June 11th, 2008 08:18 AM
Are Americans Pro-Slavery?
Walter Williams, columnist
Thought this article was pretty good. I almost wanted to put it in the personal defense news forum because it is in essence, armed robbery. Thoughts?
Are Americans Pro-Slavery?
Let's do a thought experiment asking whether Americans are for or against slavery. You might say, "What are you talking about, Williams? We fought a war that cost over 600,000 lives to end slavery!" To get started, we might find a description that captures the essence of slavery. A good working description is: slavery is a set of circumstances whereby one person is forcibly used to serve the purposes of another person and has no legal claim to the fruits of his labor.
The average American worker toils from January 1st to the end of April, and has no legal claim to the fruits of his labor for that period. Federal, state and local governments, through the tax code, take what he produces. A small portion of the fruits of his labor is used to provide for the constitutional functions of government. Most of what's taken, up to two-thirds, is given to some other American in the forms of farm and business subsidies, Social Security, Medicare, welfare and hundreds of other government handout programs. As in slavery, one person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another person...
...There are some benefits to being a quasi free person such as Frederick Douglass. There are two ways U.S. Congress might force me to serve the purposes of another American. They might force me spend a couple of hours each day actually working, without compensation, for another American. Or, they might forcibly take a portion of my earnings so that American can hire someone. I see myself as being better off with Congress doing the latter -- taking a portion of my earnings and giving it away.
Some might be put off by my thought experiment and consider it an illegitimate use of the term "slavery." At what point should we consider ourselves a quasi free American -- when government takes two-thirds or three-quarters of our earnings?
June 11th, 2008 08:29 AM
I see the article conveniently forgets to mention national defense. I don't see the forced part:
Originally Posted by Kerbouchard
1) Can always move...Canadians pay much more in taxes than we
2) Can become a farmer
3) Can join the military and get discounts
4) Can sit on the side of the road with a sign that says work for food
Just a few...lots of options.
June 11th, 2008 08:35 AM
Taxation is not the only income the gov't derives. If it weren't for entitlement programs, the gov't could more than get along on licenses, fees, tolls, etc.
Originally Posted by bandit383
1. Out of the frying pan, into the fire...
2. Now I live off subsidides or get paid for how much food I don't grow. I couldn't live like that.
3. I served in the military and there are no discounts. I was taxed at the same rate everybody else was taxed at. The only difference is a small portion of my income was not taxable(unless we were deployed in which case we were tax free for a portion of the year)
4. That's all I'm trying to do now, but why should I have to work for my neighbors food, too?
June 11th, 2008 08:36 AM
Sounds like a bunch of B.S. to me. We pay taxes to provide Govt. functions . If it is misused it isn't slavery but poor , inept management of our tax money. No one is forcing us to work. If I wanted to become a bum and live in a box, I still have the choice. Also I can pick my own career, change at any time and come and go as I please.
Perhaps a better use of the writers time might be lobbying for taxation reform , rather than sesational journalism. But, its his choice to pick his career.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
June 11th, 2008 08:53 AM
For those unfamiliar with him......
Walter Williams is a very conservative, older, black economist. He's also a columnist and fills in on various conservative talk shows on occasion. He often expresses his viewpoint with tongue-in-cheek humor.
Very entertaining guy IMHO, and I usually gain a lot from his somewhat unique perspective.
June 11th, 2008 08:56 AM
"A small portion of the fruits of his labor is used to provide for the constitutional functions of government."
Originally Posted by bandit383
The 'Constitutional functions' include providing for the defense......His point is we tax payers are being FORCED to pay for programs we don't agree with & that that DON'T work.
Name for me ONE government program that costs what it was advertised to cost OR one program that actually works!
Look at Social security (the largest Ponzi scheme in history!), it's so overblown it will go bankrupt before most people here get any of the benefits. Medi-Scare is costing BILLIONS more than originally proposed. We have a yearly congressional budget in the TRILLIONS, for those paying attention that's TRILLIONS with TWELVE ZEROS!
For those who are happy paying 40% of their income to pay for bigger government....Why not pay more?...Why don't you just give them 60% or even 90%????? What will happen when the government starts TAKING 90% to pay for their silliness??
A lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon that we need to punish the oil companies for 'excess profits'....Why are we letting the government decide what amounts to 'excess'? Why do we let government punish the rich?...& let them decide the definition of rich?
Most people don't know that the government makes more on oil than the oil companies do.
The Tax Foundation - State and Federal Treasuries "Profit" More from Gasoline Sales than U.S. Oil Industry
The government make more than TWICE what the oil companies make....& the government doesn't have to go drill for it, transport it, refine & deliver it....they just sit back & take the money....Talk about 'excess profits', the government is the one getting fat off of our pain at the pump.
The slavery analogy is dead on........just try not paying your taxes & see where you end up......maybe in a cell with Wesley Snipes!
Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith
"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Jeff Cooper
June 11th, 2008 10:55 AM
I don't agree with the slavery analogy. I do agree that the Government is misusing our money.
"Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington
June 11th, 2008 11:03 AM
These types of articles get to me. While someone writes something trying to claim slavery in the US they are ignoring that slavery is still practiced and condoned in probably one-half of the countries of the world. And not the BS salvery in this article but actual slavery in household help, the sex trade and many other forms. There are many countries where it is socially acceptable and ignored by the governments to either capture or by young boys for household help and castrate them for use as seervants. Young girls are sold by their parents into sex slavery until they are no longer able then put to work in the factories making your sneakers and toys.
June 11th, 2008 11:11 AM
Like David said, "Walter Williams is a very conservative, older, black economist. He's also a columnist and fills in on various conservative talk shows on occasion. He often expresses his viewpoint with tongue-in-cheek humor."
Yes, there are things he mentioned that are not exact parallels. Yes, there are bad things going on throughout the world. Yes, we are better off than most people.
The main point I draw from this is that a democracy cannot be a permanent form of government because at some point in time the minority "upper/middle-class" will be enslaved/forced to support the majority "lower class."
No, we are not in the same situation as many other countries are in, but how long until we get there?
June 11th, 2008 11:13 AM
I think the article is spot-on.
June 11th, 2008 11:25 AM
The article is totally spot on. Income taxation only makes up about half of the Federal budget anyway. If we did away with some of the more ridiculous entitlement programs we could still pay for the stuff guaranteed in the Constitution (military, etc). and not force Americans to work 3-4 monthes out of the year for the government.
As a country we already donate more to private charity than any other nation (even per capita). Time to tap that instead of forced altruism.
...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller
June 11th, 2008 11:37 AM
WIlliams is usually a keen observer. This time his misses the mark.
The point he omits, and it is the crucial point, is that we the people make up the government. We are taxing ourselves at a rate we agree upon by the Constitutional means of representative government. We are nothing like slaves; we completely control 'our masters.'
The problem is that those without a stake in our nation are currently allowed to vote. The problem is that those ignorant of the issues are allowed to vote.
An example was the push for the Fair Tax. Many people were simply satisfied with the current system and all its flaws to even consider a new paradigm for collecting taxes. And even that plan allowed the 'have nots' to skate tax free...
If anything, we are not slaves of the government, we are slaves of the unproductive losers in society. And they have something more binding than chains and more painful than whips. We have given them the power to vote. That power must be rescinded.
June 11th, 2008 11:44 AM
SD, I think that's kind of the point. When the majority of people are living off the minority, the minority becomes 'enslaved'.
Whether it's via chains, threat of force, sanction, or by a "representational" democracy that 'represents' the leeches.
June 11th, 2008 11:51 AM
I'm sure the IRS brings in way more than it spends.
Originally Posted by goawayfarm
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
June 11th, 2008 11:59 AM
For those saying that other places have it so much worse, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to make our place better.
I agree with the article for the most part. I don't use my money irresponsibly, and I don't think the government should either. In my belief, it does. In fact, I think I'd like a comprehensive list that spells out what every single cent I earn and they take is getting spent on. Right down to the last government issued stapler. Then, I'd like another list spelling out every little thing they actually spend my money on.
I'm not one to ask for handouts. I just want my country defended against legitimate threats, I want my mail delivered, and I want my money to be spent the way it oughtta be spent.
And as I alluded to before, I will never say, "Well, we should consider our selves lucky. Other places have it so much worse..." That's bull crap and we should know it. Yes, it's true, we've got it pretty good. But the second we stop striving for something better, the sooner we will be unable to pull our selves out of the crapper.
Better to die quick, fighting on your feet;
Than to live forever, begging on your knees.
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