Saturday, 28 January 2012

Taxation "You have to tax people, because selfish people won't just give!'

When discussing voluntary charitable giving vs coercive taxation, an argument often put forwards in favour of taxation is "some people are selfish and would not give, so you have to tax them".

My response is "So what if some people wouldn't give?".

If state welfare is provided by spreading the burden between everyone using taxation - then some people will be forced to pay when they would rather not, but also some people will pay less than they would be willing to give otherwise...

If we simply let people give as much (or as little) as they are prepared to give we will have the society we are willing to pay for, no one will be imposed upon, and no one will be robbed of the opportunity to be as charitable as they wish.

The same extends to the allocation of general taxation for essential state duties - such as defence, justice and market regulation. If there are people who don't want their taxes going on the UK's nuclear deterrent, then why not let them have their taxes spent elsewhere?

I'd be happy for more of my taxes to go to our nuclear deterrent and have less spent on the areas that are already covered by the those who don't want to pay for our submarines.

The idea that 'everyone' must be made to pay towards 'everything' is simply bogus - based on the patronising view that taxpayers are cattle the be herded by their 'betters' and incapable of making their own choices/decisions. It causes friction, encourages evasion and suits no one.

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