Subsidies

We seem to subsidize everything in this culture. We subsidize public housing, agriculture, banks, utility monopolies, universities, the poor, the indigent, science, you name it. If it has a constituency, it has a subsidy.
So, why are we so afraid to subsidize Liberty? What, you say, does that mean? How does one subsidize Liberty? We do so in a number of ways, which I will explain, but even more prevalent is our seeming fear of doing so. And that fear is the greatest tool the Statists have in maneuvering otherwise intelligent individuals to accept the many policies of subsidation that curtail their Liberty.
Don’t believe me? Try this on for size…so long as that size isn’t a Super-Gulp. For our own good the Mayor of New York now intends to limit the size of sodas. His rationale? People are fat. Why is that important? Because fat people require more medical care. What has that got to do with all the rest of us, or even other fat people? Well, don’t you realize (so goes the argument) we all wind up paying for that medical care so we have a vested, pocket-book related, interest in the health of every single member of our society. Because their inclination to make poor choices has a detrimental effect on my pocketbook, I have a right to a say in how they live their life. THAT is the Statist position and it has been applied across the entire spectrum of human activity.
It also glosses over the question, why are we all paying for someone else’s health care? Have we all agreed to this as a charitable donation? Have we burnt the Constitution and rebuilt America as a socialist utopia? On what basis am I required to provide a good or service to another individual for free? Perhaps it IS the moral thing to do. In which case, it ought to be moral organizations such as churches, synagogues, mosques, Wiccan circles, whatever, that provide it to those who cannot afford to purchase it. Perhaps it is to the best interest of the society as a whole that such health care be provided, insuring that the majority of the population remains productive, rather than a net drain on the resources of the society. Is that sufficient to impel me to forgo my natural rights? Is that sufficient excuse to take my property away from me, by threat of force, to give to another?
Oh, come on Michael, you are being melodramatic; no one is pointing a gun at you to make you give money for other people’s healthcare. Really?! The SCOTUS just declared Obamacare the Obamatax. I urge you, if you doubt me, refuse to pay your taxes for a few years. The government WILL come and take everything you own. And, if you refuse to give it to them, they will put a gun to your head and drag you to debtor’s prison or simply shoot you. Try it, I encourage you.
So, it should be clear by now, I oppose being forced to provide my property to the State to be redistributed in a manor not of my choosing to subsidize activities I do not approve of. I have said we subsidize many activities, but we fear subsidizing the Liberty of each other. How so? Look at all I have just said we do, from reverse. What if it does cost me to let other people make poor decisions? If we had a great deal more Liberty today than we do, many, many idiots out there would do things which I, personally, disapprove. Some of those things might even cost me personally. I might be inconvenienced or have my property damaged by their carelessness or even lose someone I love to their thoughtlessness.
How is that different than things are now? How many die from drunk drivers? How many children suffer from poor parenting? How much ecological damage is done, despite all our regulation? So, what have we gained from all this regulation, regulation that was supposed to protect us from the bad effects of too much Liberty? Are we safer? Are our lives simpler? Are we freer? Do we live with less fear?
The State dips into my pocketbook on a regular basis, in the guise of providing me with things I could not otherwise obtain (because they prohibit anyone else from providing it for the most part). Thousands of lives are impacted dramatically because they have become caught up in the judicial loop for petty crimes, most of which don’t involve damage to anyone else’s property (I recommend Badquaker, podcast 103 for a more detailed look at this). I will shock most of you, I don’t give a rat’s hind end if you drink and drive. I don’t care if you smoke pot. I don’t care if you eat nothing but Twinkies and pizza for the rest of your life. I don’t care if you want to skydive without a parachute, heck Ill even kick in for the plane ticket. So long as your actions do not impinge on my right to life, Liberty or property, you can do whatever you want, as far as I’m concerned. How you live your life is none of my business. Nor is it my responsibility to help clean up your mess.
Dan Carlin refers to these as Wallet Rights. As though your right to not pay for something is equal to or greater than someone else’s right to make their own decisions. This negates behavioral Liberty, one’s right to make decisions about how one lives and then accept the consequences, good and bad. The example Dan uses is skydiving. Say someone wants to skydive and I don’t want to pay for their broken leg, should they get one. So, I go to the State and get a law passed that says no one can sky dive until they can prove they can personally pay for any injuries they sustain. My roundabout concern for my pocketbook has infringed on another’s right to exercise their Liberty. But, Michael, does his behavior not impinge on your property rights? It wouldn’t, if we didn’t have socialized healthcare. If that individual was allowed to completely feel the effects of his choices, wise or no, it would either modify his choices or insure he was the only one who was affected by his choices. Thus, he has Liberty, and so do I.
There is a place for charity. There is a place, within a society, for caring for those who cannot, for giving a helping hand. That place is NOT within the State, provided through the good offices of those with the guns. I am quite willing to subsidize your and my Liberty through the costs associated with “too much” Liberty and “too little” regulation but I refuse to recognize the legitimacy of “society” taking from me my hard earned property to subsidize the lifestyle choices of ANYONE else. Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute should be our personal motto as well as our national sentiment. Guess what, the cost of Liberty is heavy, in both lives and dollars. Either you are willing to pay for it, or you are willing to give it up. What is the price of being a serf?
My sincere thanks to Badquaker, episode 166 and Dan Carlin and his Common Sense podcast, episode 231, for providing today’s inspiration. I highly recommend their work, even when I don’t agree with them.

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About cptcaveman

An Army Major, my family and I are in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We enjoy photography, cooking, reading and outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and trapping.
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