Monday, February 13, 2012

Redistribution

This old post by Aaron Carroll makes a point worth remembering:
The results are, again, somewhat of a disconnect. Of the 25 more liberal states, 16 of them are paying more in taxes than they get back. Of the 25 more conservative states, only 2 can say that. 23 of the 25 more conservative states are having wealth redistributed to them. I know people have a knee jerk response to dislike taxes and redistribution. But it seems like those most opposed to the idea of both of these things seem to be getting the most out of them.
 In a more general sense, I wonder if people have really thought out the consequences of less taxes.  There are a lot of basic public goods (think roads) that simply require government intervention, at least if you want to avoid conflict over "road rights".  After all, without a central authority to arbitrate conflict, it is unclear how things like long distance trade are going to occur (at least not without a lot more expense in armed guards). 

In the same sense, there is a really odd property to people asking to be given less resources.  Are we really sure that the link between taxes and programs is clear? 

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