Because people on their high horse who think that they're helping others when in fact they're hurting, stealing and wasting really piss me off. I wish I could ignore all this bullshit and carry on, but it kills me to know that lives are being brought into this world as serfs and few even realize that it's happening. After we understand it, then we can fix it.
The Nature of Waste
In Portland, if someone steals your bike, there's a good chance that you'll find it on sale through Craigslist shortly thereafter. And it'll be a bargain, no doubt, because whoever took it has spent only a few minutes to get it. It's a hot item and the thief is willing to let it go for cheap. After all, he didn't earn it so it doesn't matter to him.
Similarly, we've all heard stories of those lottery winners who rake in millions on one lucky ticket then quickly end up broke within a few fun months. They never had a spending problem before, but this new influx of unearned money changed things around. Suddenly they were rich and didn't give more than a few heart beats to get there. The money was wasted on bullshit they didn't need because it was essentially free.
And finally, I think a good many of us can relate to spend-happy spouses. Thankfully, I'm not in this group, but I've heard a lot of stories. The bread-winner brings home the bread and someone else goes on a shopping spree with it. My professor of finance in college loved to tell us that "90% of divorces are related to money" and I don't doubt it all that much. It's easy to spend money that you haven't earned and not unexpected that someone is going to get upset about it after a while.
In short, the quickest way to waste money is to let someone spend it who hasn't earned it. And since we are trading our limited time on this planet for money, to waste it is to literally throw away a fraction of someone's life. I call this partial murder a monicide.
The Forced Monopoly
Monopolies are the embodiment of waste. If a business can manage to make itself immune to competition by creating a monopoly, its product or service is going to become inefficient and wasteful because nobody is cutting in on their profits. However, if their product or service becomes too shoddy or too costly, then the business will either have to improve its ways go into extinction.
That's not really too scary because if there's a monopoly over some product that the people deem too costly or too wasteful, they will just stop buying it. What is really scary is a forced monopoly, waste incarnate, the marriage of government and monopoly, the ultimate in monicidal mania. These are the products or services that the government has decided to administer and have forced you to pay for. In this instance, you cannot decide that their product or service is not worth the money because there is no voluntary funding. It is forced funding. You will pay whether or not they deliver quality, and if you resist, the men with guns will come to your home.
Where a marriage of government and monopoly occurs, you should expect extreme monicide. You should expect inefficiencies, corruption, poor quality, high costs and some pissed off customers. So, for example, if the government establishes a monopoly over the roads, you should expect traffic jams and thousands of fatalities per month. If the government decides takes over the school system, it's no shocker that every year the graduates will be dumber and dumber. And if the government decides to implement a retirement service on behalf of the populace, don't be surprised when it takes in gold for forty years then pays out peanuts in the end.
No need to provide services at the barrel of a gun
If we weren't forced to pay for any of the above services, the money we saved would go to creative entrepreneurs and competing charities who are looking to deliver on those demands. And it's important to recognize them as demands, because general welfare is demanded by both those who need it and those who want to give it. According to the Annual Report on Philanthropy published by the AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy, Americans gave 306 billion dollars to charity in 2007. That number has to be significantly lower than what it could be be. If we weren't taxed and forced to pay for inefficient public welfare services, more people would feel that its their responsibility to voluntarily donate and they would now have more money to offer. Plenty of people are willing to help out without having to be forced.
Now let's take the example for roads. As it stands now, the government monopoly over federal highways results in unclean air, traffic jams, wars for oil and over 40,000 traffic-related fatalities each year. The ordinary citizen does not want any of these things to occur, but we're forced to give our time on this planet to make them a reality nevertheless.
If the government weren't involved in building roads, private roads and unforeseeable alternatives could join the transportation industry and freely compete. In this instance, the negative effects of roads would be either eliminated or greatly minimized because they're simply bad for business. No company can survive 40,000 deaths on their property every year -- they'd be in lawsuits up to their ears and would have to fail or make big changes. I'd imagine that a system would quickly be devised to make crashes nearly impossible, similar to how a circuit breaker simply does not allow damage to occur from an electrical overloads. It's hard to conceive because we have never thought outside of pavement and cars for daily transportation, but the demand of the people combined with the profit incentive and creativity of free enterprise would soon yield better means.
The standby slaves
In the past, when the government needed additional money to wage war, provide welfare or install a new bureaucracy, they would have to raise taxes. Borrowing has always been an option, but you can only borrow so much before the lender will cease to provide more money. When this happens, the US government turns to the Federal Reserve. As we learned from Oh Those Happy Slaves, the Fed does not have any money, it simply creates new money out of thin air and loans it to the government at interest. This dilutes the money supply, lowers the value of the dollar and makes the citizens undeserving slaves to the Federal Reserve thanks to their interest charges.
As an example, let's say that there is one trillion dollars in circulation around the world. Let's also say that you have a 401(k) with a balance of $200,000. In this example, the federal government decides it needs to wage war, start a new security agency and supply free medical benefits to the needy. This is enormously expensive, so instead of raising taxes, they decide to go to the Fed and print off one hundred billion dollars of new money to fund the operations. As a result, the total money supply increases by 10%.
In the immediate future after printing this new money, no noticeable changes to our daily lives will occur. However, after a year or two, the money will trickle down into the economy and everyone will realize that a dollar bill does not go as far as it used to (sound familiar?). The $200,000 you have in your 401(k) can now only purchase what used to be priced at $180,000. The purchasing power of your 401(k) has decreased by $20,000. But the wealth was not destroyed, it was only transferred. It was transferred from your retirement account to the government and they went and spent it on war and waste. You did not authorize them to take your money, but they did it anyway. They have in fact stolen it from you.
In this manner, everyone holding dollars is a standby slave. We don't have chains on our feet or whips at our back, but the moment our masters decide they want to harness our lives to accomplish their goals, all they have to do is print off new money. They simply make claim to your life and reallocate it at their will. They own us and we are their slaves.
Corruption an special interest
The Federal Reserve and the federal income tax amass huge amount of money into Washington DC. Since the congressmen and administration did not earn the money themselves, it is a rarity that anyone of them is wholeheartedly concerned with how efficiently it is spent. Present policy turns these people into the spend-happy spouses, lottery winners and bicycle thieves of our collective wealth. Sitting before them is a tremendous amount of cash which attracts corporations who all want a share of the stolen loot. This is where "special interests" come into the picture. Since the politicians have not spent their lives to get the money, it is easy for them to be bribed by lobbyists and pass legislation to direct the wealth towards specific industries.
You see, it's like the bicycle thief -- the decision makers are looking to unload their new wheels and don't really care how much they get in return. These people in DC aren't necessarily irresponsible, it's just the policy of using stolen wealth that creates this dilemma. If money was not forcefully confiscated from the citizens, there would be no stolen loot. And if there is no stolen loot to give away, then there would be no lobbyists and this country would be a lot less dysfunctional.
Monicidal mania and what it means
If you work a full year and pay about 30% of your wealth in federal income tax, you are working for the government for a total of three and a half months, or from January 1st to April 15th of every year. And that number is generously low because it does not include any other taxes and it does not include the inflationary tax caused by the Fed. So, every weekday you wake up starting from January 1st to April 15th you should say to yourself, "Let's go work for the government. I'm off to do my time." And off you go, day in and day out until tax day rolls around. After all, we've be taught that it's our civic duty to do so. During these three and a half months, you do not make any money for yourself. Not a dime. Not a penny. So what do you get?
What you get is waste. You get partially killed. You are the victim of the monicidal maniac we call America. Your free time on this planet has been effectively reduced by a certain percentage so that your owners can send your children to needlessly die, create agencies to peer into your home and be the underlying cause of corruption. The welfare and public services it provides are full of inefficiencies and waste which often serve to prevent responsible organizations from providing more effective services.
Take a look at the following video.
Click PLAY to watch video.
Amazing, isn't it? To put this in perspective, pretend that the cell phone company screwed up and accidentally sent you a bill for $100 more than they were supposed to. Do you shrug it off and pay the $100? No, you call them up and bitch at them until you get your money back. They'll comply, but if they don't, you just stop being a customer. However, when the pentagon loses $8,000 per US citizen, what can you do about it? Call your congressman and say, "Please, pretty please, stop wasting my life"? Ha, what a joke. Nope, sorry, you just lost $8,000 and there's nothing you can do about it -- and that's only what they've told you! Nevermind what isn't told, we'll simply never know.
However many heart beats it took you to pay $8,000 in taxes are now missing. They're gone. POOF! To their criminal buddies and into thin air! Your life and my life has just been wasted. And the most fucked up part about this is that we have learned to accept it. HA! We've learned to accept that the all-mighty government can strip years off our lives and we just go about pretending it will all end when the big nasty president retires from office. Give me a break. It isn't the demonized "Bush Administration" that everyone loves to scapegoat, it's that the system is fundamentally flawed. The system is forcefully monopolistic and steals from ordinary people to fund its operation. The few who care that it's wasteful are blocked by those who are wasting it. No matter who is in the whitehouse and no matter if there's an 'R' or a 'D' next to their name, the system will continue to be absurd until we empower people who really understand the nature of the beast.
Normally I don't give a damn for politics, but when I start to see how the well-intentioned philosophies of do-gooders end up truncating and enslaving everyone's lives, I have to make a big deal out of it.
Click PLAY to watch video
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