Will I Still Help People If Government Doesn’t Force Me To?

social workers

It costs $1,000,000 / year to keep each social worker, like the ones pictured above, helping people in Iraq.

One objection to anarchy is that many people will not choose to help others unless the government forces them to through taxes and wealth redistribution.  My main objections to this point are that government does not help people and the free market turns selfish people into public servants.

Why doesn’t government help people?  Well, the presumption is that government steals a dollar from rich Peter and gives it to poor Paul, and this helps Paul more than it hurts Peter.  The first mistake is that the government does not give Paul a dollar.  First, twenty five cents is used to murder brown people, mostly foreign ones.  Then another 25 percent is paid to government employees and retirees.  After all the corporate welfare, bank bailouts, boondoggles and bridges to nowhere, after every friend of every politician gets a cut, 12 cents are left over for welfare.

So the question should be: if there were no government, would I still spend twice as much money trying to destroy other countries as I did trying to help the poor?  If the difference was to spend only 20 cents on blockades to starve “insolent” people into submission, that could be considered a net positive for anarchy.Perhaps only a quarter of a million Iraqi children would have died instead of half a million. Even if I spent no money to help others, if I at least spent no money to attack people, that would seem better overall than what we have now.  And that’s not even counting the fact that all of this money was stolen from people in the first place.

But things get even better without government.  In the free market, you only get what you want by helping others.  Want a nice car?  You’ll have to clothe a lot of people, or build them houses, or give them something that they want.  If you don’t sell, you can’t buy.  If you don’t work for others, they won’t work for you.

So what if someone decides not to give away their money? They’ve already contributed to society in order to get it.[1]  They may be motivated by greed, but the free market naturally directs selfishness into activities that improve the lives of others.

Of course, people donate lots of money to charity even while suffering under today’s tax rates, so it seems likely that without taxes there would be even more room for generosity. Sure, there may be other objections to anarchy, but the idea that government is the best way to help each other just does not make sense.

As Hans Hoppe says, the government does not produce goods, it primarily produces bads.

[1] Unless they stole it. Like taxes.

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