Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Taxes and musings

I would like to introduce a radical thought: taxes are a fee we pay for services rendered, and are not different in principle from any other purchase, other than that we cannot opt out, and we cannot choose another service provider.

The service provided is the service of government, which includes protecting our nation, providing regulations which in theory protect the peace and prosperity of the American people, and punishing people who are violent, foreign and domestic.

In practice, though, the feedback loop between what the people actually want and believe they will benefit from, and what government actually provides, is quite long, and highly distorted by the fact that some people can use government to benefit themselves at the expense of others.  People who pay no taxes are still allowed to vote for people who promise them the money of the people who DO pay taxes.  Corporations are able to create government run monopolies of various sorts, and various differential treatments that give them big advantages, which they then use to make sure the politicians who help them stay in office.  Self evidently, this is not the business of government, but given sufficient power granted to the government, such abuses are nearly inevitable.

In an orthodox education, it is easy to imbibe the assumption in the air that government exists for itself, that there is no alternative to massive government, and that the steady metastasis of government year after year, decade after decade, century after century, is inevitable, and constitutes "progress".

I will assert, again, that the proper alternative to government is moral education.  People who are naturally respectful of others do not need restraint, and do not need hordes of laws telling them what to do, and do not need to pay for hordes of bureaucrats and police to enforce those laws.  Only bad people need laws.

Globally, free markets and liberal governments work to remedy all the causes of violence between nations.  They enrich everyone, enable feedback from the people to the governments, and allow people freedom to live as they see fit.

Only mentally ill people seek power over others, for any reason. Globally, if we were to focus on moral and psychological health, we could and would live in peace.

I am presently undertaking a course of Neurofeedback, and am increasingly inclined to believe that it constitutes something close to a scientific approach to mental health, at least within broad limits.  What if it were made accessible universally?  Assuming I get the results which seem likely, I am going to get the gadgets and start offering it for free to addicts and others.  My sense is that in tandem with Kum Nye--a sophisticated method for achieving very deep calm and relaxation--it would be a fantastic combination for all of humanity.

I believe it was the philosopher Donald Trump who said "I like thinking big. If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big."

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