The Role of the Taxpayer Under True Democracy

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“The shrill gloats and exultatios of A [the welfare parasite], who has got something for nothing, drown out the repining of B [the taxpayer] who has lost something that he earned.  B, in fact, becomes officially disreputable, and the more he complains the more he is denounced and detested.  He is moved, it appears, by a kind of selfishness which is incompatible with true democracy.  He actually believes that his property is his own, to remain in his keeping until he chooses to part with it.  He is told at once that his information on the point is innaccurate, and his morals more than dubious.  In an idal democracy, he learns, property is at the disposal, not of its owners, but of politicians, and the chief business of politicians is to collar it by fair means or foul, and redistribute it to those whose votes have put them in office.”

–H.L Mencken, Baltimore Sun, May 12, 1940, in A Second Mencken Chrestomathy (1995), pp. 48-49.

8:04 am on January 31, 2013