I have interesting conversations, even with liberals. A few lately have given me a lot of food for thought, but not much encouragement on the individual liberty front. Most people just don’t seem to “get it,” at least not the big picture.
A very nice lady I know lives in the tiny “city” nearby. We often talk when we meet at the grocery store and other places. Her husband hunts, and belongs to the same gun club I do, but she isn’t interested in any of that. She does garden, and is a regular customer in the greenhouse where I work in the spring, so that gives us some things in common.
Anyway, she was telling me how happy she was with all of the work the city has done the last two years, building “walking” paths, planting trees and flowers, and installing benches and various “sculpture” things around town. She’s all for government to “sponsor” and support the “arts,” and is a hard core cheerleader for anything the “schools” want to do.
On the other hand, she is furious that the state of Wyoming chose to cut amounts they usually send to the schools, and the town and counties, the cuts to the budgets of several other programs and entities the government helps to support.
And so forth…
The state has seen rather steep reductions in revenue the last year or so, especially with the loss of much of the coal and gas industry – from which very stiff taxes are extracted. (I was quite impressed that the state cut those budgets, of course.) And she acknowledged that, rather surprisingly, but I didn’t bother asking her just where she thought a replacement for that revenue might come from. We did have that conversation a while ago, and she’s never going to “get it.” She doesn’t seem to think the money grows on trees, or can be extracted from thin air… but she does think it should come from SOMEWHERE, regardless.
And then I asked, casually, if she thought her own taxes were high. WHOOOEEE, yes indeed. She was uninhibited expressing that idea. The city property taxes are easily twice or more what we pay out here where I live in the county. We didn’t get around to discussing the fact that more than half of all property taxes collected here go to the “schools.” I hate to see her get so upset over it… And she went on to tell me how she and her husband have had to cut back on their spending since he retired. She’s not enjoying that one little bit, I can tell you. But she never denied that doing so made perfect sense with their reduced income. I didn’t ask her why she thought that didn’t apply to governments…
It just seemed a step much too far to expect her to understand that governments, which actually STEAL every penny they spend, should have to cut back on their spending, especially when the people they steal from have less… and that the walking paths, sculpture and such might be the place to start with that… Or maybe not so many “away” games for the school sports teams – especially when they require a bus or three to take them many hundreds of miles round trip. I’m sure you and I could think of a LOT of other things that might rationally be curtailed.
She doesn’t see the contradiction, or accept the idea that ALL taxes are theft (except maybe what’s stolen from her family) and so she seems to think there should always be plenty of other people’s money for the government benefits and projects she sees as good and necessary.
Does that make her a socialist? Probably. But I don’t know what I can do about it.
Far too many people can’t see the daylight shining beyond this whole other people’s money problem. But the rubric was settled a long time ago: Thou Shall Not Steal.
Seems simple enough to me.
I have a new question when people want the government to do something, including schools. Why do you want to steal bread from the mouths of the children of the working poor. If it were not for taxes and regulations the working poor could buy twice as much or more with what they make.
Too many people worship government instead of God.
Why steal from anyone? Everyone could do better things with what they earn. And if they didn’t make “better” choices, the consequences would be theirs alone too. Too many people pretend to worship “god” and won’t admit that their god is the state… especially when they can use other people’s money. Unfortunately, that includes many of the “working poor.”
We will be having this conservation forever or until the people wake up and put some people into elected places that will change things.
You are kidding me, I hope. Elect the right people? Change what? To what? How does that lead to individual liberty, self ownership?
I think the point of disconnect is the vast majority’s belief in the “authority” of the government. No matter who is “elected,” and no matter how much they disagree with whatever that person does, the “authority” remains and most seem to think they only need to elect the “right people” to restore the government to good exercise of that authority. And, after more than 5,000 years, nothing about that has actually changed. The worship of the government continues, whatever form it takes. The king is dead… long live the king.
People who will return government to what our founders wanted.
In the first place, why would that matter to me? Why would I care what those men “wanted?” Why this worship of men dead for more than 200 years?
Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and others had a lot of good ideas (and some very bad ones), but the non-voluntary government that formed denies and or destroys most of those good ideas in reality. The non-voluntary government, starting with the “constitution,” cannot exist without theft, fraud, coercion and slavery.
Good article MamaLiberty and a common problem. I have a dear friend who is a “liberal” and during one of our conversations, she was STUNNED to learn that government does not have any money of its own but that every cent it gets, has to be extorted from the citizens. I was stunned at her ignorance. Thanks for writing!
Oh yes. 🙂 So many people think I’m crazy for my absolute freedom, “purist” stance. They don’t usually understand that this is my foundation, my base line… but isn’t want I usually talk about with others. The frustration is getting anyone at all to relate, in the least, the foundation of absolute integrity of that base with the millions of infringements going on all around us constantly. People who insist that theft is wrong can’t seem to see that theft by the bogus “authority” is even worse… even if they think that the theft from THEM is somehow not acceptable. There always has to be “someone else’s money” to make it OK.
I’ve not found much difference discussing the foundation principles, compared to the everyday components of it such as my conversation with this lady. Almost nobody sees the foundation, and damned few see the logic revealed by it in the minor details.