Seven Things About the Government that May Shock You
It has been said that if the government is the solution, it was a stupid question. Yet one of the government’s biggest tricks is making people believe they can’t do without it. If you’re one of them, maybe you’re not aware of these seven shocking things about the government.
1. Government workers don’t pay income tax
If Bob earns a$100,000 salary from the government, all of that money comes from the treasury. Then when he “pays back” $30,000 in taxes, the net drain on the treasury is still $70,000, so he’s a net tax consumer, not a net tax payer. This is also true of government contractors, like construction companies and defense contractors, at least as to that portion of their income that comes from the public sector. This is discussed in Chapter 22 of The Truth About Liberty.
Watch the video for further explanation:
2. It’s the government that creates monopolies
Monopolies can only exist if you prevent competition; natural monopoly is a myth. If there’s a profitable opportunity, people will compete against you for your customers, and they’ll do it relentlessly unless you stop them by force. You can’t legally do that — only the state can. Another way the state creates monopolies is by granting favors and privileges that make competition difficult or nearly impossible. The railroads are an example; there the government gave land to the rail barons with the most political influence, instead of allowing the free market dispense land to the best competitors.
3. The Federal Reserve has a monopoly on counterfeiting
The Fed makes up money out of thin air, lends it to the government and private persons (we don’t know who because the Fed refuses to be audited), and then collects interest on the debt. The principal is made up out of thin air, but the interest that’s paid back to them is the real stuff, taken from taxpayers who actually produced wealth in the economy. If anyone else does what the Fed does, it’s called a crime and they go to jail. But when the Fed does it, they call it “central banking.” They must be laughing their tails off.
For more on how the Fed works, watch these videos:
4. Insider trading is perfectly legal – but only if you’re a congressman
Insider trading is when you have secret knowledge about a corporation’s activity, and you buy or sell stock to get a special advantage before your secret knowledge becomes common knowledge. For example, if you’re a company insider and you know that company P is planning to buy company Q, and you buy company Q stock for pennies right before the announcement is made, driving the price of stock sky-high, that’s insider trading, and it’s illegal. Unless you’re a congressman. Then it’s fine. In fact, the rulers have exempted themselves from a lot of laws, like ObamaCare and social security. Those laws are good enough for us, but not quite good enough for them. Read an analysis of the economic benefits of decriminalizing insider trading.
5. Nine of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto are the law of the land
Our nationwide statist socialist welfare policy is right in line with most of the Marxist principles in the Communist Manifesto.
- Abolition of private property in land. There is no state in the US without property tax on land, which means you’re simply paying rent to the state (stop paying property tax and you’ll find out who owns it). In addition, according to a document published by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the states and the federal government own 785 million acres of land, or about 35% of the total land area of the United States.
- Progressive or graduated income tax. Marx wanted the government to be the great redistributor of income. This prevents the accumulation of private wealth and independence from the government, which is the greatest threat to statism.
- Inheritance tax. Whatever you do manage to accumulate in your lifetime is subject to the inheritance tax, in which the government steals from your heirs. I guess it’s more noble to steal than to give.
- Confiscation of the property of emigrants and rebels. This has been enacted in part since 1980, and then expanded in the 1990s. The current state of the law is that the government demands an accounting of all the money you take out of the country, and requires you to pay income taxes for ten years after you renounce your US citizenship. See? You don’t own your money, the government does.
- Central banking. The Fed is the central bank of the United States, item 5 in the Communist Manifesto.
- Centralization of communications and transport. You can’t broadcast anything on the airwaves without the government’s permission. You can’t conduct business or transport goods on the roadways without the government’s permission. Item 6 in the Communist Manifesto.
- Factors of production owned by the state. The nationalization of GM was only a small incremental step; the government already controlled every aspect of every business in the country through literally hundreds of agencies, directorates, and departments. When the government doesn’t own production outright, but dictates its operation, that’s the definition of fascism.
- “Equal liability of all to labor.” This was a Marxist euphemism for forced labor. So far we’ve been safe from outright forced labor, except when it comes to the draft, business and tax reporting requirements, and subpoena laws.
- Forced distribution of the population. In the case of Kelo v. City of New London, the US Supreme Court established the government’s right to take perfectly good, safe property and give it to a commercial developer so the state could collect more taxes. This is totalitarian and tyrannical, pure and simple.
6. The national debt is 15 times worse than you think
The “official” US debt is currently $15 trillion, but that’s pure fiction. The real debt is over $202 trillion. The reason for this mind-blowing discrepancy is “labeling.” You might find this hard to believe, but “labeling” is simply when the CBO (Congretional Budget Office) looks at a debt in the balance sheet and pretends it’s not there. If it was counted, voters would freak out, so they call that liability an “unofficial” debt. Yes, it’s still a debt, it still is owed, it still is going to bankrupt us, but we don’t count it when figuring the “official” debt. I’m not making this up. Our rulers — and I guess most voters — live in an alternate universe. The US is in worse shape than Greece.
7. The average Roman paid 4000 times less in taxes than the average American
We actually have a national flat tax, in a sense. No matter your income bracket, when you account for all state, federal, and local taxes, everybody pays roughly the same percentage — around 40%. During the heydey of the Roman Empire’s power and influence, the average Roman paid about .01%, although assessments increased to as much as .03% during war time.
The next time someone tells you we can’t live without the government, show them this list. In fact, pass this around to help share the knowledge.
10 thoughts on “Seven Things About the Government that May Shock You”
Nice article Manny. I noticed the comment form is nice too. Which one are you using?
Thanks, Christy. This is the IntenseDebate plugin.
I’ll take the list one point at a time. #1 Government workers don’t pay income tax. So what? The government is an extension of it’s citizens, government employees included. As a citizen you pay taxes so the governement can provide a service you would otherwise have to provide yourself. National defence, law enforcement, regulatory inspection, education, fire protection, etc. The employees working for the government are providing that service for you and, therefore, by necessity, must be paid with the taxes you provided the governement. The more services or benefits citizens want the government to provide, the more taxes they must pay. This is not rocket science.
#2 It’s the government that creates monopolies. No, not really. The government may at times be complicit in the development of monopolies, or themselves be a monopoly, but they don’t create them. Companies are more than capable of using unfair practices or legal and financial resources to destroy their competition and take over a market. Once those companies control the resource, information, or technology it can be very difficult to compete against them. Bell, Standard Oil, Time Warner, etc. Continued in next comment…
Companies can without government become monopolies. When they do, should government (the people) force those companies to break up the monopoly? We can debate whether monopolies are good or bad, but don’t muddy the waters by laying the blame on government.
#4. Insider trading is perfectly legal – but only if you’re a congressman. TRUE! The recent 60 minute piece alleging insider trading has brought this loophole to the forefront. However, a bill, the STOCK ACT (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge), first proposed in 2006 by 2 Democrats is currently on the congressional backburner. Congress has been to busy affirming "In God We Trust" as our motto or defunding planned parenthood to get this law passed.
5. Nine of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto are the law of the land. WOW! This one may take a minute. 1. Abolition of private property in land. This one is tricky. As a matter of fact I would argue that yournotiion of ownership of private property in land is technically impossible. The very concept of land ownership is one that necessitates government and a belief that the government has the right to legitimize your claim of ownership of land. If you agree that soldiers sailing under the flag of a foreign nation can land on the shores of America, claim all the land for their government (Spain, England, France, etc.), then either grant or sell you that land despite already being occupied by native Americans, then you must also concede that that land technically doesn’t belong to you, but to the government that has allowed you to take posession of it and therefor, that government or another more powerful one can just as easily take it away.
The rest of #5 will just take to long to tackle in this format. I will just say this about all your points. Most of your comparisons to Communism are misleading. For any of your positions to hold any water you have to somehow explain to me how any individual gains these liberties you are so dearly trying to defend. You only have this illusion of ownership and liberty, an illusion created by a government that created the illusion. Do a mental experiment. Imagine an uninhabited island. One day 3 men land on that island. To whom does the island belong? Answer; none of them or all of them. Who gets to use the trees on the island? Who gets to use the fresh water? If one of the 3 men decides to leave to whom does it belong it now, what resources does he get to take?
#6 The national debt is 15 times worse than you think. Categorically false! No, the national debt stands around 15 trillion that we currently owe bond holders. This is money the government has borrowed by issuing treasuries to pay its annual deficits to date. The future unfunded liabilities that our government has obligated itself to pay (social security benefits, medicare, medicaid, veterans, pensions, interest on the debt, etc.) far exceed our current national debt, but is not to be mistaken for our national debt. These liabilities can either be funded with additional revenue (TAXES), or the they can be reduced by reducing the amount of the benefits, or you can spend less elsewhere (defense). You can also do all three at the same time.
7. The average Roman paid 4000 times less in taxes than the average American. False, and no idea what this point has to do with anything. Egypt (a Roman province) revolted in 139AD under Antoninus Pius because taxes imposed were so oppressive. The Romans also had slaves. They also paid for a good portion of the services they received directly. Additionally, they paid regional taxes. Legions were largely self funded through spoils of war. They had a small navy. Bribery paid for the rest. So yes, if you take all that out of the equation Roman citizens paid a modest tax to Rome, but local taxes and a prefect or governor could be another story.