Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Other people’s money.

Posted by Jason O on Jan 15, 2010 in Irish Politics |

” When the people find that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury, that will be the end of the republic.” Benjamin Franklin.

If you wanted to identify a statement that summed up the problem at the heart of Irish society, there it is, right there. I once had a row with someone (Yes, I do have a lot of rows with people, don’t I?) when I suggested that social welfare payments are essentially society being charitable. I was told that it was their right to get the money. Their right? If they had paid a similar amount in PRSI, then fair enough, but other than that their right to that money involves me being deprived of my right to keep my money, which I created through work. Yet in Ireland, the right of working people to keep their money is regarded as a lesser right than the right of those to get that money. Why’s that? And where’s the party that challenges that?

This isn’t right wing “tax is theft” nonsense, this is about simple fairness. Every euro given by the government to someone involves the government taking it off someone else. As a society, we have all consented to that. But let us be honest about it, not pretend that money from the state is some conjured-from-the-air “right”. 

3 Comments

James Lawless
Jan 18, 2010 at 10:57 am

I think this may have happened in California. The state is near bankruptcy. They began having referenda on almost all government decisions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they chose to tax themselves like libertarians and service themselves like socialists. Hence the problem.


 
Jason O
Jan 18, 2010 at 11:37 am

You’re right. California is near bankrupt because it allow voters to vote themselves money. But imagine if they had to vote taxes to pay for stuff at the same time!


 
Luke
Jan 20, 2010 at 12:25 am

Excellent stuff, this “I have a right” crap really annoys me.


 

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