“I shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s [insert thing here]!” says the conservative. From health care to education to contraception, the conservative argument is the same. But at its core this is an un-patriotic and anti-capitalist argument. It’s time for liberals to start pointing this out.
“I shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s health care!” whines Sean Hannity. “Why should healthy people have to subsidize sick people?” “I shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s contraception!” opines Rush Limbaugh on the same day, a few hours earlier. “Why should I have to pay for someone else’s lifestyle choices?”
The fact is, Mr. Conservative, the government provides a service. Actually, the government provides a broad range of services. These are services that you benefit from, even if you don’t want to benefit from them and even if you don’t believe you benefit from them.
You benefit from these government services, Mr. Conservative, because when everyone is able to go to school, the job creators have a better pool of local talent to choose from when hiring.
You benefit from these government services, Mr. Conservative, because the fees you pay for hospital care go down when that hospital doesn’t have to offset as much expense for uninsured emergency care that it provides to poor people.
You benefit from these government services, Mr. Conservative, because crime is lower when people can go longer than a month after they lose their job before they lose their home, as well.
You benefit from these government services, because you live within a community. As a citizen of that community, you inherently benefit from its existence. It does not matter if you “pull your own weight” and it does not matter if you don’t use the bus. The fact is, no matter how rich you are, you live in a community that buys your products and builds your roads and makes it possible for your wealth to exist at all.
Mr. Conservative, you always talk about how America is the greatest land in the world. Well, to me that sounds like an outstanding service that your citizenship is providing for you.
Why aren’t you willing to pay for that service?
And if you come back to me and tell me that you want government to do only some things (e.g. defense, police, etc) and not others (e.g. education, health care, etc), then I will remind you again that you live in a community. You don’t get to decide what’s important for everyone else.
Let me put it simply, Mr. Conservative, so that you can understand: When you buy a candy bar, you do not get to say, “Well, I only want to pay for the chocolate, I don’t really enjoy the caramel that much!” The Free Market has determined that the candy bar should have both chocolate and caramel in it, Mr. Conservative. That’s why that candy bar company is in business. And if you personally only like the chocolate, then you have the option of not eating the candy bar.
Nobody is forcing you to be a patriot. Nobody is forcing you to live in the greatest country in the world. You don’t like the whole candy bar? Don’t buy it, Mr. Conservative.
But you ate the candy bar, sir. You are here.
Now pay up.