WHO SUPPORTS WHOM? Some
years ago I posted a piece about a fundamental social question:
Who actually pays the bill? I claimed there were only two ways
to survive - either produce something to exchange for food, raiment,
and shelter OR live off someone who does.
Exploring social fundamentals.
Well! That didn't
please anyone whose political views were fixed firmly to the
left. I saved some of the scorching emails. "...as
for the axiom you posted, I cannot disagree more. The idea that
everybody in America should be reduced to producer and consumer is
repugnant to me. Democracy is not for sale. This country is
not based on one dollar = one vote."
He continued on
to complain about the "evils of big business and profits." He was
obviously sold on the Socialist dislike of Capitalism.
posited the axiom for years, and having heard plenty of thunder against
it, I have never heard a rebuttal that showed there was a THIRD way to
survive except for the erroneous notion that government will provide. Five
minutes of concentrated thought should make clear that government
entities cannot provide a dime to anyone it has not first collected in taxes or borrowed - against the expectation of an inflow of more taxes. Government provides nothing in the way of handouts it has not first taken from the productive classes.
Oppenheimer explained all this more than a century ago in his book
Der Staat. He also understood the ancient axiom that goods-and-services exchange for goods-and-services
and that the complication of money became necessary because barter is
so inefficient. Think about it. Instead of bartering your
time and talent in the marketplace for food, clothing, etc., you exchange your time and talent at your workplace for currency. With that currency you may acquire food, clothing, etc., whenever you wish.
people who aren't able to trade their time and effort for things they
need? Babies, for instance. The physically disabled, such
as the frail old. It's true that children must live out of the
pockets of their caretakers. Old folks who were unable or chose
not to accumulate assets to sustain them in their advanced years also
must rely on the charity of others for food and shelter. But it's
a fundamental law of nature that one must have the means of feeding and
clothing oneself or live off the effort of someone else.
With government playing the gatekeeper into the pockets of the
productive classes it's easy to forget the basic facts of the
transaction. The general public comes to think of access to
"government money" as a right - particularly if one falls on hard
times. Rarely is credit given to those who are payimg the
expenses of keeping charitable subsidies flowing. In fact, the
matter isn't given much thought at all. Government expenses
outstripping income? No to worry. We'll just print the
dollars necessary to close the gap and send the bill to future
It's not mean-spirited to understand the fact there are only two ways
to sustain oneself; If
one does not have the means or will to provide for one's self he or she
must live out of the pockets of someone who does. Thus it has always been.
Fourth or fifth graders could absorb this fact in one forty-minute
It's doubtful, however, the subject will ever come up in a public
August 15th, 2017
the Curmudgeon's Archives.