Frodo in a World of Boromirs (IV)

Image: Peter Xavier Price

To anyone who loves liberty as our Founders did the difference between the two major parties -- always slim -- has become invisible. Democrats and Republicans may disagree slightly on the structure and parameters of programs and how much money to pour into each. They no longer disagree on whether government should have its long fingers in everything.

It is no longer shameful to lust after power so long as one lusts for the good of the people. In the words of Boromir, speaking of the One Ring, "For you seem to think of its power only in the hands of the enemy: of its evil uses not of its good." The only rejoinder, in Frodo's words to Boromir, is that "we cannot use it, and what is done with it turns to evil." Yes, it's that simple. And as you ascend the levels of authority, from city to state to nation, it only becomes more true.

There are several reasons. One, already alluded to, is the corruption of power. No matter for what noble ends power may be sought, at some point it always becomes an end in itself, and then the jig is up… but the power and its abuses live on. This is why even the most flagrantly failed government programs are nearly impossible to kill.

The result is government programs that clumsily and ineptly ape the market, with none of its efficiencies and never coming close to achieving consumer satisfaction. A government program must be counted a success if it does not achieve the exact opposite of its stated goal.

Whatever it does achieve comes at a terrible cost. If you include all forms of taxation, government confiscates about 40 to 50 percent of our income every year. What we receive for this robbery in goods and services is a pretty poor trade by any measure. Our schools turn out ill-mannered ignoramuses by the millions, many of them not fit for anything but Congress. Our health care system is a shell game where Peter is robbed and Paul doesn't even get paid. Our social security system is a transparent Ponzi scheme that, if perpetrated by an individual, would earn him life in prison. The U.S. Treasury is the world's greatest counterfeiter, inflicting on us an invisible form of taxation called inflation.

(to be continued)

Kurt Luchs - First Things
Oct 27, 2008


Emmy said...

The struggle for power almost always corrupts :(

Kim said...

Yes yes yes.

Are you listening, Congress? Almost surely not. And if they are, they have stopped their ears. LISTEN UP A------S, STRONG MESSAGE TO FOLLOW!