Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Economics in One Lesson

Last section, and again I'm late. This section was a bit larger than the others, but I found the content to be the most interesting, especially as I read the newspaper along with the book. (And I think that when I have the children read this book, I'll ask them to look in the paper for examples of what Mr. Hazlitt refers to in each chapter.)

The idea that has remained with me this week the most is this one from chapter 25:

"When they say that the way to national wealth is to pay out government subsidies, they are in effect saying that the way to national wealth is to increase taxes."

And I think of all the federal and state and local taxes we've paid (out of income) since I started working at age 14 and Steve started working at about the same age. I'm grateful for infrastructure (like roads and waterworks), the postal system, the library, and many other things those taxes have helped to make and keep running. But when I see everyone at the bank at the first of the month cashing their checks from the government, I wonder if they realize that we are the source of their "government" money, whether it's social security money for retired people, "crazy" money for families with children in school, or a "tax rebate" for someone who doesn't earn enough money to pay taxes.

Several times I've asked Steve if it wouldn't be better to work less, earn less, and pay less in taxes. I think we'd be about even with what our income is now. We might even have more money, because we'd get a tax rebate. Isn't that crazy?

On the other hand, since Jesus says we're to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's (Matthew 22:21), we try to keep a good attitude about paying our taxes and not grumble about it. This is the world we live in, and we know this isn't our true home. So while we're here, we'll do as the Romans do regarding taxes, but remember that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, and continue in faith to seek that heavenly country and the city God has prepared for us (Hebrews 11:13-16).

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Blogger Charity said...

Watching what happens with tax dollars is a constant source of frustration. My step-daughter works in a govt office here, and investigates fraud. It's amazing how many dollars are lost to people taking advantage of the system!

You have a good attitude, though. It's nice to remember that some of the craziness we see is only temporary. :0)

6:10 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Wish more citizens understood this concept: whatever the government spends, it's first taken the money from you, the taxpayer!

People will always try and get something for nothing....and get swindled in the meanwhile.

Appreciate your encouraging comments.

7:35 PM  

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