Who do you answer to?

On the way to work this morning it occurred to me that there are only three types of relationships between men and their Government…

  1. Every man answers to one man
  2. Every man answers to himself
  3. Every man answers to every man

1. In our early days, we answered to a King. Each man answered to one man.

2. Sometime later, the Founding Fathers attempted a radical experiment that had never been tried before in the entire history of the World, where man answers only to himself. This led to the United States of America, the greatest nation that ever existed on Earth.

3. Then some 80 years ago, this radical experiment took a turn for the worse and now, every man answers to every other man. We are now all our brother’s keeper.

1. When we answered to a King, our prosperity was tied directly to the prosperity and success of the King and his armies and the benevolence or tyranny of his rule. The quality of our life was in the King’s hands, for better or worse.

2. When we answered to ourselves, our prosperity was tied directly to our own ambitions, desires and skills. The quality of our life was only limited by how much effort we were willing to invest and we reaped all the rewards.

3. When we answer to each other, as we do now, we are only as successful as our neighbor allows us to be and he is only as prosperous as we permit him to be.

When one neighbor can pass a law or raise taxes on another neighbor, then we all lose making one man’s tax benefit another man’s income loss. This negative spiral of self-defeating tax and law resolutions causes every man to have a small piece of his own personal freedom (and income) taken away from him by his neighbor. In this way we each take turns taking from, and losing to, each other until in the end, everyone is just a slave to everyone else.

My neighbor can raise my taxes so he gets free health care. So I will pass laws that limit what he can eat so he uses less health care so less tax money is taken from me. My other neighbor in Nevada raises my taxes so he can get a new bridge built-in his town with Federal tax money. So I raise his taxes so I can get Federal tax money for a high-speed rail line in my town. My other neighbor down the street is a teacher and she raises my property taxes so she can have a higher salary and more retirement and health benefits so when the school is in need of funds to replace a dilapidated building, I don’t donate any money because I’ve been taxed for the “schools” enough already. Then I’m told that next year my taxes are going up to pay for the dilapidated building.

Every neighbor votes for taxes and laws that take away the income or freedom from every other neighbor until we are all voting away everyone’s income and freedom for ourselves. Does that sound moral to you? Does that sound fair? Does that sound like what the Founding Fathers wanted to base our country on?

We each suffer our own misery for only as long as it takes to tax our neighbor to pay for it. This is the path we have chosen.

But hey, that’s what Americans voted for. This is what they want.

Categories: Cronycapitalism, Gov't Workers & Unions, Government Failures, Government Tyranny, Healthcare Reform, Social Decline, Taxes, Welfare State

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. I don’t quite agree that we ever truly answered to ourselves. I think that out of the desire to do what is right for me I have to consider my neighbor if in fact we have the same goal, which is not to be ruled by tyranny. If, like you say we are truly answering to each other, many of us would realize the plight we have caused our neighbor and then say, “hey, wait a minute, I didn’t want that to happen,” and think twice about what we were doing. The problem is that me and my neighbor do not have the same goal anymore. My neighbor wants tyranny through Democracy.
    Americans have organized into factions, whether subconsciously or consciously, and have become lobbyists. People hang out in their little liberal cliques and their conservative cliques and independent cliques, and talk smack about the other, the country, the government, and then follow the herds decision to support a law that hurts their neighbor.
    Human beings feel safer in packs, and gangs so they join up formally or informally and start lobbying to pass laws against their neighbor and then because of mob mentality, don’t feel bad when it hurts them. They justify what they do because it was a group decision, and people feel that when their group comes to consensus, they must be right. Answering to someone means that you have to justify what you have done. Mobs are exempt from this rule and do what they will for this very reason.
    I believe that the problem is exactly that people do not answer to each other, that people don’t do any individual soul searching that asks if what they have done reflects a common goal. People do not take an individual stand for or against anything. Americans operate from mob mentality and Occupy Wall Street was a great example of this. I would respect my neighbor who acted against me more if he/she really was standing up for what they believe rather than being a sheep and a coward to mob rule.

    • Very good comment. I understand your perspective but what we are looking for is the true meaning of the word freedom. Too many Americans don’t really understand what it means, and how it applies to existing.

      If I must take into consideration what my neigbors goals are, then which neighbor am I to consider? The one on my left supports gun rights, but the one on my right does not. The left one is pro-choice, but the right one is pro-life. One supports recycling, welfare, bank bailouts, lower taxes, and emission controls on cars, the other does not. There are hundreds of positions and beliefs that each of us takes on hundreds of things based on a combination of our religion (or lack of), our experience, our education, our upbringing, where we live, what we do for a living, and our personal belief system. No matter how much soul searching someone does about what is best for both themselves and their neighbors, everyone would still boil down to gangs and cliques, albeit in different forms, which still means groups of like-minded people, or I should say, groups of like-minded “neighbors,” that would gang up on other opposing, but also like-minded “neighbors.”

      The true definition of freedom is that we are all free from each other. That we are not slaves to them or to the collective. That does not mean we are free to hurt our neighbor, or make decisions that negatively impact them. As the saying goes, “My right to swing my fist ends at another man’s nose,” thus, we are only free until we negatively impact someone else. Freedom means doing what is in our own best self-interest as long as it does not hurt anyone else. It’s not very unlike the “golden rule” and how perfect would society be if everyone followed that one?

      Freedom means that we all act in our own self-interest, but whenever our own self-interest comes in contact with another individual’s self-interest, the other individual is free to engage in our own self-interest, or not. Freedom means that if I am hungry I can not take my neighbors food, unless he willingly wants to give it to me, just as my neighbor can not come and take my money to feed himself and his family, unless I willingly give it to him (at present, my neighbor does in fact come into my house, take my money, and feed his family with it…using the government as his authority).

      Freedom means we are free to enter into contracts with our neighbors, or not. I can make a chair, and trade it for his candles, or not. We are free to enter into the trade, or not. My neighbor can ask me to feed the homeless, and I can participate, or not. This is freedom.

      Only when a Government and politicians enter the picture, and starts declaring that certain individuals and groups are “more free” than others, do we get what we have today. Today, groups fight for their freedom as groups, not as individuals, and many of the things that groups want require the destruction of the freedom of other groups and thefore other individuials. All of this benefits the Government and politicians of course, because all of these self-interests can be sold for votes, which is why the Government is incentivized to destroy freedom, not create it.

      By example, if I were pro-life, then I would want a Government law banning abortions, which “hits another man’s nose” in that he can no longer be pro-choice, at least not without a fine or jail time if he should defy the law that others have forced upon him. Often this decision is based on religious preferences, which of course simply means forcing one person to believe in your religion whether they want to or not. Therefore, the other person is no longer free, they are a slave to your religious beliefs.

      Another…If I am in a group that believes society should feed the hungry, the group will pass a law that requires everyone to surrender a portion of their income to feed the hungry, thus destroying the right of every individual to choose between helping the hungry, or not. Again, a “hit in the nose.” All of us are now slaves to the collective mob which politicians readily support for votes. What we earn is now part of the mob’s purse and the mob can spend it anyway they see fit, regardless of whether I want to participate or not. The fact that I can not choose to participare or not means, by definition, I am a slave to society, and society is nothing more than a mob of people that believes the same thing and is sufficiently large enough to convince enough politicians to take it from me, in exchange for their support.

      You can think of any social or fiscal issue today from recycling to gay rights and run it through the “freedom” filter and ask yourself if a law being passed one way or another would “hit the nose” of someone on the other side of the issue by forcing them by law, under threat of penalty, to do something or not do something or believe or not believe something. You will find that every issue can be see through this filter, and wherever it fails simply means that someone is forcing someone else to sacrifice their freedom in exchange for someone else’s freedom. Whereas if we accept that all men are free from each other, to believe of not believe, or do something or not do something, as long as it does not force someone else to believe or do the opposite, then there would be no mob democracy, no lobby groups, less corruption, no advocacy groups for politicians to cater to in exchange for votes, more economic freedom, more religious freedom, etc…

      Everyone could live free from everyone else and we would not all be slaves to each other like we are now, with different mobs forcing us to do or not do things or believe or not believe things…a constant tug of war using politicians to threaten us with fines or jail time, taking from some groups for the benefit of others, an insidious den of rats biting each other for scaps of food from other biting rats where every group never gains complete freedom from other groups, and only exchanges some freedom for other freedoms, with the winning group being the one that is the least enslaved.


  1. Who do you answer to? « the muttering retreat

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