I recently happened upon this funny little cartoon attempting to show the hypocrisy of anti-government protesters:
Their point is, I’m guessing, that the lowly protesters are complaining about being taxed all the while, they’re surrounded by these great things for which their taxes are being used. The roads, the sidewalks, the streets signs. All these things government does and these idiots don’t even acknowledge that benevolence.
But there’s a problem with this argument: it’s completely fallacious.
Right off the bat, it’s not a level argument. The protesters are most likely protesting federal income tax and all the things pointed out in the cartoon are locally taxed and constructed. But aside from that…
First, it assumes that government is the only entity capable of producing roads, sidewalks, or street signs. In fact, go to any large shopping mall and you’ll see that that’s not the case—they have roads, sidewalks, and street signs, yet money isn’t stolen from people to produce it.
Second, it assumes that if these fools just realized what good was done with their tax dollars, they wouldn’t mind. But even if government does something good with the money it steals, that doesn’t legitimize the fact that they stole it. If I took $10 from you and gave you a sandwich, you may well enjoy the sandwich, but that doesn’t make it okay to steal the $10.
Third, this cartoon attempts to make the point that these people have no right to protest against an out of control government because they’re using its services to do it. That’s like saying a prisoner can’t protest his imprisonment because he’s using government services to do it.
Look, the prisoner is on a pathway paved by the government behind fences provided by the government with an escort of government officials. He has no right to complain. How ridiculous is that? It’s like someone stealing your house and making fun of you for crying fowl while you’re still in it.
It’s like these labor protestors—they’re using the store itself to protest the store. It’s the only way it can be done. The fool who mocks the tax protesters wants government to take your money and for you to shut up. There’s a word for that: fascism.
So, don’t let this apparent hypocrisy fool you. We have the right to protest the injustices of government lest the fascist take away that right too.