The improvement in life expectancy and nominal average income that your color graph referred to was caused by the advance and application of modern science.
It has very little to do with tax rates or some nostalgic notion about freedom. A plains settler in the nineteenth century had plenty of freedom, and a hard, short, painful life.
The question of our era is: 'What is the social contract?' We live as a society of men, sharing the scarce resources of the planet in common, and expect others to labor, truck, and bargain for their survival. That is all good and well.
But if someone is disadvantaged by accident of health, birth, or the laws of men, will we choose to regard them without any sympathy? Do we really think that they have always failed strictly of their own accord, for lack of effort or discipline? Will we make no attempt to feed and cloth them, even if they are children?
Does the failure of the financial system to self impose a proper trading platform for derivatives mean that a child should go hungry? Or do you really live in an Horatio Alger fantasy world where a seven year old child should just get off his butt and sell some newspapers? Oh, I remember, you think there aren't any poor people. You think there is no such thing as involuntary unemployment.
While I was typing this, I got an email from the guy that laid the marble tile in 49's coach Bill Walsh's house several years ago. He's 60. He has worked hard all his life. Raised his kids. Lives very frugal. Hasn't been able to find regular work for the last two years. Is flat broke.
What do you want to tell this loyal American veteran? That not only do we have no work of any kind for him, but that the government will give him neither food stamps nor act as employer of last resort when some bozos on Wall Street train-wreck the financial system? Should he have known to take up another line of work when he was 20 years old?
What the heck, Jim. Do you even have a point?