Sunday, April 4, 2010

Government "Charity"

The thing is, that I don't believe that most people who support government-run health care understand that they are, in effect, hiring people to rob their friends and neighbors.

I accept that:
  • Government funding comes from taxation.
  • Taxation is non-voluntary. If I refuse to pay taxes, then at some point people paid by the government will commit violence upon me.
  • No person is owed anything by their very existence beyond the very basic right to exist unmolested by others.
  • Forcing a person to perform labor against their will is the most basic definition slavery.
  • Charity is the giving of one's own time or property to another with no expectation of anything in return, and this is the best expression of the goodness of one's heart and soul.
It must follow then that for government to spend $1 to help a person who has not earned that dollar, it must first take that dollar from another person who has earned that dollar. Now, what motivation would a person in elected office have for the taking of the earned property of one citizen for redistribution to another citizen? It does not fit into my understanding of charity, that would be the case only if they gave their own personal property. Since it is not charity, I conclude (and this is a conclusion guided by experience, not direct evidence) that it is not without expectation of reciprocation. So what does the recipient of this taken property have to give? The coin of the realm is the vote.

This is the basis for my belief that the basic function of government social programs are to provide a means for government officials to buy the vote of one person with the forced taking of the fruits of some other person's labor. The fact that the other person "is rich and can afford it" does not change the nature of the act any more than the murder of an elderly person who has "lived a long life" makes the taking of his life something other than murder (please note that I am not attempting to draw an equivalence here between theft of work product and theft of life.)

Now in the case of government using taxes to support the defense of our country, well, the collection of taxes is still immoral at some point, but, as I see it, the sad state of affairs in our world is that if they don't then some other government that does will overrun us and then we will be forced to pay taxes to them. Yes it is an evil, but it is the lesser of (at least) two evils. Perhaps you can come up with something even less evil, and I would certainly embrace that, but I haven't seen it yet.

Additionally, the use of government to prevent its citizens from being molested is, in my opinion, furthering a basic right that they have. The use of government to give away goodies does not further any right, but due to the non-voluntary nature of government financing, it does necessitate the perpetration of a wrong (i.e. violence and the threat of violence) against some of its citizens.

I am not trying to personalize this, advocates for big government solutions have already done that and I am only reacting to what they are saying. All these sob stories about people in tough situations has drawn our focus to sympathizing with people and away from examining the mechanics of how the proposed "solution" will, by necessity, actually be implemented.

If my money will not be taken from me to support this, then why is it being done by the government? What about this requires government action if freedom is no being abridged? If this will not cost anything, then surely Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed could have accomplished this through a private effort and by doing so would not have incurred the high political cost they will surely pay in November. The fact that they are willing to cram this down our throats at such a price is evidence that it involves a taking of freedom from us. Sorry, I just don't believe that they are willing to pay such a price without getting at least as much in value for themselves in return.

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