If I am forced to do good, is it still good?
I want the same things as you. I want a world where people get all the health care they need, where the small business can compete fairly with its larger competitors, where international disputes are solved without bloodshed, and where everyone gets a quality education. And so much more.....
But I want to do my part. Every day my money is used to do good things. For the most part, my money is taken from me, either through inflation or direct taxation (I am not completely taxfree overseas), to fund bank bailouts that perhaps saved the global banking system, to fund the American military empire to fight the global war on terror, to fund Social Security and Medicare, etc.
But I didn't do any of that. I did nothing. I had no control and can take no credit for it. Pardon me for saying so, but I don't feel like I did any good. Tell me, what did I do? I made no conscious decision to contribute to anything. I didn't evaluate the needs of anyone. I made no decision about the implications of any of that money.
In other words, I don't feel that I have done anything with that money to promote the "greater good." All I've done is go about my business while another human being stepped in and usurped my responsibility to society. How am I supposed to feel any dignity in that?
Therefore, that money was never mine. I never had the chance to employ it as a tool to make people's lives better. So please, explain to me why I should feel any pride or take any credit for any good that may have come from the taxation of my income (directly from my earnings or indirectly through inflation).
Not only was this distribution of money outside of my purview, as I stated before, the distributors act as though it was never mine to begin with. I never saw it. They spent it without consulting me. They chose how to spend it without consulting me. They made all the judgments and evaluations of the multitude of worthy and not-as-worthy causes without consulting me.
I feel as though I don't even matter. What difference does it make that I even exist to them? Am I just a wage slave to be exploited for my supposed charitable contribution? Am I just a social security number on a W-2 form? Would it make any difference to the distributors of my "charitable donation" if I earned the income or you earned it? Could they replace me in an instant without even batting an eyelash, as long as the money flow remained the same?
Why go through the whole charade of justifying the practices of taxation and inflation? Just tell me to pony up or else. Why do the bright minds of the intellectual class spend lifetimes legitimizing and waxing philosophical about such practices, when they could just say, "pay or else."
I think that would save us all a great deal of time.
David in Qatar