Re: Beggars in Spain

Ian Andrew Bell (
Thu, 08 Jul 1999 01:05:17 -0700

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Jeff Bone wrote:

> > 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
> it?

Ok, so clearly to assume that this is a direct link is stupid. Spending
more on crime & punishment is just masking a greater problem that I would
are is created by the very same inequities you seem to think are just fine
by you. And that is the point entirely.

> 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.

That was going to be and remains my next argument. Look at me: I did. So
did my mother and father. SO if you don't HAVE to buy a television why are
they in 97% of the homes in the US? Regardless, you do have to buy food,
and I guarantee you it doesn't cost $2.97 to produce and ship a box of
Nabisco Stoned Wheat Thins. And it's not like there is some other form of
"raw" stoned wheat thins that does not have all of the associated taxation
bundled into its cost.

> 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
> knees?

I think that social programs within a democracy are living proof that such
societies still believe that you as an individual do not know what's good
for you. You can't (and I don't either) possibly understand the grander
social effects of opting out of social programs en masse. Freer economies
lead to more narrowly distributed wealth and diminish the middle class,
both of which force population distribution out to both edges, with a vast
majority at the bottom of the spectrum.

If you want the US to look like Mexico, or even worse, Kuwait, then your
strategy is a good one. You'd just better hope that you manage to claw
your way to the top, and that some criminal doesn't cap your ass with an
AK because there's no law enforcement or jails to house offenders.

"The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class just gets
confused." - Dave Barrett, Canadian Legislator & former BC Premier.

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