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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When do you become afraid for your own paycheck?

I am not talking about the fear of losing your job, I'm talking about the fear of the government targeting you because of populist outrage. From this Washington Post article:
He explained that government lawyers are "looking through contracts to see what can be done to wrest these bonuses from their recipients."
When the government starts combining the words "lawyers," "wrest," and "recipients" then we are dangerously close to a watershed moment.

No individual can wrest anything from anyone without violating the rights of the wrestee. Yet in some sort of populist orgy of wealth envy the government has the permission and perhaps the moral obligation, in some twisted way, to take from others.

And the excuse is "well, it's the taxpayers' money"? I'm a tax payer, I just paid for lunch, does this mean the owner of the restaurant received tax payer dollars? Sound like a stretch? Just wait - after we are done with the banks and the insurance companies and the car companies, any company that signs a government contract will be next.

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If the purpose of government isn't to prevent theft, I'm not sure that government is useful at all.
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