Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Pete Morin News Service--editorial #17

The following article was published in The American Thinker on November 14, 2009

The Fruits of Labor

Sometime ago I went to a local mall to buy a phone. After making a purchase at one of the large electronic retailers, I went to the mall restroom and inadvertently left it behind. Ten minutes later I realized I no longer had the phone, so I rushed back only to find it gone. I checked in with the customer service counter at the mall to see if a Good Samaritan had turned it in. Unfortunately, no one had done so and I left my number in case anyone should turn it in. Needless to say, no call was forthcoming and the phone was never seen again.

When this person discovered the phone did they think that this was new found treasure? Did they not think that this belonged to someone who forgot to take it with them rather than something that could be considered as self- enrichment, and could be treated as a gift? That phone cost me about five hours of my productive labor. Of course, this notion never entered the mind of the individual making off with my phone. Notice I use the term ‘my phone’ since it certainly wasn’t his/hers and must be put in the proper context as nothing better than theft.

Why do I bring this up today? What relevance does this small act have to do with anything? Just this - we now have a government that considers it public policy to take from those who are productive and give to those whom they believe are less productive or unproductive. Although this is nothing new with respect to politics, it is more blatant than has been exhibited at any other time in our history. The House of Representatives has recently passed two very controversial pieces of legislation that will dramatically affect wealth redistribution in our nation. We have a President that believes that income redistribution should be the norm in our culture and this ‘redistribution’ will make a more equitable society. A person’s productive efforts mean little or nothing to those in high office. They don’t question the work that was performed that enables them to make this transfer. Apparently, economic justice reigns supreme over the productive efforts of a citizen to provide for himself and his family. When asked under what authority the Congress had to pass such legislation, the Speaker of the House could only respond with “Are you serious?” Yes, Madame Speaker, I am serious, very serious. What kind of government will confiscate someone’s property and give it to another under the guise of economic justice?

Those on the left will say that I’m without ‘compassion’ for those who are less fortunate; that it is my duty to help provide for those who have less. This makes sense only until we recognize that there is no end to the confiscation that can be perpetrated on one’s private property with this argument. The Constitution stated very specific enumerated powers granted to the Federal Government. To increase those powers it would be necessary to get the consent of the governed through an amendment process. The Legislature today circumvents these powers with impunity. Evidently, the idea that private property is no longer sacrosanct appeals to many on the far left. Understand that when government is through looting corporations and large and small businesses, then the common citizen will be next. The people who wrote our Constitution understood this. That’s why they placed limits on its power; in effect these were limits on its appetite to confiscate property. They knew that without limitations government would consume beyond its means, effectively destroying the freedom and liberty that are the peoples’ natural rights.

This brings us to recent healthcare and cap & trade initiatives. Make no mistake, these legislative acts are nothing but redistributive programs designed to hamper the sovereignty of the electorate in a free market system and enhance the power of the state. Eventually, not just we, but our posterity, will pay dearly for this runaway government. Let’s not dwell too long on our future prospects, but enjoy while we can the fruits of other peoples’ labor.

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