Contributed by Ed
I saw Jeff’s article Election 2014 Through a Kaleidoscope which included a quote about Republicans from New York Congressman Charlie Rangel: “…Some of them believe that slavery isn’t over and that they won the Civil War.” What Charlie Rangel said resonates because it has a grain of truth, but not the way Charlie implied. Let’s look at what makes slavery evil.
1. Someone else owns the fruit of your labor.
The IRS lays prior claim to the fruits of your labor. Just look at your paycheck. The IRS takes Income tax, Social Security tax and Medicare tax and then we get the rest. The highest marginal income tax rate ever seen in the U.S. has been 94% in 1944. Today the top marginal rate is 39.6%. Once you reach that magic income the federal government lets you keep 60.4% of the fruits of your labor, and then your state and local governments start grabbing more. The control over what your share is belongs to the government, not us. At what point are we free individuals and at what point are we slaves to the collective?
2. Someone else owns your body.
Forced sterilization can only happen with the sanction of government codified into law. This happens in states where the elites in government have decided for you that you are making too many children for the good of the state. This can only happen if the state’s right to control of your body overrides your claim to control of your body, as with a 1924 Virginia state law and many others at that time. Isn’t that what ownership is all about? Forced sterilization can only happen through the power of the state. That is an increase in the size of government.
3. Someone else owns your children.
This is why freedom and responsibility have to be joined at the hip. When you make children the responsibility of the community they are not yours. They belong to the community, with community being another way of saying the collective. No, Melissa Harris-Perry. My child is my responsibility.
4. Someone else owns the responsibility for your welfare.
When someone else is responsible for your welfare, your welfare concerns him or her only to the degree that it benefits him or her. The love that drives this concern at the family level does not exist at the collective level. When the state makes people dependent on the state, the state claims responsibility for them and, in effect, owns them.
5. Someone else controls your life, deciding if you can marry.
Anti miscegenation laws happened under democratic controlled legislatures, such as in Canada in 1913. It also happened under Nazi control. (The Nazis were socialists.) Here in the U.S. removal of the anti-miscegenation laws took power away from the state and therefore shrunk government.
6. Someone else controls where you are allowed to go.
This happened under Nazi control and it happened at the Berlin Wall under Communist control. It can happen here if the state is allowed to grow out of control.
7. Someone else controls what you should know.
This is the nature of slavery. Slavery sanctions unwarranted control of individuals. Does it really matter whether the slave master is an individual or the government? Government is too big when it provides the legal framework for slavery and its attendant evil to exist. Government gets bigger by instituting different methods of enslaving its citizens. Here is the ultimate irony: Charlie Rangel is bitter and vitriolic about the fact that he is a descendant of black slaves, and he is in favor of bigger and bigger government, which can only get bigger by having the collective enslave the individual.
Big government is not our savior. If we do not hold it in check, it will be how our children and their children will be enslaved.