Not Deep Enough

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My shoulder aches – because my pockets have been picked. The pain is chronic because of the pain inflicted by the government, which it inflicts – so it says – to ameliorate suffering.

To “help” people.

It must say so because to say what it’s really doing – helping itself, to power, by reducing us all to a state of penury and dependence – would be . . . unwise.

But what am I babbling about?

It’s the same problem almost all of us whose pockets aren’t deep enough to leave money enough to help ourselves after the government has helped itself to our resources have.

I tore something in my shoulder – probably my rotator cuff. I don’t know, exactly – because I can’t afford to get an MRI, which costs about $1,000 if you aren’t “covered” by health insurance, which I am not.

I am not “covered” because insurance has been made unaffordable by the government – which “helps” by forcing the generally healthy with only occasional and remediable problems to offset the cost of “coverage” of the chronically sick. The result is more chronically sick – my shoulder issue, for instance.

And, more need of  “help.”

But it is a manufactured need. I could afford to help myself – to pay for an MRI out of my own pocket – were it not for the fact that my pockets are empty. Not because I haven’t earned the necessary money – or because I spent it on some other thing – but because the government helped itself to my money.

Leaving me without enough money.

Every one of us who works – who isn’t earning enough to “help” the government help itself to power at our expense and leave enough left over to help ourselves – is in the same predicament.

Which is why almost everyone thinks they need the “help” of the government.

The $1,000 it would cost to get an MRI was spent – unwillingly – on my most recent rent installment, the money  I am forced to pay to be permitted to live in the house I paid for in full more than 15 years ago. I am forced to pay rent in perpetuity on my home – in order to “help” finance the education of other people’s children in government schools.

My shoulder comes second.

The good news, I suppose, is that in a few years these kids will be forced to “help” me – by paying taxes, including Social Security taxes – which are not “contributions,” by the way. This will make it harder for them to help themselves; to be able to afford a place of their own, for instance.

Of course, they don’t see it – and will demand “help” in their turn – with tuition, medical bills and rent.

The fact that I don’t want and did not ask for their “help” – and would very much like to relieve the burden on them to “help” me once they are adults – does not relieve me of the burden of “helping” them now.

Which leaves me as unable to afford to to help myself as they will soon be themselves.

The MRI – plus the probably necessary arthroscopic surgery – likely entails a bill of about $8,000 or so. This is a large sum of money to have to pay out of pocket but it is a sum I could have easily afforded to pay . . . had I not been forced to “help” so much by the government.

In the 15 years I have “owned” my house – in air quotes to emphasize the abuse of language – I have “helped” to the tune of $30,000 in “rent” – styled property taxes, per the Communist Manifesto – on the house I paid for all those years ago. If I still had that money – even if I had simply put it under the mattress – I could easily afford to get my shoulder fixed.

And I could afford to help a friend or family member – without helping the government to more power.

What could you afford if you weren’t forced to “help” by the government?

The secret the government doesn’t want to get out is that all of us would be much better off helping ourselves – and our friends and families – were it not for the burden of “helping” the government.

Most of us have to earn twice as much as we need to pay our bills because half of what we earn goes to “help” the government. We can’t stop earning because the government never stops helping itself to what we earn. Even when we aren’t earning anything. The government’s hand is still in our pocket – helping itself to “property taxes,” as well as taxes on income we previously earned – which is taxed again if we dare to access it to help ourselves (e.g., the taxes applied to 401k withdrawals, “capital gains,” dividends, etc).

It never ends.

Which is why my shoulder aches.

. . .

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  1. “Isn’t it preferable to base human interactions on free consent rather than coercion?”

    The short answer for a thinking person would be yes. For the masses they would say, “I consented to let the government take your assets and give them to me.”

    Consent was obtained by being born here. It is our birthright to be coerced into giving our consent. You can’t opt out of participating unless you obtain permission. None of it can be called freedom. But, to your original point of perpetual rent by way of property taxes, I wish I only had to pay $1000/year. I get extorted for over $7000/year and now that I’m retired, that’s becoming increasingly burdensome. As we’ve seen in the news recently, they won’t seize your property and sell it for just what you owe and give you the rest (equity), they take it all, and that’s theft.

  2. Don’t you have to pay a penalty tax if you don’t enroll in one of the health insurance exchanges or was that Obamacare provision eliminated?

    The government is relying on you to practice marginal utility pricing. It says, “Eric, if you quit being a dumb working stiff, here’s what you’ll get.” If it’s less than what you’ll get by working and paying the government’s tithe, they figure you’ll keep working as your net will be a dollar greater. It’s also called mafia pricing.

    • Hi Imbroglio,

      The Orange Man repealed the penalty – the “shared responsibility payment” – for not buying “coverage.” This is why I will vote for the Orange Man come November. Had she won, I’d be several thousand dollars poorer.

    • Even before Orange Man….there was no way to enforce “the penalty”- unless you were owed a tax refund, from which they could deduct it.

      While I applaud OM for repealing the penalty, (at least he actually did something)- that was really just a surprise- as the deal was supposed to be that he’d repeal Obozocare…completely- and he could have…but instead he “made a deal”- not the kind he’d talk about when he was campaigning; just like he caved on illegal invaders and everything he promised.

      Vote for someone who promised the opposite of what Hilary promised….but get Hilary’s promises anyway. And meanwhile, the individual mandate has been struck down by the courts now…so either way, it would be gone. So Trump was essentially able to do one thing to differentiate himself from the other assclowns, which really cost him nothing.

      • I did my inlaws taxes last year. They did not get money back and most certainly had to pay the “penalty” for not having insurance. Also, some part of the individual mandate was found to be unconstitutional, not all, so thankfully Trump’s actions allowed the abomination that was Obamacare to die. It was heartbreaking telling my in-laws they were penalized for not having insurance. They paid almost $1500 they wouldn’t have had to pay otherwise, and in their world, that was a big deal. I think it ended up on a credit card so it could continue to haunt them for the next few years until they paid it (plus the exorbitant interest) off.

        • If they hadn’t paid it, not being owed a refund, there was no mechanism in place for the IRS to ever collect it. Unlike “owed taxes” it was never classified as an owed debt- i.e. they couldn’t lien their property; issue penalties/late fees, make collection attempts; etc.

          It’s the same “you must” as “you must answer all of the census/American Community Survey questions”- and they try and scare you into compliance- in the case of the Census, with boilerplate from a law which was repealed c. 1976- but which they still tack-on to Census forms/the website…….

          But yeah….I’ll give Trump credit for actually throwing us one little scrap. But then again, which of them hasn’t? They all have to throw us a few bones to make it look like they are doing something, other than sucking Israel’s dong and destroying our liberties and invading foreign countries. Heck, even disgusting Slick Willy- Mr. Hillary himself- cut welfare spending (much more so than any modern Republican, including Trump). How’s that for irony?

          Just goes to show ya, they ALL do the same thing…’s just a matter of what you want to emphasize. If Dumbocrat were in right now and doing as much as Trump has done to destroy the Second Amendment, the media would be cheering, and conservatives would be rioting…but since Trump is perceived as an anti-democrat….the media keeps quiet about his war on the 2A, and conservatives continue to support him. Ditto the Israel-sucking, NAFTA 2.0, the exponential increase of militarization, the still-undefended borders, etc. etc.

  3. Eric –
    I sure hope you have adequate medical insurance on your auto policy in case of an auto accident.
    If not, you are facing almost certain financial ruin in case of even a minor traffic accident.

    Please note that if you are transported unconscious to a “hospital,” the emergency medical personnel will give your “consent,” by proxy, to do whatever the hell they want, at your expense.
    In my case, that included five (5) CAT scans @ $10,000 each, though I had no visible injuries, and no complaints, as documented in the notes of the attending physician.
    The bill for less than 18 hours in the hospital*, and NO surgery, came to just over $100,000 back in 2014.
    State Farm paid my policy limit of $100,000, which left a small balance (a few thousand) for me to pay.

    *Riverside (CA) Criminal (excuse me, “Community”) Hospital, which is part of Hospital Criminals (excuse me, “Corporation” ) of America. They own their own U.S. Senator, and can therefore screw whomever the hell they choose

    • I mean you were unconscious, so I’d say that was a pretty “visible injury”. Clearly the cost was exorbitant, but playing devil’s advocate, I’m not sure what else they could have done in that situation. If you were left untreated, they would have likely been sued for malpractice.

  4. I live Fairfax County. About half of my property taxes go to fund the schools. The other half pays for services such as fire, police, courts, library, public works, and parks. I called 911 once and county employees arrived at my door in minutes. I once called a county agency when my sewer backed up. Within an hour county employees arrived to look for a street level blockage. I regularly read books at the library. I ride my bike in county parks. The taxes here are high, but they are not a total waste for me. Sorry that you get no value from the taxes you pay.

    • RVS, I pay taxes too- but I use none of those things- but nonetheless I am FORCED to pay. And you think that this is preferable to the free market, where people pay for things they want and voluntarily choose to use, and where instead of only having one option as to who provides the product or service, would have a choice of multiple providers?

      You freaking statists are amazing! That you support tyranny when it aligns with what you find acceptable or convenient, without giving a damn that others are forced to support what you deem propitious when it is not what they want, pretty much tells us the whole story of what you and others like you are about.

      • You misunderstand my point. There are two issues. First, does the county provide services that benefit the residents. Second, does each resident consent to pay for the services. My point is that Eric’s property taxes pay for more than schools. It is almost certain that he benefits from fire, police, courts, and public works. Hence the $30k he paid in taxes was not a total waste. I made no comment on issue two so I am not a ‘freaking statist.’

        • RVS, I understood your points. I think you misunderstand ours.

          First off: Whether we get value from what we are forced to pay, is irrelevant. If I forced you to pay $1000 a year for taxi service which you do not need nor want, and one day your car breaks down and you take advantage of that taxi service to get to work, because you’ve been paying for it anyway- am I then justified for having forced you to pay the $1000 a year, just because at some point you may have gotten some tiny value from my extortionist scheme? (But meanwhile, had my scheme not been forcibly imposed on you, you could have simply hired a private taxi for $20 or asked a friend or neighbor, etc. to perform the service which I’ve been forcing you to pay for all of these years).

          Secondly, most of us here do not advocate nor consent to police, courts, public works, etc. It is our observation that not only do those things not benefit us, but they hinder and or harm us- and such is becoming readily apparent now especially in VA. as those tax-funded entities are being used to deprive the state’s residents of their most basic civil rights.

          The $30K paid in taxes was more than a total waste, as both it’s collection and use was an infringement of our most basic rights of private property, self-ownership, individual choice, etc.

          Justifying theft, the threat of violence and confiscation of property, just because the victim may see some benefit from the use of the stolen funds, is really nothing more than justifying theft….and even worse, the mechanisms of tyranny which are used to facilitate it and even make it seem legit in the eyes of most of it’s victims.

          So yes, the state provides services- services which it forces us to purchase whether we want them or not; whether we use them or not; and which are provided at a higher cost and lower quality than what could be had on the free market if a free market were allowed to exist. A state-run monopoly; classic extortion.

          And no, most of the residents have NOT consented to pay said extortion; they are simply forced to, directly, if they own property, or indirectly if they rent.

          Why is my right to own property dependent upon me paying to support state-run monopolies of police, wannabe police(firemen), charities (welfare), parks, office buildings(where they keep track of what they take from us), smooth-paved roads, buses and trains (which must be subsidized because no one would use them if they had to actually pay the full price of their own ride), etc. etc.?

          My right to own land, a home, a vehicle, furniture, tools, etc. is somehow dependent upon my ability/willingness to pay for services which I may never use nor want, from a non-competitive monopoly, at greatly inflated cost, and to provide the same for others?

          Yet, if I own nothing, I am somehow deemed a worthy recipient of said things and much more, provided by others, merely because they have the “audacity” to own something- even though their owning of property costs no one else anything?

          Please explain how THAT can be! THAT is the world we presently live in, and which, if I am not mistaken, you seem to be making apologies for.

        • Hi RVS,

          You write:

          “First, does the county provide services that benefit the residents.”

          Certainly. But…which residents? I do not benefit from these “services.” Does the fact that others do benefit entitle them to force me to fund them?

          This seems orally despicable to me. After all, if they can decide that certain “services” they desire entitles them to force me to hand over money to finance them – even if I explicitly do not want and do not use these “services – then I have just as much right to force them to hand over money for “services” I desire… with the result being a system of reciprocal thievery in which no one’s property is ever secure and every man must regard every other man not as a neighbor or fellow human being but another potential threat to his liberty and security.

          I believe in voluntary free exchange. You pay for the goods and services you consider worth your money and I will do the same and neither of us will attempt to force the other to pay for goods and services we would otherwise not willingly pay for.


          “Second, does each resident consent to pay for the services.”

          Obviously not. In fact, none do – in terms of a legitimate, freely-consented to contract for the services. I consent to pay my phone bill; I am free to not consent. Who is free to not consent to the “services” you describe – in terms of being forced to provide funds for them?


          ” It is almost certain that he benefits from fire, police, courts, and public works.”

          I consider these “services” of no benefit to me, did not ask for them – and do not use them. Yet I am forced to pay for them. Is this legitimate?


          Your statement begs the question: If these “services” do benefit me, why must I be forced to pay for them? It is not necessary to force me to pay my phone bill…

          • Eric, not only do we not want these services, nor do we benefit from them except on rare occasion, but they now charge you $300 – $500 dollars if you need an ambulance ride to the hospital.

            • Bill In ILL.

              They only charge us for a ride in the amberlamps if we’re those “rich” people what can affords to pay them fancy-pants taxes! Iffin we beez on the dole, then the ride be free, thanks to them greedy rich folks! (But if you be a greedy rich folk, you gets to pay fo’ my ride, and yo’ own!)

              Luckily, I be so ignurnt, I can’t see no contra-ma-diction wit dat….and the folks what teach me readin’, writhing, and how to be a victim at that fancy school you people pays to send me to, don’t seem to sees no problem wit it eether!

  5. In just about everything, the vast majority pays for the minority to live high on the hog. Insurance, taxes, investing, gambling, employment, business, etc… This is how governments, societies, civilizations and cultures die off. The few become overly greedy and ultra-powerful and prey off the many, who eventually run out of money, or become so angry as to revolt. The stage is being set for America to follow every other insane government into the record books of history as an eventually failed entity. We never believe it is possible while the propagandists pretend all is well. We are well past the tipping point as the slow, meandering erosion is picking up steam. Are we truly gaining more freedom, individualism and integrity? Truth is only a whisper in the wasteland of government.

      • Pretty much EVERY civil servant on Long Island retires with at least a $150K a year pension. Then they leave that stinkhole, and make the prices go up in the locales they move to- and turn them into the same hell-holes. “Oooo! regular people carry ing guns are scary! Let’s vote for politicians who will take them away! Let them learn to live with bars on their windows like we did for most of our lives!”.

        LI is gonna crash soon! It’s losing more people than it can even replace with third-world savages. The working class people who are left, who are willing and able to pay the absurd taxes to stay there despite the non-existent quality of life and 5 laters of government, are totally dependent upon Wall St. and a few other NYC industries for their sustenance- and as those industries continue to dry up thanks to NY’s hostility towards Capitalism, there will be no one left to pay for the absurd unionized civil-service salaries and pensions.

        The politicians have milked LI dry… the point where once it crashes, it will never be able to recover. It will be the next Detroit. This is a microcosm for the rest of the country….just on a different time schedule.

        -former Lawn Guylander.

  6. Sorry to hear about your injury, Eric. It may or may not be similar to mine; in case it is, here are a few thoughts based on my experience.

    . I figured out that my typing posture was aggravating my shoulder. I spend a lot of time every day at the keyboard, so I had to work on that.

    . Not everything I did that irritated my shoulder could be felt right away. I had to make correlations between pain experienced later and activities earlier.

    . I have insurance but didn’t get an MRI. My primary doc sent me to physical therapy, where they prescribed exercises using stretchy bands. I did those for several months and they seemed to help. The idea, of course, is to strengthen the shoulder while not further injuring it.

    . Injuries to soft tissue take a long time to heal. Months. But they do heal, if they’re not being re-injured.

    Good luck!

    • Great advice on using the bands. Gentle exercise will provide blood flow to naturally heal the injury.

      Add acupuncture and systemic enzymes and you will enjoy far better health than the MRI + surgery combo.

      Western medicine is like a Tesla automobile. I would pay NOT to have it.

  7. While I believe Gov. is not as efficient as it should be, and yes, Gov. power is wielded too easily against the little guy… I don’t understand the “Gov. is the root of all evil” stance so many take.
    Since when was Gov. supposed to be the “best” at anything (other than defense)? We pay Gov. workers less than private sector workers and scrutinize (publish) their pay. Some decent people work in Gov. but perhaps not the ones who could go make a better living in the private sector. Yet we demand “our” Gov. work with total efficiency and best practices. With the limited budgets and scrutiny, it just ain’t gonna happen.
    While I am no fan of Big Gov., we can hardly pay for public works if nobody wants to …pay for public works.
    Take my home state of Michigan and terrible roads… they aren’t gonna pave themselves… I certainly don’t want to pay .$0.48 cents per gallon to fix them, I don’t want to bend my 7th rim in 5 years… so what to do? Is there a balance we can find? Pursuing more efficiency is good but even is you squeezed out 100% efficiency, you couldn’t pay for the infrastructure needs – its gonna need someone to pay something. Urban sprawl and residents demanding to have their cake and eat it too (freedom to live where they want but want the infrastructure there too)… how can it be done? The Gov. is who we elect, they are imperfect people with an odd combination of mandates… promise us you will fix all our woes so we will elect you, when you get in office you must work with limited funds in a less than ideal organization run by sorta capable people…but if you don’t deliver on your promises, you are corrupt. It is a totally imperfect system – but it is the system. If you have chosen to not play in the system, and don’t health coverage you need, isn’t that a choice (knowing the system is the way it is). I guess I’m open to Libretarian ideas, but sometimes wonder how they can actually be practical sometimes. Maybe my perspective is not fully formed, but I guess I am still stuck in the mentality that Gov. can be oppressive and dangerous if not checked, but also it is a system we have created to accomplish a task. It is inefficient and while I push for it to be otherwise, realize it is going to be and look for reasonable ways to nudge it toward improvement. Not a popular opinion but I don’t see Gov. as an evil entity but more as a force to be used and contained to accomplish a task. Do I think Hut Hut Hutting has gone too far…for sure. Do I think Gov. can be corrupt (like is what is going on in DC now)..yes. But how to come to grips with Gov. is not always “bad” because, like it or not, it is what the populous makes of it (or at least accepts from it).

    • Hi JT,

      You raise an interesting but unspoken question, which is – simply – who gets to decide which “needs” justify forcing people to finance them? All the things you’ve mentioned are, essentially your value judgments. What if others differ? Does anyone have the right to force another person to “contribute” to what they consider to be the “common good”?

      Perhaps you see the problem with this…

      If it is admitted as legitimate to force a man to pay for X because another man or other men believe that X is a good thing (even if the man being forced disagrees, wants nothing to do with it) then there is no principled way to object to further mulctings, back-and-forth – creating the hyena system we have, in which people who can acquire a hold on the levers of power can legally force others to subsidize what they want – and are in turn forced to subsidize what others want.

      Isn’t it preferable to base human interactions on free consent rather than coercion?

      • Exactly, Eric!

        How is it that someone’s “need” becomes MY obligation? Or why should my “need” be someone else’s obligation? If we asll have to provide for our own needs, directly or by paying others, then a voluntary free-market economy is the only way to guarantee that no one is forced to subsidize others (unless they voluntarily choose to), and that the products and services we need or desire are provided at the best possible cost and efficiency- because heaven know, that it is never how it is with government running the show!

        The very idea of government is a great evil, because once people accept the idea that a “special” group of other men have authority over their property; fruit of their labor; and other endeavors, all who accept that idea become slaves and or the perpetuators of slavery, in that they will cooperate with that government so as to help it force it’s dictates on everyone.

        And the absurdity of it all! The assault uponm liberty and common sense that government creates! Just think, we live in a world where it is a “CRIME” to work and provide for yourself and your fambly, and keep the entire proceeds of your labor or dealings…..but yet, one can do nothing but make babies, and YOUR money will be redistributed to them, and they will be given free food and shelter and medical care….. And sad to say, the majority in our society seem to see nothing wrong with that! How can that even be? That it is a “crime” to keep what is your own, but not a crime when you are robbed to provide for others? This is the evil of government incarnate!

      • There is no point in responding to JT. The koolaid has been drunk. Anyone who bothers to seek any truth at all shortly realizes that the only thing governments are really good at is killing people. To suggest that voters have any impact on what sort of government they have is naive. Every thing government does is based on the threat of violence. How much tax revenue would it collect without it.

        • Hi JWK,

          Probably so – but someone else reading the back-and-forth may stop to consider what people are taught never to consider – i.e., whether what you or I or anyone else thinks is “desirable” entitles us to force others to fund it.

      • I share most of your sentiments. But I’ve found the people that say they want none of it, inevitably end up with a problem so big they can’t fix it, and their issue becomes mine. Using health insurance as an example, I support your right to not have health insurance. But if you keel over and have a heart attack, chances are you’re not going to say “Well, I screwed up by not getting health insurance, I’m just going to die”. When people inevitably face their own mortality, they understandably want to do everything in their power to stave off their own death. And end-of-life medical care can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. For those that don’t have insurance, those of us who do will end up paying when those costs are passed on to us by the uninsured.

        I’m all for letting people make their own choices as long as they accept the full responsibility of those choices when they later realize their choice will result in their death. The only way to solve the “freeloader” problem in a society is to allow people to die in the streets, starve in their golden years, and disallow them from using public services when they’ve decided to opt out. Since that will never happen, we’re left with the current, extremely flawed system.

        • jman,
          You wrote, “I’m all for letting people make their own choices as long as they accept the full responsibility of those choices when they later realize their choice will result in their death.”
          How many people in this country live sedentary lifestyles? Sitting around on their asses all day in front of the TV eating bags of Doritos’s and slamming two liter bottles of diet coke? Should an insurance company (should we) be forever forced to pay for a patient’s treatment that refuses to change their lifestyle? after doctors telling them over and over to do so? Have sex and have a baby, you made that choice, but does everyone “accept full responsibility”? NO! We are forced at gunpoint to pay for their irresponsibility. I can go on and on if you like.
          The government needs to get out of the healthcare business, it doesn’t work. Insurance is not healthcare. The ACA is not about healthcare nor affordable. Remember “if you like your plan, you can keep it”? I would be more than happy to buy a catastrophic type plan with a high deductible, but I can’t, because I have to buy substance abuse coverage for the sedentary.
          You wrote, “The only way to solve the “freeloader” problem in a society is to allow people to die in the streets”. You mean like back in the days before insurance and government intervention? when there were dead bodies laying in the streets all over American cites? Ohhh, got it, I remember that.

          One of the leading causes of death.

      • In an ideal world, we would all be able to choose every interaction we wish to and avoid those we do not (with the tax man). But unless we are building our own personal roads, raising our own personal armies, etc.. how is that possible? The minute I drive out of my driveway, I am using a shared resource. Most have agreed at some point to fund shared resources and set rules for their use. Now, truth be told, I don’t feel I need some of the shared resources others have chosen (or perhaps I don’t even agree with them on moral grounds … i.e. public money to planned parenthood etc). But, what is a workable alternative? As JMAN says, how does one even begin to track who has decided to opt out and deprive them of services. If a society allowed a few to opt out, everyone would and you wouldn’t have roads, defense, etc. So I totally understand the idea of having choice, I just don’t see how it works in every instance. Like it or not, I can’t afford to NOT used some of the shared resources – some think it a devil’s bargain but I’m not going off the grid hermit style (I guess I like my smoothly paved roads too much). We certainly need to have protections for individual rights and perhaps those protections are under attack.
        In a society (like it or not), you can’t just opt out – it just wouldn’t work. How practical is it to rail against “the system” and all you ever do is rail? It is imperfect, it is flawed, it needs improvement … but acting like you are not part of a society when you are is just not facing reality.

        • ***”But unless we are building our own personal roads, raising our own personal armies, etc.. how is that possible? The minute I drive out of my driveway, I am using a shared resource. Most have agreed at some point to fund shared resources and set rules for their use. “*****

          I never agreed. I had it thrust upon me. I’d rather ride a horse, bicycle, or walk….but such is usually not practical nor safe, because high-speed smooth-paved roads were thrust upon us- thus, not only am I prevented from pursuing the courses of action I would choose, but i am forced to PAY for them!

          Not only has my property been appropriated for such use (a road- my property line technically extends to the centerline of the road in front of my place- yet 10′ of paved ground, and another 8′ of ROW alongside of it in reality belongs to me in name only- but is the county’s to do with as they choose- times 1200′- that’s 21,600 square feet of ground that I supposedly own and pay taxes on…but which is not mine.

          Where are all of the people who agreed to this? I’ve met very few- and of those who claim to have, there agreement was in spirit only- never formal- and even if it had been formal, why should that affect me?

          Before the government got into the road business- which means basically most of the history of the world except for a few brief periods here and there, and the last 100 years or so- people who lived along and used roads and paths and trails used to maintain them. in more crowded places, like cities, many roasds offering a smooth, direct route to someplace were owned by private concerns who purchased the land and maintained the land with THEIR OWN funds, and charged a fee for traversing them.

          The fact that some people want to drive low-slung cushy-riding vehicles which require hard, smooth roads, is not my concern. I am perfectly happy to drive on dirt, gravel, mud, sand…what have you. Yet, I am required to pay for your roads- even though they are not necessary to accommodate the vehicles I drive; I am required to have a driver’s license to use these roads; to register my vehicles, to insure them…..

          I seem to have missed the part where i agreed to all of this- or where the agreement of anyone else was deemed to override my wishes.

          There need not be an ideal world; there never was, and never will be. But just a world where people have enough respect for the value of others to let them pursue their own ideas of life, liberty and property, without using violence to coerce them to furnish things that others want, and to recognize that every man has dominion over what is his own- for if every man does not have dominion over what his own, how could anyone else possibly lay claim to it, if the claim of the very owner of it is not sufficient to do so?

          What you say, JT, is much like the proverbial “social contract”- it is just a way of justifying injustices which many have come to accept as “the norm” because the ends of such injustices just happen to align with their own interests- much like the rhetoric which was used to justify actual slavery 200 years ago.

        • JT- there is a line there somewhere. It’s not really too hard to define and it’s been around for thousands of years. There are shared resources- but that doesn’t mean that the sky is the limit on spending and that you can make whatever the hell rule you want. I paid part of the damned road- I own and have a right to use it.
          Do unto others as you would have them do unto you- I’m not going to stick my gun in somebody’s face and demand they wear a seat belt, a helmet, or crotchless panties because that’s what I think they should wear. I have no interest in drugs, but why am I being robbed to pay bands of thugs to entrap and cage drug users and sellers?
          Government should only exist to do things which the private sector won’t. But there are almost none of those. Garbage removal? Private enterprise will do it and figure out a way to turn some profit on the refuse material absent government interference. Roads? Same thing- why do we have intersections suitable for horse/buggy/pedestrian traffic and crosswalks when we should have roundabouts, cloverleafs, and tunnels/skyways? Because government is involved- prices increase tenfold and there is no check on poor quality. Schools- same.
          The only social contract is that the individual has rights and the government has to obey the rules set for it. If we get back to that humanity has a bright future. Until we do all we have to look forward to is slavery, struggle, poverty, and misery.

      • Reminds me of a former friend of mine- a member of the John Birch Society, in a conversation about government run amok, but then wanting to justify Socialist Security and Medicare:

        “…of course, WE have to care for the elderly though”.

        Me: “Well I take care of mine; but if by “we” you mean that we have to pay tax on pain of imprisonment and forfeiture of property to the government until we stop working to take care of everyone once they reach an age set by the government, then I would disagree.”

        • Hi Nunz!

          In re: “…of course, WE have to care for the elderly though.”

          What they miss – astoundingly – is that most of these elderly could have taken care of themselves had they not had half of their income (and all the income lost, on account of that) taken from them by the government over the course of their working lives.

          • Hey Eric!

            Of course, their answer to that is: “Well, even if they had had more of their money to keep, many would not have saved for retirement”.

            So how is that OUR fault, and why should WE be penalized for their choices/irresponsibility? -Bad enough “we” have to pay to indoctrinate the 5 kids they spawned….who can’t manage to care for their parent(s)…or in many cases even themselves or their kids!

            Well, I guess we’re seeing what happens when irresponsibility and unp[roductiveness are rewarded and responsibility and productiveness are penalized. We are seeing it…but for some reason they can’t.

          • Hi Eric!
            I’ll second that. I’m fortunate to have a decent pension and savings, which will hopefully last to the end of my days, but the pension amount is never going to rise and the Fed is crushing my savings with the diddlelysquat interest it earns. Meanwhile the rent/property taxes I pay to stay in my paid-for house are on an escalator ever upward as our reward for being responsible. Sometimes I feel like just chucking everything, using the proceeds to buy some really good booze, and live in a van down by the river or anywhere else I can’t be found by Uncle.

            • Amen, Mike!

              Much as I love my place here in the Woods, it costs me more than I like to be allowed to live here. What I would like being zero – in terms of money I am forced to pay to be allowed to live here… which is thousands every year. This annoys me, since I paid for the place in full 15 years ago.

              Or so I thought…

              • You have it cheap with regards to the annual “rent”. The only places I know that are cheaper is in the ghetto and then only if you bought the place decades ago.

                • Forget about the ghetto, Brent- if ya have a livable house in Detroit, ya’d be paying more than twice as much as Eric pays.

                  Here’s something I never see mentioned too: The majority of rentals in Detroit are subsidized Section 8. So…..the rents are kept artificially high (Forget about working a minimum-wage job and getting a cheap pad in the hood!)…so your tax money is given to a landlord, who in-turn hhas to pay crazy property taxes that he’d never be able to afford to pay if he had to rent the place for what a place in the slums would actually fetch if we had a free market….so really, the tax money taken from us, ultimately largely ends up back in another auspice of government.

                  And some deadbeat slob professional baby-maker gets free digs…while a working person in that locale would not be able to afford to pay rent, since the rents are kept artificially high through the subsidy; which in-turn enables the property taxes to be kept artificially high…so even if a bro “owns” his own home, he has to pay more to the city to live in it, than what it would cost to rent a house if the prices weren’t inflated by the subsidies.

                  And that, in a place where if you dare to avail yourself of one of those “services” your taxes supposedly pay for, by calling the fire dept. they likely won’t show up for an hour, if they show up at all.

                  Organized crime could learn a lot from government!

                  • Hi Nunz!

                    Proportionately, the “rent” I’m paying here in SW Virginia is about the same as in Northern Virginia – in terms of the supposed value of the house/land. It’s more “affordable” in terms of what I’m forced to pay. But us gimps down here are still paying a lot. And the grabby-handed SOBs just raised what we “owe” by 8.25 percent.

                    Amazing, isn’t it? A financial obligation that can be increased at whim by people I’ve never even met for obligations I never consented to, services I don’t use.

                    And they ask me why I drink…

                    • VA.: The new California.

                      It IS disgusting!

                      The very idea that they can tax you…for “owning” something…..and then say that it is the “value” of what you own that they are taxing you on!

                      Even if they had a legitimate right to tax one’s property, how is it someone living in a dilapidated shack pays a fraction of the guy who lives in a model of the exact same structure, but who has it covered in gold and keeps it in tip-top shape?

                      My sister used to live around the corner from these people who had 15 kids (all their own) and lived in a crappy 4 bedroom house (This was in NY, ironically). Their house was the crappiest in the area…and their taxes were low. Meanwhile, the couple in the nice but smaller house nextdoor and only had 2 kids, paid much higher taxes… did most others in the neighborhood….so they get to subsidize the indoctrination of the 15 kids….

                      It’s all BS, just to fool the clueless into believing that we are somehow “free” and not communists…while in fact the redistribution of wealth here is probably worse than in any communist country, ’cause we have so many different taxes…

                  • Nunz, in the poorer parts of cook county illinois many properties have fallen off the tax rolls. The reasons are a combination of
                    1) low property value.
                    2) long time owners.
                    3) senior citizen owners.

                    Freezes, exemptions, and so on all add up to driving property tax to zero.

                    I know of neighborhoods that aren’t “that bad” yet where the taxes for long time owners are few hundreds of dollars a year. Each time the government passes some new measure to help the old and poor more properties fall of the tax rolls and every one else’s taxes go up.

                    Now of course if new owners could get those rates the neighborhoods would revitalize themselves. The properties would be desirable. But new owners get slammed with a high tax to value rate. Because the new owners don’t qualify for an assement freeze from 30 years ago and so on. It’s all done through special carve outs.

                    • Heh, yeah, Brent. My 90 year-old Uncle’s summer house on Long Island- which he built himself c. 1959 is “only” taxed $5K a year, being he’s old and the original owner (Most houses around it of the same value are paying well over $10K)…..I guess that’s the NY version of what you describe.

                      Soon as someone buys that house, the taxes will be over $10K.

                      Saw this vid where this guy bought a $3K house- think it was in Memphis…. He was planning on fixing it up and living in it. Soon as he started, they came around and started giving him tickets….”need permits for this; permits for that”; “Can’t do this, can’t do that”; “Has to be done by a licensed professional” “Pay fees, submit plans”etc. etc.

                      What he thought he could do for about $30K himself, would end up costing him probably $150K “their way”- for a house in a crime-ridden slum, that probably wouldn’t be worth $30K if it were brand new, and I can’t even imagine what insurance would cost- and all that, and if he had done it, his property taxes would have been at least $3.5K…. So he just walked away from it.

                      Shame. It was a nice old house. Now it’ll just sit empty again, until one of the homies burns it, like all the others.

                      Then they bitch about their being “not enough housing” and have to use your tax money to build goivernment-owned subsidized apartments in ugly square boxes….or row-houses for homies on tax-funded entitlement programs, who couldn’t manage to keep their former digs in habitable shape…which is why the city got to be the way it is in the first place…but build ’em new houses at taxpayer expense, and things will somehow be different, even though it’sd the exact same people who ruined the place already….

                      Notice the pattern in everything these days: Punish the respoinsible and productive; reward the irresponsible and unproductive.

                      Give those who destroy, new free things. Tax the hell out of those who maintain and rehabilitate!

                      Atlas Shrugged is palaying out before our eyes.

                    • Yeah government’s permits and plans and so on means once a house needs major outside work it’s pretty much done for unless someone with very deep pockets wants it.

                      If an area gets too poor and people don’t keep stuff up then coming out of the hole is just impossible financially.

                      Inside work the governments can’t do anything about if the owner does it himself. So if buying a fixerupper house make sure what it needs is mostly inside work.

                      Major outside work and you’ll have to deal with government.

                    • Morning, Brent!

                      A couple of weeks ago, the “assessor” came onto my land to decide how much I will “owe” next year. It took all my willpower to resist kicking this bastard parasite in the keester, all the way off my land. But I am required to let this parasite walk around and decide what my place is worth – so as to decide how much more I “owe” them.

                      And people accept this as reasonable. But how is it different from the Corleones sending Luca Brasi to make me an offer I can’t refuse?

                    • Oh, most places now have it figgered out so even inside stuff gets the prying eye of Uncle- Once the power is cut, or the water, or the building is off the ytax rolls, they require that you have inspections to get a “certificate of occupancy”- which you have to have to get the power turned on; etc.

                      Funny how they control everything- us, the banks (C/O required for a mortgage, or cash closing, etc.); utilities….. you get it from both sides.

                      NY, CA, MA got this stuff figured out years ago…then it spread to just about every city, suburb and small town.

                      I’ve heard from immigrants, that from an efficiency standpoint, it just works better under communism/socialism, where they just have onbe entity overseeing overseeing everything- which is the ultimate goal of all this BS- gradualism- to the point where people who are willing to live in such places end up just “demanding” that the government control everything for expediency.

                      Oh, these bastards have it figured it out!

                    • Ha! I did kick the ASSessor off my property- told him he ain’t doing nothing withoiut a search warrant. He said he’d do it from the street- I said that’s fine- knock yourself out. I ended up getting the minimum assessed value possible- what I had paid for the land. No personal property tax on my stuff, as they can’t see through the walls from the street!

                      Of course…this course of action wouldn’t fly in many places…..and I didn’t know if it would here….but that is where I drew my line- and they’ve never crossed it since.

                    • I don’t think the assessor’s office ever visits properties in the cook county except maybe wrt appeals. But if you hire the correct (read connected or owned by the government office holders) law firms not even then.

                    • Eric, like I mentioned to Nunz I don’t think the assessors do in person property visits in my area. Never heard of anyone getting a visit. Then again some neighborhoods would be too dangerous for them to go snooping around.

                      These days I think they use google maps.

                    • Brent, that’s one of the reasons they require “permits” for everything- No need for an assessor to go out, where he could be refused entry…..when all the details are sent right to their desks, and the sheep who are being sheared even pay for the “privilege.

                      Google?! Hell, they don’t update those images often enough for the overlords; On Long Island, the towns use freaking HELICOPTERS! Fly around every six months or so taking pics…”.hmmmm…new pool there? No permits? No change inm assessed value? Let’s get ’em!”.

                      Ya’d think the idjits who pay $14K a year in property taxers would be infuriated to see their money being used in this way…..but nope. Just shows ya what people are willing to accept these days.

          • Always more people to take care of. And the government will do it for us, for a fee. The elderly, the poor, the children, the immigrants, the minorities, the women, the….. whatever. Always more people to take care of.

            I have an idea. Cut the military and take care of them. Oh but no that’s not allowable. So many of us just have to work harder and keep less. Because that’s only “fair”.

            I can’t wait for a UBI extensive enough to pay for all living expenses so people can follow their passions paid for by taxing the wealthy. I am going to quit working and take it.

            Of course there will be reasons why I don’t “qualify” or there will be shaming. How dare I not work to take care of everyone else.

            • Screw their “shaming”- if that’s what “the people” want, then we may as well take ours too- hell, we’ve been “giving”[Like you “give” to a mugger] for WAAAAY too loing.

              Trouble is, when they enact UBI, unless they enact strict price controls…the cost of everything will just go way up, and there will be no difference than when people didn’t have it; and if they do enact strict price controls, there will be extensive shortages and rationing…..

              But hey, the believers say it’ll work here!

              • Hiya Nunz!

                The last redoubt may be the largely self-sufficient homestead. I have been giving lots of thought to this – in part because I’ve been seeing a woman who is very into this idea. But also because it seems sensible and probably … the last redoubt. Become independent (largely) of the food system by growing/raising your own. Well water; off-grid power. The grabby bastards will still demand your “fair share” in the form of taxes on your place, but if a total crash comes, that may go away – along with the system (and being able to by necessaries like food).

                You’re probably right, though, about the really smart move being to leave this joint entirely while one still can.

                • Hey ya Eric!

                  Heh, that was my basic plan when I moved here (and to be continued abroad)- the self-sufficient homestead. I never fully pursued it though, just because with the low cost of living here, it is so easy to live “normally”- ‘specially with me being somewhat of a minimalist….

                  But it is a good plan, ’cause the more self-sufficient we are while here, the more free we are- the less money we need; the less we have to have contact with “their system”, etc. and the more control we have over our own lives- like the quality of what we eat and such.

                  Thing is, here, we can’t even really rely on that keeping us free or being sustainable. Government is not going away, no matter what happens. That property taxes may just skyrocket, even to the point of being confiscatory, is a very real possibility- it has happened in many locales already- and that, or implementation of laws that would effectively outlaw homesteading; or eminent domain scenarios (especially in “an emergency”) are all very real- and even MORE likely as things deteriorate, and the various levels of government become more desperate.

                  I mean, just look how fast things have deteriorated there in VA.- It’s turning into CA. overnight- and it’s going to get worse, as are the other states- and we’re not even talking ‘crash’ or civil unrest or anything yet.

                  Empires just don’t die in a day- look how long it took for Rome. And as long as the same people are still around, the same BS is still going to exist….even more so- ’cause if the time comes where “we” stop spending most of “our” resources and efforts on other countries…..imagine how much more ‘we’ will do right here!

                  I really should be getting back into the self-sufficiency thing, even for the short-term, but I feel that that is something I’m better off waiting until I’m in a more secure place to practice- ’cause it’s more of a long-term investment of time and effort, and if I got into it again now (I was doing it to some extent when I had first moved here) it might well end-up being an impediment to leaving.

                  Cool thing is, for one or two people, you can do a lot…without doing a lot! Best garden I ever had, ironically, was in NY. four square of dirt, each 4′ x 4′. I got more food out of that tiny intensive garden than anything else- and it took virtually no work or time. Something like that; a few chickens; etc. you can achieve a good deal of self-sufficiency, easily.

                  When ya start getting into the big things though, like electricity and wells….that stuff can run into some money and be of dubious durability. I’ve considered a well- ’cause I’m screwed come the day the county water stops- but considering the cost, and with no guarantees of quality, etc. I’ll take my chances and hope I make it out before the water stops.

                  Electricity I wouldn’t even try. I’ve seen a lot of people doing it….they spend a lot of money…it works O-K for a while….it gets old fast. In short, it looks nice for a while…but it cost them a lot, and they always have to put more money into it. Just doesn’t seem worth it to me- counter-productive. Better to learn to do without- learn and use the old technologies…pretty much the only way to really stay self-sufficient. Use the grid in the meantime, while we are able and it is cheap.

                  Only guys I’ve ever seen doing the off-grid electricity thing in a real way, are on Youtube- and seem to have either a large stash of money behind them, or a wife who works at a high-paying job in the city… Have you seen these guys, who claim to be homesteading? They have a $50K late-model tractor; fully-equipped shop; new vehicles….a machine for everything- etc. and they claim to be “homesteading”. Not quite my idea of homesteading…even if I somehow had the money for all of that crap.

              • UBI fits the company town model. It fits the feudal model. It fits numerous models of top down managed collectivism. The only thing missing from UBI is the work requirement. And will end up that way in the long run. But if UBI started today I could probably reach old age before the work requirements began. It would take decades for that to happen in any significance.

                I am sure the lack of a work requirement is the sales pitch. To get people to go for it. It can happen much more easily than a libertarian utopia because it’s a mechanism to managed and engineered human society.

                • They’ve already got us boxed into a corner. You either accept a miserable corporate/government slave job or become homeless. Once they raise the minimum wage, it’s game over for most small businesses.

            • Morning, Brent!

              Yeah. I love my place; I worked hard to earn it. I have put a lot of myself into it (almost all of the improvements have been done by myself) and I cherish having a refuge from the world. But it is wearying having to generate twice as much income as I need to live reasonably on because half of my income must go to “help” them. I sometimes think, per Vonu, that the thing to do is divest myself of everything – so that grabby bastards have nothing to grab. Buy a conversion van and go mobile. Convert the rest into fungible things.

              And fade away into the background.

              • The only reason I generate an income is taxes. Living expenses are trivial compared to taxes. Everything is trivial compared to taxes.

                I don’t think a tax-the-wealthy UBI would raise prices. I think the number of people like me is vastly under estimated. The problem with UBI will be getting skilled, experienced people to work. Well the ones who are debt free anyway. I think the number of people who drop out of the work force will mitigate any bidding up of prices.

                Inflation seems entirely a mechanism of the federal reserve. I don’t see people going ‘who cares about the price I got UBI’ for the things needed to live. Maybe housing might get modestly bid up. But people are so cheap about buying the lowest priced thing I don’t see companies being able to raise prices for goods.

                The only problem is if UBI doesn’t come from taxing the wealthy but instead comes out of new currency units. Or replacing what the wealthy pay in taxes with new currency units for them. That will raise prices.

                • UBI would definitely raise prices, Brent.

                  Just think: When SLick Willy made it so that banks had to give mortgages to people who couldn’t afford to pay them….what happened?

                  Just imagine if it’s “free money” instead of just “easy credit”! People have x more money; demand increases. That’s bad enough even if supply stays steady, but since supply will dwindle, both from their being more demand, and because there will be no incentive to work- it’ll be much worse.

                  Just with the percentage of people currently on entitlements, we have to import a constant stream of millions of unskilled laborers per year, ’cause no one wants to work at menial jobs anymore (hence the open borders that no one will close)….and just look at how things get worse every time they whip out QE.

                  Can’t just print up money…. Money is ultimately just a unit of stored value- including the value of labor. UBI “money” which does not represent any value or labor, but just magically entitles it’s bearers to the goods and labor of others, creates an inequality, since it is an exchange of something which has no value for something that is valuable….essentially the UBI would become worthless, as prices would just reflect the previous cost of things plus the added “paper amount” of the UBI income.

                  I think it’s a plan just to get everyone into a new currency system and government program/database (which would be universal), since anyone who would opt-out would effectively be subsidizing the system out of their own pocket due to the increased costs vs. no increase in their income to counter those UBI-induced costs.

                  Another fiendish evil-genius system, like Social Security, which entraps everyone, but makes us all poorer and more controlled, despite the never-ending promises of “prosperity for doing nothing”.

                  • My guess is UBI will require relinquishing all your agency, wealth and freedom.

                    If you have stuff like a house, you will not qualify, unless you forfeit it to the collective. Only those with nothing will get the freebies and only if they live where they are told, consume what they are given and don’t rock the boat.

                    The school system indoctrinated teens of today who will probably see this in their mid-late 20s won’t care as long as there is WiFi and a Starbucks close to their dormroom/cell/pod.

                    Infantilization, pharmaceutical happiness, bread and circuses. Pretty sure I read that book in high school.

                    • Not at first. It probably won’t be that way at first. The advertised version has no wealth testing. But it will quickly become apparent that people who have saved and are frugal can use it to get out of working on the human farm. Now it will take a long time to close that hole. Maybe 20 years or so I figure.

                      The no wealth testing is necessary to get people to buy into it. It’s just a question of how long it takes to impose wealth testing once UBI is established.

                    • Hi Handler,

                      I agree in re UBI. The flaw is it will result in people like us shrugging – saying, To Hell with it – and no more working. If even 20 percent did so the wealth transfer regime fails because the wealth must be produced before it can be transferred. Right now, from what I gather, about half the population supports the other half; once that balance tips beyond a certain point, the whole thing collapses.

                  • The housing bubble was created by inflationary fed monetary policy. They simply created new currency units.

                    UBI as advertised is a wealth transfer from the wealthy and corporations to everybody else. As such it is not inflationary.

                    We both know in practical terms they’ll create currency units for it, but I make my argument for no longer working and going on UBI on the as-advertised version. Because it’s advertised as freeing people to pursue their passions. So I’m going to pursue mine.

    • I hear this “roads” argument, and I’ll point out that they did exist, some being public enterprises, often funded with REVENUE bonds, because they collected tolls, at least on the major thoroughfares, or HIGHWAYS. There were, however, PRIVATE toll roads, which in many ways is far more just, as typically the lands were leased or sold to the outfit that operated the toll road, which had incentives to operate as a profitable business. And even in the case of state enterprises funded by revenue bonds, they still had incentive to be efficient and business-like, as the bond holders were at capital risk and therefore, rightly demanded a superior rate of return to ordinary state and municipal bonds, which of course, had to come from the revenue that came from the tolls. If the road, or bridge, was a financial failure, the reputation of the state got hurt and either cost it more on future bonds or drove investors away altogether.

      Lesser roads were often built by farmers and/or plantation owners themselves, as part of a “co-operative” effort, since they had to travel, get supplies, and sell their farm products, hence why in many larger states, like Texas, you have FARM ‘roads’. In these scenarios, travel was too infrequent to even keep a toll booth going, let alone expect sufficient revenue, but the cost (often in kind and/or labor rather than fees or taxes) was still borne by those that benefited the most. Still just.

      It was when autos and trucks, particularly those powered by gasoline, and later, diesel engines, became the dominant vehicles after 1910 that schemes to tax motor fuel were devised. On the surface, this still seems quite just, since the more a vehicle travels and thereby occupies the highway, the more fuel it consumes, therefore, the more fuel taxes it pays, and the heavier the vehicle, the greater per mile that it causes wear and tear, but it also typically consumes more fuel per mile as well. Therefore, it’s a very just “user fee”, provided…the fuel taxes are KEPT on the roads!

      The trouble starts when politicians can’t resist the temptation to spend the fuel taxes for OTHER purposes than the highways and roads. Here in Calipornia, not only did the nitwits reject the latest Prop 6, which would have relieved the very high (and put forth as ‘temporary’ when proposed!) fuel tax of SB 1, they elected Gavin Newsom, who diverted these monies to the ill-fated high-speed rail project, while CANCELLING the widening of CA Hwy 99, even though the population of the San Joaquin Valley has more than doubled in 40 years. And it ain’t better on freeways ostensibly wide enough, as a quick drive on the once-Golden state’s pothole-infested freeways and roads will attest. The HIGHEST fuel costs, including taxes, in the USA, and the WORST roads…are we seeing a CONNECTION? More reason to GTFO once I retire…

      • Douglas,
        Totally agree about Cali roads. I drive down to Laughlin Nevada every once in a while from the SF bay area and I can attest about the roads in Cali. As soon as you cross the border from Cali into Nevada, the two lane pothole infested road, in Cali, turns into a smooth as glass two lane road, in the middle of the desert.

    • “Since when was Gov. supposed to be the “best” at anything (other than defense)? We pay Gov. workers less than private sector workers and scrutinize (publish) their pay. ”

      Wrong. They used to be paid exchange for great bennies. Now they get paid more with the same great bennies.

  8. While the various Sociopaths In Charge do confiscate about half of our income, that isn’t the end of it. When you consider that you are also paying higher prices for products and services because of the tax burden of the suppliers of such, they are taking a lot more than half. Take that MRI that you need for example. The fee for that includes taxes paid; by the manufacturer of the machine, the delivery of it, service and maintenance, operator, radiologist, administration of the facility, etc. ad infinitum. This applies to every product/service we pay for, from raw materials to finished product the price includes taxes levied at every step.

    • Yes! JWK. That is something that is overlooked by many people. In addition to sales tax, the *real* tax we pay on everything can be huge.

      And the absurdity is, many statists advocate raising corporate/business taxes. WHO do they think ends up ultimately paying those taxes?! Freaking idiots- always looking for a free lunch at someone else’s expense!

  9. Twice as much including what would be saved, it’s four times as much as needed to pay the bills.

    Government takes half, then one needs to save half of the remaining half to have in old age or for anything big that may happen. The remaining 25% is the budget to live on.

  10. Here in Alaska, our schools Hoover up more money per student than anywhere else in the US, in exchange for some of the most abysmal results imaginable. We just throw money upon money into the black hole of education, and nothing ever changes or improves, but when times get tight and we need to cut the budget, the education system is right there at the trough, crying that it will be the end of the world if they don’t get theirs.

    There’s an independent reading tutor floating around my part of the state who has, over many (10+, possibly approaching 20) years, developed a reputation as something of a miracle worker, able to take kids who are multiple grades behind on reading and get them caught up in 6 months, guaranteed. Under our first sane governor in many a moon, we’re just now finally working on getting her program integrated into the school system. The same customer who told me about this also told me that she frequently has to take her time to re-teach her granddaughter the math that the school tried to teach her, and that frequently, after about 20 minutes of such, said granddaughter will suddenly grasp a mathematical concept that she “should” have got at the beginning of the school year. I knew the situation was bad, but I’m still not quite sure how the school could screw up so badly that it takes them 4-6 months to completely fail at conveying an idea that anyone else could explain in 20 minutes!

    • Because they’re busy indoctrinating the 62 genders and trans. Then when/if they ‘teach’, it’s directed to the slowest in the class making the rest bored. They’re so short on time due to indoctrinating some schrools have stopped teaching writing skills,,, they say the Ithings are used more,,, many no longer teach multiplication tables, long division or memorizing the element tables etc, saying it’s too White. Sad thing is the private schrools aren’t much better… Everyone seems to be hawking the new social justice, feminist, global warming, rush to insanity.

      • Private schools aren’t much better because their teachers are products of the same college courses that public school teachers are. There is very little education going on anywhere in the US. Which of course is why there is a student debt “crisis”.

        • Not to mention that most private schools seek accreditation- so, they essentially conform to the same dictates of Uncle as do the pooblik skools; and that so many people would only send their sprogs to an accredited institution.

          And it’s still communal; still strangers teaching one’s kids….still a delegating of parental responsibility.

  11. I like Anon’s idear of a medical holiday! Drive (not fly!) to Meh-hee-co…. Bet you could get ‘er fixed for [worst case scenario] no more than $2K- basically, what just the diagnosis would cost here.

    I also a great believer in self-healing….but some things- like mechanical parts and teefs- just don’t fix themselves.

    Or….to cover at least a good part of the cost, have you considered a “Go Fund Me” page type thing? I’m sure that just us regulars here would be good for at least a few grand……

    And I know I’ve said it before…but be VERY careful as to what ya have done! Friend o’mine- really tough guy, who got shot by a hit-man and pulled the tubes out of his stomach and walked out of the hospi’l 10 days later; who has an artificial hip and knee; who was back to work taking apart a semi trailer for scrap the day after hernia surgery,…he had a bum shoulder- and in his case, their “fix” was to put in a piece of horse cartilage. Well, this guy who never complained about any of the above and lots more, said that that “fixed” shoulder has given him more pain and more trouble than anything he has ever had- including the hit-man’s bullet. It’s been a nightmare for him. After a few years of suffering, he had to have it redone…and they did something else- so now at least he hasn’t got the pain and other complications it was causing…but his shoulder is by no means “fixed”. His wife’s insurance paid for it….and all totaled, it was 10’s of thousands of dollars.

    Sometimes being “poor” is a blessing. (Not so much when the state causes it by taking your money though!)

    • I’ve seen a lot of medical nightmares, Nunz. The old saw about “do no harm” seems to have gone out the window in favor of push as many medications and surgeries as possible. I really try my best to stay away from doctors but when you have what’s essentially a mechanical problem there may not be much choice in order to get some relief.

      Here’s a detailed article that may be of interest on negotiating cost with doctors and hospitals. It gives a peek behind the curtain at the byzantine pricing practices of the medical profession:

      This kind of thing also looks interesting, putting medical problems out for bidding to get the best prices though I have no idea how it really works out in practice:

      • Exactly, Jason! Other than the eye doc (for a congenital problem which was made better…for a while, and then made worse by medical practices) I haven’t been to a doctor since the last time my mother made me go when I was 16- and that was 1978 (Ironically, that doctor had a name that was pronounced the same but spelled differently that a nearby doctor who killed several patients!).

        Live clean, eat right (NOT according to “the latest research” of any given time) and treat your body well/don’t take unnecessary risks…goes a long way to keep the doctor away. Of course, sometimes stuff just happens, and mechanical problems are things they can sometimes help with.

        T’is the beauty of not having “insurance” too- Helps keep you away from the docs. So many relatives (Not the old ones..the younger ones) rush to a doctor for every liuttle thing…are prescribed antibiotics, and are thus constantly getting the same maladies over and over again and are constantly sick. Even if I didn’t want to live healthy, just having to pay for “healthcare” would make me want to do so. Guess that’s why the places that have the most “free” healthcare, also have the sickest people- “Live any way you want…and when you have a problem, just go to the doctor- it’s not like you’re paying for it”.

      • I personally have been trying the Zero Hedge approach for a year and a half after the local crooks sent me a $27000 bill for hernia surgery. (Which I’d been preparing to go the Surgery Center of Oklahoma for about $4500 travel included).

        So far I’ve had no results, but haven’t paid them. We seem to be at a stalemate. It seems if I beg for charity they might write it off, but if I offer a generous payment, they don’t know how to or care to handle it.

        I’m seriously thinking of filing suit just to bring them to the negotiating table- I still have lots of discomfort from the surgery- I think they botched it- and they gave me a minor heart attack on the table with an apparent anasthesia screw up- (but I only found out about that by accident- a nurse told me). So there is one real world feedback to the Tyler/ZH approach.

        • Ernie, ya gotta negotiate price beforehand. Once ya go and have it done, technically, it’s a done deal- and while they or their lawyers may do some negotiating over price and terms- technically, it is now just a debt, and they will use whatever collection methods to collect it.

          The negotiating is a tricky business too. A lot of the stuff in the ZH article is extraneous. It’s often a matter of saying the right thing to the right person (and talking to the right person is of utmost importance)- and often, offering to pay in advance does the trick more so than anything.

          Also, it is often necessary to talk to the doctor, anesthesiologist and others separately, since many are independent contractors, and the hospital can’t negotiate for them.

          It’s a horribly screwed-up system (thanks entirely to Uncle), and since hospitals and doctors are so used to people almost exclusively using insurance or being on the dole, many of the staff have never even encountered someone who pays cash- that they have no clue what to do when presented with someone who is paying for their own.

          I think if I were in your shoes, I’d try and get to see a big-wig in the hospital- like the administrator- who actually knows the score, and has the authority to deal. The average office flunky can do nothing. Also, maybe speak to the doctor’s and anesthesiologist’s offices separately- simply ‘splain that you are only required to as much as an insurance company or Medicare would pay- and if they do not reduce your bill to that amount, you will see them in court. You could also make them a cash offer of 25%- which, if they are smart, they would take.

          • Circumstances didn’t allow prepay- I got sick and the damned hernia turned- so i appreciate it was no longer the simple $3500 outpatient operation I was preparing for. But as it was there was no way to prenegotiate anything.
            That last bit about seeing an admin is not bad advice- but I’ve already tried offering them 10k through a third party negotiating service which is more than the 25% you suggest. In my opinion a generous offer considering everything. I was rather rudely rebuffed. I’m strongly motivated towards legal action to bring them to the table- and I am frankly getting pi$$ed at the quality of the work they did and the whole situation.

            • That sucks, Ernie! I would still try and get in to see a big-wig, face-to-face. Couldn’t hurt…and since they’re the ones who can make decisions, it very well could work- ‘specially if you mention that it’s the last resort before legal action- ’cause ultimately, if legal action was taken, they would HAVE to accept the same as what Medicare/Insurance would have paid…which would be grossly less than what you were billed for…and the admin knows this; plus there might well be punitive costs for them, since they did not comply, when you made every effort in good faith to pay what was more than fair.

              It just suicks to have to be in that position- ‘specially when you didn’t have the luxury of negotiating first. It should be automatic, that if you are paying cash, you get the same rate as they get from everyone else…not the greatly inflated fantasy rate that no one pays.

              That negotiating likely just sent a letter or dealt with a flunky…which is why I think trying to deal personally with someone who understands the situation and has the authority to actually make a decision is imperative.

              Best of luck, man. It burns me up that they make you go through this nonsense…for nothing. I think their reasoning is that most non-insured people don’t even pay, so they end up selling the debt to a collection agency for 10 cents on the dollar….and since 10% of the greatly-inflated bill is probably right about their actual cost, they essentially get paid for every bill, whether the actual debtor pays or not.

              • Hi Nunz,

                I pay cash for my dental services; just saw my guy – $150 for the cleaning/check-up and the once-every-few-years x ray. The guy is excellent – and his fees entirely reasonable.

                • Hey Ya Eric!
                  When it comes to dentists, I only go if there’s a problemo- ’cause any toof problems I’ve ever had, were in teefs that dentists drilled holes in years ago when I was young!

                  No dentist-untouched toof has ever given me any problem- but I’m losing all the ones the fokkers fokked with!

                  Just had a wisdom tooth pulled 2 weeks ago- $221. The price has increased 200% since the last time I had a similar thing done 10 years ago.

                  But hey, I ain’t complainin’- the teef docs here in KY are still cheaper now than the ones in NY were 20 years ago!- and they’re much better here- I no longer fear going to the dentist!

                  Oh, and hey, what kind of toofbrush do ya use? I use a natural-bristle HARD toothbrush (Always have), so my teefs never need cleaning. Whenever I’d go to a new dentist, they’d always say “Oh, I see you’ve already had your teeth cleaned!” -Uh…no…I haven’t been to dentist in 10 years before coming here…I just use a firm toothbrush.

            • PS. Ernie, just thought of this:

              To emphasize how important it is to talk directly to someone near the top whop actually can make decisions:

              My eye doctor charges me ridiculously little- essentially just what he’d receive from someone on Medicaid- since if someone on the dole came in, that’s what he’d get- so he figures why should I have to pay more. I typically pay $35 (!!!).

              It a good sized practice, and my doc is one of the owners.

              A few times when checking out, I was charged more. I didn’t think anything of it- figuring it was still darn cheap- and I certainly had no right to complain- since the guy’s basically giving me charity- so of course, I didn’t say anything- just paid it.

              Then one time, talking to the doc, for some reason, it came up and I mentioned the amount I had been paying the last few times. Turns out, despite his stipulation that I only pay the “Medicaid price”, the billing people didn’t seem to be getting the message on the paperwork- so he corrected the problem.

              But it just goes to show, that even in what is a small organization compared to a hospital….much gets lost in the translation- even when it’s coming from one of the owners!

              • Hi Nunz!

                One of the many obnoxious aspects of my situation is not being able to just go to one doctor to get the got-damned MRI… I must get a referral from the first doctor. Then go to the MRI doctor. Two bills! Before they even do anything. It’s almost a blessing I can’t afford any of this. I will concentrate on channeling Ernest Angley and heaaaaaaa-uhling myself!

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks – and to all who’ve sent along advice! I’m hoping I can (cue Ernest Angley) heeaaayuhl this thing on my own. Post-divorce, funds are really tight. I have been trying to rebuild my Oh Shit! fund… to “cover” things a slow EPautos month and unexpected costs unrelated to my decrepit container, such as new ‘fridge …

      The weird thing is I am functional during the day; it’s at night that the damned thing cripples me… by preventing from sleeping. I haven’t done much of that in months…hoping it doesn’t show too much, except on my face!

      • We’ll also add you to the prayer list.

        The doc in Winston is also ( or was) represented by the Institute for Justice. He’s fighting NC’s Certificate of Need law. CoN is the legal face of the medical protection racket. You have to PROVE there is a “need” for your service in a given area to be licensed by The State. Having a happy clientele’ isn’t good enough. It’s a blatant suppression of competition.

        • Yep. There was a place in North Raleigh that wanted to start operating a helicopter ambulance service (very needed, because NC drivers are .. not good). But the first thing that happened was a competitor in Chapel Hill filed a challenge with the state to prevent them from going into business. Must be nice to get to use the state as your enforcer…

        • Many rural areas are living with reduced availability of medical care thanks to certificate of need laws. Last fall’s election ballot included a referendum to “allow” the local hospital to expand the number of beds. WTF!?! Shouldn’t that be managed by the hospital itself? If the hospital cannot handle the market need shouldn’t a competing hospital be opened up? No. Somehow there’s an ideal number of beds that can be somehow calculated by a bureaucracy and “approved” by voters (that way when the calculation is wrong the stupid voter is to blame, not the bureaucrat).

          This is an example of the bastardization of Jefferson’s idea: That scientific evaluation could be applied to political discourse. But Jefferson wanted to see experimentation on a grand scale and the best outcome would bubble up from the chaos. Unfortunately the ideals got sidetracked and the “experts” got to take advantage of the lever action of the federal government’s unlimited credit line to force their theories into practice from the top down.

      • Eric I had one of those torn rotator cuffs. I had an ultrasound done, less expensive than a MRI. After physio, I went to an acupuncturist and several sessions with him cured my shoulder pain. Another option for you to consider.

      • Hello Eric,

        About a dozen years ago I had a torn rotator cuff. I threw a pretty heavy rock some distance over a fence and the shooting pains began. I was working and had insurance but what I couldn’t find was a specialist who could see me within three or four weeks. The pain was excruciating and caused me to drink several bottles of wine every night so I could sleep a few hours. In desperation I visited a chiropractor whose treatments were worthless. I bought a sling which relieved the weight of my arm and hand. It is amazing just how much strain the weight of hand and arm put on a shoulder socket. In about three months the pain was gone. I could take it out of the sling while driving or typing but the sling was on most times. The muscles in my arm atrophied from lack of use. Starting with a 2 pound weight I lifted my arm back over my shoulder 20 times a day. Got to a 30 pound weight in time. The arm is now completely healed and I never saw a specialist.

        I have observed that people, or males anyway, seem to develop the rotator problems at a certain age, about 45 to 55. That was also my case. In later years it never acted up again. I’m not certain I had a rotator problem or something else but my symptoms matched those with rotator problems.

        Try the sling and good luck. A sling costs about $10 in CVS but one could use a length of rope or a scarf. Keep the arm weight from the shoulder.

  12. Eric, have you considered a medical holiday?

    Many countries a couple of hours plane ride from your location have excellent medical services. Cheap. Worked right, you might even get travel insurance to cover it. Of course it would have to be a *new* injury after a night in the local watering hole or some sports activity. People get hurt on vacation all the time.

    Get your shoulder sorted and enjoy some sun at the same time.
    Just a thought.

  13. Eric, sorry to hear about your shoulder. You should be able to get an MRI a lot cheaper. Insurance never pays $1000 for an MRI, there’s a lower, negotiated amount. You can negotiate yourself. Tell them you will pay them on the spot, no insurance, but you can’t afford $1,000 and offer to pay whatever insurance pays. They’ll take it. I’ve done the same for myself. It’s still not cheap, but mine was about $450. The bigger problem is that you need to have a doctor evaluate it, since the MRI techs aren’t allowed to interpret the MRI for you (even though they’re capable), so you also have to pay a doc to go over it with you.

    See if there are any SimpleCare doctors near you – these are docs and providers who have rejected the insurance mafia and operate on a payment at time of service model, imagine that. They don’t charge fraudulent rates to game insurance, simply reasonable rates to patients.

  14. Eric, the sad thing as Auric says, is that the free market would easily provide MRI’s for $300 in today’s debased “dollars”. But you’re mostly right about the taxes- You’re probably familiar with L Neil Smith- who postulates that seven eights of everything is tax- and I cannot refute his reasoning or his math.

    MRI machines seem to cost about 300-500k. Then with bureaucratic bloat the installation goes to around 3 million. Most of this is monopoly pricing using government to keep competition out. A lot of that is reasonable safety precautions taken to the usual insane and unreasonable levels.

    The technology is not new or complicated- electronics are still subject to Moore’s Law. Let’s assume we can do a nice modern installation for a cool million bucks. Admittedly a million is a lot of money for us serfs, but a lot of business opportunities start there. So let’s do a bit of math.

    How long would it take a independent contractor to pay off a million dollar installation at $300/scan? Well, the scan should be doable with reasonable time with the patient in about 15 minutes. To do that, you will likely have an office staff of around $200/hour- no need for an MD, clerks, techs, maybe a nurse. So your installation is generating $1200/hour less $200/hour in expenses. These are close enough estimates- your installation will generate $1000/hour, 8 hours per day, 5 or 6 days a week- say around $40000 per week in gross profit. In the simplest analysis your million dollar installation will break even in 25 weeks, and the machine will probably be upgraded every 3-5 years. You, the independent businessman will make a cool million on it in the first year. And you’d be doing it without screwing people already suffering.

    I wonder where all the money is going?

  15. Just as the government assisted the off shoring of production at the bequest of the corporations it is also destroying the Medical System. Doctors are forced to give up private practices because of gov bureaucracy.
    I went in to a hospital for an alleged heart attack. The insurance got messed up and I was billed for $35,000. Well I got it straightened out. Found out the insurance only paid $15,000. So today if you try to cover yourself like a responsible adult you get charged 2 to 3 times the actual cost. Now compare to the 1980’s. We could pay the hospital bill in cash and they would give a 30% discount. Today the Medical Industrial Complex is nothing but a complete scam and rip off in cahoots with the fascistic government intent on controlling every aspect of our lives.

    Like this new Coronavirus everyone and his brother are talking about. As soon as it appeared I told my better half that a miracle vaccine was forthcoming. Sure enough, I read yesterday the Chinese already have one in testing. Now isn’t that a coincidence! If it truly was a possible species killer they would never tell us. The reader may already know this but the cold virus is part of the Coronavirus family. For all we know this could just be another winter cold season the CDC and WHO are trying to make a buck on. Think about the absolute stupidity of their story. The general story is Patient Zero caught the disease by eating Bat soup. Then,,, by a miracle of God,,, it suddenly went airborne. If you read the sentence several times you should see the humor. Yesterday the WHO or CDC apparently caught the error and said that now they’re unsure if Patient Zero was really Patient Zero 🙂

  16. “Healthcare” is another racket wholly corrupted by greedy bureaucrats. It’s illegal for a doctor to buy his own MRI machine and set it up in his office. Instead he has to apply for an aptly named CON (Certificate of need) issued by The State. When anyone applies for a CON the hospitals in the area all monkeypile on filing objections alleging “over supply of health care facilities” That’s giverment speak for “protect our monopoly” and presto! The MD who could scan your shoulder for $300 and still make a handsome profit can’t-and you’re stuck paying 300% more than you should to “The System” as Hospitals like to call themselves.

  17. Hi Eric,

    I agree with your assessments about the greedy, dysfunctional nature of our tax and insurance systems. Unfortunately, they will not change any time soon. But you have got to do something about that shoulder. It’s depriving you of your ability to function at your highest, and to enjoy life to the fullest.

    If there are no other options, you could sell the Trans Am, and a couple of classic bikes for enough $ to get the shoulder completely fixed. And you probably should consider moving to a more affordable property in a lower tax state that does not have such a criminally insane governor and legislature. It’s not absolutely essential to your livelihood that you must stay in your current location, is it?? Arizona’s not bad, Nevada’s OK, Wyoming would be great, except it’s TOO COLD.

    Nobody’s going to change the course to suit your needs. You’re going to have to reach into the bag for the sand wedge, and burn a stroke to blast out of this bunker, and back onto the fairway….or maybe the green.

    Sorry about all the golf allusions, but it’s Phoenix Open Week here in AZ. 🙂

  18. Don’t count on Social Security (I’m 52). The government can legally cut off payments to anyone and everyone (Helvering vs Davis 1937) since is was ruled constitutional as a TAX rather than a national retirement/pension system. Make no mistake that the government will cut out, reduce and raise the age on payments. With the many trillions of debt and the trillions in IRA/401k accounts in place, the Feds are scheming to steal that money as well. The precedent has been set with other countries such as Cyprus, Greece and Portugal taking half of account holders money to avert a debt crisis. And don’t think it can happen here. Politicians and bureaucrats are the same no matter which country. Big government socialists work in 3 phases; they take your money, then your rights and then ultimately your life. How far along are we?

    • Unfortunately its not as simple as three discrete steps. They are taking money, rights, and lives simultaneously. What the F**k kind of place keeps 3 million people in cages- about 1 in 100? And actively looks for more ways to put more people in cages? Every one of those 3 million lives are being taken, and the other 99 (discounting the other 15-30 million in some sort of probation or other government program)- over 1 percent of the population is not a participating member of society- and only about 1 in 6 is in the private sector creating all of the wealth consumed by the other 5.

      Atlas needs to shrug. Some of us have.

      And yes, 401k/IRA/any other program the communists have easy access to loot will be looted. To the folks who keep their head down and work while they console their lost lives and dreams with the size of their IRA/401k/stock accounts- that is going to be the final wake up.

      So the communists- the servants of monstrous evil- will put it off as long as possible and then I suspect they will say “we took the million two you thought you had in your 401k, and are giving you these government bonds with the same face value which can be redeemed at OUR convenience, but only by you, not any heir…”

      Mao was right. Power comes only from the barrel of a gun.

    • Hi Ernie

      I read it a little differently.

      In Helvering v Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Social Security Act of 1935. The Court ruled that the Social Security Program to provide old age benefits did not violate the Tenth Amendment because Congress is permitted to spend for the general welfare.

      Title VIII imposes an “excise” tax on employers, to be paid “with respect to having individuals in their employ,” measured on the wages, and an “income tax on employees,” measured on their wages, to be collected by their employers by deduction from wages.

      In reaching its decision, the Court emphasized that Congress may spend money in aid of the “general welfare.” As Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo wrote on behalf of the Court:

        • No worries Ken. But I’d have to note that while they MAY spend money on “general welfare” they are not legally REQUIRED to.

          As likely as it is to rile up the herd, I don’t think SoCalled Security will ever be rescinded while the Untied States (siic) exist as an entity. I do believe they will keep all the promises as they are now by creating worthless “dollars”- except for the moment some greedy folks are holding all that freshly printed digital moola for themselves and their banks.

          • Hi Ernie

            Yes they are NOT required to. Also I do not think “that” is what the founders had in mind when they used the “general welfare”. And I also doubt it will ever end… possibly when the economy completely caves…… which may not be too far away.

            • I’ll drink to that! And I personally hope that needed collapse comes soon- all my 30 years of preps and sacrifice could have been put in the paper markets for big paper gains otherwise. Sooner or later…

              • Hi Ernie!

                I sometimes – in my darker fugues – also pine for the needed collapse. Hell, if the got-damned property tax went away and a man could just live on his own got-damned land and be left the hell alone… I’d be all in!

            • Hi Ken,

              I have a less generous view of the intentions of the authors of the Constitution. They meant to establish what they themselves referred to as a “robust” and “vigorous” central government that would subordinate the states and thus, the people, to itself. Many were also lawyers – and all were educated men – who knew the meaning of words and chose their words carefully.

              “General welfare,” “reasonable” and “necessary and proper” can mean practically anything – and I suspect that was intentional. These words and terms were inserted to give lawyers the means by which to increase the power of the central government by interpreting the words and terms in a way that served that purpose. If that had not been their purpose, why not use clear, defined words and terms?

              For example:

              No person shall be required to submit to a search of his person or property absent probable cause a crime has been committed; probable cause shall be defined as tangible evidence of criminal activity to support an assertion of the same.

              The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

              No taxes shall be levied upon income, property or investments.

              The right to freely associate shall not be infringed.


              • Hello Eric

                Yes, the generality of the constitution keeps me up at night when some obvious unconstitutional law goes before the gods in black euphemistically called judges.

                Doesn’t matter as some writing like the 2nd is clear as day (shall not be infringed) but they still write laws contrary. When the 2nd President of the United States George Washington sent troops to put down the Whiskey Rebellion they should have known at that point the failure of their constitution.

                Many look at me like their seeing an X-File Alien when I tell them the constitution was a coup of the Articles of Confederation which most powers were to the States and People. The ‘founders’ called a convention to “update” the Articles but they came with a already written constitution without the amendments which were thrown in later to get a few states to accept.

                Looking at the State of Virginia and others (Florida) I imagine we’d be in the same boat regardless but I like purity in history. Something that seems impossible in the last hundred years.

                • Hi Ken, as you said “they came with an already written constitution” the fix was in from the beginning. Just like the so-called “Patriot Act” which was ready to go long before the false flag of 9/11 and is blatantly unconstitutional. Too bad none of the so called judges have the stones to strike it down as such, but they’re well aware who signs their paychecks.

                • I just want people to understand that the world wasn’t frozen in time after 1918. Or that the US wasn’t frozen in time after 1936.

              • I have to disagree with you about the intentions of the Founders, Eric. They wanted to replace the Articles of Confederation because a) each state could coin its own money, which threw the economy in the tank b) there was no protection for American vessels at sea, making them a target for pirates c) there was no substantive military for protection against foreign invasion – remember, the British are still in Canada and we’re going to go to war with them again in 1812 d) the Massachusetts militia was in mutiny — Shays’s Rebellion and e) the country couldn’t pay its legitimate debts from the Revolution to France and to its own veterans.

                It’s important to remember that the Federalists did not include a Bill of Rights in the original text not because they though they were going to sneak the camel’s nose of Leviathan government under the tent, but because they believed that they were creating a government of such limited powers that it could not possibly engage in any action not enumerated in Article I. Hamilton, the principal advocate for strong(er) government, said as much verbatim in Federalist #84.

                The 14th Amendment, the 16th Amendment, and the New Deal Supreme Court basically destroyed their work, laying the groundwork for hordes of lawyers and grifters (but I repeat myself) to take other peoples’ money to buy votes and line their own pockets with.

              • The most glaring flaw in the Constitution of the United States is that it does not provide for it’s own enforcement. Leaving the fox in charge of the hen house.

                • Hi JWK,

                  “… it does not provide for it’s own enforcement”.

                  This is true of every government, no matter what any Constitution says. Government is defined as that institution that exercises a monopoly on the legal use of force in a given geographical area. This monopoly includes the judging of its own actions relative to the law. Thus all governments, by definition, exist outside of and above the law. Legally limited government is an oxymoron, it cannot exist. There is no magic combination of words, written on paper, that can change this.


                  • Well-said, Jeremy… and I will say that until people disabuse themselves of the idea that government is necessary there will always be government and government will always increase.

                    The revolution that’s needed is moral. Once enough people accept that each individual is absolutely sovereign over himself – and over no one else – government will become the equivalent of a bicycle for a fish.

                  • The teeth in the Constitution, of course, is the Second Amendment in the bill of prohibitions on government. Unfortunately they haven’t been used- people are polite and obedient, even climbing into the boxcar, marching into the “shower” or kneeling in front of the ditch.

                    • Hi Erewhon,

                      “The teeth in the Constitution, of course, is the Second Amendment”.

                      I’ve concluded that the tortured language of the 2nd amendment was intended to create exactly the confused “debate” about what it means, that rages to this day. If they wanted it to be the “teeth” of the Constitution, empowering all men to be armed and capable of resisting tyrannical government, why didn’t they say so? If they wanted that to be crystal clear, they could have written something like this:

                      “Congress shall make no law restricting the right of all men to own and bear arms, nor the right of the people to bear arms in self defense, nor to assemble as private militias to thwart the inevitable usurpation of power, inherent in all Governments.”

                      But they didn’t, they wrote a vague, qualified and ambiguous mess, which is different in tone and style from the others. Imagine if they’d written the first amendment the same way.

                      “A well regulated press, being necessary to the maintenance of a free State, the right of the people to a free press shall not be infringed”.

                      Not quite as clear as “Congress shall make no law” is it? We’d still be arguing about what the “Press” actually is, what “well-regulated” means and whether anyone has an individual right to free speech. Just like we still do with the 2nd.
                      Why the weird, explanatory qualifier? Why the passive voice? Why the term “well regulated”, which was ambiguous at the time. One thing is certain, there’s not much debate about what the 1st means, as it isn’t possible to have two diametrically opposed interpretations of it because the language is plain, active and clear. The debate is mostly about whether it applies to pornography, offensive art, etc, not what it means. Not so with the 2nd, gun controllers and gun rights advocates promote completely opposite interpretations of what it means, and both sides think they are obviously correct. It doesn’t matter that we think our interpretation is correct, it matters that the 2nd was written in a way that allows, even promotes, endless debate about what it means. I no longer think this was unintentional.


          • I have always been confused about the use of capitalization when the Constitution refers to “people” or “People” and other things like that. Something smells


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