31 March 2009

A Matter of Perspective

Quoth Timothy Sandefur:

Well, I just finished my income taxes. I was forced to give the government $23,456 this year to give to people who don't work. Isn't that just dandy?

Or, put a little differently, you could say that he paid $23,456 in order to secure the blessings of civilization in the United States. That money goes to pay for education, for scientific research, for common defense, for emergency management, for roads, for space exploration, for food safety, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And yes, a miniscule portion of that cash goes to help people who for one reason or another find themselves desperately unemployed, although to be fair a large number of persons who receive welfare checks do, in fact, work, but are only able to find part-time jobs for whatever reason and cannot make ends meet.

Yeah, it's easy for anyone to look at a handful of examples of things we don't like in the federal budget and say, "Well, geez, why am I paying for that?" But government funding has done a lot of good in this country and in the world, and it continues to do so every day.

Of course, Sandefur is a brilliant thinker and one of the leading lights of the modern-day libertarian movement and therefore knows this very well, which just makes the above bit of snark that much more objectionable. Coming from the ignorant this is the kind of claim that can be argued with facts, with evidence, but coming from a person who knows better it's just Internet Assholery at its finest.

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