Mosquitos and Taxation

While on a walk recently, I couldn’t help but notice the mosquitoes buzzing about, wanting a piece of me.  That is, a piece of my blood.

That brought to recollection something I heard on the radio the other day.  It turns out that only female mosquitoes bite for blood.  Why do they bite for blood?  They are rearing young, and they need the extra energy.  Now this isn’t an aggressive or inherently destructive motive.  They (probably out of instinct) get blood (and really need blood) to rear their young.

Now, I have nothing against mosquitoes getting blood to rear their young per se.  It’s when they start taking my blood (or someone else’s blood without their consent) that I have an issue: it’s my blood, after all.  I think I have a right to it.  I may choose to donate my blood to mosquitoes if I so choose (or so could anyone else), but it is not theirs for the taking, no matter how appropriate their reasons may be for doing so.  It’s my blood.

Consider the analog to our current welfare-warfare state, with its myriad taxes, regulations, statutes, and infringements on liberty.  The motives are often not directly destructive and aggressive: few statists would really have as their motive the control of an individual’s life, or the taking of his liberty.  They have the high idea to help poor people, or keep the environment clean, or educate children, or stabilize the economy.  The motives are fine.  I have no problem with any of those things.

What I have a problem with is when the state approaches me, mosquito-like, and appropriates my wealth, my liberty, and my freedom without my consent.  Just as I have no inherent objections to mosquitoes consuming blood, I have no inherent objections to money paying for an improved education, infrastructure, environment, or economy.  But let us pay voluntarily.

What I object to is the mosquito-like way the state comes to me and you and sucks away our resources, without so much as a permission-slip.  One wonders what the upper limit is on what the state can exact.  How much is too much for the mosquitoes?  Is there such a thing?  For as long as there is someone with some money to spend, there is someone with some money to be “donated” (redistributed) to someone less well-off.

Is it a crime to help those less fortunate?  Absolutely not.  But let us do so voluntarily, rather than having our earnings exacted from us willy-nilly.

The statist will say that voluntary, liberty-based economic systems lead to problems that can only be corrected by government intervention and spending.  A close and careful examination of economic history shows while free societies are not without their problems, it is the government interventions that make these problems far worse than they otherwise would be.

From the business cycle (and its myriad incarnations and implications) to welfare problems to education problems to monetary problems to terrorism problems, it is an arrogant attitude of state intervention that not only infringes on liberty, but complicates problems beyond what they would otherwise be in the absence of such state intervention.

It’s high time we see the state apparatus as more of a mosquito than as a redeeming power.



Filed under Libertarian, Personal, politics, role of government

3 responses to “Mosquitos and Taxation

  1. ed42

    I wish I had a big can of OFF when the state comes calling…

  2. socialist brother-in-law

    While you’re on the subject of parasites, you might be interested in this new book that just came out about the predator state. Actually, I’m sure you’d disagree with almost all of it, but hey at least we can kind of agree on the metaphors we like to use.

  3. plato04

    Thanks for chiming in.

    Actually, it may surprise you to know that I would agree with significant chunks of the book. From the description on,

    ‘He then explores the true nature of the Bush regime: a “corporate republic,” bringing the methods and mentality of big business to public life; a coalition of lobbies, doing the bidding of clients in the oil, mining, military, pharmaceutical, agribusiness, insurance, and media industries; and a predator state, intent not on reducing government but rather on diverting public cash into private hands. In plain English, the Republican Party has been hijacked by political leaders who long since stopped caring if reality conformed to their message…

    The real economy is not a free-market economy. It is a complex combination of private and public institutions, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, higher education, the housing finance system, and a vast federal research establishment. The real problems and challenges — inequality, climate change, the infrastructure deficit, the subprime crisis, and the future of the dollar — are problems that cannot be solved by incantations about the market.’

    It’s true the economy as it stands is not a free market economy. Not even close. Mainstream Republicanism moves increasingly farther from that ideal. I am absolutely in agreement that the corporate state exists, and am absolutely opposed to the types of business-government alliances many liberals oppose, including subsidies for oil companies and the military-industrial complex.

    But I do not see it as good logic to say, “Therefore the ideals of the free market must be abandoned altogether to reflect our current situation.”

    The only long-term solution is away from statist solutions and towards individual freedom (and the market, the inevitable extension of individual liberty), the classical liberal tradition upon which this country was founded. Movements away from classical liberal traditions are sure to result in more government, higher taxes, less freedom, fewer employment opportunities, more poverty, and an increasingly lower standard of living (or a standard of living that rises much slower than it otherwise would).

    Again, it’s true the corporate state (espoused by Reagan as well as Bush) is plagued with problems, and I am adamantly opposed to it. It’s also true that Republican party has fooled people into thinking it supports free markets. The truth is far from it. But the solution to problems associated with government intervention is not more government intervention.

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