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Taxes-Our Sacrificial Duty

June 28th, 2011 by Mike N · 5 Comments · Culture

Tuesday’s 6/28 Detroit Free Press carries an op-ed by Leonard Pitts Jr a writer for the Miami Herald titled “Paying Taxes–a duty to your fellow Americans”. Mr Pitts has been preaching altruism especially government enforced altruism most of his journalistic life. I left the following comment at the online site:

“Mr. Pitts is still peddling socialism despite the fact that it is unsustainable, that people, workers, are rioting in Europe precisely because they refuse to grow up like children throwing a tantrum and realize that it is unsustainable. But he is also peddling government enforced altruism something the government should not be doing. Altruism is not about helping others per se. It’s about getting people to practice sacrifice, the giving up of values, as the only way to help others when in fact the only way to really help mankind is to trade value for value on a free and open market.

The words “… unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are not words of self sacrifice, but of rational self interest which Mr. Pitts obviously disdains. His claims that those of us in the Tea Party movement are anti government is a straw man. The Tea Party movement is against an unfettered, unrestrained government that no longer is concerned with people’s rights but rather runs around the nation–and sometimes the planet–collecting sacrifices to hand out to beneficiaries that were created by those same sacrifices.

I pay my taxes too. But I pay them because it is in my selfish interest to do so. Not because of some undefined duty to others. We gave up slavery a long time ago. Mr. Pitts wants us to be bound to others by law (taxes). That’s slavery even if only partially. (Forced taxation is a topic for another time)

Notice how Mr. Pitts lumps legitimate functions of government, police and military, with functions that are not essential for the government to provide like education and fixing potholes. Private markets would do an immensely better job of providing those things. It is time Americans discovered laissez-faire capitalism and the moral code on which it rests, rational self interest.”

I think it is important to attack sacrifice, the surrender of values, and promote production of values, free markets and rational self interest as often as possible in today’s cultural climate.

5 Comments so far ↓

  • Antacid

    I think attacking sacrifice is a mistake. Most aren’t sacrificing (well, they don’t realize they are). Most of the true sacrifice is demanded of the wealthy (directly, anyway) and you’ll find little to no love for them in today’s culture. The biggest monster to tackle is precisely that, the hatred of those most responsible for the advancement of our collective well-being: the wealthy.

  • Inspector


    I think the thing is, it might seem impractical to defend the wealthy against calls for sacrifice in hard times like these, but ultimately, there is no place to stand but on principle. And of course, on principle, it’s wrong to force a man to sacrifice, regardless of his wealth.

    I think it’s the strongest possible position to stand on principle, because if you don’t, you won’t win the overall battle, but also you’re vulnerable to people eroding your position. They can hone in on and snipe you, bringing the “well it’s ‘only’ the wealthy” point. The only way to neutralize it is to take the stand in the first place.

  • Inspector

    That is to say, the strongest possible position is to make the discussion a matter of right and wrong, rather than a quibbling about so-called practicality. (and when it’s a matter of right and wrong, then the amount of the victim’s wealth doesn’t change the argument – it’s either right or it’s wrong… and it’s wrong)

    (and ultimately, immoral things are impractical anyway)

  • Antacid

    The problem that I see and encounter is that people don’t see it as right and wrong when it comes to the wealthy. There is no convincing most that the wealthy are entitled to their wealth. Even when they acknowledge that the people should be entitled to their possessions and the right to keep and use those possessions as they see fit, that goes out the window when the person is wealthy. It’s this weird pre-conceived notion that the wealthy should only be entitled to what they need to live mildly comfortably. That’s the root of so much of the evils going on today (in my estimation). I don’t think you’ll get far until you put the axe to that disastrous mode of thinking.

  • Inspector

    You’re *exactly* right in that – which is precisely why we must put the axe to it first and foremost. Actually, I think you’ve made my point for me nicely, heh.