We can have both.

Photo by Todd Trapani on Unsplash

Liberty is good. Poverty is bad.

Would any citizen of the United States of America disagree with either of those statements? I seriously don’t think so.

Some people are convinced that poverty (even their own) is a reasonable price to pay for more liberty. They say that the taxation and redistribution that are necessary to ameliorate, much less eliminate poverty are direct attacks on liberty.

Materially, I am right there with them. At 68, I have lived a life of penurious maximum liberty.

Other people are convinced that those people are dupes, if not to say ‘running dogs of the capitalist pigs’. For these ‘socialists’ the taxation and redistribution necessary to end poverty is not a threat to liberty in any meaningful sense of that word.

Spiritually, I am right there with them. I believe Jesus would say it is a sin to get rich from a business while people employed full-time in that business are living in poverty. Using taxation to correct that sin would be as legitimate as using jail to protect society from criminals is. (Economically, it would be more efficacious to allow businesses to maximize profits to the greatest possible extent then tax that revenue to subsidize the workers than it is to have a mandated minimum wage that employers must pay.)

Intellectually, I have come up with a paradigm that would eliminate both taxes (and pubic debt) and poverty (as well as unemployment), with no redistribution of anything. Yet, employers would face no minimum wage (or, to be clear, mandated minimum benefits).

People on the political ‘right’ must accept that the solution is to borrow from democracy to achieve those goals. People on the political ‘left’ must accept that the solution does not involve taking anything from rich people or businesses. Given what this paradigm accomplishes, is either of those too much to ask?

For Crying Out Loud, Accept That A Solution Actually Exists” (a “3 min read” — including options for further reading — here in Medium).