Who is Best Qualified to Decide how How Your Wealth Should be Used?
I have noted before that my fellow citizens and I are the best wealth redistributors one can find. We know quite well, with only rare exceptions, where the wealth we obtained should go – how we should spend or invest or save our earnings, etc.
But vast numbers of political thinkers and players disagree. They hold that our resources must be taken from us and they, not we, should be the ones who decide what to do with them. Why? Who are these folks to butt in and remove us from the driver’s seat and place themselves and their chosen few in there instead?
Spooner had the right idea. As Joseph Schumpeter remarks in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: “… the state has been living on a revenue which was being produced in the private sphere for private purposes and had to be deflected from these purposes by political force. The theory which construes taxes on the analogy of club dues or of the purchase of the services of, say, a doctor only proves how far removed this part of the social sciences is from scientific habits of mind.”
Consider how insulting it is! Why is the president of the country better qualified than we are to determine where our resources will do the most good? Why are members of Congress or local politicians? Who on earth do these folks think they are?
In the past it used to be thought that certain folks in society had special qualifications to allocate the wealth that has been produced as well as to make most of the important decisions in need of being made. Kings, lords, barons, and such knew better than the paeans – you and I – as to what our labors ought to fund. Ergo, taxation and other takings!
Government – enforced compassion
Don’t you see how nasty this is, how it impugns our capabilities to be prudent, careful, sensible, wise and so forth?
Advocates of government wealth redistribution blatantly insult the rest of us by denying us the good sense it takes to spend our wealth. Wealth redistribution means exactly that. Somehow we need to be coerced – or nudged or intimidated – into doing what these bullies have decided needs to be supported with our wealth.
Why? Who are these people?
In the past there was an excuse – by sheer birth certain folks, coming from certain families or classes or whatever – had the qualification to manage our wealth and indeed us as well.
That has certainly happened – from the moment the State has come into being (i.e., shortly after the violent conquest phase).
But that is sheer prejudice! They really have no more clue than you or I about where to spend the funds we have come by! Indeed, as the tragedy of the commons demonstrates, the more folks are involved in spreading the wealth, the less well the wealth is likely to be spent. Most will be wasted instead of well spent, even when the intention is to do the right thing with it.
We ought to regard wealth redistribution and it’s source, taxation, not only forced taking but a serious insult toward the citizenry and reject it wherever possible.
A well-worn ritual…
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Addendum: Bernie Sanders Has Already Won
Senator Bernie Sanders is aiming to become the democratic party’s nominee for the presidency of the United States of America. He considers himself a democratic socialist. But his mission is actually superfluous.
In fact, Senator Sanders has already succeeded. America has for a long time been governed according to the principles of democratic socialism, as have many other Western countries.
This became clear to me as I was attempting to “go solar”. In order to install solar power at my home in Silverado, CA, I needed to submit the plan to the county planning commission. Their approval was necessary to go forward with the plan.
Solar permit application process for businesses – click to enlarge.
Any other substantial alteration of one’s property — the addition of a garage or new section — must be approved by such commissions. Indeed, throughout the country to undertake an installation such as I was contemplating, proprietors must obtain permission from various commissions, all of which are supposed to have been established by democratic means!
As I see it, this means that the country is being governed by the principles of democratic socialism.
There are now even “studies on the solar permitting process”, as absurd as this seems.