Friday, October 22, 2010

How can they live with themselves taking it?

This is a great post by Charlotte Gore—and is a nice counter to those shrieking about "the cuts".
Say I steal £1 off 100 people and give you the £100. Should I do it a second time? Apparently refusing to do it a second time is a greater crime, because I’m denying you £100 that you’re now expecting. The poor suckers who are losing the £1? It’s only £1 isn’t it? Hardly worth getting in a flap over.

If they knew how much you really really needed that money, they’d be happy to cough up, right?

See, whilst many (most of them apparently on Twitter) are psychologically able to ignore, or excuse, or basically discount altogether the taking money from people bit of public spending, there are some of us that just can’t.

One day it occurs to ask the question, “What exactly gives them the right to help themselves to whatever they want?” and the answer turns out to be because they can. Then you get a bit angry and frustrated, feel almost entirely helpless then, just to make things that little bit worse, everyone else in the world comes and slaps you in the face for even daring to consider such heretical notions.

The taking from me bit doesn’t count. I don’t matter. It’s the no longer giving bit that counts. Think about how people feel! Think about all the things they could do with that money, or that job, or learn from those people or achieve with the support of those others! Don’t you understand? Have you no feelings?

Apparently not. I just keep thinking, “But it’s not your money. How can you live with yourselves taking it?”

And this is the point: if the government spends money on anything, anywhere, then they have to steal it from people first. Even if they borrow it today, it will still have to be paid back by the proceeds of extortion.

You want Sure Starts for your kids? That money has to come from somewhere—and it is taken from me, by force. You want Child Benefit?—that money must be stolen from the fruits of my labour. Ultimately, my lifestyle is curbed to the tune of about £600 every month so that someone else can live a lifestyle that they cannot afford on my money.

Are we truly nation of shopkeepers? No—Britain has become a nation of thieves and extortionists.

The problem is that most people don't think about where the money comes from: it is magic money that falls from the sky. Except it isn't. It is money that is stolen from other people so that they can live a lifestyle that they could not otherwise afford.

Ultimately, the cuts are protested because people do not think about where the money came from originally, and because those in receipt of it think of the cash as their right. In far too many cases, we pay out large levels of benefits so that those living beyond their means are spared the embarrassment of begging their neighbours for a little charity.

If we want to put Britain onto a sustainable footing, these two things—understanding of where the money comes from and the shame of living on charity—need to be instilled in everyone.

Of course, one of the most succinct rebuttals to those screaming about the cuts is made by The Nameless Libertarian... [Emphasis mine.]
To all those complaining about the scale of the spending cuts, in particular those relating to welfare, here's a suggestion - if it bothers you that much, then find an applicable charity and donate money to it. That way you are doing your bit to help even though the government is no longer in a position to afford to help. And if you don't want to do that, then I'd like to politely suggest that you shut the fuck up.

To summarise, put your money where your mouth is, or shut the fuck up.


John Demetriou said...

Strong logic.

Sadly, most people do not see the blatant link between spending and the requirement for that money to actually come from somewhere - i.e. people who work hard, and who have no say in the fact their money is taken by coercion.

The left have nothing left in the tank. Nothing with which to properly counter their enemies.

All they can do is either ignore, use bully boy tactics and group support and ad hominem attacks.

There's no point in trying to engage with the ideological and the wilfully blind - though there are many out there who can be woken up and informed.

Hence why stuff like this is important. I guess it's one of the reasons we blog.

Half a Seagull said...

The Government takes some of your money to give to others.

If it didn't, the others might well come and take it from you themselves.

At least, when the Government takes your money, they don't slit your throat afterwards.

Anonymous said...


Yes, but in a libertarian society I would be free to shoot anyone who tried that.

John Demetriou said...

I love that. It takes 'some'.

I think you'll find, if you add in direct, indirect, stealth, death and corporate taxation, it's a pretty high fucking percentage of the money that people earn and spend in transactions.

And we don't have a say - the two main parties arent that far apart on their criminality in this regard.

Reverse Dutch Steamboat said...

Half a Seagull

(a) Why do you assume that people who want something need to take it from others? It's not a zero-sum game - wealth can be created.

(b) If what you say is true, why is there theft now? Is it because we are not paying enough to the leeches of society? Do you know how much we should be paying to eliminate theft?

You do not.

Even the poorest in British society today live a lifestyle that would awe a Roman emperor. It is still not enough for them. Nothing will ever be enough.

Appeasers simply raise the bar higher and higher. The barriers to entry for entrepreneurship become greater and the rewards for excelling are diminished.

It is this philosophy, if I can dignify it by calling it that, which has created the situation in which we find ourselves.

If you think that paying more will soothe the savage breast, you pony up. Nobody's stopping you from paying more tax, giving to charities or hugging a hoodie.

Leave the rest of us alone, because we disagree with you, and even if we are wrong, we wouldn't stoop to forcing you to pay for our mistakes.

Mr Ecks said...

Half a Braincell:

They don't cut your throat?

Tell that to the 200 million plus murdered by political scum and their goons in the last 100 years alone.

BashTheMsm said...

i like the reasoning in this post. money is extorted from one and given to another basing on some redistributionist philosophy. however there is one thing that cannot be ignored.
the state apparatus collects well above 50% of the national wealth, and then redistribute it. there is a big proportion of population that cannot survive without, in a way or another, recover some of the extorted money.
in fact, a large part of population is kept under slavery by these giant, omnipresent governments, which takes all your money and then force you to quietly queue and beg in order to get some back, being this money in the form of services (some of them compulsoty anyway), government jobs, handouts, or whatever.
fixing this will require a lot more that "cuts". these "cuts" are a joke and do nothing to remove this slavery system. i suspect a lot more drastic actions will be required. perhaps a revolution. or a massive economic collapse. id bet a few coins on the latter.

Ed Butt said...

I think Magic Money is the wrong phrase your Satanic majesty.

Magig money is when I lend you £1000 and enter it in my books as if I am £1000 richer.

Its Entitlement Money when I say to you, "My kids need MP3 players and smartphoines and new trainers and it is unfair they be denied because hey are entutled to those things so come on, hand over your dosh.

Reverse Dutch Steamboat said...

Ed Butt

"Give me your dinner money or else"

Thing was that I was seldom bullied at school, as I'm quite big and don't suffer fools gladly.

The real bullying started when I began earning money.

john problem said...

Allons, mes enfants, ze streets, take to ze streets! A bas les banquiers! A bas la coalition! Ils sont des cons, les politiciens! Do something!

John B said...

I can never work out in comments thread whether the hardcore-end of the right-libertarian, "taxation is theft" brigade is trolling or actually serious.

Money and property rights exist *solely* because the government says that they do. In the absence of a government to enforce money and property rights, the *sole* determinant of what happened would be physical force. Your talents, your labour and your wealth (whether inherited or invested from previously earned income) would all be completely worthless, save for the small minority whose talents consist of the ability and willingness to inflict physical violence.

It's reasonable to argue over how the costs of creating a society where one is able to benefit from one's talents, one's labour and one's wealth should be divided. But anyone who thinks that property rights exist pre-government, and that therefore the government taking a share of property is inherently wrong, is arguing for a position that's both philosophically and historically indefensible.

Devil's Kitchen said...


"Money and property rights exist *solely* because the government says that they do. In the absence of a government to enforce money and property rights, the *sole* determinant of what happened would be physical force."

I'm not sure that this is entirely true—or, at any rate, I am certainly not sure that property rights need a government as currently constituted.

Surely a government (of whatever sort) is created because people realise that such things as property rights exist, and they want an roughly independent arbiter to enforce those through a unified and codified system of rules, i.e. laws?

I don't think, as you are implying, that property rights exist because governments do, but that governments exist because people realised that rights—other than that of pure force—do, in fact, exist.