Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's not your money, it's our money

A rant from a South Australian leftist – two mitigating factors – who contemplates perhaps taking up teaching or professional writing - yikes, twice.

I’m sick and tired of people – usually self-identifying right-libertarians (or pseudo-libertarians if the association offends “true” libertarians) – claiming that taxation is taking their money. That it’s theft.


It’s not your money. It’s the state’s money. You see that head of state printed on the note or stamped on the coin? Over wondered why it’s a crime to mint our own cash in the same currency? Yeah. Exactly.

It’s the state’s money - it’s been allocated to you in recognition of your productivity.

And this is important to understand, because:

“It’s my money!”, by presenting a subtly extreme anarchist value as an unassailable statement of fact*, ends debate prematurely. Debate which to my mind was cut short in the 1970s – back when “a fair go” wasn’t just a jingoistic slogan – debate that we need to be having today.

Preferably this debate can be re-vivified before matters polarize further – before the debate re-ignites as a clash between bloody-minded ideology and incorrigible self-interest because people didn’t see it in their self interest to discuss the matter sooner. Or because some right-wing radical shouted “it’s my money!” and people just left it at that.

There. Glad to have that out in the open. *Big sigh*

Such delusions would be of little importance except that such thinking is all too typical of educated Australians who can vote. It's actually scary when you think about it.

Currency, in the form of notes and coins, is a physical manifestation of "money", which is itself an abstraction. My "money", other than what's in my pockets, does not physically exist, residing as it does in the value of my various assets, including what's sitting in my bank account, which does not physically exist until I go to the bank and withdraw it as currency or in the form of a cheque. Altenatively, I can transfer my "money" directly to almost anywhere on the planet. Should I transfer my "money" to a Swiss bank account the "money" does not belong to Switzerland, it's still mine.

Whereas I would never describe taxation as "theft", such a description is essentially correct: government's are, as far as I know, unique in their self-granted ability to legally and coercively extract "money" from individuals and businesses.

Bruce, the author of the "money" nonsense above, is a noted leftard who, of course, is consistently wrong.


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