Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Nov 28, 2012

Hence my Semi-voluntary Strike

Now, I have some serious problems with these statistics.  Receiving some kind of welfare benefits doesn't mean that you're not also working and being productive.  Nor does being a government employee, because the government has spread, fungus-like, into so many legitimate areas of the economy (and some government functions, like the police and military, are legit in and of themselves) that it's not this straightforward to draw the line between producers and parasites.  So it's not entirely true that every 1.25 taxpayers are completely supporting 1 other person.

Granted, if those taxpayers have non-working dependents of their own, they may be supporting MORE than 1 person.  My housemate Adam, for instance, pays his full mandated amount of taxes (probably more than that, actually, since he doesn't itemize deductions) AND supports me at the same time.  I don't think this is a great state of affairs.  I would much rather be self-supporting, more because it'd give me somewhat more freedom and control over my life than because I consider our current situation to be straight-out immoral.  Our setup is one of voluntary exchange (although I'm getting more than he is from my perspective, at least), in contrast to whatever other invisible stranger he's helping to support at the point of a gun.

Enough about me, though.  I think one of the more grievous aspects of this situation is the incredible distortions it produces.  A lot of these welfare programs, for instance, can only be spent on specific goods, like medical care, food, housing, power, etc.  So regardless, money is being drained out of other areas of the economy and directed toward this, instead.  The various education benefits aren't even mentioned.  Here's the thing, too--I have NEVER made more money in a year than the final benefits cliff in that graphic, yet I have never received money from ANY of these programs.  Maybe I should have gotten myself knocked up.

And people wonder why I'm not rushing around straining myself to find a job.

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