Last month’s inane remarks from president Obama about entrepreneurs not building their businesses without government aid are still being repeated. I ignored them before, not really having anything to contribute that wasn’t already said, but after hearing someone make a similar point regarding the nature of government I wanted to weigh in.
The simple and ageless truth is that government can contribute nothing to society without first taking from the very entrepreneurs it claims to benefit. The state did not come first and then organize society; society developed and the state followed shortly after. Therefore, before any government can build roads or hire teachers or do anything else, there must first be someone to tax, some individual must have property to confiscate.
Much in the same way, a parasite requires a host; it couldn’t exist in the absence of something from which to draw resources. But the host would survive – and indeed thrive – without another being consuming its resources.