Re: Beggars in Spain

Dave Long (
Fri, 09 Jul 1999 17:52:58 -0700

> I guess I'm objecting to the notion that the "services package" I get by
> paying taxes to the government I'm a citizen of should be tied to my
> choice of geography.

Now, that's a valid point. If you know of any viable ageographical
governments (the medieval church?), I'd be very interested in how
they go.

Anyway, I find libertarianism intellectually attractive, if socially
suspect, so I was put off because you chose to advance it (in that
particular post) from a false premise.

> I beg to differ, and I don't see what office suites have to do with this
> either. Nobody forces purchase decisions --- they are always *always*
> freely made.

I threw office suites in because they illustrate precisely that
markets frequently decide that bundled goods and services are
preferable to the (perhaps individually superior) a la carte options.
Surely it isn't a far leap from there to realize that this
preference for bundling may carry over to the governmental realm
as well? You are correct that this item is tangential, so we move
on to the main argument:

Nobody forces SSI taxation decisions, either. They are freely made.
The payroll taxes you were assessed were based on choices that
you or your employees made freely, whether you all currently are
willing to take responsibility for them or not.

> We are coerced into compliance by
> our friendly, paternal Fed.

Where is the coercion? It isn't illegal to not be self-employed,
and it isn't illegal to not work for a wage or salary. The federal
government doesn't coerce you away from domestic work, or farm work,
or work for an exempt church or church-controlled organization.

The federal government won't even insist that you make money: if you
feel you need an income, that's your choice, not a coercion. In fact,
due to the government love of debt, they'll even provide you with
the means for non-taxable income, should you desire that option.

Sure, things get changed around, but by and large, we know the rules
before we start the game, and we can even choose whether to play or
not. You mention the homeless as being negligible consumers in
another post; they are also (as far as I am aware) not major
contributors to payroll taxes. Not only are you not coerced into
paying payroll taxes, but you have even independently derived an
example group (of unrestricted membership) which does not bother
paying them.

Don't complain that you are coerced into funding programs for
which you perceive no use, when you were perfectly free to avoid it.
I simply fail to see why a libertarian would have any trouble with
application of the notion "pay to play".