Last week I wrote an article entitled “How Can Force Entail Compassion?” which focused on America’s welfare-state programs. I pointed out that, contrary to popular opinion, such programs do not reflect any goodness within the American people. That’s because they are founded on the force of taxation, which is enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, one of the most tyrannical agencies in U.S. history. Force and compassion are opposites. Genuine compassion, I pointed out, comes from the willing hearts of individuals, not from the threat of an IRS audit or criminal prosecution.
The same principle holds true for U.S. aid to foreign regimes, including Ukraine. The fact that the U.S. government has sent some $75 billion to the Ukrainian regime to assist it in its war with Russia says nothing about the goodness of the American people. That’s because the money that is being sent has been collected by force from American taxpayers. As with welfare-state programs, force and compassion are opposites.
A genuinely free society is one in which people are free to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it. In that type of society, if people choose to donate to some worthy cause, it could be said that they are doing so out of a sense of care and compassion. That’s because they are donating their own money voluntarily.
If we lived in that type of society, the Ukrainian regime and the Ukrainian people would be entitled to ask Americans to send them donations. Americans would be free to decide whether to donate and to what extent. No one would be forced to do so. The U.S. government would have nothing to do with it because there would be no income tax or IRS to forcibly take people’s money from them and give it to others.
It’s important that we keep in mind that our nation was founded without a federal income tax (or an IRS) and without welfare-state programs and foreign aid. With one big exception (slaves), everyone was free to keep everything he earned and decide for himself what to do with it.
One result was a massive increase in savings, capital, productivity, income, wealth, and standards of living, especially for the poor. Another result was a massive outpouring of voluntary charity. Americans learned that when people are free to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth, a large percentage of them use it to help others.
That was our system for more than 100 years. When people donated to others, it could be said that they were expressing genuine care and compassion.
Compare that way of life with the one we have today. Americans are forced to surrender a large portion of their income so that U.S. officials can send it to the Ukrainian government, which just happens to be one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.
Who is good, caring, and compassionate in our welfare-warfare state way of life? The IRS? Congress? The president? The Pentagon? The CIA? American voters? American taxpayers?
Answer: No one.