Government Empowers And Protects Us

Watch this great video:

The video is funny, but it makes a point: We need government.  Republicans say “government is the problem” but just who is government a problem for?  If you are a top executive in a large chemical corporation and your bonus depends on lowering the cost of discarding toxic wastes, government stands between you and the river into which you want to dump the wastes.  It costs the company less to dump the waste into the river, you will get your bonus, but We, the People don’t want that stuff in our water.  So for you, government is the problem.  And that is a good thing.  But our government is us.  Our government protects us.

Government also empowers us.  In the 1950s President Eisenhower proposed building the interstate highway system.  That was an example of government spending, and the top tax rate was over 90% on income above a certain amount, so after executives and owners of big companies made several hundred thousand dollars additional income was taxed at a very high rate.  (They could still become very, very wealthy, but more slowly.)  This meant that the major beneficiaries of our government helped pay for our government.  And it paid off.  The interstate highway system triggered a surge of economic growth, new industries, new products — and even greater income for the very people who were taxed to help pay for it.

Of course, at the time, some (not all) of the wealthiest objected to being taxed, even though the taxes led to even greater gains for them as well.  They were shortsighted and considered government to be a problem.  Lucky for all of us, even for them, it didn’t turn out that way.

P.S. They’re serious about hating government, and they really do hold up Somalia as an example of what they want!  Go see for yourself at the libertarian Mises Institute, which “defends the market economy, private property, sound money, and peaceful
international relations, while opposing government intervention as
economically and socially destructive” where they write in Stateless in Somalia, and Loving It,

Somalia has done very well for itself in the 15 years since its
government was eliminated. The future of peace and prosperity there
depends in part on keeping one from forming.

And see for yourself at the libertarian Reason Magazine, “the monthly print magazine of “free minds and free markets,” where they write about The Anarchy Advantage in Somalia.

I guess if Cholera and lawlessness don’t bother you, maybe you don’t need government. The rest of us, however,…

7 thoughts on “Government Empowers And Protects Us

  1. Well one of those who hit 90 per cent was a second rate actor who did not bother to hire a competent accountant who would have income averaged. He filed himself and actually paid 90 per cent by having a minor hit and a major accounting problem.
    Yep, old loonytoon Ronnie Raygun. Now he had already reassessed his liberal position when the FBI contacted him about his “liberal friends” and he rolled over and became an FBI informer.
    But he really really hated taxes. After destroying the CA tax system and the best education system in the country (outside of NY City), he moved on to destroy the Federal tax system.
    As President of the United States, I believe he and his missus collected supplemental social security minimum because they never paid into Social Security after they moved to Hollywood but check the SS law and it was legal and I believe they did it.
    Worked for a couple of different wealthy people. Handled the business side. They never could tell me how much they had made the year before, but they could tell me to the penny how much their personal servants and office personnel cost, how much vacation and how many days off and their daily work schedule. Quit as soon as my pension vested all three times. Once because a man whom I had raised his personal take home income from $225 thousand to $750 thousand in three years demanded I go to his house and fire his maid for being less than an hour late on a snowy day. Greedy men should be fed pig shit. Stuff their mouths with money and they will write “more more more…..”

  2. “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master.” – George Washington
    Do you feel empowered by handing over 14 TRILLION dollars to Goldman Sachs and friends borrowed against your children’s future ? Do you feel protected from the 700,000 + Marijuana “criminals” arrested each year? Corporations do much worse than dump pollutants in the water. Wars are started based on lies. Millions die and countries are destroyed but fortunes are made by the plugged in corporations in control of the government. The Mises Institute and are great sources of information for anyone with an open mind.

  3. You mention Mises Institute and LewRockwell as good sources, but those promote the very (corporate-funded) libertarian philosophies of deregulation of corporations that led to the financial crash! Then Bush asked for the bank bailout, and the Fed (under Bush and a Bush-appointed Fed chair) to put up all those trillions in guarantees.

  4. President John F. Kennedy:
    Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large Federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits… In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.

  5. Starting with the 8 years of Eisenhower 1953-1961 we did have a 90% tax bracket, our tax revenues went from 66 billion to 79 billion during Eisenhower. 13 billion dollar increase. Kennedy made that speech and starting from 1964 the when he lowered the top bracket from 90% to 70% the tax revenue went from 112 billion to 207 billion during that time period. It’s an economic fact that if you lower taxes it spurs growth.

  6. No matter how often Rush Limbaugh repeats the myth that lowering taxes raises revenue, it just is not true. The data never turns out to be true.
    The corporate argument usually is that “taxes were cut and then later revenues were higher” but they never, ever talk about what else happened.
    For example, in 1981 Reagan’s tax cuts happened, and then years later revenue was higher. But what ACTUALLY happened was the revenues dropped, then they passed the “deficit reduction act” tax increases and the huge social Security tax increases. And then revenues started to rise again.
    Saying tax cuts raise revenue is like saying that you didn’t eat breakfast but weren’t hungry at dinner time without mentioning tht you ate a big lunch.

  7. The video is cute enough, but the Mises article isn’t unconvincing, either. Is Somalia dramatically worse than all the other African, European, Asian, or South American hellholes that have suffered at various times past and present under too much government? There are, after all, plenty of US states managing to maintain the rule of law with substantially lower tax rates than California.
    Caulivornya’s real problem, it would seem, is that it has seen a massive influx of uneducated and undereducated immigrants from Latin America. The result being that Hispanics/Latinos/Mestizos (or whatever the term du jour is) now nearly outnumber whites, 36.2% to 42.7%. All efforts to the contrary, for whatever reason they are not achieving the same levels of education and income as their European and Asian-descended neighbors.
    California’s tax rates may not be the highest per state, but my well-educated guess is that people in (supposedly?) higher taxed states like Vermont face less day-to-day anarchy that reassures them their taxes are being wisely spent.

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