I always hate it when I’m having a great day and then someone starts talking about the government and I get thrown into a bad mood. I suppose that is what I am fixing to do in this post today, so I apologize in advance.

I must admit this person did have a sense of humor about it. Logically, he told me that since the government takes 25% of his income, he is only going to work 75% of the year. Of course, this was a joke, but something I always say is there is an element of truth in every joke. We started down a long rabbit hole of discussion that touched on some of what I will share with my readers today.

Over time, the more I wrapped my mind around taxes and the system, the more I realized that taxation is a way to control and manipulate the citizens to act in the way that suits the government best. The taxes are set to take a portion of every income earner’s pay and there are incentives for conforming to the way the government would like you to act.

For instance…

If you get married, you pay taxes at a lower rate than you would if you were single while making the same amount of money. This is an incentive for people to be married.

The government wants future taxpayers, so they incentivize people to have more kids by offering tax deductions for children.

If the government wants to control car emissions, they offer tax credits for those who purchase energy-efficient products, such as cars, windows, air conditioning units, solar panels, etc. This, of course, is the government getting involved with commerce, siding with specific industries and running around threatening the viability of other companies who don’t receive the help of the benefits from tax incentives. This is totally unfair, if you ask me. It shouldn’t be that my tax dollars go towards the government playing favorites in the free market.

Now to touch a little more on government playing favorites and helping some businesses over others.

Consider Walmart, who — for the most part — pays their associates minimum wage to work for them. Walmart is able to pay their workers very low wages because their associates can turn around and sign up for food stamps, welfare, free education, and all of these other programs that essentially subsidize their income, while allowing Walmart to continue paying their associates lower wages.

This puts pressure on other companies that do not have low-end minimum wage jobs available. It forces them to have to compete with what is essentially a wage floor. And that floor is relatively high, considering where the minimum wage is and all of the other income equivalents that come with being on government programs.

These unintended consequences are drags on businesses that don’t have the luxury of leaning on the government to gain a competitive advantage over other companies. It’s no wonder why most businesses fail.

Having said all of that… I am not against people taking what is available to them. Since we are dealt this specific deck of cards, take what is rightfully yours. I’ve met people who refuse to take a government job or accept health benefits from the government because they wanted nothing to do with the corrupt system. My opinion is if you don’t take it, someone else will, so it might as well be you.

Truthfully, everything is beyond fix and will ultimately implode. But until then, make the best of it. Within the law, take all of you deductions now during tax season, take all of your credits, minimize your tax liability as best as possible, and if you qualify for handouts, take them. For those who hate the unfair redistribution of wealth, I know this might be a hard point to swallow, but I don’t fault the people for taking what is available to them; I fault the government for being so incompetent and creating a system that has become so unfair and unsustainable.

Having said that, be smart, be productive, and be prosperous!