Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Income Redistributes Itself
Last month, my income was redistributed to Verizon Wireless, Puget Sound Energy, Frontier Communications, HostGator, Fred Meyer, Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart, New Egg, Haggens, my local Cruisin Coffee, my local Woods Coffee, Home Depot, my local Ace Hardware store, Best Buy, my local Dairy Queen... My voluntary endowment contributed to jobs for countless people, locally, nationally and worldwide (yes, including China1), in exchange for goods and services rendered. Win - win!

Last month, my income was also involuntarily redistributed to taxes. Originally, taxation was intended to cover the cost of doing the business of government. Presumably, people received services in return: Protection of our life, liberty and property though the military, police and the court system. The operation of the executive and legislative branches. The bare essentials.

Other things, such as fire protection, road and highway systems, water, sewer, trash pickup, could be done by private enterprise, but government has assumed these roles. This is partly due to the fact that they might be considered "natural monopolies". Lacking competition, a certain amount of regulation and oversight might be necessary (although I would argue that economic forces and public opinion might provide sufficient control). I will grudgingly accept government doing this, since I need these services anyway. However, funded by mandatory taxation, it does invite abuse and runaway costs.

For some reason, public schools, welfare entitlements, health care (including contraceptives and abortions, we now discover2) has been, or is being picked up by government. I would argue that these can and should be done by private citizens, charities or local communities (maybe local government in the case of school boards). I do not want my income being redistributed in this way. I want control over these functions -- they are individual responsibilities. I want to be able to redistribute my earnings to the ones that promote the kind of society I believe in, not the kind of society some president, or some bureaucrat, or some union dependent believes in.

1Here my earnings are raising the standard of living above anything those people have ever known, even at what we would consider "slave wages" (whatever that means - they're not captive). Conditions improve over time, but you can't expect US corporations to subsidize China's economy (more than they already are simply by doing business there at prevailing wages). If our government insists on making it too expensive to do business in this country, the free market will find a way, despite any attempts by any government to control human behavior, cf. The USSR.

2These are matters of conscience that, like religion, fairness dictates mandatory taxation should not subsidize.

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