Monday, February 28, 2011

List of Grievances in The Declaration of Independence

Some remarks by Rob Tracinski at The Intellectual Activist and TIA Daily from last year's Tea Party in Charlotsville.

...Let's take a look at the Declaration of Independence. I was at the July 4 Tea Party in Charlottesville last year, and one of the things that I really liked is that Joe Thomas

began the event simply by reading the Declaration of Independence, and when you read through it like that, you notice a lot of things that people don't tend to pay enough attention to. People tend to remember the philosophical part at the beginning, about individual rights and the consent of the governed, which was the theory behind the American Revolution. And I wish a lot more people would read that part and take it seriously. But we tend to skip the middle section, which is the list of grievances that the American colonists had against King George III and the British Parliament.

Unfortunately, that list is still relevant and timely today. For example, take this issue of taxes. One of our Founding Fathers' chief complaints against King George was that "He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance." Sound familiar?

As the old saying goes, taxation without representation is slavery—but taxation with representation isn't that great, either. And so we find that we don't need a swarm of officers to come all the way across the Atlantic to eat out our substance. We can summon our own army of domestic parasites.

That is the unique achievement of the current administration. Barack Obama has presided over an economic boom and a rising tide of prosperity—ifyou work for the government.

Recently the news came out that, for the first time in America's history, the number of government employees exceeded the number of employees in "goods producing industries." Now I want to point out that "goods producing industries" is a very broad category. It includes things like logging and mining and agriculture, and not just manufacturing. The number of government employees has already exceeded the number of employees in manufacturing, long ago. Does anyone know when that happened? According to my research, it happened back in 1990.

So the number of people who make things are now exceeded by the number of government bureaucrats whose job is to prevent things from being made. And some of these government jobs are pretty plush: another report revealed recently that while the rest of us were in a recession, the number of government jobs paying more than $100,000 per year increased by almost 50%. Government jobs paying more than $150,000 more thandoubled.

It used to be that if you worked for the government, there was a tradeoff: you got better benefits, but the pay was lower. Not any more. Another recent study concluded that government jobs pay much more on average than the private sector. And you also get job security. The federal government is hiring, but what about the state governments? They can't take on trillion dollar deficits because they can't print money like the federal government can. Yet on the state level, there has been no decrease in government jobs during downturn, while overall unemployment is 10%. So if you're in the private sector, there's a significant chance you lost your job in the last year. If you're in the government, you're safe. Oh yes, and when they shoved through the health care bill, the Democrats also sneaked in a federal takeover of student loans, which includes a provision that makes your student loans go away after ten years—again, if you work for the government.

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