Frederic Bastiat claimed that in a lawful society suffrage should have no importance. I agree. And accountants should do business plans instead of tax avoidance.
With the elections overwith I’d like to take a look at them from a different perspective than the wonkish blather that has polluted the media leading up to this blessed moment of peace. Out here on the farm we are not so bothered with all the noise since we don’t have TV or a landline phone. But it is still inescapable. It is like not ever tuning into top-forty radio, but still singing along to the music loop in stores.
While elections were originally intended to choose someone who would take time off from their work for an occasional trip to Washington, they are now a full-time tool of redistribution.
“Redistributionist” is not recognized by the spell checker in my computer. The word embodies everything that rewards violence and punishes productivity. It is a label that can be put on every member of Congress and it means thief. Since there are so many who benefit from congressional favors, redistributionism is now an accepted fact of life.
Congress-people are often referred to as lawmakers. Since I made such a disparaging remark about them, let’s go on and talk about what they make; laws.
What is the purpose of law? There will always be deviants in society, people whose behavior is unacceptable in the orderly scheme of things. Laws are a way for the people of society to maintain a barrier of protection against those who don’t respect the property of others.
This is important because when we are creative or productive, we do so with the expectation that we benefit from our activity. Without that expectation, we are less likely to create in the first place. There are, of course, times when we do things for the sheer joy, but to be sustainable, our actions must be rewarded.
It is interesting to note that Tom Harkin, to whom we bid a fond farewell, really liked making laws forcing people to do things that he (apparently) thought would not be done voluntarily. Does this mean that only he was kind and charitable and everyone else was selfish and mean?
The purpose of law has been polluted to include anything the democracy (mob rule) desires it to be. Therefore, voting is now how H.L. Mencken described it, “… an advance sale of stolen goods.” Laws are now made to alleviate envy, guide us to a place smarter people desire us to go or be, clean up other peoples’ messes and otherwise fight injustice. (Injustice being the difficult position of providing for ourselves.)
Maybe all this sounds mean-spirited and selfish, but it isn’t. The longer or more holistic view is that when people are rewarded for their efforts they respond by increasing those efforts. This is the key to a productive and prosperous society.
I remember hearing an interview with a libertarian where that libertarian said, “We wouldn’t want to go back to a world where people were dying in the streets.” The interviewer said, “Really, when was that?” The libertarian said, “Exactly.”
Freedom is the shortest path to prosperity. When we hear we need to give a boost to renewable energy, Syrian rebels, cancer research or whatever, remember that those funds have to come at a cost to someone’s freedom. It is silly to think that those causes would not be funded at a point in time when they became a worthy investment. And to make a point, I would not fund the Syrian rebels. I would prefer a cancer cure or an economical energy project.
An economy needs to be guided through billions of personal decisions if we are to make it least wasteful and beneficial to those less able to make their way in the world. It is a terrible waste that Congress has unlawfully hijacked our wealth with the idea they are smarter with money than millions of people acting in their own interest. It is the misdirected spending by people without a direct stake in the outcome that ultimately hurts those who they intend to help.
Necks time, as Ollie would say, consider that poll numbers, strategy and charisma are at the forefront of the news to obscure the fact that it is really all about redistribution of your money. A vote for the one who promises least is ultimately the one who will deliver the most.