Doug Smith: The Slavery of free (stuff)

17 Mar

“Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes”

(I fear the Greeks, even when they bear gifts)



Doug Smith: Author, historian, patriot and history, politics and society contributor to Free State Patriot


Take it to the bank: anyone wanting to give you free stuff does not have your best interest at heart. The hawker outside restaurants in resort towns offering you free meals or tickets to come hear a 90-minute presentation about a wonderful time share opportunity is not there so you can go to a theme park free. He is there to hook you with freebies, and get you snagged into paying 1000 times the cost of those tickets for decades to come.

TANSTAAFL. There aint no such thing as a free lunch.  That should have been Article 1 of the Constitution; another truth we hold self-evident.

Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson did not undertake, like Caesar, to bequeath their fortunes to the poor. Instead, they tossed out a salad bowl of “free stuff” that they could not pay for. And thus, begins the trap. People get used to the free stuff, and like it. It takes away motivation and incentive to work to earn it themselves. It creates a sense of entitlement, because the government always gave it to us. Plans are made, lives are lived, on the premise that the government will give us its money for X.

But one of the secrets of governments is that governments have no wealth, produce no wealth, and can only seize and distribute the wealth of others. The kings and queens of old did not mine gold, or grow food, or breed horses.  The started a pyramid scheme. Learn to fight. Beat someone up, and make him share his wealth with you. Do this enough, and you can hire other people to fight for you, and you won’t even have to fight anymore. Steal enough from the producers to pay enough fighters to keep them in line, and you are off and running. Declare yourself the lawgiver, and your fighters the enforcers of the law. Better yet, make nice with the church, and make what you do sound holy (Divine right of Kings, Jesus was an immigrant, social justice), and you can wrap up the most blatant theft in a ribbon and wax poetic about it.

Of course, for the system to work, it is necessary to keep the fighters happy so they will keep the serfs in line, and to keep the serfs just at subsistence so they can grow your food, breed your next generation of serfs, but not dare to rebel against you because you are the source of what food they get to keep. Don’t let them figure out that absent them, you and your fighters will starve because you could not grow a tomato.

The system worked for centuries.

In the light of that historical glimpse, consider Social Security. FDR took money he did not have from people who could not resist him, or at least did not, took their gold so they could not resist his printing of money, and decreed a government run retirement system. The first woman to draw a check only paid in for one month. Over the years, as the system metastasized, more and more people came to rely on that little check as their only hope of having money in retirement. Government, as is its wont, was wasteful and inefficient with the money, so the return was tiny, less than putting the money in a savings account for 40 years. But since people relied on it, and did nothing else to prepare (in many cases,) now there is an unspoken bargain that people who have relied on the contract for their entire working lives cannot change now. So, they, of course, are slaves to the system. They cannot support eliminating or changing the system, for they are the serfs to the dead hand of FDR.  Never mind that the system, as government systems do, grew to include payments to far more than just the working folks who paid into the system for 40 years, and returned about 1% on the money paid in by those who do pay it in. Never mind that Galveston TX, opted out of Social Security in the 70s, and has paid a return 3 times higher than the same amount in Social Security to their employees. Never mind that the system is so inefficient that we are eating our seed corn.

Many are already retired and drawing it. Many are too near the end of their working lives to start a strategy that does not include Social Security.  Woe betide any politician who dares to say we can do better, and we must do differently.

The serfs are trapped on the land. When the lord of the manor comes to tell them that the money is gone, and he must cut their dole down by 30%, they have no choice about it. He has the swords, after all. And the fruits of their labors.

And they are slaves, serfs, to the freedom of free stuff.

Once the government starts to give away free stuff (or rather, steal it from some, to give it to others, for remember, government does not produce wealth) it is extremely hard to stop. Think of one government freebie we have ever stopped giving away.

We can have free men. Or we can have free stuff. Combining the 2 has not worked out well.

I fear the government, especially when it is bearing gifts.



One Response to “Doug Smith: The Slavery of free (stuff)”

  1. Brittius March 17, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    Reblogged this on Brittius.


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