Myth: I earned that money; it's mine!

Fact: The free market in which people make their money wouldn't even exist without government support.


No one truly makes 100 percent of his money by himself. Individuals depend on a wide array of government services to support the very free market in which they earn their money. Without these supports, there would be no free market in the first place.


Many conservatives and libertarians have argued that the government has no right to tax their money; they earned it, and the government has no right to "steal" it.

However, these individuals could not have made a dime on the free market without any of the following government supports of the free market:

"Why shouldn't the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them."

Edward Albert Filene (1869-1937)

Filene (of Boston's Filene's Department Stores) founded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to encourage businesses to contribute to the welfare of their communities. He eventually quit the organization, disappointed that it had become a bastion of right-wing conservatism and an anti-tax lobby.

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