I've thought about this for years. I have lived my life as privately as possible, taking advantage of no government funded programs if I could possibly avoid it. I wanted to live my life as free of dependency on government as possible.
There are things that are difficult to avoid. Mandatory schooling forced us to use public schools for a few years. Roads are nearly all paid for with taxes. The medical industry is heavily subsidized by government. Nevertheless, I take great pride in knowing that I did what I could to minimize my participation in the tax funded world.
The private cost of avoiding government has been huge. Governments, at all levels, steal about 40% of my income every year. Income tax, payroll tax, Soc. Security, sales tax, property tax, excise taxes, etc. are my biggest expenses, by far. Additionally, I've paid for education, insurance, and periods of unemployment out of my own pocket, so in a sense I paid twice. Once for the government program, once privately.
I would like to use the argument that I am entitled to get some of my money back by taking advantage of government programs, but I understand that whatever the government has taken from me it has already spent. "My" money is gone. If I find myself in a position of needing government assistance for food, medicine, housing, heat, etc., I know that the money they give me will have been stolen from someone else. I have no right to do that to another person.
Still, I can see that possibility coming up. After decades of impoverishing me with their forced extractions, they will leave me with little choice. Like Harry Browne used to say, governments are great a breaking your leg, then handing you a pair of crutches and telling you how lucky you are they were there to 'help' you.
I do not blame anyone for taking government money if they need it to live. I just hope I can avoid that situation, and if I can't, then I want to delay it for as long as possible. The day I take my first government check, I will feel diminished as a human being.
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