The disadvantages of government are plenty, yet to question its legitimacy in modern times is analogous to heresy.
Given the option, would you support your President or your family member? Your neighbor or a city council member? Your friend or the state senator? The common denominator in all equations is where your true loyalty and dedication lies: with the common man or with the State.
If you choose your fellow man, you choose a person, a unique individual whom you can relate to, and develop a personal relationship with; this entire process is totally voluntary (friends) and happens naturally (family). Without coercion, decisions are made that support the other’s well-being for their own good. Mutualism reigns, and a sacrifice on your part is dismissed either due to your own intent (love), or the cognizance that a gift now will only fuel your reciprocal receipt of the favor at some point later on.
If you choose the State, you choose an endless series of bureaucrats and a vague set of institutions that are indistinct; you choose an entity that is non-human, and engage in a relationship that is non-personal. Inevitably, the State survives and thrives on the productivity of others (since it produces nothing of value itself) so in choosing it, you inextricably do so at your expense; there will never be an opportunity for reciprocation.
The mainstream media has neatly organized itself into only two broad categories—red and blue, conservative and liberal—even though this is the land of opportunity. Most people are force fed this limited scope of options, while “alternative” philosophies are scoffed at as “fads”, “extremist” or “on the fringes”. More recently, libertarians have been relocated from being champions of the rich, to social degenerates prophesying philosophy while sleeping on their in-laws’ couch.
At the end of the day, libertarians are champions of all people, and staunch opponents of the State. This preference applies universally to rich and poor, black and white, male and female; as long as we are winning, the predatory State must be losing. As we increase, they decrease. Some have mistakenly interpreted this to mean preference to those who increase the most (the rich), but we are just happy that the government is not the one prospering.
In fact, any rational person will realize that despite all the rhetoric, the wealthy overwhelmingly benefit from governmental programs, substantially more than the poor do. The proof of this can be seen in a 2011 study by the Center of Budget Accountability, which found that the top earning 1 percent of households increased their income by about 275% over the period between 1979 and 2007; whereas the gain was just under 40% for the 60 percent in the middle of America’s income distribution.In 2012, the gap between the richest 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent was the widest it has been since the 1920s. Furthermore, if you think that too many of the “takers” are taking, examine our overly complicated tax code—do you think the poor lobbied to make it that way, driving them further into poverty, or rather the wealthy in league with large corporations?
If you’re still not convinced, consider this little-known and not-widely-reported fact: in June, the Senate Banking Committee voted for Fred Hochberg and his second term as president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. There was no partisan gridlock, no lengthy media battles, and no dramatized ideological scuffle. There wasn’t even a lengthy vetting process for Mr. Hochberg and his vision for the bank in his second term. Even with many bureaucrats promising fiscal responsibility, support for the bank and its president was overwhelming.
So what does the Export-Import Bank (also known as Ex-Im) do? Corporate welfare: It provides taxpayer-backed loans, loan guarantees, and insurance to foreign companies, in order to buy products from U.S. exporters. In essence, you and I pay for companies like AirChina to buy products from Lockheed Martin, for example.
In 2012, the Ex-Im’s charter was re-authorized through 2015 and its budget was increased to $140 billion (from $100 billion). The taxpayers guarantee this bill just so we can give our hard earned dollars to foreign multinationals. And the Ex-Im isn’t a model for frugality either: in 2007 it lent $12.6 billion and this went up to $32.7 billion in 2011. In 2008, the bank had 23 clients; in 2011 it had 789. The corporate line for free money is growing.
Supporters of the bank say that it is necessary for U.S companies to have access to these funds in order to level the playing field in otherwise hostile political or legal environments. When your profit margin is in the billions, nothing about that appears hostile to me.
Bastiat once said that economic fallacies, such as the Ex-Im Bank, persevere since those that benefit are easily visible while the victims are harder to identify. Unfortunately, large U.S. companies benefit while victimization is diluted among all the taxpayers. The average Joe will never hear about such a fiasco debated in the mainstream media, since exposing such robbery will bring our common foe into light.
The late Murray N. Rothbard, commonly recognized as the father of modern libertarianism, said:
“Too many libertarians have absorbed the negative and elitist conservative worldview to the effect that our enemy today is the poor, who are robbing the rich; the blacks, who are robbing the whites; or the masses, who are robbing heroes and businessmen. In fact, it is the state that is robbing all classes, rich and poor, black and white, worker and businessman alike; it is the state that is ripping us all off; it is the State that is the common enemy of mankind.”
The reader may cleverly point out that the State is not a machine or an automaton that enacts its will ruthlessly, but is composed of common men itself. This is true, and the malevolent governmental apparatus assembles its components by recruiting once innocent common men into a select minority that yields politics, rights, and fairness as the means to exercise coercive power. If someone unlawfully takes $100 from your wallet, everyone recognizes this egregious act, but if that same sum is taxed away from you before any money that you have rightfully earned is ever deposited, the masses regard that act as “lawful” and “just” even though political theft is in full effect.
The State has morphed over the years, been given different labels with different banners, and prospered in different countries, but the main idea has remained largely the same. Feudal lords, tyrants, kings, dictators, czars, emperors, dictators, statesman, and even presidents have utilized theft as a means to coercively secure privilege.
If this is all so bad, then how was it all done? Wouldn’t these “monsters” be overthrown? In some cases yes, but these regimes have successfully utilized delusion to persuade the masses into thinking “the other guy” or “that other party” is the problem while deflecting attention away from the problem’s root—the State itself.
Problem: Too many government expenditures, perpetual debt-making, and deficit spending.
Root: The government itself. (It’s the spender, not the citizens).
Delusion: We have to be taxed more so we can pay their bills, so they can spend more (After all that’s what’s fair).
Delusion: We can cut this, but we can never cut that. After all, this is America, and you have a right. Vote for us!
Problem: The State’s obsession with violence, warmongering, and their assumed need for policing the globe.
Root: If you start wars all around the world, the world will begin to fight back.
Delusion: Hey! We’re fighting a “war” so we must take drastic action to “protect” the homeland. Bombs away.
Delusion: Even though you may be a model citizen who has done nothing wrong, we’re all in this together—relinquish your rights so we can all be “safe”.
Problem: We live in a welfare state with too many dependents.
Root: The State wants everyone to take their handouts to insure its own viability; dependency and special favors is the point regardless of cost.
Delusion: The poor—all they do is siphon resources.
Delusion: The rich—all they do is siphon resources.
Class warfare, then, is a battle designed to keep all the classes busy and distracted while the man behind the curtain pulling all the strings goes unnoticed.
The game of life is a zero sum game, and the State has mastered this sport at the expense of its own constituents. Even though it is a common threat to us all, it has used its influence over education, the media, and culture to persuade the public that all this swindling is good for you. If you truly believe a world without the State would be one filled with horror and angst, then congratulations—your tax dollars have worked.
If however, you’ve emerged from the pool of ignorance and deception, removed the veil from your head, and see the State for what it really is, then congratulations—you have taken the first step towards real freedom.
Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal