Monday, April 19, 2010

Crocodile Dundee & economic justice

Alright, I’m ready to give up.   Give up on what?, you must be thinking.

Before I answer that, watch this memorable clip from a popular movie of what….30 or 40 years ago?  After you do, keep the principle in mind.

What I’m giving up on is the debate over the role of government in our lives.  My acquiescence is inspired by the editorial in the Ostrich edition of Wednesday, April 14th.  How could we allow government to spend so much on national defense, the editors asked, when there are so many social needs to be funded?

The editorial embodies the tacit belief that the majority of our population thinks Government is one giant social agency whose primary role is to redistribute wealth and make life fair, or if you prefer, equitable.

Thinking on this, I recalled past debates with local officials who claimed to believe in “fair taxation.”  That was always their lead-in to a preference for higher taxes, but you could never pin them down to a level of taxation that would be enough.  Their justification was that there were always more ‘vital needs’ to be met by government than could be paid for by current tax rate levels.

After years and years of listening to their sensitive cries, and the sob stories ascribed to underfunded government, I’ve concluded that this whole life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness thing is just too hard, and too unfair.  What’s fair about one person residing in an apartment in an in town tenement, and another having a house in the country?  What’s fair about you driving a Subaru or a Pious while I drive around in a pickup?

Let’s face it; the antiquated system we live under has given rise to a grossly unjust class system.  At the top, we have the permanent ruling aristocracy, below which lie the most fortunate and the more fortunate.  The great fortunate class, as we all know, makes up the vast middle strata.  Below it are the less fortunate and the least fortunate. 

How can any of us tolerate a system of rewards based on luck?  Have we no hearts, no conscience?  The utter inhumanity of a system based on personal property rights and individual efforts to make a better life for oneself and your family are, obviously, so totally last century.

Tired of the injustice, I am ready to take the medicine.  And the medicine is this: we need a flat tax that treats everyone the same; fairness no one could argue with.

And so I hereby give you The Poppycock Act To Ensure Equitable Life Outcomes and the End of All Petty Personal Self-Interests (also known as TPA-TEELO-ATEOA-PEPSI.)

The Act, in it’s current form, is 500 pages long.  Page 1 is the Cover Sheet; Page 2 is the actual bill language; and the last 498 pages are left intentionally blank.  They’re there to give the printed bill the heft necessary to be taken seriously.

The Act has only three provisions:

1)  All privately owned property, personal assets, and financial accounts shall be transferred to the Federal Government’s new Department of Wealth Aggregation and Wealth Apportionment (DWAWA.)

2)  All income, regardless of the source, whether earned by individuals, business entities, or any other real or fictional mechanisms, shall be taxed at a rate of 100%.

3)  Redistribution of wealth to state and local governments, individuals, and business or other entities shall be at the sole discretion of DWAWA and its several appointed commissions, authorities, boards, panels, and other governing bodies as they implement the policies handed down from the ruling administration.

Think about it – all your worries are gone.  No more IRS; no more worrying about how much you make; no more worrying about retirement or your kids college education; no more worrying about buying that expensive health care insurance, or any other insurance, for that matter.  No more budgeting at home; no more going to the bank to get a mortgage.

Everything will be managed by and provided for you by the benevolent benefactors of our Federal Government.  We just have to trust them to do the right thing by all of us.  How hard could that be, especially when they have their hands on every last penny of national wealth, economic output, and property?  A couple of big computers at DWAWA grinding away day and night should be enough to handle things.

It should be abundantly clear to you that TPA-TEELO-ATEOA-PEPSI would replace the unfair class system that is at the root of all our current suffering.  As envisioned,  the new structure would be topped by the House of Lords, presided over by The Grand High Potentate of Cosmic Justice.  They would govern over the most favored and the more favored, followed by the great masses of the favored, with the less favored and least favored rounding out the population.

No longer would luck or good fortune determine what kind of life you lead.  Instead, the Lords would implement their policies of economic and social justice in every single aspect of life, since they would control the distribution of every penny of wealth in the kingdom.  They would be the overseers of the stash of all stashes.

Can you see the logic here?  If “single payer” is the way to go for health care, why not simplify life for everyone and make everything single payer?  Aren’t food, clothing, and shelter the real fundamentals of human life?  Doesn’t their distribution deserve the same perfection we expect in our health care?

There you go; I’ve got it all solved!  I’ve got THE ANSWER!  As Curly said in City Slickers, “THE ONE THING:”

Single payer life!

Single payer health care?  That’s not social justice.

Now single payer life; THIS is social justice.  This is the difference between the street punk’s little pen knife and Dundee’s KNIFE.

If single payer health care is good, single payer life is perfection; it is the humanist utopia; it is statism to love.

You’re probably telling yourself there are thousands of little details to work out in this new system, and that they could prove to be unworkable.  Everybody’s a critic, right?  Everybody resists change to a new way of doing things, even when it’s so clearly a better way.

As for me, I’m confident that a few million new bureaucrats should be able to sort out the details over 20 or 30 years of trial and error efforts.  And they’ll be overseen by the House of Lords, and you can trust them, they’re not like the rest of us.  Ascendance to the aristocracy requires that they shed all human frailties, all biases, all the imperfections of their subjects.  “The Vision of the Anointed” will be their gift to us (apologies to Thomas Sowell.)

And by the time they do have it all sorted out, those of us who had to endure the antiquated system of liberties that brought this country to its knees will be safely tucked away in our single-payer pine boxes in our single payer land fill. 

Single payer life will be the norm; and those who even mention the failed system of the past will be relegated to the shame-heap of history.

Don’t like the idea of single payer life?  I don’t know why not; so many of you been voting for it nearly every chance you get.

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