ISSUES IN FOCUS
Week of February 15, 1999
IT’S YOUR MONEY
What was the most significant event, last week, in America? As momentous and ominous as it was, it was not the acquittal of Clinton on the impeachment charges. It was a televised discussion that lasted less than 15 minutes. This discussion marked the emergence, in mainstream media, of an idea that promises to undo everything statists have spent the last few decades constructing, an idea that strikes at the heart of statism. If this idea gains widespread support, and there is reason to believe it will, it will be the beginning of America turning toward a new direction: the expansion of individual freedom.
The February 14, 1999, broadcast of Fox News on Sunday featured a discussion with a Democratic Senator about Social Security. During the segment, I was astonished to hear Brit Hume declare that his money was his money. He went on to argue that since it is his money (money taken in Social Security taxes), why shouldn’t he be free to invest it as he sees fit and provide for his own retirement needs? The Senator was clearly uncomfortable with Hume’s argument, couldn’t answer it and could only defensively maintain that all must be denied the freedom to invest their money for their own retirement because some would not be able to invest wisely.
I have maintained that once an individual accepts a basic idea, the logical implications of that idea gradually work their way through that person’s mind. Logic drives that individual to eventually accept the logical outcome of the idea until and unless he rejects it. As America continues to creep toward some sort of totalitarian rule, it has been driven to do so by some very bad ideas implicitly (and explicitly) accepted by a majority. However, the process of an individual being steadily drawn to the logical conclusion of an idea is a process that cuts both ways: it does this with good ideas as well as with bad.
Think about the significance of this statement by Brit Hume. Here we have, in the mainstream media, a member of the press declaring that your money is yours. Over the last year or so, this notion has been bandied about on some conservative talk radio shows and by some Republican politicians, but now we have it being discussed on a mainstream television outlet. This is a clear indication the idea is spreading and gaining some popular support.
Consider the logical implications of the idea that your money is yours. Money is a repository of the time in your life it takes you to earn it. If your money is yours, then it means the time in your life it takes to earn it is yours. If your life’s time is yours, then your life is yours, yours by right and not a single minute of it should be taken from you without your permission.
If your money is yours, then you, not others, have the right to it. If your money is yours, you, not the state, have the right to control its use and disposal. If your money is yours, then you have the right to spend it as you please and no one—not the state or your neighbors—has the right to forcibly direct how your money is spent.
If statists lose their claim to your money, then they will lose their battle to bring you under their control. Without your money, they will have no means with which to threaten you. It is the state’s power to forcibly grab your money that provides the greatest threat to your life and liberty. Without this power, statists will be finished and out of the business of threatening anyone.
Little wonder that this Democratic Senator was squirming when confronted with the idea that your money is yours. I have no polling data to support this, but I think most Americans would agree that your money is your money. And the reason this Senator was sweating is that it is either-or: either your money is yours or it isn’t. Statists cannot possibly get away with claiming your money isn’t yours, they can only hope that the issue doesn’t come up. If it does, they are in deep trouble and they know it. This is their Achilles' heel.
The acceptance of the idea that your money is yours will lead to liberty, to the protection of your right to life. It will gradually dismantle the Parasite State, bringing us a new birth of freedom.
If you want to win the battle against statists who seek to deprive you of your rights and freedom, then fight to spread the idea that your money is yours. We need a rising chorus of voices chanting: "It’s my money." If we begin to hear this, it will be the best news for freedom that we have seen in decades.
February 15, 1999
© Copyright 1999 Fulton Huxtable