Monday, March 09, 2009

A Basket-Case Economy Is No Problem When We Can Force Taxpayers To Fill The Basket With Money

This Sunday’s column really resonated with some, if the pleasant-surprise number of complimentary messages on my voicemail is any indication. It contains helpful career advice about why you can’t treat your boss the way the government treats taxpayers:
“Hey, you!” I said to my boss. “Yeah, I’m talking to you. You know the money you’ve been paying me? It’s not enough. I want more.”

“Sorry, no can do,” my boss said apologetically. “We can’t afford more than we already pay. You know how dismal the economy’s been.”

“Whether you can afford it isn’t my problem,” I insisted. “My problem is, I want more money and if you don’t hand it over I’ll put a lien on your house or revoke your driver’s license or something.”

These are serious consequences. Most people, when told “Gimme more money or give up your house and driving privileges,” have no choice but to pay. Not my boss, though. He only laughed, and after a few confused moments I realized why.

“Oops,” I said meekly. “Never mind. For a moment there, I thought I was a government worker and you were ‘My Boss’ only in the sense of being ‘The taxpayers who fund my salary.’ But I forgot: unlike a taxpayer, you have the right to say ‘no’ when folks demand more than you can afford, don’t you? Dang.”
Back story: despite the dismal economy, many of my local municipalities are not only raising taxes again this year, but giving pay raises to certain groups of workers while their private-sector counterparts funding these raises see their own salaries diminish or disappear. Of course, if you’re reading here to begin with, you’re probably libertarian enough to not be surprised.

The title of this post is also lifted from the column. Why not read the whole thing here? (Don’t answer that. Just read it.)


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