THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 509, March 8, 2009
"A bust has become a panic and is
well on its way to becoming a rout."
Distribute widely and attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
I was having one of those forum discussions, when federal farm programs came up. I pointed out that most farmers and ranchers are welfare queens. Well, this didn't sit very well with one rancher who started flaming me. I had to laugh though, because if he thought I was just a nut or an idiot he would have just blown the whole thing off and ignored me. But he "doth protest too much", as Shakespeare put it, which meant he knew it was true and didn't like to hear the truth. The truth hurt.
At one point he said he only got a few hundred dollars, and I said he sold his self respect pretty cheaply. Then it went off into the usual thing, him saying I'm a welfare queen too, getting water and sewer services from the city, driving the roads, etc. Of course I pay for the water and sewer services, so while it is socialism, it is not welfare. Roads too are largely (though not completely) paid for via the gas tax, which is a user fee. But he wanted to make me look just like him, sucking on the teat of the state. Well, I'm not like him.
Obviously, you shouldn't live in a cave. But you can do a few things to retain your self respect, to avoid being a leech. Here's my list. The general principle is, as much as is possible, take nothing from the state, and give nothing to the state.
1) Home-school or private school. Marshall Fritz used to call government schooling the "mother of all entitlement programs". It is indeed. It is so ubiquitous and long-standing that people hardly recognize it as welfare. I remember for a long time not even realizing that teachers were government employees! Sounds stupid, huh?
Anyway, if you are to retain your self respect, you must avoid government schools. Of course there are vast numbers of other reasons to do so. Government schools are a form of child abuse, if you ask me. Anyway, avoiding government schools might sound hard, but it really is not. I once asked the moms on a 1000-member home-schooling list this question: "For all of you who have experience with both home-schooling and the government schools, which is easier? I don't mean more rewarding, or better for your kids, or anything like that. I just mean plain old easier." Got 10 or 15 responses, all of which said home-schooling was actually easier, except for one mom who said for one of her kids, it was a wash.
2) Carry a gun. When you provide your own security service, not only are you providing more effective security, but you are no longer getting security from the state (at least, not intentionally), a form of welfare. In fact after a while you look at cops not as your friend, but as the annoyances they usually are. Tax collectors, at best.
3) Avoid government libraries. I used to spend a lot of time in a "public" library, but no more. There are better ways to get information or books for reading pleasure. Government libraries are welfare, and fonts of propaganda besides.
4) Socialist Security. Sorry, you can't take this, if you want to have self respect. What, you sent piles of money to them through your working life? Sure you did, just like everybody did. But the government did not put it in a savings account for you, or invest it in the stock market, or stuff it in a mattress. It's been spent, pissed away on crap just like every other tax dollar you sent to them. It's gone! The only way you get money from SS, is from your children and other peoples' children sending in their money to support you. And they will never get a dime out of SS. So sorry, no SS for you. (Some have pointed out that the more people who accept SS checks, the faster it will come crashing down. This is true, but you still have to look at yourself in the mirror every morning.)
This of course is a tough one, if you've planned your retirement around getting that government subsidy. The answer is the same thing people did in the old days before SS. They continued to make themselves useful to other people, so other people would support them in return. It also helps to know when its time to make your exit.
Oh, and no Medicare for you either. Keep your own body in shape; it's your job, not somebody else's.
5) It goes almost without saying, that you can't be a government employee and retain your self respect. That's why so many government employees are nasty people, I think.
6) Don't accept government checks for any other reason. I had a problem with this one when the first "stimulus" checks came out. I reasoned that the only way government had to send those dollars out, was by devaluing the dollars already in my pocket, because government cannot create wealth out of thin air. So it was my money being sent to me, more or less. I was going to buy ammo with it, but still, it didn't feel right. Government solved my dilemma by not sending a check to me (not everyone got them). I still don't know the answer to this one.
Now, has my life become intolerable by sticking to these rules? Am I living in a cave? No. I still drive the roads. I'm still "protected and served" by the copslook, I just got a citation a couple weeks ago. The way I figure it, when government usurps some function such that there is no alternative left, then use the government functionjust refrain from being grateful they are providing it. If there is still some alternative left, use that instead. The actual inconvenience is really pretty small (except for that Socialist Security thing), and having self respect is a pretty darn good thing. A real picker-upper.
It takes a while to understand these things. Almost everybody starts out sucking that government teat to some extent; hard not to in this society. But as you get older, you start to realize you really are a welfare queen. If you are honest and decent, you will change your ways, rather than finding some rationalization to continue doing it.