By Larry Leonard
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There’s an ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” It had to do with the building of the Great Wall of China, which except for Barak Obama’s ego, is the only human artifact that can be seen from orbit. In those days economic growth was accomplished by war-based theft. You sent an army across other people’s boundaries and stole everything in sight. From the Persian (Iranian) empire to Rome to the answer to Queen Elizabeth’s need for a giant fleet of warships to get France and Spain off England’s back, there was only one way for a nation to become prosperous — steal the gold from other nations. That is why the Chinese liked uninteresting times. When the average citizen wasn’t being attacked from abroad, he could make a living and feed his family.
Not that taxation wasn’t a common practice back then. But, you can’t get much in the way of dough from serfs. It was the introduction of the merchant class, blossoming first as trade, that generated national financial growth without war. The rise of capitalism was the result. That, because the serfs are not allowed weapons, you can tax.
Capitalism is wealth without “interesting times” in the ancient Chinese sense. But the decline of the military as the principal expenditure by monarchies came with a price. The king had to buy it with legal gifts for the people. They had to give up their former total centralized master-slave arrangement, and the loss of that kind of power hurt.
The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights was the ultimate expression of citizen’s rights vs. dictatorial government on planet Earth. When Alexis deTocqueville, a writer/historian/philosopher came over from France and wandered around this new nation, he came to the conclusion that there was one potential flaw waiting to cause trouble for this idea. He wrote that disaster could result if the citizens of this country ever discovered that they could use this system — their vote — to give themselves other people’s money.
That is what has happened to the United States during my lifetime. It is human nature. A desire for power describes both kings and a great many politicians. In this country, the path to power is the vote. And, in this country, there are at this time millions upon millions of voters who are for sale.
So, we come to the central problem
The Welfare (or Nanny) State introduced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt rising out of the Great Depression, followed by Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” and expanded into a thousand other areas of life is on the verge of bringing this nation to its economic knees. We could talk about expansion of the basic idea into a limitless variety of areas from food stamp cash cards being used for vacation trips to crony capitalism “investments” in political supporter startup grants for companies like California’s Solyndra, the solar cell manufacturer that went bankrupt after descendants of Henry J. Kaiser milked it for millions. But, I will focus here on the big current news, socialized medicine.
But first, some basic thoughts.
For years, I had a regular visitor to my old cabin on the East Fork. His name was Robert Sheckley. He was the former fiction editor of OMNI magazine, and the author of 65 science fiction novels. His girlfriend was a raving liberal. One day she was complaining about the conservative lack of compassion when it came to government programs for the poor. I told her that she didn’t know the meaning of the word, compassion. She asked what my definition of the term would be. Here is what I said:
“Compassion is when I take money out of my wallet and give it to somebody I think needs help — and is not when somebody takes money out of my wallet and gives it to somebody they think needs help. That is, compassion is a personal quality and requires personal sacrifice for validity. There is no compassion in giving away other people’s money.”
A government isn’t a human being. It does not earn money. Like the old monarchies, it gets every dime it spends by taking it (by force) from its citizens, and immediately crosses the line into theft when it spends that money on anything other than the most widely generic things. A military that defends the nation’s borders and foreign interests is one thing, free morning-after abortion drugs is another.
The latter item benefits a selected portion of the population. Its function, as with so many other such gifts, is not generic but rather very specific. If you research this type of thing it becomes immediately obvious that the real purpose has to do with buying votes.
There are two kinds of people in America. The first work for their living. The second kind expects the government to take money from the first kind, then give it to them. At present, half the citizens of this nation pay taxes and the other half do not. Every dime paid to the second group removes investment capital from our economy. Capitalism is the private economy. It doesn’t cost the government anything for the jobs generated there. Every government job costs the government, and so YOU (if you pay taxes), tax dollars to create and maintain.
That is why a famous Democrat, John F. Kennedy demanded that Congress cut taxes. Those cuts revived a sagging national economy. Instead of sucking money from taxpayers, that increase in private capital generated jobs that didn’t require taxes to exist — and, in fact by raising employment numbers actually increased revenues to the government treasuries at all levels.
For an example of the sucking power of taxation by a government entity, take a look at Detroit, Michigan. The bailout for that city was announced today. The first check they will be sent is in the multiples of millions of dollars. This process can be described as taxpayer dollars being used to subsidize the failure of decades of liberal financial failure. That city has been run into the ground by the Left. Brought to its knees by intentional malfeasance and abject stupidity. If you are a taxpayer anywhere in America, you will be sent the bill on April 15th for years, if not decades.
But, this is about ObamaCare.
A federal senator from Texas is raising hell about socialized medicine as I write this. He knows that adding this law to the welfare mix of laws is the straw that will break the camel’s back. For all the reasons described in the text above, within a few years it will become a tax burden that removes so much investment capital from the national pool that the American economy will sink to second or third rate status.
Set aside all the things it was promised to do which are now known to have been fairy tale advantages like quality claims from a used car salesman. Just focus on the points made in this text. It is a tax-grabber of titanic dimensions. A job killer of titanic dimensions. And, the government “health-care” bureacracy it will create will be as efficient and beneficial as your local DMV.
They say, “It’s the law, now. Learn to live with it.”
So was Prohibition. It was more than a law. It was in the Constitution. And, when the people became sick of it, it was repealed. Any law (slavery, for example) can be dumped.
I hope you don’t wait for that to happen. I hope you come to your senses in time.