Friday, March 27, 2009

Tax Credits for Education, 2

Earlier in the week, I wrote out the fundamental reason why tax credits should be advocated.

To repeat that argument, in an even more condensed form, I said that tax credits pay restitution to parents for the infringement on their right to their own earnings--and how they are spent with regards to their child's education. As an advocate of freedom, I consider such restitution a good thing.

I also raised the possibility that non-parents might recognize the inconsistency and assert their right to their earnings--an action that I and probably many others (who just gained freedom in this area) would agree with.

Of course bad possibilities can be imagined as well as the good. For example, it is possible that bureaucrats within the government use tax credits as a way of pushing their own agendas.

"Want your money back?" they might ask, "then you're going to have to send your kids to a school that teaches this" (or passes these standards, and so on).

The ultimate, paralyzing fear is that if parents do get their money back, albeit with strings attached, those strings will grow into ropes--and it's possible that in the end everyone will be worse off than before.

Note that this same thinking can be applied to what one should advocate or do in every area of politics and one's own life.

For example: Should you go talk to that beautiful woman and see if there is something interesting wrapped up in all the pretty? Should you support the abolition of laws prohibiting drug use? Should you try to eat better foods and exercise more?

In each case above, both good and bad results are possible. But the proper action remains the same: it is the action consistent with one's long-term, rationally chosen values.

If you are single and looking, then you should go talk with that person you find attractive. She might be boring or reserved, but she could be brilliant or sensual. In many cases, how you approach her (and the thought you've put into that) will determine the outcome of that encounter. Nobody is as boring as a person answering boring questions.

If you are an advocate for freedom, then you should support abolishing laws that restrict it--even though some people will use their freedom in a way that is harmful to their health (for example, using drugs excessively). Here, as in the case above and the one that follows, the usual responses can be thought of in advance, allowing you (and the political system) to deal with them effectively.

If you want to be healthy and fit, then you should exercise more or eat better. The fact that many people binge after diets or get injured while exercising is no reason to not do those activities. The possibilities are real, but they should lead one (again) to think clearly about one's approach.

Doing nothing, or acquiescing to defeat before one even begins, is a sure way to not reach one's desired destination.

I hold that tax credits for education should be advocated by all. They are not the final destination, where the US has a politically free educational system, but they would be the enactment of an absolutely crucial point along the way towards that goal (and many others besides).

Once a government recognizes a parent's right to their own earnings, the rest of the battle is downhill.

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