Last summer, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, faced its worst
flood in recorded history. The Cedar River rose twenty feet above flood
stage, inundating much of the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.
Thousands of low and middle-income residents, small business owners,
and others found everything they owned destroyed. The vast majority of
these victims of the eco-fascists’ beloved “Nature” did not hold
(government-subsidized) flood insurance. For most of these folks, such
an omission was not irrational. After all, living in a “thousand-year”
flood area suggested that paying for such insurance would be a needless
expense they could ill afford. Even some who considered purchasing the
insurance were discouraged from doing so because of the distance of
their homes from the river.
But even low-probability events happen.
Most of those devastated by the muddy waters suffered through no fault
of their own. They were not foolish or lacking in prudence or stupid.
They were merely unlucky. Worse, with little in the way of reserve
funds, these home and business owners often could not afford to fix up
their property and/or continue to pay mortgages while simultaneously
paying rent and/or being without a job.
Rightly so, many people here donated time and money to aid these folks.
Some volunteers helped clear away debris. Some aided in reconstruction.
Some simply wrote a check in the hopes of making a positive difference.
But as can be readily seen in disaster-prone regions such as the Gulf
Coast (hurricanes), California (earthquakes), and the Midwest
(tornadoes), charity is never enough for the professional do-gooders
and those who expect the State to come to their rescue.
Next week, the cities in this county are voting on whether to add yet
another penny to the sales tax. Last year, a “temporary” penny increase
in that tax became both permanent and statewide. While this new tax is
slated to expire in five years, that promise is worth almost as much as
the used toilet paper I flush away every morning.
The local politicians are, of course, gung-ho for more money to rub
between their fingers. The print and television media are likewise
smilingly aboard the bandwagon. Even most of the citizens think it is
their “duty” to vote in this “little” tax increase that will generate
tens of millions of dollars for the State to fritter away.
While I realize protests against the altruist/statist/collectivist
mindset of the vast majority of Americans is like spitting into the
teeth of one of those Category 5 hurricanes, I decided to send a
“letter to the editor” of the local paper. Here it is:
Few people would condone a private citizen walking into
a neighbor’s home, placing a gun to that person’s head, and demanding
money. Even if the person claimed he needed the money for himself or
for someone else in need, any decent individual would still condemn
such robbery. The (“good”) ends do not justify the (bad) means.
Somehow, though, voting for such an outcome makes it okay.
Voluntarily helping one’s neighbors can be a great thing. But “forced
charity” is a contradiction in terms. Hiding behind an anonymous vote
and relying on the government and its armed agents to impose one's
wishes on unwilling others is neither honorable nor moral. Legalized
theft is no less theft simply because one group of people is more
politically powerful than another. Might does not make right.
Supporters of tax increases can pretend to themselves and to the rest
of us that “we” agreed; that “we” are “helping our neighbors”; that
“we” will all benefit from such coercive action. But disguising the
truth about an immoral action to make it more palatable to ourselves
and to others will not change its destructive nature. Only voluntary
actions have moral value.
Vote “no” on any tax increase.
(from Don't Get Me Started!