Double Standard: Government vs Fellow Citizen

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Something occurred to me recently regarding government and morality. It’s something I have tried to articulate to people in debate and conversation, and for some reason it is impossible for many to grasp. Part of the problem is that I’m an inarticulate f£ck. The other part of the problem is that many have been conditioned to believe that government is all knowing, benevolent, and worthy of our faith and confidence. What I’ve realized is this: we accept treatment from our government that we would never accept from our fellow citizen.

Wrong is wrong, period. Theft is theft and murder is murder. It does not matter who the perpetrator is. Somehow we have evolved into a people who feel these things are ok if it’s the government that commits them. We began as a country very skeptical of government, a country of citizens who would not stand for excessive government control, theft, or corruption. But we have allowed our blob of a government to insidiously grow, gradually controlling more and more, committing immoral acts, and we have simultaneously abandoned our founding principles. Some of us get plundered while others of us benefit. Those who benefit begin to prefer more government so they vote in politicians who in essence promise to forcefully take some people’s earnings and distribute them to his constituents… or they use the money to build an offensive military empire, or they give it to their buddies, or to industries they feel need the help. Again, this was a slow process, unnoticeable to most, but we wound up where we are today. And because it was so gradual we allowed it to happen. And it will continue to happen until we go the way of the Roman Empire. But I digress. The point is we allow our government to commit crimes against us… and many of us, most of us are completely ok with it.

The income tax is an example of this double standard. I’m not going to argue today whether the income tax helps or hinders our economy. For now I want to look at the morality of it. The income tax is theft, plain and simple. Contrary to what we are told it is not voluntary. Ask Wesley Snipes if it’s voluntary. If you do not allow the government to take a large portion of the money you earned, they will make your life hell. You may go to jail. This in itself is immoral. All we have to show for our labor is the wage we earn. And many of us spend a huge percentage of our lives working. It can be argued the income tax is like stealing away a large portion of your life. It can therefore be argued it at least a cousin of slavery. I submit that no one thinks its acceptable for a fellow citizen to take our money through the threat of force. We would never stand for 30% of our paycheck being confiscated by your neighbor or else! But somehow if our benevolent government does it, it’s ok. The other side argues that this seizure is warranted because goes towards the greater good. This ignores the fact that theft is a violation of the property rights of the taxpayer and assumes there is no other way to address the needs of the country. No matter the end, theft is immoral, whether it be from a hoodlum or from a government.

Another example of this double standard is the invasion of privacy the U.S. government perpetrates on us. As the details continue to come out we learn from Edward Snowden that the NSA tracks and stores cell phone data including calls, text messages and location. They track your web searches. They track your email. We recently learned they spy on us via Angry Birds!! What??!!?!! This is some serious Rocky IV (the part that takes place in Russia) sh#t!!! Yet we accept it. This is a clear violation of our privacy, of our constitutional rights. What happened to search warrants??? Again, I won’t go into the ramifications or the outcomes of these policies in this piece but again simply want to suggest we would not accept this behavior from our fellow citizen.

There are so many examples of these contradictions when we talk about what we as Americans will tolerate. Crazy laws and prohibitions (see Mayor Bloomberg), sending our troops to die in unnecessary wars, conscription, price fixing, and generally screwing up everything it spends our money on are some obvious ones. So a little advise for the hundreds of thousands of you out there who frequent this blog… It can be so difficult to win a debate or argument with your lefty or neocon pals when you talk about outcomes. Cause and effect can be difficult to decipher much less argue. On the other hand it’s hard to for someone to argue the morality of say theft.


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