Essay:You benefit from government services; therefore you should pay taxes!
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In response to the video I'm Allowed to Rob You:
|“|| And after he robs me, he then volunteers to provide roads and highways, police, firefighters, and EMTs. He considers public education a right for me and my child, and further helps with capital investments for energy infrastructure and oil imports etc... . Now, sometimes I do not like the way he subsidizes those who own most of the capital wealth in our country, and may have moral outrage toward those choices. However, it is up to me to get to the election polls and otherwise engage in a political process that insists on more equitable distribution of those (robbed) dollars. Redistribution of wealth in a democratic capitalism is probably a "Keynesian" praxis, and seemed to work well enough under those administrations who had the balls to tax the rich. Why is it okay to tax the wealthy? Because they benefit from our infrastructure EVEN MORE than the rest of us since the HUMAN CAPITAL who make the money for those individuals is supported by that same infrastructure.
Further, the HUMAN CAPITAL is paying more in taxes relative to their income than the wealthy...so fuck your radical individualism and either go live in the woods by yourself and opt out of the tax system, or accept that you are a social primate who needs to play to stay... (I make that last argument because I always hear Libertarians say that everything is a "choice" and if people don't like the capitalist system we operate here in the US, they can "just leave"...but it's really not so simple is it?). Honestly, I think there is merit in much of what you have to say, and if we did not have such an imbalance of economic power and wealth, then a "free market" might work...but you would have to reshuffle the deck and re-deal all the cards...primitive accumulation of wealth always comes about through violence, and is maintained by imperialism and militarized violence.
Gangsters are not above opening soup kitchens, providing "protection," etc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw4rHDJGCuU But if what they offer is such a great deal, why do you have to be forced to participate under penalty of violence (whether in the form of imprisonment or something else)? Once the government incarcerates you, you're at least temporarily not allowed to vote. Talk about imperialism!
McDonald's is able to sustain its operations without throwing people in jail for refusing to buy hamburgers. One could, of course, argue, "People eat at McDonald's and then you benefit from living in a society with well-fed people; therefore, you should be forced to chip in for their meals!" But I already do chip in when I engage in voluntary transactions with those people; if I buy a car, that pays for that assembly line worker's hamburger. The rich also pay more to support the assembly line workers' hamburger habits, because the rich buy more cars and more expensive cars. The rich owners of a car company may make more money than the assembly-line workers, but they also eat greater losses if the company fails.
So why not apply this same logic to other services, such as education, which could be privately funded just like McDonald's? Sure, if the rich guy drives on a road, he should pay the owner of the road. But that owner of roads doesn't have to be the government, any more than railways or airports have to be owned by the government. If the poor lack essentials, there is usually someone willing, out of compassion, to at least give them the minimum they need to survive, and usually they get a lot more than the minimum. Capitalists aren't all stony-hearted. Adam Smith is more famous for The Wealth of Nations, but he also wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments, about compassion.