“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” –Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, 1776.
Last night, I had a crazy dream.
I dreamed I was walking down a dark, deserted street. The streetlights winked on and off, and when they were on, were reflected in the damp pavement. My footfalls echoed, but the echoes seemed eerily confined to my personal space. Ahead, I saw movement and froze in my tracks, trying hard not to alert this movement to my own. This shadow, seemingly sensing my fear, locked on to me and descended. I was paralyzed. The shadow shifted shape into a human form and continued shifting into different versions of a human. It spoke and I heard it’s voice not through my ears but directly in my mind. It said: “Give me your money.”
In the past, I’d always fantasized that if something like this ever happened, I would not give up easily; I would try to negotiate and, if all else failed, fight for what was rightfully mine. “No,” I said.
“Very well,” it replied, “you and your wife will now suffer a slow and agonizing death.” This was very unsettling. I expected a tussle, a knife, a gun, anything other than a cryptic curse. Just then, I heard more steps. I turned and saw a police officer. I tried to yell, but all that came out was a wheezing whisper. I concentrated and, finally in full voice, yelled: “Help! I’m being robbed!” The officer ambled over to us and was completely unfazed by the shape-shifting shadow.
“Did you give him the money?” the officer asked.
“Of course not.”
“Then you’re coming with me.” He threw me up against the wall, handcuffed me and took me away. Again, in my mind, I heard the shadow say: “Your death begins now.”
Creepy, huh? When I woke up this morning and turned on CNN, it occurred to me that it wasn’t a dream at all, but very, very real. We are being robbed; Government-Sanctioned Robbery. And this particular extortion comes in the form of taxes which, if you choose to fight for what’s yours and not pay, will land you in jail. (That is, unless you’re Tom Daschle.) That makes it Enforced Government-Sanctioned Robbery.
Of course, everyone involved would strongly disagree with this assessment: “It’s not ‘robbery.’ How pedestrian of you, insignificant little person. It’s called an ‘Economic Stimulus.'”
And if you don’t like how your tax dollars are being spent, to dictate a change of behavior to these institutions is a draconian end to the “Free Market.” I have news for you: Even back in 1776, when our fledgling nation was dribbling strained peas down its chin and soiling itself, a Scotsman by the name of Adam Smith knew that the “Free Market” was being manipulated in order to benefit the Barons of Wealth.
And to distract us from the nefarious goings-on, the modern-day Barons have simply injected a word into the discourse to keep us “insignificant little people” snarling at each other, and that word is “Socialism!” Socialism is the sinful practice of redistributing wealth to the unwashed masses.
So let’s review, shall we? To remove wealth from the unwashed masses and give it to the rich, no questions asked, is called: “Economic Stimulus.” To remove wealth from the rich and give it to the unwashed masses is called: “Socialism.”
If you control the language, you control the debate.
Go ahead and review the quote from Adam Smith at the top of this rant. Now, I’d like to add one of my own:
“Race, Creed and Religious differences are put in place to distract us from the truth: There are only two kinds of people, the Shills and the Marks, and no Shill ever got rich by caring about a Mark.”
P.S. Rest in peace, Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity International, whose hands were calloused by love for his fellow man.