“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society…”
– Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
Today is the annual tax due date here in the United States. With all of the typical bitching and moaning going on, I thought it would be good for us to remind ourselves why we pay this money to our government.
It’s said that individuals freely cooperating and trading with one another simply could not provide many of the services which governments around the world consider essential to civilized societies. I couldn’t agree more.
Without compulsory funding, we wouldn’t have any of the following essential public goods – where would the incentive be to spend the time on them?
- Nuclear arsenals that could destroy the world’s population 100X over – USA! USA!
- Tomahawk missiles under the personal control of Donald J. Trump
- Drones that murder Pakistani wedding parties that were definitely plotting the next 9/11
- Highly necessary and not politically-controversial permanent military bases in 70 countries around the world
- MORE GUNS. So we can keep on keeping you safe from your neighbor’s AR-15 and their pet dog, of course.
- Paid leave for police officers who bravely shoot unarmed people and their vicious pet dogs
- Police robots that blow up the enemies of the people, or you, really depends
- Tanks so your local police department can be ready…..
- The global mass surveillance program that keeps tabs on the terrorists (and your teenagers, am I right? And you.)
- Police departments for harassing those ugly homeless people who are bringing down property values
- President Donald Trump and his tremendous plans for you
- The next politician and his/her tremendous plans for you
- A bunch of dubiously-titled presidents around the world who are definitely not dictators
- Bribery… err, important concessions to pressure groups
- Those ideological/economic/finanicial/social groups you love to give your money to and take money from
- Statues of politicians
- Politicians’ kids’ lifestyles
- Salaries for politicians so they can pretend they have real jobs, too
- Greek columns. A ton of Greek columns.
- Great new material for CNN and FOX News to talk about 24/7 while you’re waiting on security at the airport
- Job creation for the sadists you know and love
- Occupational licensing so poor people can’t compete with you
- Airport (feeling of) security
- Jails to hold all those icky people who like pot and/or need medical help for addictions
- 78,000+ pages of federal regulations to stifle those pesky small businesses we all hate
- Funding so that governments can think of more taxes (and therefore more civilization)
- Unelected teams of bureaucratic czars to protect you from the oligarchy of business
- Bail-outs for your favorite large, failing corporations and banks
- Day-time detention and obedience training centers for your pesky children
- Free money to help you evade responsibility for your choices
- Military “morale boosting” in every movie, movie theatre, school, church, and sports event.
- Student financial aid so more kids go to college to learn the value of being in debt, unprepared for a real job, and on the hook to the government (Selective Service Act hasn’t been fired up in a while…)
- Kidnapping and breaking up the families of the foreigners who want to steal your jobs and your culture
- Celebrating other cultures (very useful for important political ends)
- Whitewashing history with a new museum about the people our government killed or enslaved a while back. Oops.
- Border walls from sea to shining sea
- Protectionist economic policy enforcement to save you from cheap, quality goods from foreigners who aren’t like you
- Scientific research on the latest ground-breaking findings from Congress and the White House
- Infrastructure projects for our most important voting districts
These are just a few of the enlightened social projects a regime of compelled obedience and compulsory funding provides. Again, as you can see, there’s no reason anyone would voluntarily pay for any of these vital services, so we must take the heavy responsibility of forcing citizens to contribute for the greater good.
This Tax Day, don’t let those anti-social, unrealistic critics of taxation get you down. A world where people pay for things they want and work together voluntarily is one destined to a nasty, brutish, and short life.