The government doesn’t care about you.
Its agents claim to exist for the sole purpose of looking out for you. They will say this is the purpose of the hundreds of thousands of pages of Federal Regulations. The state’s agents say they have your well-being at heart when they restrict the ways in which you may live, earn money, and deal with other people.
This is all false.
You need only look at the different “vice” industries to see that this is true.
The government (or rather, the individuals within it) takes it upon itself to determine that certain goods or practices are harmful for society at large. As such, they implement everything from outright bans, to heavy and near-crippling regulation, to “sin taxes”.
The most recognizable controlled industries mired with regulation and sin taxes are alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. Now apparently, these industries are so bad that they need to be tightly controlled by the government to keep us safe from them. To this end, excessively high taxes are placed on these goods or services. So if you wish to smoke, drink alcohol, or head to the casino, the excessive tax burden will be passed on to you.
And the government reaps the spoils.
But what kind of message does this send?
These industries are ostensibly so dangerous and harmful to everyone—but paying an extra dollar to the government makes those dangers go away? Sounds like a scam to me.
In reality the government (whichever level) plays up the danger just enough to justify intervention, but not so much as to threaten its newly created revenue stream. Gambling needs to be made illegal because it destroys families and lives, but if the casinos pay the government 30% of their revenue then we can quietly forget about them and their supposedly destroyed lives.
Smoking kills, but give the government two dollars every time you buy a pack and you can smoke and die all you want.
This is the lunacy behind this type of operation. New things start out as unregulated and beneath the radar of the state apparatus. The industry grows to the point where the state feels like it is missing out on some revenue. Some excuse is given (whether public health or common good) to justify the practical outlawing of the practice. The state then allows some people to take part in the practice or industry once again, but only after paying for a license, paying excessive taxes, or making very large campaign contributions.
And this isn’t just confined to “vices”. This is any industry that requires a government license to take part in. This happens in new industries like ride sharing. In cities where Uber is not allowed because the lack of regulation makes it “potentially dangerous”, the authorities aren’t really looking to protect you. Your Uber driver may be ticketed, but they will let you go on your way with them. If it were truly dangerous wouldn’t they try to do a bit more than give your potentially murderous driver a fine?
The truth is all the state cares about is skimming its fee off the top. Once they get their share you can go about your business and kill yourself or spend all your money.
The state is not here to protect you. It exists only to take from you. If history, current events, or common sense is any guide, states only grow, and the individuals who make them up only get richer.