Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

How Laws + Taxes Divert Resources and Lowers Quality of Life

How Laws + Taxes Divert Resources and Lowers Quality of Life
by Alex Merced

 Everyone thinks there needs to be more laws for this and that to basically prevent or control everything they don't like without realizing the consequences of laws, and if they need money to enforce this law they'll create a tax. The problem is that to keep this legal and tax institution manageable it needs an army of lawyers and accountants which require money, money that could of been used elsewhere to develop new consumer technology or medical innovations. The only benefit you get from an army of lawyers and accountants is preventing being hassled by the federal government, this does not free up my day for more leisure time or make me healthier which would improve my quality of life. Actually it lowers my quality of life due to the leisure time lost having to keep track of receipts and documentation so that way the slightest mistake doesn't result in financial ruin in the courts, and I can't imagine the stress and paranoia of a more and more complex legal/tax system can result in a longer life span. Some might respond saying that this is good, only with laws can we maintain some sort of preferred social order (which everyone has a different definition of) and we need taxes to enforce those laws. On top of creating this "ideal" social order it creates highly paid lawyer and accounting jobs. These people assume that if the government didn't spend the taxed portion of peoples incomes they wouldn't of spent it, and I can tell your personally that is not the case. Where I would of spent that money is another sector of the economy that would of seen growth in activity and jobs if I had the money to spend there which probably would have been something that added value to my life and subjectively see it. A concept that has left modern day is that of opportunity cost, the thought of what "could of been" if an action had not been taken. If I had not spent my extra income supposedly, then I probably would of saved it but then the bank will spend it by loaning it out to home owners and entrepreneurs who may develop a good or service I may value enough to withdraw that savings and buy later. The bottom line is that resources are limited, and if more and more resources must be spent to keep up with a tax and legal system of growing complexity then that's less resources for something else and that is not optimal.

Posted Apr 16 2010, 08:12 AM by Alex Merced