Taxes: A Government’s Way of Treating Citizens Like Children


“Dan,” a reader writes on the blog in response to a post yesterday on John Howard’s proposed income tax cuts, “what I think that you guys at the Daily Reckoning seem to forget every now and again is that many and Australian are not too good with handling their finances. Were the government not to ‘force’ people into super, many would not save a dollar through their entire working lives.”

Right. What other things should the government ‘force’ us to do because we don’t do them well enough to please the authorities? Should we be forced to eat better? Dress more stylishly? Speak more carefully so as not to offend people with our wacky ideas? Or how about a forced two-minutes of silence daily for all the drowning polar bears?

Be careful of the government you ask for. If you ask it to treat you like a child, don’t be surprised when you get spanked. And don’t be surprised when a culture that accepts being treated like children by its government becomes childish, adolescent, spoiled, and incapable of taking care of itself (see large swaths of American society).

Dan Denning
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Do you think taxes are necessary, or just a government’s way of infantilising its citizens? Leave a comment below.

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.


  1. “Or how about a forced two-minutes of silence daily for all the drowning polar bears?”

    Great policy !! Sounds like a Green Party election winner to me.

    If we had limited government, we could limit the amount of tax. It might only cost 5% of our GDP to cover public roads, police defence and the courts.

    Anything beyond that is a waste. A piece of crap health system, piece of crap education system, a public broadcaster whose ratings are low, and environmental laws that encourage people to do sit still and die. No thanks.

  2. Why do government’s gather tax at all?

    Why don’t they just print new money every year to cover their (budget) expenses…. that way we’d all still share in the cost by having a dollar that just depreciated in value each year….. and if we were productive, then maybe it would even appreciate each year!!!

    We’re not tied to gold or anything else….

    So why not?

    Wow, wouldn’t that reduce the size of the government payroll!

    … and all those people could be put to use doing something productive…

    Small Government
    October 17, 2007
  3. Completely agree with the comment above.
    Remove the big governments, reduce the taxes to bare minimum.
    Not even sure that government should take care of the public roads. It is the business as any others. Don’t give it to the private monopolies of course, but still could be done by private companies.

    Take the governments from our lives! Those who in US – vote Ron Paul!

  4. Taxes in thje form of paycheck and annual income tax filing are not necessary. They are used to stifle individual personal growth.

  5. I agree that Government needs to be very hard on people to ensure that there is no expectation for young, fit people to bludge and get away with it.

    There are of course heaps of market failures where Government has a coordinative/legislative role. Allocation of natural resources such as water is one of them.

    At the end of the day most conservatives would agree that there is a role for a welfare safety net. The question is how much? Without a safety net civil society becomes less civil and 80 year old ladies start begging on street corners (as I have seen in many developing countries).

    No, I don’t wish to protect my meagre resources behind a double razor wire electrified fence and I don’t wish to own half a dozen attack dogs as pets. I would prefer to pay a little tax to avoid this outcome. If this means a closer distribution of income and the creation of opportunity for disadvantaged kids then so be it.

    Solutions must be practical and we won’t find them in either socialist or neocon text books & mantras.

    Coffee Addict
    October 18, 2007
  6. G’day,

    “-Be careful of the government you ask for. If you ask it to treat you like a child, don’t be surprised when you get spanked. And don’t be surprised when a culture that accepts being treated like children by its government becomes childish, adolescent, spoiled, and incapable of taking care of itself (see large swaths of American society.)”

    Could not have put it better myself – DAN YOU ARE THE MAN!

    I’ve been reading the Daily Reckonings’ entertaining analysis of the coming world economic disaster for more than 5 years and yourself, Bill, Addison, Kevin, Dr Steve, James and the rest of the crew have pretty much forecast that this is where the world would eventually end up.

    We have a situation in both the USA and increasingly in Australia whereby the ‘neo-conservative rulers’ of both countries in their desperate need to hold onto power at any cost have created an economic time bomb.

    In Australia we have a ferret called John Howard who like his evil counterpart in America ‘knowingly and criminally’ miscalculated the TRUE rate of inflation in order to keep interest rates low so as to get himself and his party re-elected!

    In years to come he will be reviled as the man who single-handedly condemned the next generation to never being able to own a home.

    And even though the evidence of his crimes are there for all to see – the ostriches still have their heads in the sand and refuse to see or listen and intend to vote again for this lunatic.

    Whilever sheep like these keep following their leader with blind obedience and refuse to open their eyes and ears to the truth – nothing will ever change in our so called ‘western democracies’

    And as for so called – Western ‘De-MOCK-racy’ – it has proven to be no better or less corrupt than any other discredited system – it too is exploited by the few who control the levers of power to the disadvantagement of the majority.

    The neo-conservatives who have single-handledly presided over the economic disaster that now confronts the world should have their leaders gaoled and their parties disbanded by law.

    These parties have a hell of a lot in common with the Nazis – except they don’t advocate the killing of Jews and Gypies – and explains why many neo-conservatives from the 1930’s and 40’s were admirers of Hitler and his views.

    If the ‘born to rule’ attitude that characterises neo-conservatives is allowed to have it’s way they will surely succeed in creating a system not unlike the old feudal system of the European middle ages – whereby a small group of fabulously wealthy landed gentry will have the impoverished masses toiling away in their servitude.

  7. we are absolutely treated like retarded children by the federal government (more so than state/local). let’s look to prescription painkillers, or any drugs–or should I call them medicines?–for an example. At some point in American history, any policy directed at controlling what people put into their bodies was considered unconstitutional. What happened? Well, people have become brainwashed into accepting being treated like criminals; meanwhile healthcare has appropriated control (pharmo) and pumps all manner of crap down our throats. Physicians relegated to prescription-writing duty, but scared to either under or over-prescribe. Think about it…why should feeling how you want to be criminal? We are in a serious crisis; we have surrendered our right to make our own decisions, and worse, most will justify this with the rhetoric taught to them by a misguided anti-drug policy. People are criminalized for wanting to get high…thanks to anslinger and harrison–religio-racist nutjobs. We need to repeal some amendments to the constitution, and get it back to how it was: Americans were treated like grown-ups.


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