Feb 16, 2010
Politicians' goal: Get us to hate others
Politicians' goal: Get us to hate others
Thomas Sowell gives us yet another masterpiece. He hits on one of my biggest themes, where we are made to hate each other, and in the process, we lose our freedoms.
For instance, we are told that being rich is obscene -- when, in fact -- being poor is obscene.
Being rich is a blessing and until the powers running this country started attacking the producers of this country, our so-called "poor" in America lived better than the rich in most other countries.
We have gone down this road before.
Rockefeller was decried as "obscenely rich", so in 1913, we were talked into passing the 16th Amendment, which would tax that obscene wealth, but, we were told, we were promised, never would more than the top 1% of income earners ever be taxed.
But, oddly enough, the world's most expensive war started up just the very next year.
A World War, our government told us, required everyone to pay his "fair share" in defense of his country. And we forgot why we agreed to the 16th Amendment in the first place -- now it seemed like such a necessity that all citizens should give their "fair share" in support of their country.
That same fateful year of 1913, we threw in the 17th Amendment, in order to destroy the State legislative veto in the U.S. Senate, allowing it to slide in unannounced, without debate, while everyone else was distracted by their enthusiasm for the 16th "soaking it to the rich".
Here we stand today and the Rockefeller's are as rich as ever, and we are the ones filling our income tax forms year, after year, after year, as their tax attorneys plot ways to successfully avoid paying any federal taxes in the loopholes Congress creates for them.
So in the end, giving the government the OK to "soak the rich", with the 16th Amendment, only resulted in the government "soaking the middle class" with the Income Tax and redistributing our money to the ever growing poor segment.
In another example along the same lines, we are told that excessive profits cannot be extreme, and Obama wants to "fix" that as well.
If history repeats itself, by our giving our government the OK, to "soak the profitable", then the end result will be that our government will tell us that any wages above the wages set in Calcutta, India are excessive and obscene, while the Wall Street bankers will still be getting million-dollar bonuses.
But what is obscene is the profits that the government takes.
These "profits", commonly called "taxes", are higher than what any owner or any CEO makes, approaching a 50% tax rate when everything is added up?
Private profits are eating into the government's "take" and Big Brother ain't happy.
Politicians' goal: Get us to hate others -- by Thomas Sowell
If eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, incessant distractions are the way politicians take away our freedoms, in order to enhance their own power and longevity in office. Dire alarms and heady crusades are among the many distractions of our attention from the ever increasing ways government finds to take away more of our money and more of our freedom.
Magicians have long known that distracting an audience is the key to creating the illusion of magic. It is also the key to political magic.
Alarms ranging from "overpopulation" to "global warming" and crusades ranging from "affordable housing" to "universal health care" have been among the distractions of political magicians. But few distractions have had such a long and impressive political track record as getting people to resent and, if necessary, hate other people.
The most politically effective totalitarian systems have gotten people to give up their own freedom to vent their resentment or hatred at other people – under Communism, the capitalists; under Nazis, the Jews.
Under extremist Islamic regimes today, hatred is directed at the infidels in general and the "great Satan," the United States, in particular. There some people have been induced to give up not only their freedom but even their lives, in order to strike a blow against those they have been taught to hate.
We have not yet reached these levels of hostility, but those who are taking away our freedoms, bit by bit, on the installment plan, have been incessantly supplying us with people to resent.
One of the most audacious attempts to take away our freedom to live our lives as we see fit has been the so-called "health-care reform" bills that were being rushed through Congress before either the public or the members of Congress themselves had a chance to discover all that was in them.
For this, we were taught to resent doctors, insurance companies and even people with "Cadillac health insurance plans," who were to be singled out for special taxes. Meanwhile, our freedom to make our own medical decisions – on which life and death can depend – was to be quietly taken from us and transferred to our betters in Washington. Only the recent Massachusetts election results have put that on hold.
Another dangerous power toward which we are moving, bit by bit, on the installment plan, is the power of politicians to tell people what their incomes can and cannot be. Here the resentment is being directed against "the rich."
The distracting phrases here include "obscene" wealth and "unconscionable" profits. But, if we stop and think about it – which politicians don't expect us to – what is obscene about wealth? Wouldn't we consider it great if every human being on earth had a billion dollars and lived in a place that could rival the Taj Mahal?
Poverty is obscene. It is poverty that needs to be reduced – and increasing a country's productivity has done that far more widely than redistributing income by targeting "the rich."
You can see the agenda behind the rhetoric when profits are called "unconscionable" but taxes never are, even when taxes take more than half of what someone has earned, or add much more to the prices we have to pay than profits do.
The assumption that what A pays B is any business of C is an assumption that means a dangerous power being transferred to politicians to tell us all what incomes we can and cannot receive. It will not apply to everyone all at once. Like the income tax, which at first applied only to the truly rich, and then slowly but steadily moved down the income scale to hit the rest of us, the power to say what incomes people can be allowed to make will inevitably move down the income scale to make us all dependents and supplicants of politicians.
The phrase "public servants" is increasingly misleading. They are well on their way to becoming public masters – like aptly named White House "czars." The more they can get us all to resent those they designate, the more they can distract us from their increasing control of our own lives – but only if we sell our freedom cheap. We can sell our birthright and not even get the mess of pottage.
You can read further at The Problem
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