Mark D. Fulwiler (
Thu, 05 Feb 1998 16:09:14 -0700

Doug Bailey
> wrote:

> I find it extremely ironic that on a list that looks to the future (where the
> concepts of sharing information and resources is generally viewed as optimal)
> that the spectre of individual greed rears its ugly head.

Mr. Bailey, in case you didn't realize it, the government coerces you to
pay taxes. You don't pay, they throw you in jail. You resist, they blow
your head off. It's as simple as that. I'm a libertarian. I oppose the
initiation of force, whether by an individual or a collective.

I doubt if anyone on this list has any objection to people voluntarily
sharing information or resources. What people do with their money and/or
knowledge is their own business. It's the violence of the state many of
us object to and the idea that we should be forced to give our money
away to others. Taxation is just another form of slavery. This is a
moral issue to me and arguments about what taxes are "fair" and whether
Reaganšs tax policy "worked" (whatever that means) are totally beside
the point. People should pay for the services they want and not be
forced to pay for those they don't want.

I want zero taxes. Zilch. Zip. As an interim measure, I want everyone's
taxes to go down and the government to shrink.

We could argue about the economics of chattel slavery, but it's
irrelevant. Slavery is wrong, and has no place in a civilized society.
It took about 100,000 years for people to realize this. I can only hope
people will realize the same about taxation at some point.

O.W. Holmes once said that taxation is the price we pay for
civilization. He was dead wrong. Taxation is the price we pay for not
having a good enough civilization.

As for the philanthropy of the Rockefellers and Bill Gates: fine and
dandy. They are free to give away their money as they see fit. However,
it's my opinion that the Rockefellers did much more to help people by
providing high quality petroleum at low prices than they did with any of
their charity. (Unfortunately, power hungry Nelson Rockefeller did much
to undo the positive aspects of the family business when he became
governor of New York and started taxing, regulating and throwing people
in prison for victimless crimes.) As for Bill Gates, I believe does much
more to help people by running a successful business than he does by
giving away computers to schools, admirable as that may be.

As for greed, what's wrong with it? What's ugly about it? The idea that
the only people who do any good for others are the altruistic Mother
Theresa types is nonsense. If I provide you with a product or service at
a good price and I do it solely to add to my bank account, what's the
problem? I'd like my (unfortunately low) standard of living to increase
and keep increasing. What's evil about that?

I don't owe you anything, you don't owe me anything. I cooperate with
others when it is in my self interest to do so. I'm happy to cooperate
with you if there is a good reason to. Otherwise, I'd like to be left

Mark D. Fulwiler