State Property, by Robert Gore

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal wrung from the trauma of the 1930s a lasting legacy of economic and social reform, including the Social Security Act, new banking and financial laws, regulatory legislation, and new opportunities for organized labor. Taken together, these reforms gave a measure of security to millions of Americans who had never had much of it, and with it, a fresh sense of having a stake in their country.

From the dust jacket description of Freedom From Fear, The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945, David M. Kennedy, Oxford University Press, (1999)

When one man’s security becomes another man’s chain gang.

The above paragraph concisely sums up conclusions about the New Deal that can be found in thousands of textbooks, histories, and articles. You can guess that the tome (it’s 858 pages, SLL has not read it) reflects the reigning academic ideology, an impression furthered by its Pulitzer Prize. Pulitzers are awarded to fans of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New deal, not critics. If the latter stood a chance, Amity Shlae’s fine critical analysis, The Forgotten Man, A New History Of The Great Depression, might have received one.

Putting food on the table has a large place in human history. So too do governments. More often than not, they’ve worked at cross-purposes. Governments don’t produce, they take. Whatever they take means less food, and everything else, for those from whom they take it.

One man’s government-bestowed security is another’s government-bestowed insecurity. There weren’t enough plutocrats to fund the New Deal. It reached into the pockets of people who were only an economic rung or two above its beneficiaries. The money taken from a taxpayer might have meant deferred truck maintenance or no trip to the doctor for his sick daughter.

Someone always pays, either present taxpayers or, when the government borrows the money and doesn’t default, future ones. During the New Deal many Americans wouldn’t accept assistance from private charities, but would from the government. Voluntary charity was rejected but the proceeds of involuntary forced taking were not.

The “measure of security” created an insecurity among those who funded it that went far deeper than the knowledge that the government now had first claim on their income and wealth. Income and wealth are products of how one spends one’s time and effort, of how one lives one’s life.

Roosevelt reversed America’s fundamental premise, never fully realized, that one’s life is one’s own. It was never explicitly stated, but implicitly each American’s life became state property. That is the fundamental premise of socialism and the true price of that “measure of security.” Freedom from fear for some necessarily means fear of the government for many.

Where has the idea that we are each owned by the government, our lives to be disposed of as it pleases, taken us? President Eisenhower warned of the military-intelligence complex (MIC). What he didn’t foresee, or at least didn’t warn of, was the redistributive complex.

It’s true that Eisenhower’s complex, to which we’ll add the intelligence agencies, accounts for spending of around $1 trillion and runs a global empire. However, that’s only about one-fourth of the federal budget. The redistributive complex spends most of the other three-fourths. Also keep in mind that a substantial, but hard to quantify, portion of MIC spending is nothing more than redistribution to military and intelligence personnel and contractors that neither defends the US nor projects its power.

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the three largest programs in the federal budget and account for just under half of total spending. Perhaps because its trust funds are mislabeled, many people believe that Social Security is set up like a private pension fund (Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund) or a private insurance fund (Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund).

Nothing could be further from the truth. Private pension and insurance funds take in contributions and invest them. If their contributions and investment returns are sufficient, they can pay their obligations. The Social Security Trust Funds are strictly pay as you go: this year’s taxes fund this year’s payments. Taxes in excess of obligations go into general government funds in exchange for interest-bearing government IOUs. Without changes in existing law, payments are projected to exceed taxes in fiscal year 2020.

Taxpayers do not “earn” their Social Security benefits any more than they “earn” a refund towards the end of their life on their income taxes. Legally, Social Security taxes are indistinguishable from income taxes. They both fund the government, are not invested to earn a return, and are certainly not kept in trust for the benefit of the taxpayer.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Social Security benefits are a revocable promise from the government, not a contract like a pension or insurance policy. (Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603 (1960)). Contracts are a hallmark of freedom. Reciprocal obligations would put a crimp in the government’s ownership of your life. Slaves don’t get contracts.

Slave might be a distasteful term for some, so they may use serf. However, medieval serfs usually only had to turn over about a quarter of what they produced. Local, state, and the federal government income, property, sales, and inheritance taxes take far more than that from many of the nation’s most well-compensated and wealthiest taxpayers.

One can quibble over actual percentages, but that obscures the most important point: the government can take 100 percent if it wants. Presumably at that point most people would call it slavery. Even with first call on the nation’s income, the government is still over $20 trillion in debt.

Nothing says state property like putting people’s health and lives at the mercy of the government. Socialized medicine gives the government life or death power. The “single payer” calls the shots. Doctors and nurses become government functionaries, practicing “medicine” in accordance with bureaucratic decree. These procedures will be followed, these vaccines administered, these treatments allowed, and these drugs prescribed. These surgeries are “necessary” and will be performed when we can schedule one of our overworked surgeons. These surgeries are “elective,” go to the back of the line. These surgeries are “cosmetic,” you’re shit out of luck. And so on…

No surprise that socialized medicine is the Holy Grail for the redistributive sect or anyone bent on bankrupting the country (there’s quite a bit of overlap). Need justifies theft, the proceeds of which are redistributed to the government and its voter beneficiaries. The producers who complain, resist, or stop producing are greedy. The politicians and bureaucrats are altruists. The beneficiaries are blameless victims. When it all falls apart, nobody saw it coming.

Here’s an eleven-word summary of the thousand-plus pages of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: collectivism and the morality of coercive altruism are destroying the world. Rejecting that morality is the necessary first step for reversing the trend. Each individual’s life is his or her own property, not the state’s. Establishing that right means intellectual and physical battles that are quintessentially self-defensive: defending the inviolable right to one’s own soul, mind, body, and productive effort—a defense of self.

Don’t fight those battles and some day there might be another class of surgery: mandatory surgery. As you’re wheeled into the operating room, just before the anesthetic kicks in, you’re told that your vital organs are being harvested for transplantation. You’re getting on in years, there’s a shortage of transplantable organs, and yours will save the life of someone who can make a greater contribution to the collective good. If you bought into the collectivists’ morality, you have no right to complain or resist. Someone else needs your organs, after all, and it’s your duty to accept your fate.

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20 responses to “State Property, by Robert Gore

  1. Great article. But you missed a few points. One of important demonstrating how you are a mere slave according to the Left is the fact that you have no right to Social Security, according to various decisions of the SCOTUS.

    The government can end the program at any time, for any reason, and if you’re shafted-tough. Sounds like social warrior justice to me.

    Further social security yields less than 2% annually in returns. This is less than a treasury note or a US savings bond-both acknowledged to be among the worst investment possibilities that exist. A far better option would be to buy gold or silver, put it in a jar and bury it. This would give you ten-twenty times the return that the government offers. Even an investment in utility stocks would double in 7 years. Worse if you die your social security funds are lost to your estate unless you are married and have children.

    Certain occupations were exempt from Social Security-including the Congress for decades. If it was such a wonderful program why did the Congress do that?

    Further one third of the social security budget goes to those who never paid into social security-the SSI program.

    Yeah, your slaves and suckers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: State Property, by Robert Gore – Southern Nation News

  3. Great article, Mr. Gore. As usual.

    Like

    • Thank you. Call be Bob or Robert, Mr. Gore makes me feel older than I already am.

      Like

      • Done.
        The first time I was called “sir” by some twenty-something, I was surprised.
        Years later, such things only remind me that, as old as I feel, I’m actually even older than that.

        I had a longer comment all typed in, but deleted it. The gist of it was that, as good as your article is, there are so many Americans who put up a psychological wall as a defense against admitting the realities pointed out in your article.

        It’s a thing I’ve noticed for the last 10 or more years. There is no end to the mental contortions engaged in by most people in order to avoid acknowledging what are (no offense to your article) some pretty obvious truths.

        Do you ever notice the same? Does it make you as pessimistic as it does me? Am I too pessimistic about the hope of ever getting some significant portion of America to fully grok these things?

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        • Although I’ve gotten pretty good at focusing on my own stuff, there are times when you can’t help but notice what’s going on around you. I notice, get pessimistic, and then try to move on. “Some significant portion of America” will grok when they have no choice, when their world is falling apart. By then, of course, it will be too late. Consider yourself fortunate that you do grok now, because as you note, many don’t. There’s nothing we can do about that, just try to stay close to family and friends and be prepared for what’s coming.

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  4. “If you bought into the collectivists’ morality, you have no right to complain or resist. Someone else needs your organs, after all, and it’s your duty to accept your fate.”
    This is a very poignant extension to the civilian realm of the military “draft system” = someone(s) in power get to allocate and forfeit your life (and not theirs) for their cause.
    I was also wondering what the tax system would look like to pay of the $20 trillion deficit (and counting).
    Excellent, thought-provoking article.

    Like

  5. Here are a couple of books for the reading list:
    “Wall Street and FDR” by Antony Sutton
    “The FDR Myth” by John T. Flynn

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  6. Here’s a sample from “Wall Street and FDR”:

    “The difference between a corporate state monopoly and a socialist state monopoly is essentially only the identity of the group controlling the power structure… Rockefeller, Morgan, and their corporate friends aimed to acquire and control their monopoly and to maximize its profits through influence in the state political apparatus…a more subtle process than outright state ownership under socialism… We call this phenomenon of corporate legal monopoly…by the name of corporate socialism.”

    http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=WallStFDR

    Note that Rockefeller, Morgan and their allies are the ones who established the Federal Reserve System and founded the Council on Foreign Relations a decade later. Those are still the twin pillars of the temple. FDR, like every president since Wilson, was just a front man.

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  7. Pingback: State Property – Olduvai.ca

  8. Most Illegal Immigrant Families Collect Welfare – Judicial Watch
    Surprise, surprise; Census Bureau data reveals that most U.S. families headed by illegal immigrants use taxpayer-funded welfare programs on behalf of their American-born anchor babies.Even before the recession, immigrant households with children used welfare programs at consistently higher rates than natives, according to the extensive census data collected and analyzed by a nonpartisanWashington D.C. group dedicated to researching legal and illegal immigration in the U.S. The results, published this month in a lengthy report, are hardly surprising.
    Basically, the majority of households across the country benefitting from publicly-funded welfare programs are headed by immigrants, both legal and illegal. States where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare use rates are Arizona (62%), Texas, California and New York with 61% each and Pennsylvania(59%).The study focused on eight major welfare programs that cost the government $517 billion the year they were examined. They include
    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for the disabled, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), a nutritional program known as Women, Infants and Children (WIC), food stamps, free/reduced school lunch, public housing and health insurance for the poor (Medicaid).Food assistance and Medicaid are the programs most commonly used by illegal immigrants, mainly on behalf of their American-born children who get automatic citizenship.
    On the other hand, legal immigrant households take advantage of every available welfare program, according to the study, which attributes it to low education level and resulting low income.The highest rate of welfare recipients come from the Dominican Republic (82 %), Mexico and Guatemala (75%) and Ecuador (70%), according to the report, which says welfare use tends to be high for both new arrivals and established residents.
    https://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2011/04/most-illegal-immigrant-families-collect-welfare/

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  9. my comments being moderated/censored?

    Like

    • My program says there are no comments awaiting moderation. You’ve commented before so I don’t think your comments are held up. This one wasn’t. And I haven’t censored anything from you (I’ve only censored one or two things and some obvious spam since I got on WordPress.

      Like

  10. comments awaiting moderation

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  11. why cant i edit or reply??

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  12. ok…reply yes….edit no?

    Like

    • I believe that only the adminstrator can edit. I’m going to delete the second and third posts, which are a repeat of the first post and are incomplete. Sorry about the mistake and the confusion.

      Like

  13. Pingback: State Property « Financial Survival Network

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