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.