A Sentence to Ponder
By Arnold Kling
From the comments on this post.
most people are libertarian with regards to their own lives and people they like, statist with regards to people they don’t know, and positively fascist about people they dislike, stereotype, or don’t understand.
What I have said is that it is easy to be libertarian with respect to behavior that does not bother you. If you don’t mind people getting high, then it is easy to be libertarian about drugs. If you don’t mind people differing in terms of how much health insurance they possess, then it is easy to be libertarian about health insurance.
The challenge is when you care about others’ behavior. Do you restrain yourself from seeking to use the instrument of state power to change that behavior? Or do you work with voluntary actions?
An example that has been much in the news recently is the behavior of people with high incomes with regard to the money they contribute to the government. Should they be forced to contribute more, or should we simply encourage them to voluntarily contribute more?
I think it will be a great day when government has to hold a bake sale to achieve any purpose whatsoever. That is, I would like to see most public goods funded by private donations rather than forced taxes.