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02/03/2007 Archived Entry: "I come from a large family"

I COME FROM A LARGE FAMILY Five kids, two parents, seven in all.

Silver here. I was thinking about my extended family's finances. I earn my living in the free market. Every transaction is voluntary. My customers trade their money for my goods only because we both are better for the trade. If they don't like my goods or my prices, or I don't like their offer, no trade. I don't accept stolen money, aka tax money from government agencies or government grants. One sibling makes a living as I do, in the free market.

My parents live on Social Security. I know enough about what my father earned and when to calculate that he took out all his payments, plus interest, over 15 years ago. Since then, he and my mother have been getting money taken from working people.

One sibling works directly for Mordor, serves the empire and is totally dependent upon it. Two work for public schools, or as Vin Suprynowicz so aptly describes them, the reproductive organ of the state. None of these three siblings does anything remotely resembling free trade; every dime they get was stolen from someone else.

That makes two productive people and five parasites. What's interesting is that I know how much my free-market sib and I pay in taxes, and more or less what the others take. You know what? It balances. Two of us support five.

This isn't unusual. The Mogambo Guru recently noted that one out of seven workers is directly employed by the government, and it is the sole means of support for about a third of the country.

These numbers get worse every day.

The baby boomers are beginning to retire. Few have any personal savings, most are counting on getting the same sweet social security deal my parents get today. They will, for a while. Pretty much every person reading this pays 17.2% of their income in Social Security and Medicare taxes to support those retirees. There are no deductions. That 1/6 share of your income (before any income or property taxes) must soon rise to 1/5, then 1/4, even 1/3. By 2020, only 13 short years from now, every 2 workers will support one retiree. Gary North explains the politics of plunder. The people doing the paying will eventually say "Enough!" and vote an end to it.

Does your money come from free trade or coercion? How many people do you support with your taxes? Does your extended family support itself or does it rely on taxes from strangers? To answer these questions is to take a sobering look at yourself and your role in the economy. I don't particularly like what I see in my own family, but I can't deny reality.

Given the choice, I would voluntarily support my parents in their old age. Who wants to see their parents suffer? I suspect my free-market sib would do the same.

But we are not given the choice. Two of us are robbed, five are paid. It is done that way because I wouldn't support able-bodied brothers and sisters who find the hardships and risks of earning a living via voluntary trade not to their liking. The five live well. Their income is secure. They don't have to please customers, they don't have to adapt and change as consumer tastes morph and evolve.

This can't go on much longer. What worries me is not if it will end, or when, but how.

Posted by Silver @ 07:34 AM CST

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