"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Forgotten Man: Stuck With The Tab

"As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or, in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X. . . . What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the forgotten man. . . . He is the man who never is thought of. He is the victim of the reformer, social speculator, and philanthropist, and I hope to show you before I get through that he deserves your notice both for his character and for the many burdens which are laid upon him." - William Graham Sumner
Herein lies the problem with government do-gooders and the welfare state: no matter how much they think they're helping, someone has to pay for their spend-crazy policies. Obamacare is going to cost $50,000 per person. 46,000,000 people are on food stamps. The US has at least $93 trillion in unfunded liabilities (programs that it has yet to find a way to pay for). There is no such thing as a free lunch, so who pays for it all? The government?

The government doesn't generate any money on its own - anything it has it has stolen (from the private sector). No, it'll be taxpayers who pay for it. Yet if we complain about having pay for some scumbag politician's vicarious generosity, we're told we're being greedy (it's always easier to be generous with other people's money) and that we need to pay our "fair share," though no one can seem to agree on exactly what that is. Even if they did I doubt it would be enough to pay for what they want.

In fact, our government doesn't even bring in enough tax revenue to pay for the things we have now. But, hey, that's what a central bank is for! Inflate away!

Tellingly, many have wrongly used this idea of the "Forgotten Man" to reference "X," instead of "C," if we refer back to the quote above. FDR, in a radio broadcast, made this logical error to gain support for his New Deal (a program which certainly ignored C):
"These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized, but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid."
It's important to realize that "C," the real forgotten man, is not necessarily wealthy. In fact, he's the middle class, and his real wealth has been completely eroded away over decades of taxation and savings-destroying inflation. It's always interesting how destructive socialist policies can be to the lower and middle classes. It always turns into the government shaking down poor people to pay for the existence of other poor people. Surface-deep thinking, without any thought given to consequence.

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