Every few nights here in Los Angeles, I meet a socialist-leaning Democrat who enjoys talking politics. Being a former super-left liberal myself, I really enjoy listening to their opinions and, even more so, to their core philosophy and reasoning for why they align themselves with the left side of the aisle. Last night was one of those nights, and I came across what seems to be a very common trend when discussing the "stimulus" bill (and I use quotations because as far as I can tell the only thing it has stimulated is the price of gold).
As I understand it, Socialism hinges on the entire notion that human beings, rich or poor, all have equal rights under the law. It is all in the name of fairness. Who could ever say they are against fairness? So far, so good. However, if you actually look at the tenets of socialism, it works itself into nothing but a contradiction of that entire principle.
A 25 year old man feels he is doing all he can to support himself. Month after month he finds he is too poor to maintain his expenses. He's decided to take night classes, and between tuition and simply being unable to find work, he is stuck with a bunch of bills he can't pay. On top of that, he was in a car crash yesterday where the at-fault driver had no insurance and no assets. He now has medical bills and no transportation. So he calls his parents to ask for help, explaining his dire situation and the severity of the consequences. They say, "Sorry. You're on your own, and where you land is where you land."
The guy proceeds to call old co-workers, neighbors, friends, relatives, even complete strangers randomly from the phone book! All of them say the same thing, leaving him to face the perils of adulthood all on his own. How is that fair? What if a bunch of those people have plenty of money they could afford to give? What if he has an uncle sitting on so much money he can't even figure out what to do with it all? He spends weeks at a time at lavish resorts on golfing trips. He plays blackjack for $10,000 a hand and owns 6 different vacation homes. Surely he could afford to spare a couple hundred dollars for this young man. He even the hangs up the phone. Here is the next part of my question - would this 25-year old adult bearing these hardships have any legal recourse with these people? Could he sue his parents? His friends? How about his rich uncle? Maybe he could go to court, tell his sad story and the judge may feel for him and be able to do something.
What do you think would be the obvious outcome of this line of legal action, suing on the basis of just plain old bad luck? The judge, of course, would tell him that even his own parents have no legal obligation to financially support him, let alone other relatives, friends or neighbors. Yet I have found over and over that this is exactly the opposite of what a socialist will argue. Even after conceding that that entire court case and the notion that he could sue his parents is ridiculous, they will turn right around say, (indirectly of course) that the court can't order seizure of the money, but the legislators may confiscate it through taxation and use it to pay for his medical bills and schooling - along with housing, heating oil, food, and many other services all at their expense. On top of that, it is for someone you have no connection with or, even better, possibly someone you despise!
Now forigve me for not following this line of thought, but since when did the rights of your property solely hinge on how much a legislator deems you are in need of it? What next, they show up to a retired couple's 5 bedroom farm house and say 'Hey, there's 2 of you here and there's 5 rooms, you have to let 4 less fortunate people sleep in here." Yeah, shake your head and say "that's ridiculous". I encourage that reaction because IT IS RIDICULOUS. So explain to me the difference between the rights to your house and the rights to your bank account, and how it is somehow not ridiculous for the government to reach into it and say "you don't need this much, there are others that need it more than you."
Is that what the founders had in mind? This is what the revolutionaires died for?? A system where a judge or politician in Washington evaluates every person's standard of living and decides to play the role of Robin Hood?? Why don't we just devise a system where any random day you get served a court paper saying you owe John Smith of Brooklyn, NY; $2336 dollars because he couldn't pay for his housing. You owe Jim Martin of Dayton, Ohio; $786 for a medical procedure he needed but was unable to pay for. Half the people in this country would say "I don't even know these people!! I can't even afford my mortgage payments right now! My car is 15 years old, I haven't taken a real vacation in 3 years and I don't even have a savings account!" And while all this is true, in the world of Socialism it doesn't matter. They'd rather have people thrown in jail for refusing to hand over their own money than to have someone thrown out in the street because of their own poor decision making.
You may like to think that the government is offering or paying for all of these services. That Senator Webb is charitably giving his money, and Senator Kerry with his Ketchup fortune is giving it all away. That Senators Dodd & McCain are giving out of their own pockets to the poor people of this nation. This is not what's happening. Washington is not giving anything to anyone. "I think that if you can't afford it, *The Government* should provide it." Right, because "the government" has magically turned into a person with a job and a salary. It's out there mowing lawns and working in the mill so it can give it's money away. What in the hell are we talking about here? Who is everyone picturing when they say "the government"?? I guarantee you they aren't picturing people like my grandmother who has no retirement savings and is paying taxes on her social security checks (yeah, i love knowing she's losing money so they can send it off to Wall Street) or my mother who is in the same boat and will be working until she's in the ground. Barack Obama isn't giving you a piece of his book sales, he's just sending out thugs to take it from your neighbors, your parents, your friends, and eventually your children. And they do it under this ridiculous cover of "it's for the greater good". Here is the bottom line to this entire article-
Socialism is unconstitutional, because article 1 section 8 stipulates every purpose that taxes may be imposed for. Secondly it is immoral because it absolves any idea of personal responsibility. Only under socialism could you destroy your entire life with drugs or gambling and legally force responsible citizens to bear that financial burden. Lastly, it is unAmerican, because this country was certainly not founded on the whole idea of "take chances and don't worry about screwing up, because the buck stops somewhere else." Just like that 25 year old student has no legal entitlement to his parents' money under any circumstance without their volunteering of it, niether do the poor or the unfortunate of this country have a legal right or entitlement to the incomes of working or wealthy Americans. Those people have a moral obligation to helping the less fortunate, but you can't take charity in this country with the barrel of a gun. You can't sue someone on the whole basis of "You have more, I have less, and it's not my fault I have less, so give some to me so we can even things out." That isn't how it works, and thank God. You would forever live in fear, hiding everything you've ever bought for yourself or your family while everyone in this country keeps an eye on his neighbor, just waiting for the chance to make the case that they have money to spare and it should be spread around the neighborhood.
If after reading this you still find yourself saying "yes but what about the poor and the people that can't help themselves, etc etc." well, then be prepared to face legal action by every person in this country who has ever had a string of bad luck, because under that line of thinking it entitles them to a piece of your prosperity. And in that case, I'll be the first plaintiff to file against you. When I was 23 I started a business. It went under 6 months later and I lost $15,000 in savings and every last point of my credit rating. I spent 3 months homeless in the city of Philadelphia, some nights sleeping on the sidewalks. Let me get out my long list of bad things that have ever happened to me to prove how much more fortunate you have been and let's ask Washington how much I'm allowed to take.
Better yet - how about if everyone simply works to get to where they want to be, and if bad things happen beyond their control, others can freely volunteer their help or financial aid if they feel so compelled, but no amount of bad luck entitles you to any of it, so be grateful when help arrives. Everyone is taxed equally and treated equally, regardless of income, race or demographic. A man that makes a fortune and pays 3 million in taxes every year is absolutely pulling his fair share of the weight and should not be forced to bear the burden of others solely based on the notion that a politician feels he can go without more. No one is given special treatment thorugh "social programs" at the involuntary expense of their peers. You are no longer morally absolved from helping out your fellow man by diverting it as a role for the faceless entity known as "the government". Helping out the less fortunate is a personal responsibility that you have to the people around you, and you may choose whether to fulfill it. You have no obligation under the law; it is a free country and the constitution gives you the right to be that much of an a-hole. It also gives others the right to hate you for it, and you can no longer sit on your high horse claiming you care about the poor while not donating a damn red cent to the church or charities, claiming it is "the government's" job. It is a line of bull to justify running one's mouth and not following through with any meaningful action.
Lastly, having a job and wanting to keep it does not override the rights of other companies to their property solely based on the fact that your company is losing money / going under and the others are not. A profitable business has no obligation to keep unprofitable businesses afloat, and certainly some congressman from Michigan has no right to deduct working capital from a profitable business in Florida and divert it to a non-profitable business in his state for the sake of satisfying his constituents. Taxpayers have no obligation to overpay for worthless assets, and the government has no right to choose which declining industry gets to loot the treasury.
If we are going to go down that road why don't we just pass a law forcing everyone to buy American cars, clothing and furniture? Because it would be the most unamerican measure of all, and the stimulus bill epitomizes it.
Vote for equality, vote for common sense, and vote for the Constitution. In the next election, vote Libertarian.