“Dan,” a reader writes on the blog in response to a post yesterday on John Howard’s proposed income tax cuts, “what I think that you guys at the Markets and Money seem to forget every now and again is that many and Australian are not too good with handling their finances. Were the government not to ‘force’ people into super, many would not save a dollar through their entire working lives.”
Right. What other things should the government ‘force’ us to do because we don’t do them well enough to please the authorities? Should we be forced to eat better? Dress more stylishly? Speak more carefully so as not to offend people with our wacky ideas? Or how about a forced two-minutes of silence daily for all the drowning polar bears?
Be careful of the government you ask for. If you ask it to treat you like a child, don’t be surprised when you get spanked. And don’t be surprised when a culture that accepts being treated like children by its government becomes childish, adolescent, spoiled, and incapable of taking care of itself (see large swaths of American society).
Markets and Money
Do you think taxes are necessary, or just a government’s way of infantilising its citizens? Leave a comment below.