Does it pay to be moral?

I certainly do think that being moral pays off. You feel good about yourself, you can sleep well at night and of course there is the positive karma that surrounds you. But when the government establishes it is necessary to take wealth from one half of the population and give it to the other half of the population, you need to ask the question.

Does it pay to be moral?

Today, Walter E. Williams writes about the big problem, immorality, and asks two questions that must be directed to every teacher and liberal politician. How would you answer the question?

Do you believe that it is moral and just for one person to be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another? And, if that person does not peaceably submit to being so used, do you believe that there should be the initiation of some kind of force against him?

What say you?

[poll id=”91″]

I’m going to assume you’ve answered No, since if you answered Yes, you’d have a hard time defending slavery.

A no answer would put them [who you ask] on the spot as well because that would mean they would have to come out against taking the earnings of one American to give to another in the forms of farm and business handouts, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and thousands of similar programs that account for more than two-thirds of the federal budget. There is neither moral justification nor constitutional authority for what amounts to legalized theft.

Have we crossed a certain threshold that will make it difficult or impossible to return? Remember, the “bottom” 50 percent of wage earners are now paying less than 2.5 percent of federal income taxes collected.

Williams continues…

Unfortunately, there is no way out of our immoral quagmire. The reason is that now that the U.S. Congress has established the principle that one American has a right to live at the expense of another American, it no longer pays to be moral. People who choose to be moral and refuse congressional handouts will find themselves losers. They’ll be paying higher and higher taxes to support increasing numbers of those paying lower and lower taxes.

Remember, Professor Williams’ column is mandatory homework for all Radio Vice Online readers, you can subscribe to his RSS feed using this link.

11 replies
  1. DemGeorge
    DemGeorge says:

    Very convenient twist of right wing pseudo-logic. 

    Forcing someone to serve the purposes of others is immoral.   Congressionnally madated taxes are forcing someone to serve the purposes of others.  Congressionally mandated taxes are immoral.

    Let me try the same formula on you:

    Torture is against the law.  Dick Cheney approved torture.  Dick Cheney has broken the law.

    How about another one:

    Progressive taxation is immoral.  Thomas Jefferson strongly supported progressive taxation.  Thomas Jefferson is immoral.

    We could play this silly game for quite some time and get nowhere.  Please stop.

    Real debate waits, and waits, and waits…

  2. artfil
    artfil says:

    I don't know what DemGeorge is talking about but  yes it is true that Dick Cheney had approved torture… on terrorists that would've done far worse on American flesh if they had the chance.  I mean seriously, these dems think its OK to defend this terrorist scum despite all they have done.  Its simple logic.   Come on, we get answers from torture to prevent the same thing from happening to the innocent. 

    About the article… great article, sums it all up very nicely.  I love the slavery reference underneath the poll.

  3. Steve McGough
    Steve McGough says:

    I've never written that Congressional mandated taxes – that are authorized by the Constitution – are immoral. I don't accept even your premise. Also, Cheney – or whomever – never authorized torture, they authorized the use of extreme measures which is quite different than torture.

  4. Erik Blazynski
    Erik Blazynski says:

    Cheney approved torture, if you went through what they put these people did you would agree. He should be in jail for the rest of his life.

    So what I think that you are saying is that an income tax would be unconstitutional. Though several people have proven this to a jury, many more haven't.

  5. Steve McGough
    Steve McGough says:

    We'll agree to disagree on extreme measures and leave it at that. And I've never said that income taxes or taxes are unconstitutional. What is unconstitutional is spending $ on stuff that Congress has no authority to do as defined in the Constitution. … like brick sidewalks in my neighborhood.

  6. DemGeorge
    DemGeorge says:

    "I don’t accept even your premise."

    And that is exactly the point I was making about Professor Williams' chain of logic.

    I do not accept his premise that somehow our curent tax structure represents the taking of money from some and giving it to others and therefore is legalized theft.

    Just as you don't accept the premise that torture was authorized. 

    One more for the road:  "if she weighs the same as a duck…she's made of wood…and therefore…..A WITCH!!!!"

  7. Steve McGough
    Steve McGough says:

    @DemGeorge: with your logic, your neighborhood of 100 homes could ban together as a collective, get a simple majority vote and walk into your house, take your TV and give it to another neighbor since they "need it" and you don't. You have two TVs after all… I'm certain that you'd be fine with that.

  8. ryalso
    ryalso says:

    "Progressive taxation is immoral.  Thomas Jefferson strongly supported progressive taxation.  Thomas Jefferson is immoral."

    If thats true then Yep – Willuiams is right and Jefferson was wrong. Poor Thomas, you can't be right all the time. Think what you like but, regardless of wether it is the government or a crook (whoops – the same, i'm bad) responsible for enforcing 'from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs', it still feels like theft to me.

  9. DemGeorge
    DemGeorge says:

    "@DemGeorge: with your logic, your neighborhood of 100 homes could ban together as a collective, get a simple majority vote and walk into your house, take your TV and give it to another neighbor since they “need it” and you don’t. You have two TVs after all…"

    You're right except for the part that this analogy bears no resembence to our system of government.  I think the "tyranny of the majority" thing was hashed out pretty well at the Contitutional Convention, hence the Senate.

    Moreover, I think your point of view here, please correct me if I'm wrong, is that government has become a tyranny.  I don't entirely disagree with you on this point. 

    I, however, take the point of view that tyranny also exists in the corrupting influence of excessive concentrations of wealth and power, particularly on Wall Street.  It was Wall Street using there enormous power to essentially buy Congress and take down the rules they didn't like which caused this crisis.  Exhibit 1, Chris Dodd.  Exhibit 2, Phil Gramm.   It was Wall Street that had the cops pulled off the beat and proceeded to loot our economy in the name of fees.  Enormous fees.  Now that the party is over, they're using that same influence to get us to pick up the check.  Both sides of this equation are corrupt, not just the government officials.

    If you want to have a Tea Party where we send tea bags to Wall Street and Congress, I'm with ya.

    I humbly suggest that you read or re-read Thomas Jefferson's letter to John Adams usually entitled "Natural Aristocracy" .    Its easily found on the web, or if you have a Norton's Anthoolgy, its usually in there.

    I think it is a great bench mark for political thought during times like these.  No one can make a political claim to Jefferson, he belongs to all of us.  

  10. Steve McGough
    Steve McGough says:

    Try to keep the comments as short as possible. There is a big difference with the crooks on Wall Street and the crooks in Congress. When AIG screwed up (in my mind) they got a call the next day and lost all of my business. If some company hires a leader from AIG-FP that messed up guess what… I don't do business with them.

    I can't just elect to stop doing business with the government – I'd go to jail.

    Note that I'd be fine with the "government" spending the same amount of money if the power was with the states, cities and towns. Congress (federal) has too much power and influence in all of this.

    Of course, local politicians would have a lot more pressure on them to "do the right thing" when it comes to spending since voters actually have access to them after a five minute drive to the town hall.

    Chris Dodd probably does not want to speak with me after, well, never mind…

  11. DemGeorge
    DemGeorge says:

    "Congress (federal) has too much power and influence in all of this."

    And Wall Street and (fill in your most hated lobbies) have too much power and influence of our elected representatives (State and Federal) and the process they have to go through to get elected.

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