What Good Has Ever Come From Taxes And Government?

Well for one thing they’ve given us prison mug shots of virtually every mass-murderer that ever lived.  They’ve kept fires from engulfing entire cities, they’ve kept malaria, polio and countless other deadly and debilitating diseases from taking root on our shores.  Why do you think the garbage man takes the trash – and the rats, fleas and ticks that come with it – far away each week?  Or why the health department doesn’t allow standing water or tall grass in peoples; yards etc.  Why do you think there are building codes that electricians and engineers have to be certified and trained to follow and contractors can be fined for not following?  So that when there’s an earthquake hundreds of people die instead of hundreds of thousands from half the buildings falling down.  Look at a third world country and a first world country and the difference in every instance is the existence of an effective government.  People bitch about government being ineffective at helping the poor but even if the projects was the best the government could do about poverty this

is still vastly better than this:

which is how the poor live in most of the rest of the world (assuming they live very long at all).

Do a google image search for “bad neighborhood” and look at the worst poverty in america and it’s hard to find a picture that’s even very bad, then google “indian slum” and it’s impossible to find one that isn’t horrible.

Without government the only prosperity most people can aspire to is to be really good farmers.  Because to do anything else you need roads to get places, transport products to sell etc (even in medieval times and biblical times they had taxes and government), and schools so you can have a workforce that can read and write and count higher than the number of fingers and toes they have.  Without public education you don’t have technology, period.  And technological industries and inventions and patents and media and cinema and the internet and a booming economy and jobs.  And any natural resources you do have are going to be exploited by foreigners the way we exploit the natural resources of other countries because a) we have the resources to do so and they don’t and b) they don’t have the resources to stop us.  And without taxes and government justice is a pipe dream.  In america if somebody murders someone there is a real honest fighting chance to hold the person accountable – the feeling you get when you watch on the news that they caught the pieces of shit who blew dozens of peoples’ legs off – that feeling of relief and joy and the peace of mind people who live in that city – that’s what they paid for with their tax dollars. 

A civilization is like a pyramid, the first level is agriculture – if the ground under you grows food you have a basic economy.  The second level is infrastructure, charity, roads, schools, hospitals, prisons, courts, etc that allow a society to move to the top of the pyramid and do whatever it wants, including advance to the point that they can exploit other resources like oil, coal, precious gems and metals etc that are harder to get to.  Poor countries are poor because the ground under them is sand or rock (mountain with no topsoil).  Rich countries are rich because the ground under them is fertile and flat.  That’s why the great planes were such a big deal.  It’s why the amber waves of grain above the fruited planes were such a big deal, they were between the purple mountains majesty that aren’t so good for farming.

Governments are made of people and so they will always make mistakes and be imperfect (just as corporations will be prone to the exact same mistakes), so by all means make government better and always be on the watch for corruption.  But this attitude that government is automatically and intrinsically bad and should be done away with is just idiotic.  Our ability to work together toward common goals and take care of common needs is what enables us to be more than farmers and goat herders living in little tribes (nothing against farming or goat herding, but if that’s all there was in the country it would suck).

So if you like to be able to go to a store and buy food instead of starving until you kill an animal and you like your new iphone and you like the computer you’re using to read this and the infrastructure that is sending it to you and if you were happy when the scumbags who bombed innocent people were brought to justice (and a million other things), please stop bitching about your taxes and how government is evil.  Improve government, don’t abolish it.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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14 Responses to What Good Has Ever Come From Taxes And Government?

  1. leaflesstree says:

    I have some libertarian friends on Facebook. Their opinions are almost more alarming to me than the crazy conservative right wing Christian evangelicals, to be honest.

  2. agnophilo says:

    @leaflesstree – Anti-government conservatives are the exact ideological opposites of militant communists, and just as dangerous.  Capitalism and socialism both need each other to function properly at all.

  3. Aloysius_son says:

    Absolutely. Well written. Sometimes we just have to take the good with the bad. But we don’t have to accept it without wanting to find ways to improve things. The same thing can be said for corporations, religious institutions, universities and so on. With every structure and program there are bound to be flaws and upgrades, maintanence that has to happen.I feel the same way about my gardens. I pull out weeds, thin crowded plants, add water and compost. I get much better results than I would if I had just let it grow wild and certainly even more so than mowing the whole thing down. For a garden to be fruitful it requires some work. The government, society in general, civilization are no different, just all on a much grander scale.Mark, I have been absent for a while working on a venture. How have you been? Are you doing well? I keep you in my thoughts and prayers, that you enjoy health and happiness, contentedness and a wealth of success in life.

  4. agnophilo says:

    @Aloysius_son – That is nice of you to say, I’ve been alright.  Been learning computer programming which hopefully will get me a bit of prosperity in a year or two of hard work.  Yourself?And as far as religions and other institutions, I think if the bad bits were weeded out of organized religions I wouldn’t even think of them as religions anymore, philosophies maybe.  To me “religion” implies dogma, authoritarian morality, unreasonableness etc.  But I suppose that’s colored by my past attitudes.  Worth thinking about though, thanks.

  5. dingus6 says:

    Good piece! I think anthropologists define “civilization” as a culture that’s developed division of labor. 

  6. SKANLYN says:

    The pic on top does not support your point very well. The Boston Police utterly failed in letting those bombs go off in the first place (I used to live in Boston and there are literally hundreds of police near the finish line on Marathon Day; at least one of those overpaid dip-shits should have noticed something about to go down). Placing the city on lock-down and sending the SWAT team door-to-door to look for suspects was also highly unnecessary (and surely unconstitutional) and costed businesses and tax-payers  millions if not billions of dollars  And let’s not forget the gunfights in the streets which put more civilians in danger than the actual bombings.In short, delete that first image and you will have a much more convincing argument.

  7. agnophilo says:

    @dingus6 – My understanding was that a civilization was defined as a permanent year round settlement as opposed to having to follow herds and migrating animals and travel north or south during the seasons.  Of course this is made possible by having specialized roles like farming and domesticating animals which is another way of saying division of labor so both definitions are valid.@SKANLYN – You think the police can prevent every random act of violence?  Do you expect airport-like security at every sporting event?

  8. SKANLYN says:

    @agnophilo – I am willing to bet that somebody saw something and told the police who ignored them. The Boston P.D. have shown themselves to be incompetent over and over. That bombing would not have been pulled off in any other city.

  9. agnophilo says:

    @SKANLYN – Even if that is so, what is your point other than to be misanthropic?

  10. SKANLYN says:

    My point is if you are trying to say good things come from government the Boston Police Department is last example you should use. They’re negligent and incompetent, not to mention racist (look up the Charles Stewart Case).

  11. locomotiv says:

    Really it is amazing how well organized and well coordinated humans can be..everything seems to fit well together like lego blocks..despite the imperfections..and taxes are necessary..sometimes people complain about the government as if it was a person or a parent that has failed at it’s parenting role…i would not be surprised that these so called slums are paradise for some of these people…they perhaps just look shabby to us because we’re used to a different style…

  12. agnophilo says:

    @SKANLYN – And yet I’m sure the people of boston are probably better off with them then no one at all.  And I googled it and read the wikipedia article and it mentioned nothing about racism on the part of the police department.@locomotiv – Conservatives treat obama as if he were god – anyone in any area of government ever does anything wrong and they act like obama did it personally.  “Really it is amazing how well organized and well coordinated humans can be..everything seems to fit well together like lego blocks..”It’s especially amazing when you consider that the human body is the same way, a colony of trillions of single-celled organisms working together to produce a conscious being, which works together with billions of other conscious beings to form towns and cities and countries and the world.

  13. locomotiv says:

    @agnophilo – indeed life is remarkably awsome….

  14. agnophilo says:

    @locomotiv – On that subject check out my latest blog.

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