Rebranding the Odious?
|Alain de Botton|
Why Listen to this Guy?
But if you are in the business of being clever, that puts you in a pickle, if “being relevant” and “worth our attention” is part of your cachet.
Take Alain de Botton (of Switzerland) , a very clever man who has written at least one brilliant book . . . and several not-so-brilliant ones. He has tackled Proust, Epicureanism, and is now deeply into religion.
Well, maybe not so deeply.
He wants politicians to follow the lead of religious leaders, who, he asserts, are masters of rebranding. (I had thought that was for marketing specialists.)
Recognizing that the word “tax” is an odious one — few people really like paying their taxes — de Botton says that politicians should follow what “religions do” and “rebrand ‘tax’ as ‘charity.’”
Charity, he notes, is a “much more appealing word.”
Well, yeah. That’s because charity is a word for love. It is all about deep concern, sympathy, etc., and “acts of charity” are expressions of love and concern.
And the only way that acts of charity can be determined to be expressions of concern is that they are voluntary. Taxes, on the other hand, are not voluntary. They are taken by force (try not paying them — force will find you).
Forcing people to “be charitable” will automatically scuttle that very purpose.
Trying to rescue politics from the stench of compulsion should not be done with rebranding, but by limiting government.
The less government, the less force.
And more scope for charity.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
Paul Jacobs is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacobs is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.
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