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The Wages of Cronyism, Big Government, and Corruption ^ | February 11, 2014 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 02/11/2014 8:45:52 AM PST by Kaslin

The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death,” but the same can’t be said of Washington, DC.

The bureaucrats, lobbyists, politicians, contractors, insiders, cronyists, and influence peddlers have rigged the system so that they get rich by diverting money from people in the productive sector of the economy.

How bad is the disconnect between Washington and real America?

Well, according to Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index, people in every state have a negative outlook.

But there is one outpost of giddy prosperity, and that’s the District of Columbia, where residents have a 20-point gap compared to the most optimistic (or, to be more accurate, least pessimistic) state and a whopping 35-point gap with the average American.

Gallup Confidence DC

If you’re a glass-half-full person, there is a tiny sliver of good news in the new Gallup report.

It turns out that DC is not as fat and happy as it was one year ago, and the likely reason is that the federal Leviathan got put on a modest diet.

The District of Columbia (+19) is the clear outlier in economic confidence, having the only positive reading for 2013 and well above the readings for even the most optimistic states. Its confidence has taken a hit, however, since 2012, when its index was +29. Likely factors in the 10-point drop include October’s federal government shutdown as well as the sequestration spending cuts that occurred earlier in the year.

This explains, of course, why lobbyists were so bitterly opposed to the sequester. It reduced the money flow to Washington, and that meant less of our money to be shared by looter class that dominates the DC establishment.

Unfortunately, the establishment ultimately prevailed and they weakened the sequester as part of the Murray-Ryan tax-hike budget deal.

So don’t be surprised if Washington’s Economic Confidence Index is higher when new numbers are released next year.

And that means that we’ll be one step closer to being another Argentina, a nation on the decline because a corrupt elite uses the coercive power of government to obtain undeserved and unearned wealth.

And the most depressing sign that this already is happening to the United States is that so many of America’s richest communities are now part of the Washington metropolitan area.

P.S. I’m a big fan of Australia. Their private Social Security system is a huge success, and I’ve even suggested that it might be thebest place to go if America suffers a Greek-style fiscal collapse.

But that doesn’t mean its government isn’t capable of squandering money in stupendous fashion. Check out this blurb from an Australian news report.

A refrigerator lightbulb retailing for about $3 at a hardware store ended up costing a far north Queensland state school almost $500 after Queensland’s Public Works Department sent an electrician to install it in a teacher’s government-owned home. Doomadgee State School, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, was billed $200 for labour alone after the teacher was told workplace health and safety regulations prevented any staff member from buying and replacing the bulb themselves

This sounds even crazier than some of the absurd examples of waste that I listed last month.

And since I’m in the uncharacteristic position of beating up on Australia, you may as well click here and here to see other examples of government stupidity Down Under.

Though, to be fair, at least the Aussies manage to involve sex when trying to bilk the workplace compensation system.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; corruption; cronycapitalism; cronyism; lobbyist

1 posted on 02/11/2014 8:45:52 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Always good for a chuckle:

Get Konnected with The Kronies Action Figures.

2 posted on 02/11/2014 9:16:30 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Kaslin; All
Thank you!

The "wages"?

How about letting the Founders of this great Republic--not "democracy," as so-called "progressives" like to call it--comment on the "wages" of turning the Constitution's principles of limited government upside down?

For decades now, and especially with a committed "redistributionist" as their leader, the so-called "progressive" Democrats have refused to acknowledge the simple logic of the article's headline question.

They, in their overwhelming desire for accumulation of power of government over people, acknowledge the taxing power as useful for restraining motivation toward what they deem to be undesirable behavior.

On the other hand, they deny the certain fact that "taking," or taxing productive citizens also discourages and restrains motivation.

Democrats, under Obama, now have endangered the liberty of millions yet unborn with their illogical arguments on behalf of "taking" and "redistributing" the earnings of hard-working Americans. They claim they are "taking care" of those who elected them. Their "taking care" amounts to enslaving every citizen, born and unborn, for generations to come.

Their claims would fall on deaf ears, if most citizens understood their Constitution's limits on the powers of government.

Hear what some of the Founders said about the policies of today's "progressive" Democrats.

"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:39

"I deem [this one of] the essential principles of our government and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration:... The honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801. ME 3:322

"I sincerely believe... that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. ME 15:23

"[With the decline of society] begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia [war of all against all], which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:40

"Is it now high time for the people of this country to explicitly declare whether they will be free men or slaves. It is an important question which ought to be decided. It concerns more than anything in this life. The salvation of our souls is interested in this event. For wherever tyranny is established, immorality of every kind comes in like a torrent, it is in the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice.” - Samuel Adams


“The utopian schemes of leveling and a community of goods, are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the crown. These ideas are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government unconstitutional.” - Samuel Adams

"If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”

-- Thomas Jefferson

3 posted on 02/11/2014 9:25:44 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

There’s plenty of republicans, along with democrats, and even no shortage of conservatives, in essence a majority of political animals and their business cronies, who are guilty of twisting government to their own ends, and lying through their teeth to perpetuate the whole shakedown racket. If that isn’t the case, then explain to me how becoming a politician has become such a financially lucrative venture.

4 posted on 02/11/2014 9:38:51 AM PST by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: factoryrat
These you describe may be from either of the political parties, but they cannot be appropriately described as "conservatives" if they do not understand, treasure, and uphold the principles and ideas underlying our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. What is it they purport to "conserve"?

There is a great need for a rediscovery of the ideas of liberty and an understanding that the very essence of "government" is use of coercive power by some over others in a society.

Our choice is between individual freedom or slavery to government--a tyrannical form of slavery.

The formula structured by the Constitution of the United States and laid out in its philosophical foundations--as asserted in the 1776 Declaration of Independence from an overly-powerful government administered by King George III--were explained by America's Founders.

Their writings and speeches, as well as the wisdom writings from previous defenders of liberty, are available online.

THE FEDERALIST, that collection of 85 essays explaining the Constitution's provisions and protections, now can be read in every home and school as a means of enlightening a public which has become too willing to yield their Creator-endowed liberty to a collection of would-be tyrants who call themselves "progressives," but are, in fact taking American citizens back to the bondage from which their ancestors fled in other parts of the world.

Several years ago, a business man by the name of James R. Evans, in his book, "America's Choice: Twilight's Last Gleaming or Dawn's Early Light," suggested 7 simple principles which every citizen could benefit from considering as they watch so-called "progressive" regressives attempt to enslave them through legislation and Executive Orders.

"1. Does this legislation or idea increase, or decrease, individual freedom and creativity?

"2. Does this legislation or idea increase, or decrease, the power of some citizens over other citizens?

"3. Does this legislation or idea recognize that the persons who will exercise the power are themselves imperfect human beings?

"4. Does this legislation or idea recognize that government is incapable of creating wealth?

"5. Does this legislation or idea authorize taking from some what belongs to them, and giving it to others to whom it does not belong?
If 'thou shalt not steal' is a valid commandment, can we assume that it is meant to apply only to individuals and not to government (which is made up of individuals), even if those persons in power pass laws which sanction such redistribution of the wealth of others?'

"6. Does this legislation or idea encourage, or discourage, the very highest level of morality and responsibility from the individual?
. . .when government makes actions 'legal' by some citizens at the expense of other citizens, the result may be behavior which would not be considered possible by individuals acting alone.

"7. Does this legislation or idea propose that the 'government' do something which the individual cannot do without committing a crime?"**

**7 principles drawn from James R. Evans book, "America's Choice," and reprinted in a Stedman Corporation (Asheboro, NC) booklet entitled "I'm Only One, What Can I Do?"

The simplicity of these questions and of the core message of the following words by some of America's Founders might jar some citizens into a recognition of what "progressives" and this Administration are doing to the future of liberty for their posterity:

"...nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society." - John Adams

"This was a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money." [This statement referred to a proposed provision in Article I, Section 8, that would have read 'and emit bills of credit (paper money) of the United States,' which the Founders rejected by an overwhelming vote.] - James Madison- Notes of the Federal Convention 1787

"...there have always been those who wish to enlarge the powers of the General Government. There is but one safe rule...confine (it) within the sphere of its appropriate duties. It has no power to raise a revenue or impose taxes except for the purposes enumerated in the Constitution....Every attempt to exercise power beyond these limits should be promptly and firmly opposed." - Andrew Jackson's Valedictory

"...experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government), those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate...the minds of the give them knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth. History, by apprizing them of the past, will enable them to judge of the will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views...." - Jefferson's Bill for the more general diffusion of knowledge for Virginia

"Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant--they have been cheated; asleep--they have been surprised; divided--the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson?...the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it....It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free." - James Madison

"These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and the blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety." - Thomas Jefferson-First Inaugural Statement of Principles of Good Government

5 posted on 02/11/2014 10:23:08 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Kaslin

Makes perfect sense. THEY’VE GOT ALL OUR “MONEY” (If we had HONEST “MONEY”, they wouldn’t!)

I’ve informally studied the bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosure stats for a number of years. Guess which region has been essentially exempt from those “problems”? 3 guesses and the last two don’t count!


6 posted on 02/11/2014 10:59:21 AM PST by Dick Bachert (Ignorance is NOT BLISS. It is the ROAD TO SERFDOM! We're on a ROAD TRIP!!)
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To: loveliberty2

I listed conservatives because I’ve seen time and again, (maybe supposed) conservatives bash any and all people who work in manufacturing, or rely on their hands for a living, or condemn people for belonging to a union, and gleefuly rejoice when any industry they perceive as union controlled goes belly up due to foreign outsourcing, and then complain about those same people when they collect unemployment. I’m an American first type of conservative. I believe that we need to put our well being above every other country, and diplomacy and trade come in second. I don’t see that with the republicans, most conservatives, and all of the democrats. They all seem tobe wrapped up in infighting, socialist agendas, financial carpetbagging, and petty spite. In effect our government has devolved into a grade school playground, full of bullies, cheaters, liers, tattletalers, and no real rule of law.

With that being said, what everyone should fear is when people start losing faith in the government, and with it the rule of law. When people realize that their government has turned against them, all bets are off, and all hell breaks loose. The government loses, the people lose, and America as we know ceases to exist.

7 posted on 02/11/2014 11:13:40 AM PST by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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