Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Plunder, Government Charity, and the Unlawful Redistribution of Wealth

If you have never read Frederic Bastiat's The Law, then you are missing a key piece of literature fundamental to the proper understanding of government. It's not very long, and it's fairly easy to read. You can find it online here.

A few key points from The Law and other works:

1. It is fundamentally wrong for the government to take what rightfully belongs to a citizen.

Now, I'm not saying that we should pay no taxes, but we should be able to consent to those taxes through the law as going toward something that we are willing to pay for. This is one of the reasons we have different levels of government. State and local issues should remain within local control, so that the citizens can choose the direction of their taxes and spending.

Anything else is what Bastiat referred to as "lawful plunder":

"Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty,and his property....

"It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder....[but...]

"The law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds....

"Plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law."

And just a sidenote, we all have equal right to our life, liberty, and property. That includes the rich. The government should not discriminate against people based on how much money they do or do not make.

2. We must follow the Constitution.

The Constitution is the contract between We the People of the United States and our elected officials. We agree to be governed based on these terms. This principle goes back to John Locke and his ideas of limited government based on a social contract.

John Locke's Two Treatise's of Government was one of the works most quoted by our founding fathers, and his ideas are found in the Declaration of Independence:
"To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it."
The Constitution is the will of the people solidified; defy it, and you do not have a democratic republic, you have tyranny.

This is one of the reasons I almost blew a gasket over the courts in California even considering throwing out Proposition 8.

I don't care what the issue is; I don't care if it's gay marriage or whether or not you can wear t-shirts on Sunday, if the courts can get rid of one part of a state Constitution, then they can get rid of any part, and nothing is safe. Overturning Proposition 8 would have overturned the rule of the people in California. Period.

Was slavery bad? You betcha. The U.S. Constitution allowed for it, was that bad? You betcha. But simply ignoring or burning the Constitution (like some of the more extreme abolitionists advocated) was the wrong way to go. We fought a war and lost more American citizens killing each other than in all the other wars America has ever fought combined, but we kept our system of law, and did not revert to tyranny. And in the end, we the people, amended our Constitution.

What does this have to do with plunder and socialism? Well, quite simply, our contract with the government (The Constutition of the United States) does not include a provision for government welfare and charity. Our elected officials have violated their contract.

Davy Crockett, while he was in the U.S. Congress, learned a powerful lesson from a farmer about the Constitutionality of government charity:

"We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money....

"The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man....while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he....

"As the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount...you will very easily perceive, what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other....

"Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose."

The entire story can be found here. It's a must read.

One of the things that first attracted me to the policies of Sarah Palin was a telephone interview I heard her give to a paper in Pittsburgh where she talked about how she is guided by her state Constitution. She said that it dictated to her how she was to govern. Sarah Palin understands her place as a servant of the people, not a master. The interview is here. I don't remember which part she said the above quote in, but the whole interview is great, so check it out!

Sarah Palin has also made many other statements indicating her respect for the rule of the people. Her stance on local control of the energy codes, including her desire for local control in her own state from the local communities to her state office is one. Another was given as recently as Monday night.

In her interview with Hannity, she indicated her respect for the separation of powers as far as the potential override of her veto was concerned. This is a woman who actually does her job; she actually works to uphold the oath of office that she took to protect and defend her state Constitution (the will of the people).

Mmmm, feel that? It's a breath of fresh air!

Why is this all important? Because the Obama administration is ignoring and circumventing the Constitution completely and is on the fast track to making slaves out of the citizens of the United States.

Think about it; what do you call a person who works and labors, and the fruits of their labor are taken without consent by someone who did no work, and those fruits are then used for whatever that person wishes, with no input from the worker?

A slave.

The only reason the people of the United States are not rising up right now and protesting en masse across this nation, is because our chains are velvet-lined. They are couched in the crocodile tears of liberal heart-tugging: "Hundreds of millions are without health insurance, blah, blah, blah... give up your freedoms so the government can kiss all the boo-boo's and make them better."

To be honest, I am glad that John McCain lost.

I don't think he would have been much better. Yes, Sarah Palin would have slowed him down, but I think you would have seen a firefight between her values and his.

Also, our education system in this country is horrible, and many Americans were confused over the policies of the Bush administration. I am glad that people are now seeing the policies of the far left progressives being put into place. Maybe their eyes will be opened now, and we will start coming to our senses.

Many Americans are starting to speak up, but it hasn't yet become painful enough for the average person to care.

It will.

When it does, I only hope and pray that there is enough character and American spirit left in this country to again declare our independence, throw the tea in the harbor, and start a big war.

We will not change our government for "light and transient causes." We are law-abiding citizens, and are "disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable. " But "when a long train of abuses and usurpations...evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. "

- the Declaration of Independence.

I close with the words of the Father of the American Revolution:

"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."

- Samuel Adams

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