Saturday, October 1, 2011

Taxes are Theft -- Not!!!!

Many conservatives believe that taxes are theft, particularly progressive taxes on the wealthy, because taxes are taken by force. They feel that if someone earned a lot of money that money is theirs and the government has no business taking it. This makes sense, until you realize that nobody ever got rich alone. No one. Ever.

To see this, consider an entrepreneur who has a great idea, builds a factory, produces the product, sells it all over the world and makes billions. They created the wealth, right? It's theirs, right? Why should the government get a piece?

Well, our entrepreneur used the roads to deliver product to his customers, and we all paid for the roads.

Our entrepreneur was protected from theft, vandalism, and fire by police and fire fighters that we all paid for.

Our entrepreneur need educated staff, and most of the staff hired were educated in public schools we all paid for.

Our entrepreneur undoubtedly used the internet for advertising, organizing, etc. The research that led to the internet was paid for by everyone.

This could go on for a long time, but you get the idea.

Our entrepreneur did great work and deserves a big chunk of money, but that product would never have succeeded without the infrastructure and services we all paid for. That's why it is moral and just to require our entrepreneur to pay taxes so the next entrepreneur will have roads, police protection, an educated workforce, and the other infrastructure and services we all pay for.

Thanks to Elizabeth Warren for articulating this line of reasoning.