The Stupidity of Theft

From a comment, here:

Your right we should be ashmaned of ourselves. and for Katrina too. I
dont like the republicans anymore. they inspire hate for our own, but
let scum like Iran breathe.


That’s quite a mix of things. I suppose the only way to tie them together is under a common premise of "entitlement."

Immigrants are entitled to social services. Katrina victims are
entitled to disaster relief. Americans at large are entitled to be
taken care of before those in other countries.

If you remove that premise, what do you have? Suppose nobody has a
right to take from me and you–or anyone else–without our say-so.
Note: I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with giving immigrants a
helping start. Not saying there’s anything wrong with massive relief
efforts for victims of natural disaster. Not saying there’s anything
wrong with various forms of assistance for Americans at large, or
"taking care of our own," first.

But stealing from me, you and every other productive person renders
all of those things the spoils of theft–not the
charity from good and kind people those things should be.

I don’t have a right to stop an immigrant from crossing a line on a
map–except as it concerns my own property; which means: I also don’t
have a right to steal your property or anyone else’s to help them. I
don’t have a right to stop you or anyone else from giving your last
nickel to help a disaster victim, but I have no right to compel you to
"give" a single nickel either, and no one has a right to compel me.

Taxation under threat of force tarnishes, ruins and embitters
everything that American charity–the greatest in the history of the
world–was supposed to be.

Theft is always stupid. It’s a shortcut that undercuts the benevolent humanity underlying all genuine charity.

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  1. prying1 on April 20, 2006 at 12:31

    It would be nice if at the end of the year the government would send every man woman and child a letter saying, "You have paid $XXX in taxes this year.

    Included in the number would be taxes on phones, gasoline, heating bills, electricity, sales, state and local, property, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. – Perhaps then some of the lethagic ones would sit up and at least say, "Hey, Wait a minute!"

  2. Kyle Bennett on April 21, 2006 at 06:39

    if government has no right to tax its citizens, then the citizens have no right to security, services and such that governments provide.

    That's correct. No one has a positive right to something that must be produced by someone else. Claiming such is theft, and government is just a way to connect theives to victims.

    I bet the average US adult reads less than a newspaper a day.
    I hope you're right. There is no newspaper in the US that does not actively promote the socialist lineMaybe now that newspapers have become obsolete dinosaurs, their influence will start to dissipate.

    I bet "J" drinks alot, doesn't he?

  3. J's Girlfriend on April 21, 2006 at 03:50

    …and more importantly, can you actually take seriously a commenter who can't even spell/punctuate properly… No wonder Bush gets elected, I bet the average US adult reads less than a newspaper a day.

  4. the bloke on April 20, 2006 at 22:43

    I might be jumping in the middle of the argument here, but if government has no right to tax its citizens, then the citizens have no right to security, services and such that governments provide. Attributing governments of stealing from its citizens merely because of taxation doesn't seem justified.

    Of course, one might ask the question whether governments who are not providing security, services, stability, etc. very well have the right to collect taxes to the degree that it does?

  5. web_loafer on April 21, 2006 at 23:06

    One thing a lot of people don't want to think about:
    In a few years, yes in 2008, the biggest and selfishist (Bill Gates just told me that is not a word, but I am going to leave it here ) crop of baby boomers will be retiring in America. A big percentage of those baby boomers are nothing more than self absorbed elitist, but they have a large nest egg…..stashed away in tax proof shelters.
    If you think boomers are acting strange today, think about 2008.
    The aged bigots, thieves and turncoats who retire in or around 2008, will become America’s biggest complainers.

    Well after all, we will be retired.
    We will have lots of time to complain, while you youngsters of today are sweating away in the sweat shops, 70 to 80 hours a week.
    Your tax burden will be so great, loafing on government dole will be out of the question.
    Out of question for all but the retired.
    They will have all the time in the world, to write warning letters to the crooked politicians, newspapers, and call into talk radio shows. They will be complaining about the governments lack of concern for their welfare. They will be publicly telling Alan Coombes that they have to eat dog food because of the evil conservatives, while they are snacking on caviar on celery. Alan will tell them, yes I feel your pain, and after the show is over, get into his special edition BMW and laugh all the way on the drive to the bank.

    The rest of the nation will have to work hard and long hours,(Thanks illegal aliens) at deflated wages ( thanks illegal trespassers) just to pay my social security check. And to pay for my Medicare paid for viagra, and medicinal marijuana.


    Don't blame me, I have worked hard all of my life, at jobs Americans won't do. OH I forgot, I am an American, but not in the eyes of the elitist in Georgetown, Hollywood, or Seattle.

    I didn't go to college, and I have been working since, and always at hard physical jobs.
    I have done my best in my soon to be 40+ years of work. I worked hard, and paid my taxes without complaint. Now it is the young ones turn to support me.

    I didn't mess this planet up, it was the leftist who graduated from UCBerkely, NYCC, Harvard, Yale and Brown University.

    Enjoy your dilemma.

    There is an answer, but you are too proud to consider it, so I won’t mention it.

    Oh, and kids, make sure President Hillary Clinton gets my SS check into my bank account on time, everytime. It will be deliciously delightful to watch Hillary try to deal with all of the problems the Marxist like her created. But I will be laughing all the way to the computer to check out my bank account balances.

  6. Attila the Mom on April 22, 2006 at 19:25

    Great analysis!

  7. damaged justice on April 23, 2006 at 05:41

    "The rest of the nation will have to work hard and long hours,(Thanks illegal aliens) at deflated wages ( thanks illegal trespassers)"

    Jesus Christ on a stick. I come over here from Samizdata to get away from the cloying stench of collectivism, and what do I find but more idiots crawling out from under their rocks.

    Libertarians are just anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.

  8. Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2006 at 07:31

    "Start your own business – be self reliant – make no excuses."

    Assumptions, assumptions.

  9. David Krueger on April 24, 2006 at 05:11

    Start your own business – be self reliant – make no excuses. And release your negativity. If you focus all day long on things you hate, then that will be your whole world. Having said that, I like this blog – I'll be back!

  10. Richard Nikoley on April 24, 2006 at 19:36

    "Government is the formal contract"

    Can you show me my signature on that formal contract?

    Look: I have little to no complaint about a lot of the benefits I receive, roadways and an excellent defense being among the finest. I'm not going to say that all of this is worthless to me. It's not. There's a whole lot of it I'd love to write a check for every month.

    But it's not a contract. Don't use concepts that are demonstrably false. I didn't sign it, or agree to it. The fact of the geographical local of my birth cannot reasonbly be construed as acquiesence.

    It's brute force, under threat of imprisonment, confiscation, or worse that "keeps me in line," not anything else, and it's simply ignoring the reality of things to call it anything different.

  11. Tim on April 24, 2006 at 19:05

    It's quite a leap to accuse everyone who says, "We ought to be doing these charitable things," as someone who espouses entitlements and government-backed thievery. In fact, people who live together in society by definition sacrifice some part of their selves in order to be part of a community. Government is the formal contract that creates and facilitates that community. If you don't like what the community is doing, you can work to change it, or you can leave. Our Founding Fathers recognized the danger posed by the tyranny of the majority, so they created a government of three parts that are supposed to balance and police each other. The problem, in my opinion, is not that entitlements are choking American liberty, but rather the politics of the two major parties has usurped the balance of power among the three parts of government.

    I'm living and blogging in New Orleans, and what we need more than anything is less politics and more good government. And that means at the city, the state and the federal level, too. All are controlled by the same two, greedy, self-serving political parties.

    Keep blogging for liberty, my friend!


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