This tale reminded me a bit of my friends and family. It’s a tale of domain independence.
That means that something that you deem unacceptable in one domain you see as acceptable, and sometimes admirable, in another domain.
This isn’t something like, it’s okay to belch in your home (one domain) but not in public (another domain). It’s more like, you think it’s not okay for a burglar to steal from someone (one domain), but it’s okay for the government to do so (another domain).
The source of domain independence is that those who have it don’t see it that way. They don’t see government taxing as stealing. Or, if they do, they justify it in that at least there was a political process behind it and it wasn’t random.
That may be well and good, but there is a good litmus test that fades this mirage of rationality. That test comes when they see their money being taken and used for something they disagree with.
A family member of mine illustrates this well. He was always for the government taking money and using it for things he supported.
I’d ask, What if someone else disagrees with you, should they be forced to support it?
His response would typically be, Heck yes. They’re just being irresponsible and I know I’m right. They have to give back. If we don’t make them, they won’t give enough.
That, however, went out the window one day when his city was spending gobs of money on a project that he vehemently opposed. Suddenly, he felt like his money was being stolen from him.
Yet, when I asked him if he could now empathize with the people that he felt should be made to pay for his priorities, the answer was still a resounding no.