In my last post I tried to explain that there is always a connection between freedom gained/diminished when governments tax. I was trying to make the point that one can’t speak of an economic system- any economic system- as freedom neutral. It was not my point, as some wags have suggested, to argue that all government is tyranny. It was only to ensure that we realize there is a connection.
One fellah went so far as to argue that on my reasoning stop signs decrease our freedom, too. And what about the four walls in our house, don’t they constrain us?!?!? I am afraid this misses the point. I repeat, the point was not to argue that all such considerations were wickedly evil. The point was to make sure that we are all aware of exactly what we are doing. Naturally, I think this person’s reasoning was skewed… on it, I suppose we should also take issue with our fleshly bodies. Oh, if only we were a wispy ghost, then we’d have freedom! 😉
I raise these issues again in order to dispute a current description of the Tea Parties that were held the other day. No doubt, ‘higher taxes’ were on the agenda and people did not like the idea of putting the next generation and the generation after that into debt. That is only part of the picture. Tea Party participants (and sympathizers) also recognize that freedom and liberty is on the line, too.
Many people labor under the illusion that the government can spend as much as it likes but there is no reason to think that it will affect our freedoms. It is an illusion. Perhaps the simplest way to see it in this case is to consider all of the ‘bail outs’ that went out that were followed by the government stepping in and taking over the companies altogether or firing their CEO’s. Such activity follows as inevitably as an apple dropped from a particular height hits the ground at a predictable time.
Only here, in the case of taxation and governmental involvement, though the phenomena is just as real and repeatable, the process happens slower and at a scale that makes it difficult for a single person to see it right away. Even then, it is hard to see the whole picture and the things you do see usually are happening to someone else, and not you, which makes you inclined to come to peace with it.
There are many people who don’t like the idea of Christianity being involved in politics. The supposition is that spiritual people shouldn’t have an interest in such trivial matters. However, if there is indeed a connection between economics and liberty and human rights, then we see that such things are not trivial at all. Nor can we hope, in the spirit of Christian compassion, that our efforts to use the government for ‘compassionate’ purposes won’t have inevitable consequences. Of all people, Christians shouldn’t be looking around with shocked expressions when the best laid plans of men go awry- for they always do.