The price we pay for civilization

James Carroll in the Globe: "We may dislike the tax bite, but we loathe the destruction of civic pillars and the deliberate unraveling of safety nets. Citizens long for leaders who will remind us that what we do this week has nobility in it. And if we have to do more of it — pay higher taxes — so that teachers and librarians, and those they serve, are not humiliated but enriched, we will."

The latest data makes clear the US has a lower tax burden than pretty much all other industrialized countries in the world. So maybe the voices talking about how over-taxed we are should get some more perspective. As my great-great-great uncle Oliver Wendell used to say, "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization." I think it's a pretty good deal.


Taxation is theft, plain and simple. If you want to pay for services you deem civilized, then you should pay for them out of your own money, voluntarily.

Oliver Wendell was wrong, and there are more points of view in the world than his.

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