About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Don't Let Them Play You For A Fool

L.D. Jackson has made another thought-provoking post at Political Realities: "Democrats Do Not Want A Balanced Budget Amendment." I posted a responding comment. As is my custom, I'll reprint it below with some additional commentary that follows:
Larry, I agree that the Democrats don’t want a balanced budget. I suspect they are more comfortable running up federal debt to pay for their ever-expanding redistributionist programs. That way they don’t have to listen to the natives out in the hinterlands complaining about getting taxed to death.

On the other hand, the Republicans are no better. I doubt they are truly interested in passing a balanced budget amendment that would effectively cut spending. After all, the Republican establishment has just as much to gain in political and financial power by an ever-expanding federal government as the Democrats.

Ron Paul said as much in a Hannity radio interview yesterday. Hannity mentioned the futility of the Super Committee cutting spending over 20 years. Paul responded as follows:

“Next year’s budget is the only thing that really counts. And because we defer to a Super Committee which I hope you agree with me is really not the way it’s supposed to be done… Even if they cut a trillion dollars over the next ten years with base line budgeting it means nothing. I’m convinced that the people I know up there including everybody in the administration and, unfortunately, our [Republican] leadership…I don’t think they understand the seriousness of this.

“…Our financial condition around the world, because there’s been a building up, a pyramiding, of debt for this last four years and of course I date it from the time we lost our last link to gold when it’s been pyramiding…This is a debt crisis and it’s international and it’s bigger in scope than anything that’s ever existed before…and if we pretend it’s not serious…

“I think they’re in total denial. Because if they were serious, they would be cutting. They would be cutting back on spending because obviously to just raise taxes to get rid of the deficit is not going to solve the problem. That just compounds our problem because our government is too big already so as far as I’m concerned you have to cut. So far I can’t get very many people in Washington to agree with that.”


The establishment politicians in Washington are sitting in the catbird seat, isolated from the hardship and financial uncertainty the rest of us are facing on a daily basis. They have power, prestige, wealth and constant adulation from an adoring media. Why would they seriously think about doing something that would upset their apple cart?

Unless real reformers, like Tea Party congressmen and Ron Paul, gain control of Washington, any balanced budget amendment will be as riddled with loopholes as a block of Swiss cheese. Take, for example, the so-called Super Committee. It’s a sham, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. The bluebloods in DC will string the process out till the midnight hour for maximum dramatic effect. They’ll strike a deal which means nothing, sit back and congratulate themselves. They’ll tell us rubes in flyover country that they compromised and sacrificed for the good of the republic. Then they’ll pile into their limousines or private Air Force jets and head to their weekend chalets for endless cocktail parties and rounds of golf.

In the meantime, as Ron Paul points out, the rest of us are left to deal with the consequences of decades of irresponsible, profligate federal spending, rising prices due to monetary inflation and an unprecedented world debt crisis spawned by these selfsame shysters…from BOTH parties.

Larry, they’re playing us for fools.

The history of the world has been a continuous, bloody struggle between arrogant aristocrats and we the people. The battle has been fought over our right to own property, have freedom and enjoy peace. The aristocrats believe only they have inalienable rights to such privileges. They believe that they are better than us, that they know more about what's good for us and our children than we know ourselves. For this reason they act as if they own us and everything we produce. They presume to tell us how to live and how to die. They intimidate us into acquiescing to their demands with the very power we grant them to maintain law and order. Not only are they playing us for fools, but we are acting the part.


We have the power of the vote, the absolute power to stop the plunder and pillage, but we refuse to exercise that power. More correctly stated, we misuse that power. We willingly transfer that power to these aristocratic parasites so they can continue unabated in their larcenous ways.

Why do we cede our power to them?

Because some of us actually believe these aristocrats are better than we are, that they are and rightfully should be our earthly shepards, guiding us through life as ignorant, enslaved lambs.

Because others among us are taken in by promises of power and financial favors showered on them by the Machiavellian aristocrats.

Because others are too busy to care and too careless to vote. They have all they can do to support themselves and their families while at the same time paying the confiscatory taxes demanded by the aristocrats. They consider taxation and a dominant aristocracy as inevitable as death. So why fight it.

Because others are taken in by the lies of the aristocrats and their shameless and incompetent allies in the media.

Because others have been educated to believe that property is theft, that freedom is unfair and that peace is only possible in a society wherein property is taken by wise and honorable pseudo-aristocrats from each according to his ability and redistributed to each man according to his need.

Doesn't it stand to reason that peace can only derive from property and freedom? The more a man is left alone to fend for himself and those he cares about, the more he is left alone to keep what he produces, the more he is left alone to trade with his neighbors as he sees fit, the more he is left alone to do as he wishes so long as he does not murder or steal, the more he is left alone by his neighbors. This, ladies and gentlemen, is called peace!

The truth is as plain as day.

Yet we continue to shuffle meekly along, like lambs to the slaughter. We continue to send a larger and larger portion of what we produce to Washington, DC, creating a vast cornucopia of wealth for the good-hearted scoundrels to fight over. Who gets the largest share? Who deserves the smallest?

They argue like children over toys in a sandbox. The more the toys, the more they fight. And we are sucked into the fight. We eagerly choose sides. We vote for the cutthroat aristocrat who promises us the most in return. Why not? Don't we deserve it? After all, wasn't it "our" property that was confiscated in the first place? Don't "we" have the right to get some back? Doesn't poor, crippled Aunt Betsy deserve more than anyone else? Doesn't Donald Trump have enough? Doesn't that homeless guy panhandling on the corner deserve something? Aren't the polar bears dying? Shouldn't something be done? Some people are just intolerant, selfish, greedy, stupid...

And so it goes.

Only the most committed ideologue would call what I'm describing "peace," as they call the Occupy Wall Street spectacle "peace." Community ownership of all the stuff we produce sounds at first like a wonderful and noble idea, but it ends in perpetual bickering and conflict when the stuff is divvied up by Congress...or in bloodshed and violence when the stuff is seized in the streets from storefronts.

So I ask you, if this all makes perfect sense, if private property and personal liberty lead inexorably to peace in society, then why should we continue to play the fool? Why should we cast our votes for meely-mouthed and clueless moderates, compassionate conservatives and socialists -- like Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama -- who want to subsidize and regulate the free market?

Why shouldn't we cast our vote for a candidate like Ron Paul who has spent a lifetime advocating and defending private property, personal liberty and the free market?

1 comment:

LD Jackson said...

Great post, Sherman, as usual. We really need to use our voting power and put a stop to the nonsense that is going on in Washington. As I said in my reply to your comment on my post, I am under no illusions about the Republicans in Congress. Not only do we need to elect Ron Paul as President, but we also need to elect the proper folks to send to Congress. That's the only way we are ever going to put a stop to the shenanigans they pull on a regular basis.

Thanks for linking to my post.