Monday, November 5, 2012

Waxing Political

In case you don't live in Ohio, you may not be aware that it's time for another presidential election in the U.S.  As usual, the religious talk shows and some churches are giving their non-specific, but blatantly obvious political plugs for candidates whose names end with the letter "R."

I heard one radio show (Family Talk) that was playing a recording from a church service, where a former American Family Radio exec was speaking about the fundamentals of (political) economics.  It went something like this:
"If you make $100, and you go into a restaurant where everything costs less than $100, then you have complete freedom to get anything you want there.  But if someone takes money away from you, then they take some freedom away from you.  Because if you only have $80 left, you can no longer buy something that costs $90.  When somebody comes up to you with a gun and takes money from you, they take freedom from you and it's called theft.  When the government takes money from you, and they can do so with men with guns, they take freedom from you and that's called taxes."
I was thinking to myself, hmmm....
"If I have $100, but I can't drive anywhere to spend it because there are no roads, then I don't have freedom.  If I have $100, but my house has been destroyed due to a hurricane and there is no one to aid me in rebuilding my life, then I don't have freedom.  Etc.  On the other hand, if I chip in $30 for the collective good, to get roads and disaster relief, to protect the nation, to help ensure quality medication, to make sure that the water is safe to drink, to provide primary education, etc., then I'll have much greater freedom than I would ever have with just $100, and an entire nations of millions will share in that enhanced freedom with me."
Are the economic principles really that difficult to understand here?  Our government isn't perfect.  In fact, in a lot of ways, it really sucks.  And I am all for reform and responsible spending.  But to come at the problem from the perspective that keeping all of your money ensures you the most freedom, let alone that it is best for the nation, is fundamentally wrong.

Vote with your head.


  1. disgusting. I can't stand equating taxes with theft. It's just dishonest. Like you said, our government isn't perfect, but it sure as hell does a lot of good stuff for us.

  2. A lot of people don't vote with their head. They don't even vote with their heart. They vote with someone else's head.

    1. At the polling place this morning, there was a line so I was talking to the people around me. The lady in front of me said when she was younger a neighbor would tell her who to vote for, and she followed his instructions so she wouldn't have to bother doing her own research. I was pretty stunned and didn't know what to say, I just stood there nodding like an idiot I think.

    2. It takes more work then some people are willing to make their own informed opinions.

  3. Yeah Hausdorff, it is disgusting. Even more slimy to me was the way that this guy was essentially saying that taxes take your freedom away. I hope no one paid attention to him, but I'm sure we're not that lucky. And I, too, probably would have stood there nodding my head like an idiot to someone who told me that they voted the way their neighbor told them to. In fact, nodding like an idiot is one of my finely honed skills. It works great at parties. :-)

    Grundy, you're too right. It's rather scary, but maybe we are helping to change that it our own small way?

  4. Last time I went to a public forum of candidates, the couple beside me told me that they were voting for the person who had once worked the same job they did. (Soldier) I said something like I liked to write so maybe I should vote for the journalist.
    Identity voting trumps even self-interest.

  5. I think that's a great point, prarienymph. We are definitely swayed into voting for members of our "clan," whatever that particular clan may be. I'm sure that's why Romney carried more than 80% of the state of Utah in the US, which has a high Mormon population density. I'm sure I would be swayed to vote for an atheist candidate, myself. ;-)