Where did you car come from? Did you build it yourself? Did you pump the oil from the ground?
How about your clothes, where did they come from? How did they get to you? Unless you made them by yourself, you have no business arguing that there should be less government involvement in your life.
With all the attention the Tea Party is getting, and the backlash by those opposed to it, I have seen surprisingly few logical arguments why this political belief system is problematic. I hope to provide a few simple arguments that both disprove this ideology and also provide some food for thought.
The Tea Party was founded because there were people who believed that the government has too much power and interferes with our daily lives. They believe that the “Founding Fathers” never intended us to have a strong central government, that too much is spent on social programs and that more emphasis should be placed upon individuality. Many of them, however, are guilty of being reliant on the thing they despise.
Our taxes pay for many unnecessary things (don’t get me started on the DoD budget), but they also allow for us to be granted the most basic of services. Without a postal service, would we ever be able to receive mail, let alone other custom orders from mail order companies? More importantly, who would pay for the roads or other transit systems that we are 100% reliant on?
Sure, there may be several among us that are entirely self-sufficient, but can one truly live in our increasingly globalized world without basic services which are provided by our social institutions?
My argument is qualitative rather than quantitative, as the details of how much money is spent on different government programs is not important. What is important is the recognition that we have consciously chosen to embark upon a path of globalization and specialization, and that unless one advocates a return to the disconnected and “primitive” Medieval times, taxes and government are necessary.
I live in Israel where there is a significant problem with the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. Many of these people wish to live in pre-modern times, yet also want the modern technologies of cellular phones, the bus system and government subsidies provided to them by (sometimes) hard-working people’s money. If they truly wish to live like their ancestors once did, cut them off, let them live by themselves for a little while and see how far they get.
What I am asking for is a bit of awareness as to where the things we take for granted come from, and how heavily we are invested into our globalized society. Someone far away is responsible for creating the clothes we are wearing, the food we are eating and the computer that you are now reading this on, and someone else is responsible for getting them to you. We are all in this together and the selfish desire to keep more “money” for one’s self rather than contributing to a necessary social program is foolhardy. If you want there to be less taxes and less government interference, understand the implications of your actions, as they are much more far-reaching than you may imagine.