Tao te Kev

I posted this

When we create laws to prevent immoral behavior, we make society less moral

to provoke Jeff’s philosopher into telling me which book to go read. I was expecting something from the 20th century. He found something a little older

The more prohibitions you have, the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have, the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have, the less self-reliant people will be.

Tao te Ching. Ch 57

Published by

Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

9 thoughts on “Tao te Kev”

  1. Nicely done!

    I must ask though, on a mostly unrelated note: how does the third verse relate to a Social Safety Net? Wealth redistribution?

  2. I think we’ll have to justify the social safety net with a different chapter. I might add that I am more concerned with equal opportunity than with a social safety net per se…. and I am not at all interested in wealth redistribution. You are thinking of someone else.

    Wonder what Lao Tzu’s position is on gun control?

  3. Certainly a typical progressive tax structure is wealth redistribution, but it’s my understanding that you favor a flat tax, which is a less extreme version. Unless you mean fixed amount rather than fixed percent. In addition, a social safety net, while probably less extreme than a flat tax, would be wealth redistibution in most designs I think.

    In my heart I think the problem with subsidies that *has* caused me the most grief isn’t related to the social safety net but rather that they seem to often exist not for any valid reason, but because a corrupt, flawed system allows special interests to line their pockets at taxpayer expense.

  4. I think Lao Tzu would want rural citizens to have guns to hunt with, and would support the violent overthrow of an oppressive gov’t, though as we’ve said in the past, the relation between the latter and gun control has atrophied in the last few centuries. You may use stronger language to describe the effect 🙂

    My overall sense is that he’d say if a country is being run well, you wouldn’t need gun control, because people felt safe without guns.

  5. I am opposed to corrupt, flawed systems. It’s probably inevitable that subsidies to industry tend towards corruption.

    I advocate a flat (%) tax on all income (income from profits, dividends, inheritence, wages, gambling), not wealth, to pay for the things that make it possible for people to succeed in society (education, transport, health, defense etc).

    I also advocate a fixed payment to give everyone the same opportunities in society…but we are getting into my next blog…

  6. I agree with you on Lao Tzu’s likely position on gun control. I would agree with Lao Tzu too.

    I expect one’s position on gun control can be derived from whether or not one would expect the gun-toting patriots to be on the side of the oppressive gov’t. Also the subject of another blog…

  7. Do you think the difference between income redistibution (which I *think* you’re saying you support) and wealth redistibution is really important? I think the popular definitions are the same. In any case, I can’t think of a modern example of wealth tax, other than property tax. Perhaps newer cars cost more to register, it may be based on value…

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