, with the best options, competitive
pricing, etc. I'm going to want a reliable insurer, one who I trust
will be there for me, one who has a good track record. Having a
single-source provider (i.e., for these "essential" social services, the
gov't) eliminates choice. And, I'd say the gov't doesn't inspire in me
a particular amount of trust in its efficiency or effectiveness in using
my funds to address these issues.

> you should also be up in arms about industry and commerce as well.

Nope --- there's no coercion involved, there. I choose to buy,
accepting the built-in costs, or choose not to. Taxation is coercion,
plain and simple. It's theft. And of all the uses of tax funds, these
social programs (welfare, WIC, etc.) are the most insidious and

I suppose your next argument will be to say that I can choose to avoid
taxes by choosing my citizenship. It's an imperfect analogy; I don't
*ever* have to buy a TV, say; OTOH, I *have* to live somewhere, and
most likely there is still going to be a bigger gov't framework to
contend with than is strictly necessary. It's a matter of choosing the
least among evils. But it's a forced choice; in commerce, choices are
always made freely.

How about this: what if you could opt out of citizenship, thereby
opting out of both the benefits and the costs of being a part of the
system, while at the same time retaining your residency? Nah, that
wouldn't work. But how about going to some kind of ala carte system?
If I choose not to pay for social security, I can never receive its
benefits... etc. etc. Would that work?

We're all big boys and girls... why can't we accept the idea that we
can do it on our own, and don't need some public institution to take
care of us and put band-aids on our boo-boos when we fall and scrape our