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In a nation that finances the proper function of government via voluntary donations is it not the case that big corporations would give the most? Would that not make the government less likely to go after said corporations in case of fraud or actual (real) initiation of force?

asked Aug 28 '11 at 10:53

Bas's gravatar image


edited Aug 31 '11 at 19:29

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

This begs the question, would a larger donation to the government be beneficial to the government?

I would think in a minimalist, night watchman state, with clearly defined boundaries of responsibility, a larger donation would not achieve much. Whereas today, more money sent to the government often equates to a larger, more intrusive government at the behest of the altruists in Washington, a free state would not subscribe to the same formula. More money in the coffers of the minimal state would only allow the government to continue - for a longer period of time - the same functions as before.

(Aug 28 '11 at 15:18) JK Gregg ♦ JK%20Gregg's gravatar image

The question reads as if the "government" is a person, like a king or other ruling tyrant, to whom one must continually "pay homage." Even today in the U.S., anyone can make a donation to the U.S. Treasury, in any amount, without restriction (as far as I know). What do the donors gain by so doing? Virtually nothing. They don't even get a tax break (as far as I know), although it would make far more sense financially for them to think of their payment as a tax credit rather than a deduction from taxable income, since taxes and donations go to the same place.

Where the issue of money in politics comes up most often today is in campaign financing -- paying for the election campaigns of specific individual candidates for public office. There, it is argued, the candidate is far more likely to "remember" and "look favorably upon" big contributors. But that is very different from a donation to a nation's treasury, to help defray the cost of governmental functions. And different still in a free society that strictly limits the functions and powers of its government in the first place, as the comment by Tetracide points out.

For those who may not already know, Ayn Rand's main discussion of government financing in a free society can be found in her book, The Virtue of Selfishness (VOS), Chapter 15. Excerpts can be found under "Taxation" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon. Refer also to the topic of "Economic Power vs. Political Power" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon for discussion of the idea that money is corrupting. Be sure to check out Francisco's "Money Speech" in Atlas Shrugged, as well (reprinted in FNI), regarding the old saying that money (or the love thereof) "is the root of all evil." Excerpts from that speech can be found under the topic of "Money" in the Lexicon.

The purpose of voluntary government financing, incidentally, is not to limit the powers of government. The limiting of governmental powers and functions comes first, through the society's prevailing philosophy and a corresponding constitution. Financing those functions is a secondary, derivative issue.

answered Aug 31 '11 at 02:00

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

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Asked: Aug 28 '11 at 10:53

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Last updated: Aug 31 '11 at 19:29