I was telling my wife about a radio interview I heard recently. A woman (an economics professor, of all people) was talking about the problems associated with 401(k) plans, and how they don’t work: they don’t give people the returns and the money they need to enjoy a good quality of life. Instead of putting the blame on government-erected obstacles to high returns and stability of income, the blame was put on individuals for being unable to plan their retirement well.
The answer, of course, lies with a government-run pension fund. Why not? All the European countries are doing it. Why not us? The rationale she gave was that governments are more stable than Wall Street companies.
When I said this, my wife wisecracked, “That’s because the government can keep stealing,” or words to that effect. To hear her equate government taxation with theft (a libertarian ideology) was great! Honestly, I have a hard time saying that taxation is theft. For me, to do so is to state the illegitimacy of government. I’m not quite ready to do that yet.
But for my wife, a sociology-trained working class young woman, who leaned to the left for some time, to utter a statement that strikes at the core of libertarian belief was a joyous moment for me!
She sees that government as destructive and barrier-building, rather than constructive and helpful, as it purports to be. She sees how much income tax and SS tax and Medicare tax is deducted from each and every paycheck (not to mention state and local taxes). She sees firsthand how individuals waste government welfare money. She sees the insanity associated with warrantless searches, pre-emptive war, wasteful government programs, etc. She sees all of this and draws the same conclusions that I would.
She is, in short, changing to become a libertarian (a classical liberal; that philosophy which characterized the political beliefs of the founders). It is wonderful and refreshing on many levels to see someone I love believe very closely to what I believe.
Self-reliance, individual liberty, de-regulation, minimal taxation, and an emphasis on voluntary participation in voluntary organizations is the order of the day. Appropriating more taxpayer dollars into a bloated and ever-expanding government apparatus will not lead to moral, economic, or societal progress!