We now have a “Middle Class Task Force,” do you feel better already?

On NPR this AM, I heard something about the “Middle Class Task Force” run by Vice President Biden. I’m trying to envision this task force? Will it include soldiers coming to rebuild schools and roads with private contractors like in Iraq and Afghanistan? With billions to spend- just like our military?

As far as I can tell, it’s going to do nothing like that. Here’s the link?

the Middle Class Task Force

The Task Force is a major initiative targeted at raising the living standards of middle-class, working families in America….

Goals of the task force:

  • Expanding education and lifelong training opportunities
  • Improving work and family balance
  • Restoring labor standards, including workplace safety
  • Helping to protect middle-class and working-family incomes
  • Protecting retirement security

via About the Middle Class Task Force | The White House.

The only problem? There are very few “middle-class and working family incomes” left.

While Washington has waved the fear of terrorists (whose main weapon is fear- not much else) at us for years- and siphoned a trillion or two off our balance sheet to pay for the wars and “Homeland Security” they’ve forgotten about the people who pay for it all who want “job security.”

Our politicians are so enamored with their friends who contribute to their campaign war chests (many of whom make their money by building war machines) that they don’t realize what 11% unemployment means these days.

Things have changed since the last time unemployment was this high. For example, we still had people making things in this country other than items that are sold with the line “do you want fries with that?” Our manufacturing sector has been decimated. The last time unemployment was this high- Apple actually manufactured computers on this continent, and GM still owned over 51% of the car market. We also weren’t paying people exorbitant compensation for firing Americans. And, that’s the root of the problem.

There is no reward for hiring Americans anymore.

You’ll get paid more by laying off the factory worker in Dayton, Ohio, and sending your manufacturing to China. You’ll get paid more for figuring out how to cut your payroll by sending your “back office” jobs to India. You’ll get paid more for not making things at all- but playing games with things like “Credit default swaps” and short-selling stocks with money that’s not yours in the first place. And you’ll make huge bucks by driving up the costs of health care which is primarily funded by business- as less and less people in this country have jobs that come with health care.

Note to task force: there isn’t much of a middle class left to protect or save.

In fact, some would say we only have three classes of people left: the wealthy, the poor and those who work for the Government.

If we want to see a return to prosperity in this country, we have to restore rewards for hiring Americans. We need to do it NOW.

While we have American soldiers fighting for our safety half-way round the world, we have an entire society fighting for survival, while bankers still collect billions in bonuses after we had to bail them out. It’s a rather sore point- one that the members of Congress don’t seem to get.

The people who paid for those bonuses (both with tax dollars, and by being screwed left and right as the Wall Street Casino has gone roller coaster on us) are not too happy about the prospect of facing higher crime- as people resort to stealing to survive- and with less cops on the streets (because we’re more concerned with peace in Iraq than peace here).

How do we fix it?

Tie the prime rate moves to everyone, not just the players on Wall Street. The prime rate has dropped 6 points- yet credit card rates and penalties continue to climb. If you have the power to create money- as banks do, it’s time to do it responsibly.

If you don’t own it, you don’t get to take wild compensation. This applies to any non-founder running a publicly traded company. Shareholders must come first. If you want to protect pensions and retirement funds- you have to make sure the money goes back to those who have skin in the game- not just the pied pipers at the helms. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates built empires and deserve compensation- idiots like Bill Nuti of NCR walked in and cleaned out the pantry, without any skin in the game. If you want to get paid more than $500K a year, during a time of war when others are willing to die for their country- you best be responsible for paying a lot of Americans.

It’s time to limit executive pay by formula based on average paycheck, number of employees and amount of personal investment. You hire a lot of Americans and pay them well, you take care of your shareholders, then, and only then, can you make a ton of money- and, btw- you have to take at least 50% of it in long-term notes, since we’re not playing for quarterly results anymore- it’s got to be for a much longer time frame- 10 years or more.

If you don’t like these rules- simple: Take your company private. Either it’s an Employee Owned Stock Plan, or privately held. Have at it.

It’s also time to stop government from being responsible for “economic development” with “incentives” to lure business. Having the clerk at Piggly Wiggly in Georgia who makes $8 an hour- have her tax dollars go to subsidize Bill Nuti’s $2K per hour salary is criminal. The $100 Million Georgia “invested” in moving NCR not only took money out of the clerk’s wallet- it left Dayton, Ohio, without a pants pocket to hold the wallet.

While the whole health care debate has moved away from actual health care to “health insurance” it’s been the straw that’s been killing the American employer and an awful lot of Americans literally, for too long. Unhealthy people can’t work and then can’t pay taxes. It’s to our government’s advantage to have a healthy productive workforce. The sooner we move to a single payer, the better off we are. Eliminate the entire health insurance industry and move directly to outcome based compensation for doctors. Reward doctors who keep their patients healthy, and turn medicine back into an honorable profession.

I don’t expect anyone in Washington to see these ideas, because, they seem to be convinced that this is still a Democrat vs Republican thing.

The longer they keep it up and they’ll find it’s an us vs them thing, and they will quickly realize that they are grossly outnumbered.

We don’t need a task force, we need a revolution. It can either start in Washington, or when the people rebel against Washington.

Anyone want to lay odds on which will happen first?

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17 Responses

  1. john b February 28, 2010 / 2:21 am
    i mean this is great populist rage and all. but you can’t really do this within the framework of our gov’t/constitution.
  2. David Esrati February 28, 2010 / 7:40 am

    @john b “Populist rage” aside- we have to change things. During WWII, we imposed rationing- how was that possible “withing the framework of our gov’t constitution” as you put it.

    May I also mention- we’ve managed to be able to bailout AIG et. al.- again- how is it possible?

    Changes have to be made.

    Got any better ideas?

  3. Dad February 28, 2010 / 11:08 am
    Rep. Dennis Kucinich has been fighting the good fight for single-payer health care for years. He has also railed against the so-called Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic thing Congress did in years.
    Here is his “Prayer for America.”

    A Prayer for America
    I offer these brief remarks today as a prayer for our country, as a celebration of our country. With love of democracy. With love of our country. With hope for our country. With a belief that the light of freedom cannot be extinguished as long as it is inside of us. With a belief that freedom rings resoundingly in a democracy each time we speak freely. With the understanding that freedom stirs the human heart and fear stills it. With the belief that a free people cannot walk in fear and faith at the same time. With the understanding that there is a deeper truth in the unity of the United States. That implicit in the union of our country is the union of all people, everywhere. That all people are essentially one. That the world is interconnected not only on the material level of economics, trade, communication, and transportation; but interconnected through human consciousness, through the human heart, through the heart of the world, through the simply expressed impulse to be and to breathe free.

    I offer this prayer for America.

    Let us pray that our nation will remember that the unfolding of the promise of democracy in our nation paralleled the striving and accomplishment of civil rights. That is why we must challenge the rationale of the Patriot Act. We must ask why should America put aside guarantees of constitutional justice?

    How can we justify in effect canceling the First Amendment and the right of free speech, and the right to peacefully assemble?

    How can we justify, in effect, the canceling the Fourth Amendment, probable cause, the prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure?

    How can we justify, in effect, canceling the Fifth Amendment, nullifying due process, allowing for indefinite incarceration without a trial?

    How can we justify, in effect, canceling the Sixth Amendment, the right to prompt and public trial?

    How can we justify, in effect, canceling the Eighth Amendment which protects against cruel and unusual punishment?

    We cannot justify widespread wiretaps and internet surveillance without judicial supervision, let alone with it.

    We cannot justify secret searches without a warrant.

    We cannot justify giving the Attorney General the ability to designate domestic terror groups.

    We cannot justify giving the FBI total access to any type of data which may exist in any system anywhere, including medical and financial records.

    We cannot justify giving the CIA the ability to target people in this country for domestic intelligence and intelligence surveillance.

    We cannot justify a government which takes from the people our right to privacy and then assumes for its own operations a right to total secrecy.

    The Attorney General recently covered up a statue of Lady Justice showing her bosom as if to underscore there is no danger of justice exposing herself in this administration.

    Let us pray, oremus, that our nation’s leaders will not be overcome by fear. Because today there is great fear in the Capitol. And this must be understood before we can ask about the shortcomings of Congress in this current environment.

    The great fear began when we had to evacuate the Capitol on September 11. It continued when we had to leave the Capitol again when a bomb scare occurred as members were pressing the CIA during a secret briefing. It continued when we abandoned Washington during the anthrax scare, when anthrax, possibly from a government lab, arrived in the mail. It continued when the Attorney General declared a nationwide terror alert and then brought the destructive Patriot Bill to the floor of the House of Representatives. It continued in the release of the Bin Laden tapes at the very same time the President was announcing our country would withdraw from the ABM treaty.

    It remains present in the cordoning off of the Capitol. It is present in the camouflaged armed national guardsmen who greet members of Congress each day we enter the Capitol campus. It is present in the labyrinth of concrete barriers through which we must pass each time we go to vote.

    The trappings of a state of siege trap us in a state of fear, ill-equipped to deal with the Patriot Games, the Mind Games, the War Games of an unelected President and his undisclosed Vice President.

    Let us pray. Let us pray that our country will stop this war. “To provide for the common defense” is one of the formational principles of America. Our Congress gave the President the ability to respond to the tragedy of September 11. We licensed a response to those who helped create the terror of September 11th. But we the people and our elected representatives must reserve the right to measure the response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the response.

    Because we did not authorize the invasion of Iraq.

    We did not authorize the invasion of Iran.

    We did not authorize the invasion of North Korea.

    We did not authorize the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.

    We did not authorize permanent detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

    We did not authorize the withdrawal from the Geneva Convention.

    We did not authorize military tribunals suspending due process and habeas corpus.

    We did not authorize assassination squads.

    We did not authorize the resurrection of COINTELPRO.

    We did not authorize the repeal of the Bill of Rights.

    We did not authorize the revocation of the Constitution.

    We did not authorize national identity cards.

    We did not authorize the eye of Big Brother to peer from cameras throughout our cities.

    We did not authorize an eye for an eye.

    Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan.

    We did not authorize this administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases.

    We did not authorize war without end.

    We did not authorize a permanent war economy.

    Yet we are upon the threshold of a permanent war economy. The President has requested a $45.6 billion increase in military spending. All defense-related programs will cost close to $400 billion.

    Consider that the Department of Defense has never passed an independent audit.

    Consider that the Inspector General notified Congress, recently, that the Pentagon cannot properly account for $1.2 trillion – that’s trillion – in expenditures. Correct, that it cannot account for $1.2 trillion in transactions. Consider that in recent years the Department of Defense could not match $22 billion worth of expenditures to the items it purchased. Consider that it has written off as lost billions of dollars worth of in-transit inventory and stored nearly $30 billion worth of spare parts it did not need.

    Yet the Pentagon’s budget grows with more money for weapons systems to fight a cold war which ended, weapon systems in search of new enemies to create new wars. This has nothing to do with fighting terror. This has everything to do with fueling a military industrial machine with the treasure of our nation, risking the future of our nation, risking democracy itself with the militarization of thought which follows the militarization of the budget.

    Let us pray for our children. Our children deserve a world without end. Not a war without end. Our children deserve a world free of the terror of hunger, free of the terror of poor health care, free of the terror of homelessness, free of the terror of ignorance, free of the terror of hopelessness, free of the terror of policies which are committed to a world view which is not appropriate for the survival of democratic values, not appropriate for the survival of a free people, not appropriate for the survival of a nation, not appropriate for the survival of the world.

    Let us pray that we have the courage and the will as a people, and as a nation, to shore ourselves up, to reclaim from the ruins of September 11th our democratic traditions.

    Let us declare. Let us declare our love of democracy. And declare our intent for peace.

    Let us work to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our own society.

    Let us recommit ourselves to the slow and painstaking work of statecraft, which sees peace, not war, as being inevitable.

    Let us work for a world where someday war becomes archaic.

    Let us work for a world where nuclear disarmament is an imperative. This is the vision which the proposal to create a Department of Peace envisions. Forty-three members of Congress are now cosponsoring the legislation.

    Let us work for a world where America can lead the way in banning all nuclear weapons not only from our land and sea and sky but from outer space itself. This is the vision of HR 3616: A universe free of fear. Where we can look up at God’s creation in the stars and imagine infinite wisdom, infinite peace, infinite possibilities. Not infinite war, because we are taught that the kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven.

    Let us pray. Pray that we have the courage to replace the images of death which haunt us, the layers of images of September 11th, faded into images of patriotism, spliced into images of military mobilization, jump-cut into images of our secular celebrations of the World Series, New Year’s Eve, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the strobic flashes which touch our deepest fears, let us replace those images with the images of people working to rebuild their democratic institutions. With images of the work of human relations. Of the work of reaching out to people, helping our citizens here at home. Of lifting the plight of people everywhere.

    That is the America which has the ability to rally the support of the world.

    That is the America which stands not in pursuit of an axis of evil, but which is itself the axis of hope and faith and peace and freedom.

    America, America. God shed grace on thee. And crown thy good with brotherhood and sisterhood.

    America, America. Long may Thy land be bright with Freedom’s holy light

    America, America. Let us pray for our country. Let us love our country. Let us defend our country not only from the threats without but from the threats within.

    America, America. Crown thy good. Not with weapons of mass destruction. Not with invocations of an axis of evil. Not through breaking international treaties. Not through establishing America as king of a uni-polar world. But through looking at America as a nation among nations and viewing the world as an interconnected whole.

    Crown thy good, America. Crown thy good with sisterhood and brotherhood. And crown thy good with compassion and restraint and forbearance and a commitment to peace and democracy here at home and in the world. And a commitment to economic democracy here at home and throughout the world.

    Crown thy good, America. Crown thy good America. Crown thy good.

    Thank you.

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  4. john b February 28, 2010 / 12:28 pm
    mostly i take issue with the idea that the federal gov’t can somehow impose a formula on publicly-owned companies that dictates their salary structure, etc.
    and as far as removing local incentives for businesses, i agree it’s often abhorrent. but what can you do? it’s race to the bottom across state and local gov’ts to pay businesses to come to their communities. i don’t think the federal gov’t can come in and tell these states, cities, counties, etc. how to spend their tax dollars.
    but my main beef with your post is that some of these ideas are great in the abstract. but there’s no way, for instance, that single payer is going to happen in this political environment. or that executive pay is going to be limited in the way that you’ve outlined. or any of these other pretty monumental changes in how business is conducted in this country. i understand this is probably venting. but what this country needs is steps that can actually happen that will improve things.
    kucinich is a case study in shouting for ideals while voting against improvements because they don’t go far enough.
  5. larry sizer February 28, 2010 / 12:46 pm
    Dad, I have never heard someone say what I think and and say so eloquently, what is in the “Heart Beat of America.” We have to get the Crud out of office, change the laws back that made our country great, and tone down the war machine. Thanks for what you said, and please say more so people like me can believe again.
  6. john b February 28, 2010 / 2:55 pm
    you do realize that comment is basically an email forward, right? do a google search. it’s in 100s of places verbatim.
  7. john b February 28, 2010 / 2:56 pm
    oh. hah. don’t mind me. it’s a speech.
  8. john b February 28, 2010 / 3:05 pm
    and get back to me when kucinich actually has a legislative accomplishment other than voting against bills that are 80% good just because they aren’t 100% good.
  9. jstults February 28, 2010 / 3:14 pm
    From Rep. Kucinich’s prayer:

    We licensed a response to those who helped create the terror of September 11th. But we the people and our elected representatives must reserve the right to measure the response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the response.
    […]
    We did not authorize the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.
    […]
    Nor did we ask that the blood of innocent people, who perished on September 11, be avenged with the blood of innocent villagers in Afghanistan.

    Civilian casualties in that conflict have never been the intended result, and the public that sends it’s soldiers to war must understand that tragic consequences like these are inevitable once we’ve ‘let slip the dogs of war’; to pretend that we could ever fight a war without paying this terrible price is the worst sort of techno-precision-engagement-fueled naivete (a classic American failing: thinking our technology can save us from ethical dilemma).  If only our targeting/intelligence/technology were a little more accurate, a little more quick, a little more perfect, then we’d be able to wage war without any danger to the innocents.  A noble goal to be sure, but an unachievable one in practice, and the practice is the reality that was authorized.  The pretense that we might already have achieved this level of skill and omniscience is terribly destructive, both because of the unjust blame that it enables of our conduct in war as well as the brake that it removes on our tendency to ‘let slip’ in the first place.

    It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it.

    Robert E. Lee

    If you think I’m trying to make an excuse for negligence or war crimes, please re-read what I wrote.

    Let us recommit ourselves to the slow and painstaking work of statecraft, which sees peace, not war, as being inevitable.
    Let us work for a world where someday war becomes archaic.
    Let us work for a world where nuclear disarmament is an imperative.
    […]
    This is the vision of HR 3616: A universe free of fear. Where we can look up at God’s creation in the stars and imagine infinite wisdom, infinite peace, infinite possibilities. Not infinite war, because we are taught that the kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven.

    Praying for peace is wonderful, and I firmly believe that all wars are the result of the failures (moral or otherwise) of diplomats and statesmen, but that is no excuse to avoid preparing for war, or to pretend that the balance of powers flows from anything other than the (nuclear capable) barrel of a gun.

    But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
    Douglas MacArthur

  10. a T March 1, 2010 / 8:16 am
    I don’t expect anyone in Washington to see these ideas, because, they seem to be convinced that this is still a Democrat vs Republican thing.
    The longer they keep it up and they’ll find it’s an us vs them thing, and they will quickly realize that they are grossly outnumbered.
    We don’t need a task force, we need a revolution. It can either start in Washington, or when the people rebel against Washington.

     
    The Middle Class Task Force sounds like the Dem response to the Tea Party Movement.
    Here’s where both sides get it wrong: If you think it’s okay to take something that isn’t yours, you are a thief. In any philosophy, religion, discussion about how good people behave, thievery  is universally considered bad behavior.  We learned that when we were toddlers on the playground.
    If you think it’s okay to take part of the the Piggly Wiggly cashier’s income and use it for Nuti, you are a vampiric thief. But David, if you think it’s okay to take part of her income and use it for roads and services, you are still a vampiric thief.
    You don’t stop criminal behavior by being a criminal.
    Until people understand and insist that they are unwilling to live with any criminal behavior at all, we are simply discussing the degrees of degradation under which we are willing to live. Sad.
     

  11. jstults March 1, 2010 / 9:31 am

    a T:

    …thievery  is universally considered bad behavior. We learned that when we were toddlers on the playground.

    Is that the lesson you learned?  I learned that the bigger kid gets the toys unless the teacher is there to make him share.

    Until people understand and insist that they are unwilling to live with any criminal behavior at all, we are simply discussing the degrees of degradation under which we are willing to live. Sad.

    You’d trade one set of chains for another and think yourself better in the offing.  Sad.

  12. a T March 1, 2010 / 10:20 am
    >Is that the lesson you learned?  I learned that the bigger kid gets the toys unless the teacher is there to make him share.
     
    No. You are thinking of school where nothing is yours- it’s all collective. Of course you needed a teacher to mediate under those circumstances. Nothing belongs to you in school so you can’t fix the problem yourself.
     
    .I’m referring to your life as a toddler, when another toddler took your toy, you slugged him, or you let him take it, or you shared. Either way, and no I’m not condoning any way, but either way, you knew the thievery was wrong and you made a decision how to deal with it., lived with the consequences.
     
     
    >You’d trade one set of chains for another and think yourself better in the offing.  Sad.
     
     
    Exactly my point. Both parties get it wrong.
  13. Jesse March 1, 2010 / 10:49 am

    As long as we are posting random stuff that we like:
    “The Declaration of Individualism” by Robert LeFevre
    When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for ONE INDIVIDUAL to dissolve the political bands which have held him under the dominance of any state, and thus to assume his full stature as a human being among the others of his kind, in compliance with highest moral law and in conformity with nature’s laws and in deep humility before nature’s God, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to thus stand forth a free being and subservient to none.
    These truths are held to be self-evident, that each man is better quali?ed to govern his own affairs than any other man or combination of men or agencies are so quali?ed; that he is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, private ownership of property, and the pursuit of happiness.  That to secure these rights, each man is quali?ed to select for himself that agency or those agencies which seem to him best suited to protect his life and his property, to maintain his freedom, and which lie within his ability to afford.  That whenever any agency evinces characteristics of tyranny, he is well within his rights and his powers to discharge that agency and to ?nd another more suitable to his inclinations and his ?nances.  That he is competent to accomplish this end singly or jointly with others, with the express understanding that no single person may be coerced or trespassed against in the formation or the maintenance of any such joint enterprise.
    Experience, indeed, will dictate that governments in practice erode and destroy the individuality of man by virtue of the coercion they exercise against their citizens.  Therefore, he will take due cognizance of this fact, and should a new government be deemed advisable and most likely to effect his safety and happiness, he will see to it that the just powers of that government shall be derived from the INDIVIDUAL consent of those governed.  No man shall be compelled to pay a tax for a product or service he does not wish to enjoy.  On the contrary, each man wishing such product or service shall bear the full pro-rata cost of that product or service without resort to taxation.
    No man, in making this INDIVIDUAL declaration, is seeking by so doing to overthrow or subvert any existing government.  He is, rather, intent upon stopping the long train of abuses and usurpations which have pursued a single object of placing him under absolute despotism.  If others want tyranny he is content to let them pursue it to their pleasure.  He seeks only to stand free of the political shackles that fetter his own wrists.
    He will not use force to secure his objective.  He will obey the edicts of his rulers when he is compelled to obey.  But he will no longer volunteer to further tyranny, either by beseeching subsidy or support, or by accepting it should it be granted him.  He will make his own way, for better or for worse, and hold himself accountable to his God for his success and his failure.
    The history of the present governments the world over is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations against humankind, having in direct object the subjugation and the socialization of every human being.
    To prove this, let facts be submitted in candor to mankind.
    1.  Governments, as presently formulated, have demonstrated their inability to deal with crime. Rather, in certain cases where criminals have been apprehended, the laws have been perverted in such fashion that the courts themselves have conspired to aid the felon.  There is a rising tide of lawlessness and delinquency.  Yet, where “tough” policies have been enacted, so obtuse and oppressive are the rulings that innocent persons are made to suffer indignities and oppressions of the worst sort, whereas hardened criminals easily secure their freedom.
    2.  Governments, as presently formulated, have demonstrated repeatedly that they are simply the tools of various pressure groups.  Principles have been abandoned, in favor of expediency.  And in those places where such pressures have been put down, the citizens live in a state of virtual siege with the government itself providing pressures and exactions against them.
    3.  Governments, as presently formulated, have so magni?ed the task of passing laws that in many places the body of law already exceeds the lifetime of scholars for reading purposes.  Yet the process continues and it is so proli?c of results that thousands of new codes, rules, regulations, ordinances and manifestos are issued each moment, the result of which is to place every citizen under the baneful necessity of obeying what he knows not of, and of paying for “bene?ts” which will never accrue to him.
    4.  Governments, as presently formulated, maintain the ?ction of representation.  But they are no longer either representative or responsive to the wishes or even the anguish of the individual citizen.  Though it has been widely accepted that the democratic form of government provides a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, it is now seen that as governments are presently arrayed they are organizations of the government, by the government and for the government.
    5.  Governments, as presently formulated, are forever on the search for bigness and power.  The tiny and self-contained, largely sell-government unit is no longer viable.  By the process of merger, metropolitanizing, federalizing and worldizing, through the agencies of bureaus, committees, appointees, and by means of laws, passed legally or put into activity illegally by executive ?at, a vast usurpation has occurred and is occurring so that the rights of the individual are forever placed under a growing cloud of oppression.  In the United States as an example, each citizen is at once required to obey a minimum of six governing bodies-school district, city, county, state, nation and United Nations. Since the rules in each case are both costly and in con?ict, a mounting confusion grows.  The answer given is for a vast merger to occur, a homogenizing of all power with central authority drifting irrevocably toward the hands of a supreme dictator.  The rights of the individual have been cancelled out in favor of the bigness and the power of a bureaucracy.
    6.  Governments, as presently formulated, have long since abandoned their historic function of keeping law and order.  They have usurped a thousand prerogatives and are now advancing the socialist cause by seizing businesses, charitable organizations and educational institutions which they operate in the face of mounting ?nancial ruin on every hand.  The seizure begins as the con?scation of income and wealth from the citizens.  It ends with the government itself competing in every walk of life with the taxpayer, who must not only make a pro?t to subsist but must pay for the waste and abuse of monopolistic and monolithic competition.
    7.  Governments, as presently formulated, are engaged in co-mixing the funds of their own constituents with the funds of constituents of other governments.  A universal policy of plundering the citizen has supplanted the policy of a frugal and accountable regime.  Additionally, and against all decent usage and custom, governments are compelling citizens to work, attend school, and live in neighborhoods among people with whom they have little in common.  Governments are legislating in the ?eld of morals and have declared, if God has not made man equal to each other man, he shall be made equal by universal force and an end of sufferance.
    8.  Governments, as presently formulated, have undermined individual responsibility by providing ?nancial rewards for mothers of children born out of wedlock, by paying subsidies to persons who are unemployed, by rewarding those who refuse to produce.  With the unprecedented rise in population and the mammoth support of the indigent and impecunious, the governments are now imaging a bureau to control population and another to further the peopling of other planets of this solar system.
    9.  Governments, as presently formulated, have lost touch with the sense of justice and reason.  They have become tools of union agitators and will suffer almost any abuse to an individual citizen provided that abuse occurs under union management.  They have recently, in the United States, endeavored to reveal racketeering in certain unions which are momentarily out of governmental favor.  But the principles of coercion and violence in every labor union still stand unchecked.
    10.  Governments, as presently formulated, have penalized the successful and rewarded the unsuccessful, in violation of natural law.
    11.  Governments, as presently formulated, have made a mockery of courts, by causing judges to be responsive to the whim of popular leaders.  The courts in large measure now mirror the will of the chief executive and justice is banished to places outside of government.
    12.  Governments, as presently formulated, have made a universal draft and military service compulsory, in violation of the rights of free men.
    13.  Governments, as presently formulated, have ringed the businessman and producer with a wall of regulations, licenses, reports, taxations, and vexations beyond all reason, to the detriment of all.
    14.  Governments, as presently formulated, have manipulated the currency, debauched the medium of exchange and brought a wholesale in?ation upon the world to the ruination of the people.
    15.  Governments, as presently formulated, have interfered with the right of a man to travel where he pleases.
    16.  Governments, as presently formulated, have plundered the citizens of vast treasure to establish enormous propaganda agencies which serve in the capacity of singing the self-praise of each government.
    17.  Governments, as presently formulated, have moved into the realm of psychology and have presumed to decide who is sane and who is not sane with arbitrary treatment prescribed for those the governments ?nd to be suffering from an unwillingness to obey or to sanction their immoral actions.
    18.  Governments, as presently formulated, have cut off the trade of some persons with the trade of other persons.
    19.  Governments, as presently formulated, have permitted their citizens to be tried in courts beyond their own jurisdiction, despite the fact that these citizens are under their exclusive regulation and have paid taxes for the support of their own system of jurisprudence.
    20.  Governments, as presently formulated, have raised the taxes repeatedly, compelling those who object to the taxes to pay at the same rate as those who do not object.  Additionally, some are compelled through a form of involuntary servitude to act for the government and to collect taxes from others against their own will and against the will of others.  Nor are they recompensed for so doing.
    21.  Governments, as presently formulated, have created a debt so monstrous that it will take generations of future citizens to cope with it and despite the moral question as to whether an unborn child can be held responsible for debts incurred before his birth.
    22.  Governments, as presently formulated, have con?scated private property, often for light and whimsical reasons, paying for the property at a rate pleasing only to the government.
    23.  Governments, as presently formulated, have set up arbitrary restrictions on the use of private property, preventing individuals from the full enjoyment of what they own.
    24.  Governments, as presently formulated, have taken up arms against ordinary citizens, have bayoneted harmless persons in the streets, and have stood by in the midst of lawless insurrection, giving countenance and standing to riot and property damage.
    25.  Governments, as presently formulated, have stimulated their own citizens to prepare to take up arms against possible foreign aggressors, while at the same time encouraging these potential foes with entertainment, largesse and legal advantages and immunities.
    26.  Governments, as presently formulated, have created a vacuum in the minds of youths. by indoctrinating them from [381] their tenderest years in government institutions, which operate on the theory that money can do everything and that what the government demands in the way of money is always morally justi?ed.
    In every stage of these oppressions, individual citizens have petitioned for redress, in the most humble terms.  Their repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.  Any government whose character is thus marked by every act which may de?ne a tyranny, is un?t to be either the ruler of or the protector of individuals.
    Nor has the individual been wanting in his esteem and affection for individual political ?gures he may know and admire.  Repeatedly, these political ?gures have been asked to right the wrongs being heaped upon their fellow citizens.  Party support has been switched, encouragement has been given to well-meaning and outspoken politicians who promise a surcease of these manifold woes.  But to no avail.  It appears that the government of?ce is now so large that it dominates the man, and that no man in power is large enough to dominate his of?ce.
    Appeal has been made to a sense of justice, a sense of fair play, a sense of economy.  The men in government have been deaf alike to the voices calling for justice or even for a recognition of the fact that they, too, are human.
    Therefore, while the necessity is deplored, it must be declared that men in of?ce who are performing coercive functions in violation of nature’s laws have become themselves a part of the state, which is the source of the dif?culties.  They are either helpless to right these numerous wrongs, or they are willingly perpetrating them.
    I, therefore, a citizen of this nation, standing by myself and exerting no in?uence or coercion over any, and appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of my intentions, do, in the name and by the authority which resides in all free men, solemnly publish and declare, that I am and of right ought to be a free and independent human being.  I will therefore, now and henceforward, refrain from participation in all agencies of government whenever and wherever I am permitted.  I will be independent and self-supporting, looking [383] neither to government nor to any similar agency of force to provide for me.  Nor will I willingly join with any organization, group, or person who counsels or urges violence, coercion, or the forceful regulation of my fellow man in any particular whatsoever.
    And for the support of this Declaration, I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor.
    The idea and the ideal of individual resolve will be slow to take hold.  Men are gregarious and by instinct fearful of full reliance on their independent judgment.  But the case for individualism will rest its plea on the laws of nature and nature’s God, and it will be justly judged in time.
    There will always be those who will assure themselves they would like to be a full-?edged individualist if only they could be certain that others would take the same position.  The true individualist will not permit himself to be comforted or protected by that alibi.  The true individualist will root out all traces of socialism within himself and act independently, even though he may be the only person to so strip himself of comfort and to so act.
    If it is true, as has been argued, that our problem with socialism resides inside each human being, then it must follow that the cure for socialism is one which must be self administered.  You cannot control any other person.  This is a physical impossibility.  Your rights are unalienable, even by your own willingness and connivance to alienate them.
    The cause of individualism and human liberty is too important a cause to be entrusted to any organization or group of men.  Only YOU can improve yourself to the point where you are competent and capable of defeating socialism within yourself.  Only by so doing can you become able to serve the cause of freedom for all men.

  14. jstults March 1, 2010 / 4:52 pm

    a T:

    Exactly my point. Both parties get it wrong.

    I don’t think we’re saying the same thing, that second link was  to a Libertarian argument in support of judicial activism.

  15. Jeff of Louisville March 1, 2010 / 9:13 pm
    Dad and I must be the only two Kucinch fans in Dayton (maybe Dad isnt a fan, but just likes that speech?). Anyway Kucinch’s “prayer” brings to mind Billy Bragg’s excellent song, sort of a social-democratic anthem mixed with opposition to militarism.  It’s about England, but its also universal.   They say the left has the best music….
     
     
    I was a miner
    I was a docker
    I was a railway man
    Between the wars
    I raised a family
    In times of austerity
    With sweat at the foundry
    Between the wars

    I paid the union and as times got harder
    I looked to the government to help the working man
    And they brought prosperity down at the armoury
    We’re arming for peace, me boys
    Between the wars

    I kept the faith and I kept voting
    Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
    For theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man
    Theirs is a land of hope and glory
    Mine is the green field and the factory floor
    Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
    And mine is the peace we know
    Between the wars

    Call up the craftsmen
    Bring me the draftsmen
    Build me a path from cradle to grave
    And I’ll give my consent
    To any government
    That does not deny a man a living wage

    Go find the young men never to fight again
    Bring up the banners from the days gone by
    Sweet moderation
    Heart of this nation
    Desert us not, we are
    Between the wars

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