A group of Americans are standing around, waiting for a business deal to take place. As they wait, they begin to grumble about the state of the economy, including their taxes. One of them asks an elderly man whether he thinks the taxes are too high. He replies that yes, they are high, but the burden of paying them is hardly the most onerous burden in their lives. More onerous, says the old man, are people’s own “idleness,” “pride,” and “folly.”

It would be remarkable for a scene like this to play out anywhere in America, at any time in…

Michael D. Purzycki

I am an analyst, writer, and editor. I write about liberalism, U.S. national security, and the threats to both. The views expressed here are mine alone.

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