Rich People and Politicians: Who’s Stronger?

In an articale entitled “Rich People Versus Politicians”, Walter E. Williams lays out what rich people can and can not do to us. On the flip side, in the same article, he clarifies what government (even the lowest level civil servant) can and can not do to us.

There is a lot of talk of the “evil rich” and a whole lot of wealth envy that takes place among America’s citzenry. Some believe the wealthy should be taxed more “for Lord knows they can afford it”, that they should help some of us little people out. As a sidenote, whenever you talk about the evil rich you usually hear names like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, ya know, evil capitalist pigs. How come you never hear names like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen? Oh that’s right! They’re planted firmly in the left-wing’s hip pocket. Nevermind.

But as I was saying: many Americans act as though the rich should be punished for their wealth even though those who have wealth either worked REALLY hard for it (in which case they deserve the fruits of their labor) or they were born into it (in which case it is no more their fault than it is for someone born poor—it is simply the way the cookie crumbled). However blaming the rich or being envious of them takes the spotlight off of the real creeps, namely influential government whose members have great coercive power. Bill Gates can not confiscate my property for the sake of building a mall for “the greater good” but Uncle Sam can. Warren Buffet can not take away an unfettered amount of my wages for “the greater good” but ol’ Sammy can.

Williams discusses the coveted Ways and Means committee in the House. It is coveted because those guys (particularly the chairman, Charles Rangel) are wined and dined into oblivion by lobbyists from big and small corporations and and labor unions and foreign firms looking for a favor in the form of tax loopholes or other legal niceties that can give them a break. And they do so regardless of how it affects us or regardless of how they overstep their delegated powers per the Constitution.

Here’s the catch: we allowed the government to take on that power, you and me. But we also have the collective capability to remove that power. We haven’t done so because it is difficult and it is easier to simply go with the flow. But I personally write my senators and my representative several times a year. I want them to know me by name and I will write and write until they begin to listen to me. Unfortunately since there are probably not many people doing the same they likely think I’m simply a radical nut.

I am not radical revolutionist. I do not want anarchy. I love the rule of law. I simply believe that our U.S. Constitution set up the best possible form of government and I want to see it obeyed and its original intent observed. And while the govenrment is busy doing ONLY what it is empowered to do then it can leave me alone. That’s what I want. We have turned our government into a Miss America pageant. It is a popularity contest. Consider the 17th amendment which put the election of Senators in the hands of voters. Before the 17th amendment state legislatures chose the two senators for their respective states. This meant that the people were represented by Representatives in the House and states were represented by Senators in the Senate. It was a great balance of power and every interest could be heard and any new law would be beneficial to the states and the people. But the 17th amendment kicked states’ voices to the curb. It was another step in demolishing the rights and individual sovereignty of the states and has made them subject to the federal government instead of the other way around (thank you very much, Abe Lincoln).

Josh H.

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