RE: capitalist religion

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 23:17:50 MDT

There are a number of libertarians, like Daniel Ust and Brian
Williams, who claim that it is absolutely morally wrong for
governments to forcibly take money from citizens. Rafal Smigrodski
put it this way:

>> namely, isn't it morally wrong to take money under duress,
>> (the IRS), ultimately backed by a threat of death, to pay
>> for other persons' life-saving procedures? I would say it depends.

When all is said and done, I would probably agree that yes, it *is*
morally wrong, and that this is an extremely high concern.

However, the real reason that I oppose government confiscation
of the wealth of the prudent to finance the needs of those whose
lives haven't worked out for some reason, is evolutionary:
Approving of government to pay for everyone's health care, for
example, seem to me unappreciative of how wealth is created in
the first place. Specifically, there seems to be little awareness
necessary attributes of all those societies that in the past
gradually became wealthy.

Let us suppose that in the Constitution of "the first new nation",
i.e., the United States, there had been a provision for a minimal
guaranteed annual income. Isn't it clear that many people would
have lost the incentive to contribute? As it was, there were a
number of people who were too lazy, or too wasteful, or lacking
in other positive traits. But they didn't thrive and people didn't
look up to them or accept them, and as a result the traditions that
*did* survive were positive ones. I'm always surprised at the
"no fear" attitude of liberals who don't appear---under a lot of
cases---to understand how historically important *incentive*
has been in people's lives.

Later, when our world economy has become so strong that it no longer
matters whether everyone is guaranteed an income of $100,000 or not,
then I will be much less concerned about destroying the traditions
of personal responsibility that took so many centuries to evolve.


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