Something I've been pondering lately: not only the loony right but, it might be, a preponderance of most Americans, proceed and have been proceeding on the assumption that every penny of the money we earn belongs to us and ONLY to us, and, hence, that taxes are burdensome impositions if not, as the Randians at least prate (although when THEY need help it's quite a different story!), outright theft.
challenge that assumption and throw down the gauntlet to the REALLY
aspiring thieves, nearly all of whom do their dirty work under the
Private Enterprise colors even while they seek to loot us every which
way they can, including buying up OUR government. Not even the Founders
believed that ALL anyone's property was theirs alone. In proof of which,
read these two quotes from two Founders:
All Property, indeed,
except the Savage's temporary Cabin, his Bow, his Matchcoat, and other
little Acquisitions, absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to
me to be the Creature of public Convention. Hence the Public has the
Right of Regulating Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and
even of limiting the Quantity and the Uses of it. All the Property that
is necessary to a [person], for the Conservation of the Individual and
the Propagation of the Species, is [their] natural Right, which none can
justly deprive [them] of:(Nowadays, that would be whatever's necessary
for a modest but decent living and to bring up--and educate--one's
children in modest comfort and security) But all Property superfluous to
such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have
created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever
the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does
not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among
The protection of a [person] is more sacred than the
protection of property; and besides this, the faculty of performing any
kind of work or services by which [s/he] acquires a livelihood, or
maintaining [their] family, is of the nature of property. It is property
to [them], [s/he] has acquired it; and it is as much the object of
[their] protection as exterior property, possessed without that faculty,
can be the object of protection in another person.
was written by Ben Franklin in a letter to Robert Morris on Dec. 25,
1783. The second is from Tom Paine's 'Dissertation on First Principles
I don't know about you but I can already hear
the whines, "Don't WE know how to spend our own money better than any
government revenue hound (modern variation)?"
The answer is, not
necessarily. Especially not if you ain't been paying attention, clown!
If you barely know what needs doing in your own town, city or region,
can we believe you if and when you say YOU know how to spend all your
money? I really do wonder.
Mind you, I have my own ideas where our
tax dollars should be put to work, but that's another matter. You want
roads and bridges safe to drive on? Clean air to breathe and water to
drink? Uncontaminated and reasonably fresh food? Not to mention police
and fire who serve EVERYONE fairly? The market will do whatever it
thinks it can get away with; it's long past time to discipline it and
none too gently neither at that!! We can (so far) only monitor the
market through the agency of OUR government. You want to know who
government is? The same folks as create jobs. THAT means the person you
see in the mirror in the morning as you either shave or apply war
paint--and his/her neighbors as well, all acting together and deputizing
people (representatives; who in turn hire and deputize 'bureaucrats',
many of whom actually work not at a desk but either on the road or in
physically strenuous jobs) to carry out the things we the people want
Remember: WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. WE ARE ALSO JOB-CREATORS. If
anyone tells you the government is your enemy, they say that YOU are
your enemy and they seek to sell you for parts!
And I can't repeat often enough that OUR desires and demands create the jobs!!
So--what we need to maintain ourselves, bring up and educate a family
in modest comfort is indeed ours, but anything above and beyond that can
and should be put to work in ways which benefit ALL of us, benefit the
society as a whole. At least, that's what Dr. Franklin said. And he
wasn't the only Founder who believed that either.