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You're in bad hands with nanny state

By J.J. Jackson
web posted September 10, 2007

Thomas Jefferson wrote in his autobiography that, "Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread."  And boy was he ever right on that.  Because since the time he wrote those words we have seen what happens when governments dictate to the people how to "sow" and when to "reap".  What's that?  You want a list?  Ok, how about any number of the currently floundering European style socialist states, Cuba, North Korea, Iran and the former Soviet Union for starters.

But despite all these examples, today talk of expanding government here in American into realms reserved by the people as their own to control dominates society.  Whether it is whispers of socialized healthcare where citizens will be required to regiment their doctors visits based on what a lonely bureaucrat in Washington decides or questions about what the government will do to bail out people with poor credit, shoddy finances and living beyond their means after they take out loans they could not afford to pay back, there is a continuing push to expand the umbrella of the Nanny State over each and everyone of us.  Yes, that push is to encompass even those of us that are able to function in a civilized society and interact with other people independent of this control.  Because without us in that latter category being onboard, those that would benefit from such policies would not be able to have them.

We're the producers.  We're the ones from which the money to fund such failed ideas flows.  We are the new slave class.

Shocked that I would say that?  Don't be.  A slave is defined as "a person held in servitude as the chattel of another" (source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary).  In other words, a slave is someone who is bound to, and has the fruits of their labor, taken by another for their own betterment.  And through the years since the founding of this country, I dare say that we have come full circle on the issue of slavery.

In the early days, plantation owners imported slaves from Africa and other places around the globe to work for them.  Justifications for this were of course given.  They ranged from the theory of the inferiority of particular races to appeals that because they were housed, fed, clothed and protected they were not really "slaves" at all but instead were being properly compensated for their work despite being held against their will.  All were bogus and asinine.  And all were concocted by men to serve their own interests.

Today we have new justifications for the enslavement of productive citizens which range from claims that the poor and downtrodden cannot better themselves without help (assuming they are ignoramuses) to the rich stole the money they have earned anyway on the backs of others which they have cheated.  Regardless, all are still bogus and asinine.

Allowing one to reap the benefits of another's work is an abomination no matter the scale of other atrocities that come with such acts.  You may obtain what others have through the grace of charity or the free exchange of goods and services but you cannot demand anything from others at the point of a gun.  Those that are productive should never be enslaved to those that discover a way to exploit that productivity be they the rich or the poor.

One need only look at the federal budget to see this new form of slavery in effect with the amount of money that is spent on programs such as Welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Social Security and on and on.  All take wealth and income from those that are producing and give it to someone that either is not producing any wealth or income at all or not producing it at a rate they or a bureaucrat believes that they should be.

Each of these programs, and so many more, are funded by productive Americans under penalty of punishment should they not acquiesce.  Try telling the government that you are going to refuse to allow your money to go for the enrichment of others and see what happens.  The government does have the power to do nasty things to you and deprive you of your own liberty should you refuse them.

Color me a little confused because I was under the impression that after the 13th Amendment was ratified, slavery and involuntary servitude were outlawed in the United States except as a punishment for a crime.  So what crime have I and millions of other Americans committed?  Simply the crime of being productive and working harder than others?

How absolutely Stalin-esque.  Heaven forbid that both myself and my wife work, that I hold down a second job running my own business and that such a work ethic should be seen as so unsavory as to merit the punishment of having my work, my wages and my productivity confiscated by government force to serve others.

Health insurance is not a right.  If you get sick and require treatment but have no insurance and cannot find someone willing to treat you for free through charity you have to do what the rest of us do.  You have to work hard to pay off that debt.  Some of us pay it off in advance by purchasing insurance while others do not and chose to pay after the fact.  If you are part of the later group, you should not receive any sort of special treatment under the laws of this nation and be able to coerce others to pay your way.

Being able to retire when you hit 65 years of age is not a right. If you are 70 years old and have not a penny to your name and have to work until you are 80 you are no different than those of us that get up every day and put on clothes and head off to work except perhaps that you may have lived longer.  The fact that you have not put aside enough or been able produce enough wealth in your life to retire is not someone else's problem.

If you borrow more money than you are able to manage and payback who are you to demand that others compensate and forgive you for your bad choices and bail you out?  You may ask.  But you may not demand.

If you rebuild or buy a home in a flood plain or that is 12 feet below sea level after it has already been flooded once, twice or even three times please explain to me why your failure to understand the laws of nature is anyone else's problem but yours?  It is not your right to demand the taxpayers buy you out or cover your cost to rebuild.

I know, it's cruel to say such things right?  That's an easy canard to avoid the issue however.

When I lived in Philadelphia I did not buy a house that I could not afford.  I lived in an apartment which also was not cheap.  I did not purchase a car that I could not make payments on.  My wife and I drove used cars that were from the previous decade.  I did not go and get a big screen television in lieu of a hearty meal and I certainly did not demand that others pay for my health insurance because I believed it was too much for me to pay my for my own despite the huge chunk that it was taking from my paycheck.

Demanding the Nanny State provide us with insurances and the often touted "safety net" for every aspect of our lives only makes those that pay for it subservient to the whims of unkind masters in Washington telling us when to "reap" and "sow".  We've seen how well the government spends money to know that such is probably not a good task to demand of them.

In Britain they are talking about denying health services under their socialized system to stem costs.  In the wake of Hurricane Katrina we see the waste and corruption of portions of New Orleans which are still wrecks; a monument to the Great Society.  We've seen the massive pork barrel spending of millions on bridges to nowhere.

How much more of money do we really want the government to spend?  Of course if you are on the receiving end of that money you probably are shouting "MORE! MORE!" without a care for where it comes from or the burden it places upon others.

I personally would rather live my own life thank you.  Perhaps you enjoy others dictating to you how to live.  I do not.  So is there a form I can sign to opt out of the Nanny State?  Or are you going to hold a gun to my head and force me to join because you know without me and millions of others like me you won't have your precious benefits?

Can you at least send me a thank you card after you take hold of my productivity?  How about flowers?  Anything to show your appreciation would do.  But most favorable of all would be to leave me out of your grand plans. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the lead editor of Conservative News & Opinion – The Land of the Free and also the owner of The Right Things – Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com

 

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