Rick somehow transforms my arguments against "a high-taxation state that reduces its citizens to economic dependents" into support for the high tax systems of the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, and France. In fact, I do think that many of the citizens of those countries have indeed become economic dependents. France is currently being crippled by strikes and protests against raising the retirement age to a mere 62! Where do these people think the money comes from, if not the private sector and the entrepreneurial spirit?
I grew up in socialist Britain where individual talent and success were actually stigmatized, where the economy was collapsing, where the top rate of taxation was 98 percent, where the state absorbed more and more of people's livelihoods, and where trade unions held successful businesses to ransom. Thatcher's radical return to a tradition of liberty and independence and self-reliance changed the public culture and the very psyches of Britons in ways that enhanced liberty. Hence their very different response to the notion that debts have to be paid today, compared with the French.
And I do not regard the Scandinavian collectivist states as any place I would like to live in, since I value the economic liberties that such high taxation takes away, and my ability to choose individually how I spend my money, rather than be forced by the majority to spend it the way that majority wants to. I value those liberties, moreover, as ends in themselves and not just as means to any particular ends. I like being free over my own life and decisions. It makes me happy.