Then there is a lack of understanding of what government, and the taxes it charges, actually does. How many people really think about just how much they are really dependent upon the existence of good government, the rule of law and the services the government provides to make a great deal of life possible? And I mean possible, not better. Without the infrastructure the state supplies there would be no markets of the sort we know to provide us with anything else. But awareness of that is, I suspect, quite low.
In the afternoon it will be government spends and then taxes to prevent the inflation from their having done so.
Third, the understanding of tax in all this is low. Most people, including the vast majority of politicians, still think that tax pays for government services. It doesn’t. Tax reclaims the money the government has spent.
Aha, no, it’s in the next paragraph!
But yes, he does manage to get one thing right.
The obvious response is that no one enjoys paying tax. But I am not sure that’s true. No one actually enjoys paying for anything. Just ask them. If they can got something for less very few will deny that they would prefer it. And marketeers know it: that’s why price is used as an incentive on so many occasions. But the fact that price is an issue does not mean people stop buying things. It’s the same with tax: the fact that people would like to get the services they enjoy for less does not actually mean they would not pay for them still. So I’m not convinced people don’t like paying tax. They’re just grumbling about the price.
Sure, we want the goodies and we complain about the price of them. Which is why claiming that tax, in and of itself, is a good thing is so ludicrously stupid. It’s the goodies we want. The tax is the price. Which means that we want maximal goodies for the lowest price. The tax is the bad thing, the cost, the goodies are the good thing, the benefit.
It’s possible to write about the Joy of Government. Even a minimalist like myself will agree that some is a very good idea indeed. It’s also entirely stupid to be arguing about the Joy of Tax.