Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
An article on MarketWatch, called The Happiest Taxes on Earth, quotes a study which claims people in Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands have the highest “life satisfaction” in the world. The writer equates “life satisfaction” with happiness, and then notes that these nations have some of the highest taxes in the world. Finally, he makes the assertion that high taxes are one of the causes of their happiness:
There are myriad reasons, of course, for happiness: health, welfare, prosperity, leisure time, strong family, social connections and so on. But there is another common denominator among this group of happy people: taxes.
Northern Europeans pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Danes pay about two-thirds of their income in taxes. Why be so happy about that? It all comes down to what you get in return.
He proceeds to list many of the welfare programs these nations have. Then he contrasts this with the situation in America, where we do not have as many, or as comprehensive, welfare programs, and he concludes:
Healthcare and other such social services aren’t built into our system. That means we have to worry more about paying for things ourselves. Worrying doesn’t equate to happiness.
So happiness, according to this line of reasoning, is a result of being taken care of by the government. Happiness is not having to worry about being responsible for yourself. Happiness is about giving two thirds of your income to the government, and letting them worry about taking care of you till the day you die. If this is true, then of course it means one thing:
Maybe it’s time that we [in America] looked at taxes differently. We have to pay them anyway. So they might as well make us happy. If Northern Europe is any benchmark, the more we’d pay the happier we just may be.
Now two thirds of a given individual’s income might not be enough to pay for his health care or retirement needs, of course. No matter. His wealthier brothers will pay it for him—whether they want to, or not. And therein lies the flaw in all welfare programs, in all welfare states. Welfare is theft.
But leaving aside the matter of justice, which already invalidates all welfare programs, what does it say about someone to be “happy” to live in a Nanny State? What kind of “happiness” is this? It is the happiness of slaves. Anyone who is content to have the government take care of them, has the morality of a voluntary slave. Such people want to be slaves, because they believe it is safer than freedom, and removes all worries from their existence. Whether it really is safer or not, whether it really removes worries from their lives or not, they at least believe that it does.
To anyone with a shred of pride, to anyone who actually wants to live a human existence, a life of such slavish contentment is not worth living. This does not mean a person trapped in such a state would or should commit suicide, of course. It means they should either escape to a freer country, or fight to establish a system of government in their own country that is worthy of man. The Nanny State is worthy only of sheep.