Sweden's methods aren't in line with what we'd use though.
I know, my point is that, in my experience, Austrian Schoolers tend to rail self-righteously against any
system that seeks to secure a more equitable distribution of wealth and income. I know there may be exceptions here and there, but that nevertheless seems to be the general rule.
Aside from high taxes,
As you know, my position is that whether a tax is good or bad depends not on how "high" it is, but on what it's levied upon. If it's levied upon land values, it's a good tax, even at a high rate. (Especially
at a hight rate, actually.) If it's levied instead upon the value of either labor or capital goods, it's a bad tax, even at a low rate.
the state is heavily involved in delivering education\healthcare (which contradicts your desired policies).
Well, as I've stated before, on the issue of health care I'm actually open to a single-payer system like the one they have in Canada. And on education, I support having tax-funded schools that are "public" in the same sense that libraries are "public." But I'm definitely opposed to both compulsory attendance laws and centralized control of school curriculum (which alone guarantees I'll never be welcome in the Democratic Party).
Returning to the issue of wealth distribution (the mere raising of which tends to conjure scary images of Karl Marx in the minds of most right-wing reactionaries), you may find the following quotes of particular interest:
"We differ from the socialists in our diagnosis of the evil and we differ from them as to remedies. We have no fear of capital
, regarding it as the natural handmaiden of labor; we look on interest
in itself as natural and just; we would set no limit to accumulation, nor impose on the rich any burden that is not equally placed on the poor; we see no evil in competition, but deem unrestricted competition to be as necessary to the health of the industrial and social organism as the free circulation of the blood is to the health of the bodily organism--to be the agency whereby the fullest cooperation is to be secured." -- Henry George, The Condition of Labor
, p. 61
"Socialism takes no account of natural laws, neither seeking them nor striving to be governed by them....It is more destitute of any central and guiding principle than any philosophy I know of." -- Henry George, The Science of Political Economy
, p. 198
"[In] truth I think that in trying to understand the socialists, you have confused yourself, which I don't wonder. The truth is that they do not understand themselves. As for Karl Marx, he is the prince of muddleheads." -- Henry George, An Anthology of Henry George's Thought
, p. 78
"[John] Locke was not in error. The right of property in things produced by labor--and this is the only true right of property-- springs directly from the right of the individual to himself, or as Locke expressed it, from his 'property in his own person.'" -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher
, p. 30
"I believe that the right of property lies at the very foundation of the social order and that no community can be prosperous or any state stay secure when the right of property is denied, and the heaviest indictment against the present state of things is that it is a denial of the right of property. What is the right of property? From what does it spring? Is it not, as Adam Smith says, that the first and most sacred rights of property is the right of man to himself and to the produce of his own labor; and is not a system which takes from laborers the produce of their labor and puts it in the hands of men who do nothing whatever to earn it--is not that system a denial of the first and most sacred right of property?" -- Henry George, An Anthology of Henry George's Thought
, p 88
"Yet to whoever will grasp first principles it must be evident:
"That there can be no real conflict between labor and capital--since capital is in origin and essence but the product and tool of labor;
"That there can be no real antagonism between the rights of men and the rights of property--since the right of property is but the expression of the fundamental right of man;
"That the road to the improvement of the conditions of the masses cannot be the road of restricting and denying the right of property, but can only be that of securing more fully the right of property; and that all measures that impair the right of property must in the end injure the masses--since while it may be possible that a few may get a living or be aided in the getting a living by robbery, it is utterly impossible that the many should.
"It is not as deniers, but as asserters of the equal rights of man, that we who for want of a better term call ourselves single-tax men so strenuously uphold the right of property." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher
, p. 209
"The right of life and liberty--that is to say, the right of the man to himself--is not really one right and the right of property another right. They are two aspects of the same perception--the right of property being but another side, a differently stated expression, of the right of man to himself. The right of life and liberty, and the right of the individual to himself, presupposes and involves the right of property, which is the exclusive right of the individual to the things his exertion has produced.
"This is the reason why we who really believe in the law of liberty, we who see in freedom the great solvent for all social evils, are the stanchest and most unflinching supporters of the rights of property, and would guard it as scrupulously in the case of the millionaire as in the case of the day-laborer." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher
, pp. 210-211
"To prevent government from becoming corrupt and tyrannous, its organization and methods should be as simple as possible, its functions be restricted to those necessary to the common welfare, and in all its parts it should be kept as close to the people and as directly within their control as may be." -- Henry George, Social Problems
, p. 171
"The first and main purpose of government is admirably stated in that grand document which we Americans so honor and so ignore--the Declaration of Independence. It is to secure to men those equal and unalienable rights with which the Creator has endowed them." -- Henry George, Social Problems
, p. 171
"The best use that could be made of our great law libraries…would be to send them to the paper mills….At the same time our statute-books are full of enactments which could, with advantage, be swept away. It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve." -- Henry George, Social Problems
, p. 173
"It is not the business of government to direct the employment of labor and capital, and to foster certain industries at the expense of other industries." -- Henry George, Social Problems
, p. 178
"These essays [by Herbert Spencer] are strongly individualistic, condemning even bitterly any use of governmental powers or funds to regulate the conditions of labor or alleviate the evils of poverty. In this Mr. Spencer was continuing and accentuating a line begun in 'Social Statics,' and, in the view of those who think as I do, was in the main right; for governmental interferences and regulations and bonuses are in their nature restrictions on freedom, and cannot cure evils that primarily flow from denials of freedom." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher
, p. 66
"I have been an active, consistent and absolute free trader, and an opponent of all schemes that would limit the freedom of the individual. I have been a stancher denier of the assumption of the right of society to the possessions of each member, and a clearer and more resolute upholder of the rights of property than has Mr. [Herbert] Spencer. I have opposed every proposition to help the poor at the expense of the rich. I have always insisted that no man be taxed because of his wealth, and that no matter how many millions a man might rightfully get, society should leave to him every penny of them." -- Henry George, A Perplexed Philosopher
, pp. 70-71
"For my part, I would put no limit on acquisition. No matter how many millions any man can get by methods which do not involve the robbery of others--they are his: let him have them. I would not even ask for charity, or have it dinned into his ears that it is his duty to help the poor. That is his own affair. Let him do as he pleases with his own, without restriction and without suggestion. If he gets without taking from others, and uses without hurting others, what he does with his wealth is his own business and his own responsibility." -- Henry George, Social Problems
, p. 87
"What we want today to bring us all together is, not union under one government that shall assume to govern, but that absolute freedom of intercourse that shall entwine all interests, that absolute freedom of intercourse that shall establish a daily ferry from this side of Atlantic to the other side of the Atlantic, that shall make everyone belonging to any of these nations, wherever he may be on the territory of another, feel as though he were at home. That is what we strive for--for the freedom of all, for self-government to all--and for as little government as possible. We don't believe that tyranny is a thing alone of kings and monarchs; we know well that majorities can be as tyrannous as aristocracies; we know that mobs can persecute as well as crowned heads. What we ask for is freedom--that in each locality, large or small, the people of that locality shall be free to manage the affairs that pertain only to that locality; that each individual shall be free to manage the affairs that relate to him; that governments shall not presume to say of whom he shall buy or to whom he shall sell, shall not attempt to dictate to him in any way, but shall confine itself to its proper function of preserving the public peace, of preventing the strong from oppressing the weak, of utilizing for the public good all the revenues that belong of right to the public, and of managing those affairs that are best managed by the whole. Our doctrine is the doctrine of freedom, our gospel is the gospel of liberty..." -- Henry George, An Anthology of Henry George's Thought
, p. 41
"The only reformer abroad in the world in my time who interested me in the least was Henry George, because his project did not contemplate prescription, but, on the contrary, would reduce it to almost zero. He was the only one of the lot who believed in freedom, or (as far as I could see) had any approximation to an intelligent idea of what freedom is, and of the economic prerequisites to attaining it....One is immensely tickled to see how things are coming out nowadays with reference to his doctrine, for George was in fact the best friend the capitalist ever had. He built up the most complete and most impregnable defense of the rights of capital that was ever constructed
, and if the capitalists of his day had had sense enough to dig in behind it, their successors would not now be squirming under the merciless exactions which collectivism is laying on them, and which George would have no scruples whatever about describing as sheer highwaymanry." [Emphasis added] -- Albert Jay Nock, Free Speech and Plain Language
, p. 159
"I do not wish to be misunderstood as falling into the trap of the socialists and communists who condemn all privately owned business, all factories, all machinery and organizations for producing wealth. There is nothing wrong with private corporations owning the means of producing wealth. Georgists
believe in private enterprise, and in its virtues and incentives to produce at maximum efficiency. It is the insidious linking together of special privilege, the unjust outright private ownership of natural or public resources, monopolies, franchises, that produce unfair domination and autocracy.
"The means of producing wealth differ at the root: some is thieved from the people and some is honestly earned. George differentiated; Marx did not. The consequences of our failure to discern lie at the heart of our trouble."
"Marx's biggest error was to suppose that society could be improved by grand design: that the solution was to impose a new order, rather than to abolish privileges embedded in the existing order. His scheme actually rescued the aristocracy he had condemned, as it required an aristocracy to run it, and it pitted labor
, when, in fact, true capital is nothing more than the fruits of labor, and is a natural ally of labor against privilege....
"The errors of anti-Marxists derive mostly from overreaction -- from denying whatever Marx asserted, replacing Marxist half-truths with equally false anti-Marxist half-truths. Often, in so doing, they fall into the trap of accepting underlying Marxist assumptions....
"While Marx treated land
as capital to attack it, anti-Marxists treat land as capital to defend it. This not only accepts the Marxist redefinition of capital, but causes anti-Marxists to say absurd things about land that make sense only with regard to true capital.
"Buying into the Marxist equation of wealth and privilege, anti-Marxists defend privilege as if it were wealth. They do this with regard not only to land, but to banking, incorporation, franchises, the overextension of patents, etc. While there are sometimes glimmers of theoretical distinctions, there is a near constant defense of those parties whose wealth comes almost entirely from capitalized privilege, and only minimally from true capital. Such errors defy logic, are inconsistent with classical liberalism, and are intuitively rejected by the unindoctinated."