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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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A Modest Welfare-State Proposal

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I’ve got a modest welfare-state proposal that I’m sure every welfare-state advocate is certain to embrace. The fact that my idea comes at Christmas makes it doubly good.

I propose a new law that would mandate that every single American purchase a Christmas present for all of his family and friends during every Christmas season from now until he dies.

Isn’t that a great idea?

Think about it. This program would ensure that everyone would be good, caring, and compassionate when it most matters — at Christmas time.

Presents for brothers, sisters, spouses, children, parents, cousins, uncles, aunts, and friends. What better way reflection of family values and religious values than that? And think how happy everyone would be!

Yes, I’m sure it already has occurred to you that there would be an added benefit to such a program: the economy! Everyone would have to go to the mall and spend money! Isn’t that the key to economic prosperity, according to U.S. officials? Aren’t they always exhorting people to do that to get the economy moving? Just think: 300 million people going to the mall to buy presents!

How much will people be required to spend under my proposal? We could have a progressive system. Those who make more would be required to spend more. Those who make less would be mandated to spend less.

What happens if someone fails to comply with the law? We’ll have the IRS impose a penalty on him, like, say, a $500 fine. What better way to ensure that people become caring, compassionate, and giving than that? And what better way to show how good, caring, and compassionate IRS officials are?

I’m already thinking about Easter. Why not a mandatory present-buying program for Easter too? Why, now that I’m thinking about it, why not mandate that everyone buy presents for family and friends every day of the year? Not only would that ensure that everyone would be good, caring, and compassion all the time, it would also mean that the economy would in be a perpetual state of boom.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.