Monday, February 02, 2009

Whose Money

One of the favorite lines from conservatives is that government should let people keep more of their money. Who could argue with that? However, as I've argued elsewhere, there are government services which are used by many folks as a vital part of their income. Whose money is that.

For example, consider the current Governor of California, Mr. Schwartzenegger. Now we have about three thousand years of history for which we know quite a bit about daily life. Maybe more, but at least three thousand. During about twenty-nine hundred of those years acting, performing, composing songs, writing books and poetry were not professions that led to great wealth. Some folks managed to become prominant and attain a comfortable life, but great wealth no. Then over the past hundred years, give or take, government has become involved with defining and securing copyright to the artistic works of such folks and over the same hundred years or so a good number of these performers have become quite wealthy. Wealthy by regional or national standards. People such as Mr. Schwartzenegger. Now, I think that this is not a coincidence. The wealth that passes through these people's hands is still due in substantial measure to their labor, but a great deal of it, in fact by far the larger part, must be due to the agency of Federal copyright protection.

As such it is hardly the case that taxes involve taking Mr. Schwartzenegger's money. The heaviest tax burden proposed by anyone on the mainstream left does not get close to touching Mr. Schwartzenegger's money. The tax burden proposed by the left involves only taking a portion of the money generated by us via copyright.

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