9780393046700 / 0393046702

The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes


3.69 avg rating42 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:W. W. Norton & Company, 1999



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About the book:

All legally enforceable rights cost money. This is a practical, common sense notion but one ignored by almost everyone. To "fight for your rights," or anyone else's, is not just to debate principles but to haggle over budgets. Most conservatives imagine that rights our exercised to property, speech, and religion "free" of government "interference". Yet such rights would not exist if the government could not collect taxes to codify, protect and enforce them. Meanwhile, most liberals prefer to avoid the harsh reality that spending resources on some rights means not spending them on other, perhaps more valuable, rights. The insights that rights are expensive is a reminder that freedom is not violated by a government that taxes and spends. Rather, freedom requires such government and requires a citizenry vigilant about how money is allocated. This work seeks to change the terms of the USA's critical and contentious political debates.

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