Big Government...

Poor Grandchildren

Excerpt (See Table of Contents Below )

Controls Produce Poverty

    When I was a white Southerner coming of age in the "Civil Rights Sixties," it took a long time for one of the seldom-mentioned facets of human misery caused by segregation to penetrate my consciousness (lots of bone mass up there to penetrate). That overlooked area was the huge amount of effort that had been wasted by whites attempting to control blacks and thereby forcing blacks to spend huge amounts of additional time coping with and eventually resisting that control. People in the Southern states would be much wealthier today if those millions of hours had instead been spent creating innovations and producing goods and services.

    One of the reasons whites wanted segregation was that they did not want blacks to take away some of the good jobs that whites had been able to control for as long as they had been in this country. Whites acted on the belief that anything that someone gets must come at the expense of someone else. This is the zero sum belief that jobs and wealth constitute a finite amount, and it has been proven to be false everywhere it has been tested in the real world. As blacks started getting better jobs, there was a substantial amount of distress during the transition, but the total amount of wealth to divide had increased. Consequently, whites are now better off as a result of the changes, and blacks certainly are. For the benefit of all, there just needs to be more opportunities and no additional attempts to control.

    The same principle applies to our international relations. Wealth is not finite, and the free trade agreement known as NAAFTA has not reduced the wealth of Americans. The "great sucking sound" of some jobs flowing out of the country to Mexico and Canada as predicted by Ross Perot was drowned out by the music of goods, services, and other jobs somehow flowing into our country in spite of all of the impediments against doing so caused by our excessive amount of government. There certainly have been hardships to some that have been caused during the transition to free trade, but the benefits are undeniable. There were also hardships to workers in the buggy whip industry that were caused by the transition from buggies to automobiles, but no one is advocating a return to buggies. Likewise, none of the reputable economists are advocating a return to restrained trade. That is a role for irresponsible politicians in response to their ignorant and vocal constituents.

     The problems in our economy do not come from an experiment with too much free trade; they come from an experiment with too much government. We all complain strenuously when gasoline prices get higher than we like but fail to mention the excessive prices of an oppressive and often counterproductive government. At least when the price of gasoline exceeds $2.00 per gallon, the product does not also make the car run backwards.

     Every zoning and environmental restriction costs money, and builders and developers attempt to pass those costs on to their customers in the form of higher prices. If they are unable to do so, they cease operations completely or move on to a different area. Either way, it takes more pieces of paper with words and numbers on them to buy the wealth of a home, because less construction in any area causes less supply there, and less supply causes higher prices. Either way, those with fewer dollars are pushed out of home ownership. That is, the poor are hurt the most. Of course, the Controllers will say that the fault lies with the "greedy" developers and builders and will try again to control the symptoms with some form of price control or quota.

     Everyone in the world today would be wealthier if billions of hours had not been wasted on various forms of excessive control. Some of those zoning and environmental controls are worth the cost, but some of them are not. We need a system that promotes more hours being spent creating wealth so that it would not take so many pieces of paper with words and numbers on them to buy a share of the goods and services that are somehow being produced in spite of all of the time that Controllers force us to waste.

     Price controls contribute to poverty. Wage controls contribute to poverty. Election reform controls contribute to poverty. Poverty controls (welfare) contribute to poverty. Gun controls contribute to poverty. Drug controls contribute to poverty. Speech controls (censorship, political correctness) contribute to poverty. Controls of every kind when added together produce poverty. Some controls, such as controlling abusive parents, bank robbers, and aggressive dictators, are necessary expenses, but so many of the other controls are optional.

     It is your choice. Do you prefer for your grandchildren to live in a limited-government, free-enterprise United States or the modern equivalent of the controlled-economy and controlled-activity former U.S.S.R.? Do you prefer your grandchildren to be rich or poor? All you have to do to ensure their poverty is to continue the path of destruction the control freaks have set for us under the false flag of compassion. To ensure your grandchildren's wealth, you will have to work hard to change the current direction of our government, but you will not have to reinvent the wheel. Just pay attention to the Constitution and Adam Smith's principles of free enterprise and stop being a good-intentioned and foolish Controller.

     There is, however, another area of wealth vs. poverty that is much harder to measure than material goods and services. In many third-world countries, the governments are so controlling and repressive that some commentators refer to a poverty of dignity or a poverty of spirit among the people there. We even see some of that problem developing here with our multigenerational welfare recipients, etc. Since we know that controls cause this type of poverty of dignity, there is no reason for us to copy the systems being used in other countries that create the problem, or even worse, to repeat our own mistakes. To be truly compassionate, we need to observe the results of all systems and choose only those that work.

Table of Contents

Warning xiii
Part I: Big Government vs. Wealth 1
The Author Unmasked 2
What is Wealth? 2
Open-Book Pop Quiz on Jobs 9
Force vs. Freedom 11
Principles of Controllers 13
Controllers in General 14
Controls Produce Poverty 22
Controls Make Problems Worse 25
Social Non-Security 28
We've Gone Crazy 35
Fair Taxes 37
Earnings vs. Take-Home Pay 43
Corporate Taxes 44
Voluntary Fees vs. Mandatory Taxes 45
Zero Sum? 48
All Rich People are Crooks? 49
Wage and Price Controls 56
Price Gouging 58
Regulatory Agencies 63
Minimum Wage Laws Hurt You 65
Compassionate Conservatives 66
It Can't Happen Here? 70
Part II: Big Government vs. Freedom 73
Revolutions 74
Rights vs. Privileges 75
Labels vs. Contents 80
A Duck by Any Other Name ... 83
Not a Democracy 89
Elastic Clause 97
Functions of Government 98
Don't Ignore It; Amend It or Defend It 101
What Should We Get Government to Do? 105
Acceptable Controls 107
Welfare 109
Welfare vs. Freedom 111
A Message to the Poor 113
Transition Period 115
Corporate Welfare 117
A Message to Government Workers 120
A Message to Private Charities 123
Controls Cause Poverty of Spirit 124
Responsibility 125
Independents 127
Eminent Domain 129
Freedom of Religion 131
The Root of All Evil 132
Media Bias 132
Freedom of Speech 132
Freedom of Speech 136
Tuna Fish Sandwiches 138
Voting with Feet 139
The USA Patriot Act of 2003 140
Sex Crimes? 142
Abortion, Etc. 147
"War" on Drugs 153
Government Monopoly Schools 156
Legal Loopholes 162
National Disasters 164
Nonviolent Responses 164
United Nations 168
Global Test Question #1 172
Global Test Question #2 172
Global Test Question #3 173
Global Test Question #4 173
Global Test Questions #5-7 179
Individuals vs. Groups 180
Mandatory Volunteerism 182
Part III: Training Your Best Friends to Become Controllers 183
Government 184
United Nations 186
Government Control 188
Individual Actions and Responsibilities 189
It Takes a Village 189
Free Enterprise Economy 190
Greed 192
Welfare 193
Guns vs. Butter 193
Gun Control 194
The Media 196
Schools 197
Part IV: Messages to the Reader 199
Perfection? 200
Come Home, Gentle People 200
Discrediting the Author 204
I Dare You! 206
Conclusion 209
Appendix: Additional Quotations 211
Constitution 211
Education 213
Fight for Your Principles 214
Free Enterprise 217
Freedom 219
Freedom of Speech 226
Government 229
Gun Control 236
Individuals 238
Luck 239
Media Bias 241
Persuasion vs. Force 241
Politicians and Bureaucrats 243
Power 246
Republic vs. Democracy 247
Responsibility 248
State/Church 249
Taxes 252
Truth 253
Welfare 254
Well-Meaning Controllers 256
Wisdom 263
Miscellaneous 267