Here’s another point by Tullock. If you give $100 to charity, he says, the cost to you is $100.

But if you vote for a tax levy that extracts $100 from you, the cost to you is $100 times the probability that your vote will make a difference. So if you are one in a million voters, the cost to you is $0.0001.

This allows you to feel charitable while doing absolutely nothing.

So you know how some people say that almsgiving is an attempt to buy your way to heaven? It is only a cynical metaphor. External charity is a means to charity in the heart, and that is how you get to heaven. Giving to charity prepares your soul for an infusion of grace but does not guarantee grace.

And God knows what you’re doing. If He sees you cheating, He will not grant grace. He will certainly not grant grace to someone who, by voting for a tax, coerces other people into paying. Whatever you “feel” after voting is irrelevant, you won’t become more loving.

So a man who pays $100 out of his own pocket to help another may get something, namely, an increase in spiritual light in his soul. But a man who pays $0.0001 by voting will get nothing.

So that gets you nowhere. You cannot steal love.

If people understood this dynamic, taxes might be lower.

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