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Welfare Slavery

The median household in Oakland, California, grosses $52,000 annually, pays roughly $18,000 in income, FICA, fuel, sales and property taxes, for a net take-home of $34,000. 

After the monthly mortgage payment, private mortgage insurance and home insurance, totaling no less than $30,000 per annum, that median household is then left with roughly $300 per month, while the median renter is alternatively left with nearly $900, to cover every other imaginable cost of living, from food and utilities to transportation, clothing and insurance. 

This is precisely why so many Bay-Area residents take advantage of food stamps, why a household grossing $52,000 per year is considered "low income." 

If not for the $18,000 tax liability, that median household could certainly afford to pay for its own food and much more; it could save, invest and plan for retirement, but instead the median household joins the ranks of welfare recipients who, incidentally, politically justify the programs and the administrations that render their insufferable tax burdens so hefty in the first place, which effectively price them out of their independence and self-sufficiency for the benefit of political agendas rife with corruption and abuse by others who have no interest in working or assuming responsibility for themselves. 

This is also why so many Bay-Area residents have declined to work in order to instead default to a state of dependency upon taxpayer largesse, which appears to obviate the need to wake up early, navigate through heavy traffic, deal with colleagues and clients, and perform on the job; which tends to pay better than the median salary anyhow and produces a welcome windfall of surplus time while reducing to zero the cost of leisure. 

In a world of rational actors, it only makes sense that so many men and women would exploit such a system, especially in an environment where the opportunity cost is so uninvitingly slim. 

If only we were to terminate those programs which produce that moral hazard and we were to return those funds to their rightful owners, we could recapture the principles of self-sovereignty and independence which inherently motivate gainful employment, maximize productivity and the pie of production, promote personal responsibility, and empower men and women to achieve fulfillment while extirpating ineffectual behaviors and practices that have indirectly increased the cost of living through the intransigent apparatus that has wielded their plight for their own myopic advantage at the unspeakable cost of untold resources and sums of money; that have, in pursuit of expedience, squandered unquantifiable measures of freedom; that have amounted to the most inconspicuous sacrifice of personal fulfillment, which is attainable exclusively through one's own efforts and self-application, in which capacity government can only render them subservient as slaves to some other end that fails to serve those who accomplished it. 

What’s more, this welfare slavery, a form of fractional slavery whereby abstract numerical shares are siphoned from the product of labor, produces the illusion of a system far more civilized and sensible. 

In reality, of course, these make only for better optics, as the factors are definitionally indistinguishable from the kind of slavery that readily comes to mind for the modern reader. 

Whereas the memory of chattel slavery evokes images of brutality and bondage, the present counterpart is adorned with relatively greater measures of autonomy, whereby loyal servants own some of their own property and tangible commodities and physical produce have been replaced by abstract taxes and fees exacted upon every law-abiding citizen through complex systems masquerading as something other than force, coercion, theft or slavery. 

Even where the modern servant purportedly owns his property, in the case of assets such as real estate, vehicles or securities, he pays fees and taxes on each in order to enjoy them. 

Even insofar as one has accrued monetary wealth, he faces the invisible taxes of inflation, debasement and seigniorage. 

And even where welfare slavery serves the business interests of select industries or enterprises, those costs are paid both directly through subsidies and indirectly through protectionist policies resulting in higher prices paid by the unsuspecting slaves. 

And where the servant has discovered creative methods for shielding his wealth from all of those threats, he faces the real risk, portended by the historical record, of an ambivalent political apparatus that, through executive order, judicial activism, martial law or ad-hoc policymaking, stands always prepared to subvert the rule of law to confiscate property and curtail liberty for the perceived political advantages that can be plentiful enough to justify the vile plunder in the minds of those who stand to benefit. 

On the political front, welfare slavery also serves to diminish skills among the beneficiaries and their offspring, engendering as a side effect more desperate support for the programs and the power of government. 

And where this enveloping institution leaves cracks in the economy by crowding out healthy investment, there too the politician will capitalize by excoriating the free market and capitalism for the dreaded shortfall. 

What’s more, in the end, the cunning political system will have conned its slaves into doing their bidding for them; into working for the immigrants, or imported voters, who embrace their policies; into arguing with each other instead of exposing the great con. 

Welfare slavery will predictably result in a great measure of desperation across a great number of the population, and its pernicious influence will likely continue to be tolerated insofar as it continues to go unnoticed by the many who rationalize it away, who can otherwise imagine a great deal worse. 

Of course, the incremental nature of this institution will surely prevent it from ever being widely appreciated for what it is: slavery incarnate. 

And those aforementioned images from traditional slavery serve to distract from this truth by relegating the speakers of truth to the rank of privileged whiners, while the politicians seek to justify their plunder with prose more strongly resembling poetry, theater or flat-out fiction.

Let us not allow the sophistry to obscure that truth and the very real threat it poses to liberty here and elsewhere.


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